Wednesday, February 12, 2014

A Retrospective On Life Under the GOP - September 15, 2002


portland independent media center 


Only two questions must be asked to get past the Bush Administration's nonsense. First, would Bush's saber rattle as loudly against China as opposed to Iraq? And secondly, do you think invading Iraq will make America more, or less safe from terrorist attacks?

Now that we've reached the anniversary of 9-11, I am consumed by one thought--in light of what I've seen over the past year I find myself much more afraid of Bush, Cheney, and Ashcroft than I am the Al Qaeda. While I understand that terrorists strike without warning to destroy life and property to promote their own agenda, it has become increasingly clear that Bush and his cohorts threaten to be even more destructive by attacking life, liberty, and the very foundation of this nation in the promotion of theirs.

Over the past year these conservative war mongers have been playing the American people like a fiddle. Now they want to sacrifice American lives for nothing more than their own political advantage. Just ask yourself, what does Saddam Hussein have to do with 9-11? Absolutely nothing. Evidence of that can be found in the fact that if Saddam had been involved in 9-11 the administration would have gone after him initially. So why is it suddenly so imperative that we invade Iraq now? I'll tell you why. Since Bush was unable to produce the head of Osama Bin Laden, he now needs another villain to take Bin Laden's place in order to keep his numbers up in the polls-- and if that means having to sacrifice a few American lives and ignite even more terrorist activity on American soil in the process, so be it.

It is a well known political fact that the American people tend to rally around the president when the country's at war. That's why the Bush Administration fell all over themselves after 9-11 to declare "a war against terrorism." And the American people reacted just as planed-Bush's numbers immediately went up in the polls. But now with the mystery surrounding the fate of Osama Bin Laden, the administration has found itself without a war to sustain those numbers, so now they have to create one.

While I'm not prepared to say that the Bush Administration allowed 9-11 to take place, it is clear that the timing of the 9-11 tragedy was without a doubt the best thing that could ever happened to Bush's presidency. Bush was a lame duck the minute he was sworn in. It seems that as soon as Bush entered The Oval Office the stock market began to falter and the economy started to weaken. And whenever he spoke, the next day's news was not so much what he said, but whether or not he got through the speech without falling on his face. In addition, his big tax cut that was touted as the key to boosting the economy turned out to be a bust, and he was so inept in dealing with congress that a Republican senator changed parties costing Bush control of the senate. As a result, when 9-11 took place, it was embraced by conservatives more like it was a football rally than the sober occasion that it was--thus, all the flag waving, ceremonies, and strutting about.

But where was all that bluster prior to 9-11? ABC News reported on May 16th of this year that the Bush Administration acknowledged that U.S. intelligence officials informed President Bush weeks before 9-11 that Osama Bin Laden's terrorists might try to hijack a plane. It was also reported that Bush privately alerted transportation officials and security agencies, but other than that, simply sat on the information. The administration claims that the information they received was non-specific, but one would think that even if they couldn't determine exactly when and where the attack was going to take place, at the very least they could have warned the American people. If they had, maybe some of the people who died would have chosen not to fly-or possibly, chosen to leave their children behind. But no, this president who now claims to be so concerned with protecting our welfare that he feels compelled to launch an unprovoked attack against Iraq, was at that time more interested in the impact that warning us would have on the airline industry.

What the American people needs to understand is that the power elite in this country doesn't view the United States in the same way as its citizens. They see the United States as a huge corporation, with its various industries as its subsidiaries. They see American citizens, particularly the lower and middle class, as simply pawns to be cajoled and manipulated in whatever way is necessary to meet the goals of the corporation. Therefore, they didn't view the tragedy of 9-11 in the same patriotic way as the average American citizen. After the initial shock, they saw 9-11 in terms of dollars and cents. Ultimately, it was viewed as an assault on their corporate superstructure. Later they recognized that the incident could be used as a distraction for the American people, and still later, an opportunity to move on Middle Eastern oil interests.

So let there be no doubt, all of the flag waving, ceremonies, and patriotic speeches have nothing to do with 9-11; they are designed to whip the American people into such a frenzy that they're blinded to Bush's actual agenda. And that agenda includes the following:

1. Committing America (and American lives) to a war in order to get
himself re-elected.

2. Taking control of Iraqi oil fields to benefit his friends in big business.

3. Keeping the American voter distracted from considering the ramifications of the recent corporate scandals.

4. Keeping the American people from recognizing how inept he is as president.

The rest of the world sees Bush's agenda for what it is, and the American people would too if they'd stop waving their flags long enough to consider the flag's true meaning. The American flag represents freedom and justice, not trying to dictate who should lead other countries. It represents the open debate of issues, not intolerance to any and everyone who disagrees with your point of view. It represents the guarantee of personal freedom, not the suspension of the Bill of Rights. If the American people would just stop to consider these facts, it would become clear that even while Bush and his conservative cohorts are frantically waving our flag, they are simultaneously waging war against the very values that the flag and this great country represent.

These issues can, and will, be debated ad nauseam, but the American people need only ask themselves two questions to put all of the administration's nonsense into perspective. First, would the administration be so anxious to go to war if we were talking about China as opposed to Iraq? And secondly, do we think that invading Iraq will make us more, or less safe from terrorist attacks? If we answer those questions honestly, it becomes clear that the administration is being disingenuous at best.

portland independent media center 


Eric L. Wattree

Citizens Against Reckless Middle-Class Abuse (CARMA)

Religious bigotry: It's not that I hate everyone who doesn't look, think, and act like me - it's just that God does.

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