Truth is the Weapon of Bush's Self-Destruction:
The Superpower of Peace Has the Ultimate Force
by Harvey Wasserman
June 19, 2003
“If we look at history, we find that in time, humanity's love of peace, justice and freedom always triumphs over cruelty and oppression….”
-- The 14th Dalai Lama
“The Truth shall set you free.”
-- Jesus Christ
The Bush assault is foundering on the shoals of Truth.
The Republicans have seized control of the American judicial, legislative and executive branches. Their immensely effective corporate mass media misinforms, misleads and manipulates. They control the world’s most powerful army, and are glad to use it without provocation.
Having stolen the election of 2000, Bush’s minions are rigging America’s voting machines and erasing countless suspected Democrats from voter rolls nationwide.
Their goal is to shock and awe the opposition into extinction. If “image is everything,” Bush sits atop a dictatorial fortress, not likely to fall soon.
But history teaches that, ultimately, Truth is more powerful than image: All the people can’t be fooled all the time.
Globally, George W. Bush has become history’s most hated US president. After being gifted near-total support by Osama bin Laden, Bush has sunk to unprecedented scorn. In the global village, American’s unelected chief is under quarantine.
Why? Because outside the United States, the Truth is being told. The world media and the internet seethe with serious reporting and outrage against escalating deceit.
In the US, the corporate media has polluted the information flow. So we are compelled, more than ever, to compile and refute the lies, and to spread their antidote far and wide.
Our arsenal of Truth includes:
* SADDAM’S WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION: Obviously, if he had them, he would have used them. It took years for the lies about the Vietnamese non-attack at Tonkin Gulf to unravel; it’s taken mere days to establish that Bush blatantly lied in no less a venue than the State of the Union. Who will believe him next time?
* SADDAM’S NUKES: He had none, and Colin Powell lied to the United Nations and the world based on undergraduate forgeries. Who will believe him next time?
* BOGUS INTELLIGENCE: The Republicans forced intelligence operatives to sacrifice their credibility to provide a pretext for war. Who will believe them next time?
* THE REAL REASONS FOR WAR: Bush used terrorism, WMDs and (incredibly) human rights as pretexts for war in Iraq and Afghanistan; but everything since has confirmed what the world knew all along: it’s about oil and the pipelines to carry it, with some Christian fanaticism thrown in;
* SPINNING PRIVATE LYNCH: This contrived mocku-drama, complete with threats from the Pentagon against reporters (such as Robert Scheer of the Los Angeles Times) who document what really happened, was in fact a tale of Iraqi bravery and compassion.
* TOP GUN: Bush’s handlers blew a million taxpayer dollars to spin an aircraft carrier so Bush could play Tom Cruise. That jump suit now symbolizes chickenhawk hypocrisy.
* AN AWOL WAR RECORD: Bush deserted his cushy National
Guard unit, then joked that raising twins was harder than being in combat, which he never saw;
* MISSION ACCOMPLISHED?: Neither Afghanistan nor Iraq has been liberated or conquered; the “dancing in the streets” promised by the wars’ perpetrators has become a desert Vietnam, where locals and Americans continue to die;
* SEPTEMBER 11: The terrorist attacks occurred while George W. Bush was officially responsible for protecting the American people; his bitter fight against a full Congressional investigation belies something very serious to hide.
* FLAUNTING TRAGEDY: To the horror of many 9/11 victims’ families, Bush has manipulated the terrorist attacks into what he called a personal political “trifecta,” desecrating the sacrifice of 3,000 innocent civilians;
* ATTACKING THE HEROES: While praising police and firefighter heroes, Bush slashed their benefits and attacked their (and other) unions;
* ATTACKING THE VETERANS: On the brink of the Iraq attack, the Republicans slashed veterans benefits by nearly $30 billion;
* HOMELAND SECURITY: To fund tax cuts for the rich, the security of America’s ports, airports and borders has been compromised, and they may be less safe than before 9/11.
