The Reality Beneath the Flag-Waving
by Paul Craig Roberts
Americans who get their propaganda from
Fox "News" or are told what to think by right-wing talk
radio hosts are outraged at news reports that U.S. troops planned
and carried out the rape and murder of a young Iraqi woman. They
are not outraged that the troops committed the deed; they are
outraged that the media reported it. These "conservatives,"
who proudly wear their patriotism on their sleeves, dismiss the
reports of the incident as a Big Lie floated by "the anti-American
liberal media" in order to demoralize Americans and reduce
public support for the war.
Playing to this audience, Col. Jeffrey
Snow, a U.S. brigade commander in Baghdad, told AFP News that
news coverage could cause the U.S. to lose the war. In other words,
what we are doing in Iraq cannot stand the light of day, so reporters
must not report or the word will get out.
Many Bush supporters believe that truth
is not on our side and must be suppressed. Yet, they support a
war that is too shameful to report.
I have made it clear in my columns that
Bush supporters are not true conservatives. They are brownshirts
with the same low intelligence and morals as Hitler's enthusiastic
supporters. And they are just as resistant to facts.
It was not the "liberal media"
but the investigating U.S. military officials who told the Associated
Press that the rape and murder of the young woman and her family
appeared "totally premeditated," that the soldiers noticed
the woman on their patrols and studied her and her family for
a week before separating the woman from her family and raping
her. After having their way with her, the soldiers murdered her
and tried to burn her body with a flammable liquid in order to
cover up their foul deed. The soldiers' cover-up attempt also
involved the murder of other members of the murdered rape victim's
family, including a child.
The criminals were turned in by other
U.S. soldiers who knew of the monstrous crime. According to the
Associated Press (USA Today, June 30, 2006), one of the soldiers
has admitted his role in the rape and murder.
The soldiers cannot be said to be guilty
until they are tried and found guilty. However, the U.S. military
usually attempts a cover-up of such incidents and only admits
to the facts after the press gets hold of them. This time, however,
the investigating officials themselves gave the story to the Associated
Many Americans are so unsophisticated
that they refuse to believe anything bad about their country.
They regard acceptance of unpalatable truths as disloyalty. This
failure of American character is why Bush has been able to get
away with transgressions that scream out for his impeachment and
trial as a war criminal.
The premeditated rape and murders are
just the latest in the long line of horrific war crimes from Abu
Ghraib to Haditha. Bush supporters are still in denial about each
incident. It is amazing that Bush supporters think we have a John
Wayne military when, according to news reports, recruitment problems
have resulted in the military accepting felons, drug users, thugs,
low-IQ high school dropouts, and illegal Mexicans promised green
cards for signing up. Apparently, the same people who make America's
streets unsafe for Americans make Iraqi streets unsafe for Iraqis.
In response to the declining caliber of new recruits, some of
our best troops are refusing to reenlist. Several have written
to me that "the Army has left them."
Whoever put out that propagandistic slogan,
"support the troops," and the ribbon decals was a master
propagandist. "Support the troops" means to deny the
reality of the war and the behavior of the troops.
To this day, the Bush regime and the neocon
Nazis have not told us the reason for their invasion of Iraq,
the destruction of its towns and infrastructure, and the slaughter
of its citizens. Every reason Bush has given has proved to be
There is no more reason for U.S. troops
to be shooting up Iraq than to be shooting up Canada, Scotland,
Holland, Spain, Taiwan, Florida, Virginia, or California. We are
killing Iraqis for no other reason than that they resist our invasion
and occupation of their country.
It is proof of the collapse of American
morals and the fallen character of the American people that the
American public and its elected representatives in Congress refuse
to rein in the Bush regime and hold it responsible for its monstrous
America has become a land of evil. The
rest of the world hates and despises us. And we are going to pay
a terrible price for it. Bush's belief that our superpower status
makes us immune to the opinion of others goes beyond hubris into