Bush Admin. and Reality, Don't Mix

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The latest White House spokesman, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, revealed the essential nature of current foreign and domestic security policy yesterday in a speech before the American Legion's national convention, yesterday. His central theme was terrorists, and his strategy was to invoke fear. Secretary Rumsfeld likened our war against terrorists and in Iraq to that of WWII, alluding to the prospect of Islamic Fascism seeking to take over the world and subjecting freedom loving people's everywhere to their fascist regimes. This was quite illuminating for its glaring falsehood and overreaching.

One huge glaring error was comparing Islamic terrorists today to the fascist regimes of Germany and Italy and to Imperial Japan of the 1930's. These were nation states which sought to overpower the militaries and the people of other nation states and incorporate them, subjugating their people's to their expanded nation state's regime. Terrorists today are nation less, and lack military power and might to annex other nations and subjugate their peoples. So, why do Rumsfeld, Cheney, and Rice, all of whom have made similar arguments this week, create this false image for public consumption? There are at least two reasons, military expansion, and fear of the American population.

Military expansion is a platform issue, which the Bush administration ran on in 2000 and 2004. To expand the military capacity by a half trillion dollars or more, one needs a boogeyman to justify the cost. Prior to 9/11, 2001, their boogeyman was Saddam Hussein, but, they had no way to sell him as a domestic threat to the U.S. After 9/11, fashioning boogeymen was easy. The axis of evil, Iraq, Iran, and N. Korea were added to the al-Queda threat and the administration talked of them as if they were one, colluding and planning to invade America and subjugate our people to their will denying us our democracy, our liberties, and our sovereignty.

Of course, nothing could have been more inaccurate or born of fantasy. That is why they had to cherry pick intelligence, to at least hint of a connection between Saddam Hussein and al-Queda. N. Korea has no Islamic base whatsoever. But, never mind that, they sought nuclear weapons which tied them to Iran and Iraq, and al-Queda had to be linked to Iraq, or, al-Queda could not be tied to the nuclear threat. And so the propaganda unfolded.

What was really driving this military expansion? Al-Queda's numbers were estimated in the thousands and they clearly lacked WMD with which to attack us, which is why box cutters and jets were used. This hardly called for military expansion. We had sufficient miltiary resources to invade Afghanistan and defeat the Taliban that supported al-Queda. As for international terrorists, what was called for was intelligence expansion, and much more closely integrated domestic and international policing capabilities.

What was clear as day after 9/11, was that the home ground of al-Queda, the Middle East, was also home to the one commodity our economy could not function without - oil. What would happen if al-Queda targeted our economy by targeting Middle Eastern oil infrastructure? Well, now it becomes clear. Without an American war in the Middle East, we were limited in our military capacity to protect and defend the oil infrastructure of the Middle East. Hence, by the Bush administration's logic, we simply had to create a war in the Middle East and Iraq would have to do.

But, would the American public back a war for oil in the Middle East. The polls of the time, said no. But they would back a war against the terrorists who struck us on 9/11. And this is where the fear of the American public comes in. The Bush administration's biggest fear was not al-Queda or Saddam Hussein's army, but, the resolve of the American people to back military expansion for control of the oil rich Middle East. They correctly surmised that the American people would not back war for profit. So, the problem to be overcome was, how to instill sufficient fear in the American public to insure doubling the national debt to expand military expansion throughout the world. The terrorist boogeyman was the perfect solution, and they have been inflating the terrorist boogeyman's size and potency ever since, and never more fervently than at election time.

Let's take a close look at this boogeyman the White House has blown up to WWII fascist proportions. How many Islamic terrorist invasions of our homeland have our military hailed victory over since 9/11, 2001? Answer: None! How many attacks on jets have been prevented by subjecting American passengers to searches, and prohibiting everything from lighters and nail clippers to shampoos and vaginal creams from boarding with passengers? Answer: None! How many Americans have died at the hands of terrorists in the U.S. since Bush took office in 2000? Answer: Just under 3000, all on 9/11.

Statistically, which is the greater risk of killing Americans, terrorists or drunks driving on our highways? Answer: Drunks kill more than 2000 Americans on our highways each year. How about the risk between terrorists and going into an American hospital? Answer: In-hospital deaths from medical errors stand at 195,000 per year. That's right. 65 times more Americans die each year from medical malpractice in our hospitals than died on 9/11. Which deserves to be the bigger boogeyman, terrorists, or hospital administrators?

It is imperative to the Bush administration that Americans not be allowed to put this terrorist threat into perspective. For if they do, our policy toward terrorists will become precisely what they Do Not want it to become, a matter for police and intelligence agencies, instead of military expansion. Which is why, at every turn, they demonize their critics for calling for a police approach to terrorism. A police approach does not justify military expansion overseas.

Remember, these White House official's biggest criticism of the Clinton administration, and their greatest fear after the end of the Cold War, was downsizing our military and its global superpower status. As if, the U.S. could ever lose its position as the greatest military power on earth, with its nuclear and smart bomb arsenals. This is precisely why Rumsfeld's strategy is so completely irrational. America could cut its military spending tomorrow by 75% and remain the world's military superpower.

There are real threats to our future. We are more than amply equipped to militarily defend our nation. What we will never be equipped to do, is fight other nation's civil wars, as in Viet Nam and Iraq. Much bigger threats than Islamic-terrorists loom, however. The combination of our growing national debt and entitlement spending is probably the greatest threat our future faces, economically. Global warming is another. Regional water scarcity looms as a huge problem facing as many as 1/4 of our American population in years just ahead. And the rising competitive economies of China, Malaysia, India, and the former Eastern European bloc countries all loom as potential threats to our American way of work life should we fail to adapt to their growing competitive advantages. All these problems are complex, difficult, and require multi-faceted, sophisticated responses and solutions.

That is where the Bush administration's 'one-size fits all' answer of growing our military completely fails to address our nation's future needs and demands. Yet, this one simple militaristic answer is what this administration is fixed upon like a record player in skip mode, playing the same track over and over. No doubt, they expect to meet our global competitive challenges by exporting military ever more armaments to Israel, Saudi Arabia, Japan, Australia, and India. Their answer to global energy shortages, military expansion in the Middle East. Their answer to entitlement spending, bankrupt the treasury to the point that only military defense can be afforded.

Donald Rumsfeld said yesterday, "Those who know the truth need to speak out against these kinds of myths and lies and distortions being told...". Ironically, he was speaking about the media's and Democrat's comments about war and our military, not about the propaganda and boogeymen his administration recreates on a daily basis for media consumption. It is important for Americans to recognize that military expansion in the world is the neo-con's goal, and the terrorist boogeymen are their means to achieving their goal.

Most important, however, is to recognize that the neo-con's greatest fear is not terrorists, but the American voting public and our democracy right here at home. November 7's elections will demonstrate that like all fears, they are self-fulfilling.

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This page contains a single entry by David R. Remer published on August 30, 2006 11:36 AM.

A Call for a New U.S. Constitution was the previous entry in this blog.

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