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Commentary Last Updated: Sep 12th, 2007 - 01:31:05

Upcoming bipartisan crime against peace
By Ben Tanosborn
Online Journal Contributing Writer

Sep 12, 2007, 01:28

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George W. Bush is about to take us deeper into the deserts of the Middle East by way of establishing his New Jonestown, a group of military bases in Iraq from where America can impart order and democracy for the region, from the Tora Bora mountains of Afghan lands to the menacing Arab neighbors that surround Israel.

This is the current military version of the string of forts established during the 19th century in the Indian territories of North America by the US in its westward march -- from where Washington�s economic and geo-political interests, as well as the private interests of the white colonists, could be protected by cannon or by a charging cavalry.

Calling any American enclaves in the Middle East New Jonestown, however, likely will evoke unpleasant memories -- too many of us remember the fate of Jim Jones and his Peoples Temple followers in northwestern Guyana. But whatever name we care to use, the end result is bound to be the same under the mandate of our own drug-laced Kool-Aid Provider-in-Chief. Or . . . will it turn out to be poison-laced?

Here we are in the Valley of the Dolts, dumb and happy, submerged in the recurring duopolistic political discussion speaking in the tongues of idiocy and supine ignorance, while we waited for academically polished General Petraeus to perform bishopric confirmation on us. (Bush�s sacramental orders). Yet we talked about this papal messenger and his deacon, Ambassador Crocker, as if they were really going to have anything to say which may lack the White House�s imprimatur. Is this dumb or what?

You needn�t be a student of military history, nor hold a diploma from any military war college, to reach the conclusion that a substantial increase in military field operations against resisters in specific areas of an occupied nation will have some positive results. But to keep Iraq in a modicum of peace, sufficient to keep civil order and allow the implementation of a reconstruction program, the US would have to make available much of its active duty military (exclusive of national guard or reservists). The tokenish 30,000 troops added for the surge represented nothing more than a political maneuver for Bush, and a conversation topic for military and non-military media gurus to display their consummate ignorance as to why the United States remains entangled there.

Benchmarks, invalid progress reports, passing on the blame to Nuri al-Maliki and his corrupt government, lying assertions of how things are improving in Iraq, the non-stop shell game White House and Congress are playing with us . . . oh what fools we�re made out to be!

Is it so difficult to see? The US is in Iraq for the duration, and that means indefinitely: same presence as in Korea, or Europe or anywhere else it needs to be for strategic or symbolic points of dominance. America�s stay in Iraq is by no means a latter-day decision, even if it�s readily interpreted as just a face-saving device for Bush. Why would any of us think the US has spent billions of dollars on military bases, or built such an embassy-fortress? The long-term plans for oil and military control of Iraq are likely to be the same as they were pre-invasion, regardless our being Keystone Kops inept.

Bush�s legacy has already been written in India ink in much of the world, even if for our own domestic consumption much of the US population continues in denial, not quite yet ready to accept any share in the criminal complicity for invading Iraq. An international formal verdict of Bush�s war criminality remains to be rendered by an international court of law, one both competent and willing to take on an unsubdued tyrant, something for which there�s no precedent at this tyrant-scale; for informally, the guilty verdict is already in on genocidal grounds, just ask the mourning relatives of the million-plus dead Iraqis.

Bush�s final act of this badly scripted Iraq farce requires the return of the prodigal sons to the imperial fold: those Democrats in Congress who insist on bringing the troops home, now! And he is already achieving sufficient success by shifting gears and taking a diversionary path via Iran. Even moderately reasonable legislators, such as Bryan Baird -- who happens to be my representative in Congress -- have bought into the idea that Iran must be stopped. Many of us are unsure just what Iran�s illegitimate deeds are.

The war juggernaut is building momentum with enough bipartisanship to make it real. It�s becoming quite clear America is getting ready for a new bipartisan crime against peace, and this time the sacrificial lamb will be Iran. Perhaps the US can use as an excuse non-payment of the just rendered $2.65 billion judgment against that nation by Reagan-appointed Judge Lamberth on behalf of the families of 241 US service members killed in the 1983 bombing of the US marine barracks in Beirut. But then again, a school bully needs no excuses to beat up someone or take his lunch money.

If the American public doesn�t buy into a continuance, maybe even an upgrade, of the escalation in Iraq, bombing Iran to smithereens will yield the desired results. Since the US doesn�t have the required military grunts to invade the Persian lands, not without bringing back the draft, Americans will quickly have to accept the notion that this nation �needs� permanent bases in Iraq.

A few months ago I didn�t think the bombing of Iran would take place until the start of our own economic bloodbath. Now I am not so sure. Of course, the economic blood letting which has already started will accelerate by year�s end, so Washington will have yet another reason to triple-up on the war; and, one gets the feeling, it will be done with bipartisan support.

Is America becoming the Peoples Temple and Bush a reincarnated Jim Jones? Why are Americans so eager to drink his lies-laced Kool-Aid?

� 2007 Ben Tanosborn

Ben Tanosborn, columnist, poet and writer, resides in Vancouver, Washington (USA), where he is principal of a business consulting firm. Contact him at

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