The Crucifixion of Chuck Hagel: Will Washington's Pharisees Get Their Man?Submitted by Alliance With None on Mon, 12/24/2012 - 21:54
This Christmas is a bleak one for those who hold out hope that there might be peace on earth — or just a more peaceful earth.
In the Middle East, wars and rumors of war roil an already volatile region. A proxy war in Syria shows every sign of metastasizing into a larger, regional conflict, with the protagonists — Syria’s Ba’athist regime and the US-supported jihadists of the rebel army — digging in for a long fight. After the conclusion of the Israeli attack on Gaza, which was turned into a shooting gallery by the IDF, the region is smoldering with a murderous hatred. Iraq still bleeds, and there are low-profile but high-casualty conflicts in Yemen, Bahrain, and Pakistan — conflicts where the US is a major player.
And looming over it all is the prospect of The Big One — war with Iran.
For the past five or six years, the propaganda campaign against Iran has been going full speed: the neoconservatives, a small but influential faction within the Republican party (albeit with several Democratic fellow-travelers), have been agitating for a US attack on Tehran, just as loudly and insistently as they clamored for war with Iraq.
However, the neocons have a big problem: the American people are not only sick of war, they are sick of the neocons. The same people who told them Saddam had “weapons of mass destruction” stashed beneath his palace, who told them the Iraqis would greet us with showers of rose petals instead of bullets, who reassured them that the war would somehow pay for itself with Iraq’s oil revenues, who insisted Gen. Shinseki was wrong when he said it would take hundreds of thousands of US soldiers to occupy Iraq — these very same people, who should have been long ago discredited and relegated to the Index of Proscribed Pundits, are back retailing the same tired old canards, only this time directed at Iran. Their problem is that nobody believes them — except, of course, in Washington, D.C., world capital of criminal cluelessness.
Washington is different from the rest of the country — and I’m not just talking about real estate values. In the Real America, nobody believes you can spend more than you can take in — in Washington, however, spending more than you take in is not only possible, it’s mandatory. Outside the Beltway, ordinary Americans want to subject the Pentagon to radical spending cuts, and would prefer not to have to cut Grandma’s Social Security so that the military contractors who contribute so much to our incumbent politicians have plenty of tax dollars to spend on presents this Christmas: in Washington, however, real defense cuts are “off the table.” Out in the heartland, the very idea of another war horrifies ordinary folks — in Washington, it gives them a hard-on.