April 25 2007
On April 23 the U.S. Commerce Department announced that there are export controls to Nepal, because so-called terrorists are in the government.(1) State Department's position was that it is taking a "pragmatic" position of not punishing Nepal for the so-called Maoists who now control five ministries.(2) However, the Commerce Department is saying there is a need for permission to export to Nepal.
At the same time, there are reports April 24 that northern Korea is not shutting down its nuclear facilities because of Treasury's stance on the laws regarding money laundering.(3) Northern Korea has tried to recover $25 million in a Macau bank that the united $tates said was connected to violations of the "Patriot Act." The U.$. media is making it look like northern Korea is sitting on its hands and taking flak from various neo-conservative ex-government officials sidelined in the Korea question. Yet the public may realize that something fishy is going on, because if $25 million has really been unfrozen in Macau, then the question becomes why would northern Korea leave it there unless someone is not quite telling the truth. Readers can ask themselves how often they have a check to cash and do not cash it, if there really is not a problem.
In both the Nepal case and northern Korea case, the Commerce and Treasury departments claim their hands are tied by the law, the Patriot Act in the case of northern Korea. The State Department tries to move ahead on deals while other departments tie its hands, an unprecedented occurrence in MIM's memory.
At the same time, the public noticed that Secretary of Defense Gates is singing a tune different than that of Bush on Iraq, by saying the U.$. commitment in Iraq is not "open-ended."(4) Some worried that Iraqi lackey Maliki would take that as a cue to make a deal with the Shiite leader al-Sadr. Days after saying al-Sadr did not matter even when he withdrew from the government, suddenly the mainstream media notices that Maliki's position is fast eroding.
Gates cannot effectively be removed from the Pentagon. In the waning years of the Bush administration it appears that various departments are showing more independence than ever, more than MIM can recall. The overall centralized vision is either lacking or ineffective or there is a vision of a hydra-headed monster. Perhaps the ultimately typical vision is of having Gonzales at the Justice Department and ineffective, rather than having new lawyers in place. By drawing out the time it takes to take down Gonzales, Bush protects Rove as MIM pointed out before.
Cheney's approval rating has been reported as low as 16% in January and 18% in March,(5) below Nixon's 24% rating when he resigned. Cheney's rating has been at that level a long time. In previous imperialist thinking, when an imperialist or lackey reaches that level of public opinion exposure, someone more wily comes along to keep the U.$. imperialist image from getting hurt too much. Having Cheney resign with health problems and then letting the Senate approve a moderate Republican as replacement for Cheney would seem to bolster the White House's political capital--by old-fashioned pre-Bush thinking. Instead Bush seems willing to alienate all but two Republican senators over the Gonzales question--so what we have here is a very unconventional president in a very conventional regime deterioration.
It's every department for itself, but none of the departments are led by proletarians or have proletarian potential. The politics make for interesting intra-imperialist division.
We have read one blog speculating that Bush allows things to go on in his particular way, because there is a plot to have another terrorist incident to bolster Cheney et. al. Whatever the explanation, Bush does not seem to mind his lack of political capital and does not seem to believe it comes from the Congress.
5. http://graphics.nytimes.com/packages/pdf/national/20070313_pollresults.pdf, p. 19.