bc on Wed, 28 Aug 2002 13:04:01 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime> Truth and Dare

"Deeply Flawed Logic"

  U.S. Vice President Cheney was back on television, hiding again 
behind the false rhetoric of a speech before Veterans of Foreign 
Wars, propounding the crucial need to invade Iraq. What was so 
unusual was that, days and weeks prior, a contingent of high- profile 
Republicans in the defense and security establishments broke with the 
ideologues and attempted to temper all of the war, at some sacrifice 
to themselves, to bring the situation back into some type of control, 
for the good of the United States of America.

  Not only was this generous opportunity ignored, it was rebuffed in 
force by Cheney and others in the administration when more and more 
weight was put into the reigning obtuse unilateral stance. A deeply 
ideological motivation is guiding U.S. foreign and domestic policy, 
and it is now threatening the safety of our own country.

  Comments from citizens in the local opinion/editorial column say the 
unsaid best: impeach. With each passing day the U.S. President and 
notably, also, the Vice President, are pushing with all of their 
might to direct the ship of state in a certain, dangerous, direction 
against the will of many people who are asking for basic and public 
information on what specters are haunting this administration so much 
as to bypass democratic processes, and checks and balances.

  For example, the reasons for going to war in the near term are one 
of the missing pieces of information that have yet to be presented to 
the public in any detailed, tangible, and reasoned way. Instead, 
there can be no question of going to war, and 'the leaders' know why, 
and we must have faith in them and accept they know what is good 
enough. This makes foreign relations into oedipal-relations.

  Willful ignorance or blindness on our need to go to war, as Cheney 
proffered while continuing to duck releasing the most basic of public 
records on the Energy Task Force documents, relations to 
Halliburton's accounting problems, and G.W. Bush's problems at 
Harken, along with Enron's murky role in legible accounting make that 
'trust' and 'faith' in the current U.S. administration totally 
impossible. If Cheney cannot turn over Energy Task Force documents, 
because of security (his own), nor Bush and the S.E.C., then how 
could anyone with a sane spark of mind imagine that hidden evidence 
against Saddam that could be made public, but is not, even exists? 
This is not to say that Iraq has a future with Saddam or that no 
action can or should be taken, when the best options and plans are 
developed and a robust strategy is employed, factoring in the many 
issues that are lost in the war, no war dichotomy. It has probably 
been said before, yet wars are probably much easier to get into, and 
even to survive their battlefields. But to have a successful war, and 
a post-war political atmosphere is likely more difficult, and 
resembles less that of a war-game, than the gaming of states.

  The "deeply flawed logic," to use Cheney's phrase, is not one of 
appeasement, through transparency. It is one of opaque and obtuse 
decision making that do not resemble a well-informed, knowledgeable, 
nor wise approach to the current situation, given the factors that 
are at hand. That means including the tenuous outcome of the 
operation in Afghanistan, the broiling Middle-East conflicts, and the 
possible eruptions of more problems should governments shift 
positions through internal dynamics, such as with a self-described 
'democratic dictator' in Pakistan, and always fragile relations with 
Taiwanese, Korean, and Macedonian, and other regions where U.S. 
interests may need to shift at any given moment. This list could be 
expanded three-fold with ease.

  If there is a deeply flawed logic it is the rhetoric of power which 
has been unleashed, that most resembles a newly despotic governance. 
Rank and file in the domestic and foreign intelligence communities 
are leaving their jobs when their is a boon in funding for their own 
bureaucracies, because something is not working right. Yet, anyone 
who questions this is unpatriotic. Good for them, the United States 
needs independent thinkers now more than ever. Makes for a return to 
the values which started this country. To not question is appeasement.

  For example, to not question 'why war' and 'why war, now' may bring 
up some odd corollaries. Yet one of the more interesting to consider 
is 'why war, this way.' Willful ignorance has been demonstrated and 
actively pursued on such a grand scale by this U.S. administration as 
to dwarf the short-sighted outlook of previous holders of office. An 
ideology has taken hold, firmly rooted in an economic theory of 'the 
lone superpower' that an aura of invincibility is portrayed to those 
super-friends, citizens, of such an omnipotent actor, the U.S. All 
the while these, our friends, and our newly-fictitious 'allies' are 
somehow conjured up to add smoke to all these fun-house mirrors.

  The desperately falsified logical 'proof' for going to war with Iraq 
is demonstrated in two significant ways that are indefensible, and it 
is this offensive approach that reveals much about the U.S. mind set 
in these and other affairs:

  * Months prior a 'war-plan' was leaked, or floated, to the press 
which described a 3-prong attack on Iraq. When questioned during a 
televised press conference, President G.W. Bush smirked when asked 
about the plan as if it was a talking point. There was no reaction of 
dismay at the 'leak', condemnation, or anything resembling concern 
that such a plan was made public. When it caused negative backlash 
that a war was in the planning stages in the public sphere, then the 
Secretary of Defense started to publicly fume at the 'leakers' and 
said they should be put in jail, or something of that nature. The 
reason being that this is National Security, could hurt U.S. American 
lives, and is giving the enemy secret information. That this 'leaked' 
document was publicly analyzed as an outdated strategic war plan, 
that it could likely be misinformation, and would not be near the 
actual plan as it was a relic, were quitely dismissed, lending 
credence that it this data could have been floated to the press for 
White House public relations.

