Wednesday :: Apr 7, 2004

Bush's Slipstream

by Mary

Would the Bush administration encourage chaos to gain their goals? Steve's post points to the unnerving situation that we face right now in Iraq. Is the chaos we see due to problems outside their control only? To what length would they go to preserve their control of Iraq and the US government? Certainly we know that they are incredibly opportunistic and ready to grab any excuse to steamroll their agenda as long as it consolidates their position with their base. Using 9/11 to justify an invasion of Iraq was the most gross example of this. And as Steve pointed out:

[W]e already know from watching them that they are definitely craven enough to create an intentional climate of chaos in Iraq for personal and corporate gain.

But is the chaos we are seeing in Iraq being created on purpose? Mark LeVine says the Iraqis think so.

If Iraq is sliding toward chaos, this is exactly where most Iraqis believe the United States wants them to be. A prominent Iraqi psychiatrist who has worked with the CPA and U.S. military explained to me that "there is no way the United States can be this incompetent. The chaos here has to be at least partly deliberate." The main question on most people's minds is not whether his assertion is true, but why.

And LeVine says that the chaos makes it easy to mask the corruption and massive misuse of government funds because there are so many other problems to distract the media and the congress from reviewing the actual record.

Furthermore, Juan Cole notes that their policy in Iraq is an indication of a battle going on within Bush's administration to make sure that when the State Department takes over (after handing power to the Iraqis and moving control of the US policy from the Pentagon to the US Embassy and thus to the State Dept), things will be so bad that there won't be anyway to mitigate the bad mistakes.

If so, it may be that certain forces within the administration took advantage of the lack of a clear reporting line to launch the assault on Muqtada al-Sadr, hoping to effect a fait accompli and forestalling any later State Department attempt to treat with him. If this interpretation is correct, the retreating Department of Defense may sow a lot of land mines for hapless State before June 30.

Is the Bush White House incompetent or are they sinisterly marching the world of the cliff edge because they think they will gain in the chaos? (Note this pattern of using chaos is what we've seen in the Middle East for quite a while. Everytime things look like there might be a way to find some peace in the Middle East, either the rightwing Israelis ratchet up the violence, or the Palestinian terrorists do. And who wins when this happens? The hardliners - both Israeli and Palestinian.)

There is certainly room to believe that the Bush administration is both incompetent and actively exploiting chaos to consolidate their power. Before we invaded Iraq, Bob Woodward wrote a book reporting what Bush expected to have happen. As I noted earlier:

Bush and his team of neocons have always been much more comfortable with chaotic change than most of the rest of us because they see chaotic change as a way to exploit chaos for their own ends. One of their basic tenets on how to lead is to find ways to exploit chaotic situations. Woodward's Bush at War talked about Bush's philosophy of leadership and what Bush said would make others follow him:

"But action, confident action, that will yield positive results provides a kind of slipstream into which reluctant nations and leaders can get behind and show themselves that there has been, you know, something positive has happened towards peace."

Bush's penchant for bold action and risky gambles is based on believing that bold, confident and shocking action will make others line up behind him. Bush and his puppeteers believe that acting like a bold, confident and hard-assed leader will make enough people believe he is a strong leader that they will be compelled to follow him through hell or high water. Unfortunately, today we see that large numbers of people credit Bush for his strong leadership, so this act does work.

Would Bush or others in his administration purposefully create and encourage chaotic situations? The simple answer is yes. Somehow we need to make sure people are aware of this so we can innoculate the country from this potential misuse of chaotic situations leading up to the election in November.

Mary :: 12:57 AM :: Comments (12) :: Digg It!