My epiphany, from Paul Craig Roberts, Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan administration, past Associate Editor of the Wall Street Journal editorial page and Contributing Editor of National Review.
A number of readers have asked me when did I undergo my epiphany, abandon right-wing Reaganism and become an apostle of truth and justice.
I appreciate the friendly sentiment, but there is a great deal of misconception in the question.
When I saw that the neoconservative response to 9/11 was to turn a war against stateless terrorism into military attacks on Muslim states, I realized that the Bush administration was committing a strategic blunder with open-ended disastrous consequences for the US that, in the end, would destroy Bush, the Republican Party, and the conservative movement.
We have reached a point where the Bush administration is determined to totally eclipse the people. Bewitched by neoconservatives and lustful for power, the Bush administration and the Republican Party are aligning themselves firmly against the American people. Their first victims, of course, were the true conservatives. Having eliminated internal opposition, the Bush administration is now using blackmail obtained through illegal spying on American citizens to silence the media and the opposition party.
He means this as real blackmail, as in, we know about your girlfriend and unless you shut up, your wife and Fox News will know too.
The United States is undergoing a coup against the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, civil liberties, and democracy itself. The “liberal press” has been co-opted. As everyone must know by now, the New York Times has totally failed its First Amendment obligations, allowing Judith Miller to make war propaganda for the Bush administration, suppressing for an entire year the news that the Bush administration was illegally spying on American citizens, and denying coverage to Al Gore’s speech that challenged the criminal deeds of the Bush administration.
Absolutely, it’s not just neocons who are complicit, it’s the entire ruling class. The public is moving leftwards, the ruling class to the right.
The TV networks mimic Fox News’ faux patriotism. Anyone who depends on print, TV, or right-wing talk radio media is totally misinformed. The Bush administration has achieved a de facto Ministry of Propaganda.
Congress and the media have no fight in them, and neither, apparently, do the American people. Considering the feebleness of the opposition, perhaps the best strategy is for the opposition to shut up, not merely for our own safety but, more importantly, to remove any impediments to Bush administration self-destruction.
Hey, we in the ANSWER Coalition as well as many other groups have plenty of fight. And polls show public opinion moving our way. It’s hardly a lost cause.
Perhaps we should go further and join the neocon chorus, urging on invasions of Iran and Syria and sending in the Marines to disarm Hizbullah in Lebanon. Not even plots of the German High Command could get rid of Hitler, but when Hitler marched German armies into Russia he destroyed himself.
Too risky, and too many innocents could end up dead. Plus this cedes the initiative to the opposition. It’s far better to stand up and take action now.
The Bush administration is using the war to avoid accountability and evade constraints on executive powers. Arms industries, or what President Eisenhower called the “military-industrial complex,” are using the war to fatten profits. Terrorism experts are using the war to gain visibility. Security firms are using it to gain customers. Readers can add to this list at will. The lack of debate gives carte blanche to these agendas.
The sadness and apprehension of the author, a member of the elite, reminds me of Kris Kristofferson last Sept. in concert, wondering what his father, a patriotic Air Force general, would have said about the way ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢”šÂ¬Ã…“they turned his dream aroundÃƒÂ¢Ã¢”šÂ¬Ã‚Â, killing babies in Iraq in the name of freedom.
Try to tell the truth
And stand your ground
Don’t let the bastards wear you down.
“Don’t mourn, organize” is always the best advice. The more who stand in opposition, the easier our task. And the time to take a stand is now.