George W. Bush, A Master of Orwellian Doublespeak
Bush's American Enterprise Institute speech on Iraq (Feb 03)
As a form of background for this article, I shall begin by describing some of the pitfalls created by the George W. Bush Administration that have already been observed by others.
1. In the 3 Feb 03 edition of The Nation, the following pitfalls were identified in an article called "War's Collateral Damage." It pointed out that in effect the Bush Administration has:
-- Literally TRASHED the Constitutionally "guaranteed" legal rights of American citizens. The Bush Administrations believes that all they have to do is accuse an American citizen of being "a member of Al Quaeda" in order to imprison that citizen indefinitely without a lawyer, without judicial review, and without having to present any legal evidence to support their accusation. And incredibly, so far at least, they have gotten away with it! This policy is no more "moral" than our government's totally unjustified property seizures and imprisonments of tens of thousands of productive, law-abiding Japanese-Americans citizens during World War II!
-- Engaged in and condoned the torture of prisoners in Afghanistan.
-- Implemented a special registration program that became a totally unjustified nightmare for thousands of productive, law-abiding resident aliens.
-- Significantly expanded its use of "secrecy" to conceal its activities, especially with regards to its handling of prisoners.
-- Blocked an attempt to unionize 56,000 airport baggage screeners.
As the editors of The Nation point out, "None of these activities make us more secure from terrorism. They curtail democracy at home and make Americans hated abroad."
They should also have added our nation's faltering stock market and its ballooning national debt to their list of the collateral damage being wrought by the Bush Administration. If President Bush bankrupts our nation, as it appears he is going to do, Osama Bin Laden will have succeeded beyond his wildest expectations!
2. Furthermore, at an MIT Conference concerning the impending war in Iraq held on 26 Jan 03, Randall Caroline Forsberg pointed out our own beloved United States Government has blocked the entry into force of various forms of the rule of law including:
-- The Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty
-- Protocols to verify existing bans on chemical and biological weapons
-- A ban on weapons in space; and
-- A ban on the production of fissile material (blocked by China due to US refusal to ban weapons in space).
In addition, the United States has single-handedly begun to reverse important long-term trends that were headed in the right direction:
-- Permanently end the development and production of new nuclear weapons
-- Dismantle the weapons withdrawn under treaties and move steadily toward abolition;
-- Renounce first use of nuclear weapons.
3. Now, with these things in mind, we shall examine President George W. Bush's 26 Feb 03 speech in Washington DC to a right-wing "think tank" called the American Enterprise Institute. He began by buttering up his audience by referring to them as "scholars", "distinguished guests", and some of the "finest minds in our nation" who in his opinion exercised "great leadership." Among other notables, this audience included at least two US Supreme Court Justices.
Then Bush began, "On a September morning, threats that had gathered for years, in secret and far away, led to murder in our country on a massive scale. As a result, we must look at security in a new way, because our country is a battlefield in the first war of the 21st century. We learned a lesson: The dangers of our time must be confronted actively and forcefully, before we see them again in our skies and in our cities. And we set a goal: we will not allow the triumph of hatred and violence in the affairs of men. (applause)" [An example of doublespeak, which the audience applauded.]
To begin with, threats by Osama Bin Laden and other Muslim extremist groups to retaliate against Americans (even on American soil) in response to the biased and often-violent foreign policies of our own government were no secret at all. Our government, our press, and most Americans were already well aware of such threats. But it was appointees of the Bush Administration who earlier that year squelched an FBI field office's efforts to further investigate the activities of a suspect who later turned out to be one of the September 11th conspirators. Although we now know that many of those September 11th conspirators were being trained for years to be "sleeper cell" type agents, we also know that a considerable number of that group came into our country within a matter of days before the attack. What do you suppose may have triggered the decision to "wake up" those "sleeper cell agents" and to import those other terrorists for that particular attack? It could have been the Bush Administration's adamant refusal to acknowledge the obvious fact that the present state of Israel is a racist state (an issue raised at the UN conference on racism a few weeks earlier). We may eventually discover that if the Bush Administration had simply told the truth, that September 11th tragedy might never have been ignited.
