A Peek Inside Bush's Post-War Diary:
by Bernard Weiner
June 24, 2003
The war went well. We licked those Iraqi towelheads real quick. We didn't get Saddam, though, which is more than a little embarrassing, since we also didn't get Osama in Afghanistan. Makes me look bad. Also makes me look like I'd rather have those guys out there, scaring Americans...hee, hee, hee!
The worst thing is that some columnists and Democrats and even some disloyal Republicans are yapping like hungry dogs about the damn WMD thing. Poor Blair may even lose his job over the bullshit intelligence we sent his way. Now there's one good loyal puppydog; he knows which side his international bread is buttered on.
There's even talk of impeachment here. Do they really expect me to come right out and say it? "Ladies and gentlemen, we knew Saddam's forces were weak and that they had nothing to hit us with, no WMD, no air force, no navy, no nothing. We just needed a pretext to invade, anything would do, and WMD was a good and scary reason. We went in there to demonstrate to his A-rab neighbors (and to the U.N.) not to mess with us; we want oil to stay at a certain price, in U.S. dollars, and securely in Western-oriented hands." No way I'm going to admit that in public. Let those idiots try to get an impeachment resolution through the Congress we control. Fuck 'em!
The point is that our policies of "shock&awe" and invasion worked, just like it got drawn up. It's a clever twist of the old Nixon/Kissinger strategy: better think twice about getting the U.S. riled up, we're "crazy" enough to start raining bombs and missiles on you.
Syria seems to have learned the Afghanistan/Iraq lessons, along with a good share of the other A-rab states, backing away from their harsh anti-Americanism and open support for terrorists.
So Rummy and Wolfowitz and Cheney and the rest of the Project for the New American Century boys were right: We can do what we want in the world, there ain't nobody big enough or strong enough to stop us. Next stop Iran, or maybe Syria, or we go after Hizbollah in Lebanon, or, if we have to, that mad midget in North Korea.
But, dang it, not everything is working out the way we want. Here we are moving into the 2004 election mode, and Iraq is starting to look like Vietnam guerrilla warfare -- including the oil pipelines being sabotaged -- and we may be bogged down there for a long time, right into the election cycle. Not good. And the longer we stay, the more we have to be an OPEN occupational force rather than the quiet one we were as "liberators." Also not good.
The whole idea of these military operations is to pick weak countries, make our point, get our troops in and out quickly, install a U.S.-friendly regime in power, make the corporate deals with that government, and move on to the next operation. Having to keep 100,000 or more troops in a country like Iraq is not good; too many Americans keep getting attacked and killed each day -- and things are also heating up again in Afghanistan -- and that could start parents of those boys asking too many questions about why we went there in the first place. (On the other hand, as Karl keeps reminding me, having American GIs shot at regularly guarantees rally-round-the-flag patriotism that keeps our domestic program running.)
And then there's the Middle East. Talk about quagmire! We announced our "road map" plan because we had to do something before we invaded Iraq -- the A-rab leaders needed some movement toward a just peace in the Mideast, to keep their Islam populations under control -- even if all we were buying was a year or so of relative quiet. But the extremists, on both sides, can tear that plan into pieces any time they want with some major violence and terror -- and that's where we are right now: Israel tearing up the place with rockets and bulldozers, Palestine sending over wave after wave of suicide bombers.
Sharon has a road map all his own. He doesn't want peace -- he's after restoring Biblical Israel -- and he's backed by my fundamentalist Christian supporters here in this country. The more warfare and destruction and oppression, the better, so the prophecy goes. As for Arafat and Hamas, they also have their own map, and it doesn't include the existence of Israel. They don't want peace; they still want to make Israel disappear and believe they can pull it off through suicide bombing. Poor Abbas is in the middle; he and the rest of the moderates are going to get so wiped out when the civil war between Palestinian factions begins big-time.
Poor Abbas? Poor ME! Everyone warned me not to get near Palestine/Israel, that it's hatred-quicksand there and every American president that's gone near it has been pulled down into the vortex of violence and revenge. But it was a great and timely photo-op and we couldn't resist; besides, we're buying some pre-election time.
What I should do -- withdraw (or at least threaten to withdraw) aid to Israel and get them to leave the Occupied Territories and abandon their settlements -- I won't do, for very good political reasons. First, I support Israel out of principle. Second, we need Israel as our friend in that region, the one pro-Western military force that we can count on, and that can handle the A-rabs. Finally, the American population supports Israel by a huge majority, for all kinds of good and sometimes crazy reasons, and we want to lure the Jew vote over to the Republican side.
If we can calm things down enough to slide by Election Day 2004, then the Jews and A-rabs can go on slaughtering each other big time, I don't care. Maybe I'll send Colin over there soon to see what he can do; at least it'll get him and Rummy apart for a few days (talk about civil war!...whew!).
At home, Karl seems to have everything under control, using threats and spin and a marvelous bag of nasty tricks -- and a possible October surprise waiting in the wings. The guy's a genius. The Democrats remain flummoxed, not quite knowing how to attack us, since Karl's got all the bases covered and all the potential scandals under control. 9/11 investigations? Never going to get us. WMDs? We can drag that one out, and can find a patsy at the CIA or somewhere, if it comes to needing a scapegoat. Cheney and energy? Enron? Harkin? Halliburton? Westar? Impeachment? All dead in the water. It's not about sex, we don't have to worry.
The American people -- or at least enough of them -- are properly frightened to accept whatever we say. They understand that in a war against terrorists, lying is just a natural part of the game. It's just a few malcontent columnists and those internet wackos going after us, and we can pretend to not mind all that -- see, we're not fascists, Krugman and the website writers are still writing uncensored. If, after the election, those guys get too effective in stirring up opposition, Ashcroft can always take care of them; and, when Patriot 2 gets passed, if we don't want them imprisoned here, we can always revoke their American citizenship and deport them to Estonia or somewhere.
No, we're sitting pretty. We've starved the government for money to operate social programs and have messed up the liberal agenda so bad -- with more to come after Election Day, goodbye Medicare and Social Security and Head Start -- that even if the Democrats ever were to come to power again, maybe after Jeb's presidency, it would take them forever to change what we've done domestically and out in the world. And we've planted the seeds of our long-term success with our new appointed judges.
Oh mama, life sure is sweet.
Bernard Weiner, Ph.D., is co-editor of The Crisis Papers, where this essay first appeared (www.crisispapers.org). He has taught at various universities, and was a writer/editor with the San Francisco Chronicle for nearly 20 years. He is author of Boy Into Man: A Fathersí Guide to Initiation of Teenage Sons (Transformation Press, 1992). Please consider supporting the good work of Crisis Papers.