‘I piani di guerra di Emanuel’.

Emanuel’s War Plan
The Book of Rahm

By John Walsh
Last week, in CounterPunch (1), I wrote that the chair of the  Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), Congressman Rahm  Emanuel, had worked hard to guarantee that Democratic candidates in  key toss-up House races were pro-war. In this he was largely  successful, because of the money he commands and the celebrity  politicians who reliably respond to his call, ensuring that 20 of  the 22 Democratic candidates in these districts are pro-war. So the  fix is in for the coming elections. 
In 2006, no matter which party controls the House, a majority will  be committed to pursuing the war on Iraq–despite the fact that the  Democratic rank and file and the general voting public oppose the  war by large margins. (I hasten to add that this state of affairs  can be reversed even after the sham election between the two War  Parties.) 
What are Emanuel’s views on war and peace? Emanuel has just supplied  the answer in the form of a scrawny book co-authored with Bruce  Reed, modestly entitled: The Plan: Big Ideas for America. The  authors obligingly boil each of the eight parts of "The Plan" down  to a single paragraph. The section which embraces all of foreign  policy is entitled "A New Strategy to End the War on Terror," a  heading revealing in itself since "war on terror" is the way the  neocons and the Israeli Lobby currently like to frame the discussion  of foreign policy. Here is the book’s summary paragraph with my  comments in parentheses: 
"A New Strategy to Win the War on Terror"  ("War on Terror," as George Soros points out, is a false metaphor  used by those who would drag us into military adventures not in our  interest or that of humanity.) 
"We need to use all the roots of American power to make our country  safe. (He begins by playing on fear.) America must lead the world’s  fight against the spread of evil and totalitarianism, but we must  stop trying to win that battle on our own. (Messianic imperialism.)  We should reform and strengthen multilateral institutions for the  twenty-first century, not walk away from them. We need to fortify  the military’s "thin green line" around the world by adding to the  U.S. Special Forces and the Marines, and by expanding the U.S. army  by 100,000 more troops. (An even bigger military for the world’s  most powerful armed forces, a very militaristic view of the way to  handle the conflicts among nations. What uses does Emanuel have in  mind for those troops?) We should give our troops a new GI Bill to  come home to. (More material incentives to induce the financially  strapped to sign up as cannon fodder.) Finally we must protect our  homeland and civil liberties by creating a new domestic  counterterrorism force like Britain’s MI5. (A new domestic spying  operation is an obvious threat to our civil liberties; MI5 holds  secret files on one in 160 adults in Britain along with files on  53,000 organizations.) 
There it is straight from the horse’s mouth.(2) 
How does Emanuel, the man who has screened and chosen the 2006  Democratic candidates for Congress, feel specifically about the war  on Iraq, the number one issue on voters’ minds. Emanuel and Reed do  not so much as mention Iraq in their book except in terms of  the "war on terror." Nor does Emanuel mention Iraq on his web site  as among the important issues facing us, quite amazing omission and  one shared by Chuck Schumer who is his equivalent of the Senate  side, chairing the DSCC (Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee).  However a very recent profile in Fortune (9/25/2006), "Rahm Emanuel,  Pitbull Politician," by Washington Bureau chief Nina Easton  notes: "On Iraq, Emanuel has steered clear of the withdraw-now  crowd, preferring to criticize Bush for military failures since the  2003 invasion. ‘The war never had to turn out this way,’ he told me  at one of his campaign stops. In January 2005, when asked by Meet  the Press’s Tim Russert whether he would have voted to authorize the  war-‘knowing that there are no weapons of mass destruction’-Emanuel  answered yes. (He didn’t take office until after the vote.) ‘I still  believe that getting rid of Saddam Hussein was the right thing to  do, okay?’ he added."(3) 
When Jack Murtha made his proposal for withdrawal from Iraq, Emanuel  quickly declared that "Jack Murtha went out and spoke for Jack  Murtha." As for Iraq policy, Emanuel added: "At the right time, we  will have a position." That was November, 2005. In June, 2006, it  was obviously time, and Emanuel finally revealed his policy in a  statement on the floor of the House during debate over Iraq,  thus: "The debate today is about whether the American people want to  stay the course with an administration and a Congress that has  walked away from its obligations or pursue a real strategy for  success in the war on terror. We cannot achieve the end of victory  and continue to sit and watch, stand pat, stay put, status quo and  that is the Republican policy. Democrats are determined to take the  fight to the enemy." The refrain is familiar; more troops are the  means and victory in Iraq is the goal. 
The war on Iraq benefited Israel by laying waste a country seen to  be one of its major adversaries. Emanuel’s commitment to Israel (4)  and his Congressional service to it are not in doubt. The most  recent evidence was his attack on the U.S. puppet Prime Minister of  Iraq, Nouri al Maliki, because Maliki had labeled Israel’s attack on  Lebanon as an act of "aggression." Emanuel called on Maliki to  cancel his address to Congress; and he was joined by his close  friend and DSCC counterpart, Sen. Chuck Schumer, who asked; "Which  side is he (Maliki) on when it comes to the war on terror?" In terms  of retired Senator Fritz Holling’s statement that Congress is  Israeli occupied territory, Rahm Emanuel must be considered one of  the occupying troops. And he certainly is a major cog in the Israel  Lobby as defined by Mearsheimer and Walt. Nor is the idea that the  Lobby exists and has tremendous influence on Middle East policy any  longer a taboo in the minds of the general populace. According to a  poll just carried out by Zogby International for CNI (5), 39% of the  American public "agree" or "somewhat agree" that "the work of the  Israel lobby on Congress and the Bush administration has been a key  factor for going to war in Iraq and now confronting Iran." A similar  number, 40%, "strongly disagreed" or "somewhat disagreed" with this  position. Some 20% of the public were not sure. 
But in some respects, Emanuel is a mysterious fellow, as evidenced  by his biography, which is readily available on Wikipedia and in the  piece in Fortune (3). But there are a few things missing or not  fully explained. First, as is often pointed out, Emanuel’s physician  father was an Israeli émigré; but, according to Leon Hadar, he also  worked during the 1940s with the notorious Irgun, which was labeled  as a terrorist organization by the British authorities.(6) Perhaps  Rahm’s current interest in terrorism was first kindled at his  father’s Irgun knee. 
Second, during the 1991 Gulf War, Emanuel was a civilian volunteer  in Israel, "rust-proofing brakes on an army base in northern  Israel." (Wikipedia, New Republic). This is peculiar on two counts.  Here the U.S. goes to war with Iraq, but Emanuel, a U.S. citizen,  volunteers not for his country, but for Israel. Moreover, here is a  well-connected Illinois political figure with a father who had been  in the Irgun, but he is assigned to "rust-proof brakes" on "an army  base." Maybe. 
Third, immediately upon his return from his desert sojourn, Emanuel  at once became a major figure in the Clinton campaign "who wowed the  team from the start, opening a spigot on needed campaign funds."(3)  How did he do that after being isolated overseas, and with no  experience in national politics? Fourth, after leaving the Clinton  White House, he decided that he needed some accumulated wealth  and "security" if he were to stay in politics. So he went to work  for Bruce Wasserstein, a major Democratic donor and Wall Street  financier. 
According to Easton, "Over a 2 1/2-year period he helped broker  deals-often using political connections-for Wasserstein Perella.  According to congressional financial disclosures, he earned more  than $18 million during that period. His deals included Unicom’s  merger with Peco Energy and venture fund GTCR Golder Rauner’s  purchase of SBC subsidiary SecurityLink. But friends say his  compensation also benefited from two sales of the Wasserstein firm  itself, first to Dresdner Bank and then to Allianz AG." Again for a  newcomer to haul in $18 million in two years is almost miraculous.  How did he do it? Next Emanuel won a seat in Congress in 2002, and  by 2006 he was chair of the DCCC. Another near miraculous rise. 
But Emanuel and his fellow hawks may yet fail to get their way.  Major figures among the rulers of U.S. empire, and their well-  compensated advisors, from James Baker to Jimmy Carter to Zbigniew  Brzezinski to Mearsheimer and Walt, see disaster looming unless the  neocons of both War Parties with their dual loyalties to the U.S.  and Israel are brought to heel. Second and more important, the  people are fed up with the war on Iraq and wary of other wars the  hawks like Emanuel have planned for us. The politicians who win  office, whether Rove’s Republicans or Emanuel’s Democrats, will have  to deal with this rising tide of anger or risk losing their  sinecures. That risk is offset by the machinations of Emanuel and  others to guarantee that there is no genuine opposition party or  movement. And that lack of a real opposition is a problem we must  solve. 
John Walsh can be reached at john.endwar@gmail.com. 

Lascia un commento

Il tuo indirizzo email non sarà pubblicato.

Questo sito usa Akismet per ridurre lo spam. Scopri come i tuoi dati vengono elaborati.