The Philosopher's Stone

Written by Chris Floyd 03 November 2005 12379 Hits
Published in Nov. 4 edition of The Moscow Times.

Last week, a legal thunderbolt struck at the heart of the grubby conspiracy that led the United States and Britain into an illegal war of aggression against Iraq. But this searing blow didn't fall in Washington, where a media frenzy raged over a White House indictment, but in the deeps of southern England, in a military courtroom, where a lone soldier stood against the full force of the great war-crime enterprise, armed only with a single, rusty, obsolete weapon: the law.

While Potomac courtiers and town criers were reading the entrails of the cooked goose of Scooter Libby -- the first Bushist honcho caught in the slow-grinding gears of special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald's continuing investigation -- in Wiltshire, Flight Lieutenant Malcolm Kendall-Smith faced a court martial after declaring that the Iraq war was illegal and refusing to return for his third tour of duty there, the Guardian reports.

He has been charged with four counts of "disobeying a lawful command." But Kendall-Smith, a decorated medical officer in the Royal Air Force, says that his study of the recently-emerged evidence about the lies, distortions and manipulations used to "justify" the invasion has convinced him that both the war and the occupation are "manifestly illegal." Thus any order arising from this criminal action is itself an "unlawful command," the Sunday Times reports. In fact, the RAF's own manual of law compels him to refuse such illegal orders, Kendall-Smith insists.

The flight lieutenant is no ordinary war protestor, and no shirker of combat - unlike, say, the pair of prissy cowards at the head of the Anglo-American "coalition." Kendall-Smith, who has dual New Zealand-British citizenship -- and dual university degrees in medicine and Kantian moral philosophy -- has served three tours at the front in Afghanistan and Iraq. He is not claiming any conscientious objections against war in general, nor do religious scruples play any part in his stance. It is based solely on the law.

Central to his case are the sinister backroom legal dealings between Washington and London in the last days before the invasion. Less than two weeks before the initial "Shock and Awe" bombings began slaughtering civilians across Iraq, Lord Goldsmith, the UK's attorney general, gave Prime Minister Tony Blair a detailed briefing full of doubts and equivocations about the legality of the coming war, adding that Britain's participation in an attack unsanctioned by the UN would "likely" lead to "close scrutiny" by the International Criminal Court for potential war crimes charges, the Observer reports.

But Blair and Goldsmith withheld this report from Parliament, the Cabinet and British military brass, who were demanding a clear-cut legal sanction for the impending action. Then, just three days before the bloodletting began, Goldsmith suddenly produced another paper, this time for public consumption: a brief, clear, unequivocal statement that the invasion would be legal. This statement was almost certainly crafted in Washington, where Goldsmith had recently been "tutored" by the Bush gang's consiglieres, including the legal advisers to Colin Powell, Donald Rumsfeld and Condoleezza Rice.

Leading this pack of war-baying legal beagles was George W. Bush's top counsel, Alberto Gonzales, who had overseen the White House's own efforts to weasel out of potential war crimes charges by declaring -- without any basis in Anglo-American jurisprudence or the U.S. Constitution -- that Bush was not bound by any law whatsoever in any military action he undertook: a blank check for aggression, murder and torture that Bush has gleefully cashed over and over. Alberto and the boys leaned hard on Goldsmith, who finally caved in and replicated the Americans' contorted and specious legal arguments for launching the attack.

Of course, Kendall-Smith knew none of this during his first two tours in Iraq: Goldsmith's Bush-induced backflip was only divulged in April 2005. Nor did he know then of the "Downing Street Memos," the "smoking gun" minutes that record Blair's inner circle dutifully lining up behind Bush's hellbent drive for war - as far back as 2002 - and their conspiracy with the Bush gang to manipulate their countries into war. The memos -- which emerged in May 2005 and have never been denied or repudiated by the UK government -- show Blair's slavish acquiescence in Bush's criminal scheme to "fix the facts and the intelligence around the policy" of unprovoked military aggression. Confronted with this newly revealed evidence -- and the revelations about the mountain of doubts and caveats expressed by American intelligence before the invasion but deliberately ignored by the Bushist war party -- Kendall-Smith took the only honorable course for a soldier who has been duped into serving an evil cause.

