March 3, 2003
George W. Bush Can't Tell the Difference Between a Democracy And a Puppet Government
Cynics might argue that it is understandable that George W. Bush can't tell the difference between a democracy and a puppet government.
After all, Bush was installed as president -- despite having lost the election by more than a half a million votes -- by a 5-4 vote instigated by a partisan hack Supreme Court Justice who thinks he is a judicial agent of God (we're talking about Antonin Scalia here). Bush's presidential "appointment" was the crowning culmination of a long-term right wing strategy aimed at controlling America through packing the courts and hijacking the electoral process.
Just as the Bush Cartel is going to seize the second largest oil fields and colonize the Middle East -- Hell or high water -- the right wing extremists were going to place their puppet in the White House in 2000 no matter what it took.
In his February 26th speech at the right wing American Enterprise Institute -- with the Stalinist John Ashcroft at his side -- Bush read carefully crafted remarks that were meant to tug at the love Americans have for our memory of when we were a democracy (before Bush, before the 6 year attempt to impeach Bill Clinton, before election 2000, before the KGB reign of John Ashcroft). Among the many hot button appeals to our heritage as a democracy, he declared, "Success in Iraq could begin a new stage for Middle Eastern peace, and set in motion progress towards a truly democratic Palestinian state." (See: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A7505-2003Feb26.html) That sentence is a key example of the latest fraudulent Bush marketing message aimed at selling the Iraq war.
After all, the Bush Cartel would never allow the uncertainty of outcomes that true democratic elections (outside of Israel) might offer in the Middle East.
In all likelihood -- and by all accounts -- if an open internationally-supervised election were held in the West Bank and Gaza today, the contest would be between Arafat and the likes of Hamas or the Islamic Jihad. The "moderate" Palestinians would be left in the dust. Saddam Hussein makes a show of supporting families of suicide bombers, but to imply that he is responsible for the suicide bombings is wishful thinking. People don't decide to kill themselves because of Saddam Hussein. The 15 Saudis of the 19 hijackers who flew themselves into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon weren't inspired by Saddam Hussein. The Islamic Jihad that conducts a terrorist war against Israel doesn't fight because of Saddam Hussein.
The very notion that one can impose a democracy in a region of the world that has been marked by warring factions of Islam, with age old hatreds of each other, who are united only by their hatred of the U.S. and Israel, is untenable. Iraq itself is composed of Sunni, Shi'ite and Kurdish factions, among others, that will be at each other's throats the moment Saddam is deposed (although he will probably personally escape the incompetent Bush Cartel, just as Osama bin Laden did.)
A truly elected democracy in Iraq would probably end up being more fundamentalist -- and equally anti-American and anti-Israeli -- than the current secular state dictatorship under Hussein. Of course, the Bush administration will use the long period of "viceroy" government by an American general to "rid" Iraq of anyone who they might consider a trouble maker, which could be just about anyone in Iraq. So be prepared for a lot of "wet jobs," executions and "disappeared" Iraqis, all under the auspices of the American military government.
Ruling Arab nations as a neo-colonial occupying power will be a nasty business. In order for the Bush Cartel to install propped up "oil company" friendly regimes, American soldiers, CIA agents and "contracted" companies, are going to have to torture and kill a lot of people who -- as the first step in a nascent democracy in Iraq -- might want to toss the occupying power out of the country.
In his American Enterprise Institute remarks, Bush made the argument that skeptics were wrong about the difficulty of grafting democracy onto cultures where it has not traditionally thrived. He cited, as his two examples, the development of democracies in post World War II: Germany and Japan. Only one problem with his examples: they were more deception and deceit from Bush. The truth is that Germany and Japan both had histories of elected governments prior to World War II. (See: http://www.guardian.co.uk/usa/story/0,12271,904725,00.html) In fact, the Weimar Republic preceded the ascension of Hitler to power. Hitler, of course, used an arson attack on the Reichstag (German parliament), in 1933, to win forthcoming elections. In short, Hitler assumed power within a democracy. He also used the Reichstag fire as an excuse to assume the authority that allowed him to curtail the civil rights of opponents and make arbitrary arrests "to protect the German people and government."
