the recent terrorist attacks in Saudi Arabia,
George Bush issued his standard no-nonsense,
nonsensical declaration. "[T]he United
States will find the killers and they will
learn the meaning of American justice. . .
Just ask the Taliban," he said.
mind that the Saudis, like the Taliban, are
also accused of harboring and financing terrorists
or that Osama bin Laden, Saddam Hussein and
the anthrax killer are as elusive as Iraq's
fabled arsenal. And didn't George get the
memo about Al Qaeda and the Taliban regrouping
in Afghanistan? http://tinyurl.com/c2gx
No matter. Now that we've started down this
perpetual war path, there's no need to fume
over mushroom cloud propaganda. So what if
we just fought a war for fictitious reasons
and our national treasury is being looted
like an Iraqi nuclear site? http://tinyurl.com/bgc0
And, though the masterminds behind the 9/11
atrocities have yet to "learn the meaning
of American justice," George Bush is
still trying to get to the bottom of it all
<Insert eye-roll here>
sad and frustrating as this is, duped citizens
continue to make this an issue of "liberals
versus conservatives," while missing
the larger point. Attacks on George Bush are
not attacks on America and this game of "which
team are you on?" is just plain stupid.
We live in an age of chronic dissembling http://tinyurl.com/1v3w
and fear-driven jingoism, fueled by desperate
attempts to sweep uncomfortable truths beneath
the star-spangled carpet. There is something
deeply and fundamentally wrong -- something
corrosive to our core.
that's just hyperbole? A case of Henny Penny
on crack? Though admittedly biased, George
Bush's sizable "scorecard of evil"
reveals that "we the people" are
not his No. 1 priority. Since signing his
first executive order restricting public access
to presidential records http://tinyurl.com/byvo,
George Bush has lied to the public and international
while repeatedly thwarting the September 11
investigation. Though some journalists have
taken heat for asking certain questions http://tinyurl.com/c1qs,
with victims' families speaking out, http://tinyurl.com/bosl,
and James Baker's law firm representing the
Saudis against 9/11 families, http://tinyurl.com/by9d,
concerns of government incompetence and malfeasance
are not solely the province of the tin foil
hat crowd. http://tinyurl.com/41e0
troubling are government officials' war profiteering
Halliburton's $7 billion no-bid contracts
and Carlyle connections http://tinyurl.com/bfdz.
As Dan Briody, author of THE IRON TRIANGLE:
Inside the Secret World of The Carlyle Group,
recently put it: "The best way to explain
the Carlyle Group is to use a euphemism that
Dwight Eisenhower employed back in the 1960s,
when he was leaving office. He warned the
country of something called the military/industrial
complex and that is probably the best way
to describe what the Carlyle Group does."
(Eisenhower also warned that "The potential
for the disastrous rise of misplaced power
exists and will persist" and that "We
must never let the weight of this combination
endanger our liberties or democratic processes"--
as is the case today http://tinyurl.com/c0p7).
how former Defense Secretary Frank Carlucci's
membership in the Carlyle Group strengthened
the iron triangle between politics, industry
and defense, Briody exposed an ethical kink
rarely covered in the mainstream press. "George
Bush Sr. is working for this company that
is the 11th largest defense contractor in
the country at the same time his son is in
office waging war," Briody said, later
adding, "It is clearly a conflict of
interest. And conflicts of interest lead to
potential corruption." http://tinyurl.com/bzs8
if that doesn't convince you something is
amiss, how about contrasting our noble beginnings
to where we stand today? Thomas Jefferson's
vision for our nation is imbued with John
Locke's interpretation of government of, by
and for the people. "Great mistakes in
the ruling part, will be borne by the people
without mutiny or murmur," Locke wrote.
"But if a long train of abuses. . . .
all tending the same way, make the design
visible to the people . . . it is not to be
wondered that they should then rouse themselves,
and endeavor to put the rule into such hands
which may secure to them the end for which
government was at first erected." And
so it goes, as Jefferson wrote, that "Governments
are instituted among Men, deriving their just
Powers from the Consent of the Governed, that
whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive
of these Ends, it is the Right of the People
to alter or to abolish it, and to institute
new Government, laying its Foundation on such
Principles, and organizing its Powers in such
Form, as to them shall seem most likely to
effect their Safety and Happiness."
Locke informed Jefferson's views, today, theorists
cite a variety of political philosophies at
work -- all of them favoring the ruling class
over the people they supposedly serve. William
Pfaff, for example, examines Leo Strauss'
role in shaping Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Perle
and other hawks' views. Strauss, Pfaff explains,
felt that citizens need to be deceived about
political realities, while an elite few guard
the truth. "The ostensibly hidden truth
is that expediency works; there is no certain
God to punish wrongdoing; and virtue is unattainable
by most people. Machiavelli was right. There
is a natural hierarchy of humans, and rulers
must restrict free inquiry and exploit the
mediocrity and vice of ordinary people so
as to keep society in order." http://tinyurl.com/bx04
Martha Nussbaum, Professor of Law and Ethics
at the University of Chicago Law School, on
the other hand, cites Thomas Hobbes' influence
-- and points to the Bush administration's
callous scorn of long held moral standards
and human rights concerns. Embracing a tact
that is "deeply alien to America's founding
traditions," the Bush administration,
she contends, is "casting the United
States as the Hobbesian sovereign needed to
bring order to an amoral realm." http://tinyurl.com/bybu
equate such musings with paranoia, as if there
were never a time in American history when
vigilant citizens needed to decipher actual
agendas through a misleading mist of stated
policy. They use words like "cabal"
and "conspiracy theory" and say
concerns about the neo-conservative's influence
are based on anti-Semitism -- failing to acknowledge
that when the Wolfowitz Doctrine was leaked
to the New York Times in 1992 http://tinyurl.com/c0px,
people weren't leery because of Wolfowitz's
ethnicity, but because his Strangelovian plan
for American dominance and aggression doesn't
mesh with American values.
attitude of the American public toward the
external projection of American power has
been. . . ambivalent," Zbigniew Brzezinski
wrote. "The public supported America's
engagement in World War II largely because
of the shock effect of the Japanese attack
on Pearl Harbor." Wolfowitz and other
members of the Project for a New American
Century (PNAC) understand this, too. "The
process of transformation," they wrote,
of their vision for Pax Americana "is
likely to be a long one, absent some catastrophic
and catalyzing event-like a new Pearl Harbor."
They got what they needed.
considering that Wolfowitz's decree is more
than a decade old, America's amoral spiral
can't be blamed entirely on September 11.
PNAC's "Rebuilding America's Defenses"
called for preemptive serial wars, unilateral
aggression and the dismissal of the UN even
before the 2000 election, while The National
Security Strategy of the United States of
merely reiterated foregone conclusions.
America asserts her unilateral supremacy,
our reputation suffers. "I believe, as
a Jefferson scholar who's worked at this for
fifteen years," Thomas Jefferson Radio
Hour's Clay Jenkinson recently said, "if
Jefferson could see what's going on now, he'd
be appalled by what the United States is doing."
Jon Stewart recently joked that Air Force
One now has a bumper sticker that reads "How's
My Diplomacy? Dial 1-800-Kiss-My-A**"
and former UN weapons inspection chief Richard
Butler succinctly described America's new
arrogance this way: "I've talked to senior
members of the Bush Administration,"
he said "and if [people] are asking "Well,
why are they behaving this way?" Well,
one can say they're just plainly selfish or
this is the consequence of September 11 and
so on. Not really. It's this -- this administration
has a view of the special character of the
United States, the singular and exclusive
character that is new. I've talked to them
about it and they make this plain. They say,
"We are the sole super power, we're therefore
the exceptional country, we're outside of
international law. Others have to obey the
law and obey the rules, but we don't."
