Thursday, January 12, 2006

Why Does George W. Bush Hate America?

If this were a dictatorship, it would be a heck of a lot easier, just so long as I'm the dictator" ~ George W. Bush, December 18, 2000
Here's something that President Bush has been saying a lot this week: "... we should not fear debate. It's one of the great strengths of our democracy that we can discuss our differences openly and honestly -- even in times of war."

And no matter how many times he or his surrogates mouth the words, they ring just as false as the last.

I'm really beginning to wonder why Bush doesn't just cut to the chase and start rounding up all of us who disagree with the Iraq war -- and his entire method of governing -- and ship us off to some massive forced-labor camp in the middle of the Nevada desert. He can use subtle code phrases all he likes, but the words coming out of this president's mouth might as well have been spoken by any two-bit dictator in the world.

Debate is good – just so you agree with him. And dissent on the Iraq war is fine – just so long as you don't mind aiding and abetting the terrorists. Bush has given two big speeches in the last 48 hours and in both of them he tried very hard to frame the "debate" in exactly that way, while still coming off as reasonable to his sycophantic audiences.

Speaking Tuesday before the Veterans of Foreign Wars in Washington, Bush started his speech in the usual way by drawing an inaccurate and exploitive link between 9/11 and the Iraq war.

"This war began with a sudden attack on September the 11th, 2001. That morning, we saw the destruction our enemies intend for us -- and we accepted new responsibilities. Like generations before us, we're taking the fight to those who attacked us, and those who share their murderous vision for future attacks."

I guess if that lie continues to put right-wing asses in the seats, he'll keep using it -- notwithstanding the fact that we've almost given up entirely on looking for the people who actually attacked us on September 11.

"Like earlier struggles for freedom, the war on terror is being fought on many battlefronts," said Bush. "Yet the terrorists have made it clear that Iraq is the central front in their war against humanity. And so we must recognize Iraq as the central front in the war against the terrorists."

Now, I'm no expert in global terror, but I think that if we're going to spend $300 billion fighting a "war on terror," that money might be better spent catching a guy named Osama bin Laden and routing al Qaeda out of its 60-country base, than fighting in a country that never attacked us. I'm not sure who Bush uses as a role model, but it damn sure isn't Charles Bronson, who never let the guys who actually did him wrong just walk away unscathed.

But Bush really said what he came to say, when he started attacking all who oppose his Iraq policy as unpatriotic naysayers, who comfort the enemy at the expense of our troops.

"We must remember there is a difference between responsible and irresponsible debate -- and it's even more important to conduct this debate responsibly when American troops are risking their lives overseas," lectured Bush. "The American people know the difference between responsible and irresponsible debate when they see it. They know the difference between honest critics who question the way the war is being prosecuted and partisan critics who claim that we acted in Iraq because of oil, or because of Israel, or because we misled the American people."

"We also have an opportunity this year to show the Iraqi people what responsible debate in a democracy looks like. In a free society, there is only one check on political speech -- and that's the judgment of the people. So I ask all Americans to hold their elected leaders to account, and demand a debate that brings credit to our democracy -- not comfort to our adversaries."

I would agree with part of that last sentence. We do indeed need to spend every waking minute between now and November seeing to it that every single Republican who has backed this president's lying, murderous policies is held accountable.

When speaking in Louisville, Kentucky just yesterday, Bush gave this answer to a seven-year-old who asked how people can help win the war on terror:

"What I don't like is when somebody said, he lied. Or, they're in there for oil. Or they're doing it because of Israel. That's the kind of debate that basically says the mission and the sacrifice were based on false premise."

Far from being blasphemous, the notion of a "mission and sacrifice based on false premise" seems to hit the nail squarely on the head. I also guess I have my own view of what brings comfort to our adversaries and the president can't have it both ways.

By attempting to smash dissent in this way, Bush must be bringing a lot of comfort to the likes of bin Laden, who would undoubtedly like nothing better than to see the greatness of America so diminished. If the terrorists truly do "hate our way of life," they must be getting a lot of joy out of seeing our president and the GOP doing their best to destroy it.

Lie to attack a country that didn't harm us? No problem. Crap on our Veterans and do nothing to provide proper equipment for troops placed in harm's way by these lies? Standard fare. Out a covert CIA agent as political retribution, spy on the American people without a warrant and trash our Constitutional rights? Just another day at the office.

Because to Team Bush, none of those things are wrong. Rather, the people who object to those acts and raise their voices in protest are wrong – and terrorist-lovers on top of it.

Ironically enough, Bush tried to wax poetic on Tuesday about the difference between Democracy and a dictatorship and did so by invoking sentiments that can only make many of us sadly shake our heads.

"Dictatorships seem orderly -- when one man makes all the decisions, there is no need for negotiation or compromise. Democracies are sometimes messy and seemingly chaotic, as different parties advance competing agendas and seek their share of political power," said Bush. "We've seen this throughout our own history. We've seen this in other democracies around the world. Yet out of the turmoil in Iraq, a free government will emerge that represents the will of the Iraqi people -- instead of the will of one cruel dictator."

I certainly hope that for both the Iraqi people and for us. Because, with well over half the country dead-set against his course in Iraq, to paraphrase Chief Brodie in Jaws, "we're gonna need a bigger internment camp" to lock us all away.