The moral rigor of his defiance has sent tremors through the British military establishment, already shaken by the strange, unexplained shooting deaths of two military inspectors investigating atrocity allegations in Iraq, the Guardian reports. British brass are panicky about the Goldsmith revelations; indeed, the leader of the UK invasion force, Admiral Michael Boyce, said he now believes the British military does not have "the legal cover necessary to avoid prosecution for war crimes," the Observer reports. Boyce added that if he and his officers are eventually put on trial for such crimes, he'll make sure that Blair and Goldsmith are in the dock beside them.

Bush, Blair and their minions have committed a monstrous crime, and they know it -- hence all the convolutions, before the war and after, to inoculate themselves from prosecution. But with Kendall-Smith and Patrick Fitzgerald, the long-moribund figure of the law is re-awakening. It's weak, it's bleary, it certainly might fail. But now the conspirators will have to live cowering in its shadow for the rest of their days.
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What's Past is Prologue

Written by Chris Floyd 02 November 2005 3713 Hits

Not that it matters or anything, but it turns out that the 58,000 Americans and millions of Southeast Asians killed in the Vietnam War died for a lie. And Bush has tried to bury the latest official confirmation of this bloody falsehood for years. Why? Because the deliberate manipulation of intelligence involved in sucking the United States into the Vietnam hellstorm was too close to the deliberate manipulation of intelligence that Bush employed to suck the United States into the Iraqi hellstorm.

We've said it before and we will keep on saying it, again and again and again: What quadrant of hell is hot enough for such men?

The NYT reports (with typically demure headline): Vietnam Study, Casting Doubts, Remains Secret. Excerpts: The National Security Agency has kept secret since 2001 a finding by an agency historian that during the Tonkin Gulf episode, which helped precipitate the Vietnam War, N.S.A. officers deliberately distorted critical intelligence to cover up their mistakes, two people familiar with the historian's work say.

The historian's conclusion is the first serious accusation that communications intercepted by the N.S.A., the secretive eavesdropping and code-breaking agency, were falsified so that they made it look as if North Vietnam had attacked American destroyers on Aug. 4, 1964, two days after a previous clash. President Lyndon B. Johnson cited the supposed attack to persuade Congress to authorize broad military action in Vietnam, but most historians have concluded in recent years that there was no second attack.

The N.S.A. historian, Robert J. Hanyok, found a pattern of translation mistakes that went uncorrected, altered intercept times and selective citation of intelligence that persuaded him that midlevel agency officers had deliberately skewed the evidence….

Mr. Hanyok's findings were published nearly five years ago in a classified in-house journal, and starting in 2002 he and other government historians argued that it should be made public. But their effort was rebuffed by higher-level agency policymakers, who by the next year were fearful that it might prompt uncomfortable comparisons with the flawed intelligence used to justify the war in Iraq, according to an intelligence official familiar with some internal discussions of the matter.

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Corrected Vision

Written by Chris Floyd 02 November 2005 5173 Hits

Here's "news" that should not be news but will obviously come as news to most Americans who never hear news like this: Muslims don't like terrorism or Islamic extremists. From the Daily Telegraph (you didn't think it would be in a US paper, did you?): Anti-terror Ramadan TV drama stirs the Arab world.

Excerpts: A blockbuster Ramadan television drama broadcast across the Arab world has broken new ground by daring to question the motives of terrorism committed in the name of Allah. The plotline of al-Hur al-Ayn (Beautiful Maidens), has…been hugely popular with an Arabic-speaking public fed up with the cliched portrayal of all Muslims as gun-toting fanatics….

The title of the programme is taken from the widely held belief that Islamic terrorists willing to become martyrs do so because the Koran promises them 72 virgins in heaven. In fact, the Koran makes no mention of 72 virgins and does not encourage suicide bombing or self-martyrdom.

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The Reality of Empire

Written by Chris Floyd 02 November 2005 5032 Hits

Wise man Juan Cole points us to this story, which is not just a smoking gun but a veritable MOAB which utterly destroys the big Bush lie that his war of aggression has brought "democracy" to Iraq. Jalal Talabani, the president of the supposedly "sovereign" nation of Iraq, has admitted – in front of the United Nations – that he has no power to stop the United States from using his "sovereign" nation as a launching pad for attacks on other countries – even though Talabani adamantly opposes such actions.