* INTERNAL SECURITY: Using 9/11 as pretext, Bush has shredded the Bill of Rights, with no gain for public safety, but creating a powerful weapon against his opponents;
* OFFICIAL SECRECY: Bush is the most secretive US president ever; his relentless campaign against open government belies much to hide;
* HOME OF THE FREE: While claiming to spread “American freedom,” Bush keeps two million citizens in jail, a quarter of all the world’s prisoners, forty percent of them held on victimless drug charges;
* GUANTANAMO: While claiming to spread “American freedom,” Bush has established a concentration camp on conquered land where human rights are shredded in contempt for global treaties, and where a death chamber may soon be added;
* THE TAX CUT: Selling a handout to the rich as a stimulus package, and lying about its true cost, Bush surreptitiously doomed the Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid programs that have been the backbone of American social democracy;
* JOBS JOBS JOBS: Bush’s mantra about job creation has proved a hollow lie as the economy continues to slide, with Hooveresque joblessness and homelessness soaring in traditional Republican style;
* LIMITED GOVERNMENT: While campaigning against “big government” Bush has pushed official spying into every corner of American private life, including reproductive rights and our ability to choose what to smoke and whom to marry; in fact Bush supports limiting the government’s power only when it comes to regulating his corporate cronies;
* AN AMERICAN THEOCRACY?: Empowered by the hellish marriage of corporate power with right-wing Christian fundamentalism, separation of Church and state has disappeared in a global “Crusade” that uses taxpayer money to support reactionary churches and the concept of an American Ayatollah;
* ARMAGEDDON OVERDUE?: Bush’s foreign policy , especially in the Middle East, features a psychotic sectarian belief in an “end of days” scenario where a chosen few with a peculiar view of Christ ascend to a very private Heaven, leaving the rest of us to burn;
* STATES RIGHTS: While arguing for states rights, Bush sends federal troops to arrest harmless pot smokers in states that have legalized medical marijuana;
* THE ROLE OF GOVERNMENT: While endorsing a wide range of government functions (like providing security), Bush really supports just three: funding the military, subsidizing client corporations, and suppressing opposition;
* A FREE MARKET ECONOMY: While mouthing the platitudes of Adam Smith, Bush demands huge bailouts for nuclear power and the other obsolete, polluting industries that fund his campaigns;
* EDUCATION: While claiming to support education, Bush is robbing Head Start to fund further tax cuts for his fellow rich;
* PERSONAL FINANCES: Bush’s road to financial wealth is littered with Enron-style insider trading, especially at Harken Energy and the Texas Rangers, which have avoided media scrutiny while making Martha Stewart seem a piker;
* A POPULAR PRESIDENT?: Bush lost the 2000 election by 500,000 votes and his approval ratings regularly sag between crises, but the corporate media grovels over his alleged “popularity” while refusing to pursue anything that would seriously damage him;
* AN AFFABLE PRESIDENT: Bush’s good-ol-boy veneer hides the meanness of spirit and coarse ruthlessness essential to a corporate-fundamentalist attack on civil society;
* TEFLON PRESIDENT?: Like Ronald Reagan (and unlike Bill Clinton) the media refusal to pursue damaging (and felonious) presidential misdeeds guarantees Bush a free ride.
Or does it?
Bush’s litany of lies grows daily. In the short term, they demoralize the opposition.
The mainstream media does its part by dismissing those abundant, articulate critics who don’t, like Paul Wellstone, conveniently wind up dead.
But in a world that demands non-violent resistance, there is no alternative to perseverance, and no greater weapon than an adversary’s own lies.
It took a world war and forty million deaths to rid the world of the Nazi plague. Thus far Bush has killed thousands to conquer Afghanistan and Iraq, and shows no compunction about killing more.
His environmental and other policies have doomed millions worldwide, and threaten the life support systems on which we all depend.
But the Superpower of Truth can number his days. It’s been said a lie can circle the globe before Truth gets its boots on.
But once shod, Truth and only Truth can crush tyrants, kick down prison doors and walk the world back into the sunshine of freedom.
Bush himself has handed an organized, focused and optimistic Superpower of Peace the tools it needs to get stomping.
So let’s roll.
Harvey Wasserman is senior editor of www.freepress.org and author of The Last Energy War (Seven Stories Press). He helped start the No Nukes movement against atomic power.