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July 4, 2006

The Reality Beneath the Flag-Waving


by Paul Craig Roberts

Americans who get their propaganda from Fox "News" or are told what to think by right-wing talk radio hosts are outraged at news reports that U.S. troops planned and carried out the rape and murder of a young Iraqi woman. They are not outraged that the troops committed the deed; they are outraged that the media reported it. These "conservatives," who proudly wear their patriotism on their sleeves, dismiss the reports of the incident as a Big Lie floated by "the anti-American liberal media" in order to demoralize Americans and reduce public support for the war.

Playing to this audience, Col. Jeffrey Snow, a U.S. brigade commander in Baghdad, told AFP News that news coverage could cause the U.S. to lose the war. In other words, what we are doing in Iraq cannot stand the light of day, so reporters must not report or the word will get out.

Many Bush supporters believe that truth is not on our side and must be suppressed. Yet, they support a war that is too shameful to report.

I have made it clear in my columns that Bush supporters are not true conservatives. They are brownshirts with the same low intelligence and morals as Hitler's enthusiastic supporters. And they are just as resistant to facts.

It was not the "liberal media" but the investigating U.S. military officials who told the Associated Press that the rape and murder of the young woman and her family appeared "totally premeditated," that the soldiers noticed the woman on their patrols and studied her and her family for a week before separating the woman from her family and raping her. After having their way with her, the soldiers murdered her and tried to burn her body with a flammable liquid in order to cover up their foul deed. The soldiers' cover-up attempt also involved the murder of other members of the murdered rape victim's family, including a child.

The criminals were turned in by other U.S. soldiers who knew of the monstrous crime. According to the Associated Press (USA Today, June 30, 2006), one of the soldiers has admitted his role in the rape and murder.

The soldiers cannot be said to be guilty until they are tried and found guilty. However, the U.S. military usually attempts a cover-up of such incidents and only admits to the facts after the press gets hold of them. This time, however, the investigating officials themselves gave the story to the Associated Press.

Many Americans are so unsophisticated that they refuse to believe anything bad about their country. They regard acceptance of unpalatable truths as disloyalty. This failure of American character is why Bush has been able to get away with transgressions that scream out for his impeachment and trial as a war criminal.

The premeditated rape and murders are just the latest in the long line of horrific war crimes from Abu Ghraib to Haditha. Bush supporters are still in denial about each incident. It is amazing that Bush supporters think we have a John Wayne military when, according to news reports, recruitment problems have resulted in the military accepting felons, drug users, thugs, low-IQ high school dropouts, and illegal Mexicans promised green cards for signing up. Apparently, the same people who make America's streets unsafe for Americans make Iraqi streets unsafe for Iraqis. In response to the declining caliber of new recruits, some of our best troops are refusing to reenlist. Several have written to me that "the Army has left them."

Whoever put out that propagandistic slogan, "support the troops," and the ribbon decals was a master propagandist. "Support the troops" means to deny the reality of the war and the behavior of the troops.

To this day, the Bush regime and the neocon Nazis have not told us the reason for their invasion of Iraq, the destruction of its towns and infrastructure, and the slaughter of its citizens. Every reason Bush has given has proved to be a lie.

There is no more reason for U.S. troops to be shooting up Iraq than to be shooting up Canada, Scotland, Holland, Spain, Taiwan, Florida, Virginia, or California. We are killing Iraqis for no other reason than that they resist our invasion and occupation of their country.

It is proof of the collapse of American morals and the fallen character of the American people that the American public and its elected representatives in Congress refuse to rein in the Bush regime and hold it responsible for its monstrous crimes.

America has become a land of evil. The rest of the world hates and despises us. And we are going to pay a terrible price for it. Bush's belief that our superpower status makes us immune to the opinion of others goes beyond hubris into insanity.


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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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