Monday, July 17, 2006

World War III: Good for the GOP, bad for everyone else

By The (liberal)Girl Next Door

I was reading
Josh Marshall over at TPM Café yesterday, and he ruminates about the startling silence of the Bush administration during this time of escalating violence in the Middle East as Israel and Hezbollah in Lebanon hurl rockets at one another. Marshall thinks it is foreign policy fatigue that is the cause of the silence, but I think it’s far worse than that. I don’t think the Bush administration is at a loss as to what to do about the crisis, I think it plays right into their hands.

Although an unscripted moment between George Bush and Tony Blair that was caught by cameras and an open mic at the G8 Summit does seem to show Bush is simply out of his league when it comes to dealing with a crisis of this magnitude. Watch the video and you will see Bush chewing his food with his mouth open, and between slurping sounds telling Tony Blair, “What [the United Nations] need to do is to get Syria to get Hezbollah to stop doing this shit.” Tony Blair’s response betrays a sort of frustration with the simplicity of Bush’s worldview and his lack of understanding of the complexities involved in finding a diplomatic solution to this crisis in the Middle East. Perhaps Josh Marshall is right as far as Bush is concerned, but Cheney, Rice, Rumsfeld, Bolton and the rest of the neo-cons still in government, have ideological reasons for letting this problem fester. War, especially a large scale war in the region, is exactly what they’ve said is needed in order to get control of the oil supplies in the region and to build up the military here at home.

I have little doubt that this situation will escalate further and will eventually draw in Iran and Syria. Perhaps the Bush administration is hoping that Israel will strike Iran’s nuclear facilities, but it might also be the perfect opportunity for the Bush administration to do it themselves. They’ve wanted to cripple Iran for a long time, why would they pass up the chance to do it now? Of course it would be a stupid move and disastrous for America if we did allow the violence to escalate into World War III, but as Newt Gingrich pointed out this weekend, it would be great for the Republicans in the mid-term elections. Gotta love those Republicans, always looking on the bright side, or rather looking out for the bright spot for themselves.

And just imagine all the new war money that will pour into the bank accounts of the contractors that have probably stolen as much as they can while using Iraq as a shield, time for a new war. World War III will give them new cover, new no-bid contracts for new munitions, new fighter jets and maybe even some new nuclear warheads. But the cherry on top will be a new lease on life for the Republicans who will be able to use fear once again to keep their hold on power. Never mind that it was their ridiculous neo-con fantasies that brought us to this point, they will still be able to sell their “tough on terrorism” crap to the American public if they convince us that this is the big one. All they have to say is, “Do you really want wimpy liberals who aid and abet the enemy in charge during a war that could likely threaten the homeland?” Hey, it worked like a charm when we were only talking about rogue terrorists, it will work even better if we’re talking about a World War and nuclear warheads pointed at our cities.

Everything feels so precarious right now. Either the Bush administration doesn’t know what to do to help resolve, or at least mitigate, the situation in the Middle East, or they simply don’t care to stop what could end up being good for them anyway. I hate to be so cynical about my own government, but this administration has given me no reason not to believe the worst. The only thing I struggle with is whether they are evil or inept. Unfortunately, I think it’s a mixture of the two, not a combination that bodes well for this country, or the world.

(Cross-posted at The (liberal)Girl Next Door.)

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