  What was not dismissed by the U.S. administration, though, and what 
seems deeply contradictory is when information about the 9-11 attacks 
was likely truly 'leaked' from a Senate committee which described the 
failings of the intelligence community, and the N.S.A. in particular, 
to properly act upon gathered intelligence that forewarned of the 
9-11 attacks, although abstract, it was clear tomorrow was the 
zero-hour. When this more innocuous information was leaked, about the 
past, about a tragedy, about the failings of intelligence 
bureaucracies in need of deep public review and massive 
reconfiguration, it infuriated the U.S. President, Vice President, 
Attorney General, and Defense Secretary so much that its comparison 
to treason would not be a far-fetched idea for them to pursue. 
Instead, polygraphs and the F.B.I. are now hot on the trail of 'the 
security leak.' There is one major problem with this stance, and it 
is not in that it was an uncontrolled leak, but that it was 
information the administration did not want to be made public, and 
which resembles the secrecy about all of the failings of 9-11 that 
are now being covered-up. It is said without any self-consciousness 
by many today that 'nothing could have stopped 9-11' when in fact: 
Anything could have stopped 9-11, and didn't. And why not? Whatever 
could have been learned by failure, and the changes needed to address 
such failures have been wiped off the board with the carte blanche 
handed to G.W. Bush after 9-11. And where has it taken us? To the 
standardized testing of the United States as it is supposed to work 
as a bureaucratic democracy. And it failed to work on 9-11, and it is 
failing even more this very day.

  While the FBI investigates the Senate, the Senate investigates the 
FBI. Senators are under watch for leaking documents that are 
basically in the public interest, and mostly if not entirely 
innocuous, yet are being pursued as if there was criminal intent. At 
the same time 'war plans' for Iraq were leaked, likely floated, and 
there is no inquiry into this, much more serious, much more 
life-threatening scenario, and as of yet no investigation into this 
supposed security breach- possibly because it had a politically 
motivated intent to drum up support for a new war.

  * The second piece of deeply flawed logic which is of interest 
revolves around the conspicuous statements made by Vice President 
Cheney and others about doing all that needs to be done to deal with 
the 'mortal threat' that Saddam's Iraq poses to the world, and now, 
another aspect of 'bringing democracy' has been added on the reasons 
to invade Iraq checklist. If the fragility of OIL is truly an issue 
with the Saddam equation, along with weapons of mass destruction, 
then there is a dis- concerting lack of depth to the current war 
campaign: it is so easy.

  If the United States of America truly wanted to rid itself of the 
Saddam problem, and to do so with the least amount of risk, and the 
least amount of bloodshed given a successful outcome, then a major 
reversal of all U.S. policies to-date under the U.S. administration 
would need to be put up for review in this regard. Not one U.S. 
soldier is worth dying for anyone's suburban S.U.V. gas-guzzler. Nor 
for a barrel of cheap oil that the U.S. could prevent by changing its 
basic strategic energy planning, to reduce fossil fuel consumption, 
decentralize energy networks through both production and distribution 
networks, and enforce energy efficiency standards to the greatest 
degree necessary to save the valuable lives of soldiers, their 
husbands and wives, children, parents and grandparents, and 
communities, states, and the nation in which they serve and protect. 
These, our U.S. soldiers, are not a private force for protecting 
special interests of industries above that of the greater good of the 
U.S. public. They exist, volunteer, fight, and many have died to 
protect democratic governance, the constitution, and the citizens of 
the United States. Freedom, liberty, and to create a place for the 
future of our state.

  To abuse this commitment or responsibility for other ends would be 
in itself criminally negligent. And could 'cost' unnecessary losses 
of life, for citizens, soldiers, and their families, in addition to 
the future of the United States of America. Freedom cannot be 
defended by ignoring sacrifice. Or change. Or challenge. Or public 
debate. Or democracy. Liberty cannot be sustained by faith, alone. It 
must be fought for, and protected against, assaults internal and 
external. And today, there is an internal campaign waging war against 
the most basic sensibility that binds the U.S. American together, 
working for the best of each other, however chaotically. And not 
divided against. Yet, the U.S. administration today is doing 
everything it can to polarize and divide, to make partisan claims 
when it lacks absolute and total authority of the carte blanche card 
given to the President. It should now be taken back and brought into 
question, this authority to disregard everyday needs and realities 
for an ideological myopia.

