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    We, the Salt of the Earth, Take Precedence by Paul Craig Roberts July 2, 2008 Which country is the rogue nation? Iraq? Iran? Or the United States? Syndicated
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 3, 2008
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      We, the Salt of the Earth, Take Precedence
      by Paul Craig Roberts
      July 2, 2008


      Which country is the rogue nation? Iraq? Iran? Or the United States?
      Syndicated columnist Charley Reese asks this question in a recently
      published article.

      Reese notes that it is the US that routinely commits "acts of
      aggression around the globe."

      The US government has no qualms about dropping bombs on civilians
      whether they be in Serbia, the Middle East, or Africa. It is all in
      a good cause – our cause.

      This slaughtering of foreigners doesn't seem to bother the American
      public. Americans take it for granted that Americans are superior
      and that American purposes, whatever they be, take precedence over
      the rights of other people to life and to a political existence
      independent of American hegemony.

      The Bush regime has come up with a preemption doctrine that
      justifies attacking a country in order to prevent the country from
      possibly becoming a future threat to the US. "Threat" is broadly
      defined. It appears to mean the ability to withstand the imposition
      of US hegemony. This insane doctrine justifies attacking China and
      Russia, a direction in which the Republican presidential candidate
      John McCain seems to lean.

      The callousness of Americans toward the lives of other peoples is
      stunning. How many Christian churches ask God's forgiveness for
      having been rushed into an error that has killed, maimed, and
      displaced a quarter of the Iraqi population?

      How many Christian churches ask God to give better guidance to our
      government so that it does not repeat the error and crime by
      attacking Iran?

      The indifference of Americans to others flows from "American
      exceptionalism," the belief that Americans are graced with a special
      mission to impose their virtue on the rest of the world. Like the
      French revolutionaries, Americans don't seem to care how many people
      they kill in the process of spreading their exceptionalism.

      American exceptionalism has swelled Americans' heads, filling them
      with hubris and self-righteousness and making Americans believe that
      they are the salt of the earth.

      Three recent books are good antidotes for this unjustified self-
      esteem. One is Patrick J. Buchanan's Churchill, Hitler, and the
      Unnecessary War. Another is After the Reich: The Brutal History of
      the Allied Occupation by Giles MacDonogh, and a third is John
      Pilger's Freedom Next Time.

      Buchanan's latest book is by far his best. It is spell-binding from
      his opening sentence: "All about us we can see clearly now that the
      West is passing away." As the pages turn, the comfortable myths,
      produced by history written by the victors, are swept aside. The
      veil is lifted to reveal the true faces of British and American
      exceptionalism: stupidity and deceit.

      Buchanan's strength is that he lets the story be told by Britain's
      greatest 20th century historians and the memoirs of the participants
      in the events that destroyed the West's dominance and moral
      character. Buchanan's contribution is to assemble the collective
      judgment of a hundred historians.

      As I read the tale, it is a story of hubris destroying judgment and
      substituting in its place blunder and miscalculation. Both world
      wars began when England, for no sound or sensible reason, declared
      war on Germany. Winston Churchill was a prime instigator of both
      wars. He seems to have been a person who needed a war stage in order
      to be a "great man."

      The American President Woodrow Wilson shares responsibility with
      Britain and France for the Versailles Treaty, which dismembered
      Germany, stripping her of territory and putting millions of Germans
      under foreign rule, and imposed reparations that Britain's greatest
      economist, John Maynard Keynes, correctly predicted to be
      unrealistic. All of this was done in violation of assurances given
      to Germany that there would be no reparations or boundary changes.
      Once Germany surrendered, the assurances were withdrawn, and a
      starvation blockade forced German submission to the new harsh terms.

      Hitler's program was to put Germany back together. He was succeeding
      without war until Churchill provoked Chamberlain into an insane act.
      Danzig was 95 percent German. It had been given to Poland by the
      Versailles Treaty. Hitler was negotiating its return and offered in
      exchange a guarantee of Poland's frontiers. The Polish colonels,
      assessing the relative strengths of Poland and Germany, understood
      that a deal was better than a war. But suddenly, the British Prime
      Minister issued Poland a guarantee of its existing territory,
      including Danzig, whose inhabitants wished to return to Germany.

      Buchanan produces one historian after another to testify that
      British miscalculations and blunders, culminating in Chamberlain's
      worthless and provocative "guarantee" to Poland, brought the West
      into a war that Hitler did not want, a war that destroyed the
      British Empire and left Britain a dependency of America, a war that
      delivered Poland, a chunk of Germany, all of Eastern Europe, and the
      Baltic states to Joseph Stalin, a war that left the Western allies
      with a 45-year cold war against the nuclear-armed Soviet Union.

      People resist the shattering of their illusions, and many are angry
      with Buchanan for assembling the facts of the case that
      distinguished historians have provided.

