By Atilio A. Boron on January 3, 2020
The day after this article was written worldwide demonstrations took place condemning the assassination of General Soleimani and Washington’s rush towards world war, including in over 70 cities in the US.
One of the first lessons taught in every U.S. political system course is that wars tend to reverse the declining popularity of the presidents in this country. As Donald Trump’s approval rating declined to 45 percent on December 2019, due to the unstoppable growing twin deficits (commercial and fiscal) and public debt; as well as an impending impeachment against him, the White House advisors surely recommended to the President to resort to this traditional resource and launch a war (or a high-intensity military operation) to regain his popularity and place him in a better position ahead of the November 2020 elections.
This would be quite a plausible hypothesis to explain the immoral and bloody attack that ended the life of Qassem Soleimani, certainly Iran’s most important general. The corporate media officially reported that Trump himself had ordered the operation, with the usual cowardice that comes from those occupying the White House, dropping of bombs thousands of kilometers away from Pennsylvania Avenue, and exterminating enemies or alleged terrorists through drones managed from some caves in Nevada by some young people morally and psychologically deranged. That same press was in charge of introducing the victim as a soulless terrorist who deserved to die this way.
This criminal act and mentality makes for an extraordinarily tense situation in the Middle East, pleasing the neo-Nazi regime in Israel, savage monarchies in the Persian Gulf, and diverse bands of thugs of the defeated—thanks to Russia—Islamic State. According to evil estimations, the popularity of the New York magnate turned president should start growing once the U.S. media machinery is cranked up to dull people’s consciousness once again.
As we commented above, war has been ordinarily used in the history of this country as a matter of course. Just as former U.S. President James Carter said last year, the United States has been at war during 222 years out of its 243 years as an independent country. This is not incidental. It owes in fact to the terrible belief, deeply rooted following centuries of brainwashing, which the United States was chosen by God to bear the flags of freedom, justice, democracy, and human rights to remote areas of the globe. This is not about recounting in detail the wars started to help presidents in difficulty but it’s worth recalling a recent case also involving Iraq with a result different to the one initially expected.
As a matter of fact, President George H. W. Bush was facing problems for his reelection in 1990. Operation “Just Cause,” an embellished name for the criminal invasion of Panama in December 1989, did not produce the desired effect since it did not have the needed volume, complexity and duration so as to have a decisive influence on public opinion. Later on, The Washington Post’s front page reported that the President’s popularity was plunging and that “some Republicans feared that the President would be feeling forced to begin hostilities to stop his popularity’s decline.” As it was expected, democrats triumphed in the midterm elections in November 1990. Bush heard the message and chose the old tool: he doubled the United States military presence in the Persian Gulf but without declaring war. The statements made by one of Bush’ main advisors, John Sununu, leaked shortly after and perfectly explained the situation: “a short successful war would be pure political gold for the President and would guarantee his re-election.” The Iraq invasion of Kuwait was the best opportunity for Bush; going to war to “free” small Kuwait from the yoke of its tyrannical neighbor. In the midst of January 1991, the White House launched Operation Desert Storm against Iraq, a country already devastated by economic sanctions and its long war with Iran, and against Saddam Hussein, a governor previously demonized by the global media oligarchy with the unforgivable deference of “western democracies.”
Contrary to what his strategists expected, Bush was defeated by Bill Clinton in November 1992. And he made it with three words: “The economy, stupid.” Who would not ensure that a similar outcome is not possible this time? This is said of course without any hope about that a possible democrat successor of the current despot could be any more favorable, or less terrible, for the future of humanity. What we are sure, however, is that the “international order” built by the United States and its European allies are showing signs of an advanced stage of decomposition.
Otherwise there is no way to understand the accomplice silence or hypocrite condemnation, or rather the open celebration, of the White House allies and “free press” in the face of a crime against a top military officer—not an alleged unknown “terrorist”—from a country member of the United Nations at the orders of the United States President in open violation of international law and even to the laws and Constitution of the United States itself.
A new war looms on the horizon, provoked by Washington under the usual excuses to cover its insatiable imperial ambitions. The “military-industrial complex” celebrates with champagne while the world shivers in the face of the upcoming tragedy.
Source: Atilio Boron, translation, Resumen Latinoamericano, North America bureau