May 26, 2004COMMENTARY
Bush grabs the bull by the hornsBy WERNER PIRKER
efeatism is spreading on the American home front. This can be observed primarily in the "defense disintegrative" attitude of the leading US media. This has less to do with the often extolled self-regenerative abilities of US democracy than with a change of heart in parts of the American elite. They are striving for a policy change in order to limit the looming disaster in Iraq. Naturally, the presidential candidate, John Kerry, is largely in the dark about this movement. This makes it possible for the incumbent to continue, at least in appearance, to be the master of events.
Therein lies the (non)sense of the stereotypical Bush messages to the nation and to the world. With their war against Iraq, the US "has dealt a blow to terrorism in its heartland," said George W. Bush in his most recent speech. Now that the liberation of Iraq is threatened with collapse in the face of the liberation struggle of the Iraqis, the "War against Terrorism" has returned as the centerpiece of the legitimization ideology for American force projection. Out of the collapse of one, namely the war against Iraq, justified as a "mission of liberation," the other is fabricated: The war against the Iraqi resistance, denounced as terrorism. Using this logic, the justification for this war could have been to occupy the country in order to break the resistance to the occupation. In Bush's words, "In order to keep the hard-fought-for territory in the realm of freedom."
Beginning on June 30th, this territory is to be administered by an Iraqi government. However, the exercise of power is to continue to remain under US control. That is the essence of the draft resolution presented by Washington and London, by means of which they expect the UN Security Council to give their occupation forces an unlimited mandate. The subordination of a UN-recruited Special Force for the protection of UN installations to the US command is also demanded. This is what the "Realm of Freedom" imagined by the Bushists is supposed to look like: International cooperation under the exclusive control of the US. It is unlikely that this draft will be the final form as passed. The concern is that a compromise on some variation of it will be reached which, in its substance, will recognize the continuation, albeit with an international gloss, of the American postwar order in Iraq. If this happens, any chance to deal Bush, who has already gotten a downpayment, a diplomatic knockout punch will have been lost.