The Splendid Failure of Occupation
Part 23: Dick Cheney, reshaping history with an ax
By B.J. Sabri
Online Journal Contributing Writer

Dec 10, 2004, 20:28

�The enemy has got a face�he's called Satan, he's in Falluja, and we're going to destroy him.��U.S. Lt Col Brandl, on the attack conducted by Cheney�s occupation forces on Fallujah in occupied Iraq. [Italics added]

Association of ideas is a marvelous mechanism of the mind. You may be thinking about how intriguing tap dance is, and suddenly, you remember the first time you saw Gene Kelly doing it in a film. The same phenomenon could happen when we think about Vice President Dick Cheney. It is possible that the moment we think of him, the name of Halliburton (Cheney�s former company that is making billions of dollars from the war on Iraq) jumps to the foreground.

Halliburton, however, is only a distraction from Cheney�s war. We can stop the distraction by employing �targeted dissociation,� my term for voluntary termination of thought progression. This is how it works: move Halliburton to the background, think of Cheney and his reinterpretation of world history and relate that to Zionism, the locomotive of the neoconservatives ideology for world power, and then, think of Fallujah, the small Iraqi city the U.S. turned into rubble.

The instant we juxtaposed Cheney to these new ideas, our original thought stops, discards Halliburton, and begins searching for new relations with Cheney still at the center. Because Vice President Cheney is a pillar of hyper-imperialism, he is a means to understand America�s war on Iraq, and the militarist thrust to impose a durable U.S. world hegemony.

Accordingly, I shall discuss Cheney from five viewpoints: 1) Empire vs. imperialism; 2) U.N. resolutions as war alibis; 3) 9/11 as a rationale for Iraq�s conquest; 4) interaction with Zionism and vice versa; and 5) Falluja as a symbol for Cheney�s �American Modified and Accepted Hitlerism.�

Empire vs. Imperialism

Although Cheney is a sharp thinker, he is a demagogue. To the question of Klaus Schwab (founder of the Economic Forum in Davos), �Do you consider the United States to be an empire?� Cheney replied articulately by taking the essential definition of empire, removed from it all references to imperialism, and reduced its meaning to the sole possession of land.

Cheney: �If the United States were an empire, we would currently preside over a much greater piece of the Earth's surface than we do.�

Both, Cheney and Schwab, politically limited the exchange on the nature of the American state, and interchanged the meaning of two different concepts��empire,� and �imperialism.� If congruity matters, the questioner should have avoided the commonplace charge of empire, and asked Cheney, whether he thinks, �U.S. world policy and willful wars constitute belligerent and activist imperialism.�

Cheney, catching on the simplicity of the premise, insinuated the lack of a wider U.S. geographical encroachment on the planet indicates the U.S. is not an empire.

  1. Despite the uproar about America becoming an empire and the caricatures depicting Bush as Caesar, technically, the U.S. is neither an empire nor a republic, but a presidential federated union that resembles a republic but acts like an empire. As such, the U.S. exercises its imperialism or reach of empire through military and economic dominance, rather than geographical extension. Imperialism such as this has no need for conquered territories to affirm its power. For example, during the 13-year American economic blockade of Iraq, the U.S. affirmed its imperialist reach by forcing the world to observe the sanctions without dispatching military forces in each country to enforce it.
  2. Most importantly, the U.S. is not an empire because it has no system of countries that it militarily pacified as in the case of the Roman, British, French, and Ottoman Empires. The example of postwar Japan and Germany or current Afghanistan and Iraq, does not fit the requirements for pacified territorial properties presupposing complete deference to the imperial center.
  3. Although I partly endorsed Cheney�s parameters for empire, and considering that the term, �empire� is not applicable to the U.S., then what would apply?
  4. Plainly, the United States is an imperialist state whose definition goes beyond empire and beyond what Vladimir Lenin correctly gave to imperialism, which was, �imperialism is the highest stage of capitalism.� The key phrase to define the United States of Cheney is, �hyper-imperialist state,� whose ideology is a combination between imperialism, capitalist globalism, Hitlerism, fascism, democracy, militarism, Christian fundamentalism, and most importantly Zionism. Politically though, the U.S. has become a hybrid entity in a totalitarian evolution, with Zionism acting as if it were a genetic code of power passing from one administration to the next.
  5. Although the word �imperialism� is based on the term �imperial,� empire and imperialism are two different concepts. Empire is an obsolete form of power consisting of a large system of lands, mostly contiguous as in the Roman Empire, or disconnected as in the British Empire. In this system, the imperial state administratively controls the provinces by direct military and economic means aided by co-opted local classes.
  6. Conversely, hyper-Imperialism is more complex than classical imperialism and goes beyond its simple political determinism. In the era of colonialism, many European countries embraced colonialist imperialism as a means for national grandeur and unlimited profits. Imperialism, therefore, transcends nationalities and is feasible where means to practice it are available.
  7. Hyper-imperialism is an exclusive American phenomenon. This system exploits: 1) the current unique position of the U.S. as a power without military rivals, and 2) the absence of credible military, political, or economic deterrence opposing U.S. interventionism makes the U.S. move with confidence to impose its imperialist order on all those countries incapable of repelling such an imposition.
  8. Cheney, therefore, was partially correct when he stated the U.S. was not an empire. Only that he manipulated technicalities to disguise the imperialist nature of the American state, and artfully dismissed the contention by decrying the size of geographical encroachment.

