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{Empty title} | The Nation

This is a brilliant essay on a par with anything written about the strategic realities of this war and the scoundrels who've prosecuted it in the name of the American People.

While many of us have known and understood these motives for some time, through the writings of people like Noam Chomsky, Sy Hersh, Scott Ritter, Greg Palast, (and now) Tom Englehardt and others, what is still maddening and even immoral is the complicity of major American media in the "whiteout"--I'd call it coverup--of the facts surrounding the construction of these permanent bases and facilities inside Iraq.

The idea that these plans, engendering a constant flurry of major logistical movement of workers and materiel inside Iraq, attended by both military and private security forces, the expenditure of billions of dollars, the letting of hundreds of contracts and the sheer mountain of operational and administrative activity associated with all of it, could go "undetected" or be considered "unnewsworthy" by virtually all mainstream American media outlets, is a testament to the great pyramid of hypocrisy that is this war as it's been reported inside the US.

To quote Maureen Dowd's quote of Oscar Wilde this weekend, "Hypocrisy is the homage that vice pays to virtue." The reporting of this war, and the American government's motives for waging it, has been so immersed in hypocrisy from Day One as to be indistinguishable from the Pentagon's press office. Despite the "revelations" of the Scooter Libby trial, in which the New York Times's Judith Miller was exposed as a press attache for Dick Cheney's office, and Libby her "handler", in her egregious drum-beating for the war, the underlying rationale for all this death and destruction, brilliantly articulated by Engelhardt in this piece, has only rarely even been mentioned in passing, by anyone, and certainly not by any of the major presidential candidates.

This is for me the most disturbing, and in the final analysis most compelling indication that the war is owned not only by Bush and Cheney and their amoral neocon empire-builders, but equally by the Democrat hypocrites who've failed to publically discuss, let alone emphasize these strategic motives either before they resumed control of Congress, or even more tellingly, since last year's elections. Where has Russ Feingold been on this issue? John Kerry? Ted Kennedy? Al Gore? Hillary Clinton? John Edwards? Jim Murtha? Gad, it's depressing to realize they're all in on this subterfuge, the avoidance of the mastadon in the room.

It's like the Island Wall in "King Kong." Whoever built it was concerned for one thing: keeeping what they mortally feared on the other side, at all costs. So what if they had to sacrifice an innocent young maiden once in a while...a small price to pay for safety, for "stability" in the village. The "price" of our stability in Iraq, a black fantasy of staggering proportions, has been very high, and it's getting higher by the day (37 troops killed last week alone). Yet, our "Walls" (the bases) continue to go up. Are we keeping something out, or trapping something in?