May 29, 2002

As the World Trade Center came down, Carlyle's fortunes went up ... a link to an article in Red Herring about the Carlyle Group, which says that the group had gathered for a meeting on Sept. 11 and watched the attack on the World Trade Center together. As the towers went down, the article says, the group's fortunes went up. It goes into some detail describing how the company, whose members include George Bush Sr., James Baker (the big mouthpiece in the seizure of the White House after the Republicans lost the election of 2000), and Osama bin Laden's "estranged family", will make huge money from the War on Terrorism. The article describes how the Carlyle group is involved in a kind of predatory capitalism that feeds on mass death and freely uses its political connections to play geopolitical games that funnel ever greater portions of the world's recources into its income ledgers.

The gathering of the group on Sept. 11, on the day of the event that was to be such a great windfall for Carlyle happened, was "mere coincidence," the article stresses. The rest of the article, however, really raises that question, whether the writer or editor wanted to or not.

That disclaimer (about "a mere coincidence") stands out from the rest of the text, as if it had been inserted by an editor. Of course it could have been put in by the writer himself, employing the internalized censor. But it's one of those sentences that sticks out as a contradiction of most of what the article is saying. It's almost like a religious dogma, a red flag that says: "Look the other way now! Don't conclude the obvious!" But surely a lot of people, maybe even one out of 10 or 20 who reads it will see the pattern, and go forward to the inescapable proposition. If the Bush clique in fact is benefitting, is it possible that they had anything to do with the fact that it happened? Means, motive and opportunity are all certainly present. What then makes most Americans so reluctant to entertain that possibility?

It can easily be demonstrated that the means was very much within the grasp of the high-level players we are talking about. The remote control technology that pilots the CIA drone planes from the ground is obviously sufficient to create the incident of Sept. 11. The power to order investigating agencies to hold back, and to order military defendors to stand down is also within the power of this group. There is no argument about whether it is possible that the Bush clique had the means to cause or to allow the catastrophe. It is clear in hindsight that the group, including the Carlyle Group and the Bush II administration itself, has benefitted tremendously. There is little argument against that. The point at which most Americans dismiss the idea is on a human level. It is monstrous to think American leaders could allow thousands of their countrymen to be savagely murdered in order to further some political or economic objectives. It is too painful, too outrageous to even contemplate. Is this, then, justification for dismissing the possibility? This, unfortunately, has plenty of historical precedents as well. One striking example is Operation Northwoods, in which the Joint Chiefs of Staff under President Kennedy proposed terrorist attacks on U.S. cities as a way of provoking Americans to support a war against Cuba. Fortunately that administration rejected the idea. But we know from Robert S. McNamara's own biography that he continued his part in sending Americans to die in Vietnam long after he knew the whole thing was a mistake and nothing good could come of it. In Anthony Summer's biography of Nixon The Arrogance of Power, Summers establishes convincingly that presidential candidate Nixon actually carried out a secret plan to thwart Johnson's peace negotiations. According to Summers, Nixon succeeded in derailing the peace talks that would have damaged his chances to win the election if they had succeeded. The list of such precedents is rather long. Yes, American officials can very definitely allow thousands of their countrymen to be butchered for a political agenda. Indeed, they have many times. Even if it was a mere coincidence that the Carlyle Group had gathered together to watch the spectacle on September 11, there is no justification for them using their government connections to make fortunes from wars created by their families and friends. That fact alone should outrage many of the people who read the article. Maybe I'm wrong, but I believe there is a paradigm shift rippling through America about these issues. Americans are changing the way they think about big corporations and their excessive influence over government. People are talking about things that were practically unheard of 10 years ago, like fascism, corporate welfare, class warfare. Now these terms are becoming part of common parlance. Though the mass media seems more tightly controlled than ever, an alternative public discourse is developing through the Internet. Alternative views are surfacing in books like Michael Moore's "Stupid White Men," a runaway bestseller that represents a radical view the polls don't detect. Such events as the Rolling Thunder Tour will create forums for people to meet face to face and to realize that those who oppose the Bush agenda are the majority, and the wishes of the majority are very different from how they are portrayed on the corporate media. This shift in perception could reach a critical mass at which point it crystallizes like the frost on a glass pane that breaks into glorious, intricate patterns all catalyzed by a single particle of dust. Whether or not the catalyzation occurs or whether it is effectively suppressed remains to be seen. But there is an electrifying potential in the atmosphere. America could be on the verge of a new social revolution that will be so powerful it will sweep out the old power brokers through a nonviolent democratic tidal wave.

"apocalypse now" It was against this historical backdrop that President Bush, invoking the World War II imagery of his Skull & Bones idol Henry Stimson, went to war against Iraq. There is even speculation that President Bush was personally instrumental in luring Saddam Hussein into invading Kuwait, thereby provoking the American-led military response. Many news accounts have emphasized that a two-hour private meeting between the president and Margaret Thatcher in the Aspen, Colorado vacation chalet of U.S. Ambassador Henry Catto on August 2, 1990 helped finalize Bush's decision to immediately deploy military force.

