The Blanket

The Coming War (Part 2)
Riding that veil of American tears which bin Laden's killers had created, it was also clear that the Bush plans for the Middle East were on a far greater scale than the mere overthrow of the Iraqi leader who once regarded himself as America's best friend in the Gulf. There must be a democratic Afghanistan - President Hamid Karzai vigorously nodded his approval - and there must be democracy in Palestine; and this would lead to "reforms throughout the Muslim world". Reforms? In Saudi Arabia? In Jordan? In Iran? We were not told. - Robert Fisk

Sean O Torain

I have been trying to put myself in the head of the section of the ruling class that controls the regime in the Whitehouse for the past year or so. These are the thugs that have gone to every country in the world where there is oil and gas and slaughtered and bribed to they got it. The military industrial thugs are the armaments industry owners who cannot live without war and more war and the threat of war. Comrades, these elements cannot see any opportunity to extend their power which they do not take. These thugs have total military, technological and economic dominance in the world and in my opinion it is impossible for these elements not to move to realize this power and to test their power to its fullest limits.

I do not think they have backed themselves into a corner in Iraq. I think that they have been consciously and determinedly planning for some time to go in to get a pliable regime there, to hopefully link this with a new future regime in Iran which they hope will come about on the basis of their support for an uprising from below, to hopefully link this with a regime in Saudi Arabia based on a different, less fundamentalist, wing of the "royal" house of killers and robbers there. At the same time they hope that Israel either will totally crush the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza or drive them east of the Jordan and be an even more powerful bulwark for them there. And they already have bases being built in the central Asian countries of the former Soviet Union.

Part of their reckoning is that these regimes in the Arab countries are so unpopular with their own masses that they will not have much support and the US will hold out the "offer" of "democracy and freedom". There might be some truth in this. They saw it happen in Afghanistan after all, why not in Saudi Arabia. Is the Saudi regime much more popular than the Taliban? I would say it is but it is probably a matter only of degree.

I am convinced that the wing of the US ruling class that now holds power is moving to lay down the law in the most brutal fashion. Moving in a way to bring the post Stalinist era to its rightful end in their view (remember what the Wall Street Journal said back in 1990 - "We Won"). They consider that this should have been done years ago. They hated Clinton because he was always trying to build coalitions and get agreements internationally. They sneered at him that his coalitions determined the objective and that now with Bush, the objective will determine the coalitions and if there is no coalition forthcoming then they will do it on their own. In some ways this is better because it will really show who rules. The US can do it on its own. As I say I think that in a way some of them would prefer this. It would make the lesson more clear.

The US military are very wary it is true. But they put Rumsfeld in there to do what? Exactly to kick the ass of the military and bring it into their modern world. Remember when under Clinton with his much tamer ventures abroad the military were urging caution on every issue and Albright rounded on them and asked them what good was it to have all these wonderful weapons if they were never going to use them. There is a battle between the regime and the military precisely over turning the military into a force that will go where it is told and when it is told and take risks and get killed. The military in a way have been still living in the post Vietnam era while the bourgeois had decided that this era was long over and after September 11th last year they were able to convince the US masses also that the post Vietnam era was over. US troops fighting abroad again in large numbers was back on the agenda but the military were not up to speed on this. They are now being whipped into line. There are lots of interesting issues here including splits in the ruling class and splits between the bourgeois and the military. What is being shown here is that in the US the military including the top officer caste that is part of the bourgeois are subordinate to the civilian bourgeois.

Powell and his policy of only going in to battle if it was clear that they could win and then only with overwhelming force was pathetic when US capitalism was now going out to stamp its power on every inch of the globe. Where would this timid policy fit with the US now in Afghanistan and building bases in the whole region and getting set for what ever arises. Of course this overstates the case slightly. Russia and China are still off limits but do not worry about that now step it up everywhere else and we will see what happens. In the meantime both these regimes are increasingly trying to ingratiate themselves with the US. After all they are of the side that lost. The "We Won" means that the US won over the systems and regimes in Russian and China and this reality will be forced on them in the duture more decisively, this is what Bush and Co. are thinking.

US capitalism is stepping up the offensive internationally against its rivals, against the subordinate capitalist powers which are too weak to be its rivals, and against the working class at home and abroad. The wing of the ruling class that rules believes the rest of the ruling class are missing the opportunity that exists for them arising from their dominance. They are trying to whip them into shape and into line. This is the daily task of the Wall Street Journal. The regime in power and the section of the class it represents believe that they themselves are riding the crest of the wave of history that will ensure US dominance for an epoch. In the past when any other power, for instance Rome or England, had the power what did they do? They went out to rule the world with the sword. They did not have a policy only when we can win and then only when we can put in overwhelming force. Powell's policy is such an incredibly ridiculous one from the point of view of the now dominant section of the ruling class. Sure all the empires in the past fell. But what does this mean to the present rulers of the US. This is for academics to yak about. They are going out to rule and dominate and slaughter. After all before they fell they ruled and dominated and plundered and slaughtered.

I do not think that this new stepped up offensive of US Imperialism which has
been enormously helped to gain momentum by Bin Ladin and his outfit will end until there is a real catastrophe. This could take the form of getting bogged down in a war abroad, I think this is not ruled out but not so likely given that their enemies will not have suppliers like the Vietcong had in the Stalinist regimes etc. It could take the form of an economic slump at home opening up a mass movement of the working class here against the government, the corporations and their wars. It could take the form of a nuclear exchange in South Asia which I think would open up a massive anti war mood internationally. It could take the form of an environmental catastrophe which could put this issue to the top of the agenda of the US masses.

I think that the world balance of forces will not allow the US to do what it is setting out to do. However I believe that it can take some time and most likely some catastrophe before these balance of forces can express themselves. I think that this is the case because there is no leadership of any kind, even a mass reformist leadership of the working class as in the past, through which the balance of forces could express itself even if in a primitive elemental manner. Look at who is the Bushs thug's biggest backer. Blair the leader of the British labor party.





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It is better to be defeated on principle than to win on lies.
- Arthur Calwell
Index: Current Articles

27 October 2002


Other Articles From This Issue:


Bloody Sunday
Seaghán Ó Murchú


Under the Ulster Hand

Brian Mór


Security Forces

Brian Mór


Selling Ideas
Liam O Ruairc


Dirty Harry
Anthony McIntyre


Thoughts On The Coming War (Part 2)
Sean O Torain


Academics on Independence (Part 3)

Paul Fitzsimmons


Reform By Imprisonment
Sam Bahour


24 October 2002


Stand Up And Be Counted
Mickey Donnelly


Read It And Weep

Mick Hall


Particularity Or Universality?
Liam O Ruairc


Time Has Run Out For An Armed IRA
Anthony McIntyre


Thoughts On The Coming War
Sean O Torain


The Letters Page has been updated.




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