Emphatically, Cheney�s disclaimer of empire is an adroit evasion to deflect the accusation of imperialism. Though technically it is not an empire, the U.S. possesses countless features of empire. With military bases (considered American territory) in 130 countries, with warships (mobile American territory) ready to intervene anywhere, with its occupation of Afghanistan and Iraq, with its control of the U.N., with its ambassadors and banks controlling national policies and economies of foreign governments, and with myriad satellite states, the U.S. is not just an empire�it is a mega-empire.

Moreover, it is one thing that critics of U.S. imperialism including myself tend to employ the term, �empire� to denote its dictatorial multiform interventionism. It is another, when Cheney, an active exponent of colonialist hyper-imperialism, reduces the complex concept of empire to just one matter: territorial size.

Regardless, labeling the U.S. with any name is irrelevant. Our dilemma should go beyond labeling to find effective ways to confront and dismantle hyper-imperialism as an extremist, belligerent ideological movement ruling the United States. In fact, regardless of how we define it, be it un-empire, empire, kingdom, principality, republic, or a union of tribes, the United States of Bush-Cheney-Wolfowitz is the most dangerous imperialist state that ever existed. Categorically, Cheney�s negation of empire cannot alter U.S. truculent imperialist reality.

Cheney: U.N. Resolutions as War Alibis

Cheney�s reinterpretation of recent Iraq history is a masterwork of imperialist fraudulence. In this field, he beats outgoing Secretary of State Colin Powell by innumerable grades. While Powell depends on his prestige [sic] to deliver deceptions regardless of who the audience is, Cheney depends on his ideological ax to reshape history in front of preselected imperialist outfits sharing his philosophy of imperialism.

On October 10, 2003, Cheney gave a speech at the Heritage Foundation, a Washington based Zionist think tank. For this part, I selected a significant issue that the he addressed.

Cheney: �It was crucial that we enforced the U.N. Security Council resolutions. Now, having liberated that country, it is crucial that we keep our word to the Iraqi people, helping them to build a secure country and democratic government. And we will do so.� (Applause) [Italics added].

A question: which of the following conditions made the audience applaud Cheney: 1) U.S. �enforcement of U.N. resolution,� 2) Iraq�s �liberation,� 3) Keeping the U.S. �word� to the Iraqi people, 4) to build a secure country, or 5) to build a democratic government?

The answer is none. Members of the Heritage Foundation could care less about any of the reasons that Cheney cited. They applauded him only because he said, �We enforced . . . etc.� With the pronoun, �We,� Cheney proclaimed the U.S., de facto, as the only world authority that matters, and re-affirmed the permanent demise of the United Nations.

Cheney lied on many counts:

