FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

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 The Neoconservative Threat to World Order.

Weekend Edition
April 29, 2016
Friday - Sunday
Andrew Levine
What is the Democratic Party Good For? Absolutely Nothing
Roberto J. González – David Price
Anthropologists Marshalling History: the American Anthropological Association’s Vote on the Academic Boycott of Israeli Institutions
Robert Jacobs
Hanford, Not Fukushima, is the Big Radiological Threat to the West Coast
Ismael Hossein-Zadeh
US Presidential Election: Beyond Lesser Evilism
Dave Lindorff
The Push to Make Sanders the Green Party’s Candidate
Ian Fairlie
Chernobyl’s Ongoing Toll: 40,000 More Cancer Deaths?
Pete Dolack
Verizon Sticks it to its Workers Because $45 Billion isn’t Enough
Richard Falk
If Obama Visits Hiroshima
Margaret Kimberley
Dishonoring Harriet Tubman
Deepak Tripathi
The United States, Britain and the European Union
Peter Linebaugh
Marymount, Haymarket, Marikana: a Brief Note Towards ‘Completing’ May Day
Eva Golinger
My Country, My Love: a Conversation with Gerardo and Adriana of the Cuban Five
Moshe Adler
May Day: a Trade Agreement to Unite Third World and American Workers
Vijay Prashad
Political Violence in Honduras
Paul Krane
Where Gun Control Ought to Start: Disarming the Police
David Anderson
Al Jazeera America: Goodbye to All That Jazz
Rob Hager
Platform Perversity: More From the Campaign That Can’t Strategize
Pat Williams
FDR in Montana
Dave Marsh
Every Day I Read the Book (the Best Music Books of the Last Year)
David Rosen
Job Satisfaction Under Perpetual Stagnation
John Feffer
Big Oil isn’t Going Down Without a Fight
Murray Dobbin
The Canadian / Saudi Arms Deal: More Than Meets the Eye?
Gary Engler
The Devil Capitalism
Brian Cloughley
Is Washington Preparing for War Against Russia?
Manuel E. Yepe
The Big Lies and the Small Lies
Robert Fantina
Vice Presidents, Candidates and History
Mel Gurtov
Sanctions and Defiance in North Korea
Howard Lisnoff
Still the Litmus Test of Worth
Dean Baker
Big Business and the Overtime Rule: Irrational Complaints
Ulrich Heyden
Crimea as a Paradise for High-Class Tourism?
Ramzy Baroud
Did the Arabs Betray Palestine? – A Schism between the Ruling Classes and the Wider Society
Halyna Mokrushyna
The War on Ukrainian Scientists
Joseph Natoli
Who’s the Better Neoliberal?
Ron Jacobs
The Battle at Big Brown: Joe Allen’s The Package King
Wahid Azal
Class Struggle and Westoxication in Pahlavi Iran: a Review of the Iranian Series ‘Shahrzad’
David Crisp
After All These Years, Newspapers Still Needed
Graham Peebles
Hungry and Frightened: Famine in Ethiopia 2016
Robert Koehler
Opening the Closed Political Culture
Missy Comley Beattie
Waves of Nostalgia
Thomas Knapp
The Problem with Donald Trump’s Version of “America First”
Georgina Downs
Hillsborough and Beyond: Establishment Cover Ups, Lies & Corruption
Jeffrey St. Clair
Groove on the Tracks: the Magic Left Hand of Red Garland
Ben Debney
Kush Zombies: QELD’s Hat Tip to Old School Hip Hop
Charles R. Larson
Moby Dick on Steroids?
David Yearsley
Miles Davis: Ace of Baseness
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail