S. Ross: Bush Actions Recall History's Tyrants
Bush Actions Recall History's Tyrants
By Sherwood Ross
As public sentiment begins to build for impeachment, it might be illuminating to examine the many ways President Bush operates in a manner reminiscent of history's tyrants. Here are 10 areas that come readily to mind.
First, tyrants tend to see themselves, as Hitler did, at the head of some kind of "master race." President Bush and his backers would deny it, but their drive for a "New American Century" betrays them. They're world-beaters, and won't sign the global warming treaty or any other cooperative document. Republicans at their last Convention jeered the very mention of the words "United Nations." Those who see it differently get slandered. Recall how Bush's hatchet men impugned Senator Kerry's Vietnam War record. This was reminiscent of Nazi claims Germany's Jewish veterans of the Great War did not deserve their medals. Another manifestation is Neocons would reduce gay and lesbian Americans to second-class citizenship status. Bush's backers are convinced of their superiority at home and globally.
Second, tyrants tend to be congenital, brazen liars. Bush lied about Iraq's threat to America just as Hitler lied when he claimed Poland attacked Germany first in 1939. The UN told Bush there was no WMD in Iraq, yet Bush said there was and made war. He knew better. As many as 600,000 Iraqi civilians are dead, 2-million have fled, and a nation is being destroyed before our eyes.
Third, tyrants engage in outright suppression or manipulation of the news. The Bush Administration has paid off newsmen to plug its achievements, sent out video press releases disguised as news stories, banned photographs of coffins returned from Iraq, and even planted a phony journalist in White House press conferences. And it's spending millions to bribe Iraqi journalists.
Fourth, tyrants will use a "crisis" to grab total power. After the massacre of 9/11, President Bush pushed through the Patriot Act. Recall 1933, when Hitler declared a "state of national emergency" after the Reichstag (Parliament) fire, which likely was set by the Nazis. The new law gives Bush the power to arrest any American citizen on his say-so and he has allowed his intelligence agencies to spy illegally on American citizens without a court order.
Fifth, tyrants torture. Of all people, Bush picked Alberto Gonzalez for the top legal position in the nation, the very man who rationalized the torture of captives. Bush also lavishes billions on dictatorships such as Egypt, whose Gestapo obligingly tortures individuals the CIA kidnaps from other countries. Bush has turned back the clock of history to the Spanish Inquisition.
Sixth, tyrants tend to make serial wars. Soviet Russia's Stalin attacked Finland, Poland, and Hungary. Japan struck Korea, Manchuria, China, America, and U.K. One war is never enough for a tyrant. Recall Napoleon invaded nations to liberate them from kings, only to put his relatives on their thrones. Having invaded Afghanistan and setting Iraq ablaze, Bush now threatens Iran --- three countries that are oil-rich or geographically sited for oil transmission lines or both.
Seventh, tyrants are notorious for their closed mindedness. They ignore their critics. Japan walked out of the League of Nations rather than answer for its conduct. Bush doesn't listen to critics, either. The Pope denounced America's war on Iraq as immoral. The UN Secretary-General called it "illegal." Millions the world over protested it. And a majority of Americans call it wrong but Bush ignores them. Polls show 70% of the Iraqi people want the U.S. to get out but Bush refuses.
Eighth, tyrants spend lavishly on the military. In the Thirties, Germany, Japan and Soviet Russia devoted a high percentage of their gross national product to their war machines. Today, America spends more on armaments than all other nations combined. And America under Bush is the Number One arms merchant in the world.
Ninth, tyrants don't respect the sovereignty of other nations. Bush rationalized his attack on Iraq as "preventive war" -- a euphemism for "aggression." The Pentagon has already dropped troops secretly into Iran, according to Seymour Hersh in "The New Yorker." The Pentagon operates 700 military bases in 130 countries and refuses to leave Okinawa and Greenland despite protests from their citizens.
Tenth, tyrants have double standards. Bush declares he's for "freedom" but forges alliances with the heads of Saudi Arabia, and former Soviet Asian republics where citizens have zero rights. He warns Iran against making a nuclear bomb while he scraps non-proliferation treaties to make America's nuclear arsenal more lethal. Bush threatens Iran, which spends $4-billion a year on arms, while he spends $500-billion on arms. He warns Iran might make a nuclear bomb while he has 10,000. He accused Saddam Hussein of germ warfare capability while he has been secretly building the greatest germ warfare capability of any nation in history since the Soviet Union under Stalin.
Are these reasons grounds for impeachment? Not if you believe this is the New American Century. Not if you believe Americans are the Master Race. Not if you believe America should rule the world.