Reverse Robin Hood Republicanism
And the Dance of Death (May 03)
Recently, I saw a performance by an assault rifle toting rock and roll performer named Ted Nugent. Although his music sounded like little more than rhythmic noise and his foul-mouthed comments between songs glorified hate-your-neighbor themes, by wrapping himself in American flags he succeeded in making himself popular among many of the younger members of the audience. His dancing admirers reminded me of the crowds of people in Argentina who danced in the streets to celebrate their military government's apparently successful invasion of the Falkland Islands in 1982 and of the Iraqi's who danced in the streets in 1991 to celebrate their military government's takeover of Kuwait. It was as if they were totally oblivious of the death, grief, and years of suffering that they would soon be subjected to as a result of their government's satanically inspired actions.
In the United States today, we have a President who is enjoying a flag-waving 70% war policy approval rating in spite of the fact that he has likewise been setting us up for decades of death, grief, and suffering.
1. The Bush Administration evidently believes that by boldly claiming to be doing the opposite of what they are actually doing (i.e. by uttering bold-faced lies), they can cover up or at least divert attention away from activities they are engaged in that would be highly unpopular if the truth about such activities were widely known. For example,
a. An American Prospect Magazine article entitled "All The President's Lies" by Drake Bennett and Heidi Pauken (which can be read on www.prospect.org) points out how President Bush has routinely used such highly dishonest tactics to cover up his Administration's degradations of our nation's education programs, health care programs and environmental programs.
b. And in preparation for his "Bush War II" in Iraq, he deliberately misled people (including many Congressmen and Senators) by repeatedly claiming that the best chance for avoiding another war in Iraq would be to "speak with one voice" (while he was in fact planning all along to militarily invade Iraq regardless of anything the Iraqi government or the United Nations could have done). It has now become clear that the arguments Bush used to convince our Congress and the United Nations to pass resolutions authorizing military force against Iraq were largely "a pack of lies" dreamed up by the Bush Administration. Tens of thousands of men, women, and children (including quite a few Americans) have become casualties of war since then, because such lies were tolerated. And it is still unclear as to whether or not our government has achieved any of Bush's stated objectives other than to force a "regime change" in Iraq.
Perhaps Bush's current approval rating reflects a fact that most Americans get their news almost exclusively from television news sources without ever bothering to read more thoroughly researched articles that show that a LOT of what Bush is saying on TV is simply not true. Now Bush is attempting to put the same people who run those TV news programs in charge of print-oriented news organizations as well!
2. The Bush Administration evidently believes that they can get away with "looting" our nation's treasury by funneling not only present tax dollars but future (borrowed) tax dollars into the present bank accounts of those who helped finance Bush's 1990 election. Like the crooked CEO of Enron who helped finance Bush's election, members of the Bush Administration seems to be hell bent on extracting as much money as they can from our government before the whole system goes bankrupt!
a. The way Bush's "National Missile Defense" program contracts and his contracts to "rebuild Iraq" were written and awarded are classic examples of this.
b. Bush's "Reverse Robin Hood" tax initiatives (i.e. to take tax dollars from the poor and give them to the rich) are another example. After his first two tax cut initiatives failed to accomplish their purported objective to facilitate economic recovery (instead, his policies led to the loss of 2.7 million jobs in America), he succeeded again to convince Congress to do more of the same while "burying" a report prepared by his own people that showed that our government already has a 44 trillion dollar shortfall between its projected expenditures and its projected tax revenues. And, as pointed out by Michael Kinsley in his 2 Jun 03 Time Magazine article. "Voodoo of Bubya-nomics", Bush's latest tax initiative "reflects an extraordinary, even radical shift of the tax burden from the rich to the middle class" while offering the middle class a few hundred dollars to buy their support for a plan that is "worth millions to those who already have millions." To make matters worse, the Republicans in our Congress specifically excluded our poorest working Americans (those who earn $10,500 to $26,625 per year) from receiving the $400/child "refund" checks that middle-class Americans will be receiving. This is "Reverse Robin Hood Republicanism" at its worst! Bush likes to claim that Democrats are resorting to "class warfare" when they point out such things, but it's been the Bush Administration that has been ACTUALLY ENGAGING in class warfare against poor and middle-class American over the past two years.
