Friends Reunited: Blair and Bush Team Up to Sell New War

My latest guest-blogging piece for Glenn Greenwald is up over at Salon.com right now. You can find it here. Below are some brief excerpts:

You can't teach an old lapdog new tricks. And Tony Blair was barking up the wrong tree yet again last week in his first major appearance since he skulked ingloriously away from office back in June. Blair seized the opportunity of a New York speech to trumpet the blood libel that Iran is now the embodiment of the entire "global ideology" of Islamic extremism, explicitly conflating the Tehran regime not only with al-Qaida but also with Nazi Germany...

The Bushists would say (if you were allowed to pierce the veil of their various, conflicting lies) that all of this is necessary -- all this death, all this ruin, all this rapine of foreign lands and hardening repression at home -- to keep Americans living high on the hog, devouring a vastly disproportionate share of the world's resources. This is not a very heroic notion, of course, especially for a people told every day of their lives that they are the most special, God-blessed human beings who ever walked the face of the earth. Far better to be lied to, and told that the terror war is a noble crusade for freedom for the oppressed and security for our children. (even if the Iraq part has been "mismanaged"; but we can fix that, and do the next one "right"). "We're doing all this for them," Dick Cheney might say, waving his hand at the window toward the rabble passing by below. "We're taking on the burden of this bloodshed and toil and lies because they want us to -- and they damn sure don't want to hear about it."

There is much truth in this, as far as it goes; but it hides an even deeper lie. For as we all know, more and more Americans are not living high on the hog. Their cities are crumbling, their public services and healthcare are diminishing (or being sold off to indifferent profit gougers), their jobs are being lost or left in constant peril; most of them are just one serious illness or accident or personal catastrophe away from lifelong penury. They are no longer reaping the benefits of the long, long march of militarism and empire that has found its culmination in the "war on terror." So where are those benefits going?

See if you can guess the answer.

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