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As everyone except for a dwindling band of Bush supporters now knows, the US is in a terrible situation in Iraq from which it cannot extract itself. For Bush and Cheney, their own pride and delusion are more compelling than US casualties, the destruction of Iraq and its people, and the inflaming of sectarian strife and anti-American violence throughout the Middle East.
Congress is complicit in the great strategic blunder. Republican flag-wavers led Americans like lemmings into the abyss. The Democrats have already abandoned the electorate that gave them Control of Congress six months ago in the false hope that the Democrats would corral the White House Moron and lead America out of the abyss.
Like the Republicans, the Democrats serve the few special interest groups that benefit, or believe that they benefit, from the war. By now we all know who these groups are: the oil industry, the military-security complex, and the Israel Lobby, AIPAC. This contrived war, based on lies and deception, serves no other interest.
There is no longer any question whatsoever, not a single sliver of doubt, that Americans were deceived into this disastrous war. The President of the United States lied to the American people, as did the Vice President, the National Security Advisor, the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Defense, the Deputy Secretary of Defense, the Undersecretary of Defense, as did every neoconservative in the Bush administration, think tanks, and media.
The fact that the American people were lied to and deceived does not absolve them from blame. The lie was transparent, the logic nonexistent, the true facts available and easy to discover.
America failed, because the American people failed. The American people failed, because their self-righteousness and their hubris made them easy saps for deception.
Even now after five years of a disastrous policy, Republicans cannot accept the facts about the US invasion and failed occupation of Iraq. At the recent “debate” between Republican presidential candidates in South Carolina, US Representative Ron Paul dared to tell the truth. Rep. Paul said that our difficulties in the Middle East are “blowback” from our government’s determined attempts to exercise hegemony over the Middle East.
Republican presidential candidate Rudy Guiliani, a person who sunk so low as to frame innocents while serving as US Attorney in order to boost his name recognition , played the self-righteous card to extreme. How dare Ron Paul suggest that US policy toward Muslims has anything whatsoever to do with attacks on the US! With all the outrage he could muster, Guiliani asked Rep. Paul “to withdraw that comment and tell us that he didn’t really mean that.”
The thunderous applause from the Republican audience to Guiliani’s put-down of the only honest person present underlines that the Republican Party is incapable of leadership to end a futile and lost war that under international standards is a war crime, an unprovoked naked aggression based entirely on lies, deception and a secret agenda.
At other times, the Republican audience applauded in support of torture and greeted John McCain’s protest against the practice with cold silence.
In the opening years of the 21st century the Republicans have made it clear that they are willing to sacrifice the US Constitution and Bill of Rights in order to wage “war against terrorism.” This willingness makes the Republican Party a more dangerous threat to Americans than Muslim terrorists. Muslim terrorists cannot destroy our country’s reputation, trash our civil liberties and wreck our system of accountable government, but the Republican Party has done a thorough job of it.
The Democratic Party is complicit in the Republican Party’s crimes, but unlike the Republican electorate, the Democratic electorate does not support the occupation, the domestic police state measures, and the Bush administration’s decision to send more combat troops to Iraq. Although none of the current frontrunners for the Democratic presidential nomination are independent of the special interests that benefit from the war, it might still be possible for a Democrat to emerge who will represent the Democratic electorate instead of the special interests.
Republican support for Bush’s contrived war against Iraq has diminished the Republican party. Intelligent and decent people have abandoned the party, which has morphed into a Brownshirt Party with which fewer people are willing to be associated. The diminished Republican ranks will make it difficult for the party to steal any more elections.
If we are fortunate, Republicans will complete their self-destruction before they extinguish the Constitution and destroy America.
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