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Bush's New Chess Game

The background of this page is grey to distinguish it from the other pages because its contents are purely speculative. It is also grey because the present situation is certainly not rosy!

Since September the 11th, I often feel as if I were watching a chess game when I listen to the news about America's New War. We all know that the media manipulate public opinion not only through advertising but also through the bias with which they choose the content and the way to present the news. The case of China is an obvious example, we never hear of it unless there is something terribly negative to report. Since 9/11, the media manipulation has become so heavy that one has to be blind not to see the succession of moves designed to manufacture consent in the American public for the actions the corporate power elite have decided to undertake.

The rigorous absence of the "WHY" question appeared to be a strategic move as important as the systematic demonising of the Al Qaeda evildoers and the glorification off the first responder American heroes. Those were successful moves, they erased Bush's image of an inept politician who had stolen the election and dressed him up in the shining armour of a Saint George fighting the dragon.

Then came the attempt to dissociate the Al Qaeda terrorist movement from the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It didn't work, the people were not fooled by the explanation that Bin Laden's hate was due only to the American presence in Saudi Arabia. In spite of the all professional ability of Bush's expert opinion manipulators, everyone realised more or less clearly that the roots of Islamic terrorism were in the Zionist terrorism that forced the British to drop Palestine like hot potato, that chased Arab refugees out of their homes in the 1948 war and that has been grinding down the population of the occupied territories since the 1967 war. That chess move didn't work but it was only a partial failure because patriotic fervour and media pressure prevented those American citizens who had come to realise it, from saying out loud that the American foreign policy in the Middle East was the reason why New York's World Trade Centre was hit instead of the Eiffel Tower or the Kremlin or Buckingham Palace.

Then, beginning in October 2001, Richard Butler, the ex Chief UN Inspector and other war hawks, began making regular appearances on CNN to plant the thesis that Saddam Hussein was a major threat to America because he intended to develop "weapons of mass destruction". Of course no mention was made of all the other nations that already have "weapons of mass destruction". Nor was it ever mentioned that Saddam would be deterred from using such weapons by the assurance that Israel and America would not hesitate to retaliate with nuclear weapons if he did. Personally I think that the threat of Iraqi "weapons of mass destruction" is only a pretext. Nuclear deterrence worked during the Cold War, it is working now between India and Pakistan and there is no reason why it would not work to keep Saddam Hussein from using such weapons if he ever gets them.

The campaign to demonise Saddam Hussein has been relentless since 9/11. There is more than what meets the eye behind this campaign. Personally, I think it is probably only a small part of a larger strategy in which Iraq's oil and not its weapons are the issue. It is really quite remarkable that Iraq's enormous petroleum reserves are never mentioned! Bush's professional opinion manipulators must have a very low opinion of the intelligence of the average American to think that avoiding to mention Iraq's oil reserves and keeping oil out of the media will suffice to make Americans believe that the coming war is only about Saddam's intention to acquire "weapons of mass destruction". Maybe their evaluation is correct! Anyway, they are now hard at work conditioning the American public opinion to be favourable to a pre-emptive strike in Iraq while President Bush affords the luxury of moderate statements about his infinite patience and his wish to find alternative means to obtain a change of government in Baghdad.

It is indeed a fascinating chess game. The three moves outlined above are only examples of how the game is first played on the field of public opinion before moving it onto the battlefield. Calling it Bush's game is a convenient simplification for in fact it's the game of the hawkish elements of the American military-industrial establishment who want to make the most of America's present overwhelming military superiority while it lasts. The recipe for public manipulation is simple:

a) reduce the capacity for critical thought of the people by promoting all kinds of irrational beliefs whether religious, new age or paranormal because that helps to deactivate rational thought and well balanced individual judgement,

b) systematically insist on the emotional rather than the factual aspects of all the news for that conditions people to submit to their feelings instead of seeking the guidance of their reason,

c) when the two first steps have been correctly carried out, it is easy to intimidate the "masses" into conforming to politically correct thinking by idealising "patriotism" and demonising dissidence A few examples of people loosing their jobs because of their "unpatriotic" opinions can be very convincing and the application of only a little force can do the rest. Secretary of Justice Ashcroft has already given us an example of that force by arresting between 1500 and 2000 individuals held incommunicado without even revealing their names. The fact that there was no general outcry is a measure of how advanced this conditioning is already. That breach of the fundamental rule of "habeas corpus", no matter in what circumstances, is the first step towards the total loss of constitutional rights that characterise totalitarian states.

d) finally, when the majority has been conditioned this way, the mechanisms that determine mob behaviour are in the hands of the manipulators and anything becomes possible. (Hitler and Goebbels used this recipe brilliantly with the reputedly rational German people!).

