Bush as a B-Grade Nixon

by JASON LEOPOLD

President Bush said the Iraq conflict is like watching a “rerun of a bad movie.” But clearly, the only bad movie Americans are being forced to watch all over again are the Nixon-like qualities–the paranoia, the secrecy and lies–that Bush recycled from Tricky Dick and is now the standard operating procedure for the Bush administration.

Iraq just happens to be the icing on the cake. There are still the thorny questions that linger about what Bush knew about the September 11 terrorist attacks and when he knew it; Vice President Dick Cheney’ refusal to turn over the names of the people his energy task force met with and the desire to start a war with Iraq without proving to the world first that the country has weapons of mass destruction. All of these issues require answers. In the three years that Bush has been in office, he hasn’t answered one.

On Thursday, National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice, in an opinion piece in The New York Times titled “Why We Know Iraq is Lying,” made half-a-dozen allegations, but provided no evidence that Iraq has weapons of mass destruction.

“Instead of a commitment to disarm, Iraq has a high-level political commitment to maintain and conceal its weapons,” Rice wrote in her editorial. “Instead of full cooperation and transparency, Iraq has filed a false declaration to the United Nations that amounts to a 12,200-page lie.”

“For example, the declaration fails to account for or explain Iraq’s efforts to get uranium from abroad, its manufacture of specific fuel for ballistic missiles it claims not to have, and the gaps previously identified by the United Nations in Iraq’s accounting for more than two tons of the raw materials needed to produce thousands of gallons of anthrax and other biological weapons,” Rice said. “Far from informing, the declaration is intended to cloud and confuse the true picture of Iraq’s arsenal.”

Rice says the discovery last week of 12 empty chemical warheads is “troubling.” But as Brookings Institution military analyst Michael O’Hanlon said in news reports last week: “No one wants to go to war over 12 artillery shells.”

So, to sell a war on Iraq to the public, Bush and his cronies have turned the White House into a propaganda machine. This week, the new office of Global Communications issued the report “Apparatus of Lies,” which attempts to make a case for war by showing the world how Saddam Hussein murdered his own people during the Gulf War, destroyed his country’s infrastructure and has a long history of lying and deceit.

“To craft tragedy, the regime places civilians close to military equipment, facilities, and troops, which are legitimate targets in an armed conflict,” according to an excerpt of the report. “The Iraqi regime openly used both Iraqis and foreigners as human shields during the Gulf War, eventually bowing to international pressure and releasing them. It has also placed military equipment next to or inside mosques and ancient cultural treasures. Finally, it has deliberately damaged facilities and attributed the damage to coalition bombing…”

If Saddam Hussein remains in power he could destroy the world, according to the report. That’s Bush’s paranoia talking. No one disputes the fact that Iraqis would be better off without Hussein as their president or that Hussein is a cold-blooded killer. This “Apparatus of Lies” is nothing more than a psychological tactic_an advertisement_by the Bush administration to get the public to support a war.

However, the latest poll conducted by NBC/Wall Street Journal show public support waning for if the United States wages a war against Iraq without the support of its allies. But Bush doesn’t care what the public thinks, according to his press secretary, Ari Fleischer, he doesn’t give a damn what Russia, Germany, China or France think either.

“The President will make his judgment about when to use force to protect the country on the basis of what he believes is best to protect the country, not on the basis of any poll for or against,” Fleischer said during his press briefing Thursday.

Bush’s tough guy persona, particularly his “I’m sick and tired” of dealing with Iraq statement and his refusal to give the United Inspectors more time have boosted anti-American sentiment around the world to an all-time high and have forced his approval rating here to nosedive. A reporter for a newspaper in Japan told CNN last week that Bush is being perceived as a “cowboy” and a “bully” because of his public remarks leaving many people to ask why he is so gung-ho to start a war. If the Bush administration is concealing intelligence information about the alleged threat Iraq poses now is the time to share the information.

If the Democrats have any hope for reclaiming the White House in 2004 now is the time to speak up against the President. Hundreds of thousands of people have taken to the streets at antiwar demonstrations in San Francisco and Washington, D.C. to make sure their voices are heard. The least the Democrats can do is show some spine too.

