By David Fitts
It is disturbing to contrast George W. Bush's performance
defending his policies on Iraq and the War on Terrorism, with
the glee he exhibited in proclaiming "I hit the trifecta!"
shortly after 9/11. Bush is supposed to be a simple man, with
a sincere air in expressing his pain at the loss of life on
9/11 and in Iraq. Then why use these topics of death for levity?
Recently, Bush shared a video with journalists where he feigned
looking for WMDs in the White House. Maybe this would be humorous,
except for the certainty with which this administration expressed
that Saddam had them and the fact that there are many people
now dead as a result of these convictions.
Bush also once said that his job would be easier if he were
dictator. If elements of the Patriot Act and Homeland Security
are any indication, he is well on his way to assuming that
role. Granting him four more years may be all he needs to
accomplish this "vision."
This "fortunate son" must certainly feel blessed, particularly
with his sense of entitlement to power. He served so "admirably"
in the Air Guard that barely any of his superiors even remember
him. He has also demonstrated his ability to drive businesses
into the ground then turn around and sell them to those seeking
influence with his then-well-placed father.
Yes, it's a tough life at times, even for those of "privilege."
Bush the younger must have been sweating bullets on election
night in 2000. He had lost the popular vote by a half million
but it came down to Florida, which was too close to call.
The fact that tens of thousands of likely Democratic voters
had been stricken from the voter rolls there didn't sway the
Supreme Court from a 5-4 decision to place Bush in the White
House. They didn't need no stinkin' recount!
So here we find ourselves, more than two years into the
"war on terrorism" and one year into Iraq being led by a man
who won't read, but seems sincere in his desire to kill and
help his friends make a killing through government contracts.
It's hard to tell if he is sincere in his belief in the "rapture."
And yet, the "Anybody But Bush" folks may be somewhat disillusioned
to find that there is power behind this throne: The Original
What is The Original Trifecta? It is the three forces primarily
responsible for George W. Bush's ascendancy to power, as well
as the setting of policy, both foreign and domestic.
They are: 1) the think tank "Project for a New American
Century" (foreign policy), 2) The Christian Right (foreign
and domestic policy), 3) Corporations (foreign and domestic
Project for a New American Century (PNAC) - Dick
Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Pearle, Jeb
Bush, among others.
PNAC was formed in the 1990's in the wake of the first gulf
war. Their primary concern and objective was to establish
U.S. military dominance in the world and through this, spread
democracy. Many of the group's ideas are said to have their
origin in ideas floated by Henry Kissinger in the 1970's.
This think tank has been the most visible proponent of the
so-called neoconservative philosophy. Their most basic belief
is in hegemony. Hegemony relegates the role of the U.S. military
to one of being the police of the world, with or without U.N.
Their impact in setting the foreign policy of the Bush administration
is undeniable and made very clear though Richard Clarke's
book, Against All Enemies. This group also has no problems
with profiting from these policies.
In 1997, the group proposed U.S. participation in three
theater-scale wars. Here we find the origin of the axis of
evil, Iraq, Iran and North Korea being PNAC's targeted rogue
regimes. PNAC called for the first war to take place against
Iraq, ostensibly to establish a democracy in the Arab world.
Also figuring prominently in their reasoning: oil and strategic
location. The Bush administration justified the U.S. invasion
of Iraq on its certainty that Iraq's evil ruler Saddam had
both weapons of mass destruction and ties to Al Qaeda, which
posed a threat to those of us who love democracy and freedom.
Just prior to the election in 2000, PNAC released a paper
that called for U.S. invasion of Iraq whether or not Saddam
was still in power. They also acknowledged the need for a
"critical event to galvanize American public opinion" to support
such an invasion. While the Republican Party platform of 2000
included regime change in Iraq, the attacks of 9/11 were perceived
by PNAC members in the administration as the needed critical
event. PNAC member Donald Rumsfeld called for an invasion
of Iraq immediately after 9/11. George Bush also asked Richard
Clarke and others to find a connection between Iraq and 9/11,
though many in the intelligence community were convinced that
no such connection existed. The public was subjected to the
constant refrain that this war "isn't about the Oil," (a direct
contradiction to PNAC's stated objectives) and the constant
mentioning of Saddam and Al Qaeda in the same sentence. That
Saddam had no love for Al Qaeda, who branded him as "infidel,"
has been firmly established. After all, Al Qaeda's version
of radical Islam was more suited to the Shiite in Iraq, a
traditional enemy of Saddam's. Why Saddam would support a
movement that called for his overthrow was never established
by the Bush administration.