Middle East On-Line reports [Excerpt] Iraqi President Jalal Talabani said he opposed military action against neighbouring Syria but lacked the power to prevent US troops from using his country as a launchpad if it chose to do so. 

"I categorically refuse the use of Iraqi soil to launch a military strike against Syria or any other Arab country," Talabani told the London-based Arabic daily Asharq Al-Awsat in an interview published Tuesday. "But at the end of the day my ability to confront the US military is limited and I cannot impose on them my will." [End]

Professor Cole sums up the harsh reality of the situation:  "So let's get this straight. The president of Iraq elected six months after the US 'turned over sovereignty' on June 28, 2004 is saying before the United Nations that George W. Bush and Donald Rumsfeld decide whether his country can be used as a base to attack other countries, and he is unable to influence such decisions-- even though he categorically rejects any such action.

"For all those 'Bush's Iraq' boosters who laud the 'democratic' elections of January 30 and the recent constitutional referendum, this clear admission that Iraq remains under American military occupation, and that its government is helpless before American decisions about the fate of Iraq, is a rather strong refutation. After all, no country is a "democracy" where the military calls the shots, overruling the civilian president-- how much less so if it is a foreign military! Talabani is saying that Iraq is more like Burma, Pakistan or the Sudan than it is like democracies such as India or Brazil."

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Hounds of Heaven: Bush's Rabid Base and the Hunting of Harriet Miers

Written by Chris Floyd 31 October 2005 6754 Hits

We hold no brief at all for Harriet Miers: she is a simpering factotum and cheerleader for the worst president in American history (whom she idiotically refers to as "the most brilliant man I know") and her appointment to the Supreme Court would have been a sickening travesty. It's good thing that she's out of the running – but the manner of her leaving is almost as disturbing as her nomination itself. She was basically run out of town on a rail by Bush's own "base" (or "al Qaeda," in the more apt Arabic) of partisan, pseudo-religious cranks.

Dennis Roddy has an excellent column on the matter in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Roddy goes to the source, interviewing the Rev. (sic) Rob Schenck, one of the tinpot generals leading the pseudo-Christian soldiers that have bolstered, even worshipped the corrupt and bloodstained twerp from Texas for so long. As Roddy notes, Schenk, head of the National Clergy Council, is one of the many fringe extremists "with surprising access to power players" in Bush's Washington. (continued)

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The Unsung Triumph of George W. Bush

Written by Chris Floyd 30 October 2005 13391 Hits
You know, George W. Bush gets a lot of guff these days about his "incompetence" as a war leader, with critics harping on and on about the bloodsoaked spiral of chaos, death, ruin and atrocity that continues to gush from the open wound that he has made of Iraq. But strangely enough, you never hear these nabobs of negativity talk about the indisputable success of the larger conflict that Bush has directed since his first day in office: the War on the Poor. From his smashing victory in the first Battle of the Elitist Tax Cuts to the scorching blitzkrieg triumph of the Bankruptcy Bill, Commander Bush has gone from strength to strength in his relentless crusade to grind the poor, the sick, the weak and the millions of hard-working people living on the margins into the dirt beneath his thousand-dollar boot-heel.

We here at Empire Burlesque pledge to redouble our efforts to bring President Bush's masterful leadership in the War on the Poor to the general public, breaking through the liberal media "filter" that won't tell the truth about the Leader's devastating prowess. So below are a few bulletins from the front-line (all courtesy of the indispensible Buzzflash), where you can see the Great Commander tearing through the rabble like a column of crack German Panzers.

Texas Leads Nation in Household Hunger (AP)
Congress Weighs Big Cuts to Medicaid and Medicare (NYT)
Rich Senators Defeat Minimum-Wage Hike (Helen Thomas/Hearst)
and
House Panel Votes $844 Million Cut in Food Stamps (Reuters)
(Excerpt) On a party-line vote, a Republican-run U.S. House of Representatives committee voted to cut food stamps by $844 million on Friday, just hours after a new government report showed more Americans are struggling to put food on the table.

About 300,000 Americans would lose benefits due to tighter eligibility rules for food stamps, the major U.S. antihunger program, under the House plan. The cuts would be part of $3.7 billion pared from Agriculture Department programs over five years as part of government-wide spending reductions...

