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QUOTATION: People often say that, in a democracy, decisions are made by a majority of the people. Of course, that is not true. Decisions are made by a majority of those who make themselves heard and who vote - a very different thing. - Walter H. Judd

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2004-11-06 - 8:20 a.m.

Forgive Them...

A Day of Infamy

by Paul Craig Roberts

On November 2 Americans blew their only chance to redeem themselves in the eyes of the world.

The entire world is stunned by the Bush administration’s abandonment of a half century of US diplomacy in favor of misguided, unilateralist, "preemptive" naked aggression on totally false pretenses against Iraq. America’s allies are amazed at the ignorance manifested by the Bush administration. They are resentful of Bush’s "in-your-eye" attitude toward friends who warned Bush against leading America into a quagmire and giving Osama bin Laden the war he wanted.

Please don’t paint Americans with such a broad brush. 48% of Americans, maybe even more, agree with the world’s impressions of the Bush administration. Many who voted for Bush agreed with the “never change horses in midstream”; others were all caught up in the “moral values” Supreme Court appointment and gay marriage/abortion fears.

The world was waiting hopefully for the sensible American people to rectify the ill-advised actions of a rogue neoconservative administration. Instead, Americans placed the stamp of approval on the least justifiable military action since Hitler invaded Poland.

In the eyes of the world, Bush’s reelection is proof that Ariel Sharon’s neoconsevative allies in the Bush administration speak for America after all.

Please take a look at the electoral map. Again, don’t paint ALL Americans with the same brush. Notice that the people who live nearest the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans and the Great Lakes voted for Kerry (or if not FOR Kerry, AGAINST Bush!) Even in the part of the country that went for Bush, those who lived in the Cities (the Starbucks crowd, they're being described as) seemed to have voted predominantly for Kerry, whereas those in more rural areas (near a Wal-Mart, they say) voted for Bush; the latter are said to have been swayed by the moral issues. Certainly, they should not have been terrorized into voting that way. Even in California,[At this site, you can click on your state and see how people voted predominantly in given areas or look at this map for a different view.] people in the more rural areas voted predominantly Republican, whereas people in the cities voted Democratic. People near Disneyland or the Golden Gate Bridge or New York City…or even Washington, D.C., which voted something like 90% for Kerry, should have been the ones to respond to the fear of terrorists. What’s the target in the middle of Wyoming or Montana? Go figure!

The world’s sympathy for America that followed the September 11 attacks has been squandered. If the US suffers terrorist attacks in the future, the world will say that America invited the attacks and got what it asked for.

Europeans and Asians will never be able to comprehend that Bush was reelected because Americans were voting against homosexual marriage and abortion.

The world is simply unable to believe that Americans, so enamored of family values, would vote to send their sons, fathers, husbands, and brothers to unprovoked war unless Americans valued empire and control over oil as more important than their family members.

Please, please stop using that word Americans! Find some other word for those people. At least, label them conservative Americans, although I always thought conservative meant fiscally responsible, too.

The crude propagandistic Republican campaign against John Kerry is shocking to Europeans. The childishness of American conservatives scares them.

America’s French friends, seeking to save America from making the same mistakes that France made in the past, advised Bush not to rush into an Iraqi invasion. American conservatives instantly and blindly perceived French words of wisdom as proof that France was in the "against us" camp. Conservatives announced a boycott of French fries. Everything French was denigrated for no other reason than the French tried to warn us.

Conservatives quickly produced a "revisionist" book, "Our Oldest Enemy: A History of America’s Disastrous Relationship with France," "proving" that France has always been America’s worst enemy.

America’s European allies cannot differentiate the immaturity of American conservatives from the ignorance of the National Socialists.

As hearts harden and minds close against America, Americans will have to go it alone.

The US invasion of Iraq has proved to be a disaster--exactly as the French and everyone with a mere modicum of sense said in advance. Eight of ten US divisions are tied down by a few thousand insurgents.

US troops do not control towns, cities, roads, or even the fortified Green Zone.

The American impulse is to smash cities, thus killing women and children and destroying the homes and livelihoods of noncombatants, while the insurgents regroup elsewhere. The top American generals, who were ridiculed by the Secretary of Defense and his deluded neoconservative deputy for forthrightly stating that occupation of Iraq would require a larger army than was available, stand vindicated.

The price of the Bush administration’s delusion is 10,000 dead and maimed American troops--more than three times the casualties caused by the September 11 terrorist attacks. Bush’s declared policy of "continuing to the end" will swell this number and bring back the draft.

The world is amazed that Americans do not care that they have been deceived, lied to, and incompetently led and that Americans have chosen to continue along this path.

Bush’s reelection has ended forever respect for America. New and unflattering sobriquets for Americans are emerging. The American century is over.

November 6, 2004

Dr. Roberts is John M. Olin Fellow at the Institute for Political Economy and Research Fellow at the Independent Institute. He is a former associate editor of the Wall Street Journal and a former assistant secretary of the U.S. Treasury. He is the co-author of The Tyranny of Good Intentions.

And in Orange, California, SANTA ANA, Calif., voters elected Steve Rocco, who didn't file a candidate statement or mount a campaign for the school board. He's unknown to teachers and the district and only barely known to his neighbors. Nonetheless, the man being called a "mystery candidate" easily beat an opponent who is active, and relatively well known, in the Orange Unified School District. Now all that's left is to find him.

"Absolutely nobody, but nobody has seen this guy," said Paul Pruss, a middle school teacher and the president of the union. "The whole thing is just bizarre."

Rocco provided little information about himself in his candidate filings. He ignored mail from district officials and the teachers' union during the campaign. When the PTA sent him an invitation to a candidate forum, the letter came back unopened.

Rocco ran for mayor of Santa Ana in 2000 and raised eyebrows then as well....He came in last place, with 12 percent of the vote.

What might have helped him this time around was that he identified himself as a writer/educator on the ballot, though he offered no proof of those occupations.

"Not knowing anything more, most people voted for the educator/writer over the park ranger," said John Hanna, an attorney who ran successfully against an equally elusive Rocco two years ago for a seat on a local community college district.

The union endorsed Rocco's opponent, Phil Martinez, a park ranger who has three children in the district, is president of the PTA at his kids' school and is active with the Boy Scouts. Still, Rocco, who has no children and whose job is uncertain, won with nearly 54 percent of the vote. Martinez raised contributions, attended forums and sent out a political mailing to homes of voters in the district - none of which Rocco did. Hanna, who has followed local politics for 30 years, dismissed one scenario that has been suggested, that voters chose the non-Hispanic name over Martinez. "This is just one of the rough edges in our electoral system, where the voters can elect someone they know nothing about," he said.


Or "Forgive them for they know not what they do."

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