Will Ben Stein Come Clean about the Iraqi War?

I found Neocon Ben Stein’s last column for Morton’s very moving. [1] In fact, I was so moved by his piece, entitled, “How Can Someone Who Lives in Insane Luxury be a ‘Star’ in Today World?” that I wanted to throw up! I particularly found his statement that U.S. soldiers, who are fighting and dying in Iraq are "the real stars” of our society, as being grossly insincere. If Stein considered the troops to be “real stars,” then why did he and others, put them in harm’s way and support the Iraqi War, which was based on a pack of lies concocted by the Bush-Cheney Gang? Like the Bush-Cheney Gang, he used our troop for his own political ends. Now, he is praising the troops to cover his own a..! Stein has also claimed that the inmate abuse at Abu Ghraib prison, in Iraq, only amounted to “frat-boy mistreatment!” [2] Shame on him!

In his farewell column, Stein, also a comedic actor, confessed, “I am no longer comfortable being a part of the system that has such ‘poor values,’ and I no longer want to perpetuate those ‘values’ by pretending who is eating at Morton’s is a big subject.” What does all of that mean? Was he exercising “poor values” to support the Iraqi War? Is Stein, a knee jerk supporter of Israel, too, now going tell the world the truth about his favorite country? is he going to demand that all U.S. aid to Israel be stopped and its Apartheid Wall be dismantled? [3] Is he going to insist on a public hearing on the USS Liberty affair? [4] Is he going to hit the streets to protest against any U.S. preemptive war against Iran? Is he going to insist that Rachel Corrie’s killers be brought to justice? [5] I hope he does all of the above, but I suspect that it’s going to be business as usual for Stein! (Notice that the issues that I have raised are rarely, if ever, discussed in the public arena by Stein, and others of his ilk, since they are censored by a conspiracy of silence.)

I remember being on our National Mall, on April 12, 2003, in Washington, D.C., almost a month after the Bush-Cheney Gang had launched the Iraqi War. I thought I noticed a "Gospel Revival Meeting," going on, with a lots of country music mixed in as background. But, it wasn’t. It was something entitled, "Rally for the Troops-Rally for America." There were about 1,500 people in attendance. There were lots of American flags, too, at this rally. It was here, at this event, that Stein made a "Special Appearance."

The pro-Iraqi War rally was led by G. Gordon Liddy of Watergate notoriety. In his remarks, he mocked Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA). Liddy then roared, “We have ‘smoked’ Afghanistan and then Iraq. Syria and Iran better watch out, we’re coming. This is a crusade and the enemy is militant Islam. If anyone gets out of line, we will simply say to Israel, ‘Your hands are untied.'” Some of the other speakers included: Linda Chavez, William Kristol, Joel Mowbray and ex-U.S. Sen. Fred Thompson (R-TN). It was the repulsive Kristol, a notorious Neocon, who boasted to the crowd that the destruction of Iraq by the U.S. is “only the end of the beginning. We will continue on to make a safer world.” (Translation: Make the world safer for Israel, while American troops, not Israelis, continue to do all the fighting and dying!) Kristol added, that President George W. Bush, Jr., has shown the liberal media, “They were all wrong about him.” Chavez railed that the Iraqi war was the “most moral war ever fought in the history of warfare.” She threatened Syria and Iran, by screeching, “If they think they can sponsor terrorism against the U.S. with impunity, they better think again.” Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh were also both on the program, but, mercifully, they were no shows.

It was then that Stein showed up! No, not in person! He showed up, via a hugh television/movie screen, which was situated stage left. It had repeatedly displayed videos highlighting the American and Israeli flags. It was like a scene right out of George Orwell’s novel, “1984.” Instead, however, of “Big Brother” preaching to the mesmerized masses, it was Ben Stein, himself! His image appeared to be about 15 feet tall. He told the crowd that he was sorry that he couldn’t be with them in person, because he was busy in LA and that he was sending his “blessings” to the troops and to the pro-Iraqi War advocates listening to him. He added that what they were trying to accomplish with the rally, on the National Mall, was “important.”

Stein is also an author, who once worked as a speech writing hack in Richard Nixon’s White House. [6] Stein did, indeed, give his “blessings” to the war. And the Bush-Cheney Gang has since sent 1,744 of our bravest sons and daughters to their deaths in Iraq. I also don’t think Stein really gives a hoot about any of our troops sucking up all of that deadly DU in Iraq, or the cost of the Iraqi war to the taxpayers, (now running about $181 billion), or that he has any real feelings for the innocent Iraqi victims of that conflict, which now number in the tens of thousands. Stein is complicit, as a moral issue, with many others, some famous, many not, in our country, in the evil that is the Iraqi War! There isn’t, in my opinion, any real difference between Stein and that Mother of all Neocons, Richard Perle, except that Perle is more up front about his hawkishness and his fidelity to Zionist Israel.

This is the same Stein, who recently wrote of the ultra-hawkish Rep. Tom DeLay (R-TX), "DeLay is morally probably the highest level public servant I have ever met… This is a man with more moral decency in his little finger than his detractors have in their whole bodies…If we throw him to the wolves, we are betraying a dear friend of the party, and a good man… He has been there for us and we need to be there for him." [7] I wonder if Stein would say the same thing about DeLay, if he were under oath? Stein, in another one of his mean-spirited rants, called JFK, our martyred president, “a lying, conniving drug addict.” [6] And, isn’t it amazing that people, like Stein, seemed to be able to get on TV as a “talking head,” or have his commentary on the Op Ed page of a major newspaper, by just simply snapping his fingers? What a cozy, powerful club he must belong to?

The truth is that Stein, on April 12, 2003, was caught cheer leading for the Bush-Cheney Gang and for the Iraqi War. His appearance at that warmongering rally, via the huge TV screen, and his comments, along with his shilling for Rep. DeLay, and his truly outrageous statement about Abu Ghraib, all revealed him to be a War Hawk. Stein is an accomplice to the wrongdoing that is the illegal and immoral Iraqi War. It’s time for him to own up to it.

Finally, I believe War Hawk Stein should read the Downing St. Memos! [8] I think he will find them very educational. Then, he owes it to everyone to author, at least, one more column. [9] In that one, he should try to justify why he has supported the Iraqi War, and how his backing for that conflict is consistent with his newly found philosophy of life. In his final Morton piece, he put his “awakening” this way: “I came to realize that life lived to help others is the only one that matters and that it is my duty…to help others.” [1] Will Ben Stein do his “duty” and finally come clean about the Iraqi War? Stay tuned!


[1]. Morton’s is a national restaurant chain that features its steaks. Ben Stein did a by-weekly spiel for it for about 8 years, mostly gossipy items about stars in the Hollywood, CA area that frequently dined at the local Morton’s. See, his last piece for Morton’s, dated, July 2, 2005, http://www.eonline.com/Gossip/Morton/Archive/2003/031220b.html

[2]. http://mediamatters.org/items/200405260006

[3]. http://www.wrmea.com/

[4]. http://www.ussliberty.org/

[5]. http://www.rachelcorrie.org/news.htm

[6]. Stein has been labeled a “full time apologist” for the late Richard Nixon, and a pundit who deserves a “very warm seat in the Dante’s inner circle.” Check out, http://dailykos.com/story/2005/6/1/205359/6362

[7]. http://www.rightmarch.com/delay.htm

[8]. http://www.afterdowningstreet.org/

[9]. If Morton’s won’t sponsor Stein’s next rant, than maybe McDonald’s will?