• Bush planned "unnecessary" freedom for MidEast, accuses former aide

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 • Bush planned "unnecessary" freedom for MidEast, accuses former aide

Posted by youngmarxist at 2008-05-29 06:28 AM
Former White House press aide Scott McClelland's book "What Happened" has caused a major stir, for its attack on President Bush's deception in the lead up to the Iraq War.

While most of the media is picking up the story that Bush deceived people, they are ignoring McClellan's own explanation of why that deception happened:

McClellan says Bush's main reason for war always was "an ambitious and idealistic post-9/11 vision of transforming the Middle East through the spread of freedom."

...

"The Iraq war was not necessary" McClellan concludes.

If you think the Middle East deserves nothing but the leaders and society it has at the moment, you too will probably agree that the violent overthrow of its vicious dictatorships is "unnecessary". Former Bush political adviser Karl Rove has predictably attacked McClelland, saying that he sounds like a "left-wing blogger". In fact, he sounds like a right-wing, "stability at all costs" reactionary - just like everyone else who disdains freedom and democracy.

 • Re: Bush planned "unnecessary" freedom for MidEast, accuses former aide

Posted by dalek at 2008-06-01 04:24 PM

YM, exactly how much freedom and democracy has been bought by five years + of the bloodshed and chaos in Iraq?

Is it freedom and democracy to be occupied by US troops and US mercenaries, to be subject to Jihadist murder gangs and the US funded re-introduction of barbaric feudalism? (funding of Sunni tribalism - if you need me to spell it out)

Freedom and democracy? Your grip on reality is very loose indeed.

For another take on  MClelland you should read this 

I (and others) note that discussion Iraq has almost disappeared from the pages of LS. If you had an ounce of integrity you would at least attempt to explain your errors and introduce a new interpretation of history and events. Meantime the giant Gorilla that is Iraq sits in the corner of your site waiting for your attention.

Dalek 

 • Re: Bush planned "unnecessary" freedom for MidEast, accuses former aide

Posted by youngmarxist at 2008-06-02 03:47 AM
Dalek, I know you are deeply hostile to the democratic revolution that the USA has brought to Iraq. Because of the US' violent overthrow of Sadaam's regime, the Iraqi people have voted in free elections and have a government made up of a majority of their freely-chosen representatives.

Is it freedom and democracy to be occupied by US troops and US mercenaries[?]
Can you point to one reliable opinion poll that shows that the Iraqi people want the US troops to leave?

o be subject to Jihadist murder gangs[?]
You mean the people that the Iraqi government and its US allies are currently fighting (and beating)?
and the US funded re-introduction of barbaric feudalism? (funding of Sunni tribalism - if you need me to spell it out)
You mean the Sunni tribes who have successfully been won away from their alliances with the "Jihadist murder gangs"?

Your angry assertions that we are wrong prove nothing. The fight to secure democracy in Iraq continues, and you are on the other side.

If you want us to respond to particular points in the essay you've linked to, I suggest you lay out here what they are, and why you think that they are correct, rather than let someone else do your thinking for you.

Just to eliminate a couple of points, I note that Leupp asserts that there have been "perhaps a million" deaths in Iraq, despite studies showing that figure to be grossly over-estimated, and that he also makes the ludicrous claim that the CIA has a "commitment to objective intelligence gathering."

If you and Leupp want to be on the same side as the CIA, an organisation whose reason for existing has been to crush democratic revolutions, that's your business. No wonder President Bush had to lie about WMDs with organisations like the CIA making up the US "defence community".

 • Re: Bush planned "unnecessary" freedom for MidEast, accuses former aide

Posted by dalek at 2008-06-03 12:28 AM

YM, You might like to read this 2008 comrehensive survey of Iraqis.

From 2003 to the present the 50% 0f Iraqis express no confience  at all in the US troops.

"Can you point to one reliable opinion poll that shows that the Iraqi people want the US troops to leave?"
In March 08 about 70% of Iraqis opposed the presence of coalition forces in Iraq. (Q20).

