FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Bush’s Messianic Militarism

Over the last six weeks, major civic groups with deep concerns about the impending war with Iraq have requested meetings with President Bush, who not once in the past year has met with a domestic antiwar delegation.

Astonishingly, not one of these groups, which collectively represent millions of Americans, have received any invitations to meet in response to their written requests.

After the completion of his long overdue news conference on March 7th, Senator Robert Byrd remarked: “He spoke like a man who has stopped listening.” There are many engaged citizens who wonder whether President Bush ever started listening or at least directly hearing views of civic leaders who don’t want a war, invasion or lengthy occupation of Iraq.

Many commentators and reporters — having spoken with people inside the Bush Administration — have noted the isolation, the solitude and the exclusionary nature of the Bush White House on this subject. Others such as Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward, who interviewed President Bush, say the President views himself as a “black and white” type of person, of a man who makes decisions “from the gut” or from instinct.

Combined with isolation from many informed contrary views, this attitude is made more disquieting by the President’s continual invoking of God and God’s will, when it comes to Iraq. Viewed from abroad, this Messianic militarism appears to millions of people as if President Bush is embarking on a religious war.

Now is the time for President Bush to spend a few hours listening to cogent presentations by these Americans of widely different backgrounds and insights, but mostly similar in their opposition towar-invasion-occupation.

Meeting with representatives of these groups, which oppose the President’s proposed policies would afford President Bush an opportunity for a two-way exchange. There have been too many monologues, which serve their purpose of course, but a dialogue tends to probe and clarify the issues and test the strength of opposing views.

Leaders of veterans groups and former military leaders are anxious to convey to the President details of the horrific toxic aftermath of the war-invasion to both Iraqis and U.S. troops. They know about the first Gulf War first hand and have been closely associated with the treatment of over 200,000 soldiers who were disabled and have been receiving disability payments. Even were the President to take this country to war he would benefit from knowing how under-trained and inadequately equipped U.S. soldiers are to defend themselves against what the President has said is the likely prospect of chemical warfare by Iraq’s brutal dictator.

*From women’s groups, including those back from numerous trips to Afghanistan, he would learn about the terrible effect on the civilian population long after hostilities ended, due in part to the lack of promised follow-through assistance by the United States to the Kabul government. They can also convey the likely consequences on Iraqi families whose elderly, mothers and children will especially suffer from lack of food, spreading disease, fires, and score-settling.

*From the perspective of working families, the President would hear why this is the first time that major labor unions, with the encouragement of the AFL-CIO, have ever opposed a war by the United States, in part because it is an unprovoked war.

*From the business leaders, he would hear concerns about the further instability and decline of our economy with its effects on standards of living, employment and neglected domestic budgets.

*From representatives of the clergy, the President would hear why the broad religious community believes there is no moral justification for this war and its chaotic.

*From leading physicians having experience poor with health conditions and capacity in Iraq, the President will be informed of the scale of civilian mortality and morbidity, including contagious diseases, that come from war and its aftermath.

The additional organizations requesting to meet with the President represent a broad cross-section of the American people. They include: elected representatives of city councils representing tens of millions of Americans; environmental organizations knowledgeable about the environmental devastation to the region and the planet on a level even greater than 1991 that is likely from this proposed war; international intelligence specialists with past governmental experience who will tell the President what many dissenters inside the Pentagon and the State Department cannot say about consequences and alternatives, prominent academics, historians and civic leaders; and the next generation, from groups representing millions of college students.

They seek a dialogue with President Bush, not out of political partisanship, but because they have not been convinced that war with Iraq is necessary.

The texts of the letters from the civic groups to President Bush are available at (www.essentialaction.org) (See Spotlight on Iraq).

 

More articles by:

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

December 11, 2018
Eric Draitser
AFRICOM: A Neocolonial Occupation Force?
Sheldon Richman
War Over Ukraine?
Louis Proyect
Why World War II, Not the New Deal, Ended the Great Depression
Howard Lisnoff
Police Violence and Mass Policing in the U.S.
Mark Ashwill
A “Patriotic” Education Study Abroad Program in Viet Nam: God Bless America, Right or Wrong!
Laura Flanders
HUD Official to Move into Public Housing?
Nino Pagliccia
Resistance is Not Terrorism
Matthew Johnson
See No Evil, See No Good: The Truth Is Not Black and White
Maria Paez Victor
How Reuters Slandered Venezuela’s Social Benefits Card
December 10, 2018
Jacques R. Pauwels
Foreign Interventions in Revolutionary Russia
Richard Klin
The Disasters of War
Katie Fite
Rebranding Bundy
Gary Olson
A Few Thoughts on Politics and Personal Identity
Patrick Cockburn
Brexit Britain’s Crisis of Self-Confidence Will Only End in Tears and Rising Nationalism
Andrew Moss
Undocumented Citizen
Dean Baker
Trump and China: Going With Patent Holders Against Workers
Lawrence Wittner
Reviving the Nuclear Disarmament Movement: a Practical Proposal
Dan Siegel
Thoughts on the 2018 Elections and Beyond
Thomas Knapp
Election 2020: I Can Smell the Dumpster Fires Already
Weekend Edition
December 07, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Steve Hendricks
What If We Just Buy Off Big Fossil Fuel? A Novel Plan to Mitigate the Climate Calamity
Jeffrey St. Clair
Cancer as Weapon: Poppy Bush’s Radioactive War on Iraq
Paul Street
The McCain and Bush Death Tours: Establishment Rituals in How to be a Proper Ruler
Jason Hirthler
Laws of the Jungle: The Free Market and the Continuity of Change
Ajamu Baraka
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights at 70: Time to De-Colonize Human Rights!
Andrew Levine
Thoughts on Strategy for a Left Opposition
Jennifer Matsui
Dead of Night Redux: A Zombie Rises, A Spook Falls
Rob Urie
Degrowth: Toward a Green Revolution
Binoy Kampmark
The Bomb that Did Not Detonate: Julian Assange, Manafort and The Guardian
Robert Hunziker
The Deathly Insect Dilemma
Robert Fisk
Spare Me the American Tears for the Murder of Jamal Khashoggi
Joseph Natoli
Tribal Justice
Ron Jacobs
Getting Pushed Off the Capitalist Cliff
Macdonald Stainsby
Unist’ot’en Camp is Under Threat in Northern Canada
Senator Tom Harkin
Questions for Vice-President Bush on Posada Carriles
W. T. Whitney
Two Years and Colombia’s Peace Agreement is in Shreds
Ron Jacobs
Getting Pushed Off the Capitalist Cliff
Ramzy Baroud
The Conspiracy Against Refugees
David Rosen
The Swamp Stinks: Trump & Washington’s Rot
Raouf Halaby
Wall-to-Wall Whitewashing
Daniel Falcone
Noam Chomsky Turns 90
Dean Baker
An Inverted Bond Yield Curve: Is a Recession Coming?
Nick Pemberton
The Case For Chuck Mertz (Not Noam Chomsky) as America’s Leading Intellectual
Ralph Nader
New Book about Ethics and Whistleblowing for Engineers Affects Us All!
Dan Kovalik
The Return of the Nicaraguan Contras, and the Rise of the Pro-Contra Left
Jeremy Kuzmarov
Exposing the Crimes of the CIAs Fair-Haired Boy, Paul Kagame, and the Rwandan Patriotic Front
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail