The Biggest Foreign Policy Whopper Ever





Mr. Carpenter holds a Ph.D. in American History from the University of Illinois and is a syndicated columnist. Please consider contacting your local newspaper to carry his column.

HNN FUND RAISING DRIVE
If you like the service HNN provides, please consider making a donation.

As I sit to reflect on the greatest scam in American foreign affairs history, in the background one of conservatism's more accomplished scammers is yapping away on MSNBC like a rabid chihauhau -- and as a host, no less. For several days now and in so many words, bit by agonizing bit the Bush administration has been forced to concede that the Iraq war, as a WMD threat-stopper, was a hoax. Thousand of lost lives and unaffordable billions later, Bush II's deceit is exposed -- drip, drip, drip. To describe the administration's latest betrayal of public trust as outrageous is choice understatement; nevertheless, what has kept MSNBC's Joe Scarborough, for want of a better word, outraged for the past week? Not the Iraq scam, but …

Danny Glover. Yes, that Danny Glover, the actor. I kid you not.

Listening to Scarborough -- a proto-fascistic former U.S. representative turned network media whore -- is a lesson plan in Goebbels-ese. As his beloved president's sordid rock of deceit is overturned, the less-than honorable gentleman from the great state of Florida diverts public notice by waging a cruel, word-twisting campaign against the harmless Glover, who Scarborough says blames only America as the proximate cause of 9/11. Glover does no such thing as MSNBC's barking dog contorts it, yet lawyer Joe Scarborough attacks with the zeal of a drunken Joe McCarthy. He demands that MCI, the long-distance company, fire Glover as its spokesman; he's anti-American (meaning anti-Bush) and should be banished. Scarborough plasters MCI's phone number on the screen and urges viewers to likewise demand Glover's head. The host later declares the virtuous campaign a success: because of his relentless pressure, says Joe, MCI canned Glover. For the moment we are safe in our beds.

As a display of propagandistic art, Scarborough's political depravity is good theatre. His attempts at intellectual somberness are amusing and downright laughable are his right-wing self-parodies in scapegoating sinister liberals, liberalism, the liberal elite and -- what else -- the liberal media. Turns out we who lean leftward are responsible for Stalin's poor character, the 1933 Reichstag fire and New Coke. For a disappearing band of decency-in-government holdouts, we're surprisingly powerful. Just ask Joe McCar ... uh, Joe Scarborough.

But of course there's a much larger point here than the one on Joe's head. His grossly dishonest agenda is all-too emblematic of Bush II's Dorian Gray politics; or as Shakespeare poetically phrased it, its lack of inner music. Neither hysterical or hyperbolic, I think, is the proposition that the administration's habitual use of Big Lies threatens, with finality, America's already ailing democracy.

To date, the Biggest Lie perpetrated was that of a direct, impending foreign menace to our national security. For 2 reasons this particular Lie outdid all others in the annals of questionable American interventionism. First, in past instances of dubious belligerency -- say, the Mexican War, Spanish-American War and Vietnam conflict -- the commander in chief proffered at least some plausible justification for military action. Hyped, distorted and blown out of proportion for sure, yet there was a conceivable, debate-worthy particle of truth in each, however slim.

Second -- and compared to today, this was a real novelty -- in each instance the United States engaged the actual perceived threat. When we saw Mexico as trouble we took on Mexico, not Bolivia. When we identified Spain and North Vietnam as trouble we took on Spain and North Vietnam, not Portugal and Burma.

But now comes the Bush administration setting a bold new interventionist course. No plausible justification existed for military action against Iraq; the military and economic basket case of a nation was contained, at peace and under international scrutiny. Yet, as is true for a dog's favorite pastime, merely because it could did the administration punish an impotent and innocent sovereign state for the sins of an ambiguous but demonstrably powerful confederation.

In short, within a few months a reckless band of thuggish ideologues violated America's conscience and 2 centuries of relative international integrity. Rubber-stamped and peddled by a feeble chief executive, only a cocktail mixture of inventive untruths permitted an ethically bankrupt inner circle to dishonor America and swindle its citizens. The damage done to honest democracy is incalculable.

What's more, on another domestic front an equal disgrace played itself out. Beginning around mid-May several prominent news organizations exposed the subsequent reality of Bush II's warmongering dissemblance. Already our most experienced WMD detection team had been ordered home -- empty handed and feeling betrayed. Task Force 75's collective experts went to Iraq expecting to uncover what their government had sworn to without equivocation: the presence of chemical and biological agents by the tons, the technical means of delivering those agents and a robust nuclear armament program.

To ramrod an illegal war, the president had said "we know" of Saddam's illegal goods. The vice president said Iraq both has "reconstituted nuclear weapons" and in time would acquire "nuclear weapons." (Try sorting that one out.) The secretary of state said he "knew" the Iraqi tyrant possessed warheads full of biological agents. And when asked by Congress if Saddam kept weapons of destruction, the Defense Policy Board's chairman said "sure he does."

But it was all a fraud -- "facts" cooked up by a hastily created office of Pentagon yes-men to trumpet what the C.I.A. and Defense Intelligence Agency had found impossible to confirm. Like the American public, Task Force 75 had trusted it leaders. Both got knifed.

So what, as mentioned, was the equal disgrace? The Fourth Estate dropped the story. Editors determined it was an uncomfortable, perhaps even unpatriotic, reality to unload on a sensitive public.

From start to finish the Iraq affair was a professionally huckstered shell game. By and large the public bought into it because the American political tradition -- also by and large, I stress -- has been one of openness, reasonable top-down honesty and mutual respect for a revolutionary social contract. George W. Bush, his furtive handlers and a complicit press have chucked that tradition with breathtaking ease.

One can only hope that we live in a doomed Zeitgeist. At America's helm is a junta of clamoring Joe Scarboroughs for whom smoke, mirrors, deceit and distraction are indispensable staples of political survival. We'll know that God next blesses America when He puts this bug in the electorate's ear: "Cast the treacherous bums out."


© Copyright 2003 P. M. Carpenter

Mr. Carpenter's column is published weekly by History News Network and buzzflash.com.


comments powered by Disqus

More Comments:


RODD L RINGQUIST - 11/24/2003

I was in a conversation with afriend of mine in early 1999 well before the 2000 elections and he was spueing forth all this goosestepping brownshirt hate prpaganda perpetuated by the likes of Rude Loonball and Billshit O'asswhole about how horriblr it is to live in this great free society, founded by the most succesful group of liberals to ever exist in the written history of this sad human existance. I wondererd how that poor sap could be talked into slitting his own throat. I realize now that the momentum of the goosestepping brown shirt terrorist party has reached a point of, fall in line, start goosestepping or be beaten, slain, or jailed. That's how the hate everything nazi's took over Germany and thats how they appointed the leader of this broken down, used to be free country. I would be expecting the brown shirts secret police (FBI)some time after this transmission to violate all the the privacy laws pryor to the appointment of our goosestepping leader to come in and sieze this computor for violating some free speech goosestepping law.


Lori's Friend - 9/12/2003

Actually, it has been interesting to see all of the internet buzz on this. It is a shame that so many people have too few facts and very active imaginations. Being close to the family, I have the information I need. Lori was not murdered.

The internet buzz wants her to have been murdered to furhter their political interests. No one should believe that these individuals care about Lori or her Family.


A Alexander Stella - 9/9/2003





Okay, first, click on the hyperlink below. If you're somebody, who wants justice for Lori Klausutis, you'll enjoy reading what you'll find at the other side of the hyperlink. I swear.

http://liberty.hypermart.net/editorials/Lori.htm

Now then, even if you have already visited this latter website, namely,

http://www.bcvoice.com/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=142,
please do so.

And then, look for the comment, titled "Draft Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell". This comment starts off with this sentence:

"Instead of sending these birds money, let's remind them they're supposed to be great moral leaders."

I for one think you'll like reading what you find on the other side of this latter hyperlink. Again, I swear.

Oh, alright (!) already, here's the big favor I'm asking. If you think you got room for something like my comment in your website, please replicate in your own words.

warmest regards
\
A Alexander "Bogey" Stella









--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Do you Yahoo!?
Yahoo! SiteBuilder - Free, easy-to-use web site design software

Here's a link you're bound to find interesting:

http://hawaii.indymedia.org/news/2003/09/3676.php


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


A Alexander Stella - 9/9/2003





Okay, first, click on the hyperlink below. If you're somebody, who wants justice for Lori Klausutis, you'll enjoy reading what you'll find at the other side of the hyperlink. I swear.

http://liberty.hypermart.net/editorials/Lori.htm

Now then, even if you have already visited this latter website, namely,

http://www.bcvoice.com/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=142,
please do so.

And then, look for the comment, titled "Draft Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell". This comment starts off with this sentence:

"Instead of sending these birds money, let's remind them they're supposed to be great moral leaders."

I for one think you'll like reading what you find on the other side of this latter hyperlink. Again, I swear.

Oh, alright (!) already, here's the big favor I'm asking. If you think you got room for something like my comment in your website, please replicate in your own words.

warmest regards
\
A Alexander "Bogey" Stella









--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Do you Yahoo!?
Yahoo! SiteBuilder - Free, easy-to-use web site design software

Here's a link you're bound to find interesting:

http://hawaii.indymedia.org/news/2003/09/3676.php


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


BJP - 8/1/2003

Fascism = corporate owned government for the plutocracy by the plutocracy.
I have read approximately 200 books writtenn in the period 1930 to 1945 on Fascism. (The oligarch version of History tends to get a self serving rewrite over time and books of the time are always more accurate.).
The Bush regime fits every tenent of a fascist regime. THe US and European oligarchy installed the European fascists and Nazis to prevent a worker's revolution in EUrope and to attempt to overthrow the SOviet Union. 45 million members of the Left were murdered: 18 million Soviet civilians, 4 million SOviet POWs, 6 million Polish civilians, and "the left" (anyone for limits on the power of the oligarchs and for the working class)throughout the occupied countries (with their colluding oligarchs) and Germany were rounded up and murdered. Union officals, members, communists, socialists, anti-fascists, liberas. e.g. anyone for the working class. (The oligarchic installed Japanese fascists murdered 10 million Chinese communists and "the left" throughout the Islands that they occupied also).
And you thought it was a holocaust of Jews and a few others by the proverbial lone nut Hitler who appeared out of no where? = the oligarch's orwellian history.
Like these oligarchic installed fascist regimes, the Bush regime is a war mongering, corporate plutocracy owned puppet, who has declared war on the working class economically and on our bill of rights. Since WWII the US (the Fascist International) has murdered an additonal 15 to 20 million members of "the left". Keeping the world safe "peacekeeping" for tyrrants and oligarchs. (William Blum's book "Killing Hope")


Lori's Friend - 7/30/2003

By the way, your facts are wrong. Lori was not a mother. At least get some of the facts correct.


roland hayes - 6/3/2003

Hey Joe, how could you give your spiel on MSNBC with a straight face. Let's see. If George W. had said we need to attack Iraq and overthrow Saddam because he is a ruthless thug who terrorizes the people of Iraq you would have been first in line to say, "Yes Sir!"..and the rest of your conservative friends would have stood right behind you. I don't think so. But now that no WMD's have been found, no link to al Quida has been proven, the White House playing on people's grief and fear regarding 9/11 is beginning to wear thin...now you are Mr. Human Rights. Yeah, right! You are a great actor Joe - you lie with a straight face. You must have taken acting lessons from the commander in chief.


Shawn Scott Smith - 6/1/2003

I find it really incredible that the lack of any evidence that Iraq possesed WMD's capable of threatening America has not tempered the Neo-con's blood lust for conquering new territory.The sabres are rattling towards Iran, next on the hit list! Hell be damned if we don't force feed democracy on the entire Middle East at the expense of our liberty at home. Patrick Henry is rolling over in his grave! Peace!


