By MIKE WHITNEY, published on CounterPunch.org, 10/16/06
The giddiness among Democrats about
their prospects for a sweep in both Houses of Representatives
has reached a level of absolute euphoria. But what exactly are
the voters are hoping for?
A speedy exit from Iraq?
John Walsh posted a great article
on CounterPunch.org; “Election
2006: The Fix is already In“, which outlines the grim
facts about “candidate selection” in the Democratic
Party. The Democratic leadership has no intention of extracting
us from the bloody mess in Babylon and they have methodically
rooted-out the bothersome antiwar-types from their pool of potential
candidates. As Walsh points out, nearly 8 out of every 10 Democrats
(78%) want an immediate or partial withdrawal of troops from
Iraq. That, of course, makes no difference to the DLC-powerbrokers
who have thrown their bucks behind candidates who are completely
divorced from the convictions of the party faithful.
As Walsh reports:
“64% of the Democratic
candidates in the 45 closely contested House Congressional races
OPPOSE a timetable for withdrawal from Iraq. Note carefully:
not only do these Democratic worthies oppose the Murtha or McGovern
bills for rapid withdrawal or defunding the war; they oppose
as much as a timetable.The position of these Dem candidates is
indistinguishable from that of George W. Bush”.
Prediction: The Democrats will
never get us out of Iraq nor will they repeal the Patriot Act
or the Military Commissions Act of 2006 (which allows Bush to
imprison American citizens without charges and torture them according
to his own discretion)
The party has been co-opted
by a pro-business, liberty-slashing, war-mongering clique of
free traders who simply feel they can put a better face on imperial
No argument there; but for
anyone with a trace of a conscience, the prospect of voting for
a party that may slaughter another half-million or so Iraqis
presents some basic ethical problems. Is it too sanctimonious
to suggest that the war in Iraq is MORALLY EVIL, and that any
policy or party that supports the conflict must be flatly rejected?
Ahhh yes; time to don the body-armor
and protective headgear that one needs whenever they make disparaging
remarks about the Democratic Party. It’s never healthy to take
aim at the emasculated phonies who run America’s “other”
Regrettably, the Democratic
Party is only slightly different from the GOP. That’s not pessimism;
it’s realism. We need to be clear about the magnitude of the
task in front of us if we expect to have any hope of restoring
our personal liberties and ending the butchery in Iraq.
Despite the dramatic shift-away
from the Republican Party, Bush and Co. must have something up
their sleeves for the mid-terms. After all, the Eisenhower carrier
group is steaming towards the Gulf for a possible confrontation
with Iran; so the fur could fly at any minute.
It seems improbable that Bush
would allow a takeover in the House and Senate knowing that unpleasant
investigations into 9-11, war crimes, and executive abuses of
power could quickly follow.
So, what’s he up to?
Who knows? But we do know that
the present occupants of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. are high-stakes
gamblers who are bound to roll-the-dice to keep their chestnuts
out of the bonfire.
Something is bound to snap,
and fairly soon, too. Bush and Cheney didn’t assemble all the
levers of tyrannical rule (including the repeal of habeas corpus,
due process, and the laws banning cruel and unusual punishment)
just to transfer that authority to Democratic leaders in the
congress. That simply won’t happen.
The Democrats are headed into
the elections fairly confident that they can regain a place at
the political table and have their voices heard on the conduct
of the war. They have no intention of leaving Iraq. They simply
want to change directions and minimize the damage to America’s
long-term interests. Their strategy is probably similar to the
(forthcoming) recommendations of James Baker’s “Iraq Study
Group”. In fact, I’d be surprised if leaders on both sides
of the aisle haven’t already collaborated on the details to make
it more palatable to Bush.
But these guys are in La-la
Land. The Bush team will never relinquish power nor will they
accept the results of a system of balloting which they conspicuously
despise. They’ve spent 6 years “transforming” the military
so that it serves the exclusive interests of corporate mandarins.
They have changed FEMA into a stealth-organization which defends
the political status quo from potential internal security threats
(including Continuity of Government COG provisions which disband
the Congress) And, they have created a global torture and liquidation
regime for preemptively eliminating enemies real or imagined.
Nothing in the present Bush-system
is transferable. It is a “one-shot deal” tailor-made
for fanatical neocons, who play for keeps.
Winner take all.
I have no idea what the Bush
troupe is planning, but we’ll all have a better idea by November
7; so, buckle up!
One small footnote: Prensa
Latina News Agency reports that “Luis D. Elia, Undersecretary
for the Social Habitat in the Argentine Federal Planning Ministry,
issued a memo in which he spoke of the purchase by Bush of a
98,842 acre farm in Northern Paraguay, between Brazil and Bolivia”.
Bush bought a 100,000 acre
ranch in Paraguay!?!
Are you kidding me? Is Bush
planning an early retirement with his Nazi friends south of the
It’s just too weird to wonder?
Mike Whitney lives in Washington state. He can
be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org