and a Half Years of Regression
By Joseph Arrieta
Just two and a half years into Bush's term the United States
is greatly weakened, its voice effectively muted and its democracy
vastly more vulnerable than it was in 2000.
Consumption of disgracefully sycophantic United States journalism
would leave the average American completely unaware of current
American feebleness. Are we not the biggest bad-asses on the
planet? Don't ICBMs, aircraft carriers, troops with night
vision, and invisible bombers that span the globe with one
All very true. Yet with all that amazing technology, why is
Iraq quickly sliding into a state of anarchy, violence and
death? Why hasn't one spent nuclear fuel storage pool been
secured against an airplane attack? Why is the Taliban back
in the game in Afghanistan? Why are gas prices still so high?
Why aren't more Americans employed?
American power doesn't reside in its armed forces capability
- never has, never will. It still has not sunk in with the
Bush administration that wielding military power without other
critical elements of US democracy functioning means nothing
- in fact, application of military force absent in a country
where other democratic and economic institutions are crippled
and weakened will inevitably make things much worse.
President Bush lied
in his State of the Union address when he stated Iraq had
tried to buy uranium from Niger. If he didn't lie, the intelligence
agencies of the US (annual price tag: $30 billion) are criminally
It no longer matters - in one way - whether the truth over
Bush's alleged lying is positively confirmed or not. It's
far too late - only registered Republicans among all the humans
on the planet think Bush told the truth. The rest of the country
and world thinks Bush grossly
lied to start the Iraq war.
"It really comes down to the administration misrepresenting
the facts on an issue that was a fundamental justification
for going to war," Joseph
Wilson said July 8th. "It begs the question, what
else are they lying about?"
The credibility of the United States is shot and its voice
has been muted. No one believes anything Bush says - if he
was willing to lie or pass on grossly incorrect information
of the utmost importance, how on Earth is anyone supposed
to believe anything else he flaps his lips about?
How could all those Army divisions, Navy ships, Marines, and
Air Force assets still result in an assessment of "weakened?"
Because merely the application/potential of force is never
its sole source of power - the reasons for using force
form the bedrock of US strength, not the assets themselves.
Since the reason we went to war in Iraq is based upon a rank
lie or shamefully untrue information the country can no longer
accurately assess a real threat. If President Bush suddenly
appears and rants that Iran or Korea is an immediate, urgent
threat he simply will not be believed.
Furthermore, troops in the field who bear the actual brunt
of killing, dying and enforcing occupation based upon lies
or untruths have their morale
ripped to shreds. Hard to keep the faith in your country
when the day before your best friend got shot
in the face for a lie. 
The assets of the armed forces are still there, but the human
will and faith to use them has been shattered. The populace
cannot perceive a real threat, and the troops have no faith
in their leadership. United States armed forces are significantly
weakened without the human potential will to use them. 
The day after it became crystal clear that the Niger uranium
story was false (July 8th), zero mention of story can be seen
on the home web pages of the San Francisco Chronicle,
Los Angeles Times, Boston Globe, San Jose
Mercury News, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, or
the Sacramento Bee, to name a few.
The United States journalism corps, so crucial to the health
of the country, is crippled and captured. The President lied
or put forth grossly untrue information to start a war? Never
mind! Falcons tickets are going fast! Stock options are back!
Congress, allegedly the great check on Presidential power,
is an emasculated shell of the Framer's intention. War was
allowed to occur without a formal declaration - power that
kills American sons should have been held tightly to the bosom
of the American people through their reps in Congress, but
the institution simply didn't function, simply giving its
power and duty away.
Congress and the journalism corps are failing badly. As long
as this reality is present United States democracy is horribly
vulnerable: there is no way to spread or learn the truth,
there is no trust in the leadership and no check on the Executive.
The news should be screaming from every newspaper, computer
and television in the land that US democracy is crippled and
vulnerable, but there is only mostly silence.
This is what happens when the great American military machine
is let loose based upon lies and faulty information with crippled
democratic institutions. The United States ends up weakened,
almost muted and its democracy much more vulnerable to seriously
degrading forces than before. Sure didn't take long.
It also doesn't help that Bush is screwing the Army out of
his campaign promise for better pay, housing and benefits.
After enough hours in the sands it probably just
sounds like another lie. BACK
Some would argue here that the reasoning is bogus, since Bush
is a megalomaniac who will use force whenever he feels like
it. Given the absurdly broad powers granted Bush by Congress
in 2002 for the Iraq war, the idea merits real concern. Lawrence
Eagleburger flatly stated Bush would be impeached when Rumsfeld
wanted to go after Syria, a rather optimistic prediction for
one of the worst Congresses of all time. Still, after no WMDs
have been discovered in Iraq even this Congress will never
authorize Bush pre-emptive powers again. BACK