John Kipper - 5/28/2003

"Bush supporters: thanks for fucking up America and destablizing the world."

You are welcome.


Rougy - 5/28/2003

It's pretty clear that Bush is a criminal who has packed his administration with slightly lesser criminals.

But the true disgust is with his supporters.

Bush supporters: thanks for fucking up America and destablizing the world.


Joel Shimberg - 5/27/2003

Chihauhau?


LVChick - 5/27/2003

Is this country facist?

Facism is the marriage of corporations and government...With the Enron pResident, Halliburton VP, Bechtel and Searle Sec of Defense, Chevron NSA Director etc etc...

The question answers itself...Dare I mention the "free press" owned solely by a very small cabal of Corporate entities all with their lips firmly attached to the ass of the state?...

Hummmmmm I wonder how Mussolini would answer...Let's see

"Fascism should more appropriately be called corporatism because it is a merger of state and corporate power." -- Benito Mussolini (from Encyclopedia Italiana, Giovanni Gentile, editor).

"The only difference between Bush and Gore is the velocity with which their knees hit the floor when corporations knock at the door."
-- Ralph Nader, 2000 election.


Herodotus - 5/26/2003

Well put, Mr. Bartlett...my own view is that this is really just a fancy laboratory, with some enterprising graduate student in "history and new media" writing a piece about all of this. When the dissertation is done, the site will go dark.


J. Bartlett - 5/24/2003


Josh makes good points, but I think the problem here is deeper than cranky, impolite, or otherwise disruptive commenters. The whole website itself is weird. I won't pretend to fathom its ultimate purpose, but it is clearly not primarily about advancing knowledge of history, relevance of history to current events, or a balanced discussion of political issues. There are too many "trolls" amongst the writers of the articles and opinion pieces. Whatever the hidden agendas of HNN, cleaning up the shouting matches amongst posters would only treat superficial symptoms of what makes a potentially informative website more often a swamp of rhetoric and propaganda.






Herodotus - 5/24/2003

in response to points (2) and (3)

(2) If Gore's campaign had been better or more persuasive, then Florida's importance would have been less because more states would have gone over to Gore. We forget that the ballots had to be recounted in other states as well...

(3) To get a constitutional amendment, you can introduce it as legislation in state assemblies or in Congress. And there need not be a time limit on its passage, as the 27th Amendment has shown us. To suggest that the Democrats have not pursued such legislation because "the Republican Party controlled most statehouses" is a specious argument. Surely you can do better.


Stunning Reversal - 5/23/2003

This historian Walter Adamson described fascism as an "anti-ideology ideology" and drew close parallels between fascism as a political movement and avant-garde modernism. To put it another way, fascism is more of a spectacle than a set of ideas. Beginning with the presidential coup of 2000 up to the colonization of Iraq the Bush Regime has arguably conducted itself in this manner. One obvious example of this is Colin Powell’s performance in before the United Nations Security Council on February 15th, 2003. Holing up a vile of an unidentified white substance, displaying grainy satellite images, or broadcasting anonymous voices in no way constitute evidence, but they do provide a show and fascism is all about performing.

Another characteristic of fascism is its automatic requirement for momentum. In the first of his two-volume study of Hitler, Ian Kershaw demonstrated that the Nazis could only survive in a constant state of crisis that not only justified their existence but also prevented the public from scrutinizing their policies. That's something worth keeping in mind as we're shepherded from one war to another, or from one threat to the next.

srr
http://www.stunning-reversal.com


Stephen Kriz - 5/23/2003


I know how unfashionable it has become in the United States to have a difference of opinion. After all, it is essential that we all be conservative Republicans to fight the never-ending War on Terrorism, right? We all know how only Republicans are the only true patriots and that all Democrats or Independents are communists and traitors, right? We just can't tolerate other viewpoints in this day and age, can we? It is much easier to characterize people who don't agree with us as "wackos" or "trolls". They do it all the time on Free Republic and NewsMax. This de-humanizes your opponent and gives you a reason and justification for hating them. And that's what God wants, right? For us to hate our enemies?!?!


V.A - 5/23/2003

Seriously, NYGUY did Stephen Kriz making a mockery out of you hurt your fragile ego that much? (Anyone else reading this should refer themselves to that thread)

The HNN is innudated in right wing reactionary morons like yourself and I feel its important role to support the few people who espouse the beliefs I hold dearly. I will continue to do so, just as I fear you will continue to embarass yourself.

May I add, copying four congratulations posting for Herodotus is exactly what you accuse me of doing. Nice original work. *sigh*


Stephen Kriz - 5/23/2003


Herodotus:

Your arguments in favor of the anachronistic college are false and hollow on several fronts:

(1) The governments of Colombia or Zimbabwe are specious examples of how the electoral college is a restraint on dictators rising to power, as both of these countries have not had free and fair elections in recent times. Were that to happen, does not ensure that a dictator could not emerge, in any case. There is no way of telling in advance who may end up being dictatorial, after having tasted power.
(2) Why is every other other elected official in the United States, including governors and senators, put in office on the basis of a democratic plurality of votes cast? The electoral college does not ensure anything other than opening the door for one corrupt large state (such as Florida, where the brother of a presidential candidate had thousands of blacks illegally purged from the voter rolls) to unduely influence the outcome of a presidential election.
(3) As regards your comment relating to doing away with the Electoral College, it takes more than "introducing legislation", as you out it. It requires a Constitutional amendment, which some Democrats proposed, but dropped it after realizing that the Neofascist, I mean Republican Party, controlled most statehouses.

The electoral college was put in place as a sop to crybaby delegates to the Constitutional Convention from small states. The Founding Fathers must be spinning in their graves to see how it has been perverted and put into power an unelected fascist who is gutting Constitutional freedoms. It needs to be ended now.

Peace,

Steve Kriz


Herodotus - 5/23/2003

I somehow find the arguments about the Electoral College to have been hollow. If the situation had been reversed, and Gore had been in Bush's position, the Democrats would have been dismissive of Republican charges that the Electoral College needed to be fixed. The failure of the democrats in Congress to introduce legislation to fix the problems of the 2000 election shows that they really don't care about the issue in the abstract, just only when it might affect their power.

Basically, the electoral college exists in order to prevent demogogues from rising to power. The rise of dictators in other countries, from Zimbabwe to Colombia, is a prime example of the restraining power of the Electoral College. Say what you want about Bush, but it is the electoral college that prevents even wilder people, from Perot to Buchanan, from ramrodding their way in to the presidency on a minority plurality.


Herodotus - 5/23/2003

A good point, Josh. Another improvement would be to allow registered screen names, as many blogs and interactive web sites do. I'm frankly surprised that HNN continues to hold off on doing this. It would satisfy those of us who wish to preserve our anonymity (sorry Derek, some of us do have to fear retribution from colleagues from what might be posted online), while making it more difficult for trolls/disrupters from carrying on as wackos like Frank Lee, trolls and imps have.


Josh Greenland - 5/23/2003

As I see it, HNN's problem isn't too many conservatives or too few liberals or progressives, but that there are too many trolls here. I generally don't agree with our legitimate conservative posters, but I can learn from them. It does seem to me there are more conservative trolls here than moderate, liberal or progressive ones, but we do have at least one really noxious semi-liberal troll here also.

My partial criteria for a troll is that they never or almost never say anything that might further a good discussion. My partial solution is to not read the posts of known trolls or respond to them (in most cases). I've been saddened to see good discussions taken over by trolls, who eventually stop posting once the last non-troll gives up.

This is the Field Guide to Trolls, which I've found useful in identifying and dealing with their infestation of HNN:
http://philelmore.com/profiling/fieldguidetotrolls.htm


Herodotus - 5/22/2003

There are few 'progressive' historians left in here. The war split everyone up.


Bill Mcwilliams - 5/22/2003

Actually, SH's secretary prepared a one page document stating that Iraq did not possess any WMD (unless the U.S. had hidden some in the country without informing the Iraqi authorities).

That document was then notarized. During the "war", it was then allegedly found by a U.S. soldier who was liberating various rubber novelties (to take home as souvenirs) from one of SH's palaces. The document miraculously survived bom bings, missiles, fires and other looters (excuse me, liberators). Much like the passport that fell out of the clothes or wallet of one of the 9-11 terrorists during the twin towers attack and floated down to the street, where it was "discovered" by a U.S. intellgence officer. It was actually going to auctioned off on Ebay the last I heard.


AnotherNYGuy - 5/22/2003

Unfortunately ExNYGuy doesn't understand what I meant. By using the past tense, I'm only showing that Iraq quickly moved the WMD"S right before this war or during it. Anyway, if Iraq really didn't have these weapons, where was the documentation or evidence to back it up. Surely Saddam would have provided it, rather than allow his country to be invaded!


Stephen Kriz - 5/22/2003


Bob:

NEWS FLASH - Bush did NOT win the election, in fact he lost by over a half a million votes. I know, you will being up the electoral college, but that really failed us in 2000, didn't it? The Florida legislators were prepared to disregard the will of the people, (who clearly voted for Gore or would have, if an honest accounting of the votes had been done in that miserable state) and tossed Florida's electoral votes to Bush. The electoral college is a miserable failure and an anachronism that belongs on the scrap heap of history.

I'm also curious why you think that the comments of one or two liberals (was it Alex Baldwin and/or Barbra Streisand?) represent the views of every liberal in the United States? What kind of small-minded, compartmentalized thinking is that? I guess Rush Limbaugh's brainwashing has worked quite well on you. Myself, I intend to stay in the United States and fight the creeping fascism of George W. Bush and his ilk.

Two words, Mr. Greene: GET HELP!


NYGuy - 5/22/2003

Herodotus you were so brillant and perceptive that I could not resist the support. The editorial policiies of this board are interesting and you were courageous enough to point out the poor judgement in selecting these (4) posts and the misleading information contained in the articles. Keep up the good work. What is the old saying that it was Good Men who remained silent during perilous times, or something like that.

By the way I am NYGuy and do not know AnotherNewYorkGuy.

Enjoyed your posts keep up the good work. This is too good a country to be mislead by a bunch of malcontents with no answers only complaints.


Herodotus - 5/22/2003

I figured you had a troll but was willing to suspect that the post in response to mine (repeated four times in four threads) was just a curiously worded note of support.

It's fun when the only weapons left to the extreme left are trolling and name-calling. It shows how bereft of ideas they really are.


Bill McWilliams - 5/21/2003

You wrote:

"The article is nothing more than the same liberal claptrap"

But that's a whole more intelligent than the same "right-wing" claptrap you hear, see on TV, and read in the conservative/corporate-owned liberal media, isn't it?


Bill McWilliams - 5/21/2003

Thank you.

If you read my entire message, I said that what I'm looking for are other history boards - that might have more progressive commentators and comment replies...from people like you, only more progressive, rather than regressive knee-jerks.


NYGuy - 5/21/2003

Hey AnotherNYGuy:

There coming out of the woodwork. Having lost sight of their objective they are redoubling their efforts.

This should be fun as they unleash their "attack play book". But, AnotherNewYork, we have met the thugs before and know how they behave.

Remember the Twin Towers. Remember our TRoops and let's support them.


NY Guy - 5/21/2003

VA on the “Why Radicals Need Not Lose Hope”

VA’s Comments
This piece is articulate, thoughtful and inspiring. I hardly think this displays an end to the "storied tradition of radicalism" as one individual claims. Thank you, Ms.Solnit for your careful, measured thoughts on the past and future of the left.


Carpenter =VA’s Comments
Really nice response to both NYGUY (I think he may be mentally retarded-- check out his other postings) and Elia who, despite being able to form a train of thought, was unable to see the point he was making. Keep up the good work!

VA what progress you are making. You won points for your objective analysis of Ms. Solnit and now you passed your second test by attacking others. The party must be very pleased with such a brilliant person as you. Keep it up we all need a good laugh once in awhile.

Just think, some day you may have some original ideas of your own. Meanwhile do not overdue it.

And write it on your hand so you don’t forget, Bush = Hitler.

All the best.


Ex New York guy - 5/21/2003


"Another" is right. There WERE chemical and biological weapons in Iraq. And the UN inspectors in the early to mid 1990s found them.
While NY guys and Republocrite politicians were obsessing on Paula Jones.


AnotherNYGuy - 5/21/2003

I agree with NYGuy. The article is nothing more than the same liberal claptrap. Just because our troops haven't found the WMD's, doesn't mean that they weren't (past tense) there. Iraq is a big country. I still believe that these weapons will be found.


V.A. - 5/21/2003

Really nice response to both NYGUY (I think he may be mentally retarded-- check out his other postings) and Elia who, despite being able to form a train of thought, was unable to see the point he was making. Keep up the good work!


Helping Hand - 5/21/2003

Happy you like what Carpenter has to say. If you read the entire article you would see that he is published on the following website.

buzzflash.com.

Enjoy. Bye Bye.


Bill McWilliams - 5/21/2003

Would someone please let me know about boards like HNN that are more liberal than HNN? No offense, but I've been brainwashed by the media to believe that most history professors are liberal, but the only people here who espose anything close to a progressive viewpoint seems to arouse rapid attacks by right-wingers.

I enjoy Mr. Carpenter, and would be interested in reading more columns by people like him.

If you know of any that you'd recommend, I'd appreciate it if you would post them.


Walter Hearne - 5/21/2003

What in the world is a "chihauhau"? Sounds fearsome. Especially if it's rabid. I wonder if it eats chihuahuas.


NYGuy - 5/21/2003

Stephen

Do you really think that a weaker military protects us and Israel and makes us safer? Of course you have no proof of that, but since you are so knowledgeable about Hitler you must have studied his era. Therefore you know that a tyrant and dictator was able to overwhelm a peaceful world and create the greatest human suffering in history because no one was prepared to stop him. So much for your preaching unpreparedness.

Even today we see that those European countries who followed your thinking are cringing in fear because they neglected to protect themselves and put their money into social programs as you advocate and have been fighting terrorist for years. The more things change the more things remain the same.

As for Israel, if it was not prepared militarily it would be overrun by those who say they won't be satisfied until Israel and the Jews are no more. Perhaps this is your idea of the “final solution”.

You betrayed yourself and showed that you know nothing of business in general and the oil industry and semiconductor business. What was your point in introducing Sclumbeger? Do you think that we should be giving contracts and jobs to the French? Why?

Do you think they are larger and more experienced than the U. S. companies? Bechtel is 4 times as large and Halliburton has larger revenues and employs 50,000 workers. Or are your comments just part of the “hate America” mantra and you rather have U. S. jobs go to foreigners as happened in the semiconductor industry.

You say “we subsidized their (Japan) industry (in a bipartisan way)” What a know-nothing remark. We invented the semiconductor and today Japan is the leading producer of semiconductors, TV’s and other electronic products based on semiconductors. At one time we had over 11 TV producers. Meanwhile, Zenith, which was started in 1918, was the last one to go two years ago.

The Japanese were not subsidized, they dumped product below cost to drive the U. S. companies out of business. Zenith was the last one to fight the dumping and today they are a subsidiary of a Korean company. Evidently this is the way you want our oil expertise to go with your unsubstantiated charges about our Vice President. Give the business to smaller foreign companies because “we hate America”

You may be right that the “all white” country of Sweden is a better place to live, particularly if you are a racist.

I was, however, happy to hear that you have benefited from this great country and are able earn your way. We are all thankful for such opportunities.



NYGuy - 5/21/2003

The main point is Carpenter hates Bush and his supporters. Read his past diatribes. He just introduces some inane first paragraph and then goes into his rant on Bush and company. Simple. Nothing original.


Bob Greene - 5/21/2003

All you people on the lunatic left promised that you would leave the country if GW won the election. Well he did and you didn't. So I am not going to hold my my breath. Keep looking under your bed for Nazis you paranoid piece of work.


John Kipper - 5/21/2003

Wwho says that Carpenter is a historian? He merely has a degree in history. Every bitter word that he writes and every unreasoned, hate-filled arguement he presents, reveals his rejection of the hitherto accepted methods of the discipline and his betrayal of of the very spirit of reasoned thinking. Judas was an apostle, too. Hmmmm.


John Kipper - 5/21/2003

No, this post is an example of a rabid hamster attack. Carpenter's slobbering is indeed toxic, but the source is so inconsequential as to be irrelevent in the real world. What I don't understand is why HNN connot find a more reputable, or even rational, writer to present a coherent arguement (and there is one!) against the war. I guess sensationalistic, hate filled bombast is now the accepted method of academic discourse. What a shame.


Elia Markell - 5/21/2003

"What you need to worry about is when the fascists come for you....."

Oh, yeh, I forgot. First they came for the humanities professors, and I said, "I'm no humanity professor, so What, me worry?" Then they came for the cultural studies professors, but I said "Cultural Studies? What's THAT?" Then they came for the deconstructionists, and I said "deconstruct this." Finally, they came for the history buffs. Tragic story, indeed. Only the cafeteria workers left to tell the tale.


Tim Sullivan - 5/21/2003

Danny Glover produced and directed a TV movie call The Buffalo Soldiers which was about the famous 9th Cavalry.
In the movie, Glover as a troop leader permits a band of Indians to escape accross the boarder into Mexico as the Indians are fellow people of color.

The 9th Cavalry were considered the best Indian fighters in the West. Those veterans must be turning over in their graves.


F teague - 5/21/2003


I give.
THe point made was Scarborough's twisting of words, which were not the ones you quoted. The point was Scarborough and his sleazy tactics.
But have it your way. Dwell on the collateral issue of Glover and ignore the main point.


Herodotus - 5/21/2003

They're in the Bekka Valley in Lebanon, or at least some of them are.


Bill McWilliams - 5/20/2003

Herodotus; let not your heart be troubled. IF WMD ARE found (since the U.S. has the world's largest supply of them, I'd expect some to show up in one of SH's former palaces. they may well be in transit to there right now.) --- I repeat, IF WMD ARE found, then THAT can become the reason again.


Bill Heuisler - 5/20/2003

Mr. Teague,
Words used in the specific TV broadcast do not matter. Truth or falsehood is what matters to most of us.
1)Scarborough attacked Glover for blaming America for 9/11.
2)Carpenter says Glover did no such thing.
3)Glover blamed America for 9/11/01 at Princeton on 11/11/01.

So, do you or Carpenter deny Glover blamed America for 9/11?
Consider: Not even Glover denies he said America is responsible. Not even Glover denies his wish to spare Osama Bin Laden and his admiration for the murderous tyrant, Fidel Castro. Why defend Danny Glover when he admits outrageous insincerity? And why do you defend Carpenter's awkwardly malicious mistakes?
Bill Heuisler


Jacob S. Lada - 5/20/2003


Who the heck is "Glover" ? A sibling of President Cleveland ?

Is this best nitpick you could come up with ?

How about finding the lost chemical and biological weapons that were the excuse for the bungled and idiotic recent war the vets we honor next weekend are rotating in their graves because of ?

Clear away your empty beer bottles, maybe there's some anthrax hiding back there in the catacombs of Tucson.

As for History (not that it has anything to do with this website), we all know that the Japanese had to attack Pearl Harbor in order to save Hiroshima.








F Teague - 5/20/2003

From the show's transcript, Scarborough speaking:

"Danny Glover accused the U.S. of contributing to terror attacks against Americans. And this is what he said: 'We must work to remove injustices that create terrorism. A nation that continues, year after year, to spend more money on defense than social programs is nearing spiritual death.'"


Stephen Kriz - 5/20/2003


By comparing the U.S. to other countries like Saudi Arabia that are fascist monarchies, only strengthens my assertion - fascism has taken root in America. In other words, you made my case for me. Thus, no response was required.

How do you know that I may not need to hide? The next step is clear if we allow Bush another term - the final solution. Dictators always end up trying to rid their country of people they hate - in this case, liberals. Don't worry though, my passport is fresh and I could easily make the border ahead of Ashcroft and the brown shirts. What you need to worry about is when the fascists come for you.....


F. Teague - 5/20/2003

You left off "as Scarborough contorts it." I saw the program and Scarborough offered an entirely different quotation and he twisted it to pieces.


Frank Lee - 5/20/2003


Thanks for another no-holds barred expose, Mr. Carpenter. The problem with Crook Cheney's deceits is that he keeps changing them (sometimes too fast for even Puppet W to follow), so your periodic column is a useful lie dectector. But please throw away your TV, or at least tune out the worthless double-speak garbage like MSNBC. Surely someone of your intellect and education can find more enriching and stimulating sources of fiction.


Bill Heuisler - 5/20/2003

Carpenter says he's a historian.
He also describes,
"...harmless Glover, who Scarborough says blames only America as the proximate cause of 9/11. Glover does no such thing..."

Just two months after 9/11, Danny Glover spoke at Princeton.
He said, "America is to blame for the bombing and terror around the world." He then said he wanted to spare the life of OBL.
On May first, this year, he signed a two-paragraph ad in Granma that supported Fidel Castro. Castro recently imprisoned dozens of pro-Democracy dissidents and executed three without trial.

Do Glover and Carpenter read their own stuff? We expect an actor to deceive, but historians deal in facts or lie for effect.
Bill Heuisler


Elia Markell - 5/20/2003

Oh dear, dear. My comment did not merit a reply from Mr. Kriz. I am crushed. I actually thought my response was as effective a reply as the idiotic question deserved. I ask you all to read it, since I am sure some will be entertained and see the point.

Yet despite my obvious flaws in his eyes, Mr. Kirz does again sully himself by asking me again the same dumb question. "Is the U.S. now a fascist regime?" Answer: No. Proof: The fact that the question is even asked in public. How much more serious of a response does such self-indulgent posturing require? If there were even the slightest support for the notion that America is a fascist nation, Mr. Kriz would be looking for a place to hide, not for an argument. His question only reveals his utter inability to comprehend fascism.



Stephen Kriz - 5/20/2003


NY Guy:

Thanks for the most comprehensive non-reply to a question ever. Your comments regarding a weaker military are revealing and also flat wrong. The US currently spends as much as all of the other countries in the world on "defense" (more accurately, war materiel) and we are no safer than if we spent half as much. 9-11 proved that beyond a doubt. Peace and security doesn't come from having more and bigger bombs than your enemies -it comes from constructive engagement and working on solving problems whose resolution benefits everyone. Ask Israeli citizens how safe and secure they feel.

Your comments about the oil industry come straight out of left field, but let me address them anyway. In what way do we "lead" the oil industry? In oil field parts supply? What about Schlumberger - a French firm? We have what is called a competitive disadvantage in oil production, by virtue of the fact that there simply isn't as much oil under our soil or coastal waters as there is under other countries. Hence, Bush and Cheney's imperialistic forays into Iraq and the Caspian basin (read, Afghanistan). That is why an invasion of Saudi Arabia is practically a guarantee, if the illegal dictator Shrub is re-elected (although that word suggests he was elected in the first place....). Your comment about the television and semiconductor industries and blaming their "demise" (although I would argue the U.S. still is the world's largest semiconductor producer, unless you can show me otherwise), borders on the mentally retarded. I won't respond further than to say that you need to study the history of Japan and how we subsidized their industry (in a bipartisan way), before you speak further. Regarding standards of living, may I remind you that the U.S. already ranks well below many other Western countries, including Sweden, which is socialist.

Finally, your allusion to "Daddy's check" might apply to the current occupant of the Oval Office, but I have always earned my own way. Thank you.

The other response to my comments don't merit a response.

Neither of you answered my question - Is the U.S. now a fascist regime?


Elia Markell - 5/20/2003

Will Durant? Oh well, here are some observations on this list of "defining" characteristics of fascism.

> Powerful and Continuing Nationalism
This makes every nation on earth fascist. Certainly, it's so of the French, where even a McDonalds insults their national pride.

> Disdain for the Recognition of Human Rights
Libya, Sudan, China, and by implication all those who take seriously a world body that would allow such totalitarian thugs on its Human Rights Commission!

> Identification of Enemies/Scapegoats as a Unifying Cause
The Palestinians and their friends all over the region -- you know those folks who say Jews mix the blood of Palestinian kids to make their Purim cakes. Also, North Korea. Also, the Wahabbi clerics of Saudi Arabia who demonize even their own Shi'ite populations, etc., etc.

> Supremacy of the Military
Rather than the easy-to-assemble list of nations where this is true (certainly not ours), how about putting the American left on the list, since it sees something wrong, apparently, with our own civilian control over the military -- you know, by "Chickenhawks," civilians who do not have that uniquely legitimizing military service in their records. Where have you gone Zachary Taylor?

> Rigid and Traditional Gender Roles
Not true of our military, certainly. Perhaps this would include Women's Studies Departments, which tend not only to exclude male profs but even any female professor unwilling to bend to the pro-choice limitus test.

> Controlled Mass Media
Is there one anywhere left on earth now, except perhaps at Harvard and Berkeley? Ask Andrew Sullivan and Howell Raines if you think anyone is in control of our mass media?

> Obsession with National Security
I guess that's those of us who think North Korea is not as trustworthy as the Girl Scouts. Ok, I will accept this one. I am obsessed.

> Religion and Government are Intertwined
Iran, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, ETC. All the usual suspects. Right?

> Corporate Power is Protected and Enshrined
And just when I was thinking North Korea qualified as fascist. Yep, I guess starvation and goose-stepping are a goose step up from Niki's wage slavery . That explains why all those Mexicans are emigrating to North Korea, doesn't it?

> Labor Power is Suppressed
Except, that is, for the one-tenth of the Democratic Party delegates who belong to the National Education Association.

> Disdain for Intellectuals and the Arts
Except for widespread popular admiration for a few PhDs like Condoleezza Rice, it's all too true. Disdain for Edward Said, disdain for Noam Chomsky, disdain for the Dixie Chicks (except for their music, which is great). How sad.

> Rampant Cronyism and Corruption
France, Russia, Syria, Egypt, the UN bureaucracy, and on and on once again.

> Fraudulent Elections
Except for the Florida State Supreme Court, I can't imagine what this is supposed to refer to. Oh, I know -- that 100% vote Saddam won and that our "controlled media" such as CNN and BBC ACTUALLY SPUN AS SERIOUS.


NYGuy - 5/20/2003

Stephen why do you waste your time. Why not just repeat the signs you carried earlier this year:

Bush = Hitler and the other one which I can't repeat
Bush = F....


It would save all of us a lot of time.

Certainly a weaker militiary would provide us with greater safety against the nuclear countries that are springing up. Great idea.

Although we are leaders in the oil industry we should give contracts to other countries so we lose our lead,and deprive U. S. citizens of jobs just like the democrats did with the TV and semiconductor industry. Now Japan is the world leader in both industries. Then when we are weak, unable to improve our standard of living you will be happy.

Have you got any other brillant ideas. Didn't daddy's check come this week.


Stephen Kriz - 5/20/2003


The historian Will Durant noted that there were certain defining characteristics of fascism. They are:

> Powerful and Continuing Nationalism
> Disdain for the Recognition of Human Rights
> Identification of Enemies/Scapegoats as a Unifying Cause
> Supremacy of the Military
> Rigid and Traditional Gender Roles
> Controlled Mass Media
> Obsession with National Security
> Religion and Government are Intertwined
> Corporate Power is Protected and Enshrined
> Labor Power is Suppressed
> Disdain for Intellectuals and the Arts
> Rampant Cronyism and Corruption
> Fraudulent Elections

I'll let you decide - Are we living under a fascist regime or not?


russell harris - 5/20/2003

LOL! You consider yourself versed in history? Heck, you aren't even versed in reality...

Example: "To ramrod an illegal war, the president had said "we know" of Saddam's illegal goods. The vice president said Iraq both has "reconstituted nuclear weapons" and in time would acquire "nuclear weapons." (Try sorting that one out.) The secretary of state said he "knew" the Iraqi tyrant possessed warheads full of biological agents. And when asked by Congress if Saddam kept weapons of destruction, the Defense Policy Board's chairman said "sure he does."

Apparently you also aren't versed in simple english either...

Just out of curiosity one has to wonder if you went to the, "Doris Kerns Godwin" school of history...


Elia Markell - 5/20/2003

First, the point of the diatribe against Scarborough escaped me until I realized this McCarthyizing of a talk show host was done only to perform a guilt-by-association gambit the Tailgunner himself would have admired. As in "But of course there's a much larger point here than the one on Joe's head. His grossly dishonest agenda is all-too emblematic of Bush II's Dorian Gray politics..."

Ah, you see, there you have it. Joe Scarborough's "Big Lie" reflects Bush's "Big Lie," all part of the same conspiracy so vast, I suppose. (By the way, I've always thought of Ted Kennedy as the Dorian Grey of American politics. I don't think the precious literary reference works here, though I realize that sort of thing is what makes academics think of themselves as academics.)

