Backtalk, October 6, 2005

The Greatest Strategic Disaster in US History

Your views are so shocking, one wonders what your evidence is.

One story that has not appeared anywhere else in the news is that contained in the New Yorker "Talk of the Town" this week. It concerns the lengths important figures have had to go to warn people that we have no homeland defense and are in great danger. Can you comment on this?

~ Caroline Luckie

Paul Craig Roberts replies:

We have no homeland defense against the Bush administration, which is systematically destroying the civil rights that are the foundation of American liberty. Specifically: Habeas Corpus (destroyed by the PATRIOT Act), the attorney-client privilege (destroyed by the Lynne Stewart case), and the First Amendment (destroyed by the implications of “you are with us or against us”). We have no homeland defense against the Bush administration involving us in naked aggression based entirely on deceit. We have no homeland defense against the Bush administration expanding its warmongering to Syria and Iran (or anywhere else). We have no homeland defense against the great and inexplicable ignorance of Bush supporters. Where do these people come from? How can they fall for obvious lies day after day? How can they possibly be so ignorant of the Middle East? Why do they believe that only terrorists will be abused by the suspension of civil liberties? Why are no other countries in the world – except the U.S. and Israel – worried about Iran and Syria and N. Korea? Why aren’t S. Korea and China and Japan beating the drums for attacking N. Korea? Really.

Paul, I have been following your analysis of the Bush administration policies for quite a while. I see things exactly as you do and wonder how we can get your analysis into the mainstream media and out to where the general public might pay attention.

~ Jane Kelsey

Paul Craig Roberts replies:

The “mainstream media” is highly concentrated, owned essentially by three companies run for advertising profits. There is nothing mainstream about “the mainstream media.” The mainstream media is online.

Theater of the Absurd

Mr. Malic in his recent article is discussing a new version of a Hamlet play in Sarajevo. If I had read the article on a popular theater Web site, I would understand why it is there, but finding the article on has surprised me. I have read the article with an avid interest, but the article reminded me of “unbiased” reports during 1990s produced by Radio-Television of Serbia (RTS), which is a state-owned news and public broadcasting agency based in Belgrade. …

As it has been stated on, Mr. Malic left Bosnia after the Dayton accord, which means that he left Bosnia at the end of 1995 or some time during 1996. On the last consensus held in former Yugoslavia in spring of 1991, and the organization of the consensus that began in late 1980s, the population in Bosnia-Herzegovina had a right to declare (if they wanted) that they were speaking a Bosnian language. The first democratic elections in Bosnia were held in autumn of 1990, when the Croat, Muslim, and Serbian nationalist parties took power in Bosnia. The new government consisted of the members from these nationalistic parties. HOWEVER! The new government could not change the consensus regulations set by the previous Bosnian and Yugoslavian government (may I add, a communist government)! Therefore, Mr. Malic’s arguments that the Bosnian language is a product of Bosnian Muslim politicians are completely false! Not only did the Bosnian Muslims not have a political party at the time of setting up the consensus regulations, but they were majorly pro-Yugoslavian, and most of the Muslims on the last consensus declared that they spoke Serbo-Croatian, which was one of the officials languages in Yugoslavia, because they believed they would betray the Yugoslavian idea if they decided to choose the Bosnian language as a name of their mother tongue.

I strongly believe that Mr. Malic should have known these facts if he had lived in Bosnia until mid 1990s. However, Mr. Malic’s blatant ignoring of historic facts is outrageous, so I feel that the further discussion of the rest article is completely unnecessary!

~ ES

Nebojsa Malic replies:

Dear E.S.,

The first part of your “argument” is a false analogy, completely unrelated to anything I’ve ever written or even the matter at hand, so I will not dignify it with a response.

The second part had me confused for a moment, since you spoke of “consensus” (which means unanimous agreement) when you meant “census” (statistical survey of the population). Nonetheless, having deciphered this, I have to wonder: what exactly are you arguing? That Bosnian Muslims were overwhelmingly pro-Yugoslav on the 1990 census, and said they spoke Serbo-Croatian? But that proves my point: the “Bosnian” language and the “Bosniak” nation were introduced as political constructs in 1993-94, by the Izetbegovic government, in an effort to delegitimize the Serbs and Croats of Bosnia. At the 1991 census, “Bosnian” language and “Bosniak” ethnicity did not exist. Hence my description of “Bosnian” as a “politically motivated product of Muslim leaders’ desire for linguistic distinction” is entirely correct.

As for “blatant ignoring of historical facts,” I cite your statement that the Bosnian Muslims did not have a political party at the time of the census. The “Party of Democratic Action” (SDA) was the first ethnic party in Bosnia-Herzegovina, founded before the Communist laws banning ethnic political organizations had been repealed (indeed, it was a SDA lawyer, Kasim Trnka, that engineered their repeal), and thus had to choose a neutral name. Izetbegovic’s words and deeds have clearly shown since then that its “democratic action” (if any) has been in the service of an Islamic fundamentalist agenda. It is an agenda that has hurt the Bosnian Muslims most of all, as well as damaged inter-ethnic relations in Bosnia to such a point they might not be repaired, ever. And that’s a historical fact.