      Churchill admirers are outraged that their hero is revealed as the
      first war criminal of World War II. It was Churchill who initiated
      the policy of terror bombing civilians in non-combatant areas.
      Buchanan quotes B.H. Liddell Hart: "When Mr. Churchill came into
      power, one of the first decisions of his government was to extend
      bombing to the non-combatant area."

      In holding Churchill to account, Buchanan makes no apologies for
      Hitler, but the ease with which Churchill set aside moral
      considerations is discomforting.

      Buchanan documents that Churchill's plan was to destroy 50% of
      German homes. Churchill also had plans for using chemical and
      biological warfare against German civilians. In 2001 the Glasgow
      Sunday Herald reported Churchill's plan to drop five million anthrax
      cakes onto German pastures in order to poison the cattle and through
      them the people. Churchill instructed the RAF to consider
      drenching "the cities of the Ruhr and many other cities in Germany"
      with poison gas "in such a way that most of the population would be
      requiring constant medical attention."

      "It is absurd to consider morality on this topic," the great man
      declared.

      Paul Johnson, a favorite historian of conservatives, notes that
      Churchill's policy of terror bombing civilians was "approved in
      cabinet, endorsed by parliament and, so far as can be judged,
      enthusiastically backed by the bulk of the British people." Thus,
      the terror bombing of civilians, which "marked a critical stage in
      the moral declension of humanity in our times," fulfilled "all the
      conditions of the process of consent in a democracy under law."

      British historian F.J.P. Veale concluded that Churchill's policy of
      indiscriminate bombing of civilians caused an
      unprecedented "reversion to primary and total warfare" associated
      with "Sennacherib, Genghis Khan, and Tamerlane."

      The Americans were quick to follow Churchill's lead. General Curtis
      LeMay boasted of his raid on Tokyo: "We scorched and boiled and
      baked to death more people in Tokyo that night of March 9–10 than
      went up in vapor in Hiroshima and Nagasaki combined."

      MacDonogh's book, After the Reich, dispels the comfortable myth of
      generous allied treatment of defeated Germany. Having discarded all
      moral scruples, the allies fell upon the vanquished country with
      brutal occupation. Hundreds of thousands of women raped; hundreds of
      thousands of Germans died in deportations; a million German
      prisoners of war died in captivity.

      MacDonogh calculates that 2.5 million Germans died between the
      liberation of Vienna and the Berlin airlift.

      Nigel Jones writes in the conservative London Sunday
      Telegraph: "MacDonogh has told a very inconvenient truth," a story
      long "cloaked in silence since telling it suited no one."

      The hypocrisy of the Nuremberg trials is that the victors were also
      guilty of crimes for which the vanquished were punished. The purpose
      of the trials was to demonize the defeated in order to divert
      attention from the allies' own war crimes. The trials had little to
      do with justice.

      In Freedom Next Time, Pilger shows the complete self-absorption of
      American, British and Israeli governments whose policies are
      unimpeded by any moral principle.

      Pilger documents the demise of the inhabitants of Diego Garcia. The
      Americans wanted Diego Garcia for an air base, so the British packed
      up the 2,000 residents, people with British passports under British
      protection, and deported them to Mauritius, one thousand miles away.

      To cover up its crime against humanity, the British Foreign and
      Commonwealth Office created the fiction that the inhabitants, which
      had been living in the archipelago for two or three centuries,
      were "a floating population." This fiction, wrote a legal adviser,
      bolsters "our arguments that the territory has no indigenous or
      settled population."

      Prime Minister Harold Wilson and Foreign Secretary Michael Stewart
      conspired to mislead the UN about the deported islanders by, in
      Stewart's words, " presenting any move as a change of employment for
      contract workers – rather than as a population resettlement."

      Pilger interviewed some of the displaced persons, but emotional
      blocs will shield patriotic Americans and British from the
      uncomfortable facts. Rational skeptics can find a second documented
      account of the Anglo-American rape of Diego Garcia online. An entire
      people were swept away.

      Two thousand people were in the way of an American purpose – an air
      base – so we had our British dependency deport them.

      Several million Palestinians are in Israel's way. Pilger's
      documented account of Israel's crushing of the Palestinians shows
      that our "democratic ally" in the Middle East is capable of any evil
      and has no remorse or mercy. Israel is an apt student of the British
      and American empires' attitudes toward lesser beings. They simply
      don't count.

      Those who are the salt of the earth take precedence over everything.



      Paul Craig Roberts is a former Assistant Secretary of the US
      Treasury and former associate editor of the Wall Street Journal, has
      been reporting shocking cases of prosecutorial abuse for two
      decades. A new edition of his book, The Tyranny of Good Intentions,
      co-authored with Lawrence Stratton, a documented account of how
      Americans lost the protection of law, has just been released by
      Random House.

      Copyright © 2008 Creators Syndicate

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