by Mark, Detroit
Democratic Party: multilateral imperialists
Liberman and Kerry
General Wesley Clark
. The longer the military occupation lasts, the clearer it is that it's purpose is to reshape the political and economic structures of Iraq to suit the aims of U.S. imperialism. And if the nature of the occupation confirms the correctness of the anti-war movement's claims that it was a war for oil and empire, then it also highlights that the official reasons given by Bush and Blair were a fraud.
. Even if Hussein had all the WMDs and intent to attack that Bush and Blair claimed, the war would have been unjust on both sides. This war had the same basic underlying cause as Gulf War I. The world's superpower bully, U.S. imperialism wanted to maintain its domination of the Middle East and it's oil. The tyrant Hussein wanted Iraq to extend its own power in the region. But in fact the Bush and Blair administrations lied about their so-called evidence. This fraud is now so widely exposed that the U.S. and British governments now try to argue that whether or not they find Iraqi WMD arsenals or links between Iraq and al-Qaeda, their war was still just. But despite such efforts to dismiss their critics, the issue remains a big thorn in the side of Bush and Blair.
. Before the war, the Bush regime swore that Iraq was an imminent threat to launch war on the United States. Vivid pictures were painted about vast stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons, of drone planes spraying these deadly agents across the U.S. , and of Iraq at least being on the verge of having a nuclear arsenal. Hussein allegedly was going to hand these weapons over to al-Qaeda terrorists and the Bush administration took every opportunity to falsely link Hussein with the brutal 9-11 massacre. Yet somehow these arsenals are nowhere to be found.
. Before the war, the Bush administration mocked the UN inspectors for not finding weapons. The administration and the bourgeois press were full of stories about all the solid intelligence that had been gathered on the whereabouts of WMDs. But after several months of having limitless access to Iraq, the U.S. has found no vast WMD arsenals and no nuclear facilities. Even Lt. General James Conway, charged with finding such weapons, admits that if they found nothing, "Believe me, it's not for lack of trying", and that stories about a vast chemical weapons arsenal ready to be hurled at advancing U.S. troops was "simply wrong. " Before the war, the U.S. complained that once Hussein was removed they would learn where the weapons were hidden from Iraqi scientists. Well, the Iraqi scientists are in U.S. hands. But they insist the WMD programs were dismantled. For example, the Bush administration crowed when the Iraqi scientist who headed up Hussein's uranium enrichment program revealed that some centrifuge parts used for this enrichment were buried in his back yard. But what Bush failed to mention was even this forthcoming scientist stated that since 1991, the Iraqi nuclear weapons program had been mothballed. Similarly, Bush raised that the discovery of some aluminum tubes was proof of the Iraqi nuclear program only to be refuted by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). Clearly, the U.S. "evidence" was nothing but a disinformation campaign.
. One of the most publicized examples of official disinformation involved Bush's claim in the State of the Union speech that Iraq was meeting with the government of an African country, referring without saying so to Niger, to procure uranium for nuclear weapons. The evidence for this was a document that was such an obvious forgery that it was "signed" by an official in Niger who was many years out of office at the time the document was allegedly signed. In attempting to bolster his lies about WMDs, Bush released a July report. But this very report says the State Department's Bureau of Intelligence and Research said: "Claims of Iraqi pursuit of natural uranium in Africa . . . are highly dubious" and "The activities we have detected do not . . . add up to a compelling case that Iraq is currently pursuing . . . an integrated and comprehensive approach to acquire nuclear weapons. " Moreover, the administration itself knew the Iraq-Niger story was bogus because they were told so by the person they sent over to Niger to investigate, former diplomat Joe Wilson. Nevertheless, the White House insisted this lie be included in Bush's speech.
. Confronted with this lie, Bush first denied it was a lie. Then a scapegoat needed to be found. CIA director George Tenant was ordered to take the blame, though the CIA had for months been telling the administration that this particular lie would not stand scrutiny. Then the failure to catch this error was pinned on deputy National Security Advisor Stephen J. Hadley. Next, Hadley's boss and Bush's close confidant, NSA advisor Condeleeza Rice, was implicated by various press reports. In fact Rice was such a habitual liar about Iraqi WMDs that she cited as evidence of Hussein's nuclear program the very State Department intelligence reports that denied such intelligence existed. The scapegoating was meant to prove the innocence of Bush and Cheney, but it actually shows that there was a concerted attempt by the White House to bury the reports of their own intelligence agencies if it contradicted their war propaganda machine.
. The concerted campaign of deception shows how Bush's doctrine of "pre-emptive war" is simply a cover for the U.S. going after anyone it wants. Now the administration is lowering the threshold for war still further. They are arguing that even if there's no solid evidence that a potential enemy has WMDs, the U.S. has a right to pre-emptive attack. Thus, on July 27, Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz stated on TV's "Meet the Press" that intelligence on terrorism is always "murky" and therefore, "If you wait until the intelligence picture is clear, you are going to have to wait until something terrible has happened. " Wolfowitz gave the same message during an interview with conservative radio personality Laura Ingraham, in reference to the alleged ties between Hussein and the al-Qaeda terrorists. When asked when he first thought Iraq was behind the 9-11 atrocity, Wolfowitz said "I'm not sure even now that I would say Iraq had something to do with it. " Thus the Deputy Secretary of Defense effectively demolishes last year's claim by Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld of having "bulletproof" evidence from U.S. intelligence agencies of links between Hussein and al-Qaeda. Wolfowitz then went on to justify the war as a blow against terrorism anyway.
. In truth, U.S. imperialism has a long history of inventing pretexts to attack progressive
movements and rival reactionaries. The Bush administration carries on the tradition of deception,
inventing new pretexts as fast as the old ones are exposed.
Democratic Party: multilateral imperialists
. The problems in Iraq and the scandals at home have taken their toll on Bush. His approval ratings in the polls have greatly fallen since before the war. Indeed, even the Democrats, who rolled over and played dead when Bush declared war and who wanted to avoid confronting Bush on foreign policy, now suddenly see an opportunity to advance their political ambitions by challenging the administration's Iraq policy.
. A big Democratic theme is that if Bush had a multilateral policy, other big imperialist countries
like France and Germany could provide soldiers and financial assistance which would make the
occupation more viable. They are troubled about the lies of the administration not because they
are peace-loving, but because they feel it undermines support for the present occupation as well
as future imperialist aggression. In particular the Democrats are worried that the so-called war on
terrorism will be jeopardized. The Democrats, like the Republicans, support the U.S. settling
scores with whoever they feel jeopardizes the U.S. world empire, under a phony anti-terrorist
banner. Though the Democrats overwhelmingly supported the war once it was launched and
continue to support the occupation, many of them had doubts about whether Iraq should be the
immediate target. They want the U.S. to be able to hit at other targets around the world, and fret
that Bush's lies will undermine its credibility and make it harder to get support of imperialist
allies or the masses for the next battle of the "anti-terrorism" crusade. The Democrats have the
same goal of defending imperialist bullying and domination around the world, but feel this is
better accomplished through multilateral alliances with other capitalist powers rather than Bush's
Lieberman and Kerry
. To be convinced of the pro-imperialist nature of the Democratic opposition, one need only look
at the stands of their presidential candidates. Some, like Lieberman and Kerry, voted in Congress
to let Bush have a free hand to attack Iraq. They often try to look more militarist than Bush and
campaign that they would do a better job of using the military to protect the U.S. world empire.
Kerry, for instance, wants to build up the Navy in particular so the U.S. won't have to rely as
much on ground bases, or cooperation from other countries, when it launches new wars. As he
puts it, "What we're really looking at are conflicts where you need deployment platforms and
capacity to stage, and the Navy can be very critical in that where you have unfriendly countries
that are unwilling to give you basing capacity or overflight authority. " Clearly Kerry saw the
problems the U.S. had in getting its ally Turkey to allow itself to be used as a base for the land
invasion of Iraq. For him the problem isn't invading Iraq, but finding ways around obstacles to
the invasion. Kerry doesn't oppose imperialist war but now complains that had the Iraq war been
carried out in a multilateral fashion, the U.S. conquest would come cheaper and free up more
forces for Bush's so-called war on terrorism. He says, "We need the rest of the world to be
involved in order to reduce America's carrying all the risks and all the costs, in order to reduce
the targeting of American soldiers, and in order to maximize our ability to wage the war on terror
in that region and elsewhere. " And Kerry's words of concern for the sons and daughters of U.S.
workers who get killed or crippled for the greater glory of Halliburton and Exxon-Mobil are
complete hypocrisy. He's so concerned he wants to free them up for other bloody missions while
the working class and poor youth of other countries get shot up trying to impose imperialist
occupation on the Iraqi people!
. Even the most liberal Democratic candidates are imperialist to the core. Howard Dean thought
that the U.S. could maintain its domination of the Middle East without an immediate war against
Hussein. But since he agreed with the general idea of imperialist domination of the Middle East,
he could only hope that Bush's war and his plans to take over Iraq turned out well. Thus, although
Dean had his doubts on the war he stated, "If we go to war, I certainly hope the Administration's
assumptions are realized and the conflict is swift, successful and clean. " Dean also had doubts
about the war because he felt it was "the wrong war at the wrong time" since "North Korea's
likely to go nuclear on the president's watch. " So much of his disagreement with Bush has been
over which part of Bush's Axis of Evil should be struck first. After the war, Dean has not
demanded an end to the occupation. Instead he says the U.S. can't withdraw now and that more
troops from the U.S. and other countries are needed to bolster the occupation regime.
. Dennis Kucinich claims to be the staunchest Democratic peace candidate. But though his
rhetoric is more pacifist, his idea of a peaceful solution in Iraq in reality turns out to be a
multilateral imperialist occupation. He likes to emphasize he's for withdrawing U.S. troops, but
he would do so only if the UN took over running Iraq. But bringing in the UN does not end
imperialist rule over Iraq but merely changes its form. The UN is not an obstacle to the big
capitalist powers lording over the world. It didn't stay the hand of the U.S. when it launched a
unilateral war. It has supported the U.S./British occupation regime and the Iraqi governing
council it set up to give imperialist rule an Iraqi cover. If the UN where to take over, it would
require agreement between the U.S. and the other major capitalist powers. Thus it would
represent not the interests of the Iraqi masses, but the common imperialist interests of the U.S.
and Britain with France, Germany, Russia, etc.
General Wesley Clark
. In September, former general Wesley Clark entered the race to be Democratic nominee for president. He not only shares the same multilateral imperialist outlook as the rest, but actually led the U.S./NATO carpet-bombing of Belgrade and served as leader of the U.S. Southern Command, which overseas U.S. military intervention in Latin America. He criticizes Bush's Iraq policy when it suffers a fiasco and for not having enough international support. But when the U.S. conquest goes well, he's all for it.
. Despite his qualms, when Bush made it clear he'd launch war regardless of what other countries thought, Clark called on other countries to support Bush's war. He said "The credibility of the United States is on the line, and Saddam Hussein has these weapons and so, you know, we're going to go ahead and do this and the rest of the world's got to get with us . . . these nations around the world, and the United Nations, are going to have to look at this evidence [for WMDs-ed. ] and decide who they line up with. "
. For Clark, whether the war was just or advisable isn't as important as whether the U.S. shows it will annihilates those it threatens. Indeed, in the London Times of April 11, he announced that the main lesson of the war was "American military power, especially when buttressed by Britain's, is virtually unchallengeable today. Take us on! Don't try! And that's not hubris, it's just plain fact. " A day earlier in the same publication Clark announced that "President Bush and Tony Blair should be proud of their resolve in the face of so much doubt. " Such is what passes for a Democratic "peace" candidate these days.
. Despite all their bickering with Bush, the Democrats too can scarcely contain their glee about
the unchallenged power of U.S. armies of world conquest. After all, the Democrats like the
Republicans are in the pockets of the big capitalists who want their domination of the world
defended at all costs. <>
Last modified: October 15, 2003.