Friday, June 6, 2008

The Depraved Majesty of Totalitarian Democracy

Is it Krushchev? Is it Lancelot Link's nemesis, Baron von Butcher? No, it's a little of both: It's the Grand and Glorious Decider in full General Urko mode.

After four Blackwater mercenaries were killed and their lifeless, butchered bodies publicly displayed by gleeful insurgents in March 2004, George W. Bush was handed one of those "leadership moments" so earnestly lusted after by incorrigible narcissists of his variety.

Summoning every resource of eloquence and inspiration at his disposal, Bush -- according to the newly published memoir by Gen. Ricardo S. Sanchez, former commander of U.S. forces in Iraq -- disgorged what he probably thought was a masterpiece of Churchillian oratory in a videoconference with his national security team and commanding generals in Iraq:

"Kick ass! If somebody tries to stop the march to democracy, we will seek them out and kill them! We must be tougher than hell! This Vietnam stuff, this is not even close. It is a mind-set. We can't send that message. It's an excuse to prepare us for withdrawal. There is a series of moments and this is one of them. Our will is being tested, but we are resolute. We have a better way. Stay strong! Stay the course! Kill them! Be confident! Prevail! We are going to wipe them out! We are not blinking!"

This harangue was roughly equal parts towel-snapping frat-boy faux bravado, corporate seminar positive thinking dogma, partially digested talk radio sound-bites, and reheated Brezhnev-era Soviet revolutionary cant served up in one borderline-aphasic seizure.

Picking carefully through this slurry with a pair of tweezers we can extract one expression that nearly qualifies as a complete thought: The Marxoid imprecation against those who would "stop the march of Democracy" in Iraq and, presumably, elsewhere.

In fact, it was the audacity displayed by the residents of Fallujah in setting up their own self-governing institutions after the U.S. invasion that attracted the murderous attentions of Bush and his adult handlers.

Jeremy Scahill, in his exceptionally valuable study of Blackwater, Inc., points out that after the invasion "Fallujans had organized themselves and, before U.S. forces entered the city, created a local system of governance -- appointing a Civil Management Council with a manager and mayor -- in direct affront to the authority of the occupation."

Human Rights Watch reports that in Fallujah, the management of the city's public and private assets was apportioned among the various tribes, and arrangement one could call a form of checks and balances. The local hospital contracted with local militiamen to provide security. And local Imams "urged the public to respect law and order."

"Are you finished democratizing my city? Can I come out?"

What is described here is a rudimentary and very fragile form of republican self-government, albeit of a form based on cultural assumptions substantially different from those that informed our own Founders. So of course it had to be destroyed in the interests of the Bushevik Global Democratic Revolution.

Fallujah suffered greatly in the first Gulf War: A February 13 aerial bombing attack on a bridge spanning the Euphrates. The first airstrike failed to bring down the bridge. During the second, a half-dozen of the laser-guided "precision" missiles malfunctioned, missing the target and hitting a nearby residential neighborhood, an apartment building, and a crowded market. Scores were killed, hundreds more were wounded.

By the time the Bush family stretched forth its hand a second time to confer the blessings of armed benevolence upon the ungrateful Iraqis, Fallujah had become known as a stronghold of support for Saddam Hussein and anti-American hostility. This shouldn't surprise anyone with a particle of understanding of human nature. Which means it was utterly mystifying to those whose minds are incurably hostage to the tenets of totalitarian democracy.

You see, "Democracy" is the sanctified name used to describe whatever Washington sees fit to inflict on any community -- foreign or domestic -- it targets. And the objective of planting and nurturing democracy consecrates any means to bring about that end.

Shortly after U.S. troops invaded Iraq, a contingent of Marines occupied Fallujah, seizing the Al Qaed ("The Leader") School on Hay Nazzal Street as its headquarters. Since the reaction to this action was entirely predictable, the seizure has to be considered a deliberate provocation.

