Finally, a mainstream columnist has written the truth about the invasion of Iraq. Nobel Laureate economist Paul Krugman’s recent piece, “Errors and Lies,” gives an honest and accurate portrayal of how the war was perpetrated by the Bush-Cheney Administration, with the complicity of the American media, and people.
“America invaded Iraq because the Bush administration wanted a war. The public justifications for the invasion were nothing but pretexts, and falsified pretexts at that. We were, in a fundamental sense, lied into war.”
Contrast this with the devious, whitewashing column by David Brooks a few days later, also in the New York Times. Even knowing what we know now about how Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz and the entire Bush crew pushed for war with Iraq before the dust had even settled after 9.11, insisting that the intelligence reports conform to their obsessions with Saddam, Brooks egregiously says, “There’s a fable going around now that the intelligence about Iraqi weapons of mass destruction was all cooked by political pressure, that there was a big political conspiracy to lie us into war.”
Notice the deceitful phrase “big political conspiracy.” Krugman and others are not saying that it was a conspiracy, but a mindset and moneyball that gave rise to deep deception, beginning with themselves. The Bush-Cheney Administration obtained, from the CIA and the media, the result they wanted—the invasion of Iraq and removal of Saddam Hussein. In doing so they opened the gates of hell, and the demons are still running amok in the Middle East, and the world.
Therefore, like the bed of lies and bedfellows of liars that prosecuted and perpetrated the illegal and immoral invasion, destroying the lives of millions of people in America and Iraq, Brooks’ willfully obtuse, post mortem glossover has to be called for what it is: Evil.
“History is an infinitely complex web of causations. To erase mistakes from the past is to obliterate your world now. You can’t go back and know then what you know now,” David Brooks intones from his exalted pundit perch. Then he has the unmitigated gall to speak of how we can’t “go back and strangle Hitler in his crib,” and “the need for epistemological modesty.”
I’d rather not unpack his excremental argument, but it’s necessary, because it is still fooling enough of the people enough of the time. Basically it’s like saying, ‘yes, I was an alcoholic, but I turned my life around, and the sum total of my experiences made me the person I am today.’ Much worse, because what began as a “war of choice” has resulted in ISIS, a genuine terrorist threat still gaining territory, such as Ramadi this week.
In any case, it isn’t about ‘erasing mistakes from the past,’ or about ‘going back,’ or about ‘if we only knew then what we know now.’ It’s about America facing its mistakes honestly, and remedying them in the present as much as possible. Only then can a people that have done harm to others and themselves regain their soul and recover their character.
Brooks continues to hawk a slick and shoddy apologia for the Bush Administration’s crime of invading Iraq after 9.11. It’s an indictment of his character, and he has the temerity to speak about character in his latest book, “The Road to Character.” Obviously, he has been driving down the road of characterlessness for so long that he really believes, like the evildoers he officiously defends, that going south is heading north.
When I wrote “They Work for the Devil, and Call Him Jesus” less than six months after the invasion of Iraq, I knew, like many others, that things would continue to go badly. But in my worst imagining I could not have believed they would go as badly as they have, not only in the Middle East, but the world.
Bush Senior’s first Gulf War was the straw that broke the back of the American spirit. And that was the ‘good Gulf War!’ Bush Junior’s second Gulf War was metaphysically meant to destroy the human spirit.
Though the jury is still out, no one can seriously argue that millions, if not billions of people have given up on humanity (and thereby themselves) with the non-stop assault on the spirit that the invasion of Iraq unleashed upon the human psyche. Suicide bombings have become a staple of daily news, and we’ve become numb to atrocities in all forms. Before the next electoral season begins gathering momentum in the political gutter, it must be said, and seen: The Bushes channel evil.
The United States collapsed at the same time the Soviet Union did, just in a different way. They exploded; we imploded. There was an opportunity to work together with the end of the Cold War, but Russian pride and American arrogance carried the day, and the decades since.
The old order is gone; there is a vacuum; and American leadership is a fantasy. A nation that has collapsed internally cannot lead externally. Deluding ourselves by saying we’re still the world’s only superpower will not only make things worse, but feed the exponential increase in conflict and instability we fear.
The fact that the US internally collapsed at the same time the USSR externally collapsed isn’t the main thing however. Without a vision and strategy for a new order, the end of the old order hastened the historical end of the nation-state as the core premise and foundation of the world’s political organization.
‘Sovereignty’ means ‘supreme principle,’ and the supreme principle now—not idealistically but actually—is humankind itself.
A world order built on the nation-state cannot support a de facto global society. At pivotal points in nature and human history, the notion of “gradual but constant change” is a prescription for extinction.
“The unfathomable complexity of history” is a denial of human vision and creativeness. With destruction there can be creation. Once again, perhaps for all the marbles (including the big blue one) we live in dangerous but exciting times.
“They Work for the Devil, and Call Him Jesus”: