All of us are familiar with Roosevelt’s ‘New Deal’, the one that employed millions of the unemployed during the Great Depression. It created jobs and opportunities and built the infrastructure that forms the basis for many communities across the United States, from the Tennessee Valley Authority to the Hoover Dam.
George W. Bush has a ‘New Deal’ today–one that is on the path to creating a Greater Depression. This ‘New Deal’ has money flowing from the pockets of the least to the coffers of the corporate stars that have backed the Bush/Cheney administration.
Cloaked in fancy terms like “faith-based initiatives,” “leave no child behind,” “clean-air initiatives,” “war on terrorism,” to “tax relief,” this administration has played on the propaganda techniques of Hermann Goering, as stated on April 18, 1946, while awaiting the Nuremberg trials: “Why of course the people don’t want war. Why should some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece? Naturally the common people don’t want war: neither in Russia, nor in England, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.”
This way of looking upside down through the mirror has confused the average citizen in our country. In a day and age where most people are spending more time commuting and more energy working just to keep their job (in an atmosphere of continuing layoffs), it is becoming impossible for most people to understand the incomprehensible news stories that are omitting the “meat” of the news; how the policies of the administration are affecting the very lives and the ways in which their futures are becoming more insecure.
The Bush administration, from the Whitehouse, State Department and Pentagon, promoted the war in Iraq as a necessary “pre-emptive” strike against a country that possessed nuclear, biological and chemical weapons. The report from David Kay, the US inspector for WMDs, has come back showing that no such capabilities have been found. It has cost the US taxpayer $300 million for the inspections thus far in Iraq and Bush is requesting an additional $600 million in the $87 billion funding request for the next twelve (12) months in Iraq. That totals $900 million (just $100 million shy of $1 billion) for not finding the justification for the invasion of Iraq.
In the $87 billion funding request, of which only $20.3 billion is itemized for the reconstruction of Iraq, we also find other specific expenditures: One Billion Dollars for reinforcing and training an Iraqi police force. I question this item only because two separate countries have volunteered to train an Iraqi police force at no charge. Why should there be One Billion Dollars allocated for this?
$400 million for two new 4,000-bed prisons. A cost of $100,000 per bed? This seems a bit high.
$100 million for a witness protection program. How many millionaires are we going to create in Iraq and for what? The total population, prior to invasion in Iraq was 24 million people.
$900 million to import (key word here–import) petroleum products. What happened to Iraq’s oil?
$2 Billion to establish and train a new Iraqi army. The US government disbanded the 400,000 strong army that was in existence in Iraq. They chose not to utilize the manpower that existed to contain the violence and looting and destruction that occurred and is occurring on a daily basis. Now we are supposed to “establish and train” a new army? Whom do you think will be in this “new” army? Why did we waste and fritter away this opportunity six months ago?
So many of these “plans” for expenditures have been earmarked and contracts have been signed without competitive bidding. The Iraqis are complaining that they have been cut out of the process of rebuilding their own country with their own companies.
We know that Halliburton’s sweetheart deals are in excess of $2 Billion.
Bush’s ‘New Deal’ seems to make certain only one thing: That the political contributions of his ‘Pioneers’ and ‘Rangers’ make the US Treasury pay off like a slot machine for their continued support for his 2004 campaign.
We, the taxpayers, cannot afford to allow this mafioso approach in our country’s highest office–we need to restore the checks and balances that were written into our Constitution to protect our country from the special interests of any band of thieves that threaten the integrity of our country.
BRIDGET GIBSON can be reached at: email@example.com