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Name: Antony Loewenstein
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Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Be proud

David Frum is a former speechwriter for George W. Bush. He coined the term, "Axis of Evil." He co-wrote a book with Richard Perle called "An End to Evil", "a how-to guide for winning the war on terror." Their answer? "The United States is good, those who pose a threat, current or future, are evil and must be neutralized or destroyed." Why anybody would listen to either of these morons is beyond me, especially after the Iraq debacle.

Frum was on ABC Lateline a few nights ago and it was a sight to behold. Along with strategic analyst Harlan Ullman - the ABC website called the debate, "Experts discuss Iraq's political situation" - they analysed the current quagmire in Iraq, the political process and constitution and increasing influence of Iran. Ullman is a pragmatist - he coined the military term, "Shock and Awe" - and sees issues in purely strategic terms. He's long called for a greater US troop commitment in Iraq.

Frum, on the other hand, was flailing. Some "highlights" of his expertise:

"I know Ahmed Chalabi not well but reasonably well. He is not a perfect man. But in a country full of very, very imperfect people, I think he is and always has been our best hope as somebody who shares democratic ideals, has political effectiveness, understands the system, is committed to a united and democratic Iraq."

"I don't think getting out of the mess should be America's top priority. I think fixing the mess should be our top priority. I think what everyone would agree or almost everyone, at least in this country and in this city, would be regardless of what your opinion was about the beginning of the Iraq war, Iraq is a major prize in the Middle East. The possibilities of success are very great and the danger from failure is very great. This is as close as you can get to the heart of the strategic interests of the Western World. It is essential to succeed."

"The United States using all of the arsenal of power at its disposal, not just military means but not excluding military means, needs to begin by saying this is a regional conflict and regional players who intervene in Iraq will face consequences, there should be diplomatic pressure on the Saudis and the Jordanians, very clear warnings to the Iranians and hot pursuit across the Syrian border and air strikes in Syria if the Syrians continue to let their land be used as a base."

So, he advocates bombing Syria, holding Iraq as the Western "major prize" - the people of Iraq are not his concern - and bringing back fraudster Chalabi as the country's saviour.

It's a damning indictment that one of the "experts" on Iraq is so open about his country's imperial ambitions (though perhaps we should be grateful that they no longer hide it.) The Iraq war is lost but people like Frum are clutching onto anything that may even vaguely resemble success.

Pro-war supporters, Frum is your man. Stand proud.

UPDATE: Leading American analysts claim that the Iraq constitution falls far short of American goals. George Monbiot, meanwhile, offers some possible solutions.

UPDATE 2: Thanks to a perceptive reader for pointing out this "new" reason for invading and occupying Iraq:

"Standing against a backdrop of the imposing USS Ronald Reagan at a naval air station near San Diego, the president gave a fresh reason for American troops to continue fighting: protection of the Iraq's vast oil fields, which he said would otherwise fall under the control of terrorists.

"Bush said the Iraqi oil industry, already suffering from sabotage and lost revenues, must not fall under the control of Osama bin Laden and al-Qaida forces led in Iraq by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.

"If Zarqawi and bin Laden gain control of Iraq, they would create a new training ground for future terrorist attacks,'' Bush said. "They'd seize oil fields to fund their ambitions. They could recruit more terrorists by claiming a historic victory over the United States and our coalition.''

"A one-time oilman, Bush has rejected charges that the war in Iraq is a struggle to control the nation's vast oil wealth. The president has avoided making links between the war and Iraq's oil reserves, but the soaring cost of gasoline has focused attention on global petroleum sources."


Blogger 101493 said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

Wednesday, August 31, 2005 3:48:00 pm  
Blogger Glenn Condell said...

A real spectrum of opinion wasn't it? From your Axis of Evil to your Shock and Awe. From neocon mania to US strategic imperatives... trust Tony to ignore the opportunity to oppose both strains of American imperialism - the Israel first faction (Frum) and the US first faction (Ullman). I remember seeing Ullman a few times in the lead up; he didn't have the war hubris as badly as Frum and his chums, but it was bad enough. He's changed his tune a bit. And Frum is just another hypersmart but morally vacant Washington cipher with a foreign country's agenda in his heart - a spinner, a finesser, a bullshit artist. He looked pretty desperate and well he might.

Wednesday, August 31, 2005 4:13:00 pm  
Blogger leftvegdrunk said...

Agreed, Glenn. Weezil's "neo-con-artists" come to mind! And we could probably throw Krauthammer into this nexus, too.

Ant, strong post. And thanks for the link to Monbiot's piece. (Reading for the train ride home!)

Wednesday, August 31, 2005 5:19:00 pm  
Blogger Iqbal Khaldun said...

I really dislike Frum. He sounds eerily like Jerry Springer. Such a used car salesman...

Wednesday, August 31, 2005 9:58:00 pm  
Blogger me said...

What about this corker:

FRUM: I think a lot of the Sunni opposition will be mollified through the informal processes of government like patronage and the distribution of money, the constitution gives the central government a lot of authority over oil funds and it can then make promises to Sunni tribal leaders to bring them in through patronage practices...(cont'd below)

I love it! The warmongers in the US like to make you believe the democracy they're 'exporting' to the world is all about white picket fences and the protestant work ethic - but in the end it's still the same grubby game of greasy palms and kick backs. Of course - Frum doesn't consider it to be an American failing - they're having to lower themselves to the level of those oh-so-'primitive' arabs and their 'tribal' systems...then of course you get the disclaimer...for whatever it's worth...

FRUM: ...but in the end you cannot allow - you cannot get into a dynamic where the most violent people use violence to get a better deal and learn the lesson that the more violent you are, the better a deal is offered to you.

You think?

Thursday, September 01, 2005 10:01:00 am  

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