Thanks again for telling the truth about the wars that the imbecile in the White House has dragged us into. There are plenty of jokes about Bush, the Texas cowboy, but unfortunately, Bush is significantly motivated by a sham honor, living out a solemn farce aping the Texans of old, that runs about as deep as his cowboy boots. Now, God help us, he fancies himself in an Old West shoot-out with Almadinejad. But instead of facing off with the Iranian president, Bush’s sense of honor calls for the equivalent of sneaking over to the man’s ranch at night and blowing up his family with dynamite.
Imagine how easy it must be for the neocons to manipulate this egotistical, sneering jerk simply by arranging to have him constantly surrounded by marching bands and cheering crowds, or dressing him up in a costume and landing him on the flight deck of an aircraft carrier. If you think the average American’s worldview is manufactured to order, just imagine how out of touch Bush is, surrounded as he is by those neocons 24/7.
If Bush, the neocons, McCain, and other Beltway types ad nauseam are the face of the Republican Party, maybe you, Pat Buchanan, and the people at Chronicles, for starters, should seriously start talking about forming a new party before it’s too late.
Paul Craig Roberts replies:
Paul Craig Roberts’ “War Criminal Nation” is very important because it breaks the taboo of criticizing the American people, who are after all ultimately responsible for the massive criminal acts of the Bush administration.
Americans are not good Germans, and the Republicans are not Nazis. They are an original form of social malignancy that is a proven menace to all of humanity to the degree that they countenance mass murder, torture, and gross violations of both human rights and the Constitution. Thank you, Mr. Roberts, for the courage to point the finger in our collective mirror.
Only when the illness is properly diagnosed can a cure be conceived.
Paul Craig Roberts replies:
Bush says that he is committing Americans, their blood and remaining wealth, to the elimination of tyranny and terrorism throughout the world. Of course, Bush’s neocon government is the epitome of tyranny and terror. Bush claims he is higher than law, and his henchmen kidnap “suspects” and send them to tyrannical regimes to be tortured. Democracy and freedom start at home, and America is in deficit.
Would Paul Craig Roberts please run for president in 2008 as the leader of the newly formed American Freedom Party? I am certain he will draw his support from millions of sane citizens, who are disgusted by the two largest political parties but still love and have faith in America.
Paul Craig Roberts replies:
I appreciated Helena Cobban’s “Incredible Shrinking U.S.,” reposted from Salon, and just wanted to offer one suggestion for consideration:
Perhaps the future consequences to which Helena alludes in her closing words will be of a radically different nature than the U.S. has experienced from the international community in the past. As we speak, nations that we may have at one time considered backward are recognizing their own power on several fronts: power over their own natural resources, power over their own currencies, and most importantly, regional diplomatic power. Consider for example the ascendant Shanghai Cooperation Organization, the BRICS trading bloc, and the emergent nationalized bourses in competition with NYMEX and IPE. It would appear that the international community may be evolving beyond a status quo of brute force to a more advanced means of relating, and I hope that Antiwar.com will reflect this with an additional news category on economic war and peace.
A great column, as usual. I would have made one additional point.
Christopher Hitchens, as quoted by you, implies that the Haditha incident happened in “a white-hot few minutes,” and he regards this as significant.
In fact, military investigators were quoted in the Associated Press report on May 26 [“Investigation Closes in on Marines“] as saying of the incident, “This was not a burst of fire, but a sustained operation over several hours, maybe five hours.”
Why does the U.S. Army have 155 mm self-propelled howitzers in Iraq?
The caliber of these guns is slightly larger than the largest German (150 mm) or Soviet (152 mm) howitzers of WWII. These guns were primarily used in that war to bombard the defensive positions of the enemy prior to an offensive attack or to demolish large buildings during assaults on cities. The inhabitants of Berlin reported that the bombardment of the city by the Soviet guns was scarier than the Allied air bombardments. Some warning against air raids was possible, but the artillery shells arrived totally unannounced.
There are no “defensive positions” in Iraq comparable to those of WWII, which were commonly “softened” by hours of bombardments with thousands of guns of various calibers. The U.S. howitzers in Iraq can have only one possible objective, namely to bombard cities and towns into submission. They are safer for their soldier-operators than helicopters or planes, which can be shot down.
The book A Rumor of War by Philip Caputo relating his year as a Marine Infantry Platoon Leader in Vietnam from 1965 to 1966 should be required reading for President Bush and Donald Rumsfield and everyone who even dares to criticize, support, or comment about Iraq. After reading it, one must come to believe that we have little chance of winning anything in Iraq, if we ever did! We must get out now before we lose even one more person to that hell! I am a retired U.S. Army warrant officer and proud of my service and of those serving today, but cannot abide the stupidity of this war!
~ Clarence A. Dillman