The Imperialist Right Threatens Obama on Iraq

As I have pointed out many times to my friends at Lucianne.com, this Republican administration represents the zenith of "movement conservativism", which is essentially a rightist movement. They have been around for a long time, and actually are becoming quite predictable.

You can see from this article in the Huffington Post just how predictable they have become, as the author identifies exactly the tactic that Republicans will use against Barack Obama in the Fall.
I think Americans are getting to smart for this simple tactic...... plus, if they check their history, they will find it is essentially the same move made against Democrats after the bipartisan debacle of Vietnam...... which, like the Iraq War, was primarily a failure of strategic policy rather than a military failure.
Published on Friday, June 20, 2008 by The Huffington Post
The Imperialist Right Threatens Obama on Iraq
by Gareth Porter

Robert Kaplan is a throw-back to the late nineteenth century imperialists who believed in the inherent right of the United States to dominate the lesser breeds and believed that the manly art of war is good for civilization. In Imperial Grunts he talked without a trace of irony about the glory of U.S. soldiers taking up “the white man’s burden.”

Kaplan formed a one-man cheering section in late 2002 for the Bush project to take over Iraq and use its military bases to dominate the rest of the region. He confidently assured his readers that setting up a new government would be no big problem once the United States military was in control of the country. “Our goal in Iraq,” he wrote, “should be a transitional secular dictatorship that unites the merchant classes across sectarian lines and may in time, after the rebuilding of institutions and the economy, lead to a democratic alternative.”

That political insight ranks alongside Paul Wolfowitz’s belief that Iraqi Shiites wouldn’t mind foreign troops occupying Najaf and Karbala, because he didn’t think Iraq had any holy cities like Saudi Arabia.

Kaplan is also a political attack dog for the imperialist right on Iraq. In his latest column he admonishes Obama that must change his stance on troop withdrawal from Iraq or face serious political consequences this fall. He suggests that Obama will become Iran’s candidate if he does not accept the Bush administration position that the United States must maintain a major military presence in Iraq for the indefinite future.

Here is the full text of Kaplan’s rather heavy-handed warning to the Obama campaign:

“A precipitous withdrawal may be the last chance the Iranians will have to dominate Iraq to the degree that they had thought possible in 2006. If Obama heads into the fall campaign without visiting Iraq, without acknowledging progress there, and without altering his time-table for withdrawal, the Iranians may decide to help his electoral chances by initiating a new spate of bombings.”

The real point of Kaplan’s warning is not what the Iranians will do about Obama. It is what the imperialist right will do about him. They are quite desperate to implicate Obama in the coming debacle in Iraq. They would prefer to have him share the responsibility for the existing policy. If he refuses, however, they evidently feel the need to create a new narrative which says that Obama and the Democrats are enabling Iran to snatch victory from the jaws of the defeat.

Kaplan is clearly hinting that the imperial right, which now controls the White House but McCain’s campaign as well, will tag Obama as Iran’s candidate in the fall. The further implication of this threat, of course, is that he will also be blamed for having “lost” Iraq to Iran.

The idea of linking Obama’s troop withdrawal plan to the Iranian position in Iraq makes no sense objectively, but it is the logical political response by those who led the United States into a disastrous war. By doing so, they would hope to divert public attention from the Bush administration’s central problem — the fact that its invasion of Iraq put Iranian surrogates into power in Baghdad by removing Iran’s primary enemy, Saddam Hussein, thus clearing the way for a Shiite state.

Those U.S.-sponsored elections in 2005, which were so glorified by the Bush administration and the U.S. media, made the Iranian leaders salivate. They opened the door for the Shiite political parties and paramilitary groups created by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps in Iran during the Iran-Iraq war to get state power. The Bush administration had no choice but to play ball with the pro-Iranian Shiites in 2004 and 2005, because it desperately needed the help of their paramilitary forces to help fight off the Sunni insurgents.

Ever since then, the Bush administration and its imperialist right-wing allies have had to deny the obvious reality that the Iraqi regime we were supposedly protecting from Iran was actually a joint U.S.-Iranian condominium.

