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

May 24, 2017
Paul Street
Beyond Neoliberal Identity Politics
Daniel Read
Powder Keg: Manchester Terror Attack Could Lead to Yet Another Resurgence in Nationalist Hate
Robert Fisk
When Peace is a Commodity: Trump in the Middle East
Kenneth Surin
The UK’s Epochal Election
Jeff Berg
Lessons From a Modern Greek Tragedy
Steve Cooper
A Concrete Agenda for Progressives
Michael McKinley
Australia-as-Concierge: the Need for a Change of Occupation
William Hawes
Where Are Your Minds? An Open Letter to Thomas de Maiziere and the CDU
Steve Early
“Corporate Free” Candidates Move Up
Fariborz Saremi
Presidential Elections in Iran and the Outcomes
Dan Bacher
The Dark Heart of California’s Water Politics
Alessandra Bajec
Never Ending Injustice for Pinar Selek
Rob Seimetz
Death By Demigod
Jesse Jackson
Venezuela Needs Helping Hand, Not a Hammer Blow 
Binoy Kampmark
Return to Realpolitik: Trump in Saudi Arabia
Vern Loomis
The NRA: the Dragon in Our Midst
May 23, 2017
John Wight
Manchester Attacks: What Price Hypocrisy?
Patrick Cockburn
A Gathering of Autocrats: Trump Puts US on Sunni Muslim Side of Bitter Sectarian War with Shias
Shamus Cooke
Can Trump Salvage His Presidency in Syria’s War?
Thomas S. Harrington
“Risk”: a Sad Comedown for Laura Poitras
Josh White
Towards the Corbyn Doctrine
Mike Whitney
Rosenstein and Mueller: the Regime Change Tag-Team
Jan Oberg
Trump in Riyadh: an Arab NATO Against Syria and Iran
Susan Babbitt
The Most Dangerous Spy You’ve Never Heard Of: Ana Belén Montes
Rannie Amiri
Al-Awamiya: City of Resistance
Dimitris Konstantakopoulos
The European Left and the Greek Tragedy
Laura Leigh
This Land is Your Land, Except If You’re a Wild Horse Advocate
Hervé Kempf
Macron, Old World President
Michael J. Sainato
Devos Takes Out Her Hatchet
L. Ali Khan
I’m a Human and I’m a Cartoon
May 22, 2017
Diana Johnstone
All Power to the Banks! The Winners-Take-All Regime of Emmanuel Macron
Robert Fisk
Hypocrisy and Condescension: Trump’s Speech to the Middle East
John Grant
Jeff Sessions, Jesus Christ and the Return of Reefer Madness
Nozomi Hayase
Trump and the Resurgence of Colonial Racism
Rev. William Alberts
The Normalizing of Authoritarianism in America
Frank Stricker
Getting Full Employment: the Fake Way and the Right Way 
Jamie Davidson
Red Terror: Anti-Corbynism and Double Standards
Binoy Kampmark
Julian Assange, Sweden, and Continuing Battles
Robert Jensen
Beyond Liberal Pieties: the Radical Challenge for Journalism
Patrick Cockburn
Trump’s Extravagant Saudi Trip Distracts from His Crisis at Home
Angie Beeman
Gig Economy or Odd Jobs: What May Seem Trendy to Privileged City Dwellers and Suburbanites is as Old as Poverty
Colin Todhunter
The Public Or The Agrochemical Industry: Who Does The European Chemicals Agency Serve?
Jerrod A. Laber
Somalia’s Worsening Drought: Blowback From US Policy
Michael J. Sainato
Police Claimed Black Man Who Died in Custody Was Faking It
Clancy Sigal
I’m a Trump Guy, So What?
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail