Denigrating Mr. Suskind (and those of us like him), for believing "that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality," the advisor boasted: "We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you're studying that reality - judiciously, as you will - we'll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out. We're history's actors . . . and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do."

Had I been Suskind at that moment, I would have asked: "Have you ever read Tolstoy's War and Peace?" It was precisely that novel, after all, that examined how the bold and brash Napoleon Bonaparte -- "history's actor" writ large - saw his European empire disintegrate after attempting to create reality against a seemingly backward army of Russian peasants, led by a modest, unassuming General Kutuzov.

Today, it's not Russian peasants, but those so-called "sand niggers" (as the racists in our military label them) in Iraq, who have compelled -- I repeat, "compelled" -- "history's actors" to act in ways they never foresaw. After all, who could have foreseen that this American President - the fool who, from the safety of some 6,200 miles from Iraq's battlefields, once urged Iraqi insurgents to "bring 'em on," and who once proclaimed "mission accomplished" -- would find himself flying furtively into Baghdad to forestall his party's electoral defeat in November and his probable impeachment thereafter. "History's actors," indeed!

Yet, it was precisely in the late summer of 2002 -- nearly a year before Iraq's insurgents began to have their say in the matter (and before most of the world came to despise us) - when "history's actors" went public with a battery of carefully planned schemes, spearheaded by exaggerations and lies, that were designed to reshape the entire Middle East.

Although Bush did let slip to Bob Woodward that he "didn't feel the sense of urgency" about Osama bin Laden prior to al Qaeda's attacks on 9/11, "history's actors" couldn't possibly admit to the American public that their pre-9/11 obsessions about national missile defense and regime change in Iraq blinded them to the "blinking red" intelligence of an impending attack. Instead, for fear that the "discernible reality" of their ideologically inspired negligence might soon be exposed, "history's actors" cynically invoked the carnage from their 9/11 negligence to justify urgent pursuit of national missile defense, but also something new -- a military invasion to secure regime change in Iraq.

To drum up popular support for a military invasion, however, "history's actors" had to deceive the American public about the "grave threat" posed by Iraq's weapons of mass destruction and ties to al Qaeda. Deceive the American public? Yes! When Vice-President Cheney told the audience at the VFW's 103rd National Convention (on August 26, 2002): (1) that Iraq had "been very busy enhancing its capabilities in the field of chemical and biological agents" and (2) "Saddam has resumed his efforts to acquire nuclear weapons," he cited the first-hand evidence provided by the defector, Hussein Kamal Hassan. And, indeed, Kamal did admit to such programs. But, somehow, for reasons yet to be established, Cheney failed to tell his audience was that Kamal also asserted (correctly, it now appears): "All weapons - biological, chemical, missile, nuclear - were destroyed."

Deceive the American public? Yes! When Condoleezza Rice told Americans in early September 2002 that Iraq's aluminum tubes could "only" be used in its nuclear program, she already knew that officials in the Department of Energy doubted that the tubes were for such use. She appears to have used the word "only" intentionally, in order to more effectively scare Americans with the specter of a "mushroom cloud."

Deceive the American public? Yes! The Bush administration repeatedly attempted to foist the canard about Iraq's attempt to purchase uranium from Niger on the American public, notwithstanding doubts by its own Intelligence Community (IC). So, to circumvent those doubts, in January 2003 President Bush simply told Americans that the British government had learned that Iraq "had recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa." Yet, soon thereafter, the International Atomic Energy Agency authoritatively demonstrated that the evidence for uranium from Niger had been forged.

Americans not beyond the pale - that is, Americans who are not irredeemably slathered with the jingoistic slime oozing from skanky blond intellectual harlots or talk radio loudmouths recovering from drug addiction - should keep all this evidence in mind whenever officials from the Bush administration attempt to shift sole blame for bogus intelligence on to the intelligence agencies. In fact, the Bush administration hyped the faulty intelligence about WMD.

Even more egregious, however, were the pure fabrications about Iraq's pre-war ties to al Qaeda, which "history's actors" foisted upon so many unwitting Americans. As I've recently demonstrated - see my extensively documented article, "'Fixed' Intelligence from Feith's 'Gestapo Office,' the CIA and the Bush Administration's Impeachable Lies about Iraq's Links to al Qaeda" (at Walter C. Uhler.com) - the Bush administration ignored five bona fide reports from the IC, each of which doubted such ties, in order to propagate bogus and biased "intelligence" concocted by Douglas Feith's rogue Policy Counterterrorism Evaluation Group.

Thus, when Mr. Cheney said we have reporting that places Mohammed Atta in Prague with "a senior Iraqi intelligence official," he obtained that information from Feith's group. In fact, Cheney wrote in the margins of one of Feith's reports: "this is very good…Encouraging…Not like the crap we are all so used to getting out of the CIA." Again, keep that quote in mind the next time you hear an official from the Bush administration blame the IC for all the bogus intelligence.

Finally, when Defense Secretary Rumsfeld claimed to have "bulletproof" evidence of links between Iraq and al Qaeda, that evidence must have been supplied by Feith's group; if only because the five bona fide IC reports submitted to the Bush administration expressed doubts about any significant ties.

Unfortunately, the deceit about Iraq's ties to al Qaeda continues to this day. Speaking to the troops, while holed up in "sovereign" Iraq's Green Zone, Mr. Bush once again made a shameless attempt to connect the origins of his illegal, immoral invasion of Iraq with al Qaeda's attacks on 9/11.

Simply read the following assertion: "You know, right after September the 11th, I knew that some would forget the dangers we face, some would hope that the world would be what it's not: a peaceful place where people wouldn't want to do harm to those of us who love freedom. I vowed that day, after September the 11th, to do everything I could to protect the American people. And I was able to make that claim because there were people such as yourselves, who are willing to be on the front line in the war on terror."

Left unstated, of course, was the fact that Iraq only became the "front line" after America unleashed its unprovoked invasion. Need I repeat that five IC reports doubted any significant pre-invasion ties between Iraq and al Qaeda?

Moreover, Bush could not possibly tell his troops that Iraq's insurgents had fought them to a stalemate. Neither could he admit that the primary beneficiary from his war has been Iran, or that, as 86 of 100 leading American foreign policy experts recently concluded, the war in Iraq had caused the world to become more, not less, dangerous.

Yet, beyond these obvious disasters, Bush's deceitful conflation of Iraq with 9/11 continues to cynically toy with the minds of too many patriotic Americans. Simply consider Walter Lippmann's observation that "the more untrained a mind, the more readily it works out a theory that two things which catch its attention at the same time are causally connected." Then consider the February 28, 2006 Zogby Poll of U.S Troops in Iraq, which found that almost 90% of those troops believe that the invasion of Iraq is in retaliation for Saddam's role in 9/11.

It was disgraceful enough to have manipulated the untrained minds of countless American civilians in order to become "history's actor" in the Middle East, but it is nothing short of unconscionable to continue to send soldiers to kill and be killed in an unwinnable war for the sake of a politically inspired stunt and yet more deceit. Next time, stay home.





Walter C. Uhler is an independent scholar and freelance writer whose work has been published in numerous publications, including The Nation, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, the Journal of Military History, the Moscow Times and the San Francisco Chronicle. He also is President of the Russian-American International Studies Association (RAISA). His website is Walter C. Uhler.com