Saturday, September 09, 2006

Bush's new "offensive": old lies wrapped up in newer desperation, hubris, arrogance and bigotry

by Len Hart, The Existentialist Cowboy

Charles Gibson of ABC pressed the issue: what had Iraq to do with 911? Bush leaned forward aggressively and shot back: I just told you!! Oh ..well!!! That clears up everything, doesn't it?

Bush's new offensive is summed up thus: repeat the same old lies but do it belligerently! The same old lies —no argument, no facts, no evidence! You are expected to take the word of a proven liar who, faced with an unprecedented national debacle, goes back to the well, summoning the old bogeyman: terrorism! Here's Bush's new package of old lies:
In the war on terror, we face a global enemy.
But who is the enemy? Is it the people of Afghanistan? The people of Iraq? Evil doers? Why don't we start with the "evil doers" in Bushco? Or —perhaps Bush prefers to murder them in order to save the infidel souls that he has "liberated"!
And if we were not fighting this enemy in Iraq, they would not be idle; they would be plotting and trying to kill Americans across the world and within our own borders.
That's the if we don't fight them there, we will have to fight them here argument. Bush is lying again. No one —certainly not the administration —has made the case that there were "terrorists" in Iraq before the US invaded. What are improperly called "terrorists" or "insurgents" by Bush are, in fact, guerillas resisting by whatever means an illegal, oppressive occupation. Such a resistance is recognized as legitimate by International law and is, therefore, not terrorism.
If I were an American, as I am an Englishman, while a foreign troop was landed in my country I never would lay down my arms,—never! never! never!
--William Pitt, Earl of Chatham. (1708–1778), Speech to Parliament, Nov. 18, 1777
Those not making up the guerrilla resistance to the US are of three remaining groups: Kurds fighting for control of the northwest; Shi'ites and Sunnis fighting one another for control of Baghdad. What is that if not civil war? Bush either does not understand this or is deliberately misstating the facts in order to mislead the American people.
Against this enemy there can be no compromise, so we will fight them in Iraq, we will fight them across the world, and we will stay in the fight until the fight is won.
Former National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski warns of this "clash of civilizations" rhetoric; if Bush continues, warns Brzezinski, the US may find itself on the losing side of just such a confrontation. The term "Islamo-fascism" is a made up word —the work of paid GOP focus groups and the right wing blogosphere. There is no such thing. It is pure and misleading propaganda designed to conceal the true nature of the conflict just as the term "insurgent" conceals the nature of Iraqi resistance to the US occupation.

Even if there were such a thing as "Islamo-fascism", how are we to know who to murder and who to spare? "Islamo-fascism" has its roots in racism, jingoism, and bigotry, just as do the terms "raghead" and "sand nigger". Islam is insulted and ought to be. As the bigot that he is, Bush has denied humanity to millions if not billions of the world's population.

Victory, meanwhile, seems even more elusive now than ever. Some three years after a Blitzkrieg called "Shock and Awe" more than 2,300 Americans are dead and more than 17,000 wounded. Iraqi causalities vary but the best estimates are some 40,000 dead from "Shock and Awe" alone; total dead between 100,000 to 140,000.

Of course Bush will exploit the terrorism card again. The opinion surveys reveal growing disenchantment, impatience with a war that is increasingly associated with torture, atrocities, escalating death, horror, and the absolutely unacceptable deprivations that the US has forced upon a civilian population.

There is no justification for what the US has done to the people of Iraq.
Saddam had nothing whatsoever to do with 911; Saddam doesn't even like Bin Laden, a right winger, a creation of the American CIA. Saddam had no WMD. Saddam's Iraq had not been a haven for "terrorists" before the US invaded, and even now, most of the so-called "terrorists" are guerillas who oppose an aggressive war by the United States. No ex post facto rationale put forward by Bush has ever, in any way, justified the heinous level of deprivation and horror exacted upon that civilian population by Bush.