"This is not a giveaway program that results in windfall profits," said North Carolina Democrat G.K. Butterfield in opposing the cuts. "That is not moral. That is not American." Antihunger activists said hunger rates were up for the fifth year in a row, so the cuts were a mistake. "It is hard to imagine any congressional action that is more detached from reality," said James Weill of the Food Research and Action Center. (end)

Who cares about Valerie Plame, 2000 dead, Katrina, Harriet and all that jazz? The juggernaut rolls on!
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Gainspotting: Terror War Meets Drug War

Written by Chris Floyd 20 October 2005 32868 Hits

Here is some eminent good sense from Norm Stamper, former police chief of Seattle on how to vastly reduce crime – and America's scandalously high prison population – and, not incidentally, stanch the relentless spread of corruption throughout government and the business world, while helping to heal some of the nation's most greivous racial and class divides. What's the secret? It's simple: legalize drugs.

The Los Angeles Times is to be applauded for publishing such a provocative piece, which flies in the face of deeply entrenched (and deeply profitable) conventional wisdom – and to be condemned for trying to undercut it at the same time with a headline designed to set middle-class teeth on edge: "Let Those Dopers Be." As Stamper makes clear, you don't have to be a "doper" to see the incalcuable damage being done to American society and politics by the horrendously stupid and counterproductive "war on drugs."

Then feel free to take a hit of the piece below. This is the first installment of several excerpts from the book, "Empire Burlesque: High Crimes and Low Comedy in the Bush Imperium, 2001-2005," that we will be running in the week ahead, while your correspondent trots the globe. This is from November 2001, and shows the connection between the 30-year-old "war on drugs" and the "war on terror," then in the first bloody bloom of youth.

Gainspotting: Terror War Meets Drug War
November 30, 2001

Among the isolated, out-of-step losers who dare open their mouths to mutter "doubts" about America's military campaign in Afghanistan, you will sometimes hear the traitorous comment: "This war is just about oil."

We take stern exception to such cynical tommyrot. No one who has made a clear and dispassionate assessment of the situation in the region could possibly say the new Afghan war is "just about oil."

It's also about drugs.

For, although we must now hail the warlords of the Northern Alliance as noble defenders of civilization, the fact is that for some time they have also functioned as one of the world's biggest drug-dealing operations. Indeed, one of the main sticking points between the holy warriors of the alliance and their ideological brethren in the Taliban has been control of the profitable poppy, which by God's grace grows so plentifully in a land otherwise bereft of natural resources. (Always excepting the production of corpses.) ....

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Flop Sweat

Written by Chris Floyd 20 October 2005 6639 Hits

Having railed at the wanton criminality of the Bush Faction for so long, this site naturally partakes of the general glee arising from the looming possibility of genuine, grade-A grand jury indictments for some of the gang's top thugs.

Of course, we all know that the fix is in: if anyone in the White House is actually indicted and convicted for the high crime of exposing the identity of an undercover agent – in wartime, no less – they will certainly be pardoned when George W. Bush finally limps away from the steaming, stinking, blood-soaked ruin of his presidency. As we noted here the other day, nobody will do any hard time; in the end, the whole sick crew will simply pass through the golden revolving door into the lifetime gravy train of corporate grease and rightwing lecture-circuit glory.

Still, it is heartening to see the fever-sweat of fear popping out on the brows of these swaggering world-shakers, these third-rate goons and half-wit cranks posing as great statesmen, if only for a little while. Fear has always been their weapon of choice: they've used it to foment aggressive war, to subjugate the conquered, to crush political opposition, to manipulate the electorate, and to mask their own incompetence, corruption and greed. Now they're getting a taste of it themselves – and they can't take it.

You can see it in their darting eyes, their twitches and fidgets, you can smell it on them: the fear, the nagging worry that perhaps – just perhaps – they haven't got it all nailed down this time; that perhaps – just perhaps – the law is something more than a fancy cane to beat the poor with; that it might – just might – apply to them as well. The sight of Bush's porky puppetmaster, Karl Rove, tottering out of his fourth grand jury appearance last week, with the shadow of manacles dangling before his pinched, bloated face, was an image to warm the cockles of every American patriot's heart.

