Backtalk, August 30, 2004

Against Bush, but Not for Kerry

I love this site. I visit it all the time. I agree with you in part on John Kerry. He doesn’t excite me. But Bush is terrifying. He exhibits all of the classic traits of a megalomaniac. He is inflexible, and demonstrates almost a sadism about life in general.

He is like a boulder of granite. Actually, he still is an untreated alcoholic and – who knows? – he may be tipping a few in the White House. He is dangerous and a liar. I believe that John Kerry, while not perfect, could at least begin to start a dialogue with the citizens of the United States and the world. If Bush is allowed to win again, we may never recover the freedoms of this country from the neoconservatives.

~ Jon Garner

Paul Craig Roberts replies:

Bush’s reelection means a Nazi police state at war with the world.

“However unappealing the alternative candidate, if the electorate fails to hold Bush accountable for invading Iraq on false pretenses and multiplying the recruits to al-Qaeda, American democracy will have failed.”

Didn’t democracy fail in the year 2000? That is, if it even existed in the way you are thinking of.

“This will be understood everywhere in the world, and American power will fail as well.”

Assuming you’re talking about American empire, wouldn’t that be a good thing for the world?

~ John Harvey, Olympia

Paul Craig Roberts replies:

It could be good for the world, but not for Americans. A great risk for the US is that it will be forced by Asia into being a third world market for Asia’s products.

Dr. Roberts: It seems some members of Congress are “not capable of unity or of hatching any big scheme.” They do appear to be able to hatch smaller tactical schemes in furtherance of larger strategic goals.

From “Iraqi conference widens political divide,” by Michael A. Weinstein, Asia Times, August 26:

“The two most powerful members of the US Senate’s Foreign Relations Committee – Republican Richard Lugar and Democrat Joseph Biden – had publicly urged Allawi to suppress the Mehdi Army, indicating a bipartisan consensus on a coercive strategy. Allawi was also determined for his own interest to suppress the most serious threat to his regime – any legitimacy that he might hope to achieve depends upon his providing at least a semblance of order to Iraq.”

~ James Barber

Paul Craig Roberts replies:

If this is a small tactical scheme, nothing can come of it. Allawi cannot suppress the Mehdi Army. Only US armor and gunships can do this, and there is no certainty that even the Americans can suppress the al-Sadr forces. Congress is a powerless organization until the press gets a president in trouble.

Another Argument for Limited Government

Excuse me, how is the New Yorker article (“The Unpolitical Animal: How political science understands voters“) an argument for libertarianism? The basic point of the article is that people vote against their own interests (they vote against the estate tax) because they’re too stupid to know any better. Due to their animalistic, emotional behavior, the majority of people are destined to be ruled by an elite body of opinion-shapers. Rather than an argument for less, it’s an argument for more government to protect people from themselves, or rather it is a pessimistic observation that government, no matter its formal structure, will always be an oligarchy. I would think libertarians would be up in arms about this article and denounce it as an assault on the optimistic belief that people are capable of rational self-interest.

~ Eugene Koontz

I consider the electorate’s stance on the estate tax to be on a par with the general belief that Saddam Hussein was responsible for the September 2001 attacks on the United States, but I reject any suggestion that this ignorance is indicative of native incompetence.

Ask questions like those of American citizens who actually took civics classes and had to know things such as “how a bill becomes a law” before they were allowed to graduate from high school. We’ve stopped requiring that these things be taught, stopped it 40 years ago.

It would be one thing to say “You must prove your qualifications for enfranchisement” (and we KNOW how that has been manipulated in the past) and quite another thing to suggest that only the citizens who have, on their own and imperfectly, learned the rules and responsibilities of self-government can be permitted the vote.

Of course, you MAY have been suggesting that government shouldn’t legislate matters about which the people are ignorant, or suggesting that government shouldn’t legislate about redistribution of wealth. While those are certainly defensible positions, I don’t see where you arrive there from your estate-tax-ignorance example.

~ David Waite

Sam Koritz replies:

Advocates of big government commonly argue that democracy protects society from government abuse. This is less likely if people tend to make voting decisions based on illogic and misinformation.

Neocon Treason

I already wrote to Paul Craig Roberts congratulating him on this wonderful article. There is no other way to tell this story. The United States of America and its citizenry must come before the state of Israel many times over. We are not Israel. We are Americans. We owe Israel nothing. We must not be part of what these people are doing. Thank God for Paul Craig Roberts and all other men and women in America who will properly stand against this neoconservative poison.

~ Joe Rorke

The Abu Ghraib Prison Photos

I am a Vietnam-era U.S. Navy veteran. I thought we came a long way since then. I can see that I have been misled by our leaders. These actions are despicable. Anybody condoning or allowing or not acting upon this should be stripped of their rights just as a felon. We were always told to do as we were told, without question. I would have taken a court-martial instead, and be proud not to be a part of those actions.

This all points in one direction: leadership. … The chain-of-command is a big part of the military. The person at the top of that command is guilty. “Not knowing” this is happening is not a valid excuse. The top of the chain’s obligation is to know. If he doesn’t know, he has failed. If he does know he still has failed. This person is the commander-in-chief, in this case, George W. Bush.

~ Kim Griffith

Neocons Seek Vindication in Escalation

I am a fan of Pat Buchanan; however, I am amazed at how he changes his criticism of Bush in the writings, to praise when he is appearing on TV. I fully agree with his statements on the Iraq war and the dangerous neocons’ steering of our foreign actions, indicating that Bush is double-dumb to follow such crazy advice. But when he appears on the talk shows, he is a real gung-ho rooter for Bush. I am a lifelong conservative Republican but, after the mess which Bush has created, it is time for a new CEO, just like when a corporate exec messes up. …

~ Ralph Simpson, Tulsa, OK

Buchanan Against the Empire

I‘ve been a reader of Justin’s columns for some time now and – until now – have been firmly in his “amen corner.” His assessment of Pat Buchanan, however, flounders on the shoals of unreality – as does Pat’s assessment of Bush.

Last time around I voted for Pat but have come to see him as a “roper” who hangs out on the Republican “right” trying to bring in the strays who are leaving the imperial herd for the sweet water and green grass of honor and integrity that can only be found in third party meadows.

Instead of challenging the crooked primary results out West in his run for the nomination, Pat acquiesced in the outcome and supported the embodiment of America’s dishonor now ensconced in the White House. Instead of leading a conservative movement, he has tarried in the desert with a stumbling herd of addled bloviates lowing mournfully for the halcyon pastures of Reaganesque conservative rhetoric while ignoring the sterile expanses created by Reagan the Statist and the sheer magnitude of corruption, debt and death for which this Rockefeller Republican in conservative clothing was ultimately responsible.

A party that can have a Wolfowitz in it shouldn’t have a conservative anywhere near it. Bush had to be more than an ’empty vessel’ to assemble such a prize collection of neo-conmen in his Administration – agents of internationalism who prior to the election had made it quite clear to any and all that they desired war with Iraq to achieve the leadership change there that Clinton failed to deliver.

Justin! If you have Pat’s ear tell him to forget the GOP – the brand belonging to the Grand Old Plutocrats – and remember America. Cross the political Rubicon and burn the bridges behind you! There is nothing for conservatives in that moral desert. Tell him that America needs a Conservative Party – one led by men of principles – of principles that the GOP has abandoned and Democrats never had. Tell Pat to stop being a punching bag and shill for the Republicans. Even if he were by some miracle to win a Republican nomination he would be deserted, as Barry was 1964 by the Rockefeller Republicans and as McGovern was by the moneybags of the Republican Lite party. …

Its time for a champion of the right to step forth and slay the Demopublican Goliath that has turned this nation from its Constitution and made it the decadent statist thrall of the overweening ambitions of the money power.

~ Leo Womble

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