This weekend, over 700 communities in the USA had/will have protest events on the two-year anniversary of the Iraq War. Check http://www.unitedforpeace.org/ for information about how and where you can participate.
This war doesn’t fight terrorism – we were all hoodwinked on that. It’s all about greed, profiteering, building empire. Meanwhile, twe have simply created new reason for almost everyone – terrorists or not – to hate the US and to further the cycle of violence – why not? We violated our own Constitution and our obligations to international law – we use torture, bombardment of civilian spaces, cluster bombing, depleted uranium. You just can’t deliver democracy with invader attacks. Ask the people of Fallujah, the ones that are left.
Democracy and freedom and liberation come from the choices and will of the country’s people. They must choose their own office-holders – not our puppets and appointees. They must choose their own policies -not Bremer’s privatization schemes. Our pipeline-guarding bases should be removed.
We have put our heads in the sand. Most of the world thinks we are wrong – most of the world thinks the war was illegal and misguided. Are we so tied in our own sense of superiority that we have lost all ability to listen, to discuss, to understand the viewpoints of others? If it’s so justifiable, we wouldn’t need a new PR tzar to – quite belatedly – address basic damage control. Condi’s a failure on that – bring in the big guns. Actually, I’ve often wondered why they don’t use Laura Bush for some of that stuff. Maybe it’s the glassy eyes…
Meanwhile, the economic price of the war and the high-end tax cuts have put us into more debt than ever before – the interest charges on our national debt (for example) could easily cover social security for the foreseeable future if we didn’t have to pay it out to our foreign bankers. Yet, this bait and switch administration wants you to blame people with health problems, people who are poor, people who are old, and an assortment of other scapegoats for the problems it has created for our country. As someone in education, I still wince to see that the budget cuts to the mandated “No Child Left Behind” implementation – as though that ever mattered to this compassionless president. Get people on board, make it required, then don’t fund it. Way to get your kids into the borderline or even dangerous institutions of your supporters – easy sop to the right. Meanwhile, Head Start, after-school programs, literacy programs… none of that matters to this administration. Education? Yeah – they like their masses obedient and as dumb and unquestioning as possible.
The corporations getting lump-sum payments, huge tax cuts, etc – they don’t change their policies. They just suck it in, and apply another wedge between the top and bottom of the wage scale. It’s just one more way to profit – that’s it, folks.
“A wise and frugal government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, which shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government, and this is necessary to close the circle of our felicity.” Thomas Jefferson, First Inaugural Address.
Bush administration: Not wise, not frugal, not restraining men (or corporations) from injuring one another – or more accurately – from injuring the planet and its people. I think it’s interesting that the prohibition against regulation expressed above applies to the pursuit of industry and improvement – not the pursuit of a slash and burn zone or the exploitation of the worker. “Will not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned” – that’s almost funny! This, in sum, is not good government. It isn’t even neutral government – it’s the worst administration I have seen – an administration profoundly against the interests of the American people. And they have done, and are doing, damage to us that will continue on for a long long time. In that sense, their legacy is assured.
The American people, some of us, have a hard time facing the hard reality that these are not good people, they don’t care about us, and yes – it’s really that bad. When the adminstration is historically understood – say in a decade or more – it will be too late to have stopped the multiple catastrophes these greedy short-sighted people are in the midst of triggering. God help us all.