- Despite the worst foreign policy blunder in American
history, George W. Bush and his millionaire supporters don't know the meaning
of the word shame.
- I used to take a drink on occasion with a network newsman
famed for his impenetrable calm--his apparent pulse rate that of a large
mammal in deep hibernation--and in an avuncular moment he advised me that
I'd do all right, in the long run, if I could only avoid the kind of journalism
committed to the keyboard "with trembling fingers." I recognized
the wisdom of this advice and endeavored over the years to write as little
as possible when my blood pressure was soaring and my face was streaked
with tears. The lava flows of indignation ebb predictably with age and
hardening arteries, and nearing three-score I thought I'd never have to
take another tranquilizer--or a double bourbon--to keep my fingers steady
on the keys.
- I never imagined 2004.
- It would be sophomoric to say that there was never a
worse year to be an American. My own memory preserves the dread summer
of 1968. My parents suffered the consequences of 1941 and 1929, and my
grandfather Jack Allen, who lived through all those dark years, might have
added 1918, with the flu epidemic and the Great War in France that each
failed, very narrowly, to kill him. Drop back another generation or two
and we encounter 1861.
- But if this is not the worst year yet to be an American,
it's the worst year by far to be one of those hag-ridden wretches who comment
on the American scene. The columnist who trades in snide one-liners
flounders like a stupid comic with a tired audience; TV comedians
and talk-show hosts who try to treat 2004 like any zany election year have
become grotesque, almost loathsome. Our most serious, responsible newspaper
columnists are so stunned by the disaster in Iraq that they've begun to
quote poetry by Rupert Brooke and Wilfred Owen. They lower their voices,
they sound like Army chaplains delivering eulogies over ranks of flag-draped
coffins, under a hard rain from an iron sky.
- Yeats' "blood-dimmed tide is loosed." The war
news had already deteriorated from bad to tragic to pre-apocalyptic, which
left no suitable category for these excruciating reports on the sexual
torture of Iraqi prisoners.Fingers, be still. In less than a year, the
morale of the occupying forces had sunk so low that murder, suicide, rape
and sexual harassment became alarming statistics, and now the warriors
of democracy--the emissaries of civilization--stand accused of every crime
this side of cannibalism. Osama bin Laden has always anathematized America's
culture, as well as its geopolitical influence. To him these atrocities
are a sign of Allah's certain favor, a great moral victory, a vindication
of his deepest anger and darkest crimes.
- Where does it go from here? The nightmare misadventure
in Iraq is over, beyond the reach of any reasonable argument, though many
more body bags will be filled. In Washington, chicken hawks will still
be squawking about "digging in" and winning, but Vietnam proved
conclusively that no modern war of occupation would ever be won. Every
occupation is doomed. The only way you "win" a war of occupation
is the old-fashioned way, the way Rome finally defeated the Carthaginians:
kill all the fighters, enslave everyone else, raze the cities and sow the
fields with salt.
- Otherwise the occupied people will fight you to the last
peasant, and why shouldn't they? If our presidential election fails to
dislodge the crazy bastards who annexed Baghdad, many of us in this country
would welcome regime change by any intervention, human or divine. But if,
say, the Chinese came in to rescue us--Operation American Freedom--how
long would any of us, left-wing or right, put up with an occupying army
teaching us Chinese-style democracy? A guerrilla who opposes an invading
army on his own soil is not a terrorist, he's a resistance fighter. In
Iraq we're not fighting enemies but making enemies. As Richard Clarke and
others have observed, every dollar, bullet and American life that we spend
in Iraq is one that's not being spent in the war on terrorism. Every Iraqi,
every Muslim we kill or torture or humiliate is a precious shot of adrenaline
for Osama and al Qaeda.
- The irreducible truth is that the invasion of Iraq was
the worst blunder, the most staggering miscarriage of judgment, the most
fateful, egregious, deceitful abuse of power in the history of American
foreign policy. If you don't believe it yet, just keep watching. Apologists
strain to dismiss parallels with Vietnam, but the similarities are stunning.
