Will Americans Join Iraqis, Lebanese, Palestinians as Neocon Victims?

What explains the indifference of
the Bush administration to the slaughter of civilians in
Iraq, Lebanon, and Gaza?

As of the morning of July 19,
Israeli bombardments of Lebanese civilian residential
districts and public infrastructure have murdered 300
Lebanese, wounded 1,000, and displaced 500,000. The
Lebanese prime minister said that Israel`s attack has

"unimaginable losses"
and that his government
will seek compensation from Israel.

In Gaza Israel has murdered scores
of Palestinian civilians in the past few days.

In Iraq the civilian daily death
toll has risen above 100.

These dead are not Hezbollah
militia. They are not Hamas militia. They are not al
Qaeda or Sunni insurgents. They are civilians.

Frustrated by Hezbollah, Israel is
lashing out at hapless civilians, knowing that the US
will protect Israel from UN Security Council

Frustrated by Sunni insurgents, the
US has instigated sectarian strife.

Bush has stonewalled the UN, our
European allies, and the Lebanese prime minister, all of
whom are calling and pleading for Bush to pressure the
Israelis to stop their cowardly slaughter from the air
of Lebanese civilians.

The Guardian (July 19)
reports that

Bush gave Israel the green light to
attack Lebanon
and has given Olmert another week to pound Lebanon.

US Secretary of State Condi Rice
has announced that she will go to the Middle East to
resolve "the crisis" when it is appropriate.

Apparently, the appropriate time is
not when people are dying and a country, which had only
just recovered from the last Israeli invasion, is again
being bombed into rubble.

How many more war crimes must
Israel commit before Bush and Condi Rice put aside their

On July 19 the Israelis turned
their air attack on the Christian area of Beirut. The
Lebanese Christians can thank the

American evangelical
Rev. John. Hagee, who has
thrown his

18,000 member Texas church
behind Israeli

Bush cannot claim public support
for his indifference.

As of noon July 19, 800,000 people
had participated in CNN`s Quick Vote, with the result
that 55% oppose Israel`s attack on Lebanon. This result
is despite the fact that US television reporting
explains the news from the Israeli perspective.

Similarly, in Israel a survey
published by Israeli daily newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth

53 per cent of Israelis polled
said Israel should
hold negotiations to secure the release of the Israeli
soldier captured in Gaza, while 43 per cent backed a
military operation.

A poll taken by the Israeli
newspaper Haaretz reports that 28 per cent of Israelis
believe Israel should immediately stop bombing Lebanon,
compared to 7 per cent who believe that the bombing
should continue until the captured soldiers are freed,
and 14 per cent who believe bombing should continue
until Lebanon agrees to disarm Hezbollah–a task that
Israel`s invasion has made more impossible than ever.

If these polls are reliable, one
can conclude that the US and Israeli populations are
more moral, and more concerned with human life, than are
the leaders of the two countries.

Neither can Bush claim that he is
supporting Israel because he is Israel`s friend. If Bush
were Israel`s friend, he would not have given a green
light to Israel`s aggression, which will create more
hatred of Israel.

As a number of Israeli writers have
pointed out, Israel has shown tooth and claw to its Arab
neighbors for decades to no avail.

Writing in Haaretz (July 19)

Yitzhak Laor notes
that Israel`s problems are not
the result of insufficient bombing and destruction of
Arab populations. Yet, once again Israeli militants are
"enlarging the circle of hostilities, including
harming civilians. What Israel`s `strategists` have to
offer is the destruction of yet another country."

Laor says the Americans can do this
in Iraq with less consequence for themselves, because
"the Americans do not intend to live in this region."

Israelis cannot afford to show only tooth and claw to
its neighbors, because "we do live here."

It sometimes seems Bush goes beyond
indifference to contentment with the slaughter of Muslim
civilians. Bush has even come across as gleeful as if he
is on a dove hunt in a baited Texas field where joy
resides in the killing of countless birds.

Many Muslims believe that Bush and
Israel see them as animals to be slain. On July 17,
neocon John Bolton, Bush`s unconfirmed ambassador to the
UN, gave credence to this Muslim belief when he
announced that Israelis killed by terrorists were more
important than the Lebanese civilians killed by Israel.

that there is no "moral equivalence"
between Lebanese civilians killed by Israel and Israeli
civilians killed by Muslim terrorists:

simply not the same thing to say that it`s the same act
to deliberately target innocent civilians, to desire
their deaths, to fire rockets and use explosive devices
or kidnapping versus the sad and highly unfortunate
consequences of self-defense."

In Bolton`s sick mind, Lebanese
civilians are not experiencing terrorism when Israel
deliberately targets them and drops high explosives on
their apartment buildings, streets, bridges, power
plants, and bombs the Beirut International Airport.

This, says Bolton, is Israel acting
in self-defense.

If Israel grabs Palestinian or
Lebanese land and murders civilians, that is
but if someone responds to Israeli
aggression with a rocket, that is "Muslim terrorism."

The world is sick of this
double-standard. Unfortunately, not enough Americans and
Israelis are.

Consequently, conflict will
continue and escalate. Laor writes that "the director
of the American Jewish Committee`s Israel/Middle East
Office, Eran Lerman, is already recommending going to
war against Syria."

And so are the American

who control the Bush
administration, Washington think tanks, and media
positions once held by true American conservatives.

Isolated in their evil, the
neoconservatives are frantically and shrilly demanding
that Bush join Israel in military attacks on Syria and
Iran in order to "build democracy" and to clear
the Middle East of any opposition to Israel`s unbridled
self-interest. The crazed David Horowitz writes that
"Israel is doing the work of the rest of the civilized

Neoconservatives believe that the
US and Israel can extirpate Islam with fire and sword
and that the present opportunity to escalate the current
conflict into generalized war in the Middle East must
not be missed.

Neocon warmongers have stolen the
conservative name, the Republican Party, and a portion
of the evangelical movement.

Are Americans too inattentive and
too brainwashed to prevent their moronic president and
his neocon government from initiating a dangerous war?



Paul Craig Roberts

] was Assistant
Secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan Administration.
He is the author of

Supply-Side Revolution : An Insider`s Account of
Policymaking in Washington
and the Soviet Economy

Meltdown: Inside the Soviet Economy
and is the co-author with Lawrence M. Stratton of

The Tyranny of Good Intentions : How Prosecutors and
Bureaucrats Are Trampling the Constitution in the Name
of Justice
. Click

for Peter
Forbes Magazine interview with Roberts
about the recent epidemic of prosecutorial misconduct.