Wars on peoples, including on Americans
|August 6, 2008||Posted by Staff under Progress Report, The Progress Report|
Wars on peoples, including on Americans
The Greatest Threat America Has Ever Faced: the GOP?
We trim and combine two 2008 articles. The first is by Paul Craig Roberts, ex-Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan administration, then Associate Editor of the Wall Street Journal editorial page and Contributing Editor of National Review, now coauthor of The Tyranny of Good Intentions. The Information Clearing House posted it July 24. The second is part of an interview, John Cusack: Bypassing the Corporate Media, by Joshua Holland, posted on Alternet July 12.
Roberts then Holland
P.C. Roberts: Under the Bush regime, the trade and budget deficits have exploded. The US trade deficit is larger than the combined trade deficits of every deficit country in the world.
Inflation is in double digits. The dollar has lost 60% of its value against the euro, driving up the price of both oil and gold by 400%. The once mighty dollar is losing its reserve currency role.
Republicans allowed fraud in mortgage lending and in mortgages repackaging which has the financial system nearly insolvent.
Republicans have us at war in two countries as a result of lies and deceptions, and we might be in two more wars — Iran and Pakistan — by November. We have alienated the entire Muslim world and most of the rest.
My Republican friends express no concern for the 1.2 million Iraqis who have died, and the 4 million who have been displaced. Many tell me that the five- and six-year long wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are due to wimpy Americans who dont have the balls it takes to win.
The Republicans have violated the Nuremberg prohibitions against war crimes and the Geneva Conventions against torture and abuse of prisoners.
The neoconned Republican Party is the greatest threat America has ever faced.
For them, there is no liberty, no democracy, no debate. Dissenters are traitors. It is a criminal act for a newspaper to tell its readers that their government is spying on them illegally.
Those of us who think America is the Constitution, and that loyalty means loyalty to the Constitution, not to office holders or to a political party or to a foreign country, are regarded by Republicans as anti-American.
Republicans think the Constitution can be set aside for evildoers and kept in place for everyone else. Republicans say our civil liberties make us unsafe — precisely the opposite view of our Founding Fathers. The Republicans have put in place the foundation for a police state.
Republican evangelical christian churches teach their congregations that Americas purpose in the world is to serve Israel. Yet, Republicans regard themselves as the Patriotic Party.
I am confident that the Democrats, too, will make a mess. But can they beat this record?
Holland: By and large, the commercial media has moved on from the debacle in Iraq — it’s a secondary story. Pollsters tell us that the war — occupation — is no longer the top issue on American voters’ minds. Conventional wisdom has gelled around the idea that the “situation on the ground” is improving.
It’s a myth; US troop casualties are down because large swaths of Iraq have been turned over to local chieftans, many of whom were branded as “terrorists” and “extremists” until they went on the US payroll. Patrols are down; US troops are spending more time in their bases. Moqtada al Sadr’s cease-fire also corresponded perfectly with the drop in attacks. Sectarian violence is down somewhat, because with 4 million Iraqis displaced from their homes — about one in seven — many areas have been thoroughly “cleansed.”
The country’s infrastructure remains in shambles, despite tens of billions of US tax dollars being showered on US contractors. Millions of Iraqis have insufficient access to clean water, sanitation, and health care. In Baghdad, even five years after the invasion, many people still get only three to four hours of city power – and they are bitter.
There’s been virtually no significant reconciliation on the issues that divide Iraq’s warring political factions — the ostensible justification for last year’s troop increase. Despite limited improvements in security in some areas, armed violence is still having a disastrous impact. Civilians continue to be killed … the injured often do not receive adequate medical care.
According to the International Red Cross, “the humanitarian situation in most of the country remains among the most critical in the world.” Iraqs neighbors struggle under the weight of the worst refugee crisis of the young century.
Firms like KBR, Halliburton, and Bechtel profit unduly. A New York Times editorial notes that “current war fraud runs into untold billions, including faulty ammunition and vehicles and not-so-bullet-proof vests,” and adds that because of “a gaping hole in the law against war profiteering, companies ripping off taxpayers in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars may never be fully prosecuted.” A Pentagon audit unearthed $15 billion dollars that they can’t account for.
The US government acknowledged for the first time that a “group of American advisers led by a small State Department team played an integral part in drawing up” the contracts, unique among major oil producers. Kurdish officials claim the deals are “illegal.” Exxon-Mobil, Shell, Total, BP and Chevron won no-bid contracts to extract the country’s oil, avoiding competition with more than 40 other companies, including companies in Russia, China and India.
It’s Our Turn Now
The Carnage in Iraq — Past, Present, and Future
G8 Summit: Vagueness, Deception, and Bullyocracy
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