Bush’s Catastrophic Rhetoric

by RALPH NADER

 

Mired in the disastrous Iraq quagmire, opposed by a majority of Americans, George W. Bush has reached new depths of reckless, belligerent bellowing. At a recent news conference, he volunteered that he told our allies that if they’re “interested in avoiding World War III,” Iran must be prevented from both developing a nuclear weapon or having “the knowledge necessary to make a nuclear weapon.”

To what level of political insanity has this Washington Caesar descended? Only two countries can start World War III-Russia and the United States. Is Bush saying that if Russia, presently opposed to military action against Iran, persists with its position, Bush may risk World War III? If not, why is this law-breaking warmonger, looking for another war for American GIs to fight, while his military-age daughters bask in the celebrity lime light?

Why is he using such catastrophic language?

Surely he does not think Iran could start World War III. His own intelligence agencies say that, even assuming that the international inspectors are wrong and Iran is moving toward developing the “knowledge” of such weapons, it can’t build its first such weapon before 3 to 5 years at the earliest.

Why would a regime ruling an impoverished country risk suicide, surrounded as it is by countries armed to the nuclear teeth, such as Israel and the United States? This nation of nearly 80 million people hardly needs to be reminded that the U.S. overthrew its popular premier in 1953, installing for the next 27 years the brutal regime of the Shah.

They recall that President Reagan and his Vice President, George Herbert Walker Bush urged, funded and equipped Saddam Hussein in his invasion of Iran-a nation that has not invaded any country in over 250 years-which took around 700,000 Iranian lives.

Moreover, the undeniable historical record shows that U.S. companies received licenses from the Department of Commerce, under Reagan, to ship Saddam the raw materials necessary to make chemical and biological weapons. Saddam used such lethal chemical weapons, with the tolerance of Reagan and Rumsfeld, on Iranians to devastating effect in terms of lives lost.

Then George W. Bush labels Iran a member of the “axis of evil” along with Iraq, ignoring a serious proposal by Iran in 2003 for negotiations, and shows what his language means by invading Iraq.

The authoritarian Iranian government is frightened enough to hurl some defiant rhetoric back at Washington and widen its perimeter defense. Seymour Hersh, the topflight investigative reporter for the New Yorker magazine has written numerous articles on how the crowding of Iran, including infiltrating its interior, has become an obsession of the messianic militarist in the White House.

The Pentagon is more cautious, worrying about our already drained Army and the absence of any military strategy and readiness for many consequences that would follow Bush’s “bombs away” mentality.

Then there is the matter of the Democrats in Congress. After their costly fumble on Iraq, the opposition Party should make it very constitutionally clear, as recommended by former New York Governor, Mario Cuomo in a recent op-ed, that there can be no funded attacks on any country without a Congressional declaration of war, as explicitly required by the framers of our Constitution.

But the Democrats are too busy surrendering to other Bush demands, whether unconstitutional, above the law or just plain marinated in corporate greed. Some of this obeisance was all too clear in the Democrats questioning of Bush’s nominee for Attorney General, Michael B. Mukasey.

After the two days of hearings, no Democrat has yet announced a vote against Mukasey, even after he evaded questions on torture and argued for the inherent power of the President to act contrary to the laws of the land if he unilaterally believes he has the inherent constitutional authority to do so.

This position aligns Mukasey with the imperial views of Bush, Cheney, Ashcroft and Gonzales on the “unitary Executive.” In short, reminiscent of the divine right of Kings, the forthcoming Attorney General believes Bush can say that ‘he is the law’ regardless of Congress and the judiciary.

After two recent lead editorials demonstrating its specific exasperation over the Democrats’ kowtowing to the White House, the New York Times added a third on October 20, 2007 titled “With Democrats Like These” The editorial recounted the ways Democrats, especially in the Senate, have caved on critical constitutional and statutory safeguards regarding the Bush-Cheney policies and practices of spying on Americans without judicial approval and accountability.

Accusing the Democrats of “the politics of fear,” the Times concluded: “It was bad enough having a one-party government when the Republicans controlled the White House and both houses of Congress. But the Democrats took over, and still the one-party system continues.”

