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Blood of Victory 

By Chris Floyd 

06/18/04 "Moscow Times"
-- Surely it is now time for all the Bush-bashers and war critics -- on both left and right -- to swallow their pride, put aside their partisanship, and admit the stone-cold truth: 

The invasion and occupation of Iraq has been a rousing success. 

For despite many setbacks and dark days, it cannot be denied that George W. Bush has accomplished exactly what he set out to do in launching his aggression: the installation -- through "a heavy dose of fear and violence," as one U.S. commander eloquently put it -- of a client state in Iraq, led by a strongman who will facilitate the Bush Regime's long-term (and long-declared) strategic goal of establishing a permanent military "footprint" in the key oil state, while also guaranteeing the short-term goal of opening the country to exploitation by Bush cronies and favored foreign interests. All of this has now been done -- and even sealed with the approval of the UN Security Council. 

True, in its quest to install a "Saddam Lite" -- more pliant and presentable than the old Bush-Reagan partner -- the Regime had to change horses in midstream, swapping its early favorite, Ahmad Chalabi, the convicted fraudster, suspected Iranian spy and Pentagon-paid purveyor of warmongering lies, for a late-breaking dark horse: Chalabi's cousin and rival, Iyad Allawi, former Baathist enforcer, proudly confessed CIA tool -- and the leader of a terrorist campaign that killed dozens of Iraqi civilians, The Independent reports.

Under the direction of CIA paymasters, Allawi and his Iraqi National Accord carried out a terror bombing campaign in Baghdad during 1994-95. Their targets included a mosque, a movie house and a newspaper -- the latter strike killing a child passing by. Ex-CIA operatives from those glory days said a bus full of schoolchildren was also blown apart -- although they admitted they weren't sure which of their paid terrorist groups were responsible for that one, The New York Times reports. But conservative estimates put at least 100 terrorist murder notches in Allawi's stylish Gucci belt.

Obviously, this man of blood-and-iron action was much to be preferred to his windbag cousin, who could offer little more than lies and larceny. So Chalabi got the customary shiv in the back -- the fate of all retainers who prove superfluous to the Bush Family's ambitions -- while Allawi was named prime minister of the newly "sovereign" government. One of his first acts was to "invite" the American occupiers to stay on. Meanwhile, just before the "transfer," U.S. Viceroy Paul Bremer installed Bushist "commissioners" throughout the ministries of the "sovereign" state. These moles were given budgetary and prosecutorial powers, ensuring that administrative control -- and the flow of loot -- would remain firmly in Washington's hands. 

The whole adventure has been a win-win scenario for the Bushists from the start, no matter how it ends up. This is what opponents of the war -- and even most of its supporters -- have failed to grasp, because they don't understand what the Bush Family is about. Put simply, the Bushes represent the confluence of three long-established power factions in the American elite: oil, arms and investments. These groups equate their own interests, their own wealth and privilege, with the interests of the nation -- indeed, the world -- as a whole. And they pursue these interests with every weapon at their command -- including war, torture, deceit and corruption. Democracy means nothing to them -- not even in their own country, as demonstrated in 2000. Laws are to keep the common herd in line; they don't apply to the elite, as Bush's own lawyers asserted openly in their memos establishing his "inherent power" to "set aside the law" and order any crime in the name of his self-proclaimed "war on terror."

The Iraq war has been immensely profitable for these factions and their tributaries; billions of dollars in public money have already poured into their coffers. The aftermath of the war promises equal if not greater riches. Even if the new Iraqi government maintains state control of its oil industry, there are still billions to be made in servicing, refining, distribution and oilfield security, as in Saudi Arabia. Likewise, the new Iraqi military will require billions more in weapons and equipment -- bought from the U.S. arms industry. And as with Saudi Arabia, oil money from the new Iraq will pump untold billions into American banks and investment houses.

Even in the worst-case scenario, if the Americans had to pull out tomorrow, abandoning everything -- their bases, their "commissioners," their contracts, their collaborators -- the Bushist factions still come out ahead. Not only has their already incalculable wealth been vastly augmented (with any potential losses indemnified by U.S. taxpayers), but their deeply entrenched sway over American society has also increased by several magnitudes. No matter who controls the government, the militarization of America is so far gone now it's impossible to imagine any major rollback in the gargantuan U.S. war machine -- 725 bases in 132 countries, annual military budgets nearing $500 billion, $1 trillion in new weapons systems moving through the pipeline. Indeed, John Kerry promises even bigger war budgets and more troops if elected. He poses no threat to the factions' power.

Has Bush's war brought democracy to Iraq? Has it dealt a blow to terrorism? Has it made America -- or the Middle East, or the world -- any safer? No. But it was never intended to do those things. All this blood and chaos -- this mass murder -- has had but one aim: enhancing the power of a handful of elites. This mission has been accomplished. And there is not the slightest chance that any of the perpetrators will ever face justice.

That, my friends, is victory.

Copyright: Moscow Times.

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