But this schadenfruede, however tasty and effervescent, is no substitute for the strong meat of justice. And even in the unlikely – not to say inconceivable – event that the entire pack of jackals gets herded into the hoosegow for the agent-outing conspiracy, it will not bring back the innocent dead murdered at their command. It will not restore the shattered families writhing in the pits of grief and loss, from Baghdad to Burbank. It will not be recompense for the pointless sacrifice of soldiers and reservists sent on a criminal errand, plunged into a brutal and brutalizing hell – for nothing, for a chimera, for ideological lunacy, for the enrichment of cats already so fat they can barely stand up and waddle to the dish for another slurp of cream.

Not unless every one of the war conspirators and their chief minions – George W. Bush, Karl Rove, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Colin Powell, Paul Wolfowitz, Condi Rice, Scooter Libby, George Tenet, Andrew Card, Douglas Feith, John Bolton, Karen Hughes, John Yoo, Zalmay Khalilzad, Alberto Gonzales, Jay Bybee, Stephen Hadley, Jerry Bremer, Nicholas Calio, Richard Perle, Tony Blair and all the rest – were lined up in the public square with the entrails of their victims draped around their necks would anything approaching justice be done. But as Shakespeare told us long ago, "in the corrupted currents of this world, offence's gilded hand may shove by justice."

For while official Washington strains to read the special prosecutor's tea leaves, Bush's war crime grinds on. Last weekend saw the "passage" of the much-ballyhooed Iraqi constitution – a desperately thrown-together rigamarole that quietly preserves the special privileges for Bush's business cronies imposed by the former satrap, Bremer, while also exacerbating the violent ethnic rivalries that Bush has unleashed across the tortured land.

This "victory for democracy" – achieved, in typical Bushist fashion, through outrageously rigged vote counts, as the New York Times reports – is in fact a blueprint for disaster. The victorious Kurds will accelerate their U.S.-backed "ethnic cleansing" of the oil-rich north, while the Iranian-backed Shiite militias in the oil-rich south will accelerate their already murderous imposition of Talibanic religious rule. The once-dominant Sunni Arab minority, now marginalized and impoverished, will swell the ranks of the growing insurgency, as Baghdad and the nation's central provinces plunge further into Somali-style anarchy. Terrorist freebooters, set loose in the one of the world's most strategic locations by Bush's destruction of the Iraqi state, will continue to thrive in the chaos.

With no chance for the deliberately enfeebled central Iraqi government to take responsibility for the nation's security, American forces will remain knee-deep in the quagmire, killing and being killed without rhyme or reason – or hope of escape. Indeed, Bush is already signaling "a longer, broader conflict" in his speeches on the war, the NY Times reports. There is no "exit strategy" because Bush has never intended to leave. The installation of a permanent U.S. military presence in Iraq has been the war conspirators' loudly proclaimed goal for many years, long before Bush was shoehorned into power – as we have noted here incessantly since 2002, citing chapter and verse from their own publications.

This is why they lied their way into war, this is why they outed a CIA agent whose husband exposed one of their lies: to pursue their dream of "global dominance," of endless war profiteering and oil baksheesh. The prosecutor might give them a pinch, but the damage is already done: the dead will stay dead, the maimed will stay maimed, the tortured will never escape their nightmares. And the killing, the wounding and torment will go on.

A version of this column will appear in the Oct. 21 edition of the Moscow Times.

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Going Nuclear for Fun and Profit

Written by Chris Floyd 20 October 2005 7090 Hits

It seems the uber-macho pair of Bush and Blair (one a prep school cheerleader, the other nicknamed "Emily" by his schoolmates) are limbering up for more he-man action on the warfront -- this time against Iran. Although, as the Guardian reports, the UN's International Atomic Energy Agency's inspectors have found that Iran is now in compliance with the nuclear non-proliferation treaty, Bush and Blair strongarmed the IAEA board into overruling their own experts and referring Iran's nuclear program to the Security Council. Now we are hearing the exact same noises we heard before the invasion of Iraq: somber warnings that this is Iran's "last chance to avoid war," with the bloated thug that Bush has installed at the UN, John Bolton, belching that old standby at the Security Council: do what we want or you will lose your "revelance" -- and we'll "solve the problem" on our own.

