Wasted energy: Protests that won’t matter

Published 15 years ago -  - 15y ago 44

What do you call it when the leader of the free world does not listen to the cries of the people, when the head of the greatest system of representative government does not pay attention to the will of the people? Do you call it democracy?

The answer to that is something most Americans do not want to hear because it’s spelled despotism, dictatorship, oligarchy, tyranny, military junta or even banana republic.

George Bush’s only excuse is that polls in the United States show a lot of the population either undecided or willing to go along with his war.

Over the weekend, the following countries protested George Bush’s war on Iraq: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominican Republic, East Timor, Ecuador, Egypt, England, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Kenya, Lebanon, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Malaysia, Malta, Mexico, Morocco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Pakistan, Palestine, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Reunion, Russia, Rwanda, South Africa, Spain, Slovenia, South Korea, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine, United States, Uruguay, and Venezuela.

The “coalition of the willing” is down to two; Great Britain and Australia who have already committed troops to the Middle East. With 90 percent of the people in England against the war, Tony Blair is toast in the upcoming elections unless he gives up his role as Tonto to the Lone Ranger. And the Australian Parliament has already given Prime Minister John Howard a vote of “no confidence.”

England’s Guardian Unlimited called the protests “a historic peace march whose massive turnout surpassed the organisers’ wildest expectations and Tony Blair’s worst fears …. because America is making our Prime Minister go against the huge majority of the British people, and that won’t be forgiven. Look about you. That’s what this is all about; not fierce party politics but a simple feeling that democracy, British democracy, has been forgotten.”

On the other hand, it’s somewhat amazing to find so many Americans against George’s war when his sales force has been pumping the war drums 24 hours a day for almost a year along with almost daily appearances by the prez himself, the Donald Rumsfeld show, and the Ari Fleischer hour of droning. If the protesting Americans haven’t been convinced by now, they never will be.

Forced by the news from around the world to finally recognize the enormity of events, Fox and CNN were at least willing to give the protests equal billing for a couple of days. Of course, coverage of the demonstrations was laced with the usual batch of “experts” favoring the war and snide remarks about the protesters, many depicted as left over hippies from the Sixties and Seventies, Hollywood socialists, as well as derogatory opinions about the worthiness of the United Nations. All under the usual “Showdown Iraq” and “Target Iraq” banner headlines, warnings of “high alert” from John Ashcroft and the Office of Homeland Security, and the virtues of duct tape.

Since going to NATO hasn’t resulted in a decision to send troops, including American, to Turkey to protect that country, and Turkey has so far turned us down on using their country to stage the Northern side of the invasion even though we’ve offered them $26 billion in an outright bribe, NATO is now derided as a possibly useless organization that needs to be abandoned like the ABM Treaty.

There is no questioning of how many other international leaders we’ve bribed and little to examine for clues except the fact that the U.S. national debt is spiraling out of control. The Bush administration borrowed a total of $421 billion in fiscal 2002 and a grand total of almost $600 billion within 15 months. The only thing holding it down today is again the debt ceiling with no mention of how the new Secretary of the Treasury, John Snow, must be scurrying about making ends meet. Big news at other times.

George’s war has already cost us much of the international sympathy and cooperation we received immediately after the terrorist attack of September eleventh. And the search for bin Laden has worn thin, though it was revised over the weekend as a grasping at straws tie to Saddam Hussein.

The one thing you can count on is that President Bush is not going to back off on attacking Iraq. We haven’t sent all those troops and equipment over there for nothing and he didn’t put forth his “go it alone” policy months ago without anticipating a negative reaction.

The other thing you can take to the bank is the statement Bush has made over and over; “On September eleventh our lives were changed forever.” And Dorothy Anne Seese put it best when she wrote; “Two towers fell and the federalization of America took less than 48 hours to fall into place.”

Fear is a potent narcotic, and the U.S. government is an experienced drug dealer. It passes out more fear whenever it’s advantageous, not only with false stories about Social Security “going broke” or baby-boomers, but it can keep us from considering the idea that if we didn’t have troops spread across the globe taking names, kicking butt, protecting our “national interests,” causing accidents, and representing our military might with uniformed diplomacy, maybe we wouldn’t need to worry about terrorists. Maybe they wouldn’t have visited us in the first place if we had kept our noses out of their affairs.

Maybe that’s the connection between Saddam and terrorism that George Bush knows for sure and can’t tell us about. After all, losing 500,000 children to our decade long embargo would tick me off. How about you?

Or maybe the terrorists were the brothers and friends of people on the Iranian airliner that the USS Vincennes shot down over the Persian Gulf because they thought they were being attacked by civilians.

Can anyone look at the list Colin Powell read to the UN Security Council and say “that’s the one,” that’s the proof President Bush has had in his back pocket for six months but couldn’t tell us or the inspectors about?

Published originally at EtherZone.com : republication allowed with this notice and hyperlink intact.”

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