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The Walls Are Crumbling
June 25, 2002
By Bob Volpitto

"The walls will crumble at a word ... let freedom greet you in the light ... and brothers give you back the sword", the Russian poet/patriot Pushkin wrote about a century before the foreordained reign of Czar Nicholas II of Russia. He spoke of the fate that surely awaited and doomed his backward nation ruled by a class of plutocrats supported by a corrupt aristocracy with the blessings of an equally corrupt religious hierarchy.

Those were perilous times for Russia. These are perilous times for America. Can you visualize the parallel?

How Pushkin's words echo in our ears as we watch the events of our time in our country. The walls are crumbling around Mr. Bush as his political base quakes and totters with his feeble, contradictory utterances. With so many handlers, Bush is confused. He has no thoughts of his own. He parrots ideas handed to him by skillful speech writers, each scrambling to hear his or her words uttered by a mindless head of state. He is, as was the Czar, "the anointed one, the little flower." Or, as it is said in Texas, "all hat and no cattle."

Conflict is everywhere.

In his rhetoric during Campaign 2000 George Bush declared himself to be "a uniter and not a divider" (whatever that is). Under present world and domestic conditions he can't even unite his own Republican party.

Look at the Middle East mess. Secretary of State Colin Powell, a reasonable man of understanding, compromise and even-handedness, tells Bush to champion neither side in the Arab-Israeli conflict, but to bring them together at the peace table and work out a solution that will satisfy both sides. Let's face it, Bush is no negotiator. He hasn't the skills of a Jimmy Carter nor a Bill Clinton. Can you picture him opening a discussion between Sharon and Arafat at Camp David with the down home question, "Well boys, how's our weather suit you, nice, huh? Now let's get down to bidness."

Secretary of Defense (nee War) Donald Rumsfield sides with the Israelis and urges Bush to press on in Sharon's direction. National Security Advisor Condi Rice seems to hover somewhere in the background hoping the Middle East situation will resolve itself and quickly go away before her boss sinks deeper into the morass of having to give full support to either side. Political Advisor Karl Rove (who draws a taxpayer-paid salary for shaping Bush's personal political agenda) is determined that Bush should throw his lot with the Israelis in order to capture the American Jewish vote.

On the domestic scene, it gets worse.

Usually a president (and make no mistake, Bush is not worthy of the title "president") concerns himself with the pain and suffering of his people. I recall Franklin Roosevelt flying over areas of the nation despoiled by natural disasters in the Thirties to, in his words, "view the devastation first hand." Bush hasn't acknowledged the existence of the raging fires in the west and elsewhere with even the slightest act of compassion. He ignores his own EPA Department's report on global warming, dismissing it cavalierly with, "there's nothing we can do about it."

He makes no mention of the 40 million of us who have no health insurance and the additional 50 million citizens who are not adequately insured or the millions more who live in poverty as he promotes a physical fitness program, stressing a proper diet and adequate exercise. (Whatever happened to his lust for peanut butter and jelly sandwiches? I seem to recall something about his bout with sodium soaked pretzels, too.) He rails against universal health care but neglects to mention his taxpayer-provided personal physician and free annual check up at the people's expense. When you think about it, how can this nation afford a billion dollar a day war spending outlay and yet can't afford free health care for its citizens? I guess killing people and destroying their countries gives Bush and Company more satisfaction than having a healthy population.

Bush prides his ambiguous, puny efforts to upgrade the nation's battered education system by cutting funds in his proposed budget for his own plan. Thank heavens he temporarily abandoned school vouchers that would have promoted de facto segregation (rich vs. poor) for the present. This proposal, however, is being kept warm on the back burner, as is his faith based initiative program. He hopes for a GOP controlled House and Senate next January that will enact these proposals so don't congratulate yourself just yet.

Bush signed the McCain/Feingold Campaign Finance Act with a quiet whimper and left Washington before his right wing could find a stout rope, a fast horse and a tall tree. So what, the Supreme Court is poised to declare it unconstitutional on the basis it hampers free speech -- George Will already has -- as guaranteed in the First Amendment. (As if the Bushies give damn about the First Amendment or the free speech it guarantees.)

The joke of the millennium is George's wife, Laura, promoting reading skills while her husband can't put a subject, verb and object together in a sentence that makes sense. Worse, he has added more words, mostly meaningless, to the American lexicon than Noah Webster! His reading level stops at "The Hungry Little Caterpillar" and retreats from there. This proves you can get an MBA at Yale without the ability to speak, read or write. Hell, this guy has yet to write a two page position paper let alone draft a piece of legislation. It's a safe bet the Frat Boy had to pay his roommate to write his letters home asking for an increase in allowance. Without his 3x5 file cards he has no idea what to say to whom at any given time. According to Mark Crispin-Miller Bush is dyslexic and is not qualified to be in office, let alone be the one who keeps a finger on the box that will launch missiles and destroy civilization.

Now we come to the nitty gritty of it all.

The Congressional investigation of 9/11 will reveal Dubya's ineptness. Bush can't or won't read reports and relies on briefings from staff members who spin complicated text into what they believe he can understand with his limited IQ and ninth grade vocabulary. Terrorist attacks last September 11 could have been averted if a leader other than Bush would have proclaimed a national emergency on September 10 or prior and shut down the country until we could figure out was about to happen. No, anticipating a terrorist attack in this context would have been bad for business. He had the foreknowledge that something was in the wind, but rather than hurt his business buddies in the short run he allowed us to suffer death, destruction and humiliation in the long run. Worse, damn it, he admits it!

Big business in running scared. Corporate emissaries are pouring millions of dollars, contributed unwillingly by consumers who buy their products, into the GOP campaign coffers to defeat snooping Democrats who will investigate their sleazy operations to bilk their own stockholders. Look how fast inquiries into the death-dealing tobacco industry faded during the brief time (from January to May, 2001) the GOP controlled the Senate. "Bush will save us," they cry, "so give him all the money he asks to hold the House and recapture the Senate." When the dam of public opinion breaks, Bush won't be able to save himself let alone those who bought his White House residency.

Yes, soon the walls of secrecy will crumble umder an avalanche of words. The temerity of the press is vanishing as it has at ABC, CBS and Newsweek. It is written, "Know ye the truth and the truth will set you free." When people will no longer fear retribution from their government then they will rise up to defend the country they love and destroy by their voices and votes the government they hate. "If this be treason," Patrick Henry proclaimed, "then I say let us make the most of it." All of us then will fly our flags with pride. We will have taken back our country. The people will have spoken. They will be free once more.

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