Former National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski is absolutely correct: Bush is bogged down in the Iraq quagmire because he doesn't understand the nature of the conflict, the nature of Middle East politics, the subtleties of Middle Eastern culture. Speaking on NPR this weekend, Brzezinski, characterized Bush's recent statements as hubris and ignorance. Brzezinski had earlier stated that the US would lose a war of attrition. We have already lost our legitimacy.

Another Bush lie implies that the US is involved in a struggle to bring democracy to Iraq. That's the lie; now here's the truth: if the Middle East never becomes democratic , it will be because Bush has made a dirty word of "democracy". Throughout the Middle East, you will find this admonition: "Be nice to America....or it will bring 'democracy' to you!"

By violating all democratic principles to wage war of naked aggression against Iraq, Bush lost! Villages are not saved by destroying them; democracy is not defended when it is subverted. When the US is eventually forced to withdraw ignominiously from Iraq, it will have lost all credibility, all influence, and, most tragically, its own democracy at home. If it were true that terrorists "just hate freedom", then Bush succeeded where every terrorist failed!

The US is now thought to be the most dangerous nation on earth. Even our closest ally —Britain —will soon rid itself of the once promising Tony Blair who owes his demise to his association with George W. Bush.
Now I would like to say very briefly that in my view, that war which was a war of choice is already a serious moral set back to the United States. A moral set back both in how we start, how it was justified, and because of some of the egregious incidents that have accompanied this proceeding.
The moral costs to the United States are high. It’s a political setback. The United States has never been involved in an intervention in its entire history like it is today. It is also a military set back. “Mission Accomplished” are words that many in this administration want to forget.
—Former National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski, Charting a U.S. Foreign Policy Road Map for 2005 and Beyond 
Desperate to link Iraq to his phantom menace, the "war on terrorism" and, more recently, the "war on Islamo-fascism", Bush has become a war criminal under international law and a capital-crime felon under US criminal codes. When he can no longer hide behind the Presidential seal, Bush may very well find himself in the dock, charged with capital crimes. [See  U.S. Codes, Title 18, 2441]

The issue is not only aggressive war but torture. Contrary to the official cover story, George W. Bush authorized torture with a memo of Feb. 7, 2002. His deliberate act violates both Geneva and the above cited US criminal codes that were approved by a Republican-led Congress in 1996. Now that Bush has at last admitted the existence of the torture camps that his administration had initially denied, he seems more prosecutable than ever.
So let's take a step back and analyze what just happened.
  • First of all, Bush instantly pissed off what few European allies he had left, because he told them that the secret prisons didn't exist.
  • Bush once again painted himself as a liar. He might as well be wearing a sign reading "I cannot be trusted".
  • Not only did he lie about the existence of the secret prisons, but he must have also lied about the torturing of detainees. He has denied all along that "we don't torture", but the only reason for shipping them off to non-US territories is to have them out of the bounds of US laws & protections. Bottom line - of course they're being tortured.
  • In the process of admitting to secret "black-site" prisons, and having 'renditioned' these detainees for 'special interrogation', Bush is also pushing for congressional action to allow for a change in the Geneva Conventions and military tribunals. The Supreme Court has already ruled against this, but now Bush is trying to change the laws... right now... in a hurry... in time for the November election. Gee, could it be that Bush is politicizing his tough-on-terrorism rhetoric for GOP advantage?
  • Public Affair Magazine
 Now —appallingly —Bush insists upon "staying a course" when there is no course to stay. Old lies are no truer now than they were then. Bush insists upon miring the US in a Middle East quagmire in which there is not only no victory but no definition of one. Bush insists upon staying the course when, in fact, his incompetent administration has failed to define the "enemy" beyond an infantile description of "evil doers" and "terrorists".

Bush has committed the United States to a perpetual war that it has already lost, from which it cannot withdraw with honor, and cannot stay with even less. Whatever campaign of un-American aggression Bush has committed this nation to, I can tell you that it is not war. It is, rather, bloody murder —a campaign of aggression, oil theft, and imperial, vainglorious hubris. As Pogo said: "We have seen the enemy and he is us!" Bush has made of us Nazis!

