Co-editors: Seán Mac Mathúna John Heathcote
Consulting editor: Themistocles Hoetis
Field Correspondent: Allen Hougland
By the time that you read this piece, it is more than possible that George W Bush will have 'legally" assumed the title of 43rd President of the United States. For up to 82% of the citizens of that country; and in the eyes of the rest of the world, he will probably be the least legitimate President in Amerikas recent history - less so than even Johnson or Nixon. Below is an interesting reminder of where this little gang first began to emerge from the shadowlands, where they had been pushing buttons and pulling levers
On Election Day, 1975, Gerald Ford, the first president in United States history to be directly appointed by Congress without the interference of the voters, reshuffled his cabinet and White House Staff. Dick Cheney, the Republican Vice-Presidential nominee, was nominated to be President Ford's Chief of Staff. General Brent Scowcroft was nominated to be head of the National Security Council when Henry Kissinger became Secretary of State. And George H. W. Bush, father of this year's Republican presidential nominee, was nominated to become Director of the Central Intelligence Agency. Cheney, Scowcroft and vice-president Bush would all reappear in prominent roles during the Iran-Contra scandal during Ronald Reagan's second term.
Institute of Election Analysis Home Page Contact: Joshua Leinsdorf
The dangers inherent in this result are clear for both the American people; and for the rest of us who have to survive alongside this sleek carnivorous dinosaur. As children we were probably most impressed with Tyrannosaurus Rex, which could rip apart a double decker bus for toothpicks and scare the shit out of anything that couldn't fly. But sadly, as every kid knows it had a brain the size of a walnut, and probably ate itself out of existence. Excuse my biology, but you get the point.
What makes matters more dangerous than the era of Ronnie, or Johnson is the bare fact that time itself has moved along; the planet is de-stabilising, and people are desperate. Outside the shining walls of your great cities lies another world that is fragmenting and falling apart.
Inside your cities your own people have lost all faith in the old ways which are not really that old. They are the ways that our fathers and forefathers were taught to bite the lip, choke on the dry dust of the master's field, and every other generation be condemned to take part in the sacrifice, the slaughter of innocence.
In between, banality ; soaps, circuses, the daily bread, the cup that overfloweth with bitter. But always hoping for a better life; waving not drowning, doing more than surviving.
Eating Crow - isn't that what you call it. Well, I'm willing to bet that this slice of crow pie will be the one that your nation chokes on; and here are the reasons why.
Burning Resentment, Cold War
The two areas of most danger in a forthcoming Bush Presidency are interlinked.
The risk of internal strife and dissension in a country as vast as the USA is that Governments either attempt to unify by egalitarian social legislation; or by finding an enemy within or without to produce an element of unity through common fear. It is clear, however much talk we hear from Bush of the politics of mediation and compromise, that his 'cabinet" and the Republican leadership will steer the political agenda sharply to the right, so reactionary that many of them would favour a return to the Cold War.
This has not escaped the notice of either Russia or China. It was reported in The Guardian (7th December 2000) that Russia has sealed an arms deal with Iran, ending the US inspired international embargo. They have also sold China a fleet of AWAC planes,and the latest technology for this system; which makes a head to-head with the US over Taiwan an increasing possibility.
In the same article, The Guardian reported the sentencing in Moscow of Edmond Pope an American 'businessman' - and self confessed "ex"-US Naval Intelligence officer - to twenty years imprisonment for spying . This is the first such sentence for forty years,and could well be seen as a warning to an incoming Bush-CIA Presidency that things have changed since the balmy days of the drunken Yeltsin and his free-for-all market.
The Guardian wrily notes that the information Pope was convicted of stealing concerned a torpedo first unveiled in 1977, which travelled 5 times faster than anything produced by the West. Even in 1995, Jane's Fighting Ships noted, the West still had no equivalent.
It would be more comfort to the rest of the world if Bush wasn't surrounded by people who really believe that Armageddon is not only inevitable, but the gateway to a better world.
The USA exists only with the passive consent, or acceptance of the majority of its citizens. This regime-in-waiting, if finally handed the White House,will be viewed as imposed through judicial and political coup d'etat for the following reasons:
1. Bush Jnr is obviously not the individual most capable of governing in a country of 200m people. He is only the Republican candidate, because the party either had no-one more credible who was willing to stand; or it has been completely taken over by the Bush family and their oil-rich backers from Texas. The first suggestion can be questioned in the light of McCains run at the job; but his failure - a real war hero, who in the good ol' days would have been a true Republican hero - only goes to show that our second suggestion is probably true. The hereditary system is an interesting anomaly in modern democracies. However, I am not convinced that George Snr. isn't still running the show from behind the scenes , like the ultimate shadow-master.
Other 'Anomalies' include;
In another glaring example of the media's rush to report erroneous pro-Bush information, and feet-dragging when it comes to correcting it and reporting evidence of Bush-campaign collusion with the networks several newspapers are now --over a week after it happened!-- reporting the outrageous scandal involving Fox News and Bush's cousin, John Ellis, who was in charge of making the election call for Fox.
As we all know Fox, first ERRONEOUSLY called the Florida vote (and, in effect, the election) for Bush and all the other networks sheepled along right after Fox's call. Two hours later they were wiping the collective egg of their faces as it turned out that Bush's cousin's call was wrong--but it had, once again, put out lying Bush campaign spin as the truth to the American people.
And there can be no doubt that John Ellis was parroting the Bush campaign spin: he was on the phone to George and Jeb all night!
Everybody knows Fox is unabashedly pro-conservative in its coverage,but having Bush's cousin in charge of calling the election goes beyond the the limits of bias. It is dishonest, it is an abuse of Fox's power as anetwork news broadcaster, and it was the ultimate example we've had
to date of the media's collusion with the Bush campaign. And it's not like Fox--or any of the other networks which followed Ellis "lead in calling the election erroneously for Bush--weren't aware of Ellis "family relationship to Bush, or Ellis' loyalty to George Bush. Last year Ellis worked as a columnist for the Boston Globe and, after several reader complaints, he wrote, "I am loyal to my cousin...I put that loyalty ahead of loyalty to anyone else outside of my immediate family. That being the case, it is not possible for me to continue writing columns about the 2000 presidential campaign."
Inside the United States, it is possible that the head will blow off the pump.
Bush's recipe of right wing Christianity; along with corporate interests ranging from guns and oil to tobacco; will not have the popular base necessary to deliver support for the radical reactionary change they hope to unleash.
The consensus tentatively reached with the poor and the silent liberal majority in the vast urban concentrations, by patrician Democrats and their home boy frontman, the realistically human Clinton, will be abandoned. In its place the Republican Government - launched on a sneering distrust of "Washington" by the son of one of its greatest insiders- will embark on the greatest assumption of centralised power in living history. That power, however, will not go to the elected representatives of the Federal Government, but to a few corporate androids - most invisible- who swallow power like a vaccum
Even if this Presidency only lasts four years, it is enough to bankrupt the Federal coffers again. Money will be flowing into special projects and tax breaks to pay back the few billionaires who bought Bush into the White House in the most expensive "election" in history.
Reasons why this matters for the rest of the world
It is probable that the next four years will see a massive downturn in the American, and world economy. Of course, for most of the world's population now, that doesnt matter a shit because they just get by as it is. However, the effect of this will be poverty and chaos in the States, where the Welfare safety net, thin as it is, will effectively be removed and replaced by "religious charity foundations". As the corporate claws get stuck into the public coffers, and the Christian Right receives the benefit of being the only welfare providers, the results will be ugly. As all good Republicans know, in times of trouble get a war together. It is better that people look outside for a enemy than look too closely at their own society.
Only question is where?
Ronnie chose Granada - small, quick, good distraction. Belonged to an old friend. Daddy Bush took on his old oil buddy in Iraq. So where do we watch in the months to come? Some part of the world faces a bit of downsizing. . .
1. Oil / War
War - Gulf War . . . Bush Snr.
It is worth remembering the true history of the Bush family's rise to power.
Senator Prescott Bush, accused of helping finance the Nazi Party/ Government in Germany up until 1943; his son's subsequent employment as a CIA operative with links to the Cuban exile community suspected of involvement in the Kennedy Assassination (see memo).
