On FOX News Sunday (where else?), Cheney unleashed the ultimate fear campaign by stating, with deadly gravitas, "This is an existential conflict".
For the US Vice President to shout-out on national TV that the war in Iraq (and coming in Iran) is essential because it is an "existential conflict" is akin to the manager shouting-out "FIRE!!" in a crowded theater ----- of nuclear weapons.
While some viewers may have been struck by the similarity of Cheney statements with such statements of fear about "existential threats" coming out of Olmert and the radical right in Israel, I was struck by the unintended truth of Cheney's threat assessment.
No, the 'existential threat' is not to the American people (or even the Israeli people), in that they can certainly defend themselves from any threats from the significantly weaker country of Iran --- they have nothing to fear but fear itself.
The real "existential threat" that Cheney reveals and that drives the Bush/Cheney Empire toward the abyss of nuclear war in the Middle East is the "existential threat" to their own global corporate elite Empire.
There is no serious, let alone "existential", threat to the American people, who strongly voted in November against the continuation (or expansion) of war. In fact, the November vote against war clearly shows that the American people are very confident that they, and their children, will be much safer and stronger by ending the war in Iraq --- and not allowing Bush to start war in Iran.
The American people do not fear any "existential threat" to themselves and their children from the poor people of Iraq, Iran or anywhere else in the Middle East. Rather, they freely and openly reject the very real threat to themselves and their children posed by Bush's insane, deadly and increasingly dangerous expansion of war in Iraq (Iran and the entire Middle East).
While the American people broadly voted for peace and withdrawal from Bush's disastrous Iraq war, the singular and only faction in the US that is "existentially" threatened by withdrawal from the Iraq war is precisely the elite global corporate Empire of 'old economy' oily, weapons and financial interests that Bush and Cheney represent.
And the reason that both Emperor Bush and Vice Emperor Cheney can so cavalierly dismiss the American peoples' resounding vote against further war is that they don't represent the people at all --- they represent the exact Empire which is truly at "existential threat" if the war is stopped! Where would the corrupt empire get its oil if the Iraq war was ended? ------ Now that's an 'existential threat'!
Bush has stated many times that the battle in Iraq (and beyond) is a battle of ideology, and that losing that battle in Iraq is unimaginable and will cause incalculable damage. Now Cheney has raised the ante of fear mongering by stating that, "This is an existential conflict" --- and implying that stopping the war will cause society-wide death and total loss. But the only real "existential threat" of stopping the Iraq war, and stopping the spiral of further war with Iran, is to the very Bushian Empire that is waging expanded war for oil and domination in the Middle East.
The American people do not feel "existential threat" from stopping war in the Middle East --- they feel much more threatened for themselves, their children and their country by the insane expansion of Bush's illegal and immoral war of Empire --- and they consciously and heavily voted to end this war.
Only the Bush/Cheney elite Empire, which has hijacked the US government feels "existential threat" if they can not continue the expanding pro-war, pro-imperialist, pro-corporate, and pro-oil global corporate war of Empire to dominate the Middle East and the whole world with their strategy of "full spectrum domination" and "unrivaled superpower hegemony".
This IS NOT a war about any supposed "existential conflict" that the very weak nation-state of Iran represents to real people anywhere in the world.
This IS entirely about the guileful promoters of expanding oil-war, Bush and Cheney, trying to avoid a very real "existential threat' to their own oily Empire.
If there is any "existential threat" to average Americans, it is the existential threat that this massively powerful and guileful global corporate Empire represents to people everywhere in the world.