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July 23, 2006

Wolcott Puts Words to It

James Wolcott sums up what we are watching unfold in the world today and lays it squarely on the US.  He says

The war crimes of the United States compound by the minute, the hour, the day. I predict that George Bush, upon leaving office, will be the most despised president in American history. He will have his core support, the clotted, stunted brains that collect at sites like Lucianne.com and Powerline, but he will enjoy no Reaganesque orange sunset afterglow (or Nixonian self-rehabilitation), so deep, lasting, and tragic is the damage he's done, a damage abetted by a craven, corrupt political class and a press that even now, as the full dimensions of the disaster unfold before us, is unable to sound alarm, so accustomed as they've become to their role as sponges and clever snots.

He discusses Iraq and sums it up by quoting Robert Dreyfuss at TomPaine.com:

What is unfolding in Iraq is a staggering tragedy. An entire nation is dying, right in front of us. And the worst part of it is: It may be too late to do anything to stop it.


The blame for this carnage must be laid squarely at the feet of George W. Bush. The U.S. invasion of Iraq was ordered against the advice of the CIA, the State Department and most U.S. military officers, and in defiance of the United Nations, America’s allies, and the Arab world. The United States attacked and destroyed a nation that had never attacked the United States, which had no weapons of mass destruction and which had no connection to al-Qaida.

Back to Wolcott:

As Dreyfuss observes, the death spiral will continue because the Bush administration is in self-hypnotic denial and, I would add, there is no peace movement or political opposition with any upward force. Compare Iraq with Vietnam, and the sense of resignation and futility is apparent. I will never forgive Joe Lieberman for undercutting John Murtha and muffling the urgency of Murtha's warnings about how rapidly Iraq was unraveling by issuing one of his classic mushmouthed pieties. He immediately gave the White House and the War Party bipartisan cover, helping ensure the policies that weren't working would continue not working as the death-toll tabulator rose and rose.

But it is not enough to blame Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Blair, Lieberman, the neocons, the liberal hawks, and other useless idiots. By our actions in Iraq, and our complicity and collaboration with the Israeli assault on Lebanon, American citizens are culpable for letting 9/11 turn them/us into passive accomplices. "The complicity of the American public in these heinous crimes will damn America for all time in history," Paul Craig Roberts rages at Antiwar.

Then he turns to Israel's incursion Lebanon, which we are learning this weekend has been planned for at least a year (and I'll cover in another post).  He quotes Robert Fisk:

I lived here through 15 years of civil war that took 150,000 lives, and two Israeli invasions and years of Israeli bombardments that cost the lives of a further 20,000 of its people. I have seen them armless, legless, headless, knifed, bombed and splashed across the walls of houses. Yet they are a fine, educated, moral people whose generosity amazes every foreigner, whose gentleness puts any Westerner to shame, and whose suffering we almost always ignore.

They look like us, the people of Beirut. They have light-coloured skin and speak beautiful English and French. They travel the world. Their women are gorgeous and their food exquisite. But what are we saying of their fate today as the Israelis - in some of their cruellest attacks on this city and the surrounding countryside - tear them from their homes, bomb them on river bridges, cut them off from food and water and electricity? We say that they started this latest war, and we compare their appalling casualties - 240 in all of Lebanon by last night - with Israel's 24 dead, as if the figures are the same.

And then, most disgraceful of all, we leave the Lebanese to their fate like a diseased people and spend our time evacuating our precious foreigners while tut-tutting about Israel's 'disproportionate' response to the capture of its soldiers by Hizbollah.

Wolcott looks at what might be in store in Lebanon, drawing on Larry Johnston of No Quarter:

During the next two weeks we are likely to see combat in southern Lebanon intensify. Most of the action will be on the ground rather than in the air. Both sides will suffer significant casualties. If the United States is perceived (emphasis on perceived) as encouraging or directing the Israeli response [we're already beyond that point, given the NY Times front page story this morning about the US rushing precision-guided bombs to Israel], the odds increase that Hezbollah will ratchet things up another notch by playing the terrorist card.

Apparently Hezbollah is even more active in the world in terms of terrorism than Al Qaeda.  Hezbollah has been quiet for the last ten years because they thought they could achieve results politically.  Up until now.

Posted by Lynn Allen on July 23, 2006 at 07:59 AM in National and International Politics | Permalink


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