Where are we headed?
What’s behind the bellowing bellicosity of the Bushites,
so mindlessly amplified by the war-whooping media and
so meekly permitted by the stunning silence of the Democratic leadership?
George W. and his coterie of Machiavellian super-hawks have America in a red, white, and blue war fever, and by damned, they sure whomped ol’ Saddam, didn’t they?
With the skill of our troops and the overwhelming Armageddon-level of U.S. firepower (which, by the way, happens to be the Clinton military—the same level of troop readiness and armed might that these very hawks loudly derided just a couple of years ago as treasonously inadequate), they had no trouble forcing “regime change” in Iraq.
Never mind that it came with heavy doses of what “Rummy” Rumsfeld so delicately and dismissively calls the “untidiness” of civilian deaths and post-war chaos;
never mind that Saddam’s supposedly ferocious military had been decimated since 1991 and simply didn’t have the punch that the Bushites claimed;
never mind that this brutish and immoral totalitarian never did unleash any of those weapons of mass destruction we were told he had and definitely would use; and
never mind that Bush never was able to come up with a coherent rationale for spending so much of our military effort and global good will to get rid of this particular thug at this particular time—we’re instructed by the chest-thumping militarists running our government that this is no time for questioning.
Indeed, they gloat that they “won,” that they have been proven right, and that anyone wanting to question them now had best move to France.
Sorry, George, but I can’t help asking questions, because—hey, I’m American! The inalienable right to question authority is established in the founding documents, and our maverick spirit goes to the core of our national character. When we stop questioning, we stop being American.
So where are we headed? After the September 11th attacks on our soil and our people, Bush said the national mission was clear: kill Osama bin Laden, oust the Taliban, and crush the Al Qaeda network. Nearly two years later, Osama lives, the Taliban is reestablishing its authority in Afghanistan, and the terrorist network is newly energized.
Well, yes, says George, but we had to rally an international coalition and divert from Osama so we could kill the Beast of Baghdad—that was our clear national mission, he told us. Okey-dokey, even though they couldn’t organize an actual coalition and even though Saddam might yet be alive, his repugnant regime is gone, so mission accomplished, right?
Well, no—Bush now says we’ve only begun.
We’ve moved in retired General Jay Garner (a honcho of the Pentagon contractor that makes the technology that guided the missiles that struck Iraq) to rule Iraq for the next few months (or years, or whatever), and we’re moving Halliburton, Bechtel, Fluor, and other Bushite-connected corporations into the country to rebuild it, plus ExxonMobil and other U.S. corporations will get the first grab at reallocated Iraqi oil deals, so our extended mission in Iraq is nation-building and oil-dealing.
Well, at least the White House and Congress can begin to think about shifting back from guns to butter, as well as refocusing on the real threat that Al Qaeda terrorists pose to our people, right?
Uh, not so fast, says George, didn’t I mention Syria? Syria has weapons of mass destruction and is linked to Al Qaeda terrorists, and President Bashar Assad is a terrible person, so we won’t rest until we bring regime change and democracy to the Syrians. That’s our new national mission.
George’s little secret
Let me be clear: These people are nuts.
Bush himself is aglow with messianic zeal, convinced that he’s not merely battling Saddam, but is God-chosen (even if the American voters, damn them, didn’t choose him) to rid the world of evil.
He’s crossed the line from thinking he’s right to thinking he’s righteous. Scary. His zeal is fueled and directed by the Cheney-Rumsfeld-Wolfowitz Axis of Arrogance, which is hyped up on a toxic blend of unadulterated hubris, bile, and testosterone.
The Bushites said their Iraq attack was about Saddam’s weapons of mass destruction, but he was only the ante in a much larger global game that they’re deliberately not telling us about—a scheme so grandiose, so un-American, so destructive to what We the People want our country to be that they dare not come right out and declare it.
Instead, under the vague rhetoric of eliminating the threat of terrorism (and always with our flag snapping smartly in the war wind), the stated mission keeps shifting, from Osama to Saddam to Assad . . . and on to Iran, Egypt, Saudi Arabia . . . and the establishment of American Empire in the entire Middle East . . . and then on to other regions that the Bushites believe are in urgent need of regime change.
It’s world war that Bush’s hyper-hawks have in mind for us, stretching over many, many years. Indeed, in the bunkered roosts deep within the White House, Pentagon, and State Department, the likes of Cheney, Rummy, Wolfowitz, Richard Perle, Kenneth Adelman, Elliot Abrams, and other veterans of such ideologically inspired misadventures as the Iran-contra scandal, refer to their present Middle East ambitions as World War IV, (counting the Cold War as No. III).
Far from being conservatives who believe in limited government they are autocrats who believe that empire is America’s unalterable destiny and that their duty is to use the overpowering totality of our nation’s military and economic might to impose it.
They have no patience with the democratic process. Congress?
Ignore or defy it.
Suspend any parts of it in the name of national security. The media?
Embed it in the “cause,” misguide it, manipulate it. The international community?
Berate it, ignore it, mock it—hey, we are the international community.
This is a team that’s been together for 30 years or more, and they’re not about to play according to anyone’s rules but their own. (Case in point: Elliot Abrams. Remember him? He was an Ollie North operative in the illegal Iran-contra scheme of the Reagan White House.
Caught, he lied to Congress and the people. He was convicted of perjury. But Daddy Bush gave him a Christmas Eve pardon in 1991. Ten years later, not only has this notorious abuser of executive power resurfaced—he’s now in charge of Mideast policy in Bush the Son’s White House.)
Washington Monthly investigative writer Joshua Micah Marshall reported last month that “the American people have no concept of what kind of conflict the president is leading them into.” Marshall notes that “the White House really has in mind an enterprise of a scale, cost, and scope that would be almost impossible to sell to the American public.
The White House knows that.
So it hasn’t even tried.
Instead, it’s focused on getting us into Iraq with the hope of setting off a sequence of events that will draw us inexorably towards [their] agenda.”
Sure enough, the military had barely raised the U.S. flag over Baghdad before the Bushites began to point frantically to Syria, with George W. using the same lines he had used to rationalize his invasion of Iraq.
Other Bushites suggested that Assad is harboring Saddam, saying ominously that the Syrians should “ponder the implications of their actions.”
The bully on the block
Lest you think that I’ve rowed my little boat onto the shoals of conspiracy theory, let me point out that the Bushites have actually written down their military and economic plan for empire. The first draft was written back in 1991 by Wolfowitz and backed by Cheney (then Secretary of Defense) and Colin Powell (then head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff).
Titled “Defense Planning Guidance,” it argued that even though the Soviet Union had collapsed, the U.S. should not divert any military spending to domestic needs (remember the debate over how to spend the “peace dividend”?), but instead should beef up military spending so our forces can prevent any other nation—friend or foe—from rivaling our world authority.
Powell presented this plan to Congress in 1992, declaring: “I want to be the bully on the block.” And he’s supposedly a dove!
When Clinton defeated Daddy, this global arrogance went into cold storage, but with Boy Bush taking the presidency eight years later, the whole arrogant team was back . . . and so was the bully.
Last July, George trekked up to West Point to deliver a speech officially proclaiming the “Bush Doctrine,” which embodied the full, hairy hulk of the bully policy.
The media establishment didn’t grasp the enormity of what essentially was a “Bush Dictate” to the world, so coverage was superficial and fleeting, but if you read the document (titled “The National Security Strategy of the United States”—www.whitehouse.gov/nsc/ nss.html), you’ll see their scheme for empire laid out.
Iraq is the opening shot, and eliminating Saddam is the least of it. Now comes the imposition of a U.S.-designed regime, complete with a crude effort to install Bush favorite Ahmad Chalabi as Iraq’s new leader (he’s a London banker who hasn’t lived in Iraq since his youth, is mistrusted by Iraqis and other Arab leaders, and was convicted of bank fraud in Jordan).
With or without Chalabi, the conquering Bushites intend to remake Iraq in their own image, not only sinking billions of our tax dollars into favored U.S. corporations to handle the reconstruction of everything from the oil industry to the government, but also imperiously decreeing that the infamous World Bank and the IMF will set the terms for Iraq’s “new” economy.
And, to send a message to the entire region that the bully is on the Arab block to stay, the Bushites intend to maintain a permanent military presence in Iraq (which conveniently borders both Syria and Iran).
The cost of empire
Congress has not voted for this—or even debated it. The American people have not voted for it—even those who supported Bush in 2000 and who backed his call to remove Saddam have not been consulted about a perpetual war for empire, much less assented to it.
After the “thrill” of flag-flying military triumph, even conservatives have to be sobered by the cost of the march to empire. But we’ll pay far more than money.
The enormous well of global good will directed toward the people of America and toward our long history of democratic idealism is being drained by these vainglorious men who propose to stomp through the world establishing their economic, governmental, and military regime over others. Far from making our world more secure, the Bushites are creating unfathomable resentment.
