Histories of the Iraq War
22 June 2007
The Bush administration is in its twilight.
The war in Iraq is a disaster whose repercussions will dog the United States
for years to come. The "surge" will have the effect of producing more US
casualties and more hardships for the Iraqis, but little else. The war
was lost years ago. The
How the United States will reposition itself to continue its dominance and control over the resources and the states that sit atop them will define the next administration, Democrat or Republican, and their policies in the region. More wars are by no means out of the question and the occupation of Iraq may well continue past Bush. However, the defeat in Iraq and the subsequent discrediting of the United States and the running down of its military will pose restrictions on the way the United States pursues its imperial agenda.
The most rabid neo-cons are out of the administration and back sitting in think tanks and serving on corporate boards. Cheney remains, the messianic belief in his own lies to power him on. Bush was able to survive the war as long as the Democrats were trying to help him win it.
The Democrats have chosen to let the Iraq
war be Bush's war so that they can run against it in the next election.
To facilitate the further discrediting of Bush they have authorized, without
caveat, the funding to continue the war. The Democrat's crass political
calculations will cost thousands of lives. This even though almost all
of the leading Democrats have concluded that the war is not winnable and
have decided to attempt to extricate the United States from the mess in
Iraq if not from Iraq. Not now, of course, but as a promise to run on in
How they propose to do that while maintaining dominance in the region may well twist them in knots. Iraq may undo a future Democratic administration as it has Bush's. This is because what is at stake in Iraq and the wider region is not the legacy of a President, but of the entire imperialist project for the area. Regardless of the party in power the exercise of imperial prerogative cannot help be made difficult as the North American ruling class seeks to reestablish its bona fides.
Bush's approval rating has fallen to 28%
in a poll conducted in May, 2007. A further year and a half of the disastrous
Bush regime would leave the Democrats plenty of things to run on. The Democrats,
in theory, should sail through the next election. Already the 2008
Presidential campaign begins in earnest in eager anticipation of the change
and we are able to see now the
Bush's cabinet, hailed in the time of the
2000 election as a dream team whose collective intellects would make up
for deficiencies at the top of the executive branch, lied and misled the
United States into war. Without the Democrats quiescence the impossibly
inept and conflicted cabinet could not have levered the country into the
invasion and occupation of Iraq. The
Unlike the Nixon administration, the deceptions
were not limited to the executive branch. The Democrats were eager participants
in the charade over "weapons of mass destruction" and "imminent threats".
The whole United States government should be in the dock over the war in
Iraq. In deed, the Democrats who aided the lie and therefore gave it credence,
History is often ignored in America. That
ignorance, willful and otherwise, is one of the key ways that the US working
class has been kept from acting independently and for its own interests.
In the public mind, molded by the private media, most things that turn
bad never happened. Perhaps in a decade or two the Iraq war will have never
happened, just like the United States'
We in the anti-war movement cannot let
the real history of the United States' involvement in the war; its aims,
its authors and its abettors escape the public consciousness. Many in the
anti-war movement, especially those on the organized left, know this history
and base their analysis on it
If the anti-war movement as a whole is
to become capable in taking on the criminals in Washington, on Wall Street
and the Pentagon then the practical implications for the analysis that
history affords demands that the anti-war movement become increasingly
radical, going to the roots of war making. We know that this is not just
Bush's war, but a war of Empire. While the 1990's were heralded as the
end of history; i.e., the end of the class struggle, the first decade of
the new century has utterly confirmed the opposite. Although much has changed
in the years since the cold war ended, humanity can hardly claim to have
resolved capitalism's class war, its war against nature or the imperialism
of its greatest practitioners. These are now the
For the anti-war movement in the US to
really challenge the war makers a genuine independence from the war makers
is a key condition. Until that independence is practiced we can expect
to have very little influence over the course of events even though the
vast majority of the US working class is now opposed to the war. To take
on the war makers it is long past