We are the aggressors! We will not win! We will not have deserved to win! Bush has damned the US to a perpetual, un-winnable conflict which Bush does not and cannot understand, against a mythic enemy which Bush has not and cannot define, with tactics which do not and will never address reality!

Additional resources:

Monday, September 04, 2006

Hezbollah will rebuild Southern Lebanon faster than Bushco will rebuild New Orleans

In another year, New Orleans will still be a shadow of its former self —if it survives at all. More effort has been spent making excuses than restoring one of America's great cities. There will be more empty words and over the course of another year nothing will have changed. In the meantime, there is Southern Lebanon —already rebounding with help from an organization that Bush deems "terrorist".

In Lebanon, Hezbollah, the force fighting and defending the villages, at the same time started helping the population as soon as the Israeli bombing began. The Lebanese resistance provided the ambulances and scores of searchers who pulled people from the rubble. They helped organize getting tens of thousands of refugees to schools, public parks and private homes. (Christian Science Monitor, Aug. 16)

In Beirut alone, Hezbollah organized 10 mobile medical teams that cared for 14 schools each, in two-day rotations, helping 48,000 people. Another 70,000 were treated in houses by other professionals.

In a Hezbollah kitchen near downtown Beirut, volunteers prepared 8,000 hot meals a day—part of a daily total of 50,000 they distributed across Beirut, reported the Monitor.

In New Orleans, families evacuated from the Superdome and the Convention Center were scattered all over the country. Parents were sometimes separated from children. Some didn’t know if loved ones lived or died. Three months after Katrina hit, 6,500 people were still unaccounted for, and more than 400 bodies still unidentified, according to the National Center for Missing Adults.

—Joyce Chediac, Lebanon rebuilds, New Orleans waits

So —who are the terrorists? Bushco or Hezbollah?

If I had been a New Orleans resident victimized by the shoddy job done by the US Army Corps of Engineers and, later, by the Bush gang of crooks and incompetents, I might be inclined to call the US government a terrorist organization.

If I were an Iraqi citizen with family members among some 140,000 civilians murdered in Bush's initial wave of bombings —Shock and Awe —I might be inclined to call Bush, Cheney, and Rumsfeld terrorists.

If I had family members murdered in cold blood by US troops at Haditha, I might be inclined to label the Pentagon under Donald Rumsfeld a terrorist organization.

If I should find myself thrown into Abu Ghraib, Gitmo, or an Eastern European gulag where I am tortured, sodomized, electrocuted, humiliated or, possibly, murdered, I might be inclined to use the term "terrorists" to describe and denote Bush, the Pentagon, the Military/Industrial Complex, a private army of un-accountable private contractors, and the enablers of the GOP!

Significant progress by Hezbollah in Southern Lebanon will finish Bush politically at a time when the US has no leverage anywhere in the world. Surely, no one believed Bush when he declared Hezbollah defeated; by contrast, probably everyone believed Hezbollah when it declared "victory". Bush is testy and anxious and it shows. Billions of people know him to be a liar, a fraud, a war criminal, and an incompetent!

How did Hezbollah —called "terrorist" by Bush —win? For one thing, Hezbollah was in much better touch with its "base" than Bush with anyone but a tiny, wealthy elite. Hezbollah began a defense of villages as soon as Israel began a widespread bombing campaign. When Bush is forced by reality and an increasingly livid American populace to pull out of Iraq, who will undo the harm done there by Bush and his criminal gang?

Who will rebuild Baghdad?

Will we withdraw the troops and send in FEMA?

Can Brownie do a heckuva job in Baghdad where everyone else has failed?

Will anyone go to Baghdad in order to take the fall for Bush?