Opposition quickly coalesced, and a mob gathered around the school -- as well as Ba'ath Party HQ, also occupied by US troops -- to chant defiant slogans. The protest promoted Lt. Col, Eric Nantz, the U.S. commander in Fallujah, to warn the crowd via loudspeaker that the demonstration "could be considered a hostile act and would be engaged with deadly force.

At some point, a U.S. soldier was hit by a rock thrown by a demonstrator, and what had been a protest turned into a massacre. A hail of gunfire erupted, and hundreds of Iraqi civilians were slaughtered. Some eyewitnesses testify that U.S. troops ordered ambulance drivers away from the scene as civilians died in agony.

This all happened roughly a year before the death of four Blackwater operators who were sent, ill-prepared and with inadequate support, on a very badly planned mission in Fallujah.

It is tragically typical of the American mass mind -- at least, that small portion of it that still pays attention to the ongoing national crime in Iraq -- that the death of four mercenaries in the service of Washington's empire has become known as the "Fallujah Massacre," and -- of course -- there is no corresponding name for the murder of hundreds of Iraqis by American forces in 1991 and April 2003. Likewise, no name has been given to the breathtakingly savage campaign of detention, regimentation, state terrorism, and mass murder that the Bush Regime conducted in an attempt to impose democracy on Fallujah.

The death of four Blackwater operatives -- whose survivors were stiff-armed by both that politically connected corporation and the government it serves so dutifully -- gave the Regime "the ideal pretext to launch a massive assault on a population that was fast becoming a potent symbol suggesting that the United States and its Iraqi proxies were not really in control of the country," recounts Scahill. And remember: The triumph of "democracy" meant nothing more or less than uncontested U.S. control over Iraq.

In April 2004, Fallujah was encircled by U.S. troops and fenced in with concertina wire, and then Operation Vigilant Resolve began. According to on-site reports from both "embedded" and independent sources, occupation forces within the city seized control of the main hospital to prevent its use in treating the wounded. Air assaults destroyed the power plant and the main mosque.

Platoons were dispersed throughout the city armed with loudspeakers and a vocabulary of exquisitely profane insults compiled by psy-ops specialists as a way of luring resistance fighters out from hiding. This "insult-and-shoot" tactic was eagerly taken up by platoons throughout the city: U.S. troops, to the accompaniment of "Welcome to the Jungle" and "Hell's Bells," pumped out a steady stream of profanity and then mercilessly gunned down those Fallujans who rose in defense of their community's honor.

Warplanes dropped their lethal payloads of 2,000-pound bombs on the city; AC-130 Spectre gunships capable of demolishing city blocks in minutes were a common sight in the skies above Fallujah. A doctor from Baghdad who witnessed the death toll later commented: "There is no law on earth that can justify what the Americans did to innocent people."

Yet Fallujah refused to be "pacified," let alone "democratized."

"As you remember, we went in because of the atrocities on the Blackwater security personnel, the four personnel that were killed and later burned, and then hung on the bridge," then-Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Richard Myers testified before Congress on Hitler's birthday (April 20). Imitating the propaganda style of Hitler's regime, Myers described the inhabitants of the city as non-human vermin fit only for extermination: "We went in because we had to and to find the perpetrators. And what we found was a huge rat's nest, that is still festering today...."

The second assault on Fallujah began shortly after Bush's triumph in the November 2004 election. This time, the same Empire that supplied Saddam with chemical weapons, and then execrated him as a singular monster for using them "against his own people," cut out the Middle-Man entirely, using white phosphorous munitions against the "rat's nest" in Fallujah.

This was what the bloody-handed Bushling had in what passes for his mind when he urged the annihilation of those who stood athwart the "march of democracy" in Iraq.

Faoud Ajami, an apologist for the neo-con wing of the Imperial ruling elite, is every bit as Arab as Vidkun Quisling was Norwegian. A few days ago Ajami -- who is called on occasionally by the likes of Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity to put a mock-academic gloss on the Regime's depraved ambitions -- decanted another dram of a familiar Establishment whine that is not improving with age: The plaint that it's simply unfair to judge the Iraq war, and the Warmakers, by the results of their policies and the facts as we now know them.

