Ok, I admit it. I’m a wienie. I started crying last night at about 11 and didn’t really stop until after Kerry’s concession speech, which I watched from a tv next to my husband as he got his second round of chemo. Kerry was dignified, courageous, kind. Someone shouted out, “We’ve still got your back.” He broadcasted hope and faith in the future. I don’t know how he did it.
I have some serious questions about why Republicans, with a long history of blocking the vote, disrupted every attempt to create a paper trail to verify votes. What is the defense on that, really? Voting machines in Ohio and Florida and other places malfunctioned and since there was no paper, could never be checked or reconciled – I think, again, that we wuz robbed. Networks aren’t picking up on any of this information, but just look around a bit on the net – you’ll find thousands of examples.
Even so, the oppressed supported the status quo in large numbers, against their self-interest. Older folks – who may live long enough to regret it – overwhelmingly voted for Bush. Supposedly, the young 19-29 group only voted in the same 17% rate as the last election – and now it is said they were equally divided. The class, race and gender stats are seriously depressing. I have a hard time believing that all those people who were in line all day…. oh well, what’s the use. Kerry has conceded after all.
I do hope that Bush starts listening to people who are in closer touch with reality, that he hears with compassion, and is informed by a higher vision that might unite us in common cause. I hope that he begins to listen to scientists, pay close attention to the increasing divide between the richest of us and the rest of us, to give women respect, to re-empower AIDS education and prevention around the world, to prioritize the economy and jobs, to heed the concerns of the majority of us who live in unconventional families. I hope that he does support the Constitution, and our rights and freedoms, and brings us all to a higher level of public discourse.
Yeah, and pigs might fly out of my butt.
The American people have been hoodwinked by Rove and his machine into believing that Bush is a moral man, that he cares about family, social and economic justice, and that he is motivated by compassion. It looks like a little more than half of you bought it.
George W. Bush has made sure that the shining example of America has been dragged through the mud. There are more than 100,000 civilian casualties in Iraq. That’s right, civilian death. Look at that number again. More than 100,000. We are more hated, in more danger, and in greater debt than ever before in history. We are less and less democratic, while purporting to export democracy. The man who can’t tolerate a teeshirt advocating civil liberties in his presence claims to be spreading liberty around the world.
Rove (his propanganda mastermind) has found a strategy worthy of Goebbels’ Germany: Say you are doing the opposite of what you are actually doing, repeat simple lying statements, use antonyms. Healthy forest, clean air… freedom, values.
You may be familiar with the doublespeak and Big Brother from Orwell’s fiction, but there is another parallel in Sinclair Lewis’ 1935 novel “It can’t happen here.” Pierre Tristam reminds us that a second Bush term brings Ameria as close as it has ever been to a dictatorship. I would add that it is more than that – depending on the appointments in the Supreme Court and the announced privatization of social security and the restructuring of the tax code, we may well be looking at an actual embodied American fascism (government/corporation) of the 21st century – a new world order, the fourth Reich. In a one-party America, which is what we have now with all branches of the government in republican control – we can only beg those more civic-minded and responsible republicans within the party to help us. It is interesting, historically at least, that the former Soviet Union has basically done the same thing. Putin and Bush – peas in a pod, both undoing the sacrifices and work of so so many.
What, really, is the major difference between the two forms of radicalism – Islamic jihad and the fanatical econo-christian crusade? At this time, I have to agree with Arundhati Roy‘s Nobel Peace Prize Speech that there is really only one difference between the terrorists we fight and the corporate imperialism fighting for the world’s resources – only one of them works with the resources of the nation-state. All those academics studying post-colonialism, a hot topic up until very recently, I have bad news for you:
Iraq marks the beginning of a new cycle. It offers us an opportunity to watch the corporate-military cabal that has come to be known as “empire” at work. In the new Iraq, the gloves are off.
As the battle to control the world’s resources intensifies, economic colonialism through formal military aggression is staging a comeback. Iraq is the logical culmination of the process of corporate globalisation in which neo-colonialism and neo-liberalism have fused. If we can find it in ourselves to peep behind the curtain of blood, we would glimpse the pitiless transactions taking place backstage.
Invaded and occupied Iraq has been made to pay out $US200 million ($270 million) in “reparations” for lost profits to corporations such as Halliburton, Shell, Mobil, Nestle, Pepsi, Kentucky Fried Chicken and Toys R Us. That’s apart from its $US125 billion sovereign debt forcing it to turn to the IMF, waiting in the wings like the angel of death, with its structural adjustment program. (Though in Iraq there don’t seem to be many structures left to adjust.)
So what does peace mean in this savage, corporatised, militarised world? What does peace mean to people in occupied Iraq, Palestine, Kashmir, Tibet and Chechnya? Or to the Aboriginal people of Australia? Or the Kurds in Turkey? Or the Dalits and Adivasis of India? What does peace mean to non-Muslims in Islamic countries, or to women in Iran, Saudi Arabia and Afghanistan? What does it mean to the millions who are being uprooted from their lands by dams and development projects? What does peace mean to the poor who are being actively robbed of their resources? For them, peace is war.
We know very well who benefits from war in the age of empire. But we must also ask ourselves honestly who benefits from peace in the age of empire? War mongering is criminal. But talking of peace without talking of justice could easily become advocacy for a kind of capitulation. And talking of justice without unmasking the institutions and the systems that perpetrate injustice is beyond hypocritical.
It’s easy to blame the poor for being poor. It’s easy to believe that the world is being caught up in an escalating spiral of terrorism and war. That’s what allows George Bush to say, “You’re either with us or with the terrorists.” But that’s a spurious choice. Terrorism is only the privatisation of war. Terrorists are the free marketeers of war. They believe that the legitimate use of violence is not the sole prerogative of the state.
It is mendacious to make moral distinction between the unspeakable brutality of terrorism and the indiscriminate carnage of war and occupation. Both kinds of violence are unacceptable. We cannot support one and condemn the other.
And yet that is the message we have sent to the world today, a world that supported us after 9/11. We have said that we agree with American Econo-Imperialism, with American Empire. We have said that we agree to the lies, that we have seen the deceptions and not cared, that we are either a nation of idiots or a nation of conscious wrongdoing.
We will not be able to say we didn’t know. It didn’t work for Germany and it won’t work for us. We don’t even have the already-pitiful excuse of the USSR to prop up our support of ruthless dictators anymore…but that’s all right, we are well on our way to creating our own.
The thing that bothers me most is that people were “thinking of security and values.” Everyone thinking of security and values. And yet, if they had done the first bit of research, they would have found out that we are less secure than ever. They would have found out that Bush and Company are the most immoral people we have ever put into leadership in this country; they make Nixon and Kissinger look quaint. Bush even used our latent anti-intellectualism and xenophobia to good use. It took an awful lot of work to destroy the good things we had going before he took over.
Look for more.