While the Bush administration strives mightily to defend
it's pretexts for invading Iraq, the designs and goals of
PNAC are clearly influencing policy. Bush's expressed desire
for democracy in Iraq is consistent with one of PNAC's expressed
goals. His policy on Venezuela and the democratically elected
Hugo Chavez indicates a distaste for democracy when it doesn't
serve other desired ends (i.e. oil). In spite of Bush's public
statements, it seems clear that the PNAC wing of this administration
is committed to its stated objectives for being in Iraq: oil
and strategic location. While Bush states that the oil there
"belongs to the Iraqi people," he conveniently neglects to
inform the American public of the executive order he put into
effect on the day of the invasion: the U.S. government claiming
ownership of any state-owned property in Iraq (read oil).
With privatization being the ultimate goal, who will really
be allowed to own the oil in Iraq? The stated objective of
bringing democracy to Iraq will be sorely tested the minute
the Iraqi people vote the U.S. out of their country.
Will the PNAC neocons so easily give up the oil and strategic
location in the name of democracy? Is this why this administration
had no exit strategy for Iraq? The arguments for keeping Iraq
from civil war and becoming a hotbed of terrorism seemed to
be designed to assure U.S. military presence there for a long
while to come.
The Christian Right - and "fundamental" values. That
George W. Bush is the darling of the Christian Right is no
secret. While the pro-life supporters and faith based initiatives
are the most visible components of this leg of the trifecta,
the fundamentalist beliefs at the basis of this administration's
policies and vision remain largely unknown to the public.
Except for Bush's use of the word "crusade" (a hot button
term with many in the Islamic faith) in describing the war
on terrorism, he has sought to distinguish between Islam in
general and militant fundamentalism in particular.
The same can not be said of Bush's right wing, Christian
fundamentalist brethren, many of whom sought to distinguish
their god from the god of Muslims, a historical inaccuracy
that Bush has seen no need to correct. The dogma of the Christian
right says that all Muslims are bound for hell, unless they
accept Jesus Christ as their personal savior. Just like the
heathens in the U.S., whom many prominent fundamentalist preachers
publicly castigated as being morally responsible for the acts
of 9/11, a stern retribution from the Almighty
Whether or not they believe that the violence we unleashed
on Iraq is also part of God's retribution, they certainly
seem to have no problem with raining death on innocents and
insurgents. How this flushes with "loving thy neighbor as
thy self" and "doing unto others, as you would have them do
unto you," they don't bother to tell us.
The irony here is the similarity between the fundamentalism
here and the fundamentalism there, the mutual belief that
"God is on our side," and the total disdain for the lives
The conundrum for the Christian Right is whether or not
to hurry Armageddon along. Biblical prophecy, and their beliefs
about it, figure prominently in what they want to see happen
in the Middle East, the invasion of Iraq being part and parcel
of the process. Given the popularity of the series of books
Left Behind, the Rapture must be just around the corner,
and "true Christians" will soon be receiving their just
rewards in heaven. The rest of us poor slobs will be left
behind to deal with the tribulation that the "true Christians"
have a hand in bringing to reality.
Assuming the Rapture doesn't take place between now and
election day, George Bush can count on the support of the
Christian Right. If it does happen, Bush, being the good Christian
man he is, will presumably be "raptured" along with the rest.
This will leave John Kerry and Ralph Nader as the main contenders
for leadership of the free world in a time of tribulation.
God bless us one and all!
Corporations. That George Bush has been good for
corporate America in particular and the rich in general, can't
be denied. Whether it's cutting taxes, doling out Federal
contracts (creating a record deficit in the process), loosening
environmental regulations or deregulation in general, this
privatizing president has, indeed, been good for business.
In large part, they helped finance his losing effort to win
the Presidency. Still, his corporate supporters had to have
been pleased with the appointments Bush made to his administration,
which very much resembled a "who's who" list of a corporate
The secret energy policy meetings held by Dick Cheney offered
industry insiders the opportunity to have a say on national
policy with no scrutiny or oversight. The extent of corporate
influence on this administration, from writing legislation
to recommendations for deregulation, could fill several volumes.
Corporate gouging, as well as out-and-out thievery have consistently
made headlines since Bush has been in power. His largest single
campaign contributor, Enron, first bilked billions out of
California consumers, then collapsed like a house of cards
under the weight of cooked books. Bush's friend and former
Enron CEO "Kenny Boy" Lay has still managed to avoid indictment
(yes, oil men love having oil men in the White House).
Enron might have been saved if the planned natural gas pipeline
through Afghanistan had become a reality. In spite the millions
given to the Taliban by the Bush administration during the
spring of 2001, not even the promise of "a carpet of gold,"
nor the threat of "a carpet of bombs," could convince the
Taliban to allow the pipeline. The events of 9/11 gave Bush
the opportunity to deliver on the threat.
In his farewell address, President Eisenhower warned us
of the military industrial complex and its potential for abuse.
The Bush administration is living proof that Ike's warning
was not heeded. George Bush Sr. is a major player with the
Carlyle Group, deeply involved in the military industrial
sector. Dick Cheney had been CEO of Halliburton, another company
that benefited hugely from the military actions of this administration.
Cheney should have divested his interests in Halliburton,
said he had, but it turns out that he had not. There was a
time in our country when conflict of interest represented
a serious crime. My, how times have changed!
Halliburton and others have been caught price gouging in
Iraq. It's good that they were caught but can the Pentagon
catch all or even most of the accounting "errors?"
Consider that the Pentagon can't account for more than a
trillion dollars of its own spending. Halliburton has made
sure that its highly paid security force all have body armor
and drive armored vehicles. A real shame that the Pentagon
couldn't produce the same result for military personnel.
The industry most responsible for allowing this administration
to tread where none have dared tread before is the corporate
news media. Corporate media has been a large contributor to
campaigns, and for their generosity they have been handsomely
rewarded. The FCC deregulated media ownership rules, as lobbied
for by the major players, in the summer of 2003. The already
large media conglomerates were allowed to grow larger still.
Americans relying on these media are getting an increasingly
narrow exposure to and interpretation of events. But campaign
contributions alone were not enough for what the media got,
nor is it all they gave. While Fox News, Clear Channel radio
and others have been blatant cheerleaders for Bush administration
policies, other media outlets ignored or let slide much of
what this administration has done or not done.
In the run up to the Iraq invasion, the media utterly failed
to cover what was happening with suspect, or in some cases,
manufactured intelligence, and the heavy lobbying by the PNAC
wing on the intelligence agencies to provide what was needed
to justify invading Iraq. They didn't let the American people
know the stated intentions of PNAC were to invade Iraq before
Bush was ever appointed President.
They also failed to investigate with any depth the claims
being made by both Intelligence and State department employees
that this evidence was suspect. Finally, corporate media refuses
to show the American people the reality of the U.S. occupation
and military actions on the civilian population in Iraq. Would
Americans who support this action continue to do so after
bloody doses of reality on the nightly news? Consider that
the Arab nations, as well as others, do bear witness to these
Another area where Bush has given corporations preferential
treatment is in supporting the corporate version of globalization.
Millions of jobs have been lost to outsourcing and moving
operations overseas. This administration has used our tax
dollars to teach businesses how to ship jobs overseas. American
based companies are relocating in countries that have little
regard for human rights and even less for the environment.
While NAFTA and the World Trade Organization were not passed
under Bush, he has pushed for similar agreements such as the
Free Trade of the Americas Act (FTAA). The prior agreements
did little for human rights and the environment. These agreements
went so far as circumventing the U.S. justice system in favor
of corporate run tribunals in trade disputes, with the power
to overrule even U.S. Supreme Court decisions.
Clearly, the corporate interests supporting Bush have no
interest in an economically strong America, save their own
bottom line, if it requires them to honor human rights, environmental
protections and our national sovereignty. In their version
of "globalization" none of these have a place at the table.
Bush seems to be sincere about wanting freedom for all the
world's people. Rather than invading other countries to bring
freedom, he should start by demanding human rights provisions
in trade agreements and as a criterion for granting Most Favored
Nation trading status. Given that laws such as the Patriot
Act and Homeland Security have severely encroached on Americans'
freedoms at home, it is highly doubtful that Bush will press
for human rights as a criterion for trading with foreign countries.
Along the same lines, we shouldn't expect him to make similar
demands on protecting the environment abroad while his record
on the environment here is so abominable.
The Trifecta Revisited
The administration of George W. Bush is being driven by forces
who: 1) want to make the U.S. the dominant military force
in the world, to be used for "policing" and economic plundering,
2) believe that Armageddon is just around the corner and are
doing what they can to hurry things along, 3) personify greed,
want no government oversight or regulation, want to pay no
taxes and are hell bent on a global economy with rules that
favor the fattening of their bottom lines and display reckless
disregard for our national sovereignty.
So, if you find any or all of these to your liking, cast
your vote for four more years. If, however, you are of reasonable
intelligence and in control of your faculties, the choice
in this election is very clear.
Ultimately, the future health of our nation rests as much
on the shoulders of we, the people, than any individual leader.
We must endeavor to avail ourselves of the facts of what is
taking place in our communities, states, nation and the world.
Our knowledge must translate into action that will make a
difference. It is here that we have the opportunity to most
vividly express the love we have for our country. Keep the
faith, keep paying attention and stay active.
David Fitts has worked professionally as an educator, as
well as spending more than a decade in the financial services
industry. He has BA in Political Science. David's activist
background covers a wide range from working with the Democratic
Party, several environmental groups, The Hunger Project, RESULTS
(lobbying at the National level on hunger and development
issues), as well as being involved in a number of other local
issues. He is currently working on a book, "Democracy for