Then George Bush's dealings in South America- oil, drug barons (Noriega) and one wonders maybe some of his Dad's old expatriate German friends maybe.
A quick rise to Director of the CIA, with President Ford guaranteeing that Bush would never use the position as a launch pad for political ambition.
During his tenure, notable "coups" were Allende in Chile, Gough whitlams Labour Government in Australia (fired by Royal Perogative for daring to threaten withdrawal of Aussie co-operation with CIA. Whitlam had discovered Australian Intelligence and listening stations had been used by CIA for Pinochets overthrow of Allendes democratic government.
Harold Wilson in Britain was so concerned at CIA interference in the internal politics of the UK that he sent his old friend Lord Wiedenfeld to Washington. A return visit by the then Director of the CIA, George Herbert Bush, was followed soon after by Wilson's surprising resignation
Maybe Cuba - to payback Florida Miami community for all that Bush Snr has been involved in / benefitted from - S. America, oil links; German links: narco (Iran Contra links) Kennedy, suspicion of involvement in S. American oil deals (specifically Mexico)
Certainly oil nations beware . . . Cheyney's links with Iran, Shah;
The Bush Family, and the Houston oil constituency that President Bush represented in the House of Representatives, is America's link to national interests in Iran, specifically the Shah of Iran. Not surprisingly, Dick Cheney was Chairman of Halliburton, an oil exploration company, when he was selected as Bush's Vice-Presidential running mate. In 1953, the United States supported the overthrow of a democratically elected Iranian government and the installation of a hereditary ruler in its stead. At that time, President Bush was a "businessman" in the oil industry. More likely, Bush was a cut-out for the CIA. Who would be more reliable than the son of a Senator. (Prescott Bush, the father of President George Bush, and grandfather of George W. Bush, was a United States Senator from Connecticut from 1953 to 1963.) It is more than likely that President Bush was America's Yuri Andropov, the intelligence aparatchik who rose to the top of the heap. Desert Storm was the liberation of Kuwait from Iraq, but it was also the restoration of hereditary rulers to their assets. In the 1950's and '60's, when Israel was the target of an Arab boycott, Iran surreptitiously supplied Israel's oil. So, it may not be entirely a coincidence that the Israeli-Palestinian peace summit collapsed on the day Dick Cheney was announced as George W. Bushes Vice-Presidential nominee.
Once the environment has been degraded, the effects are generally irreversible. Bush is an oilman, and so is Dick Cheney, who, until he was tapped as Bush's running mate, was C.E.O. of Halliburton, the world's largest oil-field services company. Over the past five years Cheney received salary and bonuses totaling $12.5 million, stock options worth nearly $39 million and, last month, a retirement package worth an estimated $20 million. Don Evans, who would likely be Bush's chief of staff, is the C.E.O. of Tom Brown Inc., the $750 million Denver-based oil and gas company. The obvious question arises: How would these men balance the interests of the oil and petrochemical industries, which are among their heaviest contributors, with the interests of Americans for a clean and healthy environment?
1. Alaska / petro- chemical industry - last great wilderness to go under the hammer
2. Domestic corporate pollution USA - See story of Odessa Texas ( Vanity Fair);
Texas is not enforcing its clean-air laws. Under the federal act signed in 1990 by President Bush, each state was allowed to choose its own strategy. Under Governor Bush, the Texas strategy was conceived by industry executives working with the governor's office and blessed by the three commissioners of the T.N.R.C.C. Ralph Marquez, a 30-year veteran of the chemical industry; John Baker, a professional lobbyist; and Robert Huston, an oil-industry consultant all appointed by Governor Bush. Here is how it happened in Texas, and how it might be expected to happen at the national level under President Bush.