There is more grist coming for the Times’ editorial mill. Last week, the first African-American chair of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee, Charles Rangel (D-NY), declared that Treasury Secretary, Henry Paulson, Jr., fresh from Wall Street, had persuaded him, during a decade of increasing record profits, to lower the porous corporate income tax rate from 35% to 25%.

“We can live with that,” Chairman Rangel declared.

Would the working families in his District, who would be paying a higher tax rate on their modest income, agree?

RALPH NADER is the author of The Seventeen Traditions

 

 

Ralph Nader is a consumer advocate, lawyer and author of Only the Super-Rich Can Save Us! 

Like What You’ve Read? Support CounterPunch
Weekend Edition
July 31-33, 2015
Jeffrey St. Clair
Bernie and the Sandernistas: Into the Void
John Pilger
Julian Assange: the Untold Story of an Epic Struggle for Justice
Roberto J. González – David Price
Remaking the Human Terrain: The US Military’s Continuing Quest to Commandeer Culture
Lawrence Ware
Bernie Sanders’ Race Problem
Andrew Levine
The Logic of Illlogic: Narrow Self-Interest Keeps Israel’s “Existential Threats” Alive
ANDRE VLTCHEK
Kos, Bodrum, Desperate Refugees and a Dying Child
Paul Street
“That’s Politics”: the Sandernistas on the Master’s Schedule
Ted Rall
How the LAPD Conspired to Get Me Fired from the LA Times
Mike Whitney
Power-Mad Erdogan Launches War in Attempt to Become Turkey’s Supreme Leader
Ellen Brown
The Greek Coup: Liquidity as a Weapon of Coercion
Stephen Lendman
Russia Challenges America’s Orwellian NED
Will Parrish
The Politics of California’s Water System
John Wight
The Murder of Ali Saad Dawabsha, a Palestinian Infant Burned Alive by Israeli Terrorists
Jeffrey Blankfort
Leading Bibi’s Army in the War for Washington
Geoffrey McDonald
Obama’s Overtime Tweak: What is the Fair Price of a Missed Life?
Brian Cloughley
Hypocrisy, Obama-Style
Robert Fantina
Israeli Missteps Take a Toll
Pete Dolack
Speculators Circling Puerto Rico Latest Mode of Colonialism
Ron Jacobs
Spying on Black Writers: the FB Eye Blues
Paul Buhle
The Leftwing Seventies?
Binoy Kampmark
The TPP Trade Deal: of Sovereignty and Secrecy
David Swanson
Vietnam, Fifty Years After Defeating the US
Robert Hunziker
Human-Made Evolution
Shamus Cooke
Why Obama’s “Safe Zone” in Syria Will Inflame the War Zone
David Rosen
Hillary Clinton: Learn From Your Sisters
Sam Husseini
How #AllLivesMatter and #BlackLivesMatter Can Devalue Life
Shepherd Bliss
Why I Support Bernie Sanders for President
Louis Proyect
Manufacturing Denial
Howard Lisnoff
The Wrong Argument
Tracey Harris
Living Tiny: a Richer and More Sustainable Future
Kollibri terre Sonnenblume
A Day of Tears: Report from the “sHell No!” Action in Portland
Tom Clifford
Guns of August: the Gulf War Revisited
Renee Lovelace
I Dream of Ghana
Colin Todhunter
GMOs: Where Does Science Begin and Lobbying End?
Ben Debney
Modern Newspeak Dictionary, pt. II
Christopher Brauchli
Guns Don’t Kill People, Immigrants Do and Other Congressional Words of Wisdom
S. Mubashir Noor
India’s UNSC Endgame
Ellen Taylor
The Voyage of the Golden Rule
Norman Ball
Ten Questions for Lee Drutman: Author of “The Business of America is Lobbying”
Franklin Lamb
Return to Ma’loula, Syria
Masturah Alatas
Six Critics in Search of an Author
Mark Hand
Cinéma Engagé: Filmmaker Chronicles Texas Fracking Wars
Mary Lou Singleton
Gender, Patriarchy, and All That Jazz
Patrick Hiller
The Icebreaker and #ShellNo: How Activists Determine the Course
Charles Larson
Tango Bends Its Gender: Carolina De Robertis’s “The Gods of Tango”