By George Gregory
Forget about jobs, healthcare, social security, corporate mergers, acquisitions, outsourcing, environmental degradation, budgetary problems, education costs going through the roof, and curtailment of civil liberties. These will be non-issues. The Bushies will be nasty by summer 2004, nastier by November 2004.
It’s in the news: “Terrorism is rewarded” in Spain. The “pro-American government” is defeated. Socialists in power. Not that Spaniards had enough of PM Aznar’s support of Bush’s war on Iraq. At home, “A vote for Kerry” is vote for more taxes, for Osama bin Ladin, and gay marriages.
The Bushies are for democracy, in theory. Not real Spanish democracy, 90% opposed to sending troops to fight in Iraq. Terrorists do not need excuses to attack. Neither do terrorist states. Who created the Talibans and Al Queda? The US, Saudi Arabia, and Pakistan had a hand in it. This is old history! The Bushies read history backwards, the last page first, like the hearings in Washington over 9/11. How intelligence failed to prevent the attacks! Could terrorism be the end result of US and allied policies in Palestine, Afghanistan, or Iraq?
Washington takes the last page of the book for first. Those opposed to U.S. militarism are in bed with the enemy: Islamic terrorism. What about the 90% plus in Spain, Britain, Greece, Turkey opposed to the Iraq war? Are the 10% who support Washington¹s invasion and occupation of Iraq the real democrats?
The turn to the right is now globalized, though Spain and France are moving to the left. Anti-Americanism helps. Greece moved to the “right”, thanks to PASOK’s bankruptcy. The Schroeder regime is in trouble. The turn to the right or left is due to globalization, the upturn and downturn of the economy (booms and busts), and the imperative of a market economy controlled by big monopolies.
The costs? Jobs go overseas, outsourcing. Call your bank three blocs away from your house and you get a return call from Bombay. Corporations rule the world, thanks to modern technology. More than 50% of the largest economic units in the world are corporations, larger than middle size and small states.
Governments follow the path of corporations. The Bushies gave 1.3 trillion dollars tax break to the rich. They also gave smaller amounts ever since, a few billions here and few billions there. This adds up to real money. No revenue, no social programs, no health, no social security, no welfare.
The Bush government behaves like a corporation, leaner and meaner. No free lunches, to the needy. Everything is “cost effective”. Welfare to the big corporations (like defense contracts, farm subsidies, tax breaks, and debt cancellations are OK. Social security and health services are too costly, not OK. Privatize them, after they are underfunded and bankrupted. Education is also costly, there are no jobs for millions of young men and women with college degrees. Millions fall through the free market cracks.
Opposition to Bushism cannot be tolerated. Paul Maher was fired for commenting on America’s cowardly pre-9/11 pursuit of Al Qaeda by ABC and Howard Stern by Clear Channel (Bush’s financial contributors) according to Frank Rich (NYTimes, March 21, 2004, 8 AR). Niether are Paul O’Neil’s and Richard Clark’s books on the Bushies. All the Bush men are on TV, attacking the messengers, not the message.
Home security is raised to a higher level. It will be higher by Nov. 2004. Insecurity opens up new jobs. On the bus or train, we are advised to call security, if something looks suspicious. To me, everyone on the train or bus is suspicious. Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel, Thomas Paine said. But, it compensates for economic and social ills, and personal insecurities. It’s good for religious fundamentalists who rises like a phoenix, to sooth troubled souls. “God Bless America” does not cost money.
Mel Gibson can boast for over 700 million dollars at the box office for his Passion of Christ. In Hollywood you get “real suffering”, not the suffering from the loss of one¹s job, the high costs in education (from nursery ($26,000) to college (over $100,000)), a drug addict or divorce in the family, or getting sick. That’s right, “flag waving” and “God bless America” cost no money to the government. You feel good, the Bushies get votes, they implement policies to make you feel worse, and the Bushies and Bush-alikes get more votes.
We are in for real surprises. A trial for Saddam Hussein, parading Osama bin Ladin or his lieutenant’s body on the TV screen, dead or alive, more arrests of real or would be terrorists, terrorists attacks here and there, and new laws to fight terrorism at home and abroad? A war on terrorism, for the next hundred years? The Republican convention in New York this summer will be the new battleground on the road to the White House.
***George Gregoriou Professor, Political Science Department – The William Paterson University Wayne, New Jersey 07040. e-mail: email@example.com