By On the occasion of our 20th anniversary
By Gustavo Arellano
By R. Scott Moxley
By Alfonso Delgado
By Courtney Hamilton
By Joel Beers
By Peter Maguire
By Charles Lam
Every time Bush's precious Alaskan wilderness oil drilling gets shut down—as it did this month when it was splinted onto a Defense spending bill—it pops up in another bill, like a Whack-A-Mole.
Maybe Bush got temporarily shot down on privatizing Social Security, but he just got $40 billion cut from programs for the poor and student loan programs. He's already reneged on many of his post-Katrina aid promises and refused to fund the $14 billion wetlands restoration project that even oil companies agree is needed to protect Louisiana.
Meanwhile spending for his wars is hitting the half-a-trillion mark, the only tangible result of which is an Afghanistan awash in warlords and opium, and a madhouse in Iraq where the nearest hope for "stability" is a Shiite-fundamentalist government with close ties to Iran. Oh, and also, as experts in uniform are admitting, our Iraq incursion has become a recruiting tool throughout the Muslim world for the next generation of terrorists. They don't like us very much.
Bush justifies policies of war, secrecy and torture by claiming the safety of Americans is his No. 1 job—24/7 since 9/11—yet we are demonstrably less safe under him. If al-Qaeda does attack again, pray that they give months more warning than Katrina did. A disaster is a disaster, whether caused by man or nature, and our government is in no way up to the task, which is what you should expect when it's run by political cronies who hate government. Need we mention the bi-partisan 9/11 Commission's recent report card on domestic security in which the administration came home with Cs, Ds and Fs?
Jeez, what other Bush-league embarrassments came out this year? Well, in May, the Downing Street Memo came to light, showing that Bush was determined to go to war back when he was insisting to Congress that war was a last resort. Then there was the other Downing Street Memo, recently revealed, asserting that Tony Blair had to talk Bush out of bombing the Al-Jazeera news network's headquarters in Qatar, casting an ominous light on our "accidental" bombings of Al-Jazeera offices in Afghanistan and Iraq.
But they do "slanted" news, as opposed to Bush's scripted "impromptu chats" with troops, or the stories the Pentagon secretly paid to plant in the Iraqi press, or the lies about Pat Tillman's death, or the fake news videos the White House has produced, or the American columnists they secretly bribed, all of which you might more expect of Stalinist North Korea than the U.S. of A.
Or how about our government lying about using white phosphorus as a weapon, then being forced to admit it, but claiming it's not a chemical weapon even through we said it was when Saddam used it?
Or how about the stinging rebuke a federal court just handed the administration over its cynical shuffling around of the Jose Padilla case? Or how about—Damnit, there's tons more, and I'm flat out of space. Meanwhile there's dog shit in the backyard waiting to be picked up. Whatever should I do with it?