In every action our soldiers kill innocent civilians, and in every other
action apparent innocents kill our soldiers--and there's never any way
to sort them out. And now these acts of subhuman sadism, these little My
- Since the defining moment of the Bush presidency, the
preposterous flight-suit, Fox News-produced photo-op on the Abraham Lincoln
in front of the banner that read "Mission Accomplished," the
shaming truth is that everything has gone wrong. Just as it was bound to
go wrong, as many of us predicted it would go wrong--if anything more hopelessly
wrong than any of us would have dared to prophesy. Iraq is an epic train
wreck, and there's not a single American citizen who's going to walk away
- The shame of this truth, of such a failure and so much
deceit exposed, would have brought on mass resignations or votes of no
confidence in any free country in the world. In Japan not long ago, there
would have been ritual suicides, shamed officials disemboweling themselves
with samurai swords. Yet up to this point--at least to the point where
we see grinning soldiers taking pictures of each other over piles of naked
Iraqis--neither the president, the vice president nor any of the individuals
who urged and designed this debacle have resigned or been terminated--or
even apologized. They have betrayed no familiarity with the concept of
- Thousands of young Americans are dead, maimed or mutilated,
100 billion has been wasted and all we've gained is a billion new enemies
and a mouthful of dust--of sand. Chaos reigns, but in the midst of it we
have this presidential election. George Bush has defined himself as a war
president, and it's fitting that he should die by the sword--in fact fall
on it, and quick. But even now the damned polls don't guarantee, or even
indicate, his demise.
- Conventional wisdom says that an incumbent president
with a $200 million war chest cannot be defeated, and that one who commands
a live, bleeding, suffering army in the field is doubly invincible. By
this logic, the most destructively incompetent president since Andrew Johnson
will be rewarded with a second term. That would probably mean a military
draft and more wars in the oil countries and, under visionaries like Dick
Cheney and Paul Wolfowitz, a chance for the United States to emulate 19th-century
Paraguay, which simultaneously declared war on Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay
and fought ferociously until 90 percent of the male population was dead.
- What hope then? Impeachment is impossible when the president's
party controls both houses of Congress, though Watergate conspirator John
Dean, who ought to know, claims in his new book that there
are compelling legal arguments for a half-dozen bills of impeachment against
George W. Bush. Peer pressure? At the White House, world opinion gets no
more respect than FBI memos or uncomfortable facts. Many Americans seem
unaware that scarcely anyone on the planet Earth supported the Iraq adventure,
no one anywhere except the 40-50 million Republican loyalists who voted
for George Bush in 2000.
- Among significant world leaders he recruited only Great
Britain's Tony Blair--whose career may be ruined because most Britons disagree
with him--and the abominable Ariel Sharon, that vile tub of blood and corruption
who recently used air-to-ground missiles to assassinate a paraplegic in
a wheelchair at the door of his mosque. (Palestinians quickly squandered
any sympathy or moral advantage they gained from this atrocity by strapping
a retarded 16-year-old into a suicide bomber's kit. Such is the condition
of the human race in the Middle East, variously known as the Holy Land
or the Cradle of Civilization.) Says Sharon, oleaginously, of Bush: "Something
in his soul committed him to act with great courage against world terror."
- The rest of the known world, along with the United Nations,
has been dead set against us from the start. But they carry no weight.
Thanks to our tax dollars and the well-fed, strong but not bulletproof
bodies of our children--though mostly children from lower-income families--George
Bush and his lethal team of oil pirates, Cold Warriors and Likudists commands
the most formidable military machine on earth. No nation, with the possible
exception of China, would ever dare to oppose them directly.
- But the Chinese aren't coming to save us. Nothing and
no one can stop these people except you and me, and the other 100 million
or so American citizens who may vote in the November election. This isn't
your conventional election, the usual dim-witted, media-managed Mister
America contest where candidates vie for charm and style points and hire
image coaches to help them act more confident and presidential. This is
a referendum on what is arguably the most dismal performance by any incumbent
president--and inarguably the biggest mistake. This is a referendum on
George W. Bush, arguably the worst thing that has happened to the United
States of America since the invention of the cathode ray tube.
- One problem with this referendum is that the case against
George Bush is much too strong. Just to spell it out is to sound like a
bitter partisan. I sit here on the 67th birthday of Saddam Hussein facing
a haystack of incriminating evidence that comes almost to my armpit.