  1. Cheney moved from the sentence, �It was crucial that we enforced the Security Council resolutions,� to the sentence, �Now we have liberated the country,� as if the events that happened between both actions were worthless. And with that, he wiped out Iraq�s history and world events, including the Gulf war, the 13-year sanctions for possession of weapons that were destroyed, the inspections, U.S.-imposed U.N. resolutions, the antiwar movement, the invasion, and finally the military occupation of Iraq.
  2. Cheney depicted the conquest of Iraq as liberation from dictatorship. Of course, he did not mention that in the instant Saddam�s regime collapsed, the Iraqi people passed from the iron grip of national dictatorship to the genocidal fist of American colonialist dictatorship.
  3. Cheney declared the U.S. as a �world cop,� when he proclaimed, �We enforced . . . etc.� Because no international authority ever elected the U.S. for that post, the American behavior is lawless at best and derives its strength exclusively from America�s military power.
  4. Aside from the 9/11 rationale, Cheney did not explain why it had become, suddenly, �crucial� for the United States to enforce U.N. Security Council resolutions on Iraq. The question assumes particular importance in light of: 1) up until Bush�s war, all U.N. members except the U.S., the U.K., Israel, and Fiji did not consider any further punishment of Iraq necessary or warranted, and favored lifting of the sanctions, and 2) many world states reopened their diplomatic missions in Baghdad.
  5. Although Cheney never explained the nature of the emergency to attack Iraq, an explanation however did exist. In Cheney�s vocabulary of imperialism, �crucial� meant the fear of missing an opportunity to implement a decision already taken to conquer the country with the second largest proven oil reserves on earth, as well as to defeat the Arab world on behalf of Israel. Why was the U.S. fearful of missing an opportunity? Answer: if the U.S. were to delay its plan, the passing of time could have dimmed the popular emotions consequent to 9/11 that Zionists tied to Iraq, and allowed the world to look at it for what it was: an immense crime that should have been investigated and its perpetrators punished. Lie number 1: the war on Iraq was not crucial. Iraq posed no threat to the U.S. from any conceivable viewpoint.
  6. Cheney committed two sequential contradictions when he stated that, �We [the U.S.] enforced U.N. resolutions.� Was he talking about the same organization that the U.S. considered irrelevant? First, if the U.N. was irrelevant, then its resolutions were irrelevant. Therefore, the U.S. should not have bothered implementing them. Second, if the U.N. was irrelevant by Bush-Cheney�s standards, then the U.S. effectively dissolved it by ignoring its authority. Accordingly, the U.S. strategy versus the U.N. was evident: by virtually dissolving the U.N., the U.S. would become instantly the highest authority on earth.
  7. Cheney omitted two important facts. First, in the summer of 2002, Iraq accepted U.N. resolutions to resume inspections and granted unconditional access to all sites previously restricted. Second, the U.S. blocked the inspections and forced the U.N., under the threat of going to war with or without it, to issue resolution 1441, which categorically, never authorized the U.S. to wage any war unilaterally.
  8. Moreover, Cheney omitted two additional fundamental facts. First, the U.S. failed to garner enough votes for a new resolution declaring Iraq in material breach of previous Security Council resolutions, which meant the U.N. but not the U.S., can authorize applying the severe consequences it threatened but not specified in resolution 1441, which, incidentally, only Blair, Bush, and Sharon interpreted as meaning war. Second, since a majority of the Security Council did not consider Iraq in material breach, then categorically the U.S. is not authorized to speak collectively on behalf of a council that did not consent.
  9. When the U.S. falsely declared it went to war to enforce U.N. resolutions, did the Council officially protest the lie? The answer is no. Not only did the complicit imperialist Security Council not protest, but also absorbed insults, denigrations, and vilifications, and ended by legalizing the criminal occupation of Iraq. It took U.N.�s compliant secretary-general 14 months after the invasion to declare the war illegal, but of course, his �ingenious discovery� has no relevance to the status quo of the world today. Lie number 2: The Security Council did not, explicitly or implicitly, authorize war on Iraq.
  10. After Cheney compressed two big lies in the space of one sentence, he passed to �the mother of all lies,� otherwise called, �the liberation of Iraq.� Thirteen months after Cheney�s speech to the foundation, the U.S. is still occupying Iraq, while fighting an intense anti-occupation revolution. Lie number 3: Cheney did not liberate Iraq, but he conquered it.
  11. Appearing to have a linguistic tic, Cheney employed the word �crucial� to depict the emergency for war on Iraq, and then immediately reused it to depict the U.S. commitment to �keep its word� to the Iraqi people. Cheney cannot show evidence that substantiates his claim that the Iraqi people solicited him, William Kristol, a.m. Rosenthal, or Richard Perle to liberate them from Saddam. So, why should Cheney keep a word, never solicited? Lie number 4: the Iraqis never requested that the U.S. liberate them from Saddam�s dictatorship in exchange for occupation.
  12. With this phrase, to �Help them [the Iraqi people] to build a secure country,� Cheney demolished the recent history of Iraq with a bulldozer. Since immediately after the Gulf War, Iraq not only lost its sovereignty, but also its security. With no-fly zones, with losing control over its money, with the blockade and 13-year sanctions, and with a one-way war of attrition, Iraq, caught between Saddam�s dictatorship and U.S. Zionist imperialism had no security left�none whatsoever.

After a devastating first war (1991) with over 400,000 killed, 13 years of blockade, sanctions that killed over 1.5 million, 12-year war of attrition, and yet another devastating war of conquest (2003) with over 100,000 killed and still counting; and after 19 months since the crusading army of Cheney occupied Iraq, did Cheney build a secure Iraq?

After the U.S. dismantled Iraq�s economic and social structures, and as master terrorist John Negroponte is ruling Iraq by cluster and Napalm bombs and destroying Iraq�s historical cities one by one, did Cheney build a secure Iraq for the Iraqis?

After the U.S. effectively deprived the Iraqis of all elementary forms of security, including personal safety, health, psychological, future, financial, and societal development, is Iraq really a secure country?

The answer to all these questions is no. With a cannibalistic economy, with oil revenue financing the occupation, with over 100,000 Iraqis killed, with 70 percent of the population unemployed, with the U.S. fomenting a civil war, and with hospital and university systems laying in ruin, Iraq, decidedly, is not a secure, but a catastrophically failed nation.

Without a doubt, Iraq, albeit was ruled by a dictatorship and despite many years of hardship, was on its way to recovery until the U.S. ended its fragile security and turned it into an occupied ravaged land and divided it according to confessional and ethnic lines to divide and rule.

Finally, as the U.S. is bogged down in a fierce anti-occupation war of liberation, Iraqis can no longer find any security as long as the occupation persists. As for Cheney�s reference to a democratic government and all that outdated colonialist propaganda, I discussed that subject in part 20  of this series.

Next: Part 24: Dick Cheney: rewriting history with a shovel

B.J. Sabri is an Iraqi-American antiwar activist. Email:

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