Sunday, August 24, 2008

Randy Scheunemann

Tom Hayden and Bob Dreyfuss discuss McCain's top foreign policy adviser Randy Scheunemann in, respectively, The Neo-Cons Who Fabricated Evidence for the Iraq War Are Back Huffington Post 08/20/08 and Scheunemann, Iraq and Georgia The Nation 08/21/08.

Hayden comes to the more drastic judgment about Scheunemann's influence on the Georgia-Russia conflict this summer:

Barack Obama and the Democrats are heading towards trouble in November because of a new Cold War with the Russians triggered largely by a top John McCain adviser and the same neo-conservative clique who fabricated evidence to lobby for the Iraq War.

This is not a conspiracy theory but a conspiracy fact, stated as boldly as possible before it is too late.
Dreyfuss also discusses Schuenemann's career as a Georgia lobbyist and active advocate for the Iraq War. But he contents himself with the conclusion about Scheunemann's highly-profitable Georgia connection and his role as McCain's adviser: "It's a blindingly obvious conflict of interest, and frighteningly it's one that conceivably could drag the United States into yet another war in that unstable part of the world."

Hayden may well be correct, though he establishes a broad circumstantial case rather than anything so specific it could legitimately be called a conspiracy. His main point is that the neocons and other advocates of militarism see the Georgia-Russia conflict as the chance to open a New Cold War. And he believes that the peace movement needs to make its opposition to such policies clear, even though that involves criticizing Obama and Biden during the election campaign. The following sounds like good advice to me:

At the very least, Obama can stop going out of his way to celebrate McCain as a great American war hero, which only reinforces McCain's strongest rationale for victory. And Obama's surrogates might delicately suggest that McCain shoots before he thinks. McCain was the pointman pushing the neo-conservative war against "islamo-fascism", centered in Baghdad, months before the Bush Administration revealed its intentions. While Obama urged caution about a "dumb war", McCain was supporting Ahmad Chalabi's misleading assertions about weapons of mass destruction and Iraq-al-Qaeda ties that didn't exist.

The broad peace movement has to awaken a burning memory from below. Everyone recalls George Bush declaring "Mission Accomplished", but does anyone recall John McCain standing on another aircraft carrier on January 2, 2002, yelling to young Navy pilots like himself during Vietnam, "Next up, Baghdad!" (my emphasis)
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"It is the logic of our times
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