Bush Fantasy Land
Welcome to Bush Fantasy Land: The Sequel
It has been said that George W. Bush is in denial of reality, in Iraq and elsewhere. But what of America itself? More particularly, what of the majority of Americans who re-elected him?
They had the right to their democratic choice. Still, what sort of nation rewards a leader who misled it into war, spawned worldwide anger, eroded America's moral authority, turned the Iraqi occupation into a showcase for American ineptitude, and increased terrorism?
The same sort that also:
Accepts the death of 100,000 Iraqis as unavoidable road kill by a rampaging giant avenging its 3,000 dead on 9/11, even though Iraq had nothing to do with that terrorist atrocity.
Dismisses the missing weapons of mass destruction, the raison d'tre for the war, as irrelevant.
Tolerates breaches of the rule of law at home while preaching democracy abroad.
Of course, nearly half the American electorate is as upset as the rest of the world, if not more so, and has fallen into shell-shocked silence since Nov. 2. Bush promised to reach out to them. But, as usual, his words and deeds never did connect.
Donald Rumsfeld stays on. Colin Powell goes out. Condoleezza Rice gets a promotion. So does Alberto Gonzales, the White House consigliere who justified torture. All will dance to the drumbeat of Dick Cheney's next war, perhaps on Iran.
Tax cuts are to continue, worsening the record deficit (already at 5 per cent of the GDP).
Social security is to be privatized, in the name of fixing it.
Medicare is to stay private, leaving 45 million citizens uncovered.
Democracy, too, is being handed over to corporate interests and lobbies.
Bankrolling much of this week's $40 million presidential inaugural, as also last summer's $200 million Republican and Democratic conventions and the $1 billion election in between, they will get a return on investment through government contracts and licences, along with the policy changes they are bound to dictate.
As the trumpets herald the president's second term, 81 prisoners held in Afghanistan for three years are freed as a gesture of "reconciliation" on today's Islamic festival of Eid - a Bush twist on the old autocratic custom of arbitrary arrest and equally arbitrary release at Christmas and on the king's birthday.
Afghans and Iraqis are yet to get clean drinking water, steady electricity or medicine. Most cannot venture outside without risking their lives.
Those Iraqis who make it to the polling booths Jan. 30 will vote for candidates they have never seen or heard from.
Malnutrition among Iraqi children has doubled under the occupation. The risk of death for Iraqis is 58 times higher, according to the same Johns Hopkins University study that said its count of 100,000 dead is "a conservative estimate."
Equally revealing are America's bilateral relationships.
Bush is at loggerheads with most democracies but closest to autocracies. In the Muslim world, he is chummy with petro-monarchs but distant from the leaders of emerging democracies Turkey, Malaysia and Indonesia.
To neighbours Mexico and Canada, he poses a unique problem. To protect trade, their leaders must do what their publics don't want them to. Paul Martin must sign on to the missile defence shield, tilt toward Israel and censure Liberals who echo their constituents.
Surveying the scenes of these military and political disasters, Bush sees only the need for better public relations and more spin. "We've got to continue to do a better job of explaining what America is all about."
Haroon Siddiqui is the Toronto Star's editorial page editor emeritus. His column appears Thursday and Sunday. [email protected]
Topics: George W. Bush, Iraq, United States Of America
Aceh is a devout Islamic province. Christians number fewer than a thousand and are constantly subjected to persecution as in most Islamic countries. This is a true account of how the Lord works. Read on . . .
Subject: Fw: Kesaksian di Aceh (Testimony from Aceh)
This is the translation of the live testimony from Aceh.
As we know that the tidal wave Tsunami destroyed the city of Meulaboh in Aceh Province and killed thousands of Moslems and left others homeless.
This is the testimony from Christians in Meulaboh. About 400 persons who were saved on 26 Dec 2004. They wanted to celebrate Christmas but the Moslems in Meulaboh did not allow them to celebrate in the city and ordered them to the mountain if they wanted to celebrate.
Because of their deep longing to celebrate the birth of Christ the 400 Christians of Meulaboh made their way to the mountain (outside Meulaboh city) on 25 Dec 2004. They spent the night in the mountain after the Christmas celebration.
As we know the next morning the disaster earthquake struck and the tidal wave destroyed the entire city of Meulaboh, and a lots of people perished.
Strangely, the Children of God who celebrated Christmas on the mountain were spared!
The surviving Moslems of Meulaboh were heard saying: The God of Christians has punished us". Some were baffled and asked, "Why thousands of us believers died but the Christians are safe?"
If the 400 Christians of Meulaboh had celebrated Christmas in the city perhaps some of them might have perished too but because of their humbleness and meekness they were saved. Their eyes saw how they were miraculously blessed.
We learn to be humble and not retaliate against the wickedness of man for judgement alone belongs to Yarweh, our God!
Praise the Lord!
Another aspect of this is that those that worship other than The Creator of all that is, and was, AND WILL BE, will be abandoned to violence to their soul. That moral leadership vacuum does not go unfulfilled in those that purport to seek God. But it is not filled with representatives of The Most Gracious, The Most Merciful. And that which does fill that vacuum will do the maximum damage to the community identifying itself with the abandoned.
But one can be abandoned for other reasons. Zechariah Chapter 5 is a good example.
We will see downward spirals of redefinition of the terms used in moral law. Torture is being redefined from the intentional infliction of pain to, say someone posted on this site, anything less than death or permanent loss of bodily function. Businesses are redefining employees from employees to "human resources" and recently "human capital" moving toward the resumption of slavery, economic or otherwise.
America is all to do about nothing. Under the present type of leadership America will never achieve the greatness it has aspired to gain. America came to be a world power thorough world oppression. Until this awful self-examination takes place, she will continue to struggle until that day of reckoning arrives.
The everyday American goes to McDonalds, watch TV and videos, and gossip about things happing in far away lands- with no real connection to them, with no real connection to anything of substance. We Americans live in a world technologically supreme to anything ever known yet when introduced with a new method of voting in the state of Florida, we had difficulties punching a metal rod through a piece of paper.
We elect our leader based upon their sex appeal, how lovely they dress, how eloquently they express themselves verbally (Present leader not included).
American is fine. Well defined.
until 911 happened and I accepted Islam.
This is not democracy-Democracy in USA and elections are fabricated. It was a big deal recently in UKRAINE elections when that country had similar first election results.
There should be 3 or 4 parties election, Winning party( President) should have 70% vote or other parties support as coalition parties and make up 70%for the president.
The better democratic and elections are elsewhere in the world(eg. INDIA, Sri-LANKA etc).
People are brainwashed and they dont have thinking power, all they want are games, parties, vacations, money etc.
ALLAH bless the WORLD.
Author talks about moral authority of US. Sorry. Nations are not moral entities; only individuals are moral entities. Moral Man, Immoral Society.
If Paul Martin cannot show some guts (by not signing on to a useless and wasteful missle defense system, that is not the fault of neo-imnperialist America; that is the fault of Canada and its people; Why can't he just ignore GWB for next 4 years; after all, GWB is not going to be around here any longer than 4 years. In this case, Jean Chretian was smart; he refused to support US on Iraq, refused to bow down to US/GWB, and accepted the penalties; that is the hallmark of a mature leader. Canadaians elected paul Martin, they can unelect him -- far easily than we can unelect GWB.