Be that as it may, Bush's comment above is an example of doublespeak because his Administration has been consistently fighting AGAINST implementations of the rule of law (e.g. the International Criminal Court and the other examples mentioned above). Instead the Bush Administration has been advocating the use of preemptive military force to "solve" problems that they claim MIGHT occur someday. The fact is that President George W. Bush himself is one of the world's leading purveyors of "hatred and violence in the affairs of men." And for this he got applause?
Then Bush says, "Our coalition of more than 90 countries is pursuing the networks of terror with every tool of law enforcement and with military power. We have arrested, or otherwise dealt with, many key commanders of al Quaeda. (Applause.) Across the world, we are hunting down the killers one by one. We are winning. And we're showing them the definition of American justice." [Two more doublespeaks for which he gets another applause.]
These are doublespeaks because the principle of hunting people down and killing them without a trial (or killing innocent people and then justifying such actions by labeling the victims as "killers") does NOT exemplify our American system of justice. To the contrary, it exemplifies the Bush Administration's concept of "justice", a satanically inspired concept of justice if there ever was one. And for this he got more applause?
Then Bush began bad-mouthing the regime in Iraq, saying, "In Iraq, a dictator is building and hiding weapons that could enable him to dominate the Middle East and intimidate the civilized world -- and we will not allow it. (Applause.) This same tyrant has close ties to terrorist organizations, and could supply them with the terrible means to strike this country -- and America will not permit it. The danger posed by Saddam Hussein and his weapons cannot be ignored or wished away. The danger must be confronted. We hope that the Iraqi regime will meet the demands of the United Nations and disarm, fully and peacefully. If it does not, we are prepared to disarm Iraq by force. Either way, this danger will be removed. (Applause.) "
In fact, the Bush Administration has yet to provide any evidence whatsoever that Iraq has ever given a weapon of mass destruction to any terrorist organizations (other than the government of Iraq itself). If, as the Bush Administration claims, Iraq actually does have weapons of mass destruction, then the chances are quite high that Bush's invasion will CAUSE many of those weapons of mass destruction to end up in the hands of terrorist organizations! Once Saddam's command and control system is destroyed (one of the first types of target our forces would destroy), the Iraqi "minions" who actually have possession of those weapons of mass destruction are likely to "head for the hills" and take such weapons with them to sell in some kind black market. So, as often happens as a result of satanically inspired actions, rather than "removing the danger" as Bush is claiming, his planned military invasion is far more likely to MAKE THAT DANGER HAPPEN! And for this he got another satanically inspired applause!
Then Bush was so bold as to say, "The safety of the American people depends on ending this direct and growing threat. Acting against the danger will also contribute greatly to the long-term safety and stability of our world. The current Iraqi regime has shown the power of tyranny to spread discord and violence in the Middle East. A liberated Iraq can show the power of freedom to transform that vital region, by bringing hope and progress into the lives of millions. America's interests in security, and America's belief in liberty, both lead in the same direction: to a free and peaceful Iraq. (Applause.) The first to benefit from a free Iraq would be the Iraqi people, themselves. Today they live in scarcity and fear, under a dictator who has brought them nothing but war, and misery, and torture. Their lives and their freedom matter little to Saddam Hussein -- but Iraqi lives and freedom matter greatly to us. (Applause.)"
Their lives and their freedoms matter very little to George W. Bush either. He is about to initiate a war that is likely to kill hundreds of thousands, or perhaps even millions of Iraqi men, women, and children. And we could easily end up losing tens of thousands of American lives as well--all because President Bush and many in his Administration evidently believe that by keeping our nation in a constant state of war or near war, they can maintain their political popularity (and power) by promoting a flag waving "rally around the President during a time of crises" effect. Look who's creating these crises in the first place!
