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Taking the Fight to Bush
July 1, 2003
By Peter Buckley (PBinOregon)

Bush, Inc. is pushing hard on the politics of fear to accomplish its goals. You have to give them credit--they are true masters at it, the best I've experienced in my lifetime.

They have shamelessly used the pain of 9/11 to push their agenda, played on the fear of additional terrorist attacks to justify what have proven to be flat-out lies on the danger posed by Iraq and the need for war, made every effort to portray George Bush to the American people as the only man who can possibly keep us from greater pain and destruction.

They have used the assumed power of a war-time president, along with almost complete control of the major media corporations, to persue policies that are devastating to the economy, the environment, education, our system of justice, our relations with other countries--virtually every area of our public life you can think of.

When I speak to people about what is going on in our country, the replies I hear are often accompanied by a sense of being overwhelmed, the horrible feeling of not knowing how we got to this point and how we can possibly stop this destruction of everything that is good about America.

I learned a long time ago that the only way out of that sense of being overwhelmed is to take a step. It is not possible to address everything all at once. It's vital to take one step, then another, then another.

And that is what is happening right now.

The opinion polls aren't showing it yet, but it is happening. It's happening when someone puts a Kucinich sticker on their car or writes a clear and compelling letter to the editor of their local paper. It's happening when 120 people show up in Medford, Oregon on a Monday night to support Howard Dean and watch a tape of him speaking of an American restoration.

It's happening when John Edwards gives a speech on economic justice that hits so hard and makes so much sense that I defy even the most right wing Republican to refute it (PLEASE read about this at

It's happening when Tom Harkin shares a town hall meeting in Iowa with John Kerry and Kerry holds forth with passion on the environment and the need for a living wage.

It's happening all over with parents and school boards fighting back, not accepting the destruction of our public school system.

It's happening when the editors of the Army Times cut loose with an editorial damning the Bush administration for speaking so consistently of their great support for the military yet making cuts that significantly damage our men and women in uniform. (please see "Nothing But Lip Service" at

Bush, Inc. absolutely requires fear and submission in order to keep power. More than anything else, they want the American public to be afraid and to shut up.

What is happening is that we are rediscovering our courage as well as our voice. Don't look to Washington, DC for confirmation of this. And you obviously know by now that you can't look to the mainstream media. But it is happening.

Take a look around. Keep reading what's on the Internet, keep listening to the people you meet. It's happening.

My great desire at this point is for it to grow to a roar. My belief is that we not only need to speak out clearly on the damage being done by this administration to our country's present and future in terms of the deficit, the environment, the economy, education, etc. We have to hit them directly where they desperately need us to believe they are strong--their ability to inspire fear and present themselves as our saviors.

They are not strong. They are an administration of cowards, led by a coward, and they are doing everything they can to make the United States of America a nation of cowards.

The more we stand up, the more we speak out, the more we work, the more their weakness is evident. When we fight them, we will win.

A Grants Pass, Oregon columnist was fired when he wrote of his view that Bush showed himself a coward on the day of September 11, scurrying around the country instead of showing true leadership. The cowards in this administration are doing everything they can to distract from that--even to the point where they are actually making a movie to depict Bush as a hero of that day.

It is past time that we speak out about 9/11. The families of the 9/11 victims are furious with how the administration is blocking the investigation into what led up to that attack. I would submit the following: only a coward would try to keep the truth from coming out about the worst attack our country has ever suffered.

We must take the fight to Bush, Inc. about 9/11 to the point where they will rue the day they decided to hold their 2004 nominating convention in New York City so they could take further advantage of our country's fear and pain.

Dick Cheney is still getting away with not coming clean on who he met with to put together his corrupt energy policy. He also seems to be getting away with having his pals at Haliburton and Bechtel profit obscenely from the occupation of Iraq. I would submit that anyone who is not willing to openly stand up with the people he is working with, and anyone who uses a position of power to secretly heap benefits on a chosen few, is a coward.

The same pattern continues with the Republicans in Congress and their insistence that there be no investigation into the lies told by the Bush administration concerning weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. I would submit again that supposed leaders who work to suppress truth instead of bringing the truth to light are, at bottom line, cowards.

There are senators, congressmen, candidates, activists and writers who are speaking out on this with greater power everyday. We not only have to support them in this effort, each one of us has to join it. There is a hunger in America for truth and true leadership. We cannot afford to allow cowards to rule by fear. Again, we must take the fight to them, every day and in every way.

The Bush administration can stage very elaborate photo ops, keeping a battleship off the coast of California and setting up the cameras for the most dramatic effect possible. But it is all smoke and mirrors. There are American kids in Iraq right now, nineteen and twenty years old, dying because of the lust for power, the lack of foresight and the cowardice of Bush, Inc. Senator Robert Byrd has called the Bush administration a house of cards.

It is time to knock it down.

Thanks for everything you do. Now do more.

Peter Buckley is a Democratic Party activist in southern Oregon. He can be reached at

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