By Gustavo Arellano
By R. Scott Moxley
By Alfonso Delgado
By Courtney Hamilton
By Joel Beers
By Peter Maguire
By Charles Lam
By Charles Lam
Of course, Rumsfeld could have more effectively raised that issue when he visited with Saddam in the 1980s at the behest of his boss, Ronald Reagan. But he didn't because Saddam was their good buddy then, and their only caveat about him massacring his own people was that he should do it quietly so human-rights scandals wouldn't scuttle the business deals they were brokering. Our CIA had helped the Ba'athists and Saddam come to power, and many in the Bush administration were also there when Reagan and Bush the First aided Saddam during his worst atrocities. With that sort of history, we look as much like liberators to the Iraqis as the Nazis did to Parisians.
Despite the firm June 30 date for handing over an undefined amount of power to a hand-picked government, and despite the billions in no-bid contracts handed out to Bush cronies to stabilize and democratize Iraq, the place remains a flaming hornet's nest.
How are our tax dollars being spent there? How about the $96 million given to Florida's Harris Corp. to establish a free press? Though jobs are precious in Iraq, the editor and nearly the entire staff of the Harris-run Al Sabah newspaper quit in disgust this month, claiming the paper was just a U.S. propaganda organ.
In that respect, the situation mirrors the state of U.S. democracy, where rich conservatives own most of the media. Remember Clear Channel Communications manufacturing its own pro-war rallies and then giving them extensive coverage? This past month, Bush-aligned giant Sinclair Broadcast Group refused to air ABC's Nightline because it considered the show's memorial to our war dead anti-Bush. Disney refused to distribute Oscar-winner Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9-11 because it's "political"—and we can't have political films in an election year—though Disney stations broadcast Rush Limbaugh and other right-wing hatemongers. Meanwhile, the Bush administration is doing all it can to allow these behemoths to control even more media.
These guys are verging on creating their own thousand-year Reich. Conservatives have a lock on Congress via their unprecedented unrepresentative gerrymandering, which was allowed to stand by the conservative Supreme Court, which also appears unconcerned that the American people are kept in the dark about how our energy policy was forged in secret by the same corporations that gamed the California energy crisis and are now gouging us on gas prices.
And the record profits the oil companies are reaping are pouring into Bush's equally record-breaking $200 million-plus campaign war chest. Like it or not, you are paying at the pump for Bush's election campaign.
America is a wonderfully resilient country, but I don't know if it could recover from another four years of Bush degrading our democracy and coarsening our spirit. Since when did torture become okay with us? When did rights and justice come to be viewed as impediments to our way of life? When did premeditated pre-emptive murder become a righteous cause? We are on the slope to depravity, led by a NASCAR Nazi who talks about Jesus while acting like a Roman emperor.
The White House insider accounts in recent books depict a president who is steadfastly uncurious about any viewpoints, analyses or options that might deviate from the shining path dictated by his instincts. "I go the way that Providence dictates with the assurance of a sleepwalker," Bush has said.
Do you think this article is all bullshit? Then go check the facts. I think you'll find that there's only one untruth here: the quote about sleepwalking wasn't Bush; it was Adolf Hitler in 1936. That's not a walk we want to take.