The Guardian's Dan Plesch has much more on these alarming, if little noted developments -- which have been greatly exacerbated by a recent spate of terrorist bombings in Iran. These terrorist attacks followed hard upon Blair's public declaration that Iran has been providing Iraqi insurgents with sophisticated bombing technology that has killed several British soldiers. Naturally, Blair offered no evidence for this charge; the last time he tried this evidence thing, with the "sexed-up dossier" before the Iraq War, it just backfired on him. Much neater just to open your mouth and spew charges without any substance, the way Georgie does it. Of course, as Juan Cole, among others, points out, Blair's charge makes little sense: Why would Iran, which is closely aligned with the Shiite parties that dominate Iraq's new government, support Sunni rebels in their attempt to overthrow the Iranian-allied regime?

At any rate, someone has started a terrorist campaign inside Iran at the same time the Cheerleader and Emily have begun waggling their little swords again. (And according to the Telegraph of India, "top-ranking Americans have told equally top-ranking Indians in recent weeks that the US has plans to invade Iran before Bush’s term ends.") And once again, the question of nuclear proliferation is at the center of the storm. Certainly nuclear proliferation is an unmitigated evil in this world -- but that doesn't mean you can't make money from it.  Below, in another excerpt from the Empire Burlesque book, we see how the old warlord himself, Don Rumsfeld, make a pile of cash by dealing nuke-stuff to what is certainly one of the worst regimes on the face of the earth: North Korea. And he pocketed this tainted coin while he was supposedly leading the fight against, er, nuclear proliferation in North Korea. So take a gander at the instructive tale below, keeping in mind one burning (or glowing) question: Which Bushists are making money from Iran's nuclear program? Besides, of course, the usual masters of war who benefit from the increased "defense" spending when the macho men grease up for another fight.

Swing Blades: Big Don Rumsfeld Bats for Both Teams
February 28, 2003

It's a well-known fact – oft detailed in these pages – that the boys in the Bush Regime swing both ways. We speak, of course, of their proclivity – their apparently uncontrollable craving – for stuffing their trousers with loot from both sides of whatever war or military crisis is going at the moment.

That's why it came as no surprise to read last week that just before he joined the Regime's crusade against evildoers everywhere (especially rogue states that pursue the development of terrorist-ready weapons of mass destruction), Pentagon warlord Donald Rumsfeld was trousering the proceeds from a $200 million deal to send the latest nuclear technology – including plenty of terrorist-ready "dirty bomb" material – to the rogue state of North Korea, the Swiss paper Neue Zurcher Zeitung reports.

In 1998, Rumsfeld was citizen chairman of the Congressional Ballistic Missile Threat Commission, charged with reducing nuclear proliferation. Rumsfeld and the Republican-heavy commission came down hard on the deal Bill Clinton had brokered with North Korea to avert a war in 1994: Pyongyang would give up its nuclear weapons program in exchange for normalized relations with the United States, plus the construction of two non-weaponized nuclear plants to generate electricity. The plants were to be built by an international consortium of government-backed business interests called KEDO.

Rum deal, said Rummy: those nasty Northies would surely turn the peaceful nukes to nefarious ends. What's more, even the most innocuous nuclear plant generates mounds of radioactive waste that could be made into "dirty bombs" – hand-carried  weapons capable of killing thousands of people. The agreement was big bad juju that threatened the whole world, Rumsfeld declared.

Of course, that didn't prevent him from trying to profit from it. Even while he chairing commission meetings on the "dire threat" posed by the Korean program, Rumsfeld was junketing to Zurich for board meetings of the Swiss-based energy technology giant, ABB, where he was a top director. And what was ABB doing at the time? Why, negotiating that $200 million deal with North Korea to provide equipment and services for the KEDO nuclear reactors, of course!...

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Logical Conclusions: Taking the True Measure of the Situation

Written by Chris Floyd 20 October 2005 4840 Hits

Not a day goes by without someone in the Bush Gang telling us that things are "getting better" in Iraq, that every new terrorist bombing or insurgent attack is actually evidence that "the insurgency is weakening," growing more desperate, in its "final throes". (Even if, as Condi Rice notes, those throes may last for 10 years or more.)

Of course, we've been seeing this same witless cud dribbling out of Bushist mouths for years now. Below, in an excerpt from the Empire Burlesque book, we see this logical conclusions applied, er, logically, to other great moments in history.

