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So, why war? The answers are frightening: Iraqi oil, military dominance that leads to control of the rest of the oil in the Middle East and Caspian regions, and ultimately American empire.
And, let us not forget, war profiteering is high on the neocons' agenda. Halliburton, formerly headed by Cheney, has already landed contracts. Other firms are bellying up to the table. Investigative reporter Seymour Hersh revealed in last week's New Yorker that the War Party's Dr. Strangelove, Perle, has set up a company, Trireme Partners, to scoop up defense deals.
In these final days leading to conflagration, what's clear is that our justifications for conflict have nothing to do with defense, or with pursuing a just war. They have nothing to do with democracy -- indeed, Bush's march to war is in goose-stepping rhythm with trampling the very rights that make America free. The true patriots are not those wrapping themselves in flags -- but those who care about Bush attacks on civil liberties, and the transformation of America into an outlaw and a rogue.
The scariest part of all of this is Bush's apparent belief that he has God on his side. The belief that killing innocent people is divinely sanctioned is shared with one other well-known world figure -- Osama bin Laden.
But most religions recoil from this war -- Bush's own Methodist Church, the Catholic Church, and virtually every Protestant denomination other than the South Baptist and fringe fundamentalists. Certainly, Jesus never said: "Blessed are the pre-emptive war-makers." Nor did he command: "Go, thou, and seize the world's oil supplies."
Not only isn't God on the side of the warmakers, neither is the law, according to the U.N. Charter and a half-century of international accords. We are on our own, with only our terrifying arsenal justifying our actions. Is that enough?
At the Nuremburg trials of the Nazi leaders, Supreme Court Justice Robert L. Jackson said, "We must make clear to the Germans that the wrong for which their fallen leaders are on trial is not that they lost the war, but that they started it. ... No grievances or policies will justify resort to aggressive war. It is utterly renounced and condemned as an instrument of policy."
When Americans start coming home in body bags, when the 12 million Iraqi children begin dying in the "shock and awe" carpet bombing or face the slower death of starvation and deprivation -- our media will have a hard time escaping part of the blame.
As I've written before, Big Media has billions of dollars at stake if the Bush administration continues deregulation. That's part of the reason that citizens are deprived of news.
In the last week, what you haven't read in daily newspapers is that the government has threatened to shoot down satellite uplink positions of independent journalists. Bush has hired Hollywood guys to create the backdrop for war propaganda. The new spokesperson for Gen. Tommy Franks is the terrorist -- and that's not too strong a word -- who organized the GOP riot in Miami that stopped the ballot re-count in 2000.
I sent AJC Editor Julia Wallace a list of major war-related stories the daily either had not printed (censored?) or had run only in the form of wire service briefs. I asked her how citizens in a democracy could make good decisions without full information on something as vital as going to war. She didn't respond.
The stories include:
Finally, a word to the French: Salutations aux nobles français. Quelques morons et nincompoops en Amérique vous dédaignent parce que vous êtes la voix de la moralité et du courage aux Nations-Unies. Certains en Amérique s'offensent que vous soyez raisonnés, civilisés et que vous croyez à des principes. Ces Américains, y compris certains aux congrès, sont si pathétiques qu'ils veulent appeler les pommes de terre frites (french fries) "fritures de liberte" (freedom fries). Mais la plupart des Américains n'oublieront pas votre amitié et votre courage. Nous vous saluons. Vive la France. Vive les French fries.
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