Ajami was provoked by Scott McClellan's memoirs, in which the erstwhile White House spokesliar tries to come clean about at least some of the deceptions that led to the invasion.

According to neo-con apologist Faoud Ajami, this little boy from Fallujah had to be mutilated because Saddam "taunted" the US Government. If that makes sense to you, you're qualified to teach at Johns Hopkins University.

Writing in the Wall Street Journal, Ajami pouts that McClellan's apostasy from the Warmakers' cult comes "in the sixth year of the war, at a time when many have forgotten what was thought and said before its onset. The nation was gripped by legitimate concern over gathering dangers in the aftermath of 9/11. Kabul and the war against the Taliban had not sufficed, for those were Arabs who struck America on 9/11. A war of deterrence had to be waged against Arab radicalism, and Saddam Hussein had drawn the short straw. He had not ducked, he had not scurried for cover. He openly mocked America's grief, taunted its power."

So ... an aggressive war simply had to be waged because Saddam had "taunted" the Empire, by refusing to duck or scurry for cover?

That is a war aim worthy of the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people, including more than 4,000 Americans?

This is the same quasi-thought, albeit expressed in slightly more elevated diction, that was given voice a year ago by Thomas Friedman of the New York Times: In a televised interview, Friedman said that a good and sufficient reason to invade Iraq was because "we" could, as a way of telling the Arab world, "Well, suck on this."

While Ajami avoids Friedman's use of urban patois -- which is singularly unconvincing, coming from a chinless, chest-less nebbish who probably can't do a single pushup, much less throw a decent punch -- he likewise insists that "democracy" cannot be victorious until all people everywhere, great and small, bow before the Empire's scepter.

Ann Coulter, who could probably take either Friedman or Ajami in a fist-fight, once reduced the discussion to a metaphor derived from prison rape: By ordering the invasion of Iraq, Coulter told an audience in mid-2003, Bush had "made the Middle East his bitch."

Well... not exactly. The problem, of course, is that neither Iraq nor the Middle East has been domesticated by the Empire, and never will. But the ongoing imperial wars will prove a splendid way to destroy whatever remains of American prosperity and national independence, as well as to flush out and eradicate anybody who remembers and seeks to restore the old republic.

"I don't care if it created more enemies," the Bushling spat at NBC News correspondent Richard Engel in a 2007 interview. "I had to act." To the same reporter, Bush blithely admitted that the war in Iraq "is going to take forty years." And his administration is taking steps right now to ensure that we will remain mired in Iraq and the region for at least two more generations.

Bush and his claque are seeking a special agreement with the Iraqi government to retain fifty permanent military bases in that country, and to provide permanent immunity for U.S. personnel stationed there. In familiar fashion, George the Dumber insists that congressional approval of this proposal -- which is a treaty by any honest use of language -- does not require Senate approval or congressional action of any kind.

Heroic armed missionaries of Democracy confront violent Iraqi ingrates -- at least, that's how the Regime and its apologists expect us to view this photograph.

Iraqi government officials protest that such an arrangement would entirely nullify Iraqi sovereignty. Ah, but Iraqi sovereignty, like all other principles, people, institutions, laws, or considerations, must yield to the imperatives of Washington's rule, aka Democracy. To that end, the Regime that rules us "is holding hostage some $50 billion of Iraq's money in the Federal Reserve Bank of New York to pressure the Iraqi government" into signing that agreement by July 31, reports the estimable Patrick Cockburn of Britain's Independent newspaper.

To many observers this appears to be simple, vulgar extortion.

This conclusion is entirely unfair, of course. It's democratic extortion -- surely, the noblest kind.

On sale now!

Are you on their little List? Probably -- if you've done anything worthwhile for freedom.


Broken said...

There is no terror like American-made terror. We are the terrorists.

Anonymous said...

"George the Dumber insists that congressional approval of this proposal -- which is a treaty by any honest use of language -- does not require Senate approval or congressional action of any kind."

