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Catastrophe Looms
By Paul Craig Roberts

Two recent polls, a Los Angeles Times/Bloomberg poll and a New York
Times/CBS News poll, indicate why Bush is getting away with impeachable offenses.
Half of the US population is incapable of acquiring, processing and
understanding information.

Much of the problem is the media itself, which serves as a disinformation
agency for the Bush administration. Fox "News" and right-wing talk radio are
the worst, but with propagandistic outlets setting the standard for truth and
patriotism, all of the media is affected to some degree.

Despite the media‘s failure, about half the population has managed  to
discern that the US invasion of Iraq has not made them safer and that the  Bush
administration’s assault on civil liberties is not a necessary component of  the
war on terror. The problem, thus, lies with the absence of due diligence on 

the part of the other half of the population

Consider the New York Times/CBS poll. Sixty-four percent of the respondents
have concerns about losing civil liberties as a result of anti-terrorism
measures put in place by President Bush. Yet, 53 percent approve of spying
without obtaining court warrants "in order to reduce the threat of terrorism."

Why does any American think that spying without a warrant has any more
effect in reducing the threat of terrorism than spying with a warrant?
The Foreign
Intelligence Surveillance Act, which Bush is disobeying, requires the 
executive to obtain from a secret panel of federal judges a warrant for spying on
Americans. The purpose of the law is to prevent a president from spying for
partisan political reasons. The law permits the president to spy first (for 72 
hours) and then come to the court for permission. As the court meets in secret,

spying without a warrant is no more effective in reducing the threat of 
terrorism than spying with a warrant.

Instead of explaining this basic truth, the media has played along with the
Bush administration and formulated the question as a trade- off between civil
liberties and protection from terrorists
. This formulation is false and
nonsensical. Why does the media enable the Bush administration to escape
accountability for illegal behavior by putting false and misleading choices before
the people?

The LA Times/Bloomberg poll has equally striking anomalies. Only 43 percent

said they approved of Bush’s performance as president. But a majority believe
Bush’s policies have made the US more secure.

It is extraordinary that anyone would think Americans are safer as a result
of Bush invading two Muslim countries and constantly threatening two more
with military attack. The invasions and threats have caused a dramatic swing in
Muslim sentiment away from the US. Prior to Bush’s invasion of Iraq, a large

majority of Muslims had a favorable opinion of America. Now only about 5
percent do.

A number of US commanders in Iraq and many Middle East experts have told the
American public that the three year-old war in Iraq is serving both to 
recruit and to train terrorists for al Qaeda, which has grown many times its 
former size. Moreover, the US military has concluded that al Qaeda has succeeded 
in having its members elected to the new Iraqi government.

We have seen similar developments both in Egypt and in Pakistan. In the
recent Egyptian elections, the radical Muslim Brotherhood, despite being 
suppressed by the Egyptian government, won a large number of seats. In Pakistan 
elements friendly or neutral toward al Qaeda control about half of the  government.
In Iraq, Bush’s invasion has replaced secular Sunnis with Islamist Shia

allied with Iran.

And now with the triumph of Hamas in the Palestinian election, we see the

total failure of Bush’s Middle Eastern policy. Bush has succeeded in displacing
secular moderates from Middle Eastern governments and replacing them with
Islamic extremists. It boggles the mind that this disastrous result makes 
Americans feel safer!

What does it say for democracy that half of the American population is unable

to draw a rational conclusion from unambiguous facts?

Americans share this disability with the Bush administration.  According to
news reports, the Bush administration is stunned by the election victory of
the radical Islamist Hamas Party, which swept the US-financed Fatah Party from
office. Why is the Bush administration astonished?

The Bush administration is astonished because it stupidly believes that
hundreds of millions of Muslims should be grateful that the US has interfered in
their internal affairs for 60 years, setting up colonies and puppet rulers to
suppress their aspirations and to achieve, instead, purposes of the US

Americans need desperately to understand that 95 percent of all Muslim

terrorists in the world were created in the past three years by Bush’s invasion of

Americans need desperately to comprehend that if Bush attacks Iran and
Syria, as he intends, terrorism will explode, and American civil liberties will
disappear into a thirty year war that will bankrupt the United States.

The total lack of rationality and competence in the White House and the

inability of half of the US population to acquire and understand information are
far larger threats to Americans than terrorism.

America has become a rogue nation, flying blind, guided only by ignorance
and hubris. A terrible catastrophe awaits.