And what is the Big Lie now, the one that has "violated America's conscience and 2 centuries of relative international integrity"? The missing WMD, missing still after all of five weeks of post-war. If this is a big lie, it is one the UN and the left itself shared in perpetuating -- since resolution 1441 (and all the other UN Iraq resolutions) were premised on a complete LACK of doubt on this matter, and since one of the left's key arguments against taking on Iraq was the supposed danger of Iraq unleashing its WMDs (the left's view that Iraq was a weak pushover only came two weeks into the war, when it was about pushed over). Whatever the truth about the WMD (I think it likely to turn out pretty much as Colin Powell claimed), the whole world accepted as FACT that the weapons existed. The ONLY dispute was over how best to force Saddam to devulge and destroy them.

If in fact, Saddam had already destroyed these weapons before the war and yet allowed his regime to fall simply to continue to prevent inspectors from determining this, it will go down as one of the most bizarre acts of political (and perhaps actual) suicide in history. And it will actually only add to the sense of Saddam as a dangerous and deluded leader the world is well rid of.

What, of course, remains as missing from Mr. Carpenter's moral universe is any place for the Iraqis themselves. The left, when it actually existed as anything more than an adjunct defense force for fascist tyrannies, once mounted the American Lincoln Brigade to fight a form of fascism in Spain far milder than Saddam's. Long after the WMD issue is clear up, the disgrace of not having mounted such a liberation effort for Iraq will take its toll on a left now totally besotted with the null ideology of anti-Americanism.


VJ - 5/20/2003

This is another fine job P.M. The mountains of lies on exhibit on any day during this administration's rein would pale besides all others, including Nixon. What
P.M. is saying is that what they've done is immoral. It reeks according to any ethical tradition you'd care to mention. Their constant lie is now the subject of
inquires in the Houses of Parliment, but seemingly not over here. This is further proof, if such was needed, on the depths the media have fallen in this nation as
guardians of democracy. We can no longer rely on our home grown mass media for accurate reporting, on anything. Top to bottom, lock stock and barrel they
represent one of the most corrupt forces in American life. I say they might as well repeal the first amendment, what we are getting is worse than government
sanctioned propaganda. With their assistance we still imagine ourselves as free. With all the circuses on the TV, we'll never know we were deluded until they
come to lock up our children for wanting to learn some of the uncomfortable truths we dare not even whisper to ourselves. [BTW: And oh Joe S., we're still
waiting on the details behind the mysterious death of your Cogressional aide Lori Klausutis in 2001, in your Congressional offices. A picture of health one day,
dead the next, a botched autopsy by an unqualified hack of a doctor, and gee, no real follow up for an investigation. As Gary Condit would say, how very
convenient! For the young dedicated mother from Niceville, there's no justice, and little acknowledgement. But for the blathering buffons of GOP TV, they get
rewarded with cusy million dollar jobs to defame innocents on TV. Just asking Joe, what did you know, and when did you know it about Lori? Were you
'involved'? Can you be asked these SAME questions that were put to Condit, or do you claim immunity due to the fact that as royalty, your edicts and acts are to
be unquestioned from the rabble?] [See AmericanPolitics Journal for details apj.us]


VJ - 5/20/2003

This is another fine job P.M. The mountains of lies on exhibit on any day during this administration's rein would pale besides all others, including Nixon. What P.M. is saying is that what they've done is immoral. It reeks according to any ethical tradition you'd care to mention. Their constant lie is now the subject of inquires in the Houses of Parliment, but seemingly not over here. This is further proof, if such was needed, on the depths the media have fallen in this nation as guardians of democracy. We can no longer rely on our home grown mass media for accurate reporting, on anything. Top to bottom, lock stock and barrel they represent one of the most corrupt forces in American life. I say they might as well repeal the first amendment, what we are getting is worse than government sanctioned propaganda. With their assistance we still imagine ourselves as free. With all the circuses on the TV, we'll never know we were deluded until they come to lock up our children for wanting to learn some of the uncomfortable truths we dare not even whisper to ourselves. [BTW: And oh Joe S., we're still waiting on the details behind the mysterious death of your Cogressional aide Lori Klausutis in 2001, in your Fl Congressional offices. A picture of health one day, dead the next, a botched autopsy by an unqualified hack of a doctor, and gee, no real follow up for an investigation for her. As Gary Condit would say, how very convenient! For the young dedicated mother from Niceville, Fl. there's no justice, and little acknowledgement. But for the blathering buffons of GOP TV, they get rewarded with cushy million dollar jobs to defame innocents on TV. Just asking Joe, what did you know, and when did you know it about Lori? Were you two 'involved'? Can you be asked these SAME questions that were put to Condit, or do you claim immunity due to the fact that as royalty, your edicts and acts are to be unquestioned from the rabble?] [See AmericanPolitics Journal for details apj.us]


NYGuy - 5/19/2003

Herodotus great going, four for four. The play book is always the same, start with some type of psuedo introduction and then cheapen the author and insult the audience by betraying a small angry mind. Keep up the good work. Maybe someday we will get some respectable writing on history, not a diatribe by politically motivated hacks.


Herodotus - 5/19/2003

To quote:

"To date, the Biggest Lie perpetrated was that of a direct, impending foreign menace to our national security. "

huh? I think Carpenter is out to lunch here...it was up and down clear as day to commentators on the right and the left that the administration's position was simply that the danger was NOT that Iraq was about to invade the U.S. or attack it with WMD or something like that. INSTEAD, it was clear to everyone that the administration's position was that Iraq WAS CAPABLE AND WILLING to supplying those weapons to groups like Al Qaeda at a time when Al Qaeda and others had attempted to get those things from Iraq (as shown by the documents uncovered in Afghanistan).

It's a distinction that's important to make, and Carpenter is engaging in a bit of demogoguery here by implying that it was the former (and thus a lie) rather than the latter.

If Carpenter wanted to be productive, he would do well to be bashing the Bush administration for allowing the nuclear waste at al Tuwaitha nuclear complex from scattering beyond anyone's control. If there were a time to worry about dirty nukes, now is it.

History News Network