The last emperor

The last emperor

Guardian Op-ed

One thing was made crystal clear yesterday: there is no other authority than America, no law but US law.

The risks are frightening and the costs staggering. Petrol prices rise while stock exchanges fall at the prospect. Oil say some, but if US companies want Saddam’s oil, an oil-driven cynical administration could make peace not war and help themselves to fat contracts.

No, it appears to spring from a new ideology, a neo-conservative dream which Charles Krauthammer, guru of the right, calls the US’s “uniquely benign imperium” <benign?>. Hyperpower is not enough unless it is exerted so forcefully that no state ever again challenges benign US authority. One thing was made crystal clear yesterday – there is no other source of authority but America, and that means there is no other law but US law. What the US wants, the UN had better solemnise with a suitable resolution – very like the Roman senate and one of its lesser god-emperors. But this is not the real America. A small cultish sect is battling for the “imperium” within this bizarre administration, resisted by mainstream Republicans – so what is Tony Blair doing in there with them?

Maybe Blair, after his political career is over, wants to go to work for Carlyle, like his predecessor John Majors has.  Yes, the very same Carlyle that Poppy Bush works for, the corporation of the powerful and wealthy that makes billions off wars.  Ah, but I’m probably just too cynical.  Maybe Blair actually believes in what he’s doing.  The Glory of War and the Fight for Democracy, all high-minded stuff.  However he does have a well deserved reputation for being the docile puppy dog of US policy, first for Clinton, now for Bush.  I’m surprised he can still see, considering where he keeps his nose most of the time.

Bush at the UN.  Where’s the beef?  No new facts.  No new revelations or proof of Saddam having nukes or having aided in 9/11.  Yes, he’s violated UN sanctions.  Why does that automatically mean Iraq must be invaded, bombed to oblivion, with thousands of civilian dead?  What plans does Bush have when/if the Iraq government falls?  What then?

What about the geopolitical consequences?  A seriously destabilized Middle East.  Thousands of new terrorists created overnight.  And for what cause, to whack a little dictator? 

Why the mad compulsion to go to war?