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February, 2004

The State Of Disunion
By Edward W. Miller

Our President's "State of the Union" address to Congress on the 20th of January, left Republicans and many Americans disappointed, and provided the Democrats with plenty of ammunition for their on going campaign for the Whitehouse.

Acknowledging his firm belief in Hermann Goering's thesis, that a lie repeated often enough will become accepted, Bush defiantly repeated his canard that Saddam had been "developing weapons of mass destruction," saying US weapons inspectors had identified dozens of weapons of mass destruction "related program activities" and significant amounts of equipment that Iraq concealed from the United Nations.

"Had we failed to act, the dictator's weapons of mass destruction programs would continue to this day."

These bold-faced lies fly in the face of almost universal agreement that no such weapons exist. On January 16th, Bush's special weapons inspector, David Kay, with no acknowledgment to the press, quietly left Iraq for his Christmas Holiday after telling the Director of Central Intelligence, George Tenet, that "He Doesn't want to go back."

Kay's expensive team of 1400 weapons experts also quietly exited out the back door after spending well over $600 million of taxpayer's money to find nothing.

As for his spat with the UN over Iraq, as the SF Chronicle noted, (Jan 21st) Bush recast his well-documented defiance of the United Nations, saying his decision to invade despite the opposition of most Security Council members was in fact a loyalty to the world body. "Since we last met in this chamber, combat forces of the United States, Great Britain, Australia, Poland and other countries enforced the demands of the United Nations, ended the rule of Saddam Hussein-and the people of Iraq are free."

A recent poll of several thousand TV watchers demonstrates how close we have come to George Orwell's 1984. After Twin Towers the Bush caravan fabricated and then constantly repeated the canard that Saddam Hussein had been in close alliance with Osama Bin Laden and his Al Qaeda organization, despite every evidence to the contrary. FOX NEWS which dances in tango with Washington repeated this lie, and according to the poll, convinced 69% of its viewers that Bush was right. In contrast, less than 29% of viewers watching other news sources bought into the Bush falsehood.

Bush, of course, never in his address mentioned either the Mideast or the Israel vs. Palestinian conflict, nor did he find it convenient to mention Osama Bin Laden. Our President spoke encouragingly of an economy that was improving, partly as a result of his "tax cuts" which he reminded congress five times in his speech, will disappear unless Congress acts to make them permanent. Bush, without solid evidence to support him also told his audience that "the world was safer with Sadam Hussein in a holding cell."

In deference to big business, Bush attributed many of the job losses to "higher productivity" a statement no sane economist would swallow and then renewed his attacks on Social Security, suggesting private savings accounts for some, and tax credits for low-income workers to buy health insurance.

As for the same-sex marriage issue, Bush noted that "activist judges" had begun "redefining marriage by court order without the will of the people," saying a constitutional amendment might be the people's only alternative, obliquely criticizing President Clinton for having signed the Defense of Marriage Act in 1996.

All-in-all it was the same old Bush, a president who has managed to turn a $200 Billion federal surplus into a $500 Billion debt, whose tax cuts for the wealthy, which include the slashing of the estate tax, will guarantee a three trillion federal indebtedness in less than ten years. Bush spoke glowingly of his "No Child Left Behind" program, never saying that Congress failed to vote enough money to really get it off the ground. Meanwhile most of the fifty-one states, facing across-the-board cuts for all social programs, are unable to fund their local school budgets at anywhere near the 2003 level.

Some programs our Republican-dominated Congress voted are making enemies for us around the world. The $190 billion bonus to Big Agriculture, "welfare for the rich," spread over ten years, is already destroying family farmers south of our border in Mexico, where Arthur-Daniel-Midland (ADM) soy beans, corn, oats, and barley, sold in their local markets at rock-bottom prices, have put the local farmers out of work, and brought about some 3-4 million mortgage failures. These ex -farmers and their families either add to their cities' poor or flee north across the border to find survival in their "Good Neighbor" the US. ADM is also accused by Third-World countries in Africa of similar disruption of their local agriculture. So much for Bush's "Free Trade."

Meanwhile, Afghanistan is a morass where US bombs are killing families, and the country outside the city limits of Kabul and Kandahar, remains in a state of anarchy; with northern warlords arming to the teeth with cash from the largest opium crop since the Taliban was attacked by the US. Some 2.5 million Afghan refugees still stream across the borders from both Pakistan and Iran to barely survive in refugee camps supported by the UN and NGOs. Taliban forces are regrouping despite sporadic raids by US occupying troops which to date have lost 100 US killed.

In Iraq, sporadic violence against US and Allied occupations forces continues despite tightened US resistance, some 9,000 "militants" held in prison camps, and an occasional town surrounded and isolated by coils of razor wire.

US forces have lost 501 lives as of today. Paul Bremer, caught between his edicts issued to the Iraqis and age-old conflicts involving Sunnis, Shiites, Turkomans, Kurds, Assyrian Christians and Chaldeans, ran back again to Washington this weekend for instructions. Caught, between a Bush government trying to put the best face on our failing Iraqi Occupation and the Ayatollas, Bremer is being hung out to dry by the powerful Shiite majority.

The REAL State of the Union; A US with its population sharply divided over foreign policy, free-trade, church-and-state relations, and personal freedom vs. the Anti-Terrorist restrictions; increasing poverty with its rising crime and drug use eroding our inner-cities and 43 million Americans without health coverage; a deeper divide between the very rich, and a middle class whose standard of living has been falling since 1972; five million children just surviving below the poverty level; three million jobs lost since Bush took office, and middle-level as well as assembly-line positions fast disappearing overseas.

 

 

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