The smearing of Paul Craig Roberts
By Joshua Frank
Online Journal Contributing Writer
Mar 22, 2006, 01:13
It is questionable
whether or not responding to the neocons� assault on sanity is worth the
energy. They don�t take well to reason and they certainly aren�t capable of
dealing with truth. In fact, the reality in which they dwell is a manifestation
of propaganda and isolated conspiracy theories.
Yeah, they think we
are out to get them and that we�ll destroy their comfortable way of life. And
what seems to be driving their delusional tendencies is the teaming up of
traditional conservatives, libertarians and lefties -- all of whom oppose the
FrontPageMag.com, which recently went after the conservative, yet rational,
Paul Craig Roberts, former contributing editor to the National Review and the
Wall Street Journal.
Johnson wrote in disgust of Roberts� common sense, "Roberts has declared the war in Iraq lost, not to mention
criminal. Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay are �torture centers,� and Bush would
be �prosecuted� . . . His pessimism about winning the War on Terror dates
literally to its inception. Two days after 9/11, Roberts wrote, �a guilt-ridden
people are no match for fanatical opponents who believe in their cause� . . . His
writings also seemingly justify terrorist attacks against innocent Americans,
because, like Ward Churchill, he believes there are no innocent Americans.
�Americans are complicit in the deaths of tens of thousands of Iraqi women and
children as �collateral damage,� he writes. So what is difference between a
military target and a �complicit� family of four in Des Moines?"
As if being
anti-neocon somehow implies that Roberts is also anti-American. Johnson also
distorted a recent column written by Roberts in which he relayed several
conspiracy theories passed along to him by readers which explained how Bush
might start a war with Iran.
"One of the
more extraordinary suggestions," wrote Roberts, "is that a low yield,
perhaps tactical, nuclear weapon will be exploded some distance out from a US
port. Death and destruction will be minimized, but fear and hysteria will be
maximized. Americans will be told that the ship bearing the weapon was
discovered and intercepted just in time, thanks to Bush�s illegal spying
program, and that Iran is to blame. A more powerful wave of fear and outrage
will again bind the American people to Bush, and the US media will not report
the rest of the world�s doubts of the explanation."
Now, Roberts did
not intimate that he too believed such a scenario was likely, only that the
whacko neocons are capable of just about anything. But Ben Johnson responded, "Even on the far-Left, such theories
would be unwelcome. Although Kurt Nimmo (a critic of DiscoverTheNetworks.org)
and others have claimed for years that Bush secretly plans to pre-emptively
decimate Iran, none have publicly claimed he would kill Americans as a pretext.
The only detail Roberts omitted was whether Bush was doing the bidding of the
Freemasons, the Illuminati, the British royal family, or the Vatican."
theories like the neocons� fear that Iran is out to nuke us, as only relayed by
Roberts, not endorsed -- also border on delusional. There is no doubt that the
left has its fair share of nutcases, as anyone who has been to a Green Party
outing will likely attest. But in this case, as it so often is with these
folks, they�d rather mince Roberts� words than deal with the facts. Roberts never
actually said he�d condone the killing of Americans as in the case of 9/11
(neither did Ward Churchill), nor did he claim he believed the Bush
administration was likely to detonate a nuke off the US coast in order to spark
a war with Iran. The neocons are delusional.
But now that Paul
Craig Roberts has turned against the neoconservative agenda, folks like Johnson
can�t stomach the fact that they are at last a pitiable minority. The majority
of the world hates Bush and now the majority of Americans do too. They know
their liar-in-chief fibbed his way into Iraq and they don�t believe he�s
telling the truth about Iran. And they shouldn�t.
Lew Rockwell, Justin Raimondo and conservatives like Paul Craig Roberts have
joined forces with radicals like Alexander Cockburn and Jeffrey St. Clair for a
reason. They all oppose the Bush wars in the Middle East and his slaughtering
of civil liberties at home. They aren�t all in agreement about market
capitalism or environmental concerns, but they do see eye-to-eye on the
destructive nature of the warfare state.
Joshua Frank edits the radical news blog www.BrickBurner.org and is the author of
"Left Out! How Liberals Helped
Reelect George W. Bush," published by Common Courage Press (2005). Josh
can be reached at BrickBurner@gmail.com.
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