Citizens for Legitimate Government, a multi-partisan activist group established to expose the Bush Coup d'Etat and oppose the Bush occupation in all of its manifestations.


Good Night, Vietnam --by C. W. Brown, CLG contributing writer
May 24, 2003

In the American empire taking shape, Iraq has been the good war. It is a war that had to happen, to purge the blood of this military-corporate-academic leviathan. Its unspoken standard has been the war against Vietnam, and the cabal behind baby Bush has had 30 years to plan, sneak, pilfer and insult their way to a format for "kicking the Vietnam syndrome" for good, taking over after the "Clinton debacle" where daddy Bush left off in 1991.

It is in this restoration of military honor that the fertile ground on which the Project for a New American Century (PNAC, note 1) and other proto-fascist instigators can build their webs of destruction. It has taken the image of Bush, plastered all over the politics of revenge for an oh-so coincidental 9-11, standing for the myth of America as the source of freedom, thanks to God, the Constitution, the American "race," Mom and apple pie, to provide the gut feeling that has allowed the PNAC to walk all over the world - with compliant Americans dutifully in step, glorifying in the payback being meted out for all of the veterans who have awaited the continued story of the "good war." The re-establishment of military honor and the flag revolves around the rebirth of WWII as "our finest hour." It constructs the "support our troops," the "sons and daughters, boy and girl next door, brave young men and women" parable that fits so well with the myth of American superiority and singularity - the nation that saved the world from Hitler. America, home to the "greatest generation."

The invasion of Iraq has done wonders for the American psyche. Read what one patriot at the Wall Street Journal thought (7 April) about political assassination and armed invasion of a much weaker victim:

"Military history will record the Iraqi campaign as the stunning advent of a new level of warfare. Combined arms teams dropped a bunker buster on enemy commanders on opening night, rushed to secure the oil fields before they could be set afire, foreclosed launching areas for missiles aimed at Israel, set the enemy reeling before he could launch chemical weapons and took the Baghdad airport in 15 days" (Bartley 2003, note 2).

Such high-tech destructive occupation of a foreign country has been the dream of America's power holders. Central to the images required for the restoration of military dignity is that of Vietnam War troops being spat on (note 3). Rambo, the muscled bonehead of American racist fantasy, asked: "Do we get to win this time, Sir?" Who can stand up to musclehead now? No refusals to accept American domination will be tolerated. It says so clearly in the Great Project for the "American Century" and Iraq is its star. For the Bush syndicate, Iraq is the harbinger of a new era of political cleansing. The cabal can play both the attack and occupation games they have only dreamed about in their manifesto "Rebuilding America's Defenses," the well-known grand project for global domination produced by the PNAC. It can bomb people in Iraq into submission, kick them around during occupation, and play government with them. It can also set up an occupation force that will mould them into America clones in the name of "security." In a news item from 15 May, war minister Rumsfeld answers some mild concern:

"Rumsfeld ... said Army Gen. Tommy R. Franks, the U.S. commander in Iraq [and acknowledged war criminal], and his team "have put in place plans to provide for the security of that country."
Rumsfeld assured ... that "the president has said publicly that the United States and coalition forces will put [in Iraq] whatever number of forces are needed for as long as they are needed." But he called for patience, saying of Iraq: "We can't make it like the United States in five minutes, and we know that"" (note 4).

Make Iraq like the United States? Good night, Vietnam. Where we failed to bludgeon you to death and create a world in our image, we hope to succeed in Iraq. We could not (yet) form you into our own image of what the world should look like - not yet, but we are trying. Some day maybe even you will have an American military base on your soil if you do what we tell you to do. "Freedom" is the flag we will force you to swallow, and we will leave no holds barred. Americans are no longer "fickle" about blood spilled. The secret is low American casualties and a short-term win. As Bartley, our resident patriot, informs us, this vision is even based on a "scientific" study;

"Eric V. Larson of RAND has spent years weighing what kind of war the public will support ... He concludes that casualties and other costs are but one of three elements of the public calculus. The other two are, quite sensibly, the importance of the objective and the likelihood of success. The public is not willing to pay a high cost in Somalia or Bosnia, but will bear casualties to succeed in making an important difference.

In Iraq, Mr. Larson tells me [Bartley], "to my eye it seems to be pretty robust support." The public agrees with the stakes, thinks them achievable and seems "willing to stick it out as long is the result is Saddam and his regime being overthrown."" (source in note 2).

Drunk on this "victory," the whole world is being held hostage by American self-aggrandizement. And Iraq is the perfect victim for this American vendetta. As if on cue from the Project for a New American Century, the syndicate is able to "deliver a rapid hammer blow" at will against Iraq (and threaten others) through combined cruise missiles, air power and ground forces ("Rebuilding America's Defenses" pp 17-18, 37). Similarly, global versatility has been tested, "maintaining the ability to deliver an unquestioned 'knockout punch' through the rapid introduction of stateside units" - another useful step in securing "American geopolitical interests and leadership" (p 74). Pride in the ability of the US Air Force to virtually bomb anyone they want to with impunity, including those hiding in bunkers (p 8), needs to be combined with "ground forces that can survive and maneuver rapidly" is, to use the phrase in "Rebuilding America's Defenses", a "decisive tool of diplomacy" for US "political leaders." After all, "[r]egimes are difficult to change based upon punishment alone" (p 30). And what a nice regime to change in Iraq -- what could be a better political party to purge than the Baath? After all, its basis was to unify Egypt, Syria and Iraq mainly against the conspirators of Zion. On the way, it made two mistakes: one, to confront the USA, and two, to nationalize oil. To punish them, "punitive strikes" are useful when conducted by carrier aircraft or cruise missiles (p 45). The Baath Party has long ago joined America's list of enemies, like the cartoon figure of Saddam that include "petty tyrants" that threaten US interests (p 13). There is also a need to set up bases in the region (pp 35, 61), forming an important link in America's "security perimeter" across the globe (pp 14, 15, 72).

