Political Therapy

Talking war with dissident Jim Mullins is good for a battle-scarred psyche

JM: Yeah. We are operating today on the principles of Cosa Nostra. We talk about chemical weapons, but what about our use of depleted uranium [radioactive munitions] as a weapon? There are 200,000 Gulf War veterans who have all kinds of problems because of it. Their kids are having birth defects. We used it in Kosovo, and the rates of cancer are doubling and tripling there.

BN: And we're using it again in Iraq this time. This war was really based on economics and raw domination, but that's not legal or acceptable, so we got all these big lies and diversions. Leave no Iraqi child behind.

JM: That this is about democracy is the biggest lie ever uttered. I can name 50 countries that are just as dangerous to the United States as Iraq. Right now, we're flooding money into Uzbekistan, which is a country that has one of the worst human-rights records going right now.

At 82, Jim Mullins believes cable news can be hazardous
Colby Katz
At 82, Jim Mullins believes cable news can be hazardous

BN: Kazakhstan's not much better, and we love them too.

JM: All the Stans have the same problem.

BN: Damn those Stans.

JM: They say we might build four airbases in Iraq. Is that liberation? This is exactly what caused Osama bin Laden. Bin Laden did what he did because we didn't leave Saudi Arabia [after the first Gulf War]. Now that we have our ass in Iraq, nothing will get us out except bin Laden and people like him. Dick Cheney promised after the first Gulf War that U.S. troops wouldn't stay in Saudi Arabia a minute longer than they were needed. We never left, and the whole thing was set in stone, the World Trade Center, all of it. They call it "the great game." The great game is to gain control of this area.

BN: And religion intensifies it. I always felt that Osama bin Laden was much more a geopolitical guy than a religious guy. He's just using these angry fanatics to do his bidding.

JM: Sure, and he was our buddy. He ran the whole deal in Afghanistan back when the Soviet Union was invading. He just thought, "Hell, we defeated the Soviet Union -- let's beat the United States."

BN: Bush has proven bin Laden right more than anything -- we are taking over the region.

JM: Absolutely.

BN: What does Bush really want to do? Where is his head?

JM: I think he's a little man who was given $340 million [in campaign contributions] two years before the election, and he is intoxicated with this power. I don't think he's up to the job. He personalizes everything. Middle East? Get rid of Arafat. Same with Saddam. But he's not addressing the real problems.

BN: Is Bush a stone-cold racketeer? Or is he really this genuine, earnest, God-fearing fellow?

JM: He's not this God-fearing moral person. That's bullshit. I would look at his career.

BN: He had a cheap career.

JM: He's a crook, that's all. I've seen thousands of people just like him.

BN: Between this illegal war and the tax cuts, he's robbing us blind. But Congress is going along with all of it, so he's protected.

JM: Look at the whole family. Neil Bush and the savings-and-loan crisis. Harken Energy. Jeb Bush and his early business dealings. Every single one of them has something wrong with them.

BN: Bush is putting at least $100 billion in Iraq. These companies -- DynCorp, Bechtel, Halliburton, every defense contractor out there -- profit. That's all. And they're all huge donors to Bush and have big Republicans on their boards. Look where Bush gave his first significant speech after Baghdad fell: Boeing. How in-your-face can he get?

JM: I'm totally with you, man. It's the militarization of America. Look at all these generals that are on the boards of all these military corporations. They get $50,000 for showing up once, maybe, at a meeting. And the people that are running the companies are stealing like crazy, like they stole from Enron and all these other big corporations. This is the system, and believe me, it is very close to what the Mafia does. Nobody talks about it. It's omerta, but on a different level.

BN: Speaking of silence, let's talk about Israel. We've both been attacked for our political views on that subject. Joe Lieberman said on a talk show yesterday that we can't allow Iraq to become a theocracy, which to me is so ironic, since Israel is a theocracy.

JM: When they read that, they will go nuts: "What do you mean? Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East!" Israel isn't a democracy.

BN: But there are working democratic processes in Israel.

JM: They do have a functioning democracy on some level. But the Arab Israelis don't really have freedom.

BN: And they're killing Palestinians every day. They just shot an Associated Press cameraman in the head. What would you do about the Middle East?

JM: I would go back to the 1967 border, dismantle every one of those goddamn settlements, dismantle that wall, and let the Palestinians develop a state. Give them some money, help them get going.

BN: Do you think the United States is heading toward a theocracy? Look at George W. Bush.

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