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QUOTATION: People often say that, in a democracy, decisions are made by a majority of the people. Of course, that is not true. Decisions are made by a majority of those who make themselves heard and who vote - a very different thing. - Walter H. Judd

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2004-09-09 - 12:16 p.m.

Bush is Flip-Flopping and Flim-Flamming

Former Chinese Premier Choe En-lai once observed: “One of the delightful things about Americans is that they have absolutely no historical memory.” We’ve proved it once again. Does anybody remember Senator Joseph McCarthy? The communist under every bed! The scare tactics? We’ve gone from the Red Scare of the 1920’s (before my birth) to McCarthyism of the 1950’s to the Reagan Crusade against the Evil Empire of the 1980’s…and now George Bush and the Axis of Evil.

Let me quote a dollars and cents explanation from the Introduction to Killing Hope: U.S. Military and CIA Interventions Since World War II by William Blum:

It is as true now as ever that American multinationals derive significant economic advantages from Third World countries due to their being under-industrialized, underdiversified, capitalist-oriented, and relatively powerless.

It is equally true that the consequence of American interventions has frequently been to keep Third World countries in just such an underdeveloped, impotent state.

There is thus at least a prima-facie case to be made for the contention that the engine of US foreign policy is still fueled predominantly by “economic imperialism”.

…Seen from this perspective, one must examine the role of the military-industrial-intelligence complex. The members of this network need enemies – the military and the CIA because enemies are their raison d’être industry, specifically the defense contractors, because enemies are to be fought, with increasingly sophisticated weaponry and aircraft systems; enemies of our enemies are to be armed, to the teeth. It’s made these corporations wealthier than many countries of the world; in one year the US spends on the military more than $17,000 per hour, for every hour since Jesus Christ was born. The executives of these corporations have long moved effortlessly through a revolving door between industry and government service, members in good standing of the good ol’ boys club who continue to use their positions, their wealth, and their influence, along with a compliant and indispensible media, as we shall see, to nourish and perpetuate the fear of “communism, the enemy” now in its seventh decade and going strong. Given the nature and machinations of the military-industrial-intelligence complex, interventions against these enemies are inevitable, and, from the complex’s point of view, highly desirable.

…In all these paradigms, “communist” is often no more than a name ascribed to those people who stand in the way of the realization of such ambitions (as “national security” is the name given for the reason for fighting “communists”). It is another twist of the old adage: if communists didn’t exist, the United States would have to invent them. And so they have.

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“We didn’t know what was happening?” – a cliché used to ridicule Germans who claimed ignorance of the events that took place under the Nazis. Just what did we do in the Middle East to cause all those Muslims to hate us so? Even our President says, “I don’t read the newspapers.” I read the newspapers, listen to the news, and even occasionally read a book that lays it all out – and it scares me, because the interventions being made in our name often don’t make the headlines or hit the evening news in anything other than sound bites.

Another quote:

During the early 1950s, the Central Intelligence Agency instigated several military incursions into Communist China. In 1960, CIA planes, without any provocation, bombed the sovereign nation of Guatamala. In 1973, the Agency encouraged a bloody revolt against the government of Iraq.

…It is sobering to reflect that in our era of instant world-wide communications, the United States has, on many occasions, been able to mount a large- or small-scale military operation or undertake another, equally blatant, form of intervention without the American public being aware of it until years later, if ever.

…With some, bits and pieces of the stories have popped up here and there, but rarely brought together to form a cohesive and enlightening whole; the fragments usually appear long after the fact, quietly buried with other stories, just as quietly forgotten, bursting into the foreground only when extraordinary circumstances have compelled it, such as the Iranian hostage crisis which produced a rash of articles on the role played by the United States in the overthrow of the Iranian government in 1953.

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Headlines in today’s Sacramento Bee: Untold Deaths Among Iraqis

While we are bemoaning and grieving for the 1004 of our sons and daughters, whose names, ages and hometowns are known, no official, reliable figures exist for the human losses of the whole country of Iraq. Private estimates range from 10,000 to 30,000 killed since the United State invaded in March of 2003. “At the Sheik Omar Clinic, a big book records 10,363 violent deaths in Baghdad and nearby towns since the war began last year – deaths by car bombs, clashes between Iraqis and coalition forces, mortar attacks, revenge killings and robberies” – and remember that “shock and awe” attack.

Bush Now Backs Budget Powers in New Spy Post

To quote: “President Bush said on Wednesday that he wanted to give a new national intelligence director "full budgetary authority,'' a sharp shift from an earlier position and an acquiescence to a major recommendation of the Sept. 11 commission.”

Have you noticed?When President Bush changes his mind, it is called “a sharp shift.”
When John Kerry changes his mind, it is called “flip-flopping.”
I call what President Bush is doing flim-flamming us! As the deaths of American men and women fighting in Iraq topped 1,000, and with insurgents controlling parts of central Iraq, the White House keeps talking terrorism, assuming it can wear us down - and scare everyone into voting Republican come November.

I’d like to recommend two books to my readers:

Blowback: The Costs and Consequences of American Empire by Chalmers Johnson
and
Killing Hope: U.S. Military and CIA Interventions Since World War II by William Blum

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