The Five Morons Revisited
Paul Craig Roberts
Clearing House" -- -- When the neocons launched the Bush
administration’s invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq and announced
plans for invading Syria and Iran, I labeled Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld,
Wolfowitz, and Rice “the five Morons.” With the passage of time I
see that I over-estimated their mental capabilities.
The “cakewalk” war has now lasted longer than World War II with Nazi
Germany, and no end is in sight. It has cost the US taxpayers $310
billion in out-of-pocket costs with many additional hundreds of
billions coming due in veterans’ medical bills and other expenses
yet to be paid.
To carry on the pointless war, which has achieved nothing but death,
destruction, and hatred of America, Bush has had to call up inactive
reserves who long ago completed their active duty service to their
country and have managed to get on with their lives. It is well
known that the older one gets the harder it is to find employment or
the energy to restart a mothballed business. But Bush is too busy
saving us from terrorism to care about people’s lives.
Despite the lack of US troops and Bush’s inability to prevail in
Afghanistan and Iraq, neocons in Bush’s government are working
around the clock to instigate war with Iran and Syria.
I thought that I had Rumsfeld pegged as the complete dolt, but I was
stunned when I read Associated Press reporter Robert Burns account
of what Rumsfeld told 200 Navy aviators in a question and answer
session at Fallon Naval Air Station on August 28. “The thing that
keeps me up at night,” said Rumsfeld, is the success of terrorist
groups in “manipulating the media.” http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/nationworld/bal-te.quark29aug29,0,7173570.story
Rumsfeld told the pilots that terrorists “are actively manipulating
the media in this country” by falsely blaming US troops for civilian
deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan. All that “collateral damage” we hear
about, the tens of thousands of dead and maimed civilians, is just
terrorist propaganda. “The enemy lies constantly . . . and with
impunity. . . . The enemy is so much better at communicating.”
Rumsfeld made similar remarks to the Veterans of Foreign Wars
convention in Reno, Nevada, where he was presented the Dwight D.
Eisenhower Distinguished Service Award. Eisenhower must be rolling
over in his grave.
Now I get it. When Fox News’ Sean Hannity and Bill O’Reilley assured
us that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction that would be
used against us if we didn’t strike first, they were being
manipulated by Osama bin Laden, who used America to get rid of the
secular Saddam Hussein and to create a new training and recruitment
ground for al Qaeda and fundamentalist fanatics.
When the New York Times let Judith Miller serve as a propagandist
for war with Iraq, the Times was being manipulated by Muslim
terrorists, not by neocons.
When CNN, the networks and columnists like Ann Coulter and Michelle
Malkin reassure us that we will win the war unless we pull out
prematurely, they are being manipulated by terrorists. Finally I
understand what the Weekly Standard, National Review, the Wall
Street Journal editorial page, AEI, and the online site Frontpage
are all about.
The terrorists are so clever at manipulation that Americans cannot
perceive that we have been sucked deep into a war that is creating
the Islamic fundamentalism that we so desperately fear.
Obviously, I misjudged Rumsfeld’s intelligence. Anyone who can
figure out the Muslim conspiracy is off the charts. What I can’t
figure is why Rumsfeld is willing for America to continue to be
sucked in. Don’t tell me that terrorists are manipulating Rumsfeld,
I keep waiting for the money appeal from AIPAC. I already know what
it is going to say: “Although AIPAC is undisputedly the most
powerful lobby in America and can determine with impunity the fate
of every elected official, we cannot match the terrorists’ ability
to manipulate the media. Polls show that terrorists’ manipulation of
the US media is causing American support for the war to dwindle
away. Please send more millions to counter the terrorists’ control
of the American media. We are winning in the Middle East but losing
One of the lessons one learns in life is that things are not always
what they seem to be. Before I watched Stephen Walt and John
Mearsheimer’s National Press Club broadcast on C-Span (August 28), I
regarded AIPAC as Israel’s friend and promoter. Now I realize that I
was wrong. As the two distinguished professors made perfectly clear,
anyone who cares about the survival of Israel should scorn the
bribes, threats, and blandishments of AIPAC.
AIPAC led the Israeli government onto a path where diplomacy is no
longer a tool that Israel can use. Instead, Israel relies on Mao’s
dictum that “power comes out of the barrel of a gun” or from a
bulldozer that knocks down Palestinians’ homes, uproots their olive
groves, and enrages Muslims at Israel’s inhumanity. Backed into a
corner with no tool but violence, Israel faces hundreds of millions
of increasingly angry Muslims.
If Bush were a true friend of Israel, he would never have let Israel
again destroy Lebanon, this time under the pretext of striking at
AIPAC and Bush have allowed, or caused, Israel to do itself so much
damage in the eyes of Muslims and the wider world that a peaceful
resolution in the MIddle East is no longer in people’s thoughts.
With the mighty US military checked in Iraq by a handful of Sunnis,
and the mighty Israeli army checked in Lebanon by a handful of
Hezbollah, violence is unlikely to settle the matter in a way that
neocons in the US and Zionists in Israel would like.
The only hope is that Bush and Olmert miraculously turn into grown
men, admit their mistakes, apologize, send reparations and commit to
winning acceptance of Israel and America based on Israel’s and
America’s good behavior. It would be nice to see in operation some
of the superior morality that the two claim.
Considering the extraordinary hubris and self-righteousness of
neocons and Zionists, nothing like this can possibly happen. Israel,
the US, and the Muslim world will continue to bleed.
Paul Craig Roberts, was Assistant
Secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan Administration. He is the
author of Supply-Side Revolution : An Insider's Account of
Policymaking in Washington; Alienation and the Soviet Economy and
Meltdown: Inside the Soviet Economy, and is the co-author with
Lawrence M. Stratton of The Tyranny of Good Intentions : How
Prosecutors and Bureaucrats Are Trampling the Constitution in the
Name of Justice.