Monday, September 04, 2006

Unhappy Anniversaries of Bush's Failure

As if we needed them, the last few weeks have offered several reminders of why the presidential administration of George W. Bush is the worst in US history. A quick review of recent events highlights the reasons this failed businessman should never have been given the job of chief executive in the most powerful nation on earth.

Just before the first anniversary of the government's criminally negligent inaction during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, a federal judge in Detroit ruled that the president's program to wiretap American citizens is not only illegal, but unconstitutional. Bush had already admitted that he willfully committed an impeachable offense when he ordered the NSA to spy on Americans, ignoring the Federal Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). Judge Anna Diggs Taylor's decision confirmed that it was not only a violation of FISA, but also of the First and Fourth Amendments to the US Constitution for which the FISA court was established to enforce.

Then Spike Lee's brilliant four-part documentary "When the Levees Broke" brought tears to our eyes as survivors recounted their harrowing experiences. Though it is known that the levees were never strong enough to withstand a category five hurricane, Bush repeatedly cut funds to strengthen flood control in New Orleans, choosing instead to fund his imperialist adventure in Iraq. (All of this was after he cut taxes for the rich and drove the federal deficit to record levels, by the way.)

It is the president's failure to lead during and after the Katrina disaster that is his greatest offense against the people of the Gulf Coast. Bush feigned ignorance, just as he did after 9/11, claiming that no one knew of the potential damage the storm could cause. It has since been revealed that before the hurricane made landfall in the US, he took time out from his busy vacation to sit in on video conference calls with hurricane experts, but once the storm hit, he failed to make federal resources available in a timely fashion as he had promised.

One year later, the boondoggle on the gulf rivals Bush's Iraqi quagmire. The LA Times reports that less than half of the appropriated funds have been spent to clean up the mess in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama, and to return displaced residents to their homes. This is no surprise since one of the corporations that received a contract to rebuild the gulf coast was Vice President Dick Cheney's company Haliburton, whose failure to complete Iraq's reconstruction has resulted in their loss of that contract. At Katrina anniversary ceremonies, Bush passed the buck once again asking politicians in the gulf to lead the recovery efforts since he has failed to do so.

Passing the buck is a recurring theme for the Bush regime. Earlier this year the overtaxed US military passed the reigns of its war in Afghanistan to NATO. A resurgent Taleban is giving our allies a run for their money in the first front of Bush's so-called "War on Terror". GW chose to "cut and run" in the initial months of the conflict, failing to capture Osama Bin Laden, the operation's supposed target.

The fact is the US had been shopping a plan to invade Afghanistan among US allies well before 9/11, though that option wasn't considered to be realistic until the terror attacks of September 2001 offered a convenient pretext. The overthrow of the Taleban and its replacement with a friendly regime that allowed the construction of natural gas and oil pipelines and allied use of Afghanistan's strategic location were the real goals of the invasion.

NATO is reportedly close to inking a long-term agreement to provide support to the puppet regime of Afghan president and former Unocal executive Hamid Karzai. He certainly needs the help as the Taleban has gained strength in its bid to regain power, partially funded by the newly resucitated Afghan opium trade. The Pentagon's desire to shift troops from Afghanistan to the struggling invasion force in Iraq may be scuttled as a shorthanded NATO force trys to "cope" with the demands of the war.

Bush's wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have now claimed more American lives than the attacks of September 11, but there is no end in sight. Embattled US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld is on the offensive, lashing out at critics by declaring that "any kind of moral and intellectual confusion about who and what is right or wrong can severely weaken the ability of free societies to persevere." The Pentagon chief divisively drew parallels to Europe's appeasement of Adolf Hitler prior to World War II.

As Frank Rich observed in the New York Times, Rumsfeld "...has long since united Democrats, Republicans, generals and civilians alike in calling for his scalp." Senate Democrats are pushing for a vote of "no confidence" in Rumsfeld, and at least one GOP Senate candidate, New Jersey Republican Tom Kean, Jr. is calling for the secretary's resignation as the war in Iraq is hurting his own campaign.

More and more Bush's allies are distancing themselves from the president and his failed policies. For the first time since they took control of Congress in 1994, the GOP enters the mid-term election home stretch in danger of losing the House of Representatives and/or losing its small majority in the Senate. Republican candidates are downplaying their ties to the president to hide their membership on what is seen by most of the world as a losing team. British Prime Minister Tony Blair, long criticized in the UK for being Bush's "lapdog" is even working to create some space between himself and his buddy on the other side of the pond.

But September has arrived, and as we near the fifth anniversary of the 9/11 terrorists attacks, the administration will trot out the imagery of Bush as the great hero of September 11, proclaiming as Rumsfeld has that Bush "remains the same man who stood atop the rubble of Lower Manhattan, with a bullhorn, vowing to fight back." However, there is another image of the president on that day that is more enduring, the "deer in the headlights" stare as Bush failed to follow along while the children of Booker Elementary read "My Pet Goat" and the second tower of the World Trade Center was burning. Once again, the president failed to act and failed to lead. Instead of Bush assuming command of the situation, VP Dick Cheney was left in charge (as he had been all morning) and GW flew around the country on heaven only knows what kind of sight-seeing trip.

More than half of Americans believe the government has failed to thoroughly investigate the events of September 11. Bush's success at delaying the official investigation of the day only adds fuel to the fire. First the administration dragged its feet seeking to block any investigation at all, then appointed war criminal Henry Kissinger to head the commission. Once a real commission was approved, Bush limited the scope of the inquiry to intelligence failures, and obstructed the investigation throughout even refusing to make himself or Cheney available to testify in public.

What does the president have to hide? Cynthia McKinney sacrificed her political life when she asked a question that has never been answered: "What did the president know and when did he know it?"

September 11 signifies failure, a failure of intelligence, a failure in the nation's overbudgeted defense systems, a failure of leadership and a failure to bring those responsible to justice. If 9/11 is Bush's brightest moment, then he has led the nation down a dark path indeed.

On the fifth anniversary of the September 11th attacks, justice and anti-war activists will be on the National Mall in Washington DC remembering the lives that were lost on that day and mourning those who have died since as a result of the actions of this terrible regime. Those activists will demand that the president and his failed administration be removed from office and that the rule of law be restored in the United States of America. That gathering, called Camp Democracy, will occupy the capital from September 5 until September 21 teaching, learning, organizing, mobilizing and unifying the grassroots effort to bring about regime change in the USA. In my mind, this will be the most patriotic way memorialize the dead. But the real work will begin once that camp has ended. Only by rising up to defeat this failed criminal presidency, will we fulfill the true promise of the American experiment.
We hold these truths to be self-evident:
  • That all men are created equal
  • That they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights
  • That among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
  • That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed
  • That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.
Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.

But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

- The Unanimous Declaration of Independence of the United States of America


Blogger Paul Hue said...

Nadir: So what is it? Did Bush (and his puppet-masters) orchestrate 911? Or did the tower-burnings catch him "like a deer in headlights"? Perhaps his puppet-masters didn't even tell him what they had orchestrated?

September 25, 2006 1:36 PM  
Blogger Nadir said...

I can provide no evidence that Bush orchestrated 911. I can only provide evidence that he blocked any investigation for over 400 days, well after the trail was cold. He also insured that the investigation was limited to intelligence failings, and then refused to testify and make Cheney available to testify in public about what they knew and when they knew it.

If they were simply caught off guard by the attacks, they have to explain why they ignored all the terror warnings.

They should also explain the war games that were being held the morning of 911 and explain the government's failure to respond in a timely fashion (much like one of the other disasters of his presidency).

September 25, 2006 1:46 PM  

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