"For Reasons of State." It's arguably the strongest reason for doing something--for doing anything. The Romans said it well: Videant consules, ne respublica detrimentum capiat--"Let the consuls look to the safety of the state." When they had to, Roman leaders vested themselves with unlimited power. And who can argue with their success? Americans today can only dream of dominating our world for as long as the Romans dominated theirs.
This holiday season, while most Americans have been celebrating and vacationing, the New Consuls, the Guardians of Our Republic, have been meeting and deciding what must happen in 2007. Here is a transcript of the opening presentation from The First Guardian, He Who Is First Among Equals--at least as I received it:
"Ladies and Gentlemen, we have five issues on our agenda today. First, immigration, and, second, closely related to immigration, the urgent topic of military recruitment. Third is the escalating--oops, I mean 'surging'--of the Iraq War. Fourth, and directly bound up in our Iraq policy, is the prosecution and exploitation of the Haditha incident; on that sensitive matter, I am indeed choosing my words, 'prosecution' and exploitation,' with great precision. Fifth and finally, there's the question of taxes; we can't push that question off the table any longer.
"First, on immigration: The story in The New York Times today, Tuesday, is, of course, absolutely correct. We will keep the border open, we will cancel construction of the wall--boob bait for the bubbas, someone called it--we will grant amnesty to millions, and we will continue the process of turning North America into one cohesive labor market. Yes, there will be some populist and nationalist opposition to the North American Plan, but we will crush it; our Grand Coalition is invincible. Over the years, we have built up our alliance between Big Business, Big Government, Big Media, and Big Foundations, and the result is something new to the world: Call it Permanent Capitalist Multiculturalism, in which the business elite continually uses immigration to knock the legs out from under unions and working class solidarity. And to think: Some people still wonder why the Republicans have won seven of the ten presidential elections since the immigration liberalization of 1965! Oh, and be sure to watch Tom Brokaw's special on NBC: Tom does a fine job of repeating all our focus-grouped platitudes: 'jobs Americans won't do,' etc. Tom is great.
"Second, the leak in The Boston Globe, detailing the Pentagon's desperate search for more military recruits, was unfortunate, but accurate. Yes, our generals and admirals must look overseas for new bodies. Well, hopefully, our immigration policy will help alleviate this recruitment shortfall. We can't even think about Operation Iranian Freedom if we have to rely on native-stock American volunteers, we know that for sure. Now I know that some of you, even around this table, might be worried about the 'Mamluk'-ization of the US, but let me remind you, it took centuries for the Mamluks to take over Egypt. And the work of democratizing the Middle East shouldn't take that long--no more than a century, Condi tells us.
"And speaking of Iraq, that brings me to the third and fourth items on the agenda, the Iraq War and the Haditha Incident. Let's start with, uh, The Surge. Nobody voted for The Surge, of course, in the 2006 election; even George W. Bush never mentioned it--he insisted all through the campaign that we were winning. Since then, a grimmer reality has taken root, once we got rid of that fool Rumsfeld. You have all seen the poll showing that just 11 percent of Americans support Surging, but well, that's why we are gathered here today, in secret, to look past the froth of public opinion. Despite the numbers, the Democrats will go along with us--they always do. Reasons of state, we say! We may have to give them Halliburton, but one corrupt company is a small price to pay for our opportunity to continue playing the Great Game against Iran.
"Speaking of great games, fourth on our list is our dealing with the Iraqi government. So I point with pride to the coverage of the Haditha indictments. The Saudis and other Sunni regimes were adamant about getting a clear signal that we were serious about bringing the Sunni Iraqis around to our side. So we gave them that clear signal, in the form of the indictment of eight Marines in all, including four officers who were nowhere near the scene of the crime. That signal, of course, was right there on the front page of Friday's Times. I quote now from Gary Solis, who teaches the law of war at Georgetown and at West Point: 'This is very aggressive charging -- wow. I think this illustrates the deep seriousness the Marine Corps takes with these events.' And this is from what Time magazine had to say: 'The interests of the U.S. military in Iraq, right now, demand not only that justice be done over the Haditha killings, but also that it be seen to be done--by Iraqis as well as by Americans. That may help explain the extensive indictment.' As I said, eight indictments. Mission accomplished!
"Yes, it's 'Breaker Morant' all over again. But I remind you: The execution of Harry Harbord Morant on February 27, 1902 was one of the key political decisions that enabled the British government to reconnect with the Dutch Afrikaners in the wake of the Boer War. Indeed, the white South Africans were a staunch ally through two world wars to come, and for decades even after that. So some might even say that if those Marines didn't exist, we would have to invent them, as a sign of good faith to the Arabs! But there's no reason to be conspiratorial here: We can simply thank General Pace for his contribution to the success of our efforts. He understands that raison d'état transcends semper fi.
"Fifth and finally, speaking yet again of raison d'état, there is the issue of financing our various endeavors across the globe. Like his father before him, the current President Bush campaigned on tax cuts, and on holding the line against tax increases. And as with his father, we have had to sit him down and explain that sometimes Reasons of State must supersede campaign promises--scraps of paper, we call them. That's especially true now that the Iraq war has cost upwards of $500 billion, with no end in sight. So to keep the Coalition together, to keep the Democrats on board, we will need more revenues. Yes, such a tax increase will shatter Bush's political coalition, but that's his problem, not ours.
"We are here for a more important mission. We are here not for politics, but for the people. We do the work of the nation, by enhancing the strength of the state and our liberty-loving hegemony. And so while America must be a light unto the world, We must keep our own work shrouded and veiled."