Dalek

 

 

 

 • Re: Bush planned "unnecessary" freedom for MidEast, accuses former aide

Posted by owenss at 2008-06-03 07:04 AM

Dalek I don't get your point. You present this survey to refute YoungMarxist's claim that there's no reliable opinion poll to show that the Iraqi people want the US to leave.

 

Question 22 in your survey asks this question directly and an overwhelming majority state that they don't want the US to withdraw until certain goals are obtained. Your survey seems to support YoungMarxists position.

 

As to my opinion I think that no troops should leave until the Iraqi government requests them to. Why should the decision lie with Rudd, Bush or Obama. Why should western leaders make these life and death decisions just because public opinion has changed in their countries.(no attention was paid to public opinion pre war why is it so important now?) Why should these western countries inflict war and occupation on a country and then set benchmarks to judge the newly elected government. I think that the whole scene of these dogs wiping their hands of the mess that their governments have made is quite disgusting.

 

PS don't interpret my opinion as any support for the outrages perpetrated by the occupation forces or as an endorsement of the policies of the government of Iraq. I do not support this government except to acknowledge that they are the government and it's their responsibility to make decisions weather I agree with them or not.

 • Re: Bush planned "unnecessary" freedom for MidEast, accuses former aide

Posted by dalek at 2008-06-03 07:22 PM

Owenss, the survey overall does not exactly endorse the presence of US troops in Iraq. I published it because it was the most comprehensive and detailed that I could find. The extreme right sites are loving it and publishing derived graphs showing that the "surge" is "working". I get a real deja vu "light at the end of the tunnel" as in Vietnam from them.

"As to my opinion I think that no troops should leave until the Iraqi government requests them to".

If you accept your logic - neither should they have invaded in the first place unless the Iraqi government had requested them to.

Surely it works both ways?

If ever there was (is) an excuse for an invasion surely the US should invade Myanmar; what no WMD's ? and the US already has the oil. Oh dear how silly of me. A million people (maybe 500,000 - who knows?) dying of starvation and disease caused by the inaction of an undoubtedly fascist government. No call from LS for the US to invade and overthrow this regime.

Dalek

 • Re: Bush planned "unnecessary" freedom for MidEast, accuses former aide

Posted by owenss at 2008-06-04 01:30 AM

 

Dalek, The Iraqi government of Saddam was illegitimate as it was ruling in defiance of the will of the Iraqi people so its opinion is irrelevant.

 

There were people such as those people in SCIRI and the DAWA party that did reflect the opinion of the Iraqi people (the majority there of) and they opposed the invasion as did I.

 

The invasion lead to new realities. I don't see any contradiction in opposing the invasion and embracing democratic processes. As far as I can see neither do the majority of Iraqis. I think that they pretty well overwhelmingly opposed invasion and want the occupation to end asap and want to participate in democracy.

 

I think the Governments of the willing should have listened to the authentic Iraqi voices and not invaded. I now think that they should listen to the democratically elected representatives of the Iraqi people and do what it asks of them. Stay or leave I think the decision should be Maliki's not Bush's.

 • Re: Bush planned "unnecessary" freedom for MidEast, accuses former aide

Posted by dalek at 2008-06-05 06:35 PM

Owenss,

I don't remember any-one shouting "US out of Vietnam - if the Vietnamese Government asks them to go".

No doubt you did (sotto voce) but I did not hear you. Sad how as they age some people go really soft.

You will no doubt argue that the US troops and mercenaries are such nice guys that they should stay for 100 years.

It is clear that the US is going to turn Iraq into a supine satrapy - a Vichy government with US bases everywhere. Bush will then declare victory and take a few of the troops home. He will leave the indemnified mercenaries behind.

I have posted an article above by Patrick Cockburn (Cited with great approval by LS pundits when he wrote about Global Warming).

The democratic process that you espouse will be tested by a referendum on US troops leaving Iraq.

That will be the day. 

Dalek

 

 • Re: Bush planned "unnecessary" freedom for MidEast, accuses former aide

Posted by youngmarxist at 2008-06-06 05:49 AM
Dalek once again misses the point: the Iraqi government was chosen in a free election and the Vietnamese government wasn't.

Dalek also says:

It is clear that the US is going to turn Iraq into a supine satrapy - a Vichy government with US bases everywhere. .
I wonder why Dalek thinks the USA is even capable of this? Dalek seems to think that the USA is some all-powerful, demonic force, capable of doing whatever it wants no matter what the circumstances. If the USA attempts to force Iraq into being a "supine satrapy" then it will see real opposition from a united Iraqi people.

There is some more background on the proposed US-Iraqi security treaty here, in an article by Robert Dreyfuss in the anti-occupation newsmagazine The Nation.

Dreyfuss points out that time is not on the side of the USA - the UN authority for its occupation expires at the end of this year. Therefore it needs either a renewed UN mandate or an agreement with the Iraqis. Whether the USA can actually get all it wants will be decided in the negotiations. Dreyfuss notes that if the Maliki Government decides to sign a treaty that is not supported by Iraqis, that will trigger an immediate political crisis. The final outcome is obviously up in the air at the moment, although Dalek seems to want us to believe that the worst will happen.

If the Maliki Government were to fall after signing such a treaty, and another Government that reflects the wishes of the Iraqi people were to replace it, the USA would be left with very little bargaining power at all. Hardly the position you want to be in if you want to impose a "supine satrapy"

 • Re: Bush planned "unnecessary" freedom for MidEast, accuses former aide

Posted by owenss at 2008-06-06 11:31 PM

Dalek I agree with Youngmarxist on this point. The South Vietnamese government and the government of Iraq arnt comparable.

 

When I was thirteen I caught a bus into the city and joined a huge anti Vietnam War demo. Even at this tender age I could see that the South Vietnamese government did not represent the will of the Vietnamese people and that efforts by the US government to section a part of Vietnam off was wrong.

 

 

 • Re: Bush planned "unnecessary" freedom for MidEast, accuses former aide

Posted by dalek at 2008-06-09 04:02 PM

Owenss,YM, I would be careful with the "elected government can do no wrong line". Hitler was elected with about the same percentage of the populat vote that Howard got (44%) he was subsequently confirmed as Chancellor with 88% of the vote. Does this mean that you both support Hitler?

I would have thought that Marxists would make a judgment based upon an objective assessment of te actions of the government in question, part of which would be the question of its legitimacy. 

It is apparent even to the most myopic booster that Iraq is under immense pressure from the US to become a Vichy style government. Where the US continues its occupation.

No doubt you will both now argue that this was never the intention of the US - it only wanted to bring democracy to the sand creatures and it really did not want to kill several hundred thousand at least (but hey whose counting?

It's just an accident that the US now wants to establish permanent bases etc and control the oil. 

 

Dalek

 

 • Re: Bush planned "unnecessary" freedom for MidEast, accuses former aide

Posted by owenss at 2008-06-09 05:03 PM

Dalek, the Nazi's were never elected to govern Germany. They never achieved more than about 30% of the vote in free elections (in trade union elections the figure I'm told is about 10%)

 

The Nazis entered a coalition government being awarded 2 posts Chancellor and Interior Ministry. They then burnt the Reichstag, blamed the Communists, implemented martial law and started outlawing democratic parties.

 

Hitler came to power as part of a coup. He never allowed democratic freedoms and he as dictator was never the legitimate leader of the German state.

 

Personally I blame the German Communist Party for his rise to power as they maintained at the time the ludicrous Social Fascist theory where they treated Social Democrats and Fascists as equal enemies.

 

Look if you want to convince me that the government of Iraq is illegitimate all you have to do is to point to the Iraqi political group that has better credentials to fill this position. Which group is being excluded from the democratic process?

 

In 1930's Germany Hitler could not win a democratic election.

 

In the 1950's Eisenhower in his memoirs wrote that if free elections were held in Vietnam Ho Chi Min would win.

 

In Iraq at any time during Saddam's rule he would have lost a fair election.

 

The present government of Iraq has passed this basic test. It is made up of some undemocratic parties and it may well fail this basic test in the future.

 

Now I don't think that representative electoral politics is the last word in democracy. I see a future where direct democracy will become the norm and we will look back at parliamentary democracy as a stage that society needed to pass through.

 

The question for Iraqis is what is appropriate for their country now. All major groups have participated in elections and none claim that the government rules without the electoral support of the people.

 

If you think that the elections were bogus who should be in power in Iraq?

 • Re: Bush planned "unnecessary" freedom for MidEast, accuses former aide

Posted by dalek at 2008-06-09 05:42 PM

Owenss here is a contemporary account of Hitlers confirmation by plebiscite as Chancellor in 1934.

Demonstrates that you can get any vote you want if you work hard enough, have enough storm troopers on the streets and make enough threats!

The one salient fact that LS stalwarts refuse to accept is that the elections in Iraq were held under condiitions of US occupation. In my View any election held under any occupation is bogus - including the elections in Japan post WW2.

The next thing you guys are going to have to explain is why it is a good thing if the US occupies Iraq for ever with mercenaries and troopswho are not subject to Iraqi law  (never a mention of the mercenary army in LS BTW - do you support this?) and why it is a good thing to bomb Iran back into the stone age at the behest of the Israelis. 

Tricky task eh.

Dalek 

 • Re: Bush planned "unnecessary" freedom for MidEast, accuses former aide

Posted by dalek at 2008-06-09 07:01 PM

Condi lets the cat out of the bag. What do you say about this? (Totally barking mad comes to mind).

So the whole world is to be transformed into the self deluded catastrophe that is the US. Is that what you guys really want?

The Unique Reality of Condi Rice

posted by Robert Dreyfuss on 06/09/2008 @ 10:06am

  • In case you missed it--or, if you didn't miss it, in case you didn't have the energy to read the entire 9,000 words--Condoleezza Rice's interminable lead article in the current issue of Foreign Affairs is a doozy.

It's an extended fugue on the importance of democracy promotion, whether by hook or crook. "We recognize," she writes, "that democratic state building is now an urgent component of our national interest."

In the piece, Rice concocts something she calls "a uniquely American realism." In it, it's America's job to change the world, and in its own image:

"We have never accepted that we are powerless to change the world. Indeed, we have shown that by marrying American power and American values, we could help friends and allies expand the boundaries of what most thought realistic at the time.

"How to describe this disposition of ours? It is realism, of a sort. But it is more than that--what I have called our uniquely American realism."

Of course, the bastard child of that marriage between "American power" and "American values" is the war in Iraq, which Rice endorses. Some of Rice's gems:

"The democratization of Iraq and the democratization of the Middle Eastlinked. ... As Iraq emerges from its difficulties, the impact of its transformation is being felt in the rest of the region. ... Our long-term partnerships with Afghanistan and Iraq, to which we must remain deeply committed, our new relationships in Central Asia, and our long-standing partnerships in the Persian Gulf provide a solid geostrategic foundation for the generational work ahead of helping to bring about a better, more democratic, and more prosperous Middle East."

I love the euphemism about Iraq's "difficulties." But what she lays out is a "generational" U.S. effort to impose American "geostrategic" power in the Middle East and the Gulf. And, oh yeah, some of that democracy stuff.

The most amazing part of Z.Z. Rice's essay is her take on her own earlier Foreign Affairs piece, from 2000, in which she explicitly renounced nation building. Here is the passage from the 2008 piece:

"In these pages in 2000, I decried the role of the United States, in particular the U.S. military, in nation building. In 2008 it is absolutely clear that we will be involved in nation building for years to come."

That's it. "Fooled ya!" Now, Rice says that America has loaded up on nation building capacities, and that those capabilities must be expanded by the next president. She says Washington has "prepared a new generation of military leaders for stabilization and counterinsurgency missions, of which we will likely face more." She demands a "new kind of partnership between our military and civilian institutions." She calls for "better integration of the United States' institutions of hard power and soft power." And she warns: "Those who follow us must build on this foundation."

So there you go. John McCain or Barack Obama better take notes. Z.Z. Rice says they'll have no choice but to build new U.S. capabilities for global democratization.