Recently, an astute Japanese analyst drew a disturbing parallel between Bush and FDR, who was greatly influenced by Stimson. According to the writer, FDR lured Japan into World War II through an intricate series of economic warfare maneuvers which left Japan with little choice but to strike-back. In much the same way, said the analyst, Bush had lured Saddam Hussein into Kuwait in order to launch a new Gulf War that would have consequences reaching far beyond Iraq and the Middle East.

As a result of the military victory over Iraq, the United States is in the process of establishing a string of permanent military bases throughout the Persian Gulf and Near East. The oil sheikdoms of the region, led by Saudi Arabia, are now thoroughly dependent on the American military presence to ensure the survival of their regimes. The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) is effectively captured by Washington.

American bankers aided by U.S. gunboats now are setting world oil prices. Thus, one consequence of the Persian Gulf War is that the United States now has an oil weapon -- pointed principally at Germany and Japan. Ironically, America's two chief economic rivals have paid out a total of $27 billion to date to help finance a Bush administration military adventure which put the oil weapon in Washington's hand.

Another telling example of how the Order's man in the Oval Office intends to administer a crumbling U.S. domestic economy while imposing the New World Order on the rest of the world is to be found in the recent buyout of the majority of stock in Citicorp, the largest U.S. commercial bank, by Saudi Prince Talal bin Abdul Aziz. Citicorp is one of the major American commercial banks on the verge of collapse, but which is considered by the Bush administration and the Federal Reserve System to be "too big to fall." The stock purchase amounted to a Saudi Royal Family bail-out of Citicorp, using the increased profits being enjoyed by the House of Saud as a result of the massive jump in Saudi oil production since the beginning of the Gulf crisis in August 1990.

There points up a striking difference between the role of the United States in World War II and the Bush administration's handling to date of the Middle East crisis. During World War II, the United States went through a genuine economic revival. Skull & Bones historian Samuel Huntington described it as a "neo Hamiltonian" policy, a reference to the first United States Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton. Beginning in 1939, America became a major supplier of military and industrial goods under the Lend-Lease program to the European states fighting Hitler. At the same time, the federal government began issuing low-interest credits to revive the nation's manufacturing base which had been gutted by a decade of economic depression. The industrial buildup accelerated once the United States formally entered .World War II, leading to the establishing of entirely new industrial sectors, such as aerospace and petrochemicals. This time around -- at least to date -- there has been no such marshaling of the U.S. domestic industrial base. Despite moderate increases in the production of certain high-tech weapons systems, the U.S. economy continues its gradual slide into what could be a new depression. Unemployment is greater than at any point in the last decade. Some sociologists fear that the complete disintegration of America's urban centers could produce new race-riots as early as the summer of 1991. The single greatest challenge to George Bush and the Order is: Can they capitalize on the current revival of the American spirit to reverse the disastrous post-industrial society dogmas, and launch their own version of the World War II neo-Hamiltonian industrial recovery? So far, some doomsayers claim, it appears that Bush and his administration plan instead to direct their efforts at looting and blackmailing the rest of the world -- especially the gulf oil sheikdoms, Japan and Germany -- into bailing out the bankrupt U.S. financial houses and federal government and financing the posting of American-led foreign legions at every corner of the globe where there are large deposits of strategic raw materials. If this policy is not altered, George Bush may soon find himself presiding over a new disaster that will make the Vietnam debacle appear insignificant in comparison. The politics of the New World Order appear to be borrowed largely from the pages of the decline and fall of the British Empire. Political columnist Patrick Buchanan, an early vocal opponent of the Bush Persian Gulf strategy, warned as early as August 1990 that the White House was falling into the trap of British "balance of power" politics, the very politics that left Great Britain on the scrap heap of world powers at the close of World War II, and put Winston Churchill, the architect of World War II and the Cold War, out of a job. Since the crushing military defeat of Iraq by a technologically far superior American-led coalition, the Bush administration has vacillated on a postwar policy for the region. It has pursued a pragmatic power balancing game which is rife with potential problems. The two key elements of the American balance-of-power politics in the region are the preservation of a weakened but territorially whole Iraq to offset the other would-be regional-powers Iran and Syria. At the same time, it is tilting toward a nominally more "pro-Arab" position with regard to the Arab-Israeli conflict. While the harsh reparations terms being imposed upon a war-devastated Iraq are probably, in the mind of Bush, aimed at dissuading any future regional military power from launching-cross-border aggressions, they amount to the slow, excruciating extermination of the population of that country. As one seasoned observer noted recently, earlier air wars had caused greater immediate losses of life, due to the inaccuracy of bombs and rockets, but had generally left basic infrastructures intact. The precision bombing of Iraq's entire infrastructure has caused what a United Nations team has called an "apocalypse." The greater loss of life will occur in the aftermath of the combat as a country with 16 million inhabitants is suddenly thrown into a "pre-industrial" state with no electricity, no water or other necessities. American humanitarian aid, administered by occupying troops, will not offset this apocalypse -- especially if harsh war reparations and asset seizures deprive Iraq of the financial resources needed to begin a rebuilding process. Regardless of the fact that the United States has not thrown the full weight of its military presence behind the overthrow of the Saddam Hussein regime, the shortsightedness of the present Bush policy may very well lead to a Lebanon-type protracted civil war in Iraq. Such a war could potentially spread throughout the region.


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