Another loss in the transition from constitutional republic to "strong-executive democracy" is the rule of law. Basic constitutional principles -- e.g., the prohibition on double jeopardy; the requirement for a Congressional declaration of war; Senate ratification of treaties -- get overturned. Plenty of lawyers in the Congress, the courts, and the president's cabinet can discern what is going on. But instead of defending the rule of law, they apply their talents to rationalizing its destruction with legal sophistry, as John Yoo and Alberto Gonzales did.

Here's a rule of "cosmic law," if you will, that no president can repeal: democracy, coupled with the unlimited credit creation of paper money, is a doomsday mechanism. The democratic incentives of using a magic Treasury credit card with no preset spending limit guarantees that the system will bankrupt itself.

Maybe not tomorrow; maybe not even next decade. Ultimately it will be a "soft default": you'll still receive your $1,500 Social Security check, for sure. But it won't even buy a bag of groceries.

In retrospect, the high tide of U.S. economic supremacy was in the mid-20th century. The endpoint is extremely clear: after the dollar was delinked from gold in 1971, and the first oil shock occurred in 1973, the growth in real wages stagnated and never recovered. The apparent prosperity since has been based on (1) dual wage-earner families; and (2) massive borrowing.

As the debt creation engine begins to sputter (with debt service having become too burdensome), U.S. living standards will enter a long slide into the mid 21st century. Democracy and paper money are a toxic, fatal combination. After this system blows up, we'll have a find a new one to pick up the busted pieces.

Anonymous said...

I looked at the picture of that poor little boy and cried. Our foreign policy is vile and evil. Our leaders and our " christian " president are a judgment on this country. Forty years in Iraq ? Ha Ha Ha - this country doesn't even have forty cents to rub together. What a joke. Where do these dumb ass leaders think it will come from. China? Japan? I dont think so - they have about had it with our bull&*%!. The rest of the world will pass us by while the glorious republic of the USA is relegated to the dustbin of history. The sun is setting on the West. We are reaping what we have sown.

Michael Keeney said...

To both Anonymous @ 6:23 & 7:23:

Your words ring true and it is a frightening thing to see a former republic morph into an empire and then proceed down the path to death. Both of your posts are well stated.

Will, keep up the great work - I relish each of you posts.

Anonymous said...

The American people have dehumanized the Iraqis to such am extant that when asked of the wars casualties, most respond with '4,000'- because you are only human if you speak with an American accent.

Joe Allen said...

The most redeeming quality of the U.S. system is that WNG hasn't been rounded up (yet) and put in a reeducation camp. I hope that doesn't mean that The Federal goons are simply inefficient at surpressing dissent.

Doc Ellis 124 said...

rage birthing mad tears
at the destruction of our
hope leading to death

Doc Ellis 124

Anonymous said...

In a satellite image of Fallujah taken shortly after American cleansing it appeared like a smoking cinder. An article appearing in the Guardian claimed that 36,000 of the city's 50,000 homes were destroyed. The murderous US assault was itself a major act of terrorism. The time for Americans to look in the mirror and see the rampaging homicidal brute that we have become is long overdue.

Anonymous said...

In Britain, as in the U.S., human rights won in the Magna Carta in the year 1215 are now in jeopardy. Here is Henry Porter, writing in the Guardian, about a proposed law which would allow terrorism suspects to be held up to 42 days without charge or explanation:


Last week, [former Prime Minister] John Major echoed the arguments, made here over the last two-and-half years in some 50 columns, that Britain's democracy and liberties can no longer be guaranteed. He said in the Times that 42 days was part and parcel 'of the total loss of privacy to an intrusive state with authoritarian tendencies. This is not a United Kingdom I recognise and Parliament should not accept it'.

That is absolutely right. In many respects, Sir John had a much tougher time than Gordon Brown, but at no stage did he suggest to his backbenchers that his and his party's survival could be won at the expense of habeus corpus, the idea born in Magna Carta which has inspired every democracy that ever existed."


