FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

America Will Disappoint the World, Again

by ADAM FEDERMAN

America in November will disappoint the world. We will elect either a war criminal or one of the lawmakers who gave him the power to wage such an unlawful war (i.e. an accomplice). What we now know (and what was assumed by many at the time) about the intelligence employed to justify war in Iraq is staggering. According to Thomas Powers in the New York Review of Books, “It is unlikely that most Americans grasp the magnitude of the failure even now…”

Unfortunately, John Kerry the feeble and uninspiring leader of a party that continues to disappoint, has said little more on this matter than it being the “wrong war in the wrong place at the wrong time.” He has said nothing of the fact that it was an illegal war made possible by the current administration’s use of what today passes as intelligence.

Is this a convincing approach? Does it mean that Kerry has plans for the right war in the right place at the right time? More important, why is he unwilling to challenge the president’s use of prewar intelligence? As Powers puts it, “Not even the Democratic nominee for president, Senator John Kerry, seems ready to say plainly that this immense mistake–the bloody invasion of Iraq to end threats which have turned out to be entirely imaginary–must properly be tracked to the door of the White House.”

Perhaps Kerry feels a tinge of guilt that he did not oppose the war when it meant something and that he failed to question the president’s use of intelligence before the war.

In July, Kerry and Edwards were asked whether they would have voted for the war had they known what they now know about the intelligence used by the Bush administration on the eve of the war.

Mr. Edwards: “I”m not going to go back and answer hypothetical questions about what I would have done had I known this.”

Mr. Kerry: “The vote is not today and that’s it. I completely agree with John Edwards.” (NY Times 11 July 2004)

It’s nice having someone to agree with especially regarding questions of war, national security, and decisions that affect the lives of hundreds of thousands of people. In short, Kerry is unwilling to say he would have opposed an illegal war. This is nothing short of criminal.

Well, it is campaign season you might allege, and Kerry is worried about nothing more than getting elected. (However, if this is the case it seems he’s not very concerned) So he must support the war at the same time critiquing it without appearing unpatriotic. He must show that he is capable of leading a nation at war (the right one, though) at the same time converting undecided voters unsure that invading Iraq was the right choice.

Why then refuse to condemn a commander in chief and his advisors for their misuse of intelligence?

Plainly, to do so is to oppose the war and the only people who seem to give a damn are the hundreds of thousands of people around the world who protested before the war began because they knew it was not only wrong but also illegal.

But they were ridiculed or used to demonstrate that democracy is flourishing in a country where people have the right to protest. This is why they hate us the president is fond of saying unable to step outside of his armored cavalcade in most European capitals.

The perversity of it all however is that the intelligence was unbelievable before it was “exposed” and reviewed by special committee. This makes the aforementioned question posed to Kerry and Edwards not as hypothetical as they would like it to be. I think this also explains why Americans might be slow in grasping the magnitude of the failure. They already have and they’re comfortable with it. It’s easier to believe in lies perhaps than nothing at all.

ADAM FEDERMAN can be reached at: afederm987@earthlink.net

 

Adam Federman is a contributing editor at Earth Island Journal.He is the recipient of a Polk Grant for Investigative Reporting, a Middlebury Fellowship in Environmental Journalism, and a Russia Fulbright Fellowship. You can find more of his work at adamfederman.com.

More articles by:

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

zen economics

Weekend Edition
December 09, 2016
Friday - Sunday
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Nasty As They Wanna Be
Henry Giroux
Trump’s Second Gilded Age: Overcoming the Rule of Billionaires and Militarists
Andrew Levine
Trump’s Chumps: Victims of the Old Bait and Switch
Chris Welzenbach
The Forgotten Sneak Attack
Lewis Lapham
Hostile Takeover
Joshua Frank
This Week at CounterPunch: More Hollow Smears and Baseless Accusations
Paul Street
The Democrats Do Their Job, Again
Vijay Prashad
The Cuban Revolution: Defying Imperialism From Its Backyard
Michael Hudson - Sharmini Peries
Orwellian Economics
Mark Ames
The Anonymous Blacklist Promoted by the Washington Post Has Apparent Ties to Ukrainian Fascism and CIA Spying
Erin McCarley
American Nazis and the Fight for US History
Yoav Litvin
Resist or Conform: Lessons in Fortitude and Weakness From the Israeli Left
Conn Hallinan
India & Pakistan: the Unthinkable
Andrew Smolski
Third Coast Pillory: Nativism on the Left – A Realer Smith
Joshua Sperber
Trump in the Age of Identity Politics
Brandy Baker
Jill Stein Sees Russia From Her House
Katheryne Schulz
Report from Santiago de Cuba: Celebrating Fidel’s Rebellious Life
Nelson Valdes
Fidel and the Good People
Norman Solomon
McCarthy’s Smiling Ghost: Democrats Point the Finger at Russia
Renee Parsons
The Snowflake Nation and Trump on Immigration
Margaret Kimberley
Black Fear of Trump
Michael J. Sainato
A Pruitt Running Through It: Trump Kills Nearly Useless EPA With Nomination of Oil Industry Hack
Ron Jacobs
Surviving Hate and Death—The AIDS Crisis in 1980s USA
David Swanson
Virginia’s Constitution Needs Improving
Louis Proyect
Narcos and the Story of Colombia’s Unhappiness
Paul Atwood
War Has Been, is, and Will be the American Way of Life…Unless?
John Wight
Syria and the Bodyguard of Lies
Richard Hardigan
Anti-Semitism Awareness Act: Senate Bill Criminalizes Criticism of Israel
Kathy Kelly
See How We Live
David Macaray
Trump Picks his Secretary of Labor. Ho-Hum.
Howard Lisnoff
Interview with a Political Organizer
Yves Engler
BDS and Anti-Semitism
Adam Parsons
Home Truths About the Climate Emergency
Brian Cloughley
The Decline and Fall of Britain
Eamonn Fingleton
U.S. China Policy: Is Obama Schizoid?
Graham Peebles
Worldwide Air Pollution is Making us Ill
Joseph Natoli
Fake News is Subjective?
Andre Vltchek
Tough-Talking Philippine President Duterte
Binoy Kampmark
Total Surveillance: Snooping in the United Kingdom
Guillermo R. Gil
Vivirse la película: Willful Opposition to the Fiscal Control Board in Puerto Rico
Patrick Bond
South Africa’s Junk Credit Rating was Avoided, But at the Cost of Junk Analysis
Clancy Sigal
Investigate the Protesters! A Trial Balloon Filled With Poison Gas
Pierre Labossiere – Margaret Prescod
Human Rights and Alternative Media Delegation Report on Haiti’s Elections
Charles R. Larson
Review:  Helon Habila’s The Chibok Girls: the Boko Haram Kidnappings and Islamist Militancy in Nigeria
David Yearsley
Brahms and the Tears of Britain’s Oppressed
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail