Like a refreshing breeze blowing briefly over those damned to endure the hell created by America's government came the words of British M.P. George Galloway to an American Senate Committee. The man was simply magnificent. Tough, brave, and articulate -- hurling unanswerable truth at blubbering political lowlifes in silk suits.
Washington is the most dishonest place on earth, and with that fact goes another, that the American people are among the earth's worst governed. These creepy American Gauleiters had wronged Galloway with faked accusations of his profiting from oil trading with Saddam Hussein. My God, it's just one filthy lie after another. They tried smearing Kofi Annan with the same kind of stuff.
Why is it so rarely Americans who take on their own lying, murderous political establishment? It has always been the same. How few Americans stood up to that bellowing angry drunk, political wife-beater, Senator Joseph McCarthy, or that ugly maggot sucking at the nation's liberties, J. Edgar Hoover.
George Galloway's real crime is to have been a sharp thorn in Tony Blair's side, a powerful critic of the stupid Iraq War. Blair dreamt he would rise to Churchillian heights by attending training classes in Crawford, Texas, on how to rig an illegal war. Today he looks more like the sad, depleted Lloyd George expressing his admiration for that rising new star in Europe, Hitler.
American liberals keep writing about their press's failure to do its job. Many of the people writing these things are children of the Woodward and Bernstein years under Nixon, a time when there was the brief illusion of an honest press, the tribune of the public, the fourth estate or unofficial branch of government, and other hero-comic phrases.
But that was a brief time of special circumstances. Nixon by then was disliked by a good deal of the American establishment. The War in Vietnam, blackening America's reputation worldwide, serving no worthwhile purpose, and clearly being lost, threatened to divide the nation as ferociously as had the Civil War.
The more usual situation now prevails. We are back to the same press that never questioned a Gulf of Tonkin Incident, something as phony as Nazi Germany's shooting a batch prisoners dressed in Polish uniforms and claiming Poland had attacked the Reich.
There can be no more acid comment on the American press's role in Bush's sleazy war than the mere observation of the New York Times' regular use of the out-of-date, sentimental term GI when referring to America's professional killers now occupying Iraq.
It is not clear yet that America's establishment dislikes Bush. The profits from money thrown around Washington likes slops at an industrial-scale hog farm are delightful while the broader cost of Bush's brutish stupidity has not yet registered. Events on this scale take time to play out. The invasion of Iraq, just as the War in Vietnam, will prove certainly to have been an unmitigated disaster, mass killing and destruction to no good purpose, but the full cost won't be known for years.
America's own deaths in Iraq are still small in number so far as wars go. Why is that, apart from the nature of the invasion itself which resembled the entire Wehrmacht bravely rolling over tiny Greece? Only days ago, a news item in Europe informed us that British military commanders are shocked by American tactics during the occupation, and they have tried advising them, to no effect yet, on altering their ways.
Essentially, Americans sit in Kevlar armor with weapons of horrific fire power behind barriers and in no-go zones. They have absolutely no relationship with the people. They make no friends, only future enemies, as they shoot anyone -- almost exclusively innocent civilians -- who doesn't understand the rules. Once in a while, they launch a massive assault against a target assumed to be a center of armed opposition. Fallujah was one of these, and its utter ruin represents today almost the same kind of ferocious symbol that the Nazi-obliterated village of Lidice did for World War II.
Anyone can see, even reading the manipulated American press, that these tactics are failing. The attacks of Iraqi resistance forces just keep increasing. The rebuilding of the country, without which there is no hope for long-term stability, isn't proceeding as it should. The country's pathetic excuse for an elected government doesn't yet function as a government. New revelations of American abuses steadily feed indignation and resentments around the world.
Americans are not people with long-term vision. "I want it all, and I want it now," would be the appropriate current national motto. This quality makes Americans among the least qualified people on earth to undertake some of the tasks their politicians set them. The patience of the Chinese or the stiff upper lip of the Brits is missing in people trained to get pissed-off about late pizzas. That's part of the reason for the brutal, senseless nature of the occupation, and that's why the Internet press is full of liberal and other anti-war demands that American troops leave Iraq.
I wish that were possible, but it would be totally irresponsible. The destruction is done, the horrible mess is made. Americans have a clear responsibility to prevent Iraq's falling into total bloody chaos. American troops will remain in Iraq, and will keep dying there, for years. As from all horrible situations, some good may eventually come. Maybe, just maybe, it will dawn on Americans how destructive and ignorant their politicians' approach to world affairs truly is.
But I doubt it. The essence of hell is that there is no escape.
John Chuckman lives in Canada and is former chief economist for a large Canadian oil company. Copyright (C) 2005 by John Chuckman.
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