Logical Conclusions: Taking the True Measure of the Situation
November 6, 2003

The President, speaking a day after attacks in Iraq killed at least 35 people, said such attacks should be seen as a sign of progress because they showed the desperation of those who oppose the U.S.-led occupation. "The more successful we are on the ground, the more these killers will react," Bush said. "The more progress we make on the ground…the more desperate these killers become." – Washington Post, Oct. 28, 2003

"In a long hard war, we're going to have tragic days," Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said [after 16 American soldiers were killed when their helicopter was shot down by Iraqi insurgents]. "But they're necessary. They're part of a war that's difficult and complicated." -- Washington Post, Nov. 2, 2003

"The more successful we are on the ground, the more these killers will react," said Chicago Mayor William "Big Bill" Thompson the day after members of Al Capone's gang murdered seven people in a slaughter already being dubbed the St. Valentine's Day Massacre. "The more progress we make on the ground, restoring safety and security to our neighborhoods, the more desperate these killers become. Sure, they're killing more people now, running more scams, selling more hootch, breaking more legs –  but any expert will tell you that the more successful you are in fighting crime, the more, er, crime you have on the street. It's tragical, but these murders are necessary. It shows we're doing our job."

"The more successful we are on the ground, the more these killers will react," said Japanese Prime Minister Kuniaki Koiso, the day after 100,000 civilians were killed in a single night during the firebombing of Tokyo by American forces. "The more progress we make in our East Asia Prosperity Sphere, liberating nations from their repressive colonial regimes and bringing them the blessings of free trade and open markets, the more desperate these killers become. That flesh-devouring rain of fiery hell yesterday should be seen as a sign of our progress! We mourn for these deaths, of course, but they're necessary. They're part of a war that's difficult and complicated."

"The more successful we are on the ground, the more these killers will react," said U.S. General George Custer, in a battlefield interview during a brief lull in what he termed "a light skirmish" with Indian forces at Little Big Horn. "The more progress we make, liberating these poor people from their oppression by unelected chiefs, bringing them all the benefits of democracy, freedom and open markets, the more desperate these 'dead-enders' like Sitting Bull become. Sure, we're losing a few boys here today," said Custer, pausing to pull a arrow from the bleeding eye socket of his adjutant, "but that's necessary. It's all part of a war that's difficult and complicated."

"The more successful we are on the ground, the more these killers will react," said Napoleon Bonaparte, the day after a dawn raid by Russian partisans killed 50 French soldiers in a rearguard action outside Smolensk. "The more progress we make in bringing the Continental system of open markets and free trade to this benighted land, liberating the serfs from their oppression, fostering the development of a thriving modern society – and protecting our own security from the threat of this unstable, autocratic regime – the more desperate these terrorists become. I know the critics out there in the 'media filter' say we had no real plan after capturing Moscow, and that our current strategic re-positioning is some kind of retreat or 'quagmire.' But I always said regime change in Russia would be a long, hard slog. Sure, we'll have tragic days like this. But they're necessary. It's all part of a war that's difficult and complicated. And if these so-called partisans want to attack us, my answer is: Bring 'em on. We've got the force necessary to deal with the security situation."

"The more successful we are on the ground, the more these killers will react," said Prescott Bush, director of Union Banking Corporation, the day after a raid by British bombers damaged operations of UBC's Silesian American Corporation near Oswiecim, Poland. "The more progress we make on the ground, creating jobs and increasing profits for our German partners and our shareholders in the Homeland, the more desperate these killers become. Our freedom-loving friends in Berlin have liberated this suffering land, bringing the blessings of free trade and open markets to the entire region. No longer are foreign investors bound by the onerous quasi-socialistic labor practices of the dead and discarded past. Instead, the forward-looking liberators are now supplying us with a skilled workforce of non-remunerated employees whose strong ethnic ties make for a happy and enthusiastic workplace. As we like to say at Oswiecim: Work will make you free!

"True, millions of people are dying in the unfortunate misunderstanding that has arisen between our free-market German partners and the pinko scumbags of the Roosevelt Administration," Bush continued, "but that's necessary. It should be seen as a sign of progress. I'm sure that whatever happens – even if, say, our assets are seized by the United States government under the Trading with the Enemy Act or some such – we will not be charged as traitors, collaborators or sugar daddies for Hitler, but will actually have our assets returned after the war so we can cash them in and launch a family political dynasty based on war profiteering and military aggression. It's all just part of a war that is difficult and complicated."

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