Bush’s Ruinous Empire

by PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS

Last Friday the price of light sweet crude oil on the New York Mercantile Exchange for August delivery closed 16 cents short of $60/barrel–the highest price ever and an ironic outcome for the millions of Americans who believe that cheap oil was the reason for Bush’s invasion of Iraq.

Equally shocking to Americans was the announcement that China has outbid US oil giant Chevron for the American oil company, Unocal.

Polls showing that a majority of Europeans have a higher opinion of China than of the US were another blow to the pumped-up self-esteem of Americans, deluded as they are by Bush administration hubris and claims of American “exceptionalism.”

The decline in economic and diplomatic standing that Americans have suffered under Bush is exceptional. How much longer will Americans support the incompetent Bush administration that is driving them and their country’s reputation into the ground?

The world press sees Bush as an arrogant hypocrite who justifies his invasion of Iraq in the name of democracy, while protecting Uzbek’s murderous dictator Islam Karimov, described by Craig Murray, former UK ambassador to Uzbekistan as “very much George Bush’s man in Central Asia.”

On May 13, Karimov had 500 protesters shot down in the streets of Andijan and 200 massacred in Pakhtabad. Still more civilians were massacred by Karimov while attempting to flee into neighboring Kyrgyzstan.

It was the Bush administration that blocked a call by NATO for an international investigation of the Uzbek massacre. According to news reports, Karimov has agreed, for a suitable payment from US taxpayers, for Bush to attack Iran from bases in Uzbekistan. Uzbekistan also serves as one of the Bush administration’s offshore torture centers to which suspected terrorists are sent.

Deceived American patriots dismiss such reports as leftwing fabrications. However, human rights groups have documented these abuses. Moreover, on June 24 an Italian judge ordered the arrests of 13 CIA agents, who kidnapped a Muslim in Italy and secreted him to Egypt, another offshore US torture center. The 13 CIA agents managed to stick the US taxpayers with a $144,984 hotel bill in the process.

It would be interesting to have a comparison of the hourly Uzbek and Egyptian torture rates. US taxpayers have a right to know how many of their hard-earned tax dollars, given up on pain of prison sentences, are flowing to offshore torture centers.

During his June 25 Saturday radio message to Americans, Bush gave an upbeat report on victory in Iraq and said: “Americans can be proud of all that we and our coalition partners [he means his poodle, Tony Blair, but likes the plural sound] have accomplished in Iraq.”

Gentle reader, are you proud that American troops are torturing Iraqis?

Are you proud that tens of thousands of Iraqi women and children have been killed and maimed with their deaths and terrible wounds dismissed as “collateral damage”?

Are you proud that you elected and reelected a president who lied you into an illegal war that has killed 1,755 American troops, maimed thousands more, and destroyed your country’s reputation?

If you are proud of this, what kind of person are you?

While Bush schmoozed trusting Americans over the air waves on June 25, Brian Brady of The Scotsman (June 26) reported that Bush warned UK PM Tony Blair earlier this month “that war-torn Iraq remains on the brink of disaster.”

Moreover, the situation in Afghanistan is deteriorating. The British, who are even shorter on troops than the US, cannot maintain their troop strength in Iraq and also contribute forces to stem the resurgence of the Taliban in Afghanistan. The US and Britain, it seems, are trapped in two quagmires.

Vice President Cheney claims, erroneously, that the Iraqi insurgency is in its “last throes.” But it appears that it is the US that is on its last legs. Lt. Gen. James R. Helmly has warned that the Army Reserve is “rapidly degenerating into a broken force.” Everyone except the deceived American people know that the US lacks the combat troops to continue the war it is losing in Iraq.

As Zbigniew Brzezinski, a hawkish US National Security Advisor during the cold war conflict with the Soviet Union, said in response to Bush’s Saturday radio address: “Patriotism and love of country do not demand endless sacrifice on the part of our troops in a war justified by slogans.”

PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS has held a number of academic appointments and has contributed to numerous scholarly publications. He served as Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan administration. His graduate economics education was at the University of Virginia, the University of California at Berkeley, and Oxford University. He is coauthor of The Tyranny of Good Intentions.He can be reached at: paulcraigroberts@yahoo.com

 

 

 

Paul Craig Roberts is a former Assistant Secretary of the US Treasury and Associate Editor of the Wall Street Journal. Roberts’ How the Economy Was Lost is now available from CounterPunch in electronic format. His latest book is How America Was Lost.

Like What You’ve Read? Support CounterPunch
August 27, 2015
Sam Husseini
Foreign Policy, Sanders-Style: Backing Saudi Intervention
Brad Evans – Henry A. Giroux
Self-Plagiarism and the Politics of Character Assassination: the Case of Zygmunt Bauman
Peter Lee
Making Sense of China’s Stock Market Meltdown
Paul Craig Roberts
Wall Street and the Matrix: Where is Neo When We Need Him?
Kerry Emanuel
The Real Lesson of Katrina: the Worst is Yet to Come
Dave Lindorff
Why Wall Street Reporting is a Joke
Pepe Escobar
Brave (Miserable) New Normal World
Ramzy Baroud
‘Islamic State’ Pretence and the Upcoming Wars in Libya
Paul Edwards
Capitalism Delenda Est
Norman Pollack
The Political Culture of Rape in America: Further Thoughts on the St. Paul’s School Case
Stephen Lendman
The Monied Interests That Run America
Pedro Aibéo
Democratizing Finance (With Bitcoin?)
Alfredo Acedo
Climate Change and Capitalism: Challenges of the COP21 Paris and Climate Movements
August 26, 2015
Paul Street
Overworked and Out of Time: a Democracy Issue
Sharmini Peries - Michael Hudson
Behind the Market Crash: the Smoke and Mirrors of Corporate Buybacks
David Mihalyfy
Reform Higher Ed? Treat Badmin Like Bankers
Ruth Hopkins
Police Shootings in Indian Country: Justice or Else!
Gary Leupp
ISIL Advances While Its Foes Cannot Unite
Fred Gardner
The Psychiatrist’s Bible: Defining ‘Marijuana Use Disorder’
Yorgos Mitralias
The Catastrophic International Consequences of the Capitulation of Syriza and the Criminal Responsibility of Mr. Tsipras
Walter Brasch
Katrina: a 10-Year Review
Jim Connolly
Seven Questions and Seven Answers: a Sandernista Makes Reasonable Predictions About the 2016 Contest for the Democratic Presidential Nomination
Pedro Aibéo
Selling Austerity to Finland
Franklin Lamb
Heritage Destruction in Syria is a War Crime
Binoy Kampmark
Tourism’s Disaster Temptation: the Case of Nepal
Jeffrey D. Pugh
Trial by Fire for Ecuador’s President Correa
Vacy Vlanza
A Palestinian Novel Par Excellence
Alvaro Huerta
Confessions of an ‘Anchor Baby’: Open Letter to President Donald Trump
August 25, 2015
Gary Leupp
Why Donald Trump is So Scary
Jonathan Cook
Israel’s Thug at the UN
Steve Early
How “Brother” Bernie is Making Labor’s Day
Carl Finamore
An Affordable Housing Victory: High-End San Francisco Development Implodes
Henry Giroux – Chuck Mertz
The Spectacle of American Violence and the Cure for Donald Trump
Robert Eisinger
Trivializing Anti-Semitism
Brian Platt
It is Time We Discussed Abolishing the Police
Alexander Reid Ross
Trump the Fascist
Nicola Perugini - Neve Gordon
Mohammed Allan at the Door of the Israeli Supreme Court
Ted Rall
The United States of Stupidity
Heather Gray
A Message to American Mothers About Sex in the Military
Jo Leinen – Andreas Bummel
How to Democratize the UN
Lawrence Davidson
The Iran Agreement and Israel’s Claim to Speak for the Jews
Mark Hand
A Well Pad Next to Every 3-Car Garage: Suburban Sprawl Collides with Texas Frack Jobs
John Laforge
U.S. Bows Out After Plowshares Conviction is Vacated: Appeals Court Ill-Informed on Nuclear Overkill
Norman Pollack
Gender Freedom and Sexual Liberation: The St. Paul’s School Case
Kathy Kelly
Let It Shine