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

ONE WEEK TO DOUBLE YOUR DONATION!

A generous CounterPuncher has offered a $25,000 matching grant. So for this week only, whatever you can donate will be doubled up to $25,000! If you have the means, please donate! If you already have done so, thank you for your support. All contributions are tax-deductible.
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail

Bush, Rice and McClellan

With the publication of What Happened: Inside the Bush White House and Washington’s Culture of Deception, former White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan sheds yet more light on the disdain President Bush has for anything beyond his own twisted vision for the world.

Mr. McClellan states that Mr. Bush “signed off on a strategy for selling the war that was less than candid and honest.” At this point, few people should consider this a major revelation, but it is interesting coming from someone who was there from the earliest planning stages of the war.

The reaction from the White House to Mr. McClellan’s book is not unexpected, and we have Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Mr. Bush’s happy-face cheerleader, ever ready to follow her leader down whatever rathole to which he takes the nation, leading the way. In response to Mr. McClellan’s charges, she said this: “What I will say is that the concern about weapons of mass destruction in Saddam Hussein’s Iraq was the fundamental reason” for the U.S. invasion. And further: “It was not the United States of America alone that believed that he had weapons of mass destruction that he was hiding.”

Perhaps it wasn’t the U.S. alone that suspected Iraq of having weapons of mass destruction; but then again, perhaps it was. And perhaps, as Mr. McClellan alludes, the U.S. knew that Iraq had no such weapons. But as former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan has clearly stated, the war was and is about oil. Even Mr. Bush’s clone, Arizona Senator and Republican presidential candidate John McCain has admitted this, although he later attempted to withdraw his damning statement.

If it wasn’t just the U.S. that worried about weapons of mass destruction, then why did most of the U.S.’s major allies decide to pass on joining ‘The Coalition of the Drilling’ (no, that is not a typographical error)? And why did the U.S. have to provide approximately 93% of the soldiers for the invasion, and an even greater amount for the occupation, as several nations have folded their tents and gone home? And even those that joined in may have been encouraged to do so for reasons totally unrelated to any belief of the threat of weapons of mass destruction. The Sydney Morning Herald reported that the Bush Administration fast tracked a free trade agreement with Australia in return for its sending 900 soldiers. El Salvador may have deployed its 300 troops in exchange for membership in the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA). And England was granted lucrative reconstruction contracts, although such an incentive may not have been necessary. Then Prime Minister Tony Blair has long been known as one of Mr. Bush’s adoring minions; he’s not called the Yankee Poodle for nothing.

And it wasn’t only Congress and nations looking for a handout that followed Mr. Bush to war. The U.S. media at least allowed, and in many cases encouraged it. In a recent interview, CNN Correspondent Jessica Yellin, with MSNBC prior to the start of the war, said this: “When the lead-up to the war began, the press corps was under enormous pressure from corporate executives, frankly, to make sure that this was a war that was presented in a way that was consistent with the patriotic fever in the nation… and my own experience at the White House was that, the higher the president’s approval ratings… the more pressure I had from news executives to put on positive stories about the President.”

Even the New York Times, in 2004, issued a kind of mea culpa for its coverage prior to the war. In a May 26 editorial of that year, the editors said this: “… we have found a number of instances of coverage that was not as rigorous as it should have been. In some cases, information that was controversial then, and seems questionable now, was insufficiently qualified or allowed to stand unchallenged. Looking back, we wish we had been more aggressive in re-examining the claims as new evidence emerged — or failed to emerge.” Apparently the newspaper with the motto ‘All the News that’s fit to Print’ found some that would be displeasing to Mr. Bush, and was, therefore, unfit to print. So much for the much-vaunted U.S.’s freedom of the press.

Yet in his indictment of Mr. Bush, Mr. McClellan himself equivocates; along with saying that Mr. Bush was “less than candid and honest,” he continues to state, incredibly, that the president did not consciously seek “to deceive the American people.”

Someone needs to tell the former press secretary that he can’t have it both ways; if Mr. Bush was less than honest than he certainly did seek to deceive the world. Even if he only succeeded in deceiving Congress, his deceptions have caused untold suffering in the world, far more than Saddam Hussein ever caused.

Among the pearls of wisdom that Mr. McClellan provides the world is this one: wars, he advises us sagely, “should only be waged when necessary.”  If Mr. McClellan only learned this after encouraging the U.S. disaster in Iraq, then we are all in more trouble than we thought. Surely the president of the United States should surround himself with people who know that fact to their very core. Realizing once again that that is not the case with the current administration, perhaps we should all be grateful that Mr. Bush has only launched two unnecessary wars. But let us not breathe a sigh of relief quite yet; Mr. Bush still has several months left in office, and Iran and Cuba are potential targets.

Prior to his Supreme Court appointment as president, Mr. Bush talked about returning ‘moral values’ to the White House. He described himself as a ‘straight shooter,’ a president any U.S. citizen could be comfortable having a beer with (how that qualifies someone to be president is anyone’s guess) and, for many people, most significantly said he was a devoted follower of Jesus Christ. Now the lies that were so obvious, for so long, to so many people are being detailed by his inner circle.  And those members of the inner circle are as culpable as Mr. Bush for all they have done to forward his personal agenda for the country and the world, an agenda based on greed and a total disdain of the needs of the people.

Moral values, by any definition, have been lacking in the White House for generations. They are not likely to return any time soon. Those looking for such values are best served looking elsewhere. A President Obama or a President Clinton may not show the same degree of disdain for human life and common decency as does Mr. Bush, but they cannot be expected to be moral leaders. A President McCain will only extend the same disasters that Mr. Bush has authored.

ROBERT FANTINA is author of ‘Desertion and the American Soldier: 1776–2006.

 

Your Ad Here
 

 

 

 

 

More articles by:

Robert Fantina’s latest book is Empire, Racism and Genocide: a History of US Foreign Policy (Red Pill Press).

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550
October 17, 2019
Steve Early
The Irishman Cometh: Teamster History Hits the Big Screen (Again)
Jonathan Cook
Israel Prepares to Turn Bedouin Citizens into Refugees in Their Own Country
Stan Cox
Healing the Rift Between Political Reality and Ecological Reality
Jeff Klein
Syria, the Kurds, Turkey and the U.S.: Why Progressives Should Not Support a New Imperial Partition in the Middle East
George Ochenski
The Governor, the Mining Company and the Future of a Montana Wilderness
Charles Pierson
Bret Stephens’ American Fantasy
Ted Rall
The First Thing We Do, Let’s Fire All the Cops
Jon Rynn
Saving the Green New Deal
Ajamu Baraka
Syria: Exposing Western Radical Collaboration with Imperialism
Binoy Kampmark
A Coalition of Support: Parliamentarians for Julian Assange
Thomas Knapp
The Down Side of Impeachment
Harvey Wasserman
What Really Happened to American Socialism?
Tom Engelhardt
American Brexit
October 16, 2019
Patrick Cockburn
How Turkey’s Invasion of Syria Backfired on Erdogan
Chitrangada Choudhury – Aniket Aga
How Cotton Became a Headache in the Age of Climate Chaos
Jack Rasmus
US-China Mini-Trade Deal: Trump Takes the Money and Runs
Michael Welton
Communist Dictatorship in Our Midst
Robert Hunziker
Extinction Rebellion Sweeps the World
Peter A. Coclanis
Donald Trump as Artist
Chris Floyd
Byzantium Now: Time-Warping From Justinian to Trump
Steve Klinger
In For a Dime, in For a Dollar
Gary Leupp
The Maria Ramirez Story
Kim C. Domenico
It Serves Us Right To Suffer: Breaking Down Neoliberal Complacency
Kiley Blackman
Wildlife Killing Contests are Unethical
Colin Todhunter
Bayer Shareholders: Put Health and Nature First and Stop Funding This Company!
Andrés Castro
Looking Normal in Kew Gardens
October 15, 2019
Victor Grossman
The Berlin Wall, Thirty Years Later
Raouf Halaby
Kurdish Massacres: One of Britain’s Many Original Sins
Robert Fisk
Trump and Erdogan have Much in Common – and the Kurds will be the Tragic Victims of Their Idiocy
Ron Jacobs
Betrayal in the Levant
Wilma Salgado
Ecuador: Lenin Moreno’s Government Sacrifices the Poor to Satisfy the IMF
Ralph Nader
The Congress Has to Draw the Line
William A. Cohn
The Don Fought the Law…
John W. Whitehead
One Man Against the Monster: John Lennon vs. the Deep State
Lara Merling – Leo Baunach
Sovereign Debt Restructuring: Not Falling Prey to Vultures
Norman Solomon
The More Joe Biden Stumbles, the More Corporate Democrats Freak Out
Jim Britell
The Problem With Partnerships and Roundtables
Howard Lisnoff
More Incitement to Violence by Trump’s Fellow Travelers
Binoy Kampmark
University Woes: the Managerial Class Gets Uppity
Joe Emersberger
Media Smears, Political Persecution Set the Stage for Austerity and the Backlash Against It in Ecuador
Thomas Mountain
Ethiopia’s Abiy Ahmed Wins Nobel Peace Prize, But It Takes Two to Make Peace
Wim Laven
Citizens Must Remove Trump From Office
October 14, 2019
Ann Robertson - Bill Leumer
Class Struggle is Still the Issue
Mike Miller
Global Climate Strike: From Protest To Power?
Patrick Cockburn
As Turkey Prepares to Slice Through Syria, the US has Cleared a New Breeding Ground for Isis
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail