By The Progressive on August 17, 2006
Bush Contemplates Rebirth of Dictatorship for Iraq
By Matthew Rothschild

August 17, 2006

There was a big clue planted at the bottom of the very long lead article in The New York Times of August 17.

That story noted the alarming rise in insurgent attacks against American and Iraqi forces.

The number of IEDs in July was 2,625, just about twice what it was back in January, when Zarqawi was still prowling around.

Clearly, his death did nothing to slow the pace down or snuff out the insurgency.

The shelf life of Bush propaganda is only about one week these days.

Maybe Chalabi is waiting in the wings still—or some other Saddam wannabe.

Bush appears to be taking applications.

But back to the clue.

The last three paragraphs of this story revealed that “senior administration officials . . . are considering alternatives other than democracy,” according to a military expert who was just briefed at the White House.

Hmmm, “alternatives other than democracy.”

My, what can those be?

Monarchy? Dictatorship?

In that same edition, The New York Times ran a headline about the death of the brutal Paraguayan strongman Alfredo Stroessner, proclaiming him to be a “colorful dictator.”

That’s an obscenity. According to Amnesty International, “During Stroessner's military dictatorship, gross and systematic violations of human rights occurred. Amnesty International repeatedly expressed concern to the Paraguayan Government about long-term prisoners of conscience and allegations of torture, ‘disappearance’ and death in custody of political prisoners, as well as reports of prolonged detentions of political opponents.”

(For a glimpse at the horrors he committed, go to http://www.amnestyusa.org.)

The Bush Administration may be looking for an Iraqi Stroessner, or another, more reliable Saddam.

That may have been what Cheney and Rumsfeld had in mind all along. From the very beginning, they wanted to install in power Ahmad Chalabi and his groups of exiles roosting in the Iraqi National Congress, writes George Packer in his book The Assassin’s Gate. When the situation in Iraq began to deteriorate, Cheney blamed those in the Administration who refused to go along with this plan.

“In the fall of 2003, Dick Cheney approached his colleague Colin Powell, stuck a finger in his chest, and said, ‘If you hadn’t opposed the INC and Chalabi, we wouldn’t be in this mess,’ ” Packer reports.

Maybe Chalabi is waiting in the wings still—or some other Saddam wannabe.

Bush appears to be taking applications.

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By Wendell Berry

Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front

Love the quick profit, the annual raise,
vacation with pay. Want more 
of everything ready made. Be afraid 
to know your neighbors and to die.
And you will have a window in your head.
Not even your future will be a mystery 
any more. Your mind will be punched in a card 
and shut away in a little drawer.
When they want you to buy something 
they will call you. When they want you
to die for profit they will let you know. 
So, friends, every day do something
that won’t compute. Love the Lord. 
Love the world. Work for nothing. 
Take all that you have and be poor.
Love someone who does not deserve it. 
Denounce the government and embrace 
the flag. Hope to live in that free 
republic for which it stands. 
Give your approval to all you cannot
understand. Praise ignorance, for what man 
has not encountered he has not destroyed.
Ask the questions that have no answers. 
Invest in the millennium. Plant sequoias.
Say that your main crop is the forest
that you did not plant,
that you will not live to harvest.


Say that the leaves are harvested 
when they have rotted into the mold.
Call that profit. Prophesy such returns.
Put your faith in the two inches of humus 
that will build under the trees
every thousand years.
Listen to carrion—put your ear
close, and hear the faint chattering
of the songs that are to come. 
Expect the end of the world. Laugh. 
Laughter is immeasurable. Be joyful
though you have considered all the facts. 
So long as women do not go cheap 
for power, please women more than men.
Ask yourself: Will this satisfy 
a woman satisfied to bear a child?
Will this disturb the sleep 
of a woman near to giving birth? 
Go with your love to the fields.
Lie easy in the shade. Rest your head 
in her lap. Swear allegiance 
to what is nighest your thoughts.
As soon as the generals and the politicos 
can predict the motions of your mind, 
lose it. Leave it as a sign 
to mark the false trail, the way 
you didn’t go. Be like the fox 
who makes more tracks than necessary, 
some in the wrong direction.
Practice resurrection.

Wendell Berry is a poet, farmer, and environmentalist in Kentucky. This poem, first published in 1973, is reprinted by permission of the author and appears in his “New Collected Poems” (Counterpoint).

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