No chess player, watching an interesting game, can avoid speculating about the strategies that underlie the players' moves. We are not imperial strategists but it is difficult to watch the ongoing manipulation of the American public opinion without speculating as to the possible strategies behind the major moves that this brainwashing is obviously preparing. But of course speculation is only speculation and that is why this page is grey. I see this page as an ongoing exercise to be corrected and added to as Bush's Chess Game progresses. The control of the American public opinion by the media is so strong that the following scenario could unfold without the average American doubting for an instant his government's snow white virtue and the black evil of any opposition to it. The American government has managed that feat in Central America so why not in the Middle East where the stakes are so much higher?

1) Bush drags the Western world in a war with Iraq. The media have largely succeeded in sowing the fear of Iraq's hypothetical "weapons of mass destruction" in the American public. A small majority of Americans are now favourable to a pre-emptive strike and those that are not do not dare voice their opposition because of the atmosphere of fear that prevails in the US since the Patriot Act set aside the constitutional rights of those who the government deem to be "enemies". (It's a step back to the imprisonment of Japanese Americans during WW II or to the Mac Carthy witch hunts shortly after)

2) A war in Iraq would probably provoke an anti American uprising in Saudi Arabia where the corrupt royal family has lost the confidence of the fundamentalist Sunni population because of its close relations with America that finances and supports Israel`s occupation of Palestine. If that probable outcome occurs, US forces would have to occupy the oil fields to protect them from a hostile population. That would really not be a problem considering the overwhelming imbalance of power in favour of the US (Saudi Arabia has only 20 million people). Partitioning the country into a north-eastern third next to the Persian Gulf where the oil is and the remaining two thirds with Mecca on the Red Sea, could be a step towards a long term solution. The media have already begun turning the US public opinion against Saudi Arabia by mentioning over and over again that Bin Laden and most of the 19 highjackers were Saudi, that Saudi money has helped build madrasas (Islamic schools) all over the world and that Saudi charitable organisations are helping the families of Palestinian suicide bombers to rebuild their homes when they are destroyed by Israeli bulldozers.

3) There is no doubt that the US can win the war in Iraq within a matter of weeks even without any allies. Saddam would be killed and Iraq's military might would be destroyed but American forces would be forced to remain for fear that Iran would fill the void. Several scenarios of permanent American control can be envisaged including the partitioning off of the Kurdish north and the Shiite south to set up compliant "democratic" puppet states leaving a militarily occupied Sunni core around Baghdad

4) As for Iran, the juxtaposition of the theocratic regime of the mullahs and that of US forces supporting one or several puppet states in neighbouring Iraq would in all likelihood be unstable. The control of Iran is still firmly in the hands of the mullahs but the population is finding their corrupt rule increasingly heavy. The older generation remembers that the economy was doing better under the Shah and that his Savak police was no worse than today's secret police. The US would be well placed to promote an opposition to the present regime which could eventually lead Iran into becoming a client state of the US. Acquisition of control would preferably be managed by gradual subversion because Iran has a large population of 66 million but it could also be done brutally if a strong reaction by the mullahs provided the US with the pretext of the threat of Islamic fundamentalism to justify armed intervention.

Of course, innumerable permutations exist as in any chess game. It will be an interesting game to watch while trying to predict its evolution by analysing how the US media are manipulating their public. The American media report only a small part of what goes on and if their well documented behaviour in the case of Central America is an indication of the future, we can expect that they will report what they do in a manner to justify America's next aggression. That will give us a chance to see where they are heading.

It is strange however that they never mention the role of oil in this chess game! The United States consume 30$ of the world production of oil but it has only 5% of the world's reserves of that form of energy and has to import 60% of its requirements. A secure supply of oil is therefore very important to the US. Sixty percent of the world's petroleum reserves lie in the Middle East: 25% in Saudi Arabia, 10% in Iraq, 10% in Kuwait, 5% in Iran and 10% more in the countries of the region. Iraq's petroleum reserves are more than twice those of the US. How can the American media pretend to be objectively and completely informing the public about the relations between the US and Iraq without ever mentioning the petroleum factor?

The American media speculate endlessly about the threat of Saddam Hussein's intentions but they don't ever mention anything about the finger twisting and hard bargaining that is going on behind the scenes to convince the other major countries to assist or at least to not oppose America's aggression of Iraq.

Personally, I do not think that Iraq presents a credible threat to the United States of America. In my opinion, the fear of a demonised Saddam Hussein is only a tool used to manipulate the American public opinion into consenting to a war that is desired only by Bush and the right wing corporate magnates that own him. I suspect that the real issue is control of Middle East petroleum reserves. One thing is certain, the real motives are not on the table and we are all being manipulated by a bunch of bare faced liars who have no respect for anyone nor anything, not even for their own word.

What will Bush and his cronies to do after they gain control of the big three (Saudi Arabia, Iraq & Iran)? What role does the Sharon - Bush pair reserve for Israel in all this? Will Israel overrun Jordan and Syria if the US grabs the big three? What price will the British demand for their fierce support for war? And finally, what will the Russians get out of this New Israeli-American World Order? Will they overrun Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan again? What about their secular dream of a warm water port?

(August 2002)

Don't miss the next episode, the struggle for oil!


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