war as only a tool of statecraft

"war as only a tool of statecraft" [my characterization of the accelerating Republican talk of war] Now that sounds like a fine old European tradition, although one modern Europe was happy to abandon a couple of generations ago. For our own mad engineers in the twenty-first century White House it is a brand-new tool, and they are using it against their benighted subjects at home. War as a ruse.

We are being/have been used.

Not to take back anything from my previous posting calling for a last attempt to keep Bush from being invested with legitimacy as American Lord of War, but I believe that the real damage has already been done.

Primary evidence: We are all now talking only of "guns," not of "butter."

Those of you who have been following my remarks lately have seen me arguing that it's not necessarily actual war that the White House wants, but the solid Republican Congress that talk of war will almost certainly ensure. The invention of this war has virtually overnight changed the subject of the 2002 campaign from issues like the economy, the stock market, executive scandals, health care, the environment, schools, racism, or anything else which really threatens the country, to the phony issue of the imagined imminent threat from a small tin dictator on the other side of the world.

Bush's handlers have already succeeded in hijacking the election. The next Congress will be Cheney's rubber stamp (well, yes, something like this one, only even more so). The war? Iraq? Oh, that. Well, it may not be necessary other than as a bugbear.

Paraphrasing part of the argument of David Morris on AlterNet, this week Congress is likely to give the White House the blank check it wants, which means that at any time in the future, should we ever again have to be distracted from debating real issues, the war drums will be heard once again.

I suppose I can even imagine this scheme working without the war powers being released to George at this time, but it would definitely be much smoother with the check in his their pockets.

So write to Congress nevertheless. It just might help us all.