Feb 21, 2024
Feb 21, 2024
American history after WW2 is a sorry tale of intellectual midget presidents beholden to special interests who have led the country to the path of ruin. Even before 1939 Woodrow Wilson, a racial bigot who fired all blacks from senior federal positions after ascending to the presidency, surreptitiously led America into WW1 (after promising to keep it out in his election speeches) at the behest of Wall Street financiers who had financed both UK and Germany in the early part of WW1. They had lent the UK billions of dollars in present day money to just a few hundred million dollars to Germany. When it looked like the UK would lose and their loans would become uncollectible, they pressured the US to enter the war on the side of UK under absurd pretenses, to recover their money. Wilson caused a hundred thousand American casualties to please his supporters.
Franklin Delano Roosevelt was unable to alleviate the depression in America despite some Keynesian deficit spending. He covertly supported UK against despicable Hitler's Germany and banned the export of oil and scrap metal to Japan during the early part of WW2 and essentially forced cruel, racist and empire dreaming Japan to attack Pearl Harbor to facilitate control over Burmese oil and Malaysian tin and rubber. The massive deficit spending of WW2 brought America out from depression to boom. FDR for political reasons kept changing his running mate vice-presidents during his four terms and picked a non-entity Truman in the final term. Truman had a dismally failed business career and became a political stooge of rich vested interests from Missouri, which led him to the US Senate and the vice-presidency. He had compromised his integrity and independence to win elections and was generally considered an unintelligent, dull and obedient stooge. The sick Roosevelt died and Truman inherited the presidency, a post completely beyond his capabilities. (Read James Carroll's 'House Of War', Bruce Cumming's writings on Korea or Gore Vidal's writings on America)
America in that period had a paranoid state of mind as the McCarthy era and the insanity and suicides of the CIA chief Frank Wisner and defense secretary James Forrestal attest to. Truman's and the the population's racist hatred of all Japanese led earlier to the internment of US citizens of Japanese origin and the terror bombing of Germany and Japan, the latter with unjustifiable nuclear weapons. Truman and his secretary of state had been interfering covertly in communist North Korea from their South Korean occupation below the 38th parallel. They then made the stupid announcement that Korea was of no vital interest to the US and precipitated the North Korean invasion for unification. The communists were not good guys, but had fought the Japanese occupation while the US propped up military dictators of South Korea who were anti-national collaborators of the Japanese occupation. The same history would be repeated in Vietnam and slightly differently in Afghanistan and Iraq where corrupt governments collaborating with violent occupiers fueled insurgencies.
Truman wanted to eliminate communists from Greece and Turkey and formulated his doctrine of supporting anti-communists the world over without realizing that in many western colonies nationalist opposition had communist leanings. The paranoia of monolithic communism world domination obscured the truth of colonies' citizens yearning to be free of imperial oppression and occupation. A current paranoid delusion leads to the failure of understanding that in many Muslim nations with corrupt kleptocratic tyrants, the only opposition able to survive after the US contrived elimination of all democratic and leftist political parties are the mosque based Islamists. The rise of Hamas and Hizbollah are the direct results of shortsighted and foolish US and Israeli policies. It was the CIA that was responsible for overthrowing the elected government of Iran in 1953 and the leftist government in Iraq a decade or so later, replacing it with the then known thug, terrorist and murderer Saddam.
When Truman informed powerful Senator Vandenberg about his doctrine and plans of huge military spending, the latter told him that the only way to achieve his objective was to scare the hell out of the American public, so that they wouldn't be able to think rationally. That is what he did by the fear of Soviet nuclear terror. The US strategic air command kept nuclear bombers in the air 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Schoolchildren were subjected to frequent regular drills to hide under their desks in case of a nuclear attack showing how gullible and fearful the American public is. Bush has used the policy of raising terror alerts and painting opposition to his illegal and aggressive military and surveillance policies to stifle dissenters and brand them as traitors or unpatriotic.
