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Incompetence at the Top

Tenet and His Masters

by PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS

Every American who voted Republican shares responsibility for the great evil America has brought to the Middle East.

The evil that America brought to Iraq transcends the tens or hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians who have been killed and maimed in the conflict. The evil goes beyond the destruction of ancient historical artifacts and the civilian infrastructure of a secular state and the decimation of the lives, careers, and families of millions of Iraqis.

The violence and killing that Bush brought to Iraq has spread antagonism between Sunni and Shiite throughout the Middle East with potentially draconian consequences. Bush’s war has turned Muslim hearts and minds against America and made terrorism an acceptable means to resist American hegemony. With his mindless war, Bush has created more terrorism than the world has ever seen.

The reasons given for the American invasion of Iraq have been exposed as lies, revealing America as either a country of fools and idiots or of war criminals. Worldwide polls show that America is no longer regarded as a guiding light but is tied with Israel as the second greatest threat to world stability.

The nuclear-armed Russians, alarmed by America’s gratuitous aggression and interference in Russian and Middle Eastern internal affairs and by Bush’s aggressive withdrawal on June 13, 2002 from the 1972 anti-ballistic missile treaty, no longer see the US as a partner in peace but as a dangerous militaristic aggressor. The chance for understanding and trust with Russia has been destroyed by the stupid Bush administration. The White House Moron, who cannot successfully occupy Baghdad, believes he can run over Russia.

Former CIA director George "Slam-Dunk" Tenet writes in a new book, At the Center of the Storm: My years at the CIA that Vice President Dick Cheney and the neoconservatives caused America to invade Iraq without ever holding a serious debate about whether Iraq was a threat. Tenet writes: "There was never a serious debate that I know of within the administration about the imminence of the Iraqi threat."

The 2003 American invasion of Iraq is a war crime under international law. The invasion caused sectarian violence far beyond anything Iraq had ever experienced under Saddam Hussein. Tenet writes that "sectarian violence in Iraq has taken on a life of its own and that US forces are becoming more and more irrelevant to the management of that violence."

Tenet says that Dick Cheney made him a scapegoat for the disastrous war by misrepresenting to media what he meant by "slam-dunk." Interviewed by "60 Minutes," Tenet said that the administration misrepresented his comment to mean that the case was air tight that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. Tenet states that the Bush administration’s misrepresentation of what he said is "the most despicable thing that ever happened" to him.

The American people have never been told the real reasons that Bush-Cheney and the Republican Party rushed us to war in Iraq. Americans have only been fed a pack of transparent lies.

The war has brought no honor, no glory, and no tangible benefit. The war has brought shame upon America for routine torture of Iraqi detainees and for the routine slaughter of unarmed Iraqi civilians–mothers, fathers, children, grandparents–by trigger happy American troops. There are even reports of US mercenaries having fun riding around taking pot shots at Iraqi civilians.

Billions of dollars in "aid" are missing. The stench of corruption is heavy in the air. There are myriad investigations of Bush administration and contractor corruption. Who can keep up with them all? Cheney’s Halliburton, the greatest hog at the trough, has not been indicted. The missing suitcases of cash have not been recovered. The earnest efforts of Congress have taken on a pathetic, plodding life of their own.

In an article just published in the Armed Forces Journal, Lt. Col. Paul Yingling, one of the commanders of the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment in Iraq, condemns American generals as " mild-mannered team players" who "are not worthy of their soldiers" and who "underestimated the strength of the enemy, overestimated the capabilities of Iraq’s government and security forces and failed to provide Congress with an accurate assessment of security conditions in Iraq."

Captains, majors, and lieutenant colonels are frustrated with the political cowardice of their general officers and are leaving the service in droves. The Army is trying to improve retention by offering $20,000 cash payments to the officers–another stupid Bush administration policy as any officer who sells his soul is demoralized.

Col. Yingling writes that Congress must step in and break up the way administrations use promotions to acquire compliant generals as accomplices in deceiving the American people.

The most frightening fact about the Bush administration is that not a single office is held by a competent or qualified person. Integrity is so rare among Bush appointees that integrity has been silenced.

That should concern all Americans. Even Republicans.

PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan administration. He was Associate Editor of the Wall Street Journal editorial page and Contributing Editor of National Review. He is coauthor of The Tyranny of Good Intentions.He can be reached at: PaulCraigRoberts@yahoo.com