Buck Up, The Word Hates Us More Than Ever. Why The Left Was Right After All
by : Ted Rall
Thursday March 24, 2005 - 00:09
Buck Up, The Word Hates Us More Than Ever
NEW YORK-Liberals have their faults, but no one can accuse them of being pigheaded. Two years after left-of-Bush Americans marched against the invasion of Iraq and a year after the Administration admitted it had lied about Saddam’s non-existent weapons of mass destruction and ties to Al Qaeda, the sprouting of a few protodemocratic weeds in the microscopically-cracked cement of Arab dictatorship has prompted them to wonder whether the neoconservatives maybe did the right thing after all by going into Iraq.
"[Bush] may have had it right," NPR’s Daniel Schorr writes in the Christian Science Monitor. Even Harry Reid, the Democrats’ fiery-as-these-things-go leader in the Senate, is swooning over the image of flag-waving Lebanese demanding a Syrian withdrawal: "Any breakthrough we get there, whether it is in Lebanon or Egypt, is a step in the right direction and I support the president in that regard."
As far as I’m concerned, Bush deserves to be impeached for lying to his employers—us—about Iraq’s WMDs. He should face prosecution at a war crimes tribunal for the murder of the 100,000-plus Iraqis he ordered killed by U.S. troops. He deserves life in prison for ordering the torture, and allowing the murder under torture, of countless innocent Afghans and Iraqis. Nothing, not even if the Iraq war sparked the transformation of the entire Muslim world into peaceful and prosperous Athenian-style democracies, could retroactively justify such murderous perfidy. I’m not convinced a Riyadh spring is about to bloom. It will take a lot more than male-only Saudi municipal elections held in half the country, in which six of the seven winners were illegally promoted by the kingdom’s extremist Wahabbi religious establishment.
Take courage, wobbly self-doubters! Even taking recent events into account, your "no blood for oil" signs will come in handy during the America-hating years ahead.
Never mind the dead, the lies or the cash, say the connies. As Britain’s John Maples, originally a Bush supporter of the Iraq war, wrote: "The real reason for the war, at least in the U.S., was to create a reasonably democratic, free market Iraq to act as both a beacon and a rebuke to other countries in the region." The Project for a New American Century, the neocon think tank that started Cheney, Rumsfeld & Co. along the charred road to American Empire, stated in 1997 that U.S foreign policy leaders should strive "to shape a new century favorable to American principles and interests [around the world]." Iraq was the first big test of their approach.
It may be premature to judge Bush’s frat pack by their own standards but it’s also fair. They’ve already declared victory. Ross Terrill, whose editor at The Weekly Standard signed the 1997 PNAC statement of purpose, writes: "Success in Iraq, Bush’s victory on November 2, Arafat’s demise, and the ongoing appeal of economic and political freedom to ordinary folk, all triggered political changes across the globe that lessen the need for massive U.S. military intervention again soon."
Bush’s current foreign policy report card is a mixed bag: a B in Phys Ed and a string of Ds and Fs in more important, heavily weighted subjects.
The Israeli-Palestinian conflict has eased somewhat, largely thanks to an event that had nothing to do with Bush, Arafat’s death and replacement with Mahmoud Abbas. But even the Palestinian Authority’s own polls show that fewer than half of Palestinians accept recent elections as legitimate, while 84 percent of the population say they live without safety or security in their daily lives. Basic issues, such as Israeli colonies on Arab land, remain unresolved. Peace with Israel? Not in the near future.
Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarek, 76, has finally agreed to allow candidates to run against him for the presidency, but his most formidable challenger, Ayman Nour, was rotting in prison until January. He’s now under virtual house arrest, which makes campaigning a tad inconvenient. Even the deployment of government goons against pro-Nour demonstrators hasn’t reduced the flow of U.S. foreign aid (Egypt comes in second after Israel) or Egyptian anti-Americanism. "[Egyptian-American] relations are going through a seriously bad patch," a diplomat tells the UK Telegraph.
Libya has agreed to suspend its nuclear program and Syria is being pressured to pull its troops out of Lebanon, but neither move—both in strategic backwaters—significantly affects the economic or security prospects of American interests.
On to the big subjects:
Iran has long sought improved relations with the U.S. It is a rare opportunity to form a friendship with an oil-rich, politically influential regional player. North Korea, on the other hand, poses our biggest challenge: a nuclear capable state, led by a paranoid and isolated autocrat who has threatened to incinerate the West Coast. Bush’s charm offensive has been so badly botched that he has been reduced to promising that he has no immediate plans to invade Iran. "I hear all these rumors about military attacks, and it’s just not the truth," he says. But the U.S. is better poised to invade Iran than North Korea (and oil adds to the motivation). Bush has also failed to reassure North Korea. "We have taken a serious measure by increasing nuclear arms in preparation for any invasions by enemies," the North Korean regime said March 22. So long, Seattle.
