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September 20, 2005

Will Neocon Fanaticism Destroy America?


by Paul Craig Roberts

The "cakewalk war" is now two and one-half years old. U.S. casualties (dead and wounded) number 20,000. As 20,000 is the number of Iraqi insurgents according to U.S. military commanders, each insurgent is responsible for one U.S. casualty.

U.S. troops in Iraq number about 150,000. Obviously, U.S. troops have not inflicted 150,000 casualties on the Iraqi insurgents. U.S. troops have perhaps inflicted 150,000 casualties on the Iraqi civilian population, primarily women and children who are the "collateral damage" of the "righteous" and "virtuous" U.S. invasion that is spreading civilian deaths all over Mesopotamia in the name of democracy

What could the U.S. have possibly done to give America a worse name than to invade Iraq and murder its citizens?

According to the Sept. 1 Manufacturing & Technology News, the Government Accounting Office has reported that over the course of the cakewalk war, the U.S. military's use of small caliber ammunition has risen to 1.8 billion rounds. Think about that number. If there are 20,000 insurgents, it means U.S. troops have fired 90,000 rounds at each insurgent.

Very few have been hit. We don't know how many. To avoid the analogy with Vietnam, until last week the U.S. military studiously avoided body counts. If 2,000 insurgents have been killed, each death required 900,000 rounds of ammunition.

The combination of U.S. government-owned ammo plants and those of U.S. commercial producers together cannot make bullets as fast as U.S. troops are firing them. The Bush administration has had to turn to foreign producers such as Israel Military Industries. Think about that. Hollowed-out U.S. industry cannot produce enough ammunition to defeat a 20,000-man insurgency.

U.S. military analysts are beginning to wonder if the U.S. has been defeated by the insurgency. Increasingly, Bush administration spokesmen sound like "Baghdad Bob." On Sept. 19, the Washington Post reported that U.S. military spinmeister Major General Rick Lynch declared "great success" against the insurgency that had just inflicted the worst casualties of the war, including a three-day mortar attack on the "safe" Green Zone.

Anthony Cordesman, a military expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C., says: "We can't secure the airport road, can't stop the incoming [mortar rounds] into the Green Zone, can't stop the killings and kidnappings." The insurgency controls most of Baghdad and the Sunni provinces.

With its judgment lost to frustration, the U.S. military has 40,000 Iraqis in detention twice the number of estimated insurgents. Who are these detainees? According to the Washington Post, "Many of the men detained in Tall Afar last week were rounded up on the advice of local teenagers who had stepped forward as informants, at times for what American soldiers said they suspected amounted to no more than settling local scores."

Obviously, the U.S., not knowing who or where the insurgents are, is just striking blindly, creating a larger insurgency.

The Iraq government, despite being backed by the U.S. military, is unable to control movements across the Iraqi-Syrian border. So the Bush administration has passed the buck to Syria. Puny Syria is declared guilty of not doing what the U.S. military cannot do.

Adam Ereli, the demented U.S. State Department spokesperson, denounced the Syrian government for "permitting" insurgents to cross the border. The U.S. government cannot prevent a steady stream of one million Mexicans from illegally crossing its border each year, but Syria is supposed to be able to stop a couple hundred foreign fighters from sneaking across its border.

Ereli misrepresents Syria's inability to be "an unwillingness" that indicates Syria is consorting with terrorists, not only in Iraq, but also in Lebanon and Palestine. Does this sound like Syria being set up for invasion?

According to news reports, at Ted Forstmann's annual meeting of movers and shakers last weekend, U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Zalmay Khalilzad predicted that U.S. troops will soon enter Syria. Simultaneously, the Bush administration is desperately trying to orchestrate a case that it can use to attack Iran.

Stalemated in Iraq, the White House moron intends to attack two more countries.

At the Human Rights Conference on Sept. 9, the former prime minister of Malaysia, Mahathir Mohamad, described Americans as "people with blood-soaked hands."

"Who are the terrorists," asked Mahathir, the Iraqis or the Americans?

The entire world is asking this question.


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    Paul Craig Roberts wrote the Kemp-Roth bill and was assistant secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan administration. He was associate editor of the Wall Street Journal editorial page and contributing editor of National Review. He is author or co-author of eight books, including The Supply-Side Revolution (Harvard University Press). He has held numerous academic appointments, including the William E. Simon chair in political economy, Center for Strategic and International Studies, Georgetown University, and senior research fellow, Hoover Institution, Stanford University. He has contributed to numerous scholarly journals and testified before Congress on 30 occasions. He has been awarded the U.S. Treasury's Meritorious Service Award and the French Legion of Honor. He was a reviewer for the Journal of Political Economy under editor Robert Mundell.

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