September 12, 2007

With all due respect, Paul Gottfried just doesn’t get it—we are way past salvaging what is left of our “honor” when it comes to the invasion and conquest of Iraq. And, really—Kemal Ataturk! While Gottfried does acknowledge that the example is just a bit too “catastrophic,” I’m afraid that’s very much an understatement: Ataturk was just another despot who invoked the wonders of “democracy,” a ruthless killer and a tool of the Western imperialist powers who praised “peace.” Aside from that, however: Does anyone really believe that if we leave Iraq the United States will face … dissolution, just as the Ottoman empire did? On the other hand …

What Paul doesn’t get is that the war in Iraq is not going to be contained within Iraq for very much longer: anyone who paid attention to General Petraeus’s orations in the Senate yesterday and the day before has got to be painfully aware that Iran is being blamed for our failure in Iraq—and, as Franklin Delano Roosevelt would put it, “it was planned that way.” You want “catastrophic”? Okay, my friend, then consider this:

An incident on the Iraq-Iran border, involving US and Iranian troops, ends in the death of several US military personnel—or so we are told by our government. The Iranians suffer similar losses, and there’s “retaliation”—by both sides. The situation escalates—like a street fight that started with bluster and ends in a bloody dust-up—and before you can say “Norman Podhoretz” we’re in the middle of World War IV.

Earth to my fellow paleos: we don’t have much time. I am very pessimisic about the prospects of avoiding war with Iran, in any event. If even ostensible anti-interventionists like Senor Gottfried—who make all the right noises about those nasty old neocons and their whacked-out Wilsonianism—are now saying that the American occupation of Iraq “is not something we can afford to end overnight,” then I am very much more pessimistic than even I imagined.

Wars are not stationary events: they have a dynamic all their own, and this one is certain to spread unless we hightail it out of there pronto. You can spend the rest of your life complaining about the neocons—they have all the cushy movement jobs, the best book contracts, they get quoted in the Washington Post (and you don’t)—but, when it comes right down to it, you’re bailing when opposition to their crazed ideology is needed most, and especially on the Right.

We are not yet the Ottoman empire, but if the neocons are allowed to roll over the American people and get away with their “transformation” of the Middle East according to Israel’s design, then we may yet see this country turned into the Sick Man of North America—nay, of the Western hemisphere—and I mean that culturally as well as economically and politically.

The neocons have always played for keeps: would that the paleos took these matters half as seriously. Perhaps that’s why the latter have been marginalized, while the former rule the roost.

I hate to sound embittered, and even angry, but I’ll be surprised if we aren’t already at war with Iran by the end of the year: certainly there have been enough credible rumors to that effect. Wake up, Paul: the neocons are waaaaaaaaaay ahead of you…..


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