Even the stirrings of electioneering in Iraq and Afghanistan have left the Muslim world cold. Both contests, held amid pervasive fraud, violence and corruption in active war zones where millions are too afraid to venture outdoors, are interpreted as ersatz democracy imposed upon puppet regimes created by a hostile occupation force. And the stooges are disorganized. Iraq’s fractious parties haven’t been able to form a government; Afghanistan’s elections have been delayed until the fall owing to the continuing war with the Taliban. A BBC poll taken in Turkey, a staunch American ally and the model secular state in the Islamic world, finds that 82 percent of Turks consider the United States under George W. Bush to be the greatest threat to world peace.
Is this a world "favorable to American principles and interests"? Clapping your hands is fun, but it doesn’t change jack.
IN THE WAKE OF HORROR
Saturday 28 - 21:14by JACK RANDOM
Paris: One step beyond in the systemic chaos
Monday 23 - 11:11by InfoAut
FRIDAY THE THIRTEENTH IN PARIS AND THE UGLY TRUTH OF STATE TERROR
Thursday 19 - 20:08by JOHN CHUCKMAN
AFTER THE ATTACKS
Tuesday 17 - 23:07by CAPJPO-EuroPalestine
Terrorism victims file $3.4bn lawsuit against Bnp Paribas, violating sanctions
Sunday 15 - 00:18by Kevin Dugan
Slavery, corruption... Larsen & Toubro and Qatar have so much in common
Thursday 12 - 17:16by Robert Scott
Advisers Lock Horns in Yves Bouvier Art Fraud Battle
Thursday 15 - 18:04by GraemeListing72
Smashing the Abbas icon of Palestinian non – violence
Wednesday 14 - 11:42by Nicola Nasser
More Scud than BUK: Despite Fiery Rhetoric, West Beats Strategic Retreat on MH17
Tuesday 13 - 22:28by Daniel Patrick Welch
The Pornography of Hatred
Friday 9 - 19:45by William John Cox
You Mad, Bro? US resopnse to Russia’s Syria action is off the charts
Wednesday 7 - 20:07by Daniel Patrick Welch
Pope’s address to Bishops raises larger questions, contradictions in visit to US
Friday 25 - 14:04by Daniel Patrick Welch
Culture as merchandise, thanks to recent copyright reform
Monday 21 - 11:18by Isabel Adams
BIG DEMO IN PARIS ON SATURDAY FOR THE RIGHT OF RETURN FOR PALESTINIAN REFUGEES
Wednesday 16 - 18:45by CAPJPO-EuroPalestine
What Young Angolans Can Learn from Mirco Martins
Tuesday 15 - 23:52
Imperial arrogance spews from US mouthpieces—"warning" Russia on Ukraine, Syria
Tuesday 15 - 21:06by Daniel Patrick Welch
Wars of Opportunity: West and its gulf allies just won’t stop
Saturday 12 - 20:46by Daniel Patrick Welch
US claims Russia ’destabilizing Syria’ stand the truth on its head
Wednesday 9 - 23:46by Daniel Patrick Welch
AMERICA’S "JUSTICE" SYSTEM IS A LIE
Saturday 29 - 03:41by David R. Hoffman, Legal Editor of Pravda.Ru
Mirco Martins helping Angola children with education foundation
Monday 24 - 23:13
Armed demonstrators protest Sandra Bland arrest, death
Friday 14 - 17:04by seattletimes
San Quintín Valley: From labor abuse to labor mobilization
Thursday 13 - 02:34by Guillermo Castillo
THE COUNTER-REFORM OF MICHOACÁN’S INDIGENOUS UNIVERSITY (1)
Wednesday 12 - 22:07
Rumored Sale of Banque Pasche to Banque Havilland
Monday 10 - 17:17by Bolton Rease
Unwelcome Truths for Church and State
Sunday 9 - 12:36by Gary G. Kohls, MD
Jose Gama questioning an unsurprising development
Friday 7 - 00:09by Cesar Amiente
Rests behind your border Erdogan !…
Tuesday 4 - 11:27by laurentgantner
Let’s raise our european OXI !
Monday 3 - 21:40by Blockupy International
UPDATE: Get somebody with a history, not an opportunist
Wednesday 29 - 06:38by Timbre Wolf
Between the democracy and the war, there is Recep Tayyip Erdogan…
Tuesday 28 - 20:58by laurentgantner
Luanda Poised to Take Its Place on the World Stage
Monday 27 - 22:51
Saturday 25 - 00:05by Timbre Wolf
Grexit, first Act
Friday 24 - 13:09by Raffaele Sciortino
Europe’s Impossible Dream
Tuesday 21 - 16:58by Paul Krugman
"The Streets Of Athens Will Fill With Tanks"
Tuesday 21 - 16:44by Tyler Durden
Who is Flavio Becca? The bricklayer who is about to crash
Monday 20 - 15:04
SCOTT WALKER: SATAN’S CANDIDATE
Sunday 19 - 02:21by David R. Hoffman, Legal Editor of Pravda.Ru
Greece, austerity and the questions to pose
Friday 17 - 22:34by InfoAut
Tomorrow (on Saturday) it will stay 48 hours in Alexeï Tsipras To create the BMG
Friday 17 - 17:03by laurentgantner
Meet Leonid Sedov, the young lawyer behind Ukraine’s corruption
Thursday 16 - 19:27by Oleg Karpov