This is not a form of 'English liberty' that I recognize. Eight centuries -- I repeat -- is a long way to backslide. And it seems that we're just getting started. The curtain has come down on the Age of Enlightenment.

Got night-vision goggles?

☮~alapoet~☠ said...

Mr. Grigg, this is one of the clearest and best-written explanations of the Bush administration's crimes in Iraq that I've ever seen.

I'm in awe of your eloquence and your ability to express the outrage all of us must feel at these inhuman atrocities.

I wish I had written this!:

"This harangue was roughly equal parts towel-snapping frat-boy faux bravado, corporate seminar positive thinking dogma, partially digested talk radio sound-bites, and reheated Brezhnev-era Soviet revolutionary cant served up in one borderline-aphasic seizure."

My highest compliments to you, sir... Keep speaking the truth, and more power to you.

A Radical Whig in Chattanooga said...

Sadly, most Americans will not see that satellite image of Fallujah. They do not realize what is going on....... they are not being told. All is fine, except for Al Queda & the Iranians. Ya, right.

Killing civilians is ok; as long as it's American or American made bombs or missiles doing so.

I think of those "God Bless America" bumper stickers. If I were to design one, it would say "Lord God, please forgive us and show us your mercy. Bring us back to your ways. Amen"

Mark Lance Earhart said...

Well articulated, and right on the money as usual.

Chris said...

You nailed it once again, Will. Terrific analysis. On the lighter side, I'd like to back up your opinion about Friedman not being able to do a push up. I was stationed in Kuwait in '05 with the Navy and was tasked with driving Friedman from central Kuwait to the border of Iraq and Kuwait. While he was a nice guy - albeit with deranged views of 'democracy' - he certainly could be accused of suffering from 'little man syndrome'. Not large in stature and showed evidence of living the good life with fine wine and food. Anyway, keep up the great work...

Bob said...

The time had come that the united States be broken up.

Is it time for secession again?

Anonymous said...

Too many internationalist elites with big dreams of political and economic globalism are running the Anglo countries. Their Cecil Rhodes inspired schemes of deluded grandeur for a Anglo-American Power Elite controlled world needs to die a quick death along with them. It's also time to break the English speaking countries into much smaller cantons. It begins first with the odious United State of America followed by the other cesspool, the not-so-great Britain. Break Canada up too. No more commonwealth BS. No more'Star Speckled Banner' either; it's an awful song. It sounds like sh*t. Let the jingoistic assclowns orgasm over it. Stop intervening in the affairs of other nations. Mind your own business and keep your pale Anglo asses in your own yard. Ef the American ruling class and all of their suckass, sycophant politicians with their forced and contrived speeches. Will the serfs ever be able to see through this bullsh*t? Put the president, a by product of continuous Walker and Bush family inbreeding, into a monkey cage with his buggery buddy Jeff Gannon for the rest of his natural life...or not-so-natural life. Throw the English queen, the inbred royal retards, all the aristocrats, and all of the American and British political and corporate insiders to Gehenna. They were the totalitarians who created the UN, who brought the mass murdering Bolsheviks to power in Russia, and who assisted the democidal Mao in his rise to power. They assisted the fascists too. They are the warmongering control freaks who've brought misery and death to the entire world. And this is my middle finger to the ruling elites of these despicable Anglo nations.
Put me on that f'n list!

MoT said...

For some odd reason I just recently got Townhall magazine in my mail. Now I don't know who or how it got to me but the cover leads off with an article on how we, the USofA that is, is somehow "winning" in Iraq and that the "truth" isn't being told!

Now tell me something people... just when did those EVIL WMD's ever get destroyed or for that matter DISCOVERED! Hmmmmmm?

It seems a never ending stream of phony magazine articles and blood thirsty rhetoric towards Iran are the only things that the Federal Frauds have found.

Anonymous said...

Let us not forget the 150 or so
rep(tile)s under the Dome who are
HEAVILY invested in the War industry. Now THATS what I call a
conflict of interests, especially
as these souless entities were
elected to represent the interests
of their fellow Americans.
They are not our fellows.