The strategy of PNAC's "Rebuilding America's Defenses" is simple: to expand the US military after the "debacle" of the Clinton years. Although it must rate as one of the sickest documents ever penned, "Rebuilding America's Defenses" is simply an outline of what the military needs to maintain American global domination (p 2). The text is the plan for how this should take place, identifying areas that need to be controlled, attacked, subverted, punished, etc. from the Middle East to China, on land and sea, and in the air and beyond to space and cyberspace and even into biowarfare, to effect regime change wherever the US government deems it suitable, the ultimate prize being East and Southeast Asia, including Malaysia and Indonesia "Rebuilding America's Defenses" pp 18-19, 35, 44).

Appropriately enough, the overall strategy of "Rebuilding America's Defenses" reflects the imagery of warfare in Vietnam. Concepts such as "perimeters" are commonly used, as if the world were one big jungle the Rambos of American had to "secure." The outplacement of military should be part of a strategy of additional forward bases and that allow more immediate attack potential "as the American security perimeter expands" ("Rebuilding America's Defenses" p 34). Thus, we read how the US military stationed in bases around the world will provide "reconnaissance and security" and "conduct stability operations" by these forward commandos who "are the cavalry on the new American frontier" and able to "shape the battlefield while reinforcing forces based primarily in the United States arrive to deliver decisive blows to the enemy" (p 15). It is a plan in which the superior killing power of the US military will be used as a "decisive tool of diplomacy" for removing "hostile regimes" - in short the "ability of the United States to undertake politically decisive operations" through its killing machine (pp 30, 61, 68).

With the empire in place and dissent silenced, the 30-year anniversary of the end of the Vietnam War is fast becoming a powerful tool in the hands of America's willing executioners. Our patriot sets us straight on this:

"President Johnson was in many ways a tragic figure [during the Vietnam War], a victim of history and circumstance. But as a war leader he understood neither the enemy he faced nor the people he led, and the myths that encrusted Vietnam have bedeviled America's role in the world ever since. Fortunately Ronald Reagan understood about rallying the people, and under his leadership the U.S. consummated its Cold War victory. Vietnam now seems one losing battle in a successful 50-year campaign" (Bartley as in note 2).

All the empire needs is a final political cleansing at home.

"The lingering "Vietnam syndrome" is a sickness not of the people but of elites in journalism, politics and the bureaucracy. The Bush team understands, with its emphasis on "regime change," its willingness to stay the course, its refusal to "deal." This president knows that so long as leaders don't blink, the people can be a rock" (Bartley).

The people can be a rock? Does Bartley and his fellow patriots believe that world domination rests on the foundation of a population of willing and obedient executioners in the USA? Are we now supposed to stand at attention as the military occupies some pedestal where, under the banners of a moral high ground, it can "lead the world" -- and be blessed by God? Is the slaughter of Iraq the payback, the restoration of honor yanked from the military by "cultural elites"?

There is something terrible happening here, and even if most Americans remain dim-witted to it, the world should at least pay notice. Here is a country on a permanent war footing with a military killing machine let loose under weak pretences. Here is a cabal of ideologues and planners that believe that their cause alone stands near God. Here is a population that not only does not care, but most probably enjoys the spectacle of world submission. Here are its troops vindicated. But was it not to restore the honor the military claims it lost after World War I that Hitler build his whole public imagery on? Were the brown-shirted storm troopers who made possible Hitler's rise to power not mostly disgruntled veterans out to kick around those who "sold them out" - seeking restoration of their "honor"? Was that honor not reclaimed in the name of national sovereignty over forces that were felt to impose an international order on them? If we remember, that reclamation was also written in blood.


note 1
The report "Rebuilding America's Defenses" of the Project for a New American Century has been analyzed a lot recently by those better able to place it into the context of the proto-fascist syndicate that produced it. See, for example, Larry Chin's articles in Also, see William Rivers Pitt's essays, including "Of Gods and Mortals", "Empire", and "Blood Money" in

Another reference from the Truthout website is an article that appeared in the Sunday Herald (Glasgow), 15 April, by Neil Mackay entitled "Carving up The New Iraq." As we watch this take place, as the US military disarms Iraqis so they cannot shoot back, as they eliminate the Baath Party, establish rules and regulations from Washington, and carve up the oil resources to suit American corporations, let us keep in mind the list that Mackay has put together. It is a list of the major players in this process, from Bush and his junta at the top, to military commanders from the Pentagon to the command centers to the field. When and if we can ever reclaim our government, let us see this list as the beginning of a list of defendants which we can extend through the administration and its staff, ideologues, planners, and accomplices in the military hierarchy that we and the world can try for crimes against humanity.

note 2
Bartley, Robert L. 2003 "Whose 'Vietnam Syndrome'? A sickness that strikes only the journalistic and political elites." Wall Street Journal 7 April 2003 (strange that Bartley, editor emeritus of the WSJ, speaks of elites).

note 3
Appropriately enough, it was the American hero Rambo who started the spit-on-the-troops nonsense; see "The Myth of the Spat-Upon Veteran: When the truth does not conform to political need, look out for some spitting lies," Gabrielle Bernard,, Veterans Against the Iraq War 7 May 2003.

note 4
"Iraq Disorder Worries Senators," Dan Morgan, The Washington Post, Thursday, May 15, 2003.



C.W. Brown