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Rejecting Republican Failures

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Message Ron Fullwood
"Carry the battle to them. Don't let them bring it to you. Put them on the defensive. And don't ever apologize for anything." -- Truman

If the Bush regime and their republican enablers are to be believed, electing Democrats to the majority in Congress would cause everything from another devastating attack on our nation like Bush allowed in 2001, to the end of civilization as we know it. Problem is, all of the things they're squawking about have been initiated, aggravated, and left to fester, from the beginning of Bush's term and from the time republicans assumed the majority in Congress. As in the last election, the republican party of fear and failure and their dangerously incompetent leader in the White House are waging a manipulative campaign to keep their grip on the offices they have so completely disgraced.

No one could fault politicians these days for pointing out the threats to our nation and the world from terrorists and rogues. Bush never misses an opportunity to remind Americans of the threatening specter of Osama bin-Laden who's been taunting America and the world for five years since the 9-11 attacks. Bush sees Iraq, as he reminds us at every occasion, as the 'center' of his 'war on terror'. We know it's the center, Bush tells us, "because bin-Laden says so."

The nation is supposed to believe that, somehow, after almost a decade of relative peace and rising prosperity under the leadership of a two-term Democratic president, the disasters that have gripped the nation and encompassed the George W. Bush terms represent success at something or other. It is a measure of the disdain Bush and the republicans have for the intelligence of the American voter that they would simultaneously present the dangers to the nation that they have fumbled and furthered with their incompetence and overreaching as overwhelming threats to our security, while boasting of their superior abilities above all others in dealing with those threats. But, their party has failed, and should not be given more room to further weaken our nation's power and prestige with their bungling militarism.

As a result of three years of mucking around with our soldiers' lives in his Iraq diversion from the 'hunt' for bin-Laden and his al-Qaeda accomplices in Afghanistan, Americans and the world are now facing an even greater and more pernicious threat than was represented by the opportunistic violence of zealous rogues. Bush's arrogant overthrow and occupation of the sovereign nation of Iraq has provided American targets there to serve as symbols of his American imperialism, inviting all comers to bring it on and take their best shot at our soldiers, and at dismantling his naive junta of carpetbagging exiles. Our soldiers are spinning in a vortex around the new Iraqi regime, hunkered down in the center of the U.S. green zone of defense, fighting and dying on one side of a multi-fronted civil war; their defense of the Maliki government far outside of our nation's constitution or conscience.

It may have seemed to some that North Korea's escalation of their nuclear threat came out of the blue - or, like Bush would have us believe, out of the Clinton term. There was more than just a little avoidance of blame by Bush after Jong-il detonated his nuke. The North Korean problem had been "going on for a long time," Bush argued. After I came to office (in 2001)," he said, "we discovered that North Korea had been violating this agreement . . .

After Bush discovered the North Koreans had lied to the U.S., his response was ultimately to give them $95m under a 'Nonproliferation, Anti-Terrorism provision of a Foreign Operations Act. With a stroke of his Executive pen, Bush waived the requirement that North Korea allow inspectors to go in and verify they hadn't hidden away any weapons-grade plutonium.

Bush's 2002 Presidential Determination No. 2002-12 stated that:

(1) the parties to the Agreed Framework have taken and continue to take demonstrable steps to implement the Joint Declaration on Denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula;
(2) North Korea is complying with all provisions of the Agreed Framework; and
(3) The United States is continuing to make significant progress on eliminating the North Korean ballistic missile threat, including further missile tests and its ballistic missile exports.

None of those 'determinations' about North Korea became reality. Tests confirming that Jong-il had indeed exploded a nuclear device also confirmed that it was both of the Bush's administrations in charge at the time the North Korean dictator was able to obtain these materials. As the NYT reported, " The plutonium that North Korea exploded was produced, according to intelligence estimates, either during the administration of the first President Bush or after 2003, when the North Koreans threw out international inspectors and began reprocessing spent nuclear fuel the inspectors had kept under seal."

In the face of the failure of George Bush and his republican enablers to effect the capture of bin-Laden and his accomplices, their disastrous diversion to Iraq on a litany of lies, and their failure to do anything at all about the looming threat of nuclear destabilization from North Korea except pass the responsibility on to China and others, there is no room for criticism of those who've been loudly demanding they change course.

It is the Democratic Party who has been demanding a re-focus of resources and effort from the disaster in Iraq, to the prosecution of those 9-11 suspects still at large who've been influencing a new generation of antagonists against the U.S., our allies, and our interests. It is the Democratic Party who has been urging Bush to return to the direct negotiations with North Korea with which President Clinton was able achieve a halt of their plutonium production.

It is the Democratic Party who is asking for the opportunity to replace the arrogance that marks the republican campaign of fear they use as a cover for Bush's failures, with a new and invigorated focus on the dangers facing us which isn't burdened with the dishonesty of the past five years, or aggravated by Bush's obsession with finding even more conflicts for our soldiers to fight and die in. Americans shouldn't elect any more republican failures to positions of power and influence over us; especially since they refuse to take any responsibility for those failures. Bush sees nothing but an affirmation of his own power in the threats that are amassing and escalating against our nation, yet he accepts none of the responsibility of his office.

"The President--whoever he is--has to decide," Harry Truman told Americans in his farewell address. "He can't pass the buck to anybody. No one else can do the deciding for him. That's his job."

For Bush and his republicans, the buck stops at the voting booth in November. They have failed America and should not be allowed to continue to 'decide' us into disaster. We are challenged to take our democracy back. It's in our hands to reject the republican failures, and to set our country right again. The buck stops with us in November.
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Ron Fullwood, is an activist from Columbia, Md. and the author of the book 'Power of Mischief' : Military Industry Executives are Making Bush Policy and the Country is Paying the Price
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