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Mission Impossible?
February 11, 2003
By punpirate

Despite much press coverage in his favor, Bush is off to a bad start in his attempt to both avenge his father's single term as President, and to secure for himself another term. In plain terms, what Bush wants is "Mission Impossible."

A brief look at the facts is in order. After a lackluster first few months in office, dominated by the continued erosion of the economy and by the crash and burn direction of U.S. corporations, with his former patrons at Enron leading the high-speed dive into the ground, Bush was headed for an even worse time than his dad. It's a sure sign that an administration is in trouble when it needs Madison Avenue to help it out.

And, then, bin Laden's minions flattened a few buildings, killed thousands, and, suddenly, "everything was different." Little more than a month later, we all were living with a new order, the USA PATRIOT Act, in which we all gave up some rights, despite our "technical" objections on Constitutional grounds, and life went on. The market went down, the major employers of the country said, profitability and stockholders came first, undeclared war or no, and hundreds of thousands of otherwise dedicated employees were pitched out. As unemployment rose, so did the Bush administration's vocal pitch in promoting endless war as the answer to all problems. When bin Laden's head on a pole became a practical impossibility, attention turned to war against Iraq. Hussein became bin Laden's surrogate, and the PR campaign to supplant him as the reigning threat against the people of the United States began in earnest. Little did anyone notice at the time that Bush and his advisors were opportunistically carrying out a plank in the 2000 Republican platform, that of "regime change" in Iraq, decided upon years before the horror of 9/11.

Stocks continued to dwindle in value. All the churning possible by lowly brokers could not prevent a market correction which had been building for twenty years. Congress, incomprehensibly, waited for Bush to signal some approval for a half-hearted benefit to laid-off workers before acting. Congress, too, signed onto war against Iraq without actually saying so, and reserved its hesitations for sound bites after a vote which Bush and company saw as _carte blanche_ for war against Iraq.

Months later, the world has erupted in anti-war demonstrations. Everyone from the Pope to the minister of silly walks has expressed the desire for the U.N. to continue and enhance inspections in Iraq as a means of avoiding a war which will undoubtedly kill many innocents, and yet, Bush and company not only press for war but force their last public hope for the appearance of moderation, Colin Powell, to engage in a Three Stooges routine in front of the Security Council and the world's TV cameras which made Reagan's evidence for invading Grenada look positively erudite by comparison.

Perhaps, the problem is nothing more than the market, and Bush Republicans' dependency on it as an indicator of economic health. Perhaps, it's those "old Europe" types mucking up America's best-laid plans. Perhaps, it's that idiot, Hussein, who won't take the deal and retire with a billion or two to a house in the Cayman Islands next door to Idi Amin.

No. The problem is power, and what it does to people in charge, and to nations, in the process. Bush, having obtained the Presidency illegitimately, having suggested to the public that such constituted a mandate for the most Draconian revisionist alteration of New Deal and the Great Society programs ever imagined, now imagines a mandate for war to further both his position, his re-election and the assurance of profit for his class.

The truly stupid among our citizens will (as the New York Sun recently averred) find opposition to war treasonous. They and the press will paradoxically describe Bush as acting to preserve law while, in fact, violating it. They will be watching "Laverne and Shirley" reruns while John Ashcroft engages in another end-run around the Constitution, not to temporarily protect us from terrorism, but to forever alter the relationship of government and the governed, using an undeclared war against a noun as reason enough.

Many Americans _are_ stupid enough to believe that the exercise of unlimited military power is enough to prove the point. In their collective mind, we're right, and the rest of the world can go to hell if they disagree. But, that army of bimbos may not be the majority. They may have a greater voice, amplified by a cowed and corporate press, but they speak for an administration headed by a man who either lied about or shrugged off the greater part of his personal history in his quest for a bedroom and office in the White House, and with those perks, the right to tell the rest of the world what to do. Now, he wants to start a war which might just cause a lot more problems in the process, and no majority, in that body representing us, is saying so. The first and most important way of bringing the minor Bush down is to deny him this war, his most current absurdity. Yes, innocent lives are at issue in this mission, but the future of this country is, as well.

Ultimately, the problem is with power. Inevitably, the problem is with us, and the people we vote into the Senate and the House. One single representative to the House, Barbara Lee, had sense to vote against any furtherance of war. Fifty years from now, she will be footnoted in texts in the same way Wayne Morse of Oregon is now in discussions of the war in Viet Nam now. The hundreds of others in those bodies, purportedly representing us, bend to the wishes of a power-mad President for fear of losing votes, somewhere, somehow. Make sure they know they will lose your vote because of their votes in favor of a fascist's aims.

Your mission, should you accept it, is to ask your representative why he or she could not resist the illegitimate power of George W. Bush, could not vote for common sense and vote against war, and would not vote against everything and anything George W. Bush has ever suggested. It should not take an international catastrophe for us to find the national political will to deny George W. Bush his ambitions, for power, for money, for the transformation of our democracy into a fascism last defined by Mussolini (the merger of corporation and state).

It's important to remember: George W. Bush is a small man made larger by the magnification of office and by the press, and only the people can cut him down to his actual size. Your mission, should you accept it, is to drive from office Bush and the people who are Bush's enablers, his magnifiers, the people who make power their own for their own purposes, rather than for yours, which true democracy demands for the people. The insanity can stop, in 2004.

punpirate is a New Mexico writer who thinks that, in a true democracy, small-minded men deserve insignificant jobs.

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