  This strong statement against current and previous U.S. policies is 
made against a structural failure, and the continual disregard for 
its importance in the future life of the country, and its relations 
with others. Had the United States 'done everything within its power' 
to diplomatically address the outstanding issues of a war in Iraq, it 
would have had President G.W. Bush at the World Summit on Sustainable 
Development, leading the cacophony of voices in calling on nations to 
work together as allies in transforming the global energy industry, 
with the U.S. actions able to address 20% of such a future. Instead, 
energy inefficiency, resource wars, destitution based on exploitation 
of these, all are irrelevant to the current administration-- there is 
no connection between energy production (in Iraq and Saudi Arabia) 
for this administration, and the need of U.S. consumers to have as 
much cheap energy and the liberty and justice to pollute without a 
care in the world beyond itself. Enough so that conservative 
think-tanks were on a television news show touting with glee how 
happy they were that Bush did not attend the W.S.S.D. In addition, 
these same pundits and commentators said, instead of any expectation 
of the U.S. to lower its energy consumption, there is no way that is 
a good idea and in- stead the rest of the world needs to consume more 
energy, like us. The mirrors of distortion severely warp with such 
dystopic goals.

  If the U.S. were to make major changes in its energy policies then, 
yes, it may be indeed be an issue of weapons of mass destruction in 
Iraq as the reason for war, and war now. Yet, with an administration 
of territories occupied by former oil industry executives, it makes 
it ever more difficult to take anything on a matter of faith in the 
determination of a blindfolded leadership that lacks any true course. 
Lying in this same realm, is the OIL question, and what the President 
and Vice President and others have done to prevent the unnecessary 
loss of life, and to change the strategy of the United States in 
relation to this strategic resource. It is the stickiest question, 
likely with complexities beyond the scope of the most dedicated of 
inquirers and public citizens. That is, it takes expertise and a 
great knowledge of world affairs. Yet, if this knowledge is detached 
from its context, the society and culture and economy and political 
system in which it operates, it can become its own cause, driving 
these other vast dimensions of humanity, and life is worth more than 
oil, and the future of the United States if worth more than risking a 
cheap barrel of oil, for its future and that of other democracies.

  So, what gives? OIL gives. And this lack of mention is an extreme 
curiosity as the ever-pending Iraq war looms and this question is 
nowhere to be mentioned or heard for more than a fleeting query. The 
deeply flawed logic is to not relate OIL to the agenda for regime 
change in Iraq. To either defend it or to dismiss it, but to do so in 
a public and well-reviewed manner. Yet this is still not enough, as 
whatever the case, for any war in Iraq against Saddam, and with oil 
as part of the equation, once factored in there is no feasible way to 
deny the importance of a massive change in the U.S. Energy Policy, 
including a review of the Task Force records, and a truly public 
debate with actors from all energy industries and the public 
at-large, to engage these important issues-- for both our- selves, as 
people, and our country, and its ethical and also moral relation to 
the world: that we deal with our own house before we go ransacking 
others to try to get things there to fix our own.  This also means 
that U.S. American citizens _can and _will do what it takes to make 
sure our soldiers, our diplomats, and our public and private sectors 
behave responsibly as neighbors in the world. This leadership has 
been lacking to a greater and greater degree as the world has become 
more and more complex with an inundation of information and 
abstraction. And yet, with feet on the ground, and the creative and 
entrepreneurial mind, and the good-hearted and inclusive nature of 
the average citizen, changes can be made.

  This is a case for a common sense approach to the oil question that 
orbits the issues boiling as a result of the U.S. administration 
shamelessly politicizing a complex military scenario, and in effect 
is causing more threats and possibilities of harm and consequence to 
soldiers and citizens and other world neighbors and cultures other 
than our own- by a lack of restraint, truthfulness, honesty, and 
transparency in the democratic governance of the teetering republic. 
If economic, social, and political culture are to regain their health 
it will take the greatest qualities and significant quantities of 
United States citizens to stand up and declare their stance on these 
issues. A war cannot be dictated to the populace, under false pre- 
tenses, and enforced by tactics best left in the cold-war chest.

  There can be no moral reason for war in Iraq until the U.S. changes 
its energy strategy to both limit lives lost in conflicts, at home 
and abroad. And also addresses the oil-issue in plain terms which can 
be included in a deeply relevant logical analyses of the current 
situation. There can be no ethical reason for war until the both the 
U.S. President and Vice President present the Energy Task Force 
documents and reveal in greater detail their relationship to the 
failed energy executives in the administration, including an acting 
head of a branch of the U.S. military, along with their own highly 
questionable accounting of dealings at Halliburton and Harken Energy. 
In addition, with the inclusion of the average U.S. citizen in this 
changing circumstance, each person would have the ability to 
contribute to transforming the U.S. relation to predetermined 
oil-relationships, in addition to being able to also sacrifice some 
of the less desired habituations of oil dependency, which would in 
turn have an enormously influential impact on motivating a future 
economic, political, and social system that is free from the 
constraints of the industrial era.  If critical infrastructure, 
energy security, effective intelligence, and strategic planning are 
of concern in this question of a war with Iraq, then so too should 
all of the questions raised above be included in the analyses and 
decision-making process of how to approach this situation. And it is 
this information, all of it, which is lacking in the "deeply flawed 
logic" of the U.S. administration. Either the U.S. administration 
changes, or the U.S. changes its administration.

bc. 8-27-2oo2. the oil commentaries. copyright-free. please redistribute.

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