|Empire Burlesque |
Written by Chris Floyd
|A few short takes on a long, cold night:|
Bernard Chazelle applauds the Iraqis' long-overdue public appreciation of George "Liberator" Bush. (See picture.)
Jeremy Scahill reads the tea leaves in Obama's mug of advisors and sees a bitter brew ahead: This Is Change? 20 Hawks, Clintonites and Neocons to Watch for in Obama's White House.
John Pilger finds himself less than enthralled by the election of Barack Obama, who "represents the worst of American power." A brief excerpt:
No serious scrutiny of this is permitted within the histrionics of Obama mania, just as no serious scrutiny of the betrayal of the majority of black South Africans was permitted within the "Mandela moment". This is especially marked in Britain, where America's divine right to "lead" is important to elite British interests. The Observer, which supported Bush's war in Iraq, echoing his fabricated evidence, now announces, without evidence, that "America has restored the world's faith in its ideals". These "ideals", which Obama will swear to uphold, have overseen, since 1945, the destruction of 50 governments, including democracies, and 30 popular liberation movements, causing the deaths of countless men, women and children.Speaking of the Change-Agent-in-Chief, Reuters tells us that Obama's apparent favorite for the post of Pentagon supremo -- the current incumbent, Bush-Cheney minion Robert Gates -- is gearing up for an even bigger surge in Afghanistan than the bellicose "anti-war candidate" promised on the campaign trail:
The Pentagon is considering a plan to send more than 20,000 troops to Afghanistan over the next 12 to 18 months to help safeguard elections and quell rising Taliban violence, officials said Friday.In an aside, the story glances at a fact that is no doubt totally unrelated to the question of how productive an escalation of the U.S. military presence in Afghanistan will be:
Violence in Afghanistan has surged to the highest levels since the 2001 U.S.-led invasion toppled the country's Taliban government.Hmm, let's see...a lengthening, expanding, entrenching U.S military presence for years on end... and ever-rising levels of violence, destruction, corruption and death....Nope, no correlation there. The thing to do, obviously, is to send in more and more troops. Thank God we've finally got someone intelligent in charge!
And how are Aghan women enjoying the fruits of their liberation? The Guardian reports on the treatment meted out to Afghan women's rights champion, MP Shukria Barakzai -- by members of the liberated government installed by the liberators themselves:
The Afghan MP Shukria Barakzai receives regular death threats for speaking out on women's issues....Barakzai receives frequent but cryptic warnings about planned suicide attacks on her car, but no help from the government. Officials advise her to stay at home and not go to work, but offer nothing in the way of security assistance, despite her requests. She said warlords in parliament who received similar threats were immediately provided with armoured vehicles, armed guards and a safe house by the government.So, the "good war" to oust the Taliban has resulted in a government of "warlords, drug lords, crime lords" -- and religious fanatics intent on imposing draconian sectarian rule along the line of....the Taliban.
And all of this is the bitter fruit of the long, bipartisan -- and highly successful! -- American effort to destroy the secular government of Afghanistan and replace it with a CIA-trained army of... religious fanatics intent on imposing draconian sectarian rule.
If we could do all that with a few proxies, just think what fruit an escalating, long-term direct involvement will bear in the decades to come!