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MARX: A HERO FOR OUR TIME? — Suddenly, everyone from the Wall Street Journal to Rolling Stone seems to be talking about Karl Marx. Louis Proyect delves into this mysterious resurgence, giving a vivid assessment of Marx’s relevance in the era of globalized capitalism. THE MEANING OF MANDELA: Longtime civil rights organizer Kevin Alexander Gray gives in intimate portrait of Nelson Mandela and the global struggle of racial justice. FALLOUT OVER FUKUSHIMA: Peter Lee investigates the scandalous exposure of sailors on board the USS Reagan to radioactive fallout from Fukushima. SOUTHERN DISCOMFORT: Kim Nicolini charts the rise of Matthew McConaughey. PLUS: Mike Whitney on the coming crash of the housing market. JoAnn Wypijewski on slavery, torture and revolt. Chris Floyd on the stupidity of US policy in Ukraine. Kristin Kolb on musicians and health care. And Jeffrey St. Clair on life and death on the mean streets of an America in decline
Will Bush Take Everything Down With Him?

More Shame, More Sorrow

by PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS

In the administration of George W. Bush, the Republican Party has achieved the greatest combination of idiocy and evil in human history.

The Republicans have bogged America down in a gratuitous and illegal war. The war has destroyed Iraq, killed between 650,000 and 1,000,000 Iraqi civilians, displaced 4,000,000 Iraqis, and littered the country with depleted uranium. Bush’s war remains unwon despite its five year duration and $1 trillion in out-of-pocket and incurred future costs.

Bush’s invasion of Iraq is a war crime under the Nuremberg standard, a direct counterpart to Hitler’s invasion of Poland. Both were based on lies and deception, and the declared reasons for both were masks for secret agendas.

Bush’s invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, his planned attack on Iran, and his support for Israel’s attack on Lebanon and genocidal policies toward the Palestinians have radicalized the Middle East and Muslims worldwide. American and Israeli aggression have vindicated Osama bin Laden’s propaganda, produced massive recruits for Al Qaeda, and unleashed destabilizing forces throughout the Middle East

Bush’s wars are strengthening Islam. Abdullah Gul has just been elected president of Turkey. Gul is described by the American media as "former Islamist." Gul is supported by the ruling political party of prime minister Erdogan, another "former Islamist."

Gul’s election to the presidency by 76% of the Turkish parliament has upset Turkey’s secularized military, long in the pay of the US government. On August 27 Turkey’s military chief, General Yasar Buyukanit, declared that "centers of evil systematically try to corrode the secular nature of the Turkish Republic." The Turkish military, many believe at the request and pay of the US, has overthrown four Turkish governments since 1960, the last only 10 years ago.

With President Bush’s rant about "bringing democracy to the Middle East," the Turkish military is less able to impose Western values on an Islamic people. Similarly, the American puppet in Egypt cannot as easily suppress the Islamic values and aspirations of Egyptians.

US puppet rulers in Jordan and Pakistan, and even the Saudis and oil emirates, report the ground shaking under their feet. America’s puppet in Pakistan is in trouble, and his difficulties are compounded by US military incursions into Pakistan. The Bush administration is considering contingency plans to seize Pakistan’s nuclear weapons in the event the American puppet is overthrown, delusional contingency plans considering the over-stretched US military.

In the postwar years, the US managed with its money and influence to secularize an elite class in Middle Eastern countries, an elite that identifies with the West and not with their own cultures. This artificial elite has produced a wide political gap between the masses of the people and the rulers. Increasingly, Muslim masses perceive their rulers as allied with foreign powers against them.

In Iraq the American puppet government of Nuri al-Maliki seems to be on its last legs. The Sunnis have pulled their support, as has the most important Shi’ite leader, Muqtada al-Sadr, who realizes that the Maliki government is too complicit in US crimes to be a legitimate government of Iraq. With both the Bush administration and Congress blaming Maliki for America’s failure in Iraq, Maliki’s fate looks increasingly to be that of Ngo Dinh Diem, America’s Vietnam puppet who was blamed for the failure of US intervention in Vietnam.

Just as Hitler long denied German defeats on the Russian front and even in his last days was ordering non-existent German divisions to relieve Berlin, the Bush regime finds a new straw to grasp in Iraq each time the previous straw proves to be a delusion. The latest straw is "the surge." While Americans surge, the British have been defeated in southern Iraq and have withdrawn to two bases in eerie similarity to the French at Dien Bien Phu. The British bases are subjected to between 30 and 60 mortar and rocket attacks each day. British generals want their troops out of Iraq. The longer UK prime minister Brown keeps them in Iraq in order to appease the Bush administration, the harder it will be to rescue the survivors.

With American retreat south to Kuwait now potentially cut off, how will the US extract its troops and equipment when American defeat can no longer be denied?

The Bush administration and its politicized military are already blaming the failure of "the surge" on Iran. Iran is alleged to be training and arming Iraqis who resist the US occupation. Bush has said he will hold Iran responsible. There is abundant evidence that the Bush administration is preparing yet another illegal attack on a Muslim country without assessing the consequences.

The Bush administration seems destined to produce such disasters that it will be driven to the use of nuclear weapons in order to avoid defeat. The Bush administration possesses the combination of evil and stupidity required to escalate a failed "cakewalk war" into a nuclear one.

Many of the administration’s most evil members–Wolfowitz, Feith, Libby, Rumsfeld, Rove, and Gonzales–have been discarded as the tragedy deepens, but Cheney remains ensconced as does the moron in the White House. Before they fall, Bush and Cheney will bring more sorrow to the world and more shame to Americans.

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