Watergate II : Murtha challenges Iraq policy


Richard Moore

Date: Thu, 24 Nov 2005 20:17:37 -0800
To: •••@••.•••
Subject: Justice International - Empire Burlesque: Twilight's First Gleaming 
From: "lex" <•••@••.•••>

    Empire Burlesque - Chris Cloyd - Last week, America's
    troubled sleep was shattered by a trumpet blast of truth
    sounding deep in Washington's corridors of power, where
    the rule of the Lie has held sway for so long. This
    intrusion of reality into the bloodstained fantasy-land of
    the Bush Regime comes late in the day for the moribund
    Republic - perhaps too late - but it has struck a mighty
    blow against the Lie's adherents, driving them into spasms
    of hysterical panic, like rats exposed suddenly to the
    - www.chris-floyd.com

First Light 
Chris Floyd

Empire Burlesque       
Thursday, 24 November 2005  

[The column below  appears in the Nov. 25 edition of The
Moscow Times.]

The unlikely instigator of this historic upheaval was U.S.
Representative John Murtha, the 73-year-old conservative
Democrat and warhawk, one of many "opposition" leaders who
once strongly backed George W. Bush's murderous folly in
Iraq. Murtha, a Vietnam vet, has been a stalwart of the
military-industrial complex for decades, supporting
American wars around the world and showering legislative
largess on the weapons industry - which has obligingly
kicked back lobbying contracts to his kin and friends, the
Los Angeles Times reports.

But a penchant for typical backroom grease is not
necessarily incompatible with political courage. And
Murtha showed plenty of the latter when he rocked the
Washington establishment with a truly revolutionary act in
these degraded times: stating the obvious. Calling Bush's
war "a flawed policy wrapped in an illusion," Murtha said
American forces should "redeploy" out of Iraq immediately;
otherwise, Iraqis will never feel free, the insurgency
will grow, terrorism will spread, and America will sink
further into debt and dishonor, putting the nation's very
survival at stake.

This riot of understatement has been self-evident to most
sentient beings for a long time; that it is now sinking
into the occluded consciousness of Potomac power-players
is a turning point of genuine significance. Although
Murtha was immediately assaulted in one of the most
raucous displays of bile ever seen in Congress - with
Bushist attack dogs labelling the war-wounded Pentagon
patron a coward, a traitor, and a terrorist-appeaser - his
volte-face has brought the so-called "extremist" anti-war
position of swift withdrawal squarely into the political
mainstream, and it won't go away now. And why should it?
After all, it just happens to be the position of a
majority of the American people, as poll after poll

None of this means the Bush nightmare is over, of course;
not by the longest shot. This gang will grow ever more
vicious as their support crumbles; in fact, it's a good
bet that the worst is yet to come. The Bushists know that
they have prison sentences hanging over their heads if
they ever lose their grip on power. They will either do
"whatever it takes" keep the whip hand - in which case we
are in for political and social strife the likes of which
America has not seen since the Civil War - or, at the very
least, they will make things bad enough that the nation's
power elite will negotiate a settlement, as in Richard
Nixon's day: we won't prosecute you if you'll just go
away. In any case, it won't be pleasant.

So no false hopes of a new day dawning. Let's not forget
what happened after the "new dawn" following Nixon's
departure: six years later, Ronald Reagan was in office
with an even worse crew - a  lunatic fringe of aggressive
militarists, hard-Right ideologues and religious
extremists allied with rapacious corporate elitists, all
bent on destroying the idea of a common good beyond the
raw and brutal bottom line. This poison has gone deep into
the American bloodstream, and its virulence has been
increased a thousandfold by the current regime. Bush's
exit from the stage won't cure the body politic of this
wasting disease.

Nor will it halt the voracious system of dominance and
empire that has driven American foreign policy - under
Democrats and Republicans, liberals and conservatives -
for the past 60 years, covering the earth with more than
700 military bases while waging ceaseless war, directly
and by proxy. Indeed, war profiteering has become
essential to the wealth and power of the elite, and is now
deeply "embedded" in the American economy as a whole. Bush
accelerated this all-devouring engine into overdrive; but
he didn't create it, and his departure won't derail it.

Thus even if the Bush Regime collapses entirely, we will
still face an uphill battle against "Bushism" and all the
long-term currents it represents. We must also guard
against something even worse rising in its place. For the
Bush years have shown how fragile American democracy is,
how relatively little it takes for a predatory faction to
seize the state and manipulate the public, cow the
opposition, intimidate the press and use violence in
pursuit of loot and power. The template is there now, and
it's entirely conceivable, perhaps inevitable, that some
new would-be dictator - more competent, more subtle, more
adroit than the ludicrous klutz from Crawford - will use
it to create a more efficient and durable instrument of

Still, the immediate task at hand - ending the bloody war
crime in Iraq and restoring some vestige of legality and
reality to American politics - is a tall enough order. So
we should take heart from events like Murtha's declaration
and Bush's free-fall in the polls. There has been a shift
in the political landscape, which provides cautious but
credible grounds for hope of some measure of change - not
a false triumphalism, for there is never any final
"triumph" in human affairs; there is only the continual,
never-ending task of trying to rise above our worst
instincts. But for the first time in years, the sun of
possibility has broken through the stinking murk of the
Bush Imperium.


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