Bush Is Cooking Up Two More Wars

Dear Dr. Roberts,

I stand in utter contempt of the Bush administration. It has demonstrated a mind-numbing combination of arrogance and utter ignorance. Yet I still find it difficult to believe that they would do something so perilous to the world at large, i.e., launch a nuclear attack on Iran and/or North Korea. With potential threats to Israel’s existence, the prospect of disruption of oil flow and the possibility of war in the Far East, do you really think they would try this? To make sense, they would have to be completely dedicated to Armageddon, perhaps believing in the Rapture and other absurd notions. Well, perhaps they do. Have you actually seen some documentation of such invasion plans?

~ Kwei J Quartey, M.D.

Paul Craig Roberts replies:

Let’s see now. The Pentagon has revised its war doctrine, now calling for “preventive nuclear attack” against non-nuclear adversaries. Bush, Condi Rice, et al., continuously issue military threats against Iran, Syria, and N. Korea. The U.S. has no troops to spare. The U.S. has not enough available troops to deal with Iraq. So what will the U.S. use to attack Iran, Syria, and N. Korea?

Mr. Roberts,

This scenario is my greatest fear. How can this president, with low ratings and no credibility, take us into two more wars, use nuclear weapons, and survive the wrath of the Congress and the American people? Surely a nuclear attack on Iran and Syria would mean Bush’s ouster.

~ John H. Bohn

Paul Craig Roberts replies:

Well, Bush attacked Iraq and everyone acquiesced. He probably believes he can get away with it a second time. Agatha Christie said that a person who gets away with one murder will do a second. Hitler grabbed two countries. It was only with the third (Poland) that war started.

The War Is the Question

I know very little about ANSWER but I do know that Krauthammer, perhaps the most bitter and cruel of the neocons, is making much the same case against ANSWER that Marc Cooper makes in a piece carried today on

ANSWER will be used to divide and conquer the antiwar movement if we permit it. After ANSWER will come Cindy Sheehan, and the nauseating Krauthammer uses ANSWER to get at Sheehan. And of course he uses red-baiting to get at ANSWER. (I thought with the end of the Cold War, we should have seen the end of that.)

After Sheehan will come UFPJ and then

Already the Dems are saying to their antiwar base that they would not appear at the demo because of ANSWER, an argument made by Cooper. Well then why did they not organize their own antiwar rally which with their resources would have been much larger? No, ANSWER is the wedge to divide us. We should not give in to that. ANSWER worked very hard to organize the rally and they count as a colleague Ramsey Clark, a great anti-imperialist. And they have the following of many youth who loved their speakers. If ANSWER is successfully attacked, then another ANSWER will emerge, and we will start over again. And the exclusion of ANSWER will take many idealistic young people out of the antiwar movement. That will be a major defeat for us.

I do not know much about the Marxist group that may or may not stand behind ANSWER. While the now-dead Communist movement was wrong about many things, it sure was right about imperialism. So let us guard against divisions and protect the weakest among us. To do so is to protect us all. …

~ John Walsh

Marching to Irrelevance

David Corn’s latest arrogance is infuriating. Corn’s derision of Americans who went to D.C. to protest is that 300,000 Americans are irrelevant. But Corn hasn’t offered an alternative for ordinary Americans. … JUST WHAT DOES CORN THINK ordinary Americans can do, except everything they can think of – including protest? We aren’t invited to Washington Journal to show off our talent like Corn. We aren’t all articulate Cindy Sheehans. We don’t all have organizations paying for our voices to be heard. We aren’t invited to, nor can we afford to, travel from one media venue to another to be interviewed. Ordinary Americans do everything we can do, including stand up and be counted. We represent thousands of others who couldn’t be there on the day of the event. ANSWER is not the issue; mainstream America came to D.C. out of frustration with this administration. Corn’s dismissal is arrogant, infuriating, and depressing. Corn rejects our Constitutional right – indeed, responsibility – to “petition our government for redress of grievances.” Is Corn even able to contemplate his ultimate betrayal in this sense? What’s worse, we are so irrelevant that Corn doesn’t even have to respond to those who read his dismissals of them because he doesn’t provide e-mail for responses. It’s infuriating.

~ Suzanne DeBolt

Al-Qaeda Cleric Exposed as an MI5 Double Agent

Maybe this is why Bush isn’t looking for Osama bin Laden and blames Iraq for 9/11?

Is there ANYTHING about this war that is real?

Oh yes, the thousands of dead and wounded.

~ Editorette

AIPAC and Espionage: Guilty as Hell


Once again a great article. It really points out to me just how corrupt and traitorous our government is. When the top officials of the government have no shame or fear of impropriety by their attending the annual meeting of AIPAC in the middle of an investigation into espionage which resulted in the indictment of two of that organization’s top officials, it really points out the need for a McCarthy-type purge of our federal government. The only question is would there be anyone left?

~ Gary Kurtz

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