What the Bush Cartel doesn't say about its craven appeal to our natural enthusiasm for democracies is that the Bush Cartel is going to only allow democracies that support the goals of the Bush Cartel "corporate cronyism administration." In short, the Bush Cartel is not in the business of promoting democracy. It is in the business of promoting puppet governments that have the appearance of democracy.
Take Kuwait, for instance. According to a recent Washington Post article, Kuwait is still basically a feudal kingdom eleven years after Poppy Bush liberated its people from an Iraqi invasion (which Bush the elder had given Saddam a green light for in the first place, but that's another story). Part of the Bush the Elder's justification for war with Iraq was that the U.S. was going to ensure democratic reforms in Kuwait. The Bush family is always quick on promises and short on delivery.
Then there's Pakistan, which had more to do with promoting the Taliban and Al-Qaeda than any country outside of Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia. Pakistan is a "show democracy," which means that it goes through the motions of elections, with the outcome of Musharraf winning known in advance. It is widely conceded that if Musharraf allowed a truly free election, the Muslim fundamentalists would win in a blow out. So much for democracy.
Let's not forget Afghanistan, a nation currently held together with bailing wire. By all accounts, outside of Kabul, the country is up for grabs. Officials of the U.S. installed government have been assassinated. American soldiers die in "accidents." The Bush administration is so "committed" to Afghanistan, it didn't even include humanitarian aid for them in the White House budget sent to Congress. Women's rights are reverting back to the stone age. The country is one warlord bullet away from imploding. So much for democracy.
The truth will out, the Bush administration doesn't want to dirty itself with dealing with "democratically elected" governments. (Look at how the Bush chicken hawks spend their time mauling two of our staunchest allies, France and Germany.) After all, Bush is the man who has said on three occasions, in public, that it would be a lot easier if he were a dictator. And Bush's strongest Arab ally, Saudi Arabia (the true home of the September 11th suicide hijackers), is a feudal monarchy.
If one wants to argue with our premise, than one needs to explain to BuzzFlash why the Bush administration was actively involved in trying to recently overthrow the democratically elected president of Venezuela. Explain why the Reagan/Bush presidencies helped to ensure that right wing regimes in the Western Hemisphere were "re-elected" again and again despite polls showing that they weren't supported by the people. Explain why Salvador Allende, a democratically elected leader was overthrown -- and killed -- through the support of a "pro-democracy" Nixon administration. Explain why many of the Bush administration appointees have bloody hands from supporting the right wing death squads in Central America. One can agree or disagree with the ideologies of left wing leaders in the world, but if they are democratically elected, why is the U.S. overthrowing them?
Indeed, in following through with the Bush Cartel's demented obsession for endless war and empire building, we are even risking upsetting long standing viable democracies and turning them from secular states into religious states. Take Turkey, an Islamic nation, where more than 95% of the citizens, by some estimates, oppose a war with Iraq. The Turkish government will get billions of dollars for selling the opinions of their citizens short. In the last elections, a moderate Islamic party gained considerable ground. The literal sellout by the current government to the U.S. will very possible accelerate a fundamentalist surge. The Bush Cartel, in its maniacal war lust, may turn Turkey from a secular state to a Pakistan like Islamic Republic, or, conversely, lead to turmoil that would result in a military coup. (See: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A18584-2003Feb28.html)
And the Turks are getting something else out of the deal according to reports (if it finally goes through after many setbacks). What the Bush Cartel is giving them -- in addition to money -- demonstrates, in a different fashion, how the fanatics in the Bush administration don't give a hoot about democracy.
