In this edition: What Might Become Of The World Under George "Dubya" Bush’s Leadership
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Sludge Report #29
What Might Be
Today the US decides on its new President. And the world waits and watches anxiously.
Why? Because if George “Dubya” Bush is elected President of the United States of America then the hopes and dreams of billions of people, the world over, for a bold new beginning of a new millennium may as well be tossed in the wastepaper basket.
It’s not that Dubya is such a bad bloke. Or that he is stupid – which it seems he is. But rather it is his friends, and family.
As a colleague of Sludge succinctly put it this afternoon: for an ex-head of the CIA to become President is bad enough, but for the son of the same ex-head of the CIA to then be elected President at the dawn of a new millennium is hardly the sort of beginning anyone would hope for. “And it doesn’t really matter what he is really like,” he added.
This is true enough, but when the reality of what a Bush victory will mean is examined closer then it is time to get really worried.
Dubya’s running mate, whom everybody appears to think is rather rational and charming in comparison to Dubya himself, was a former Secretary of Defence under Dubya’s dad.
It was Dick Cheney who supervised Operation Desert Storm, and it is not hard to imagine him at some future date advising the President to try to bomb a few more nations back into the stone age in order to, “preserve important national interests of the USA”, such as the supply of oil.
Dubya himself has even said it is intention to “fight for peace” rather than engage the US in any more “peace-keeping” operations.
The fact that this plan runs completely contrary to the recently established, albeit faltering, consensus among the rest of the nations of the world on how we should organise world affairs is no doubt of little concern to Dubya.
And so with a Bush back in the Whitehouse we can probably safely expect US Foreign Policy to return to the bad old days when bombing a few third world countries was considered an effective way of bolstering any unwanted falls in poll ratings.
How this would be occur is simple.
For a start Friends of the war industry such as former UNSCOM head Richard Butler will start to receive White House patronage.
In the UN Security Council any hope of an end to the Iraqi Sanctions regime will be quickly vetoed. Senator Jesse Helms will applaud and as usual the US public will remain blissfully ignorant of what is really going on.
Meanwhile on the other side of the world those-who-would-be-bombed will be well aware of what is in store for them. Extremist elements who would like to see their “Great Satan” brought low will be soon be back in full fighting mode. US “security assets” throughout the world will be placed on high alert.
Closer to home in the Americas Cuban President Fidel Castro - who has in recent times been indicating a willingness to contemplate a détente in US/Cuba relations - will realise such an aim is close to hopeless under Dubya and head off instead to Venezeula to chum up with President Hugo Chavez and complain about the US fighting un-winnable wars in Colombia.
At the WTO the US will go back to seeking to preserve US hegemony above all other aims. The rising global peace movement will be bolstered in its resolve, but any hopes of substantive change will be sorely undermined.
In the Middle East the fragile peace will become even more fragile as those-who-would-be-bombed start feeling increasingly threatened by renewed vigour in US/Israeli military aspirations.
In Europe, China and Russia military and budgetary planners will go back to the drawing board to consider how they can prevent the US military machine – now with its fingers back inside the White House cash register – from widening even further its lead in the military technology race. They will conclude most probably – as they usually do – that the arms race will have to be restarted in earnest.
In the boardrooms of Wall St investments in new oil exploitation plans and arms development will once again be the order of the day.
Ironically however it is unpalatable nature of a Dubya administration internationally, and what he stands for, that may in the end prove his and the great US economic miracle machine’s undoing.
If over the past couple of years there has been a rising tide calling for change in the trading system, international financial architecture and system of diplomatic relations, then think how much louder those calls for changes will soon become under a second George Bush?
And if the people-who-would-be-bombed really want to do something about US dominance over their lives - then with a Bush back in the White House the idea of following Iraq and abandoning the mighty US Dollar as the trading currency of choice may soon become markedly more attractive.
And so Sludge has his fingers crossed tonight. For everybody’s sake Al Gore needs to win today’s election.
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