I suppose Bush hasn't thought that far down the road. It might have been David Hume who said that there is a moral imperative to be intelligent. Iraq was a "war of choice". Likewise, Bush's stupidity is the result of a deliberate choice. No one but Bush is to blame for Bush's stupidity. Less privileged people must learn quickly and choose wisely in order to survive. Bush did neither and winds up ruling the world. What's up with that?

As to be expected, Howard Zinn, gets right to the heart of the matter: Bush's war machine is impotent:

I remember John Hersey's novel, ``The War Lover," in which a macho American pilot, who loves to drop bombs on people and also to boast about his sexual conquests, turns out to be impotent. President Bush, strutting in his flight jacket on an aircraft carrier and announcing victory in Iraq, has turned out to be much like the Hersey character, his words equally boastful, his military machine impotent.

The history of wars fought since the end of World War II reveals the futility of large-scale violence. The United States and the Soviet Union, despite their enormous firepower, were unable to defeat resistance movements in small, weak nations -- the United States in Vietnam, the Soviet Union in Afghanistan -- and were forced to withdraw.


Beyond the futility of armed force, and ultimately more important, is the fact that war in our time inevitably results in the indiscriminate killing of large numbers of people. To put it more bluntly, war is terrorism. That is why a ``war on terrorism" is a contradiction in terms. Wars waged by nations, whether by the United States or Israel, are a hundred times more deadly for innocent people than the attacks by terrorists, vicious as they are.

The repeated excuse, given by both Pentagon spokespersons and Israeli officials, for dropping bombs where ordinary people live is that terrorists hide among civilians. Therefore the killing of innocent people (in Iraq, in Lebanon) is called accidental, whereas the deaths caused by terrorists (on 9/11, by Hezbollah rockets) are deliberate.

—Howard Zinn, War is not a solution for terrorism

The following story is hardly an update. It was published immediately after the dedication of the Clinton library. It is especially unsettling in retrospect. Since Bush mused about a single submarine "taking out" the Clinton library, Forbes reported that the said "Israeli soldiers" were captured inside Lebanon —not kidnapped inside Israel; the Jerusalem Post reported that Bush had urged Olmert to attack Syria, presumably to draw Iran into the fray. The Israeli source bluntly called Bush nuts for "egging" Olmert on! In short, there is abundant evidence to support the conclusion that George W. Bush is a violently inclined psychopath. Here he is fantasizing about an attack on the Clinton library:

At Bill library, Bush sounds sub-versive

President Bush and top strategist Karl Rove (l.) took a trip to the Clinton Library to seek inspiration for W's own legacy-building. President Bush once daydreamed about blasting Bill Clinton's presidential library to smithereens, according to a new book.

In "How Bush Rules: Chronicles of a Radical Regime," former Clinton aide Sidney Blumenthal recounts a November 2004 visit by Bush and his political guru Karl Rove to the William J. Clinton Library in Little Rock, Ark., on the banks of the Arkansas River.

"Bush appeared distracted and glanced repeatedly at his watch," Blumenthal writes about a presidential tour during the library's dedication. "When he stopped to gaze at the river, where Secret Service agents were stationed in boats, the guide said: 'Usually, you might see some bass fishermen out there.' Bush replied: 'A submarine could take this place out.'"

The author muses: "Was the President warning of an Al Qaeda submarine, sneaking undetected up the Mississippi, through the locks and dams of the Arkansas River, surfacing under the bridge to the 21st century to dispatch the Clinton Library? Is that where Osama Bin Laden is hiding? Or was this a wishful paranoid fantasy of ubiquitous terrorism destroying Clinton's legacy with one blow?"

Blumenthal, who attributes his account to two anonymous eyewitnesses, adds that "Rove showed keen interest in everything he saw, and asked questions, including about costs, obviously thinking about a future George W. Bush library and legacy.

"'You're not such a scary guy,' joked his guide. 'Yes, I am,' Rove replied. Walking away, he muttered deliberately and loudly: 'I change constitutions, I put churches in schools.'"

Amen to that.
Did Bush and his gang fantasize, at one point, about airliners attacking the WTC?