- What matters most, what signifies? Journalists used to
look for the smoking gun, but this time we have the cannons of Waterloo,
we have Gettysburg and Sevastopol, we have enough gun smoke to cause asthma
in heaven. I'm overwhelmed. Maybe I should light a match to this mountain
of paper and immolate myself. On the near side of my haystack, among hundreds
of quotes circled and statistics underlined, just one thing leaped out
at me. A quote I had underlined was from the testimony of Hermann Goering
at the Nuremberg trials, not long before Hitler's vice-Fuhrer poisoned
himself in his jail cell: "It is always a simple matter to drag people
along whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament,
or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be
brought to the bidding of the leaders. This is easy. All you have to do
is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack
of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in
- Goering's dark wisdom gained weight when a friend called
me and reported that Vice President Cheney was so violently partisan in
his commencement speech at Westminster College in Missouri--so rabid in
his attacks on John Kerry as an anti-American peace-marching crypto-communist--that
the college president felt obliges to send the student body an e-mail apologizing
for Cheney's coarseness.
- If you think it's exceptionally shameless for a man who
dodged Vietnam to play the patriot card against a decorated veteran, remember
that Georgia Republicans played the same card, successfully, against Sen.
Max Cleland, who suffered multiple amputations in Vietnam. In 2001 and
2002, George Bush and his Machiavelli, Karl Rove, approved political attack
ads that showed the faces of Tom Daschle and other Democratic senators
alongside the faces of Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden. And somewhere
in hell, Goering and Goebbels toasted each other with a schnapps.
- Am I polarized? I've never been a registered Democrat,
I'm sick of this two-party straitjacket, I wish to God it didn't take Yale
and a major American fortune to create a presidential candidate. The only
current Democratic leaders who show me any courage are Nancy Pelosi and
old Bob Byrd--Hillary Clinton has been especially cagy and gutless on this
war--and John Kerry himself may leave a lot to be desired. He deserves
your vote not because of anything he ever did or promises to do, but simply
because he did not make this sick mess in Iraq and owes no allegiance to
the sinister characters who designed it. And because his own "place
in history," so important to the kind of men who run for president,
would now rest entirely on his success in getting us out of it.
- Kerry made a courageous choice at least once in his life,
when he came home with his ribbons and demonstrated against the war in
Vietnam. But Sen. Kerry could turn out to be a stiff, a punk, an alcoholic
and he'd still be a colossal improvement over the man who turned Paul Wolfowitz
loose in the Middle East. The myth that there was no real difference between
Democrats and Republicans, which I once considered seriously and which
Ralph Nader rode to national disaster four years ago, was shattered forever
the day George Bush announced his cabinet and his appointments for the
Department of Defense.
- I'm aware that there are voters--40 million?--who don't
see it this way. I come from a family of veterans and commissioned officers;
I understand patriots in wartime. If a spotted hyena stepped out of Air
Force One wearing a baby-blue necktie, most Americans would salute and
sing "Hail to the Chief." Cultivating these reliable patriots,
President Bush cultivated his patriots by spending $46 million on media
in the month of March alone. Somehow I'm on his mailing list. (Is that
because my late father, with the same name, was a registered Republican,
or can Bush afford to mail his picture to every American with an established
address?) Twice a week I open an appeal for cash to crush John Kerry and
the quisling liberal conspiracy, and now I own six gorgeous color photographs
of the president and his wife. I'm sure some of my neighbors frame the
president's color photographs, and fill those little blue envelopes he
sends us with their hard-earned dollars.
- I struggle against the suspicion that so many of my fellow
Americans are conceptually challenged. I want to reason with my neighbors,
I want to engage these lost Americans. What makes you angry, neighbor?
What arouses your suspicions? Does it bother you that this administration
made terrorism a low priority, dismissed key intelligence that might have
prevented the 9-11 catastrophe, then exploited it to justify the pre-planned
destruction of Saddam Hussein, who had nothing to
do with al Qaeda? All this is no longer conjecture, but direct reportage
from cabinet-level meetings by the turncoat insiders Richard Clarke and
- If the Pentagon ever thought Saddam had "weapons
of mass destruction," it was only because the Pentagon gave them to
him. As Kevin Phillips recounts in American Dynasty, officials of the Reagan
and first Bush administrations eagerly supplied Saddam with arms while
he was using chemical weapons on the Kurds. They twice sent Donald Rumsfeld
to court Saddam, in 1983 and 1984, when the dictator was in the glorious
prime of his monsterhood.
- This scandal, concurrent with Iran-Contra, was briefly
called "Iraqgate," and, yes, among the names of those officials
implicated you'll find most of the engineers of our current foreign policy.
