April 19, 2007
One of the least gratifying pictures I have had the bad luck to view on television this week for the portly figure of Richard Perle expounding his vile views in The Case for War. Even worse, it was on public television, which as everyone knows is paid for by our tax dollars. The heavy-lidded Perle is hardly photogenic, although unlike most bullies of his kind, he is soft-spoken and claims to sympathize with mourning relatives of fallen soldiers. To be an advocate for war at this point is equivalent to be selling tickets for future trans-Atlantic crossings on board the Titanic one hour after the ship had struck the iceberg.
These neocons are something else. Himmler and Goebbels were upbeat even as the Soviet troops were outside Berlin. Ditto these bums. Their policies have managed to turn Iraq into a Wild West for terrorists, there is a genocide in the making which will dwarf Darfur, there will be massive floods of refugees, and this creep Perle—along with the Kristols, Kagans and Podhoretzes of this world—are looking for Uncle Sam to invade Iran. What is particularly galling is the fact that Perle, like the rest of the neocons who were
of age to fight in Vietnam, did not fight in that hellish place because the idea of serving their country never entered their mind. Like Giuliani and Clinton, they found ways to dodge the draft.
Never mind. If Americans are dumb enough to listen to what traitors—because that is what they are, no ifs or buts about it—have to say after the greatest American foreign policy disaster ever, so be it. In their rush to spill American blood in Iraq in order to make Israel a safer place, the neocons ignored international treaties and institutions, and treated our allies as whiners and “surrender monkeys.” Here’s what the English Spectator magazine had to say about the catastrophe in Mesopotamia: “Misjudgement of the enemy, incompetent leadership, and divisions over policy caused similar turmoil in Britain in the late 18th century.”
Yes, they are referring to our War of Independence, and one of the few who got it right back then was Edmund Burke, who stood up in the House of Commons and accused the Tory government of Lord North of being “grossly ignorant of America.” Hear, hear! The neocons knew less about Iraq than the brits knew about the Yankees back then. Britain wanted to protect its markets and hold on to its sources of wealth in the New World, just as the Cheney cabal and their corporate friends want to hold on to its resources in the Middle East and beyond.
Just before the war began four long years ago, the ncover story of The American Conservative was “Will Victory Spell Defeat?” You couldn’t make it up, as they say. Having lived in that part of the world as a young man—my father had sent me to one of his factories in the Middle East as a form of punishment—I knew there was no way a military defeat would end hostilities. Unlike the Wolfowitzes, Feiths and Cheneys of this world, I had also read history. Islam’s spirit is an equally formidable weapon in the present struggle. The Brits back in the 18th century called Americans scoundrels, peasants, bandits, murderers and sons of darkness. Bush calls anyone who is against us terrorists. With not even Baghdad secured after four years, hundreds of billions spent, and an even bigger disaster in the making once our troops pull out, the White House continues to talk about victory over extremists and killers. As the Spectator wrote, “George the Second of America has proved no wiser than George the Third of Britain.” Alas, truer words have never been spoken.