As you are no doubt aware by now the Bush administration finds its back against the wall--a wall now crumbling around it--over its Iraqi debacle. Daniel Ellsberg, the man who leaked the Pentagon Papers, conveys his regrets about not exposing the deceptions of the Johnson administration during the lead up to the Vietnam war much sooner than he had. Ellsberg recognized, too late, that exposure of government malfeasance must be placed before concerns for one's career, public standing, or personal loyalties--even imprisonment--with so much at stake. Over 58,000 US troops and perhaps as many as 3 million Vietnamese would die as a result of American aggression in Indochina. If the American public had been informed of the true nature of its government's role in the impending slaughter back in 1961 when the assault on the peasants of South Vietnam began in earnest, then scores of people would still be alive.
Ellsberg acknowledges this as his failure for he had access to information that could have changed the course of history but did nothing about it. Likewise, there are men and women today who had full knowledge of the Bush administration's lies and deceptions during the lead up to aggression in Iraq but chose to quietly resign in protest rather than provide firm evidence--before the invasion--of what they knew: 1) Iraq possessed no weapons of mass destruction; 2) Iraq was not a party to the 9/11 atrocities; 3) Iraq posed no credible threat to its neighbors, much less the United States. Their reticence has led directly to the deaths over 650,000 Iraqis and nearly 3,000 US soldiers. At this very moment the Bush administration is finalizing plans for an unprovoked attack on Iran--likely after the November mid-term elections. Ellsberg's essay, "The Next War" is an open letter to those in our government with access to information to have the courage to do what he failed to do 40 years ago--expose a sitting administration's deceptions before the rivers of blood flow from an unnecessary and immoral war.
I would be remiss if I did not include William Blum's latest ruminations on the current state of American Empire. Please consider the implications of his words carefully.
On the other side of the pond, reverberations are now being acutely felt in the halls of power and influence amongst our British allies in the Disaster in Mesopotamia. Matthew Parris explains their dilemma.