Ideology, Oil, And Idiotarianism

The Chronicle continues to live up to its reputation as the worst newpaper in the world, as evidenced by this latest bit of stupidity from Chris Matthews. Poor Chris–he’s adrift in a sea of confusion. Can someone please toss him a clue? Make it a really big one, with lots of handles, and the words “CLUE” emblazoned on every side in big, loud red letters, with a klaxon horn.

It will take 200,000 U.S. troops to invade Saddam Hussein’s capital and effect the “regime change” demanded by neo-conservative policy wonks and backed by oil-patchers George W. Bush and Dick Cheney.

Cite? Logic? Analysis?

We don’t need no stinkin’ justification for these numbers we pull out of our nether regions–we’re a big-time newspaper columnist.

The question America needs to answer now, while there’s still time to stop this road trip, is whether a war justified by ideology and energy economics is truly in this country’s interests.

Ummm…Chris? That would be known as a complex question. You know, like the one about whether or not you’ve quit beating your wife? Or when you’re going to stop writing columns in which you’ve tarted up some ill-founded and ignorant opinions to masquerade as informed fact?

Here’s a fact, Chris–the war is driven by national self defense, a concept with which former Kennedy liberals like yourself used to be familiar, but with which you have somehow become disengaged since the era of, oh, Vietnam or so.

A U.S.-Iraqi war has advanced well beyond the “contingency” phase. The last barrier of restraint, Secretary of State Colin Powell, has been broken by the will of a Bush administration partnership of ideology and oil that is now set on war.

Poor Colin.

He first put up brave resistance against the evil ideologists and oil men, but Cheney called up the goons. He was taken to a room deep in Dick’s locationally-undisclosed cave, where he was liberally lubed with central Texas Sweet, and trussed up like a Thanksgiving turkey. They alternated between rubber hose beatings, bright lights, Iraqi dripping-oil torture, and readings from Rice and Wolfowitz.

After weeks of this unending gruesome anguish, disoriented (unlike Chris), he could barely tell the difference between a terrorist and a freedom fighter like Yasser Arafat or Saddam Hussein.

Now, a shattered man, by day he attends the cabinet meetings, but only in a perfunctory manner, for appearances. At night, he lies curled up there on the Bottom called Foggy, his will broken, whimpering. He was the Only Man Who Could Save The World, and he has failed.

[most of hysterical screed against neo-conservatives snipped]

The neo-cons casually compare Iraq to the Third Reich, Israel to forsaken Czechoslovakia and skeptics to Neville Chamberlain, but their evidence for attacking Iraq doesn’t hold up. The anthrax letters came from a source far nearer to our shores than Baghdad. And CIA chief George Tenet testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee last week that the “jury’s still out” on whether Hussein had anything to do with Sept. 11.

Well, here you make the same error as your like-“minded” friends over on the other side of The Pond. There is an unstated, and false assumption implicit in this statement. You believe, and expect everyone else to agree, that only states that participated in the events of last summer can justifiably be attacked.

Of course, by your logic, we couldn’t have gone in and done a regime change in Afghanistan prior to September 11, even if we had found evidence of exactly what bin Laden planned to do.

Here’s the deal, Chris. See, we’re defending ourselves. And often the best defense is a good offense.

Before September 11, when folks in funny hats said they wanted to kill us, we thought that was just so cute. We patted them on the head, said “nice little terrorist,” and sent them off to play.

After September 11, we believe them. We’re trying to prevent them from doing it again. Sometimes that means hitting them before they can hit you.

Oil is a much more powerful motive for an Iraq attack.

Says you.

Iraq is the Mideast’s No. 2 supplier of oil, behind Saudi Arabia. The United States, swallowing a quarter of the world’s production, is the world’s No. 1 consumer. This country is led by a pair of oil-patch veterans who share a sense of entitlement about the world’s oil reserves regardless of what flag flies above them. Bush and Cheney see Hussein’s chief weapon of mass destruction as his threatened grip on the Persian Gulf oil tap.

What’s your point? Do you understand the difference between correlation and causation? The fact that Iraq has oil, and we need oil to run our economy, does not lead to the ineluctable conclusion that we will make war on the Iraqi regime because we want the oil (though that may very well be a beneficial side effect).

After all, the Saudis are number one, Chris. We’re not beating the war drum to do a regime change in Riyadh (though we probably should be).

Basically, what you’re doing here is libeling Bush and Cheney–accusing them of being disingenuous liars.

This confluence of interest between ideology and oil has put us on the road to Baghdad. It’s time for us to realize that American principles have precious little to do with this costly prospective military campaign.

“Ideology”? I suppose, if you think that being opposed to our own destruction by amoral, cold-blooded psychopaths is a blindly ideological position.

Here’s a massive, glow-in-the-dark clue for you from Victor Davis Hanson, Chris:

After 30 years of listening to nauseating chanting from Teheran to Islamabad to Nablus, hearing the childish rants about “The Mother of All Battles” and “The Great Satan,” and witnessing presidents from Carter to Bush burned in effigy, the ritual torching of the American flag, the misspelled banners of hatred, the thousands of paint-by-the-numbers posters of psychopaths from Khomeini to bin Laden, televised threats that sound as hideous as they are empty, Nazi- inspired anti-Semitism, embassy takeovers, oil-boycotts, hijacked planes, cars, and ships, lectures from unelected obese sheiks with long names and gold chains, peacekeepers incinerated in their sleep, murders at the Olympics, bodies dumped on the tarmac of airports, shredded diplomats, madmen in sunglasses in Iraq, Syria, and Libya, demented mullahs and whip-bearing imams in Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and Iran, continual televised murders of Americans abroad, our towers toppled, our citizens butchered, our planes blown up, hooded Klansmen in Hamas and Hezbollah, killers of al-this and Islamic-that, suicide bombers, shrill turbaned nuts spouting hatred on C-SPAN broadcasts, one day the salvation of Kuwait, the next sanctions against the swallower of Kuwait, the third day fury against the sanctions against the swallower of Kuwait, the fourth day some grievance from 1953, the fifth another from A.D. 752; and all the time sanctimonious fingerpointing from Middle Eastern academics and journalists who are as bold abroad in insulting us as they are timid and obsequious under dictators at home in keeping silent, I’ve about had it. No mas. The problem is you, not us ? you, you, you…

The truth is that there is a great storm on the horizon, one that will pass ? or bring upon us a hard rain the likes of which we have not seen in 60 years. Either we shall say “no more,” deal with Iraq, and prepare for a long and hard war against murderers and terrorists ? or we will have more and more of what happened on 9/11. History teaches us that certain nations, certain peoples, and certain religions at peculiar periods in their history take a momentary, but deadly leave of their senses ? Napoleon’s France for most of a decade, the southern states in 1861, Japan in 1931, Germany in 1939, and Russia after World War II. And when they do, they cannot be bribed, apologized to, or sweet-talked ? only defeated.

If you want to write a newspaper column, learn from the master. That’s why we’re going into Iraq.