Why Nothing is Done about Bush’s lies leading to the Iraq War

[This is a letter I wrote to friends on Aug. 10, 2008. —S.H.]

Hi everybody,

The article below [linked to here], from the London Financial Times (an establishment publication equivalent to our Wall Street Journal) talks about some more revelations that are belatedly coming to light about how the Bush Administration lied about and phonied up the evidence in order to justify its war against Iraq. Of course this general story is very old news for most of those on this mailing list. But apparently some naive folks in England are shocked by the allegation that the U.S. CIA would be ordered by Bush or his minions to create false evidence to support a war that it had already decided on in order to tighten its control of Mideast oil. The author of the article even raises the grave word “Watergate”!

This does raise an interesting question, however. Just what is it about the situation in this country that allows those who phony up excuses for deadly wars, and the consequent mass murders of tens and hundreds of thousands of people, to get away with it not only with impunity, but even with hardly much of a murmur of complaint? How is it that some isolated individual like Dennis Kucinich, who dares to file articles of impeachment in the House of Representatives is looked on by virtually the entire “body politic” as some sort of a kook? How is it that even the so-called opposition party, the Democrats (or the “Other Republicans” as I prefer to call them) continue to vote money to continue such a murderous imperialist war, with only a few “radicals” here and there getting slightly annoyed about it?

The explanation for things like this is actually very simple. It is the ruling class itself, and its media, which set the terms of acceptable public discourse. If they think something is acceptable, or—even if not quite publicly acceptable—at least not very important to do anything about, then there will not even be much of a public discussion about whether something should be done. And of course nothing will be done, no matter how great the crime in actuality.

At present, the nation is just anxious to have Bush out of there with as little fuss as possible (and as little further damage as possible to the attitude of the masses toward “their” government). Whether the replacement will be McCain (who is essentially the same as Bush as far as actions go, but with a carefully constructed media reputation for “character” and “forthrightness”), or Obama (who has gone along with the U.S. imperialist program at every important juncture), hardly matters. Either way, the rulers will have gotten what they wanted: The continuation of American efforts, including imperialist wars, to control the world, and a fresh new face to direct it.

From the Reichstag Fire that Hitler phonied up and used as an excuse to tighten Nazi control of Germany, to the lies about the Tonkin Gulf that gave Lyndon Johnson his excuse to bomb North Vietnam and expand the Vietnam War, to the lies and fabrications that Bush and his cohorts cooked up to justify the War in Iraq, the story is always the same. If lies are in the current perceived interests of the ruling class, then they will be accepted at face value. Only after it no longer matters, after the issue becomes moot, might it get acknowledged that yes, these were only lies. The ruling class doesn’t really like the truth to ever come out, but it can accept it as long as its new lies continue to work when they are needed.

As Bertolt Brecht said about his native Germany during the 1930s, I say about the imperialist U.S.A. today, including its liberal democrats who are just as much part of the basic problem: “This country gives me the creeps!”


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