When the neocons launched the Bush administration's
invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq and announced plans for invading Syria and
Iran, I labeled Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, and Rice "the
Five Morons." With the passage of time, I see that I overestimated
their mental capabilities.
The "cakewalk" war has now lasted longer than World War II with Nazi
Germany, and no end is in sight. It has cost the U.S. taxpayers $310 billion
in out-of-pocket costs, with many additional hundreds of billions coming due
in veterans' medical bills and other expenses yet to be paid.
To carry on this pointless war, which has achieved nothing but death, destruction,
and hatred of America, Bush has had to call up inactive reserves who long ago
completed their active-duty service to their country and have managed to get
on with their lives. It is well known that the older one gets the harder it
is to find employment or the energy to restart a mothballed business. But Bush
is too busy saving us from terrorism to care about people's lives.
Despite the lack of U.S. troops and Bush's inability to prevail in Afghanistan
and Iraq, neocons in Bush's government are working around the clock to instigate
war with Iran and Syria.
I thought that I had Rumsfeld pegged as the complete dolt, but I was stunned
when I read Associated Press reporter Robert Burns' account of what Rumsfeld
told 200 Navy aviators in a question and answer session at Fallon Naval Air
Station on Aug. 28. "The thing that keeps me up at night," said
Rumsfeld, is the success of terrorist groups in "manipulating the media."
Rumsfeld told the pilots that terrorists "are actively manipulating the
media in this country" by falsely blaming U.S. troops for civilian deaths
in Iraq and Afghanistan. All that "collateral damage" we hear about,
the tens of thousands of dead and maimed civilians, is just terrorist propaganda.
"The enemy lies constantly … and with impunity…. The enemy is so much better
at communicating." Rumsfeld made similar remarks to the Veterans of Foreign
Wars convention in Reno, Nevada, where he was presented the Dwight D. Eisenhower
Distinguished Service Award. Eisenhower must be rolling over in his grave.
Now I get it. When Fox News' Sean Hannity and Bill O'Reilly assured us that
Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction that would be used against us
if we didn't strike first, they were being manipulated by Osama bin Laden, who
used America to get rid of the secular Saddam Hussein and to create a new training
and recruitment ground for al-Qaeda and fundamentalist fanatics.
When the New York Times let Judith Miller serve as a propagandist for
war with Iraq, the Times was being manipulated by Muslim terrorists,
not by neocons.
When CNN and columnists like Ann Coulter and Michelle Malkin reassure us that
we will win the war unless we pull out prematurely, they are being manipulated
by terrorists. Finally I understand what the Weekly Standard, National
Review, the Wall Street Journal editorial page, the American Enterprise
Institute, and the online site FrontPageMag are all about.
The terrorists are so clever at manipulation that Americans cannot perceive
that we have been sucked deep into a war that is creating the Islamic fundamentalism
we so desperately fear.
Obviously, I misjudged Rumsfeld's intelligence. Anyone who can figure out the
Muslim conspiracy is off the charts. What I can't figure is why Rumsfeld is
willing for America to continue to be sucked in. Don't tell me that terrorists
are manipulating Rumsfeld, too!
I keep waiting for the money appeal from AIPAC. I already know what it is going
to say: "Although AIPAC is undisputedly the most powerful lobby in America
and can determine with impunity the fate of every elected official, we cannot
match the terrorists' ability to manipulate the media. Polls show that terrorists'
manipulation of the U.S. media is causing American support for the war to dwindle
away. Please send more millions to counter the terrorists' control of the American
media. We are winning in the Middle East but losing at home."
One of the lessons one learns in life is that things are not always what they
seem to be. Before I watched Stephen Walt
and John Mearsheimer's National Press Club broadcast on C-SPAN (Aug. 28),
I regarded AIPAC as Israel's friend and promoter. Now I realize that I was wrong.
As the two distinguished professors made perfectly clear, anyone who cares about
the survival of Israel should scorn the bribes, threats, and blandishments of
AIPAC led the Israeli government onto a path where diplomacy is no longer a
tool that Israel can use. Instead, Israel relies on Mao's dictum that "power
comes out of the barrel of a gun," or from a bulldozer that knocks down
Palestinians' homes, uproots their olive groves, and enrages Muslims at Israel's
inhumanity. Backed into a corner with no tool but violence, Israel faces hundreds
of millions of increasingly angry Muslims.
If Bush were a true friend of Israel, he would never have let Israel again
destroy Lebanon, this time under the pretext of striking at Hezbollah.
AIPAC and Bush have allowed, or caused, Israel to do itself so much damage
in the eyes of Muslims and the wider world that a peaceful resolution in the
Middle East is no longer in people's thoughts. With the mighty U.S. military
checked in Iraq by a handful of Sunnis, and the mighty Israeli army checked
in Lebanon by a handful of Hezbollah, violence is unlikely to settle the matter
in a way that neocons in the U.S. and hardliners in Israel would like.
The only hope is that Bush and Olmert miraculously turn into grown men, admit
their mistakes, apologize, send reparations, and commit to winning acceptance
of Israel and America based on their good behavior. It would be nice to see
in operation some of the superior morality that the two claim.
Considering their extraordinary hubris and self-righteousness, nothing like
this can possibly happen. Israel, the U.S., and the Muslim world will continue