JASON LEOPOLD can be reached at: jasonleopold@hotmail.com

Like What You’ve Read? Support CounterPunch
July 30, 2015
Bill Blunden
The NSA’s 9/11 Cover-Up: General Hayden Told a Lie, and It’s a Whopper
Richard Ward
Sandra Bland, Rebel
Martha Rosenberg
Tracking the Lion Killers Back to the Old Oval Office
Binoy Kampmark
Dead Again: the Latest Demise of Mullah Omar
Kathy Kelly – Buddy Bell
No Warlords Need Apply: a Call for Credible Peacemaking in Afghanistan
Ramzy Baroud
Darker Horizons Ahead: Rethinking the War on ‘IS’
Stephen Lendman
The Show Trial of Saif Qaddafi: a Manufactured Death Sentence
Karl Grossman
The Case of John Peter Zenger and the Fight for a Free Press
Cesar Chelala
Cultural Treasures Are Also Victims of War
John Grant
The United States of Absurdity, Circa 2015
Jeff Taylor
Iowa Conference on Presidential Politics
July 29, 2015
Mike Whitney
The Politics of Betrayal: Obama Backstabs Kurds to Appease Turkey
Joshua Frank
The Wheels Fell Off the Bernie Sanders Bandwagon
Conn Hallinan
Ukraine: Close to the Edge
Stephen Lendman
What Happened to Ralkina Jones? Another Jail Cell Death
Rob Wallace
Neoliberal Ebola: the Agroeconomic Origins of the Ebola Outbreak
Dmitry Rodionov
The ‘Ichkerization’ Crime Wave in Ukraine
Joyce Nelson
Scott Walker & Stephen Harper: a New Bromance
Bill Blunden
The Red Herring of Digital Backdoors and Key Escrow Encryption
Thomas Mountain
The Sheepdog Politics of Barack Obama
Farzana Versey
A President and a Yogi: Abdul Kalam’s Symbolism
Norman Pollack
America’s Decline: Internal Structural-Cultural Subversion
Foday Darboe
How Obama Failed Africa
Cesar Chelala
Russia’s Insidious Epidemic
Tom H. Hastings
Defending Democracy
David Macaray
Why Union Contracts are Good for the Country
Virginia Arthur
The High and Dry Sierras
Jon Langford
Mekons Tour Diary, the Season Finale, Mekonception in Redhook
July 28, 2015
Mark Schuller
Humanitarian Occupation of Haiti: 100 Years and Counting
Lawrence Ware
Why the “Black Church” Doesn’t Exist–and Never Has
Peter Makhlouf
Israel and Gaza: the BDS Movement One Year After “Protective Edge”
Carl Finamore
Landlords Behaving Badly: San Francisco Too Valuable for Poor People*
Michael P. Bradley
Educating About Islam: Problems of Selectivity and Imbalance
Binoy Kampmark
Ransacking Malaysia: the Najib Corruption Dossier
Michael Avender - Medea Benjamin
El Salvador’s Draconian Abortion Laws: a Miscarriage of Justice
Jesse Jackson
Sandra Bland’s Only Crime Was Driving While Black
Cesar Chelala
Effect of Greece’s Economic Crisis on Public Health
Mel Gurtov
Netanyahu: An Enemy of Peace
Joseph G. Ramsey
The Limits of Optimism: E.L. Doctorow and the American Left
George Wuerthner
Bark Beetles and Forest Fires: Another Myth Goes Up in Smoke
Paul Craig Roberts - Dave Kranzler
Supply and Demand in the Gold and Silver Futures Markets
Eric Draitser
China’s NGO Law: Countering Western Soft Power and Subversion
Harvey Wasserman
Will Ohio Gov. Kasich’s Anti-Green Resume Kill His Presidential Hopes?
Jon Langford
Mekons Tour Diary, Episode 4, a Bowery Ballroom Blitz
July 27, 2015
Susan Babbitt
Thawing Relations: Cuba’s Deeper (More Challenging) Significance