Daniel Patrick Welch: Everything Old is New Again

By Daniel Patrick Welch

I’m putting my mother into bed and the high-pitched urgency of MSNBC’s ‘this just in’ crisis reporting cuts through evening calm. Same on CNN, and I don’t even bother to check the other channels. Iran, we are being told, is to blame for the Kerbala attack. We have always been at war with Eastasia. I can’t believe it is happening so neatly, so on cue and so cutely bundled in such a familiar package.

There is absolutely nothing credible about anything that comes out of Iraq either through the administration or the mainstream press. War-weary Americans, who spoke loudly and clearly about the question of more war, are known suckers for official lies. In the aftermath of the Cold War, two long-term adversaries were waxing nostalgic about their governments’ respective propaganda. "Yes, but the difference," said the Russian, "is that your people believed yours." And now, having been lied to by a stream of shameless governments, having swallowed their leaders’ lies about our ‘destiny’ and ‘greatness,’ is it even possible to imagine that we are going to let ourselves get sucked in again?

Aside from the shrieking of the press echo chamber tonight, the other relevant headlines of the day include a report that the US is poised to attack Iran from Bulgarian bases (Turkish Daily News), or that a US Navy strike group is steaming through the Suez canal to join the general buildup of US forces in the Middle East (Jerusalem Post). The Guardian reports that Bush is ‘spoiling for a fight with Iran.’

Leave aside the fact that the US government recently tried to fund a project that admitted– admitted, mind you–to planting fake news stories to achieve national policy ends. This, of course, would be in addition to myriad black ops projects denied over the years. Never mind that the Israeli right wing has been openly clamoring for war with Iran, leaking stories about how it was prepared to go it alone. Don’t compare the timing of this story with the pending–albeit nonbinding–anti-escalation resolution now being prepared or ‘rigorous debate’ in Congress.

Just look at Cheney’s smirking face as he tells Wolf Blitzer that Congress "won’t stop us," even as Scooter Libby is throwing everyone in his Blackberry under the bus. Do pay attention, too, to Blitzer’s complete inability to perform his function as a journalist. That is a very bad sign. Also notice the $10 billion joint project announced today between Iran and a Spanish concern for development of energy resources, and the multi-billion dollar arms and energy agreements Iran already has with Russia and China. Are the neocons completely crazy? Never mind–we already know the answer.

And what is wrong with us? Are we really going to let ourselves be lied into yet another war, a much bigger one, with a much more dangerous opponent and with even farther reaching consequences? The answer seems to be yes. The Democrats and the press will not save us from this one. They didn’t before, and they won’t now–they’re in on the game, and they will do nothing without an enormous shove. The fact that they are getting ready to debate a toothless solution while the ships are sailing is chillingly out-of-touch. Our lives and our future are at stake, and they are looking for sound bites.

The made-in-USA tinderbox is unstable and about to blow, and the war profiteers and their puppets lighting the fuse have no concern for us. The enormous and dangerous forces against them only means more war, more contracts, and more profits. There is no way the world is going to sit back and let the US have its way with world energy resources without a fight, and we stand warned that we are being dragged into a virtual Armageddon. The antiwar movement made a good show this weekend demanding an end to the Iraq war. It will be too little, too late unless the people wake up and demand a halt to the war already under way against Iran.

-Daniel Patrick is a writer, and an activist from Salem, Massachusetts. Along with his wife, Julia Nambalirwa-Lugudde, they The Greenhouse School www.greenhouseschool.org.

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