Not All Bad for Bush
by Lincoln Farnum
It's been an few days. The news that we've been getting appears
to be reflecting a growing hysteria within the media. Each
mishap carefully documented on various web news services today
was reflexively blamed on the growing forces of terrorism.
Crimean-Congo Hemorrhagic Fever was detected along the Afghan
border, areas where countless refugees might reasonably be
expected to overwhelm any possible sanitary arrangements.
A Russian commercial airliner flying from Tel Aviv to Siberia
was blown up in mid-air. Apparently all of our 'allies' have
accepted the evidence that Osama was behind the 9/11 attacks.
A crop dusting plane returning from the its cocaine and rain
forest defoliation duties in Columbia was lost in the Caribbean
and then some guy in Florida comes down with Anthrax (one
of only 18 known cases since 1900.) Anything else? Oh yeah,
"Senators Tell (Tommy) Thompson His Assurances On Bio-Terrorism
Not Believable..." (Duh.) I'm not making this stuff up.
Seems like they're trying to make me nervous.
While the news has been terrible, it hasn't been all bad
for the Bush Adminstration. I'm not suspecting or accusing
the leaders of our great country to be in any way complicit
in this terrible event, that would just be too horrible for
even a conspiracy theorist like me to imagine. Still, one
can't expect them to look a gift horse in the mouth, can one?
Remember what life was like way back on September 10? The
month long summer vacation was over...God, that was a great
month, so peaceful. During August the economy lost something
like a million jobs, trillions disappeared from the stock
market, the Democrats in both the House and the Senate were
finally coming together and finding a voice to resist the
Bush agenda. Even Al Gore was flirting with public appearances
Bush's, or rather Cheney's, Energy Plan was ready to get
shot down. The records of meetings of the energy task force
(the ones very likely documenting at least one suggestion
that a new Middle East Crisis might turn the political tide
towards increased drilling in ecologically sensitive areas
in the US) were about to be subpoenaed.
The Faith-based initiative looked to be in equally desperate
straights, with everyone interested in the Federal largesse
unable to agree on the one true faith (or even the many true
The 'independent' reviews of the voting results in Florida
were nearing release.
The World Bank and World Trade Organization meetings were
scheduled in late September. It looked very much as though
Washington, D.C. was about to host its largest protests since
the Viet Nam War. Huge fences and walls were planned to surround
and ostensibly protect our leaders from the unruly mob bent
on global (human) equity. The natural rift between Democracy
and capitalism was threatening to expose itself.
Bush's approval ratings were low, his agenda was in clear
and present danger, and it looked very much as though the
millions spent to put him in office, not to mention the political
capital, would not realize anywhere near the return that the
investors were expecting, no…demanding. What to do?
Well, September 11 changed everything for all of us. But
it was a cloud with a big silver lining for the Bush administration
(oh, and Gary Condit; remember him?)
It's a brave new world for the Bush administration. They
can pretty much do anything they want and just blame it on
bin Laden. More layoffs, especially from the airlines (in
spite of the $billions the American taxpayers just gave them),
blame it on bin Laden. Having trouble keeping track of people
that might be criminals? Lets relax a wide spectrum of privacy
and civil laws protecting citizens of this country because
we might want to monitor a terrorist (a dangerously vague
term at best.) Need an excuse for another tax cut for the
very wealthy? It's called economic stimulus. Star Wars? Nearly
unlimited military budget (Cheney said it was coming all along)?
That bin Laden is a very powerful guy.
So, what's next? We need more control of the world's oil
supplies. How about placing Afghanistan under UN control (oh
yeah, we just started paying our dues again.) Then we can
build pipelines through Pakistan to the Indian Ocean. What
does Pakistan get from it? Bush wants authorization to sell
arms to whomever he wishes, irrespective of previous agreements,
and India makes Pakistan very nervous. Afghanistan grows a
lot of opium too, hmm…maybe we can merge the terrorist war
with the drug war and have an unlimited budget for that too.
Yippee, more helicopters for Columbia, and other countries
aspiring to 'Light of the World' status.
If we can just keep people nervous enough in the US to maintain
the public support.
I'm still afraid that this is going to get really ugly and
that a lot of people are going to die. I may be wrong, I'm
probably going to be wrong since even the best planned of
events have a way of running off on their own. I may be paranoid,
hell, I'm likely paranoid. It doesn't mean I'm all-wrong though.
Maybe this is a good time to look at the lemmings and decide
not to be one. The shepherd keeps the sheep from the wolf
all right, but then the 'saved' sheep just end up on the shepherd's
table. Maybe it's not just a choice between the two of them;
this is still America (at least for a while).