Iraq War and the American
Christopher King explores the phenomenon of the American
peasant - that segment of US society which, through
suspension of all critical faculties and indifference to
the truth, defy logic and evidence by supporting the war
By Christopher King
Clearing House" --- The peasant is a type who has disappeared from Western
Europe with excellent effects both socially and
politically. The American peasant however has a lot to
answer for. This is most vividly shown in the public's
judgment about the rightness of the Iraq war where views
are sharply divided between Europe and America.
The historical peasant was an agricultural worker who
was poor, uneducated and usually worked so hard he had
no time or energy for anything else. Any opinions or
judgments that such a man might make would necessarily
be of poor quality. In America, the land of plenty,
opportunity and electronic information which has never
seen a peasant class of this sort, how can the peasant
possibly exist and indeed be blamed for his judgments?
I wish to discuss here one strand, but an important one,
of many that made the Iraq war possible. Others for
example are those of the Rumsfelds who were in it for
the money, the Condoleezza Rices and Colin Powell who
were careerists and the Richard Perles together with
sundry Zionist supporters and collaborators for whom
Saddam was their worst enemy.
We can easily understand them and their self-interests.
Everyone got what s/he wanted except for Colin Powell
whose unwise United Nations performance in identifying
mobile chemical factories will make him a joke far
beyond his lifetime. I am not concerned about these. I
am interested in the major segment of quiet peasants who
believed uncritically what they were told and supported
the war by their compliance. I am speaking of a peasant
state of mind. We cannot blame our historical peasant
for poor judgment or lack of knowledge. He cannot help
his position. The American peasant has no such excuse.
The infallible test for identifying a peasant is whether
he believed that Saddam was behind the 9/11 attack. It
is an unarguable fact, widely known for years, that
Saddam was not behind it, yet large numbers of Americans
to this day think that he was. In linking Saddam with
9/11, President Bush simply lied, for reasons that
seemed good to him, but his lies are not my concern. I
am concerned that he never produced evidence and it was
widely publicised at the time that there was no such
evidence, yet much of the country believed him. The
highest proportion of believers were, and still are, Fox
News viewers. Fox News, the principal channel to assert
a link between Saddam and 9/11, is owned by Rupert
Murdoch, a Jewish Zionist. From a Zionist perspective,
that was clever misinformation, aimed at an audience
that would accept it. But why would anyone accept it?
Only by suspension of all critical faculties, curiosity
about American society, the wider world and indeed,
one's information provider. I would also add
indifference to the truth, which is crucial in matters
of warfare and the lives of men.
The American peasant cannot protect his country as he
believes he is doing because by his indifference,
ignorance and credulity he cannot differentiate truth
from falsehood. He is as indistinguishable from our
traditional peasant as if we were to take that worthy
individual, dress him in a suit, sit him for the day
before a television screen showing Fox News in a
suburban house with new car in the garage then in the
evening, ask his opinion on world events.
How can this be?
I am doubtless gathering up accountants and computer
programmers together with McDonalds workers and the odd
soya farmer of a few thousand acres who owns a barn full
of machinery, two or three cars and sends his children
to university. You might say in objection that many of
these are highly qualified people with highly developed
vocational skills, so they cannot be peasants. I reply
that such skills and qualifications are irrelevant; they
relate only to earning money rather than knowledge of
the wider world. Our traditional peasant had excellent
vocational skills as anyone knows who has tried
ploughing a field behind a horse, making cheese, salami
or maintaining an orchard.
Our Americans are not poor, you might object.
They are men and women of substance, churchgoers, even
pillars of their communities. True, but they behave as
if they are poor since their possessions and money,
which are the envy of most of the world, are not enough.
They are not preoccupied with producing goods for
survival as our traditional peasant is; they are
preoccupied with gaining goods and money far beyond a
good standard of living. They live in virtual villages
where, if they have leisure from their efforts to escape
their self-defined poverty, they associate with others
who have similar village interests, unaware that their
nation expends its wealth, the lives of its soldiers and
the lives of uncounted hundreds of thousands of Iraqis
half a world away on the basis of lies and deception.
This is peasant behaviour.
I do not know the underlying cause of this phenomenon;
nor can I suggest a remedy. Perhaps many Americans
believe their own slogans about the "Land of the Free",
the "American Way", "Only in America" and "American
Perhaps it is because, having never suffered invasion
and occupation, they cannot empathize with those whom
they regularly invade. Of course, there are many
Americans who are as knowledgeable and sophisticated as
anyone anywhere and who genuinely believe that an
American life is as valuable as an Iraqi life. I place
the responsibility on them to bring their na´ve
compatriots to an understanding that their behaviour has
disastrous consequences for millions of fellow humans
who are suffering and dying in other parts of the world.
Ultimately, they endanger America and themselves.
None of this is to say that we in the UK do not have our
problems in relation to the Iraq war.
None of our Members of Parliament who voted for war
believed Tony Blair's lies - well, perhaps a few such as
Anne Clwyd who have hyper-active hearts sustaining
brains on the verge of extinction.
The majority, those who voted for war for reasons other
than career prospects and Zionist views, did so out of
political expedience, the worst possible reason and are
now trying to cover their tracks. They have clearly
delineated an area where our democracy has failed, but
that is another story and our responsibility.
Christopher King is retired consultant and lecturer
in management and marketing. He lives in London, UK.