/They're Even Dumber Than We Thought/
The Five Morons Revisited
By PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS
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
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."
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
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, too!
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 at home."
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
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 Hezbollah.
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 was Associate Editor of the Wall Street
Journal editorial page and Contributing Editor of National Review. He is
coauthor of The Tyranny of Good Intentions.
can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org