Backtalk, December 3, 2005

The Grave Threat Is the Bush Administration

The police-state mentality is only a byproduct of the greatest threat to the Republic: our own feckless and desensitized people. We have a president whose obvious third-rate intellect and long history of personal business failures were alone enough to dismiss him as a pampered lightweight – but still he is elected, and reelected, by sham or not. We have a vice president who can serially prevaricate and nobody seems at all concerned. We have the Jack Abramoff scandal running pretty much quietly and it will eventually make the Grant administration’s corruption seem prosaic. We have torture and incendiary weapons used with near impunity and we have the editorial rooms of nation’s two most influential newspapers at war with themselves because of the infiltration of biased apologists and ideology into the newspapers’ journalistic corps – and still the people of the nation seem to need more evidence that their government is seriously off the reservation and plowing us further and further into a deeper and deeper hole.

The people of the nation, like it or not, have the government they deserve because the national motto is now: “Whatever.” Bush is not the cause of our dysfunction; he is a result, one of many, of the real culprit in the current decline of the Republic: ourselves.

We have bided our time too long as breathless spectators to the ongoing show and confuse our “best intentions” with real action. We have confused a need for leadership with a need for leaders. We don’t need leaders, we need to begin to direct the affairs of the Republic as the Founders intended, from the bottom up. It takes diligent work, omnivorous intelligence, and intestinal fortitude, and until the people exhibit it, this Republic will unfortunately continue to decline.

~ D.W. Sabin, Washington, Conn.

Paul Craig Roberts replies:

These are good and well-taken points. I would only say that many Americans are so distracted by economic and job pressures and by government intrusions into the family that they can discern the truth of wider issues only with a lag.

Shepherd Bliss wrote a moving article on Cindy Sheehan and the possibility of her being the most influential person in the antiwar movement. Dr. Roberts, a noted conservative, may be the second-most influential person in the antiwar movement from his articles. We need conservatives with patriotism to speak out against Bush and his cabal and his policies.

~ Gerald Socha

Paul Craig Roberts replies:

I appreciate the compliment and am proud of the company. The neocons have pretty much decimated the conservatives, their natural enemies.

Can a Nuclear Strike on Iran Be Prevented?

Does the tentative date for the Israeli elections affect the timetable for an attack on Iran? What about the attempt by more prudent and cautious elements of the oligarchy to constrain the Cheney faction?

~ H. Ewitz

Jorge Hirsch replies:

You raise an interesting point (Israeli elections) that I don’t know the answer to. I am afraid this will happen before that date (March). As for the “cautious elements of the oligarchy,” I don’t believe they are being asked their opinion at this point, and they probably don’t see it coming.

Nuking Iran Without the Dachshund

Why are all the people who know about this plan not telling? Donald Rumsfeld tells you why: “I think anyone who has a position where they touch a war plan has an obligation to not leak it to the press or anybody else, because it kills people.”

I believe what Rumsfeld was actually saying here was: if you leak this, it will get you killed.

~ Sheldon Galloway

Jorge Hirsch replies:

I think you are very right, that was intended to be part of the understood message.

The Unpopular in Pursuit of the Unwinnable?

President Bush likes to repeat slogans again and again, and his phrase “nothing less than complete victory” is simply plagiarism of the speech of a real world leader that spoke these words when sending off that glorious armada to Normandy in D-Day: “We will accept nothing less than full victory!” His name was Dwight Eisenhower.

~ Jorge Moreno

What’s Wrong with Cutting and Running?

I think it would be a splendid idea if we all adopt Walt Kelly’s famous Pogo comment and put it on posters, billboards, etc.:

What this means is that we are the problem in Iraq, we are the provocation for the so-called insurgency. Our presence is the impetus for this bogus war. We need to get out and we need to get out now before we go any deeper.

~ Susan Williams

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