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June 9, 2006

War Criminal Nation


by Paul Craig Roberts

Faced with mounting civilian carnage, both from war crimes committed by demoralized and broken U.S. troops and from the raging civil war unleashed by Bush's ill-fated, illegal invasion of Iraq, the House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee has decided to waste another $50 billion to continue the lost war for five more months. Our elected "representatives" are so in thrall to the powerful military-industrial complex that no amount of American shame, pariah status, and military defeat can shut off the flow of taxpayers' funds to the merchants of death.

Bush's wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are costing hard-pressed U.S. taxpayers $300,000,000 per day! These wars are lost. Yet, imbecilic members of Congress are in the process of funding the war for another year. Multiply $300 million by 365 days and you get $109,500,000,000. These are not the full costs. The huge figure does not include the destroyed equipment, destroyed lives, and long-term care of the maimed and disabled.

Gentle reader, are you getting enough vicarious pleasure from the slaughter of Iraqi women and children to justify this price tag? Is murdering "ragheads" that important to you? If so, you are one sick person, just like every member of the Bush administration.

U.S. forces in Iraq and Afghanistan have killed far more civilians than they have resistance fighters. Bush administration spokespersons are crowing that they have killed Abu Musab al-Zarqawi in an air strike. But Zarqawi was an al-Qaeda leader, not a member of the Iraqi resistance. Zarqawi's death will have no affect on the outcome in Iraq.

Far more important is the news that civil war in Baghdad alone claimed 1,400 deaths last month. Perhaps even more important is the news that the Taliban's resurgence has forced the Bush administration to launch more than 750 air strikes in Afghanistan in May. That is 25 air strikes per day! It is a foregone conclusion that most of the casualties are women and children.

America is drowning in the shame of war crimes. One monstrous slaughter of civilians after another, each denied and covered up until brought to light by photos and eyewitnesses. The once proud U.S. Marines, unable to defeat the resistance that is picking them off one by one, is now a frustrated, demoralized force that is getting even by murdering 3-month old babies and old women.

The Council of Europe has issued its report on the Bush administration's policy of kidnapping "suspected terrorists" and spiriting them off to tyrannical regimes to be tortured. U.S. State Department spokesperson Sean McCormick, whose job it is to justify the criminal conduct of the Bush administration, said that he was "disappointed" in the report. Sean seemed genuinely puzzled that Europe's oldest political organization would second-guess the sound judgment of the virtuous Bush administration or protest U.S. violations of international law and human rights.

The only reason Americans can look themselves in the mirror is that they are clueless and have little idea of what is being done in their name. One-third of the U.S. population actually believes that Iraq was behind 9/11 and that Bush found the weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Apparently, a large percentage of the U.S. population believes that Iran has nuclear weapons and that America is in danger of being attacked by Iran. No democracy can work when people take their responsibility as citizens so lightly as to be totally ignorant.

Formerly conservative, now proto-Nazi, publications such as National Review and the Wall Street Journal editorial page keep pounding the war drums, as does right-wing talk radio and neocon propaganda organs such as the Weekly Standard and Fox "News." The few facts that emerge in the interstices of the war propaganda are quickly spun away.

Slaughter of civilians? Just a few bad apples. We will fix that with seminars for the troops on military ethics and core values.

Troop withdrawals? As soon as the undefined mission is completed.

No weapons of mass destruction? Don't worry about it. We had to have some excuse to invade Iraq and to "build democracy" so that America would be safe.

World opinion? No opinion counts but ours.

Red ink? No sweat. We can borrow more from China. Our growing indebtedness is proof that our power makes us a preferred debtor.

Bush supporters dismiss anyone who tells them the truth as a traitor. Bush supporters are as dependent on propaganda as substance abusers are on drugs and alcohol. Try weaning Bush supporters from the obvious lies that are the basis of this administration, and they will call you every name in the book.

They are proud to be Americans. Lies and war crimes are an American right.

And you had better shut up or those Halliburton-built concentration camps will be your new home.


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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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