Wednesday, March 20, 2013
Enroning Iraq and America
Ten years on, yes. Ten years since the Bushevik invasion and aborted occupation of Iraq. The question raised in the aftermath should be: "Was it right?" Instead the question raised throughout the media, including most of the New Media, is: "Was it worth it?"
Ie: did the interests that rule the United States of America and its allies in the Mesopotamian Adventure gain from the exercise of Imperial power, and if so, was it enough to outweigh the losses? Let us examine the Balance Sheets of Empire.
There is no doubt the interests gained enormously, they gained by the trillions of dollars, and their risk in the adventure was practically nil. I remember back in the day that there was a single voice on the Internet, one Bartcop who some may recall, who was saying about the looming war, "This will mean trillions for the corporate interests," and he was right. He was I think the only one at the time who had a real and comprehensive understanding of what this adventure would cost (trillions), who would be paying (you and me) and who would benefit (the corporate powers that ruled us.)
It was obvious as sin to Bartcop because of Enron.
Nothing that's happened in domestic or world affairs since 2000 makes any sense without understanding the influence of Enron on changing the course of American and ultimately world events. Once that change was made, Enron could be made to go away. Poof! As if it never was. But like an incubus, its influence remained -- and remains -- as strong as ever. You could almost say it is a spiritual thing.
Ken Lay, after all, was a preacher's son who was always after the salvation of souls -- by robbing them, plundering the commons, and forcing people to believe in some clap-trap about "rewards" in the end.
Oh, there was much more clap-trap than that. Enron was built on a tissue of lies, fabrications, and fantasies of "rewards" that would come -- in the end -- from faith in the goodness of the Company and its leadership. It was no different in its own peculiar way than an evangelical church run by an entrepreneurial pastor -- of which the United States has been abundantly supplied from the get.
The Prime Directive of Enron was robbery. Fleecing of the sheep, if you will. In a way that the sheep like it and come back for more.
It worked like a charm -- for just as long as it was necessary. And then Enron... vanished. But it never really went away. Its Way became ingrained in the day to day ethics ("") and operations of the Highest of Our Mighty. Enron became the model. Surely someone should be able to make it work in perpetuity.
And I would argue that we are very close to that point now, if we haven't actually passed it.
As some wags have been able to fathom recently, the whole -- and really the only -- point of the Iraq invasion and occupation was for the money, not so much what could be stolen from the Iraqis (they didn't have that much after all), but for what could be pried out of the US Treasury -- all our pockets, individually and in toto -- for the sole and complete benefit of certain favored corporate interests. It worked like magic.
Within a few years, trillions and trillions were looted from the pockets and stored wealth of Americans, not to pay for the Imperial War of Aggression in Mesopotamia, but simply to take the money, to have (see), because it could be taken. The sheep were ripe for fleecing after the trauma of 9/11, and they willingly went to the shearing. Some, of course, went to the slaughter. That was the point.
The Imperial War of Aggression, still hasn't been paid for, and in realistic terms it never will be.
Was it worth it? For those who collected the riches and the rent, of course it was.
They never dreamed they could have such easy money so fast, money for nothing in many cases, and yea verily, all the chicks and cocaine they could consume at the same time. It was magic.
I've long been fascinated that the Imperial War of Aggression in Mesopotamia and the mindset -- as well as all the looting -- that went with it is almost never considered as a fundamental part of why the rest of us -- but not the Imperial Elite -- are in a permanent economic recession from which there appears to be no exit.
This disastrous war doesn't figure into the equations, apparently not at all, any yet it was and is fundamental. The economic tribulations most Americans (and many, many people around the world) are facing are supposedly the result of systemic financial collapse due to poor regulation, leading to real estate bubbles, and so on. Uh, there's more to it than that. Everything that led to the global financial collapse is to be found presaged at Enron, and the lies, the frauds, the violence, and the looting that was fundamental to Enron was played out on the battlefield that was Iraq.
It all links together. It's derived ultimately from cultic religious beliefs that require certain events be played out -- apparently in certain locations -- for the fulfillment of Prophecy.
One of the things that was so striking about the Iraq invasion and occupation was that the soldiers and the American people had no idea where this drama was unfolding and who the people were "we" were at war with. None whatsoever. Mesopotamia is not just some dusty corner of creation, after all. The whole of Iraq is filled with Biblical sites, from the Garden of Eden, to Ur of the Chaldees and Sumer/Shinar to Babylon and Nineveh and all the rest. The troops didn't know this (at least they didn't learn it from their leaders) and Americans by and large still don't know it. Mesopotamia was where civilization as we know it began; the people of Iraq are at least in part the descendants of the Sumerians, the Babylonians, Assyrians and so many of the others who were the very peoples of the Bible.
Even more striking to me was that there was -- and is -- absolutely no interest in learning any of this remarkable history, at least no interest by Americans. American troops set up camp outside the walls of Babylon, for example, with apparently no idea where they were, nor any interest in finding out, and during their stay, they destroyed a significant part of the archeological record without a concern in their heads. How much of the overall archaeological record in Iraq has been looted or destroyed as a consequence of the invasion and occupation is still being assessed, but it is not slight at all. When the museums were looted in Baghdad and elsewhere following the invasion, Americans -- led by Rummy -- simply shrugged. "Oh well!"
It was bizarre to witness this complete obliviousness to the people, the culture, and the history of Iraq during the American blitzkrieg and occupation -- that seemed to me to be more an echo of the German invasion of Poland than anything else -- and the murderous contempt with which the invading troops regarded the natives. It was shocking to learn of the casual way our valiant troops murdered Iraqi civilians with complete impunity simply because they were in the way, or as often happened, because the troops were... afraid. Even some of the troops were shocked at casual murder they witnessed, the utter disregard for the lives and property of the people they had conquered. Some knew deep in their souls that what was going on was wrong. Fundamentally wrong.
But as horrifying and disgusting as the behavior of the troops often was, it was matched and frequently exceeded by the behavior of the mercenaries brought in for "security." Casual murder and worse were the order of the day. And when the natives rebelled, the Death Squads were deployed, just as in Central America, and before that in Vietnam.
If there hadn't been a civil war before, the invaders made sure there would be one. The invaders' mindless cruelty made the horrors all that much worse.
The arrogance, the cruelty, the mind-numbing ignorance, and the greed that characterized the Iraq War and occupation can all be found in analog running like a river through Enron and all its projects and works. There is no way to separate the Busheviks -- and especially G W Bush himself -- from the corruption that was Enron.
Ten years on, our rulers have learned no positive lesson at all from either Enron or Iraq. The only lessons they've learned are negative: specifically how to manage the looting of the masses and Imperial Wars of Aggression with more finesse....
Surely these lessons can be put to the test with a nice and tidy obliteration of Iran, yes?