The Blanket

Some Thoughts On The Coming War

Sean O Torain

It is very difficult to have a proper view of the policies of the US capitalist class without reading the Wall Street Journal. This publication is aimed at the capitalists, not in a passive manner, but in order to stiffen their backbone, to unify them behind specific objectives and to conduct a struggle with them when they are missing what the Wall Street Journal thinks is in their own fundamental interests. And to conduct a struggle with them when they are not ambitious enough. Such as over the past years, for example.

Since the collapse of Stalinism, the US is absolutely dominant militarily, economically and technologically on the world stage. The Wall Street Journal strategists have a simple conclusion that they draw from this. Go out there and dominate. The world is ours nobody can stand in our way. Go out there and take over and, not only that, but deliberately do it openly to drive the lesson home to all. The US rules. What drove them wild about Clinton was that he was always consulting and dealing and talking and trying to get agreement for US foreign policies.

Bush in the Whitehouse is much closer to their hearts. Representing the most savage and crude sections of US capitalism, the energy sector and the military industrial complex, the time has now come to really show who is boss. This is what the Middle East plans are about. And it would be a mistake to underestimate the ambitions of these elements. They want to act against Iraq and from this to put in place more compliant regimes throughout the entire region and at the same time let Israel expand and become an even more effective base for them there. The Wall Street Journal sneers at the "Arab Street". It says that it has no power and should be ignored. Go into Iraq, go into other areas if necessary, maybe a "regime change" in Saudi Arabia also, maybe in Iran also. And in Afghanistan they have this already. Their view is to change the regimes in the whole area if they can bring it off. And if they cannot it won't be for want of trying. Of course they are wrong to sneer at the "Arab Street". They may get a shock from this direction yet. But their
thinking is that even if there are mass uprisings and the present regimes are
brought down, who is there to replace them, there are no mass left forces, there is no Stalinist world anymore; they think that they can deal with any Islamic regime that comes to power with military threats on the one hand and oil money bribes on the other. The world is in for some big events.

As they contemplate this massive military and political offensive the Wall Street Journal in their September 11th issue took a look at their boy in the Whitehouse. Was he up to the task? This is not an unimportant question for them. Also, what was the mood of the US masses? A question even more important. They pointed out that while Bush's popularity was very high, his approval rate is 64%, this was 12 percentage points BELOW his fathers standing in September 1990, that is before the Gulf war. This is a little worrying for them. They are concerned that his support is not higher given September 11th. Behind this less than spectacular popularity rating lies the economic developments and anger of the US working and middle classes at the corporate criminality that has been exposed and at the slow down in the economy. One of the things that should be kept in mind, one of the things that US capitalism can underestimate, is the possibilty that in spite of the
massive propaganda around September 11th and war against Iraq and "terrorism", there is still a real anger amongst the US working class and middle class about the role and activities of the corporations here at home.

This could very well explode in spite of the war propaganda. It is very easy to see overkill on the part of the capitalist media flowing from September 11th and a real backlash against the call for war and more war. "United we stand" looks a little lacking in credibility when the owners of Enron, Worldcom, the banks, the insurance and health care and pharmaceutical companies etc are lining up to loot the pockets and bank accounts of the US working and middle classes.

The Wall Street Journal pointed out a few facts about their boy Bush just so that their readers do not get carried away with their own propaganda. Since Bush came to power, the Dow Jones has declined by nearly 2000 points, unemployment has gone up from 4.2% to 5.7%, in the six quarters of the Bush presidency growth of gross domestic product has averaged 1.1%, down from 3.6% in the last six quarters of Clinton, and in an NBC poll only 38% thought that the country was safer now than a year ago. They are worried about Bush's base at home.

But then, and you have to give it to the Wall Street Journal, they do not miss but defend their class and its representatives. If the heads of the AFL-CIO defended the working class like these people defend their class we would be in good shape. They talk about their boy Bush, and is he up to the job. And in line with their time honored policy they are never prepared to concede to any, even the slightest, criticism of any of the representatives who are doing what they want. This is what they write: "The president who spits the word "Nuance" as a pejorative must persuade the public" (about attacking Iraq). They go on, "Mr Bush's critics were always wrong to sneer at his brain power" (Their boy is smart you see). And then in a phrase that should go down in history, they advise: "But this isn't a challenge on which he can indulge his penchant for cutting corners intellectually". There you have it. Bush is not stupid. He just "cuts corners intellectually". My neighbor's labrador, which cannot figure out where he is supposed to go to the toilet, is not stupid, he just "cuts corners intellectually". None of us are in any way low in brain power we just "cut corners intellectually". As I say, we are in for a rough road.




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It is better to be defeated on principle than to win on lies.
- Arthur Calwell
Index: Current Articles

24 October 2002


Other Articles From This Issue:


Stand Up And Be Counted
Mickey Donnelly


Read It And Weep

Mick Hall


Particularity Or Universality?
Liam O Ruairc


Time Has Run Out For An Armed IRA
Anthony McIntyre


Thoughts On The Coming War
Sean O Torain


The Letters Page has been updated.


20 October 2002


Dancing on the Graves of Ten Men Dead
Anthony McIntyre


The Wily Ways of a Boy From Ballymurphy

Barry White


SF's Ruse Coloured Glasses
Brian Mór


Historic Shirts of the World
Brian Mór


Liam O Ruairc


From Belfast To Genoa - Now Florence
Davy Carlin


An Open Letter to the Democratic National Committee
Jeanie Bauer


The Letters Page has been updated.




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