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A memo from White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emmanuel outlines a pro-war strategy and reveals a deeply cyinical attitude to the anti-war movement.

Emmanual and Obama

He says Democrats must not "shy away" from celebrating the number of enemies killed in conflict. War must be presented in terms of national security and economic growth, claiming "It's the economy, stupid. Weapons production is our leading industry and needs to be discussed in terms of job creation and economic stimulus."

Refering to what he calls the "permanence of the Iraq and Afghanistan occupations" he says such wars "cannot be made to appear a failure or a deception. [They] must be owned and claimed as a success, a glorious success critical to our national security."

He says that former president Bush "recklessly opposed" permanent occupation in the Middle East "by agreeing to a complete retreat from Iraq by 2011" revealing that war under Democrats will only intensify and be more unashamed than under the Republican administration.

Voters who supported Obama on the strength of his anti-war rhetoric are seen by Emmanuel as totally under the control of the president: "If President Obama tells the remnants of the peace movement to jump, they will ask 'How high?'"

Discussing the Democrats' approach to the presentation of the war to the American people the memo, published in the Guardian, stresses the need to "highlight the successes of our innovative use of unmanned drones to kill the enemy without Americans having to die...We must also claim credit for the glory of those Americans killed during our years".

The memo gives an alarming glimpse behind the scenes of the Obama administration. It appears to be about much more than positioning in the run up to the mid term elections, and suggests a deep commitment to an continuing aggressive foreign policy.

"There is no funding to be raised by talking about peace" Emmanuel says and goes on to stress how an interventionist foreign policy must be contrasted with apparent concern for the welfare of Americans: "by passing healthcare we have created the understanding that we want to care for people at home, but that we absolutely must establish our willingness and enthusiasm to do what needs to be done abroad."

Dan Poulton

Dan Poulton

Dan is a writer, broadcaster and campaigner.  His most recent documentary was The New Scramble For Africa and his documentaries have appeared regularly on the Islam Channel. He is an organiser for Counterfire and a regular contributor to Counterfire site.

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