Before the Opening Kickoff:
A Paleo-Con's Final Thoughts on Bush and the American Quest for Empire.
by Mark Dankof
Just before the launching of the American military attack on Saddam Hussein, Mark Dankof
of News and Views reflects on the coming tragedy in Iraq and tragedies yet to come in
the Bush/Cheney quest for empire.
In these last hours of foreboding before an anticipated American preemptive attack
on Iraq, paleo-conservatives and libertarians on the Right not on board with the
Bush/Cheney quest for Empire in the Middle East continue to ask questions sure to haunt
the Administration and its cheerleaders in the dark days ahead.
Former U. S. Senator George Mitchell of Maine, hardly a conservative, was
nonetheless asking the correct questions this morning on the CBS early morning news.
Assuming an early American military victory, what is the Administration's vision for a
post-war occupation policy, and at what cost? Will Mr. Bush address these questions in his
prime time television pitch to the American people? Don't bet on it.
The Administration is hardly drawing attention to the estimate of its own
Congressional Budget Office (CBO) that a "short" war against Iraq, followed by a five (5)
year occupation to rebuild Iraq's economic and political infrastructure, will cost a cool $272
billion. Unlike Desert Storm with its larger international coalition of support, the lack of
multilateral enthusiasm for Bush II over Baghdad will subtract Saudi Arabian, German, and
Japanese financial contributions for the war effort and post-war reconstruction. Translation:
We are truly in this alone, with the longer term implications for the American taxpayer and
the survivability of the dollar vis a vis the euro as the world's foreign reserve currency yet
to be determined.
Senator Mitchell rightly points out the difficulties inherent as well for the United
States in facilitating a peaceful and orderly political transition in post-Saddam Iraq, with
the problematic borders of modern Iraq drawn up by Great Britain in World War I. These
borders do not correspond to the tribal realities within the recently created modern State
of Iraq. Does Mr. Bush have any idea of what to do to facilitate positive relationships
between Sunnis, Shiites, and Kurds in any attempt at the development of a stable political
system in the post-war period? Or will the initially "victorious" American military machine
find itself with a no-exit strategy in a chaotic post-Saddam era scenario, mediating
perpetual tribal conflict with perpetual loss of life, dollars, and years with no end in sight?
Is it really Afghanistan Redux with exponentially increased geographic territory and
population figures to be factored into the Iraqi equation? We need evidence of where Bush
and Company come down on these issues--and we need it now.
American paleo-conservatives and the libertarian Right continue to voice other
concerns about the Bush neo-conservative team and their quest to replace Republic with
Empire. What really is the role played by American and British oil and natural gas
consortiums in driving the rationale for war, both for reserves and for proposed pipelines?
As a corollary, what is the role of the Sharon/Likud Israeli Right in influencing United
States military intervention in the Middle East? And what are the implications for world
instability as the Bush doctrine of preemptive attack replaces the time tested doctrine of
deterrence? Will it invite preemptive military attacks by our enemies abroad? What are the
chances that our interventionist policy in Iraq will invite a multiplication of terrorist acts,
possibly with Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMDs), within the continental United States?
And what will the final casualty figures be for Iraqi civilians, Mr. Bush's stated desire to
avoid them notwithstanding?
And as if these foreign policy questions and corresponding silence by Bush and
Company are not concern enough for paleos and libertarians, one additional burgeoning
catastrophe must be referenced--the totally unconstitutional direction being taken by the
American National Security State domestically in the curbing of civil liberties and the
corresponding curtailment of 1st and 4th Amendment rights for American citizens. No less
an establishment news organ than ABC News has recently examined the implications of the
original USA Patriot Act, soon to be followed by Patriot Act II, known as the Domestic
Security Enhancement Act (DSEA). [http://abcnews.go.com/sections/us/DailyNews/conservatives_patriot030312.html]
Are we really ready for warrantless searches of American homes and businesses for
a period of up to 90 days without consultation with a Federal Judge? New and draconian
measures for facilitating ease of Federal electronic surveillance of all telephone and e-mail
communications? Incarcerations of American citizens for indeterminate periods of time
without the filing of formal charges, or the opportunity for the accused to contact family
members or legal counsel? Quo vadis?
Paleo-conservatives and libertarians believe they have the answer to this age old
Latin question: that George W. Bush's Nebuchadnezzar-like drive for Babylonian Empire
and corresponding destruction of American Constitutional guarantees at home will destroy
the final vestiges of the Old American Republic as previously known and loved. Whether
it can be recovered and repristinated is only for the tides of history to tell.
And one final question for the President and the Corporate News Media after his
speech this evening: In whom does the Constitution invest authority in where the decision
to embark on a foreign war is concerned? Hint: check Article 1, Section 8.
is a correspondent and staff writer with Global
News Net and an occasional correspondent with
the orthodox Lutheran weekly, Christian News.
A graduate of Valparaiso University and Chicago's Trinity Evangelical
Divinity School, he has pursued post-graduate theological study in
recent years at Philadelphia's Westminster Theological Seminary.
Formerly the 36th District Chairman of the Republican Party in King
County/Seattle, and later an elected delegate to Texas State Republican
Conventions in 1994 and 1996, he entered the United States Senate race
in Delaware in 2000 as the nominated candidate of the Constitution Party
against Democratic candidate Thomas Carper and incumbent William Roth.
His writings are frequently reposted in the
Iranian Times, Sam Ghandchi's
Indy Media, the
London Morning Paper,
Nile Media, and
Table Talk, the official
publication of the Lutheran Ministerium and Synod--USA.)