What a wild ride for LewRockwell.com! Between Thursday morning, April 5, and Saturday night, April 7, Eric Garris, our webmaster, tells me, a record 248,000 hits on our website. This is almost double any comparable period in our 18-month history.
More astonishing were the 600+ emails directed to Editor Lew Rockwell, six times more than anything previously seen for a single article.
If this wasn’t enough to swamp our webmaster, add the additional new visitors and fresh emails linked from Yahoo, Antiwar.com, WorldNetDaily, and Free Republic.
What was the cause of this avalanche? The answer is in three little words: "China Is Right," the title of Lew’s courageous article about the collision of the US and Chinese aircraft, and the events which followed. (If you missed it, click here.)
Fearlessly, point by point, Lew refutes the US government’s version of the event. He reminds the reader of the history of the US as an international meddler, and warns of the danger of a new cold-war belligerency.
Frankly, although I expected some heat, I was surprised by the degree of vituperation and vulgarity that typified the incoming. If you’d like a breakdown, 90% were incoherently critical, 5% coherently critical, 3% mixed, and 2% supportive. It was like a drunken Saturday night at a veterans convention, and about as thoughtful (though a few Korean War vets, like me, agreed with Lew).
Most of the hostile emails urged Lew to move to “Red China.” My favorite told him to “go back to Austria.” We both could have done without the death threats. But I guess you can’t be a warmonger without wanting to kill people.
It all reminds me of the nasty climate created by the government propaganda machine during Bush the First’s Desert Storm: the bipartisan unanimity, and the media’s total acceptance of every government press release. Few questioned the "smart bombs" that found open windows, the characterization of Saddam’s military capability as "first class," or the claimed Iraqi "atrocities" in Kuwait. Fewer still realized the genocide being put into place, which continues to this day.
Those who questioned the bloody exercise were demonized as dreaded isolationists. Tax audits were the least thing to fear. Dissenting was dangerous stuff.
Months later, the mythology of Desert Storm began to erode. Little pieces of truth emerged: the smart bombs were dumb, Iraqi troops who had surrendered were gunned down or buried alive in the sand, and in the war’s aftermath, evidence of the horrendous damage US policy inflicted on the Iraqi civilian population became overwhelming.
Let us hope that today’s confrontation with China is no new Desert Storm in the making, or second cold war. The latter is ideal from the standpoint of the military-industrial complex, since they think they could tax and run us indefinitely, without any casualties. But the huge amount of trade with China, giving some established interests a pro-peace bias, may prevent this.
Indeed, there is some evidence that George W. Bush and Colin Powell may represent a new and less confrontational American foreign policy. We pray that this will be the case. If not, well, we have LewRockwell.com.