Best-selling author John Le Carre wrote a letter to The London Times titled “The United States Has Gone Mad.” Your humble editor comments herein.

The imminent war was planned years before bin Laden struck, but it was he who made it possible. Without bin Laden, the Bush junta would still be trying to explain such tricky matters as how it came to be elected in the first place; Enron; its shameless favouring of the already-too-rich; its reckless disregard for the world’s poor, the ecology and a raft of unilaterally abrogated international treaties. They might also have to be telling us why they support Israel in its continuing disregard for UN resolutions.

One word: arbitrary. Proof? Any attempt at proof? No. Thank you.

How Bush and his junta succeeded in deflecting America’s anger from bin Laden to Saddam Hussein is one of the great public relations conjuring tricks of history. But they swung it. A recent poll tells us that one in two Americans now believe Saddam was responsible for the attack on the World Trade Centre. But the American public is not merely being misled. It is being browbeaten and kept in a state of ignorance and fear. The carefully orchestrated neurosis should carry Bush and his fellow conspirators nicely into the next election.

God, I wish this weren’t true, but I think he might be right.

Care for a few pointers? George W. Bush, 1978-84: senior executive, Arbusto Energy/Bush Exploration, an oil company; 1986-90: senior executive of the Harken oil company. Dick Cheney, 1995-2000: chief executive of the Halliburton oil company. Condoleezza Rice, 1991-2000: senior executive with the Chevron oil company, which named an oil tanker after her. And so on. But none of these trifling associations affects the integrity of God’s work.

If there were no reason to attack Iraq, e.g., if it were Canada, I would find this to be relevant. But the fact is the Iraq is a menace for many reasons. It is not Canada.

To be a member of the team you must also believe in Absolute Good and Absolute Evil, and Bush, with a lot of help from his friends, family and God, is there to tell us which is which. What Bush won’t tell us is the truth about why we’re going to war. What is at stake is not an Axis of Evil — but oil, money and people’s lives. Saddam’s misfortune is to sit on the second biggest oilfield in the world. Bush wants it, and who helps him get it will receive a piece of the cake. And who doesn’t, won’t.

If Saddam didn’t have the oil, he could torture his citizens to his heart’s content. Other leaders do it every day — think Saudi Arabia, think Pakistan, think Turkey, think Syria, think Egypt.

Not true. The U.S. customarily invades countries that are as worthless as latrines, such as Somalia, Serbia, and Afghanistan. To assert that the U.S. would act in its own alleged diabolical interest, such as to increase profits of oil companies–is a fantasy. The U.S. routinely sacrifices itself to every dirtbag county and enemy it has. Our 20th century history is replete with self-sacrifical foreign policy: the U.S. has never profited from any military effort. I defy anyone to challenge me on this.

Baghdad represents no clear and present danger to its neighbours, and none to the US or Britain. Saddam’s weapons of mass destruction, if he’s still got them, will be peanuts by comparison with the stuff Israel or America could hurl at him at five minutes’ notice. What is at stake is not an imminent military or terrorist threat, but the economic imperative of US growth. What is at stake is America’s need to demonstrate its military power to all of us — to Europe and Russia and China, and poor mad little North Korea, as well as the Middle East; to show who rules America at home, and who is to be ruled by America abroad.

The first sentence is laughable. Yes, Israel and America can wipe out Baghad within minutes. But: a) It would be after the fact of a horrible attack by Iraq, and b) we would never do it because we are moral cowards.

As for the need to wipe out Iraq for “US growth,” this is absurd. All military operations cost the U.S. billions and we never get anything in return. Furthermore, we do not need Iraqi oil: we have lived without it for over a decade. We have more oil than we know what to do with–within U.S. borders.

The last thing the U.S. needs to do is to demonstrate its “military power.” The U.S. is the unchallengeable superpower and everyone knows it.

As for the reference to a so-called “colonialist adventure,” I again challenge anyone to say when, in the 20th century, the U.S. has profited from any military effort. This is Marxist diarrhea and nothing more.

John Le Carre is a fiction writer–even when he writes about reality.

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