Not long after Lenin seized power in Russia, he sent a Russian army into Poland. He expected most of the Polish people to "join the revolution" and "rise up" against the aristocrats who were ruling them. But the polish people saw it for what it was, a military invasion and an attempt to make Poland a Russian state, so they stopped Russia in its tracks by annihilating that Russian army. So when Bush talks about a "war of liberation" in Iraq, he is sounding a lot like some kind of communist dictator. And he got applause for that?
Then, after promising some humanitarian and policing aid to the survivors of his war, Bush said, "We will seek to protect Iraq's natural resources from sabotage by a dying regime, and ensure those resources are used for the benefit of the owners -- the Iraqi people. (Applause.)
Anyone who really believes that those oil wells would be "owned by the Iraqi people" is either a communist idealist or hopelessly naive fool. Nevertheless, the "intellectuals" in Bush's AEI audience applauded his comment.
Then he says, "The world has a clear interest in the spread of democratic values, because stable and free nations do not breed the ideologies of murder. They encourage the peaceful pursuit of a better life. And there are hopeful signs of a desire for freedom in the Middle East. Arab intellectuals have called on Arab governments to address the "freedom gap" so their peoples can fully share in the progress of our times. Leaders in the region speak of a new Arab charter that champions internal reform, greater politics participation, economic openness, and free trade. And from Morocco to Bahrain and beyond, nations are taking genuine steps toward politics reform. A new regime in Iraq would serve as a dramatic and inspiring example of freedom for other nations in the region. (Applause.)"
Again, this is an example of doublespeak. If stable and free nations do not breed the ideologies of murder, then why is President George W. Bush breeding an ideology of murder? That pretty well sums up the ideological foundation Bush's foreign policy-an ideology of murder ("murder them now, because they might some day try to murder us"). To achieve the beneficial effects that Bush is talking about in the paragraph above, the Bush Administration would have to begin SUPPORTTING implementations of the rule of law rather than OPPOSING them as they are presently doing.
Then Bush goes on to say, "Success in Iraq could also begin a new stage for Middle Eastern peace, and set in motion progress towards a truly democratic Palestinian state. (Applause.) The passing of Saddam Hussein's regime will deprive terrorist networks of a wealthy patron that pays for terrorist training, and offers rewards to families of suicide bombers. And other regimes will be given a clear warning that support for terror will not be tolerated. (Applause.)
This is doublespeak, because the financial support that Saddam has provided for terrorist activities against Israel pales in comparison to the financial support and military training that OUR government has historically provided to terrorist organizations in Afghanistan, Nicaragua, and elsewhere. Our own government has been supporting and training terrorist organizations ever since Jimmy Carter decided to wage a Ho-Chi-Minh-like "war of insurgency" against a Russian supported government of Afghanistan. Perhaps some day George W. Bush's claim that "support for terror will not be tolerated" will be historically recognized as one of the biggest, deadliest, and most dishonest examples of doublespeak ever uttered! Nevertheless, Bush's AEI audience expressed agreement and applause for this profound example of doublespeak.
Bush then goes on to say, "Without this outside support for terrorism, Palestinians who are working for reform and long for democracy will be in a better position to choose new leaders. (Applause.) True leaders who strive for peace; true leaders who faithfully serve the people. A Palestinian state must be a reformed and peaceful state that abandons forever the use of terror. (Applause.) For its part, the new government of Israel -- as the terror threat is removed and security improves -- will be expected to support the creation of a viable Palestinian state -- (applause) -- and to work as quickly as possible toward a final status agreement. As progress is made toward peace, settlement activity in the occupied territories must end. (Applause.) And the Arab states will be expected to meet their responsibilities to oppose terrorism, to support the emergence of a peaceful and democratic Palestine, and state clearly they will live in peace with Israel. (Applause.) "
That sounds all well and good. Creating a true Palestinian state is worth a try. On the other hand, short of the establishment of a true world government, history has clearly shown that the national sovereignty system will continue to be unstable (and very deadly), especially in the Middle East. And to make matters worse, the Bush Administration has been doing everything it can to appose any changes that even hint at resembling a movement toward a true world government!
Then Bush says, "In confronting Iraq, the United States is also showing our commitment to effective international institutions. We are a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council. We helped to create the Security Council. We believe in the Security Council -- so much that we want its words to have meaning. (Applause.) "
Here is another example of a really BIG doublespeak. As pointed out above, the Bush Administration has been adamantly OPPOSING the creation and/or maintenance of effective international institutions (the International Criminal Court, etc.). Furthermore, Bush has threatened to "go it alone" against Iraq, if the UN Security Council refuses to support his planned invasion. If Saddam Hussein has committed a war crime, he should be brought before the International Criminal court and tried accordingly (just as some former leaders of Serbia have been brought to trial). But Bush OPPOSES such civilized alternatives; instead he is arranging to kill hundreds of thousands of Iraqis and perhaps as many as twenty thousand Americans simply to "get his own way." Bush's AEI audience applauded that one as well. Have any of the people in that audience ever noticed Bush's complete silence about the numerous Israeli government refusals to abide by UN resolutions?
Then Bush says, "The global threat of proliferation of weapons of mass destruction cannot be confronted by one nation alone. The world needs today and will need tomorrow international bodies with the authority and the will to stop the spread of terror and chemical and biological and nuclear weapons. A threat to all must be answered by all. High-minded pronouncements against proliferation mean little unless the strongest nations are willing to stand behind them -- and use force if necessary. After all, the United Nations was created, as Winston Churchill said, to 'make sure that the force of right will, in the ultimate issue, be protected by the right of force.'"
This was probably the best part of his entire speech, but in order to be civilized, that "use of force" should be directed at the INDIVIDUALS responsible crimes-not whole countries. Evidently, George W. Bush PREFERS to punish whole countries!
Then Bush says, "I've listened carefully, as people and leaders around the world have made known their desire for peace. All of us want peace. The threat to peace does not come from those who seek to enforce the just demands of the civilized world; the threat to peace comes from those who flout those demands. If we have to act, we will act to restrain the violent, and defend the cause of peace. And by acting, we will signal to outlaw regimes that in this new century, the boundaries of civilized behavior will be respected. (Applause.)
This is clearly another example of doublespeak. George W. Bush is the one who has been advocating violence and a general disregard for the "boundaries of civilized behavior." And again, Bush's AEI audience expressed applause and appreciation for such obvious double speaking.
Now for a really BIG one, BUSH says, "Protecting those boundaries carries a cost. If war is forced upon us by Iraq's refusal to disarm, we will meet an enemy who hides his military forces behind civilians, who has terrible weapons, who is capable of any crime. The dangers are real, as our soldiers, and sailors, airmen, and Marines fully understand. Yet, no military has ever been better prepared to meet these challenges. Members of our Armed Forces also understand why they may be called to fight. They know that retreat before a dictator guarantees even greater sacrifices in the future. They know that America's cause is right and just: liberty for an oppressed people, and security for the American people. And I know something about these men and women who wear our uniform: they will complete every mission they are given with skill, and honor, and courage. (Applause.)"
Bush's claim that Iraq is "forcing this war upon us" is a WHOPPING BIG BOLDFACED LIE! From the very start, it has been the Bush Administration that has been forcing this war upon us! I have no doubt that if that war occurs; our soldiers will do their jobs well and will ultimately achieve a military victory of some kind. However, Bush's claim that all of our soldiers agree with his so-called "justification" for this war is another example of a WHOPPING BIG BOLDFACED LIE!
So! Even though American Enterprise Institute's audience of "scholars", "distinguished guests", and "finest minds in our nation" may have a number of man-made "credentials" associated with their names, their applauding willingness to agree with those frequent examples of Bush doublespeak and bold-faced lies exposes them as being little more than ideological sycophants who are no more mentally alert than members of a flock of sheep being led into a slaughterhouse!
(one grain of salt)
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Last modified on Tuesday, March 04, 2003