The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

Who Is Robert Gates?

Nov 13, 2006

George Bush has nominated Robert Gates to replace Donald Rumsfeld as secretary of defense. Who is he–this man who is being touted as the one to end the war in Iraq?

He is a product of the CIA. Gates was the second in command of the CIA in the mid-1980s, during the Iran-Contra “affair,” when the U.S. was secretly selling weapons to Iran in order to pay for its war in Nicaragua. That was the war carried out by thugs and mercenaries hired by the U.S. against the people of Nicaragua.

When Congress opened up an investigation and questioned Gates about this, he claimed that he didn’t know anything about it–which led one Congressman to declare that Gates was either a liar or an incompetent, since it was happening right under his nose.

At the same time, Gates was playing up the supposed Russian threat, literally finding a Russian under every rock, in order to justify Reagan’s big military build-up–which many CIA analysts didn’t like, since it made them look like they didn’t really know what was going on in Russia right before the Soviet Union collapsed. When Reagan named Gates to head the CIA, Congress rejected his nomination for lying to them. But when Bush’s father was president, he rewarded Gates by naming him head of the CIA again–and this time got Congress to go along with it by the narrowest of votes.

No wonder that after Gates was nominated to be secretary of defense, commentators remarked that he had been groomed for such a position for a long time and had been plucked from the Bush family stable. Gates, who today is being puffed up by the news media as the new savior of U.S. policy in Iraq, is nothing but a recycled face that is being pasted onto a barbaric war in order to lure people in this country into believing that there is going to be some kind of change in U.S. policy in Iraq, that the U.S. is getting ready to get out.

So why have the Democrats indicated they will accept his nomination?

Why else? They agree with Bush’s intention to pursue and increase the war.