(They also signaled their fractious client, Saddam, that it might be all
right to overrun part of Kuwait; you remember what happened when he tried
to swallow it all.) Does any of this trouble you? Does it worry you that
Dick Cheney, as president of the nefarious Halliburton Corporation, sold
Iraq $73 million in oilfield services between 1997 and 2000, even as he
plotted with the Wolfowitz faction to whack Saddam? Or that Halliburton,
with its CEO's seat still warm from Cheney's butt, was awarded unbid contracts
worth up to $15 billion for the Iraq invasion, and currently earns a billion
dollars a month from this bloody disaster? Not to mention its $27.4 million
overcharge for our soldiers' food.
- These are facts, not partisan rhetoric. Do any of them
even make you restless? The cynical game these shape-shifters have been
playing in the Middle East is too Byzantine to unravel in 1,000 pages of
text. But the hypocrisy of the White House is palpable, and beggars belief.
If there's one American who actually believes that Operation Iraqi Freedom
was about democracy for the poor Iraqis, then you, my friend, are too dangerously
stupid to be allowed near a voting booth.
- Does it bother you even a little that the personal fortunes
of all four Bush brothers, including the president and the governor, were
acquired about a half step ahead of the district attorney, and that the
royal family of Saudi Arabia invested $1.476 billion in those and other
Bush family enterprises? Or, as Paul Krugman points out, that it's much
easier to establish links between the Bush and bin Laden families than
any between the bin Ladens and Saddam Hussein. Do you know about Ahmad
Chalabi, the administration's favorite Iraqi and current agent in Baghdad,
whose personal fortune was established when he embezzled several hundred
million from his own bank in Jordan and fled to London to avoid 22 years
at hard labor? That's just a sampling from my haystack. Maybe I can reach
you as an environmentalist, one who resents the gutting of key provisions
in the Clean Air Act? My own Orange County, chiefly a rural area, was recently
added to a national register of counties with dangerously polluted air.
- You say you vote for the president because you're a conservative.
Are you sure? I thought conservatives believed in civil liberties, a weak
federal executive, an inviolable Constitution, a balanced budget and an
isolationist foreign policy. George Bush has an attorney general who drives
the ACLU apoplectic and a vice president who demands more executive privilege
(for his energy seances) than any elected official has ever received. The
president wants a Constitutional amendment to protect marriage from homosexuals,
of all things. Between tax cuts for his high-end supporters and three years
playing God and Caesar in the Middle East, George Bush has simply emptied
America's wallet, with a $480 billion federal deficit projected for 2004,
and the tab on Iraq well over $100 billion and running.
- "A lot of so-called conservatives today don't know
what the word means," Barry Goldwater said in 1994, when the current
cult of right-wing radicals and "neocons" had begun to define
and assert themselves. Goldwater was my first political hero, before I
was old enough to read his flaws. But his was the conservatism of the wolf--the
lone wolf--and this is the conservatism of sheep.
- All it takes to make a Bush conservative is a few slogans
from talk radio and pickup truck bumpers, a sneer at "liberals"
and maybe a name-dropping nod to Edmund Burke or John Locke, whom most
of them have never read. Sheep and sheep only could be herded by a ludicrous
but not harmless cretin like Rush Limbaugh, who has just compared the sexual
abuse of Iraqi prisoners to "a college fraternity prank" (and
who once called Chelsea Clinton "the family dog"--you don't have
to worry about shame when you have no brain).
- I don't think it's accurate to describe America as polarized
between Democrats and Republicans, or between liberals and conservatives.
It's polarized between the people who believe George Bush and the people
who do not. Thanks to some contested ballots in a state governed by the
president's brother, a once-proud country has been delivered into the hands
of liars, thugs, bullies, fanatics and thieves. The world pities or despises
us, even as it fears us. What this election will test is the power of money
and media to fool us, to obscure the truth and alter the obvious, to hide
a great crime against the public trust under a blood-soaked flag. The most
lavishly funded, most cynical, most sophisticated political campaign in
human history will be out trolling for fools. I pray to God it doesn't
- From itis fiesta
- Concerning http://www.rense.com/general54/usdelr.htm
- Could you please add the following to the above article
- John Kerry : "I will support the Administration's
request for emergency funds for our troops. The situation in Iraq has deteriorated
far beyond what the Administration anticipated. This money is urgently
needed, and it is completely focused on the needs of our troops. We must
give our troops the equipment and support to carry out their missions in
Iraq and Afghanistan".
- Source : http://releases.usnewswire.com/GetRelease.asp?id=140-05132004
- My comments : Representative "democracy" =
corruption by Big Business
The only democracy is direct democracy