America Will Disappoint the World, Again


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.

November 25, 2015
Jeff Taylor
Bob Dylan and Christian Zionism
Dana E. Abizaid
Provoking Russia
Oliver Tickell
Syria’s Cauldron of Fire: a Downed Russian Jet and the Battle of Two Pipelines
Patrick Cockburn
Trigger Happy: Will Turkey’s Downing of Russian Jet Backfire on NATO?
Robert Fisk
The Soothsayers of Eternal War
Russell Mokhiber
The Coming Boycott of Nike
Ted Rall
Like Father Like Son: George W. Bush Was Bad, His Father May Have Been Worse
Matt Peppe
Bad Policy, Bad Ethics: U.S. Military Bases Abroad
Martha Rosenberg
Pfizer Too Big (and Slippery) to Fail
Yorgos Mitralias
Bernie Sanders, Mr. Voutsis and the Truth Commission on Greek Public Debt
Jorge Vilches
Too Big for Fed: Have Central Banks Lost Control?
Sam Husseini
Why Trump is Wrong About Waterboarding — It’s Probably Not What You Think
Binoy Kampmark
The Perils of Certainty: Obama and the Assad Regime
Roger Annis
State of Emergency in Crimea
Soud Sharabani
ISIS in Lebanon: An Interview with Andre Vltchek
Thomas Knapp
NATO: This Deal is a Turkey
November 24, 2015
Dave Lindorff
An Invisible US Hand Leading to War? Turkey’s Downing of a Russian Jet was an Act of Madness
Mike Whitney
Turkey Downs Russian Fighter to Draw NATO and US Deeper into Syrian Quagmire
Walter Clemens
Who Created This Monster?
Patrick Graham
Bombing ISIS Will Not Work
Lida Maxwell
Who Gets to Demand Safety?
Eric Draitser
Refugees as Weapons in a Propaganda War
David Rosen
Trump’s Enemies List: a Trial Balloon for More Repression?
Eric Mann
Playing Politics While the Planet Sizzles
Chris Gilbert
“Why Socialism?” Revisited: Reflections Inspired by Einstein’s Article
Charles Davis
NSA Spies on Venezuela’s Oil Company
Michael Barker
Democracy vs. Political Policing
Barry Lando
Shocked by Trump? Churchill Wanted to “Collar Them All”
Cal Winslow
When Workers Fight: the National Union of Healthcare Workers Wins Battle with Kaiser
Norman Pollack
Where Does It End?: Left Political Correctness
David Macaray
Companies Continue to Profit by Playing Dumb
Binoy Kampmark
Animals in Conflict: Diesel, Dobrynya and Sentimental Security
Dave Welsh
Defiant Haiti: “We Won’t Let You Steal These Elections!”
November 23, 2015
Vijay Prashad
The Doctrine of 9/11 Anti-Immigration
John Wight
After Paris: Hypocrisy and Mendacity Writ Large
Joseph G. Ramsey
No Excuses, No Exceptions: the Moral Imperative to Offer Refuge
Patrick Cockburn
ISIS Thrives on the Disunity of Its Enemies
Andrew Moss
The Message of Montgomery: 60 Years Later
Jim Green
James Hansen’s Nuclear Fantasies
Robert Koehler
The Absence of History in the Aftermath of Paris
Dave Lindorff
The US Media and Propaganda
Dave Randle
France and Martial Law
Gilbert Mercier
If We Are at War, Let’s Bring Back the Draft!
Alexey Malashenko
Putin’s Syrian Gambit
Binoy Kampmark
Closing the Door: US Politics and the Refugee Debate