by Philip Greenspan
(Swans - October 23, 2006) With an election approaching, torrents of babble are flooding the media with predictions of which congressional candidates in the various elections are gaining and losing and what the ultimate impact of the election will mean.
No one can predict what is to come but in making decisions affecting our future, we speculate on how the future will unfold and envision how it might affect those decisions. So of necessity we gamble on our assumptions of the future. The media pundits are supposedly experts but their prognostication scores are well below par. The alternate media and the knowledgeable authorities that they relied on, like retired General Anthony Zinni and Scott Ritter, who were ignored or pooh-poohed by the major media called it correctly.
I am no pundit, but disagree with my friends and acquaintances who are hoping that this coming election will bring changes -- impeachment of Bush and/or a retreat in the war policy. Irrespective of any changes in the makeup of the legislative branch, I foresee no significant change in foreign policy. Candidates from both major parties will spout out promises that they know will electrify the voters, but once elected will tactfully withdraw from the needs and demands of their political constituencies. The Democrats, even if they win big, will not touch impeachment. Their party is equally guilty of all of Bush's transgressions. If it hadn't been for Congress's -- Democratic as well as Republican -- endorsement of all of Bush's policies, his impeachable offenses would not have been enacted. Impeachments only arise where Congress can claim innocence of the offense -- like a sexual impropriety or an illegal burglary.
Elected officials and their appointees are controlled by the corporate elite and accordingly respond to the elite's demands. Their position can be discerned by analyzing the major media, an important part of that elite. How the news is handled is the tip-off. Well-regarded pundits who whole-heartedly supported Bush, such as Thomas Friedman and George Will, have turned critical of his policies. Editorial columns and news items have done likewise. But they do not advocate ending the War on Terror. The elite is well aware that the Bush policies are a shambles and that the public is fed up with the war. But they are not. So they must keep things going by feeding the public an alternate and plausible prescription. The wars, the killings, the spending will continue. There is too much invested in the Middle East to give up -- billions in military bases, oodles and oodles of untapped oil. Much, much more than there was in Vietnam and Tricky Dick, after promising that he would get out, not only kept it going but expanded it into Laos and Cambodia, while appeasing the public with gradual troop withdrawals.
The war will end when an overwhelming public demand tantamount to a revolt breaks out or the GIs on the front lines mutiny as they did in Vietnam. Neither occurrence is as far-fetched as it may seem. The precariousness of the economic condition of the country -- an unprecedented debt, the continual erosion of employment opportunities, possibility of a crushing inflation, etc., could lead to the impoverishment of a substantial segment of the public and a citizen revolt. The GIs being overstretched for long periods in the war zones will eventually lead to the massive mutinies. Fasten your seat belts and hold on to your hats a turbulent future is approaching!
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