AND THEY CALL IT DEMOCRACY
Shortly following Bush’s feudal fiesta of an inauguration was the first of three Iraqi elections. The January 30 vote was memorable because it marked a novel approach to democracy — the candidates for the interim government were anonymous but the voters were fingerprinted. The Bush-Cheney administration touted the vote as a major turning point. Ditto for an October vote for an Iraqi constitution and for December’s permanent-legislative elections. In each case, this wildly optimistic assessment was then parroted by the mainstream media and accepted as an important marker on the invaded nation’s road to democratic self-rule. Unfortunately, after the first two votes, that road was lined with improvised explosive devices, and the year in Iraq was to become much more notable for bloodshed than watersheds.
In the lead-up to the December election, Bush finally attempted to answer Cindy Sheehan’s question in a series of four identical speeches. In each of them, he’d open with a joke and then immediately mention 9/11. He reminded us that everything has changed since 9/11. Yeah, since the year 911 when torture was a widely accepted governmental investigative device. Within a few hundred years, civilization broke out and large groups of human beings began denouncing the practice. Not only was it unjust and unspeakable, it was also highly ineffective. Torture victims were notoriously compliant and would tell interrogators anything they wanted to hear. Even worse, when people learn that torture is being committed, they tend to rise up in anger and seek vengeance against the torturers.
The Bush-Cheney team has ignored these obvious truths. It’s become clear that one of the reasons they wanted Iraqi oil was so they could boil it for use in interrogations. It used to be that an "extraordinary rendition" involved William Shatner singing "Mr. Bojangles"; now it has to do with re-opening Eastern European gulags.
Notwithstanding attempts by Bush-Cheney to rig Iraqi and American news with phony stories planted by its media operatives in the slimy Rendon and Lincoln Groups, the truth has been announced in the blood-curdling screams of agony from the victims of its torture. Whether at the hands of US military personnel, CIA agents, private contractors, or collaborating thugs from other nations, torture has become synonymous with our nation’s foreign policy.
Despite Bush’s strong denials and Condi Rice’s assurances that this administration has a strict policy of probably never committing torture, Dick Cheney’s legislative arm-twisting on the matter tells the real story. Any agreement the administration may make with John McCain or anyone else will be entered into with all the sincerity of its promise to rebuild New Orleans.
Regardless of what Bush makes of the latest election in Iraq, his game is up there. Congressman Jack Murtha, a man who never met a military action he’d question, has become the voice of the generals Donald Rumsfeld has censored. He knows the cause is lost, and that it’s time to get out. He knows that US troop presence will do nothing more than provoke perpetual violence. And he’s earned a crisp salute for saying so.
Bush keeps accusing the Dems of rewriting history — excuse me, George, but a point of literal order. You never write the history of the rise and fall of any Reich until after the fall. In this case, we’re hoping for the fall of 2006.
The majority of Americans now know that Bush justified this needless fight by lying to Congress, the American people, and the entire world. His premises were false, his motives were megalomaniacal. The results are tragic.
Bush picked a fight he didn’t need to pick. And lost. In doing so he weakened our nation and allies, and strengthened our enemies. And he did one more thing: he secured his place in history as a dangerous and soulless lunatic. It would require serious generosity to simply label him as pathetic.
You know, pathetic like Duke Cunningham.
When a common streetwalker gets busted, he or she behaves with dignity that Cunningham couldn’t buy with all the money in the Pentagon’s vault. But then, a common streetwalker is nowhere near the whore Duke Cunningham became. The streetwalker trades in what is his or hers to exchange. Cunningham was just a red, white, and blue pimp, profiteering on what wasn’t his to trade.
But say this much for Cunningham. He set a good example for his fellow Republicans by resigning in disgrace. If by next year at this time we’ve seen several more Republicans blubbering like defrocked beauty queens after copping pleas, 2006 will seem blessedly shorter than 2005.
George W. Bush picked a fight he was sure he could win — because the con artists who own and operate him told him he could. So in front of every other kid in the world, he called his victim out to the playground and had six or seven of his goons restrain the little guy while he hit him with everything he could find. In doing so, he pissed off everyone else on the playground.
So when Bush turned away from his bloodied victim to raise his hands in triumph, he was hit squarely from behind with a two-by-four. Repeatedly.
And it hasn’t stopped for two and a half years.
Curly or Larry would have thrown in the towel by now.
Unfortunately, Moe’s our president.
Political satirist Barry Crimmins is a writer for Air America Radio’s Randi Rhodes Show and the author of Never Shake Hands With a War Criminal (Seven Stories Press, 2004). He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org 1 page 2 page 3 page 4
Issue Date: December 23 - 29, 2005
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