Kaplan’s scenario of Iranian-orchestrated bombings before the election is, of course, utter nonsense. Rather than trying to stoke a war between Shiites and the Americans, Iran has simply convinced its Iraqi Shiite friends, whom Iran trained and put in its payroll in the 1980s, to ensure that the Bush administration’s proposal for long-term access to Iraqi military bases is rejected.

Dick Cheney lavished praise on Abdul Aziz al-Hakim, the leader of the major pro-Iranian political party, for his cooperation when he went to Baghdad in March, but leading figures in that same party are now attacking the Bush administration’s proposal for a U.S.-Iraq “framework agreement” as legitimizing U.S. occupation. So is Prime Minister al-Maliki’s own Dawa party.

Now that the beneficiaries of the U.S. invasion and overthrow of Saddm are joining with Iran to reject the Bush administration’s military demands, those who led this country into war must know that they stand to be blamed for having sacrificed all those American lives for the political benefit of Iran.

The political ploy of shifting blame for the failure of an imperial venture to the other party is an old story in American politics. Remember Henry Kissinger’s masterful 1975 set-up of the stab in the back by the Democratic Congress, even as the old Saigon regime was already fleeing in panic? Kaplan is using the threat of yet another round of blame-shifting to blackmail Obama on Iraq.

This is only the first indication of just how ugly this campaign is likely to get on Iraq.

Dr. Gareth Porter is an investigative historian and journalist on U.S. national security policy who has been independent since a brief period of university teaching in the 1980s. Dr. Porter is the author of four books, the latest of which is Perils of Dominance: Imbalance of Power and the Road to War in Vietnam (University of California Press, 2005). He has written regularly for Inter Press Service on U.S. policy toward Iraq and Iran since 2005.


Bella said...

VERY interesting read, GD!

=) Bella

Ghost Dansing said...

thanks for dropping by Bella...

Daisy said...

There's nothing "manly" about war in my book. I also don't think we should have ever gone to Iraq in the first place, and the quicker we get out of there the better!

Good post, Ghost Dansing! Hope you don't mind, but I'm going to add you to my blogroll.

On a different subject, I'm enjoying the music you have playing here too! :)

Ghost Dansing said...

me too Daisy..... thanks for dropping by and the nice words about the music and stuff.... later

Utah Savage said...

Man can you write! Sometimes I'm afraid to stop by, because I know I'll get what feels like an insiders perspective. And I have never known an insider who didn't scare me a little. Maybe you are just more diligent in your research than the rest of us, maybe you really are older than you seem out there in our comments threads. I know I've said this before, but you are one very mysterious dude. Serious here, playful there. Your avitar does suite you. You scared me the first time you came calling. Is this a teenager or death paying me a friendly visit?

Utah Savage said...

Back again already. I just gave you an award. Don't hate me just because I love you. It's not nice to call old women nasty names--you and fairlane really cracked me up yesterday, and for that I give you, "Barbie on a Half Shell" as I like to call her, but it's really, really called the Arte Y Pico award. Come and get it darlin. And play fair, Okay?

Ghost Dansing said...

thanks Utah......

Mary Ellen said...

Hiya Ghost Dansing! It's been awhile, I've been away from the blogosphere too long.

Love the new music on your blog!

We need to get out of Iraq, pronto. It will take a lot to be able to mend the damage that was done by the Bush administration regarding how we are perceived around the world. The policy of preemptive strikes was a mistake from the beginning which should have been obvious to all.

Like Colin Powell said, there is the Pottery Barn rule. It's broke and now we will pay the price, a very dear price in blood, money, and our standing in the world as peace makers.

btw, I have a new blog. Check it out if you have time. I just started it today and haven't put up a "real" post yet, just an introduction, it's a work in progress (not used to Word Press yet, they're not as easy as Blogger) Posts will be forthcoming. I'll put you on my blogroll, kiddo.

Here's the blog



Anita said...

ghost dancing, i sincerely hope that americans are in fact getting "too smart" for these tactics, but i think the evidence says otherwise and the average american's brain is mostly mush and doesn't think and is swayed not by the person/people with the most cogent argument, but by the person/people who yell the loudest.

(p.s. ... i hope you don't mind, but i added you to my list of "bloggin' friends.')

Ghost Dansing said...

thanks anita..... i see you liked the "coal" video :)