Odessa, Texas, is the backyard of Midland in every way. It is where the dirty services of the local oil and petrochemical industries are performed. The industry executives live in Midland. The working people live in Odessa. It is where the Bush family first set up housekeeping in 1948, a couple of miles from a petrochemical plant built in 1956 that is now the sixth-worst polluter in the state of Texas. But the Bush family has long been gone, and a few years ago even the Texas agency responsible for environmental control of air and water moved out of Odessa and over to Midland, leaving no forwarding number. That was after the plant was bought up in 1997 by Huntsman, the largest privately owned petrochemical company in the country, which expanded the plant's capacity for making plastic pellets.
In fact, in the first three days of the two-week upset the plant burned more than 60,000 pounds of ethylene, a suspected neurotoxicant that has adverse effects on the nervous system; more than 30,000 pounds of propylene, which adversely affects breathing; and hundreds of pounds of benzene and butadiene both recognized as highly hazardous carcinogens which promote cancer of the liver and are toxic to the heart, the blood, the respiratory and intestinal and immune systems.
3. Global Warming / Treaties - use of petro engines in cars , plastics industry; deforestation, mining. Suspicion throughout Europe that USA abandoned recent conference in knowledge that Bush would not abide by any treaty which lowered the profits of the petro-chemical industry.
SDI ( Strategic Defense Initiative)
Will re-start arms race, and produce mass resistance in Europe, and particularly Britain ; who will be expected to provide cover for another retreating Empire *(yes, we do remember Rome . .) Will either be imposed by subterfuge (see Gough Whitlam's Australian Govt. or Harold Wilson's resignation); or by sheer force majeur, however unsubtle. Either way, watch out Mr. Blair....Does this explain the European Army and the visits to Comrade Putin. Good thinking!
The Brothers Grimm
It is possible that George W already has his plans to install brother Jeb in the office of Attorney General, in a grim echo of JFK and his brother Robert Kennedy. Don't they say that the first time history repeats itself, its as tragedy, the second time as farce? Well, this will certainly be a tragedy for all those waiting on the packed Death Rows, both guilty and innocent .
(The Paul Newman film, Judge Bean might be instructive for such willing executioners).
Their answer to a replay of the poverty in the ghettoes will be internal repression. The growing waves of activists will be dealt with by the security agencies and internal police squads, as in the Sixties (COINTELPRO).
Environmental activists will be targetted as undermining the (corporate ) Government, and thus seen as enemies of the State. Bush's views on the political/cultural upheaval of "his" generation - (thats our generation man, not yours!) are well known, and referred to in the Vanity Fair article.
Guess he just couldn't stand all those draft-dodgers - or all the ones who went to Nam and returned as cynical stoned junkies, ready to tear the Pentagon down and burn the sacred flag.
Colin Powell and Condoleeza Rice will be presented as symbols of a racially inclusive government; but their presence will justify a rolling-back of all major reforms for minority rights since the Sixties, such as basic justice, affirmative action and as we have seen, even voting rights.
The only permissible forms of activism will be through fundamentalist Churches, or compromised organisations. Politically, their reward for supporting the Republican candidacy, will be attempts to alter the make up of the Supreme Court with the eventual aim of abolishing the woman's right to a legal safe abortion. Next to go would be advice and access to Family Planning for the poor; and Americas traditional secular humanism replaced by the whole twisted moral perspective from bigotry to Creationism.
Welfare will be replaced by the charity / tax break industry; but also funnelled through these churches, which will see great wealth from the suffering of the poor.
An article by Gail Sheehy, published in Vanity Fair, October 2000, gives a fairly even-handed biography and semi-interview. Although avoiding some of the more sensational stories/ reports, there are serious questions raised concerning Bush's business dealings; and the debt he owes to his corporate backers. After a number of business ventures which proved more disastrous for the other investors than himself, he was finally 'cleared' of insider trading by the S.S.C.; whose chairman, Richard Breeden was (co-incidentally) a former aide to the then President Bush Snr.
Clearly not the greatest of capitalists (he got caught), Bush Jnr then relied on a combination of his father's political and business contacts; and the Christian Right to start building a political base.
First ' . . . tutored in the code words by Doug Wead, an associate of Jim and Tammy Faye Baker'", he used the evangelical Christian network to establish his own political base.
It is perhaps a good idea to have some knowledge of Plato's Republic when trying to comprehend what sort of social structure this cabal will try and impose through their new global order.