Dog Days

The lull before the storm

by , August 25, 2010

In these, the dog days of summer, normal people everywhere are on vacation. They go to a resort: swimming, boating, family photos on the beach – these are the woof and warp of American life. Standing outside – and, in their estimation, above – that life, with its prosaic concerns, the War Party never takes a vacation. They’re always plotting and planning their next move.

Undeterred by the complete failure of the Iraq invasion – described by the late Gen. William E. Odom as the biggest military disaster in the annals of America’s wars – the cultists of the war god are bound and determined to continue their bloody wilding of the Middle East.

The shrill insistence of the campaign to drag us into war with Iran on Israel’s behalf has gone up a few notches, with a Democratic-controlled sanctions-happy Congress joining the chorus, which includes the Republican party (minus Ron Paul).

The US military is staunchly opposed, but President Obama – and/or his more cynical advisers – may welcome the opportunity to change the subject, from unemployment numbers to casualty counts. Remember what Rahm Emanuel said about how every crisis is an opportunity: in the event of war, the oil shock that will pummel the US economy could give him the excuse he needs to not only ram through his energy policy, but also increase government intervention in every sector of the economy.

While Iran gets all the publicity, there are plenty of other battlefronts on which we here at Antiwar.com are keeping watch: Syria and Lebanon are reaching the boiling point, with new evidence from Hezbollah of some degree of Israeli involvement in the Hariri assassination. Israeli spy drones apparently traced the trail of the slain Lebanese leaders’ last car ride, and while the video evidence presented to the international media doesn’t directly tie the Israelis to the murder, it does indeed indicate that they had some foreknowledge of it. All of which sounds eerily familiar

Speaking of the Israelis, their public image may have seen better days, what with the flotilla fiasco and the ongoing settlements issue, but among certain sectors of the far-right fringe in Europe they have found a whole lot of new friends. The fascist British National Party (BNP), founded by professional anti-Semites and neo-Nazi nutballs, is now officially “pro-Israel”: the British Nutzis admire the militant ethno-centrism of the Zionist militants now in power, and see Israel as a bulwark against the alleged threat of “Islamization.” The latest mobilization of haters calls itself the English Defense League (EDL): as in the case of the BNP, the EDL was founded by football hooligans and outright racists whose “sport” of “Paki-bashing” is now being pursued by broader sectors. The latest EDL innovation: carrying Israeli flags at demonstrations, alongside the Cross of St. George. The message is clear: their program for Muslims in Britain is the same as Israeli plans for Palestinians in the occupied territories – repression, culminating in expulsion.

The neoconservatives – the War Party’s real command center – have been on the decline politically in this country ever since the American people turned against the Iraq war, and with the economic crisis paramount, people have little patience with the neocons’ foreign policy obsession. But the “anti-Islamization” angle, which they’re importing from Europe with some success, may give them a new lease on life.

The Park 51 controversy did not just come out of nowhere: the Israel lobby, quite effective when it comes to lobbying Congress, isn’t above a little street-corner demagogy. All of a sudden, we have a national campaign to stop the building of new mosques anywhere, and a well-funded advertising campaign denigrating Muslims – with ads on buses in the Bay Area! Nancy Pelosi was pilloried for suggesting that the funding for all this ought to be investigated, but if foreign government officials, or non-citizens acting in a private capacity, are doling out cash to impact the American political process, shouldn’t we at least know about it?

So, then, where is all this hatred coming from, this long hot summer? Ron Paul, in his magnificent statement on the mosque issue, had it right:

“In my opinion it has come from the neoconservatives who demand continual war in the Middle East and Central Asia and are compelled to constantly justify it. They never miss a chance to use hatred toward Muslims to rally support for the ill conceived preventative wars.”

They thrive on hate, and live for war: that’s neoconservatism in a nutshell. Pronounced dead on several occasions, the neocons have always come back to life like zombies in a grade-B horror movie. And if you think the Obama administration is neocon-proof, well then, my friend, think again

The War Party never sleeps, let alone takes vacations. As you while away the fading summer days, relaxing by the pool, remember: they’re out there, and they’re busy.

So, by the way, are we: our summer fundraising campaign is in full swing, and, while we’ve seen some improvement recently, the results are what one might expect in the summertime during a severe recession. We’re slowly inching up that thermometer on the front page, but we need your help to put us over the top – and we’ve still got a ways to go.

Remember: if the War Party never sleeps, and never goes on vacation, we here at Antiwar.com are similarly vacation-less, not to mention sleepless a large part of the time. We’re up late at night, and into the early morning, scanning the horizon for signs of the enemy. We’re your insurance policy against being taken by surprise as the bombs drop on yet another American blowback begins – but we need your help to keep going.

Read more by Justin Raimondo