c. When are our Democratic politicians going to wake up to the fact that it was the so-called "largest tax increase in American history" pushed through Congress by the Clinton Administration that led to Americas' economic boom in the 1990s? That's because the Clinton Administration gave the American people and businesses alike a confidence that their government would act responsibly and would soon bring an end to deficit spending (which it did). The present Bush Administration offers no realistic hope whatsoever of ever becoming a responsible government. All it does is cater to itself and its rich supporters. Even Bush's only altruistic "shield issue" program, his program to help fight the AIDS pandemic, will probably end up being designed to cater to rich Republican supporters.
d. Most American families have benefited tremendously from the financial support that our government's Medicare and Medicaid programs have supplied to provide reasonably decent medical support for their elderly parents. But as pointed out in that 44 trillion dollar shortfall report which the Bush Administration tried to suppress, the Bush Administration's deficit spending policies are destined to bring an end to both of those programs (and to seriously degrade future social security benefits as well). Medical support for tens of millions of "baby boomers" will become non-existent, unless their children are wealthy enough to pay for their parents' medical needs. Since most baby-boomer children are not likely to be wealthy enough to pay such bills, a large percentage of the medical institutions that are presently providing such care will eventually go out of business. Ironically, the Republican politicians that the medical profession has been financially supporting with their political contributions are the very ones who are creating the conditions that will result in the demise of their medical businesses.
3. The Bush Administration's policy of "pre-emptive military action" is not only getting a lot of men, women, and children killed, it is in fact INCREASING the likelihood of anarchy throughout the world rather than decreasing it.
a. Bush's decision to cut off US and allied oil shipments to North Korea has forced the North Korean government to reactivate its nuclear reactors and pissed the North Korean government off so badly that it is now seriously considering whether to start a conventional or nuclear war in South Korea, create and sell nuclear weapons to the highest private bidder, or perhaps just sell weapons-grade plutonium to terrorist organizations, so that they can build their own nuclear weapons.
b. And now members of the Bush Administration are not only "thumbing their nose" at the Nuclear Test-ban Treaty of 1963, they are actively seeking to produce "mini-nukes." President Bush already has the capability to use our present nuclear weapons systems to destroy any place on our planet many times over, so we have absolutely no legitimate need to design and create "mini-nukes." But, like Bush's "National Missile Defense" program, this mini-nuke program appears to be nothing more than a corporate welfare program to help keep US defense contractors happy (and perhaps to keep some nuclear scientists employed). The problem with this, aside form that fact all this is being done with borrowed money, is that once such "mini-nukes" are created, there is a very high likelihood that one way or another, they will end up being used by terrorists to kill Americans. That is precisely what happened in 2001 when US-government-made anthrax powder was used to kill numerous Americans via our mail system. When it comes to the morally depraved practice of creating "weapons of mass destruction" for use by terrorists, George W. Bush is at the top of the pile!
c. And, now that he has forced a "regime change" in Iraq, Bush has been threatening similar actions against Iran, Syria, North Korea and other nations "if they harbor terrorists." Although it's unlikely that the highly dishonest tactics he used to secure Congressional approval for his war in Iraq will work as successfully the second time around, the tensions he is creating my making such threats are likely to make those governments far less open with regards to who or what organizations they are actually are supporting. US troops have retrieved a large amount of cash and intercepted two large gold shipments in Iraq, but only Saddam and/or his friends know how many shipments like that actually got through to their intended destinations. If some of those large shipments of cash or gold did get through, the chances are that a significant portion of those shipments will be used to finance terrorist activities against the United States (at home and abroad). So Bush's "war on terrorism" is likely to end up creating worldwide "tit-for-tat" exchanges of terrorism between the United States and the rest of the world, similar in many ways to the never-ending series of terrorist exchanges in Israel over the past decade.
This is why I view those young people who gleefully dance to the tunes of gun toting, flag-waving hate mongers as being naive unfortunates who are dancing a dance of inevitable death, grief, and suffering.
During our latest invasion of Iraq, I asked a friend of mine (a veteran of World War II) whether or not he believed that Bush was telling the truth about our need to engage in that war. His response was, "I have to believe him; he's our Commander in Chief." How unfortunate it is for all of us that his assessment of the role of Commander in Chief has failed to withstand the test of time. Of what use are the many advancements in information dissemination technology that we have achieved over the past 50 years if such advancements are still failing to help solve problems like this?
(one grain of salt)
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Last modified on Sunday, June 01, 2003