Worst of all, however, is their willingness to kill democracy here at home as they assert an autocratic right to impose their corporatized democracy elsewhere. They’re essentially operating on executive whim. Every coffee shop in America had lively discussions going, but the closest Congress got to war policy was to rule that the term “French fries” would be removed from the menu of the House cafeteria.
The Bushites are a government gone amok, bizarrely postulating that the world’s oppressed will love them for their jingoistic imposition of a New World Order. Of course, instead of love, the swaggering Bushites are earning only undying enmity, giving corporate and military imperialism an American face and address.
Saddam was barely out of town, for example, before thousands of Iraqi Shiite and Sunni Muslims spontaneously united in the streets of Baghdad with chants of “No to Bush!” and “America is God’s enemy!” All over the world, consumers are shunning American products in anger at our arrogance.
All of this pushes America itself into a downward spiral of more and more militarization—changing our beloved country from a beacon of democratic values to a global enforcer of American empire. The Bushites are taking us to a place that is not America. The media, Congress, Democratic Party, and most of the judiciary seem content to go along.
But will we?
As always, the great hope of American democracy is in the people themselves.
The first step is to recognize fully where our “leaders” are leading us—then daring to say NO” as loudly and as often as we can, organizing at the grassroots to take our country back from the Bushite hijackers.
The work of the peace coalition has only begun: It’s imperialists we’re fighting.
A Grieving New Hampshire widow who lost her man on 9/11 refuses the government's million dollar hush money payoff, studies the facts of the day for nearly two years, and comes to believe the White House "intentionally allowed 9/11 to happen" to launch a so-called "War on Terrorism" for personal and political gain.
She retains a prominent lawyer, a former Deputy Attorney General of Pennsylvania, who served with distinction under both Democrats and Republicans and was once a strong candidate for the governor's seat.
The attorney files a 62-page complaint in federal district court
(including 40 pages of prima facie evidence) charging that "President Bush
and officials including, but not limited to Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice,
Ashcroft and Tenet":
1.) had adequate foreknowledge of 911 yet failed to warn the county or attempt to prevent it;
2.) have since been covering up the truth of that day;
3.) have therefore abetted the murder of plaintiff's husband and violated the Constitution and multiple laws of the United States; and
4.) are thus being sued under the Civil RICO (Racketeering, Influence, and Corrupt Organization) Act for malfeasant conspiracy, obstruction of justice and wrongful death.
The suit text goes on to document the detailed forewarnings from foreign governments and FBI agents; the unprecedented delinquency of our air defense; the inexplicable half hour dawdle of our Commander in Chief at a primary school after hearing the nation was under deadly attack; the
incessant invocation of national security and executive privilege to suppress the facts; and the obstruction of all subsequent efforts to investigate the disaster.
It concludes that "compelling evidence will be
presented in this case through discovery, subpoena power, and testimony [that] Defendants failed to act and prevent 9/11 knowing the attacks would lead to an 'International War on Terror' which would benefit Defendants both financially and politically."
Bush appoints Baker to "negotiate" the Iraqui debt with France, Russia and Germany. P E R F E C T . He's one tough S>O>B>....and he'll bring those parasites into reality.
Bush Names James Baker as Envoy on Iraq Debt
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Bush (news - web sites) has named James Baker, former secretary of state and treasury, as his envoy to oversee talks on restructuring Iraq (news - web sites)'s official debt, the White House said on Friday.
Whenever you hear that Washington is moving forward with “comprehensive” legislation, it means that a larger-than-usual theft is underway.
Beware, then, of the “comprehensive energy bill” that the White House is now pushing. Buried in it are $18.7 billion in tax subsidies for global oil and gas giants and for the electric-utility greedheads that keep raising our rates as they pollute our air.
This abysmal bill would:
l Allow oil corporations to escape paying taxes they owe to We the People on gas they take out of the Gulf of Mexico.
l Let the feds overrule states that dare tell utilities they can’t run electric-power lines through your land or community.
l Make it harder for local citizens, farmers, environmentalists, and others to stop utilities that want to flood your area with hydroelectric dams.
l Cut the royalties that energy giants pay us taxpayers to take the oil and gas from our public lands.
l Let coal companies escape paying the health benefits of miners who’ve worked hard all their lives and ended up with lungs full of deadly dust.
l Open all of America’s coastal water to oil and gas drilling.
This isn’t an energy bill at all—it’s highway robbery. To stop it, call Public Citizen: 202-588-1000.
Will the sunset on liberty?
“Jumping Johnny” Ashcroft is the spookiest Attorney General of all time—and that’s really saying something.
He fathered the now-infamous USA PATRIOT Act, a 342-page “little shop of horrors” that gave federal agents sweeping powers to spy, tap, enter, intercept, search, seize, detain, incarcerate, and prosecute—mostly on executive whim.
It went before Congress only hours after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, when there was a political urgency to “do something”—and most members didn’t even read the thing before it was rammed into law.
However, enough members detected the stench of repression wafting from this bill that they added a “sunset” provision requiring some of the nastier provisions to expire within four years. They were right to do this, for it turns out that the PATRIOT Act is thoroughly unpatriotic, a catch-all law that gives government autocrats unbridled power to spy not just on foreign terrorists, but also on ordinary citizens.
Because of the sunset amendment, we would be rid of some of the act’s most dangerous intrusions in just a couple more years . . . except that the Bushites are now maneuvering in Congress to repeal the sunset provision—a legislative sneak attack that would make all of the PATRIOT Act’s intrusive, anti-democratic powers permanent.
To the barricades, patriots! To help beat back Ashcroft’s assault on America’s liberties, call Sen. Russ Feingold’s office: 202-224-5323.
Slaughtering a food-lable laws
You can look at the label on your T-shirt or television set or tennis shoe and see where it was made, but where’s your hamburger from, or that fish filet on the blue-plate special?
Most Americans say they’d like to know whether the food they eat comes from a country that at least pretends to have food-safety protections. In our wondrous global economy, giant agribiz corporations are abandoning U.S. farmers to produce and process everything from meats to veggies in countries where farmers and fisherman can be treated like serfs, where the water and land can be contaminated at will, and where food-borne diseases are rampant.
This is why Congress finally passed a law to require that food products be labeled by their country of origin. If the beef is from Bulgaria, hey, tell us, so we consumers can decide if it’s what we want to buy.
This is basic Adam Smith capitalism, but guess who doesn’t believe in it? The corporate capitalists!
They went wailing to the Bush administration, claiming that the labeling law would stifle global trade and cause the sky to fall. Ever sensitive to corporate cries of pain, the Bushites put out an Ag Department report claiming that the law should be killed because it would cost $2 billion to implement.
Hogwash! This is an industry that routinely changes its labels and already tracks every iota of its business operations.
To stop the lobbyists from killing the labeling law, contact the Campaign to Label Genetically Engineered Foods at 425-771-4049.
100% American (sort of)
Days after the Bushites and their henchmen began to demonize French fries, French toast, and the like in a stunningly stupid outburst of knuckle-dragging jingoism, the maker of French’s yellow mustard put out a nativist press release declaring: “The only thing French about French’s Mustard is the name!”
The corporation spoke of founder Robert French’s “all-American dream” and about the mustard’s iconic connection to hot dogs at baseball games. What the PR effort did not mention is that French’s Mustard is no longer American—it’s owned by British conglomerate Reckitt Benckiser PLC.
While French’s was waving Old Glory here, it also was concerned lest it actually offend the French.
After all, Reckitt Benckiser does more business in Europe than in the U.S., so it released its “all-American” boast only in the U.S.—taking care to keep it off the corporate website.
Meanwhile, such brand names as Coca-Cola, Pepsi, and McDonald’s are suddenly trying to veil their Americanism. For example in India, with its large Muslim population, Coke is trying to fend off anti-American protests by emphasizing its Indianness: “We are primarily Indian, employing Indians,” insisted a top exec of the subsidiary there.
The true color of corporate America isn’t red, white, and blue—but the color of money.
Bush's fetish for secrecy
On the night of March 25, with none of the fanfare that usually accompanies a major policy decree, George W. issued a 10,000-word executive order that:
(1) gives the government more discretion to keep information secret indefinitely, as long as it’s for “national security”;
(2) gives the vice-president, for the first time, power to classify government information as secret;
(3) treats all routine material sent to American officials by foreign governments as secret;
(4) expands the ability of the CIA to keep its records secret; and
(5) delays the release of old presidential records that would have been declassified automatically after 25 years.
In a formal statement, Bush claimed that he was acting to make government more open: “Our nation’s progress depends on the free flow of information,” he declared, apparently hoping that such high-minded rhetoric would deter anyone from reading deeper into this insidious document.
Like all autocrats, the Bushites don’t want anyone questioning their actions, so they routinely try to hide records from the public.
To battle Bush’s lockdown, contact the Project on Government Secrecy of the Federation of American Scientists at www.fas.org.
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