Truman's real fear was the economy slipping into a recession after the profligate military spending of WW2 had ended. He went on a massive military buildup and a state of recurring war which continues even today. Eisenhower warned about the military industrial complex's unstoppable growth but did nothing to stop it, just as Carter now wrote a book, 'Peace not Apartheid' while he did nothing to stop the Israeli oppression and occupation of Palestine during his presidential tenure. Truman scraped through a re-election win by stoking fear just as George W. Bush did in 2004 after stealing the election in 2000 by blocking black votes in Florida and with the US Supreme Court as his accomplice stopping an honest recount in Florida. Truman left it to his successor Eisenhower to extricate the US from a stalemate in Korea, just as Johnson left it to Nixon and Bush will to the next president.
The Bush Cheney cabal with no knowledge of history and delusions of grandeur, decided to pick the low hanging ripe fruit of the despicable tyrant Saddam to capture the huge Iraqi oil reserves, establish a puppet government under Chalabi and permanent US bases in Iraq to intimidate Syria, Iran, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States and have a stranglehold on the oil needs of Europe, Japan, China and India. They did not realize that the death of half a million Iraqi children by sanctions and the betrayal of the US instigated Shia and Kurd rebellion against Saddam by Bush Sr. had left bitter memories for the Iraqi population. Their plan was never to withdraw from Iraq (just like Germany, Japan and South Korea) and it is still the case.
They did not want free elections and were pushing for controlled caucuses but were thwarted by Ayatollah Sistani. Their stupidity was so great that they really believed that their puppets Alawi, Chalabi and Pachachi would win the elections like their counterpart CIA asset Karzai did in Afghanistan. The former group failed to win any significant seats and the latter in Afghanistan has no following presently. The boycott of the elections in Iraq by the disenchanted Sunnis led to the Shiite majority winning control of the parliament and the bungling in the formulation of the Constitution led to a near veto power by the Kurds collaborating with the US occupation, thus setting the seeds of the current lack of political and revenue sharing compromises destined to lead to a trifurcation and breakup of Iraq.
The winning Shiites were opponents of Saddam who had spent years in exile in Iran and had received political, economic and military support from Iran. They were perceived by the dethroned and boycotting Sunnis as US and Persian stooges and usurpers. The stupid and foolish Bremer policy of firing the army and all Baath party members led to an economic meltdown and fueled further resentment. In the totalitarian Saddam regime practically every government employee or anyone eligible to receive food subsidies during the sanctions era, found it advantageous to enlist in the party to facilitate life. The racist and culturally demeaning behavior of the occupation US troops and their fears of insurgents led them to shoot first, break down doors and torture and humiliate their captives and people in their homes. All these fed the insurgency. The hypocrisy of shutting down Shiite Sadrist newspapers and television stations and shooting at unfriendly reporters while preaching democracy and freedom of speech alienated some factions of the Shia community as well.
In the meantime stupid Bush, crooked Cheyney, clueless Rumsfeld and their puppet generals lied through their teeth for years, while honest, intelligent and dissenting voices were fired, demoted or retired. The bumbling Pentagon bureaucracy being generally a milieu for the advancement of political hacks, willing sycophants, the retarded or ineducable, had learnt nothing from the debacle of Vietnam about how to fight an insurgency or forgotten its lessons. They continued to alienate the population, concentrated on body counts, high value targets and their deck of cards, oblivious to the fact that their methods were fostering far more insurgents than they were killing or capturing. Their policy of throwing money at all problems had led to offering a bounty for terrorist and insurgent capture. Our drug running and warlord allies sold many of their opponents or with those whom they had property or personal disputes for bounty in Afghanistan and to a lesser extent in Iraq. The rising US casualties led to abandoning Geneva Conventions by Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, the Generals and the Congress, with tortures at Guantanamo, Abu Ghraib and Bagram and rendition and torture by the CIA, sullying America's soiled reputation in the world even further.
It is only natural that Iran, a neighboring state with a shared religion and Shia sect would provide material support to its partisan government in Iraq. In Afghanistan it helped the US overthrow the Taliban and stabilize the country and being fearful of being squeezed by the US presence in Afghanistan from the east, Iraq from the west and Pakistan from the south, offered to negotiate a comprehensive security treaty, but was rebuffed by Bush inflated by his own petard and dressed up in a fighter pilot's uniform to celebrate a premature Halloween. The irony is that in other circumstances when he was supposed to dress up as a pilot during the Vietnam War, he had gone AWOL.
The mounting casualties and off budget expenditure and rising oil and gasoline prices without tangible results, soured US public opinion and finally woke up the subservient rubber stamp congress and supine press and resulted in the loss of Republican majority in both houses. Powers that be had already trotted out the usual suspects as the Iraq Study Group, to put a band aid on the hemorrhaging national wound and offer a face saving way out. Bush who is not only stupid, but also stubborn and unwilling to irritate his 25% base of the religious right, neocon Likudniks and sundry rabid warmongers, opted for one last winning throw of a surge at his crap(s) table. Now that it has also come out snake eyes, he is using his dummy generals to mouth his words that success will occur by 2009 at the cost of another 500 billion dollars and another 25,000 casualties.
The American public is not accepting the administration lies anymore. For the last few months it has dawned on the dim witted shrub that Iran is in a commanding position in Iraq and so he has inflamed the sectarian strife between Sunnis and Shias. The Shias after restraint due to Sistani's advice, finally used their large private armies and the Shias trained as police and military by the Americans, as death squads to ethnically cleanse mixed neighborhoods in Baghdad, the ultimate prize of contention. The Sunnis can terrorize by suicide bombers and shoot mortars in the Green Zone, but lack organized manpower and material to hold territory outside their zones. This is why the Saudi king finally chastised the American war as illegal and disastrous. He refuses to recognize the Iraqi government and calls it an Iranian puppet. The alienation of Sunni dominated governments of Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States needs urgent remedies of fire control and this is why Rice and Gates are in the Middle East and have skipped the important meetings in Southeast Asia and Latin America.
The US Congress like the Chinese population is addicted to pork. Any bill with earmarks or giveaways to the drug or arms lobbies or to Israel is sure to pass with large bipartisan support. It is like the galloping evolution of sexual selection promulgated by Darwin. The best examples are the antlers of the Irish elk and the peacock's tail. Females of their species make their mating choice on these and until and unless they become severe handicaps to survival of males, they will grow. The Irish elk is already extinct and the peacock approaching endangerment. Similarly the spending on arms is leading to starvation of social programs like the children's health insurance protection and aid to dependent children, while war expenditure and arms gifts to Egypt, Israel and Pakistan rise ballistically. The projected war cost is approaching two trillion dollars. Bush's agenda for his presidency was tax cuts for the rich, gutting Medicare and Social Security and a bonanza for the drug, oil and arms industries. He got the tax cuts and by war and Medicare part D gave a bonanza to the pharmaceutical, oil and arms industries. He has failed only the Wall Street backers by being unable to privatize Social Security.
Bush wants to worsen the sectarian Muslim conflict and thus divert the attention of Sunnis away from terrorism against the West. He also wants to intimidate Iran by heavily arming the Gulf States and to have their rulers make peace with Israel by ignoring Palestinian plight and concentrate their belligerence towards Shiites in Iran, Iraq and Lebanon. Selling 20 billion dollars of arms to the Gulf States will be a windfall for the arms manufacturers. If the Congress approves that, it will acquiesce for the 30 billion dollar arms gift for Israel and 13 billion dollars worth for a partial balance to Egypt. The 43 billion dollars will come out of the taxpayer's pocket and be consistent with the reverse Robin Hood policies of US governments of robbing the poor to further enrich the fat cats. Children's and poor persons' programs will be cut, because children don't vote and the poor have no lobbyists. The Saudi arms sale will also garner a 10% or more commission for Saudi princes to maintain their yachts, pleasure palaces and allow them to visit casinos and add to their off the record wives.
Finally the arms package will further destabilize the area and may tempt Iran to escalate its arming of Iraqi insurgents, thus giving casus belli to America to bomb Iran. If Iran is restrained, it will give Israel the wherewithal to bomb it in the future or for the Saudis to shed some blood for a change in a future war. It is for the same reasons that Pakistan was given F-16s, to entice India into buying even more expensive comparable or superior American aircraft. The signing of the logistics agreement with India was to prepare for future wars and fight them cheaply, just as outsourcing of information services to India and manufacturing to China brings cheaper goods for the American public and bigger profits for American corporations while driving down the bargaining power of US labor. Who cares if it bankrupts America with its budget, trade and current account deficits and reduces job opportunities and pay scales for American workers. If they have no bread, let them eat cake!
More by : Gaurang Bhatt, MD