I mean, I'm not making that up. If they were
sitting here tonight, Mark, the people I've
talked with would readily agree. They'd say
"Yeah, that's right, that's who we are.
We are the exceptional country and we don't
have to obey the law because we're different."
. . . . And I ask you to recognize what happens
when the most powerful country, the same as
the most powerful people within a domestic
society, consider themselves to be above the
law. . . ." http://tinyurl.com/bx02
this attitude extends to America's right to
use tactical nuclear weapons and wage war
simply for show, its inherent danger becomes
obvious to anyone outside of Stepford. This
past January, Bob Novak stunned Capital Gang
panel members when he said weapons of mass
destruction weren't the real reason for war
in Iraq. Bush administration officials, he
said, wanted "a war as a manifestation
of U.S. power in the world and as a sign that
the United States is capable of changing the
balance of power and the political map of
the Middle East." When Mark Shields accused
Novak of a putting forth a "pretty serious
charge," Novak responded that a senior
Bush administration official asked, "Well,
if we don't hit in Iraq, where are we going
to hit?" http://tinyurl.com/c0ft.
In April, ABC News reported that "To
build its case for war with Iraq, the Bush
administration argued that Saddam Hussein
had weapons of mass destruction, but some
officials now privately acknowledge the White
House had another reason for war -- a global
show of American power and democracy."
"a deep moral sadness about the current
conduct of the United States, as our leadership
shows contempt for [a] vision of a multilateral
world," Martha Nussbaum explained that,
"Moral norms do not cease to exist because
current leaders do not believe in them."
As the government turns its back on international
law, the Geneva Convention http://tinyurl.com/c0n0
and our Bill of Rights http://tinyurl.com/c0lt,
it's time to take stock in who we are.
though jaded citizens think 2000 election
was just politics as usual and believe this
administration's lies about Saddam's imminent
threat were defendable, those who view Bush's
Machiavellian tactics as a means to an end
are often the first to champion plans for
democratizing the Middle East (also based
upon fables, it seems. http://tinyurl.com/bxc3).
Democracy, however, depends upon the consent,
not deception, of the governed. And is democracy,
whether here or in the Mideast, truly possible
if those deceiving the public obtain power
through questionable means?
norms are not docile, submissive things."
Nussbaum asserts. "They do not quit the
scene when people treat them with contempt.
Instead, they call us to outrage and protest."
Bush apologists might begin by asking themselves
how they would feel if the September 11 attacks
happened on Clinton's watch. What if he had
taken a month-long vacation in the midst of
several warnings? http://tinyurl.com/c1ik,
Even if they are inclined to say "hindsight
is 20/20" -- how upset might they be
if Clinton won the White House after his cronies
shaved voter rolls? Or if his father and family
friends profited from wars he waged? Or if
he attempted to block investigations into
the worst terrorist attack on American soil
Would they be ok with a Clinton appointee
saying, as Condoleeza Rice did, that nobody
imagined terrorists using planes as weapons
-- even though the CIA, as this item from
the Memory Hole shows, was practicing for
such an event on September 11, 2001? http://tinyurl.com/c1j7
folks have to see that this is far more serious
than blue dresses, cigars and failed land
deals. "Bush protected himself and his
friends." Jim Ridgeway wrote. "What
he left uncovered was the rest of us."
Anyone who can cut through the layers of propaganda
and step outside their fear, might finally
get a fuller picture of how the Bush administration
Perhaps then they might see that dissidents
are not anti-American -- or even partisan
-- but are concerned about corruption, incompetence,
and our children's future. No matter how Rush
Limbaugh or others spin it, it's never been
a matter of hating America. It's a matter
of loving "We the People" -- liberals
and conservatives alike.
Use Notice: This site contains copyrighted material
the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright
owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding
of environmental, political, economic, democratic, domestic and international
issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted
material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance
with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without
profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included
information for research and educational purposes. For more information go to:
If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own
that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.