Unpleasant imperialist war choices (1.5)(update)

Jose G. Perez jgperez at netzero.net
Wed Mar 26 08:25:37 MST 2003

>>But I maintain that military victory over Iraq is inevitable.  The
administration has already said they will acccept no other outcome, and I
believe them.  They have the force to do it one way or another.  This is
Bush, Perle and Rumsfeld, not Johnson and McNamara.<<

I agree with your main conclusion but I come at it somewhat differently.

I can't imagine that the American military won't succeed in the end,
provided the U.S. rulers are willing to pay the price, not just in terms of
blood and treasure, but also the political price. And of course, the
political price to be paid isn't an abstraction, it has to be weighed
against the political price you pay if you're imperialism and you tell some
country of 25 million people "I'm taking over now" and the country gets to
say "no." That's why I think the ruling class as a whole, and not just the
administration, will see it through to the very end.

That said, although the Bonapartist characteristics of the "Bush Junta" have
become rather accentuated, especially since 9/11, I believe the American
ruling class as a whole is still firmly in the saddle, and if they so wish,
could *easily* and with not too much damage pull the rug out from under any
of these characters, or all of them. Both Powell and Rummy look extremely
vulnerable now, as the Washington game is played. And they have lots of
enemies, beginning with each other. And if I were a member of the ruling
class, and the military campaign turns out to be as thoroughly botched and
difficult as it apears to be, I would *insist* on getting rid of Rummy (and
his hangers-on), you can't afford to have an amateur, a sorcercer's
apprentice like that at the Pentagon. The CIA and DIA, the Germans and the
French and the Russians, all tried to tell them Saddam's regime wasn't the
same as Afghanistan, it was deeply rooted in the political and social
structure of the country and he wouldn't listen.

But on Vietnam, I think the evidence is overwhelming that the administrators
of U.S. imperialism in that epoch were just as, if not more, determined to
win in Vietnam than this current gang. They paid a HUGE political price for
keeping that war going. The cold war "containment" ideology was even much
more solidly hegemonic in ruling circles than the current "war against
terrorism" improvisation. It was, in reality, just as or even more extreme,
and if it seems less so looking back, that would be precisely because it was
so completely and overwhelmingly dominant, and had been for nearly two
decades by the time the big Vietnam escalation came, that we think of it as

Under current political conditions, it is inconceivable to me that the
outcome would be other than what you forecast. And if I am up to date on
deployment orders that have been announced, the 1st armored and 1st cavalry
and 4th infantry divisions plus a few smaller units are all headed towards
Iraq right now and even if Rummy's way won't work, Powell's (overwhelming
force) will.

It may be that it is the extreme ideological nature of the "Bush Junta"
that's led U.S. imperialism to this war, but now that the war has started,
the ruling class as a whole backs it heart and soul. To get here the "Bush
Junta" may have influenced matters, but I can't imagine ANY serious
ruling-class politician saying the course can be reversed now. They will see
it through, they have to.

But, that is given "current political conditions," which might change. In
particular, the Iraqi resistance to the anglo-american invasion is
electrifying the Arab masses. U.S. massacres of civilians, notable Iraqi
tactical successes, or other circumstances may set of a sequence of events
that trigger "regime change" in a neighboring country and/or force the
current Arab rulers to actively oppose the U.S. invasion force. There's no
sense speculating on countless, admittedly unlikely, variants, but the
possibility is inherent in this situation.

But short of that, a qualitative shift in at least the regional political
forces, I agree that the occupation of Iraq and dismantling of the current
Iraqi state is inevitable. Not because of the specific character of the
current administration but because the very nature of imperialism, given how
far they have already come. They are, the ruling class as a whole,
irretrievably committed.


----- Original Message -----
From: <sherrynstan at igc.org>
To: <marxism at lists.panix.com>
Sent: Wednesday, March 26, 2003 9:05 AM
Subject: Re: Re: Unpleasant imperialist war choices (1.5)(update)

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