• Monthly
  • $25
  • $50
  • $100
  • $other
  • use PayPal

Spring Donation Drive

CounterPunch is a lifeboat piggybank-icon of sanity in today’s turbulent political seas. Please make a tax-deductible donation and help us continue to fight.
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail

Bush’s Catastrophic Rhetoric

 

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

 

 

More articles by:

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

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

Weekend Edition
May 17, 2019
Friday - Sunday
Melvin Goodman
Trump and the Middle East: a Long Record of Personal Failure
Joan Roelofs
“Get Your Endangered Species Off My Bombing Range!”
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Slouching Towards Tehran
Paul Street
It’s Even More Terrible Than You Thought
Rob Urie
Grabby Joe and the Problem of Environmental Decline
Ajamu Baraka
2020 Elections: It’s Militarism and the Military Budget Stupid!
Andrew Levine
Springtime for Biden and Democrats
Richard Moser
The Interlocking Crises: War and Climate Chaos
Ron Jacobs
Uncle Sam Needs Our Help Again?
Eric Draitser
Elizabeth Warren Was Smart to Tell FOX to Go to Hell
Peter Bolton
The Washington Post’s “Cartel of the Suns” Theory is the Latest Desperate Excuse for Why the Coup Attempt in Venezuela has Failed
Doug Johnson Hatlem
Analysis of Undecideds Suggests Biden’s Support May be Exaggerated
Peter Lackowski
Eyewitness in Venezuela: a 14-year Perspective
Karl Grossman
Can Jerry Nadler Take Down Trump?
Howie Hawkins
Does the Climate Movement Really Mean What It Says?
Gary Leupp
Bolton and the Road to the War He Wants
Jill Richardson
Climate Change was No Accident
Josh Hoxie
Debunking Myths About Wealth and Race
David Barsamian
Iran Notes
David Mattson
Social Carrying Capacity Politspeak Bamboozle
Christopher Brauchli
The Pompeo Smirk
Louis Proyect
Trotsky, Bukharin and the Eco-Modernists
Martha Burk
Will Burning at the Stake Come Next?
John W. Whitehead
The Deadly Perils of Traffic Stops in America
Binoy Kampmark
The Christchurch Pledge and a Regulated Internet
David Rosen
Florida’s Sex Wars: the Battle to Decriminalize Sex Work
Ralph Nader
Trump: Importing Dangerous Medicines and Food and Keeping Consumers in the Dark
Brett Haverstick
America’s Roadless Rules are Not Protecting Public Wildlands From Development
Alan Macleod
Purity Tests Can be a Good Thing
Binoy Kampmark
Modern Merchants of Death: the NSO Group, Spyware and Human Rights
Kim C. Domenico
Anarchism & Reconciliation, Part II
Peter LaVenia
Game of Thrones and the Truth About Class (Spoiler Warning)
Manuel E. Yepe
The Options Trump Puts on the Table
Renee Parsons
The Pompeo/Bolton Tag Team
David Swanson
Where Lyme Disease Came From and Why It Eludes Treatment
Cesar Chelala
Lowering Your Risk of Alzheimer’s Disease
Kollibri terre Sonnenblume
Our Problems are Deeper than “Capitalism” (and “Socialism” Alone Can’t Solve Them)
Chris Zinda
Delegislating Wilderness
Robert Koehler
War’s Unanswered Questions
Robert P. Alvarez
Let Prison Inmates Vote
Barbara Nimri Aziz
A Novel We Can All Relate To
David Yearsley
Carmen’s Mother’s Day Lessons
Charles R. Larson
Review: Ziya Tong’s “The Reality Bubble”
Elliot Sperber
Pharaoh’s Dream
Elizabeth Keyes
Somewhere Beyond Corporate Media Yemenis Die
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail