The folks at the Heartland Café, a countercultural institution in Chicago’s Rogers Park neighborhood, are just the latest wags to riff on the Bush administration’s ingenious “Most Wanted” playing card scheme. “War Party Playing Cards” helps you learn about the 55 men and women “behind the Bush Doctrine of unilateral preemptive war.” This rogue’s gallery includes the leading lights of “the government, the right-wing think tanks that shape government policy, the industrial military complex, and the right-wing media.”Bill O’Reilly, the host of Fox’s O’Reilly Factor, is one of the jokers in the deck. The Web site www.55mostwantedhawks.com provides this perspective on O’Reilly: “A contemporary of Bill Clinton, he avoided the draft and blames Clinton for the 9/11 disaster. He advocated destruction of the infrastructures of Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya to starve their populations into overthrowing their leaders. After retracting his criticism of antiwar protesters as un-American, he labeled them ‘bad Americans’ who should keep their mouths shut.”The folks in uniform in Iraq have different ideas about the hand that’s been dealt them. A sergeant in the 3rd Infantry Division told Jeffrey Kofman of ABC News, “I’ve got my own ‘Most Wanted’ list. The aces in my deck are Paul Bremer, Donald Rumsfeld, George Bush, and Paul Wolfowitz.”This soldier and others are disgruntled about being misled about the length of time they are to be deployed in Iraq. Others are upset that although their comrades are dying daily, Bush has declared that the war is now over. Consequently the men and women deployed in Iraq no longer receive an extra $450 a month in combat pay.
Joel Bleifuss, a former director of the Peace Studies Program at the University of Missouri-Columbia, is the editor & publisher of In These Times, where he has worked since October 1986.