The Bush oil-empire-building extremists are going to allow Turkey to "neutralize" the nascent democracy that the Kurds have enjoyed in a "free state" that Saddam's forces were prohibited from entering. Because Turkey fears that the Bush Cartel war would lead to the formal establishment of an independent Kurdistan, which might arouse Turkey's own Kurdish population to seek alignment with it, Turkey is apparently being given permission, by the U.S., to de facto control, after the war starts, most of the currently free Kurdish territory in Iraq. In essence, the Bush Cartel will be rescinding a modicum of democracy for the Kurds, who have perennially been used and betrayed by western powers.
Terrorism is a subtle, difficult problem to battle. It needs a multi-faceted, resilient, well-thought-out strategy and a lot of sweat equity. What it doesn't need is platitudes about democracy that are really a war for oil and empire-building wrapped in the camouflage of "patriotic" language meant to tug at the heart strings of Americans. (The secondary purpose of the war is to drive domestic issues out of the news, so that the Bush Cartel won't be held responsible for an economy that has gone down the tubes and the extremist right wing social and environmental policies that it has implemented.)
As BuzzFlash has argued again and again since September 11, our lives are at stake. We have a right and an obligation to speak out on what most effectively will reduce the threat of terrorism.
The Bush Cartel is driven by priorities other than battling terrorism. They wave the flag of democracy even while they are doing everything to subvert it.
The bullheaded Bush policy leaves us at greater risk for terrorism, not less.
It's not just the patriotic thing to oppose the opportunistic war and neo-colonial occupation that the Bush Cartel is about to undertake. It is a matter of self-survival. It is a matter of the survival of the American democracy.
And once the war starts, as it will, because Bush and his fellow chicken hawks feel that it will make them real men (without having to actually do the difficult work of really battling terrorism), the true American patriots should not be cowed by the Bush Cartel threat that to protest a war is to undermine our troops.
Remember Vietnam. Remember how so many lives of our service men were finally saved because of patriots -- like Daniel Ellsberg and millions of Americans -- who protested again and again, until we won.
Remember democracy. Keep its flame alive against the forces of darkness who wrap themselves in the cloak of God and false patriotism.
The war against Iraq will be used as another excuse to further dismantle our Constitution and civil liberties at home. The miscalculated hubris and religious fatalism of the Bush Cartel will inevitably lead to actions that trigger another terrorist attack, which in turn will be used as an excuse for Ashcroft to cross over the line of using the Patriot Act I (and proposed Patriot Act II) for seizing suspected terrorists to using it to arrest political dissenters. The war against Iraq will inevitably lead to the Bush Cartel's Reichstag fire (although some would argue September 11th was that fire). Bush will become the dictator in law that he has always wanted to be. It will be too late to turn back the clock, with the rabid Tom DeLay running the House of Representatives and Bill "Yes Man" Frist running the Senate on behalf of the White House, legislation will be passed that will put the final nail in the coffin of this splendid democracy we know as America.
The next step -- after the next terrorist attack -- will be using these Pinochet-like powers to seize dissenters, American citizens, from their homes and businesses and hold them without trial or advice of counsel. The judicial panel in D.C. that is the final arbiter on many of the "anti-terrorism" provisions (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court of Review) is dominated by right wing partisan "loyalty oath" "yes" men. The court consists of three judges who were appointed by Reagan, including the infamous Laurence Silberman. These Surveillance Court Review judges were appointed by, you guessed it, William Rehnquist. (See: http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,70736,00.html). You do the math on whether or not Ashcroft will be able to get away with turning America into a "KGB" state.
In Iraq, the media will conspire with the Bush Cartel to cover up civilian deaths, executions and torture, done in the name of the United States of America. OUR country.
The Bush Cartel: They've hijacked God -- and they've hijacked democracy.
Don't give up the fight. Your lives and the future of this great country are at stake.
Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld are driving us on a power-drunk 200 miles per hour joy ride into the jaws of Armageddon.
This isn't democracy. It's insanity in a ten-gallon hat.
A BUZZFLASH EDITORIAL
otherwise noted, all original