Bushís Underlying Intention

Emanuel Fried

As an actor in a play, I seek the deepest underlying intention of my character. As a playwright, I reach for the deepest conscious or unconscious want that drives the character in my play.

As a union organizer, I sought the best deal for my unionís members, ultimately to strengthen our union. This required that I determine the underlying intention of the employer. If management imported a negotiator with a strong anti-labor reputation, I alerted our union negotiating committee to a possible attempt by management to break our union by presenting us with outrageous proposals intended to force us out on strike.

As an infantry officer in Korea in 1945 and 1946 after WWII ended, I was aware that after the council of representatives from all political factions voted 69 to 2 to reject Syngman Rhee, our Truman administration installed him as head of the new government. Rheeís death squads then killed opposition leaders and carried out the Truman administrationís covert program to split the country in two and establish a U.S. military base in South Korea aimed at China and the Soviet Union.

This ultimately led to the disastrous Korean War, when according to respected journalist, I. F. Stone, dictator Rhee, having been promised U.S. military support acted to avoid imminent ouster from office by launching an attack against a North Korean military outpost.

Author Howard Fast, in his 1990 memoir Being Red, wrote that a very high placed Republican office holder—a precursor to Watergateís Deep Throat—told him that President Truman confided his intention to provoke a war with North Korea to bolster our then deteriorating domestic economy.

Letís examine some clues to the Bush administrationís underlying intention in Iraq. The Bush administration, having put together the council, which had resisted their effort to install Ahmad Chalabi as the countryís sole head, had to agree to Chalabi sharing leadership with others who supposedly represented major Iraqi groups. Ahmad Chalabi, the Bush administrationís candidate is a banker who lived the past 45 years outside Iraq. He has publicly declared his commitment to privatize Iraqi state-owned oil wells.

Seeking further to get at the underlying intention of the Bush administration, we need to examine the history of the corporation headed until recently by Bushís vice president Cheney. Thatís Halliburton, which developed from the Texas firm of Brown and Root.

Author Robert Caro, in his highly praised three-volume work, The Years of Lyndon Johnson, tells how Brown and Root raised millions of dollars from oil corporations to elect Lyndon Johnson to the senate, providing the money to stuff paper bags with cash to buy votes, the money to buy radio stations and newspapers, the money to pay gunmen to prevent casting of their ballots by large blocks of voters leaning towards Johnsonís opponent, and then provided Senator Johnson with further millions of dollars to empower him in the Senate by making hefty financial contributions to other senatorsí election campaigns. To get Johnson the support he desperately needed from northeastern liberals in the Senate, the oil tycoons reluctantly gave him the go-ahead for his advocacy for civil liberties. In exchange for their financial assistance, Lyndon Johnson pledged to preserve what was most sacred to the oil barons: lucrative oil depletion allowances and other financial benefits, including giving them the inside track on highly profitable government contracts.

Brown and Root became Kellogg, Brown and Root, the major subsidiary of its expansion into the parent corporation, Halliburton, headed until recently by Vice president Cheney.

Without competitive bidding, Halliburton has been given highly lucrative contracts in connection with training for the war in Iraq, and for all kinds of other services connected with the war in Iraq,† including contracts for reconstructing the damage done by that war in Iraq, contracts that are generating billions of dollars in profits.

Considering the above, isnít it logical to wonder about the underlying intention of the Bush administration when it pressed to go to war with Iraq? Was it primarily to install democracy? Or was it to enable Halliburton and other large corporations who liberally finance the Bush Administrationís election campaigns to profiteer in Iraq and hopefully to then extend their profiteering throughout other parts of that oil rich world.

Finally, isnít this something that every truly patriotic American should think about and weigh when voting in the upcoming 2004 election?

©2003-2004 Emanuel Fried

This article was included in January 23, 2004 Buffalo Report—an internet newsletter—after Buffalo News editor rejected it, notifying me that the My View column on the editorial page, where many of my previous articles appeared, no longer would accept articles from me that dealt with public policy.) — Emanuel Fried

Search Buffalo Report for more articles by Buffalo's own Manny Fried. — R. Dumain

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