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Bush's War On Ideology

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Message Ron Fullwood
Politics, like religion, hold up the torches of martyrdom to the reformers of error. -- Thomas Jefferson

Bush's Iraq speech today had the same long-winded, crusader rhetoric that dictators use in their paternal rants they force their subjects to endure. It sounded almost like Iran's new president with all of the moralism and ideological ranting couched in jingoistic nationalism. Bush railed against 'enemies' from 'different' parts of the world who he says have been influenced by al-Qaeda. It seems that he's content to take on anyone he decides is related to the terrorist organization rather than follow through on his mandate to actually catch the individuals that fall within the actual resolution authorizing him to use force to apprehend the perps our governments says are responsible for the 9-11 tragedies.

"Despite their differences," Bush argued, "these groups from -- form the outlines of a single movement, a worldwide network of radicals that use terror to kill those who stand in the way of their totalitarian ideology." Bush revealed in his address that the heart of his 'war on terror' is nothing more than his own paranoid attempt to "defeat the ideology of the enemy" who hold what he describes as a "twisted view of Islam'. Is America ready for this type of crusade against Bush's ideological enemies?

"The war we fight today is more than a military conflict;" Bush argued, "it is the decisive ideological struggle of the 21st century. On one side are those who believe in the values of freedom and moderation -- the right of all people to speak, and worship, and live in liberty. And on the other side are those driven by the values of tyranny and extremism -- the right of a self-appointed few to impose their fanatical views on all the rest. As veterans, you have seen this kind of enemy before. They're successors to Fascists, to Nazis, to Communists, and other totalitarians of the 20th century. And history shows what the outcome will be: This war will be difficult; this war will be long; and this war will end in the defeat of the terrorists and totalitarians, and a victory for the cause of freedom and liberty."

The speech seemed designed to take the caricature of Bush's own presidency and cast these faceless "enemies' as more pernicious reflections of his own regime's instincts toward fascism, extremism, and totalitarianism. But, as Eleanor Roosevelt was quoted as saying, "We need not fear any isms if our democracy is achieving the ends for which it was established."

Bush new rhetoric about fascism is an amazing attempt to recast our nation's past struggles against countries and dictatorial regimes who were bent on our destruction as they trampled on their neighbors and our allies, as akin to the modern threats we face from these individual acts of violence in the face of the Bush regime's own attempts to usurp and consolidate power in two Muslim-dominated nations at once.

Yet, is the Bush regime these days which threatens to impose their own ideology on those hapless nations and residents who happen to be in the way of Bush's drive for U.S. hegemony in the Middle East and beyond; in the way of his 'freedom agenda.'

"The freedom agenda is based upon our deepest ideals and our vital interests," Bush told the veterans who gathered to listen to his rant. "Americans believe that every person, of every religion, on every continent, has the right to determine his or her own destiny. We believe that freedom is a gift from an almighty God, beyond any power on Earth to take away. And we also know, by history and by logic, that promoting democracy is the surest way to build security."

So, how is Bush 'promoting democracy?' Just what are the rudiments of this American tyrant's reign? The lesson that other countries have learned from Bush's opportunistic invasion and occupation of Iraq is nothing more than the old dictum of divide and conquer, might makes right.

What is to be gleaned from the 'shock and awe' Bush employed against the Iraqis as he used the awesome force of our nation's military to push into Baghdad and occupy the sovereign nation, overthrowing the government without the full consent or consensus of the international community. Just yesterday, Israel justified their own bloody slaughter of Lebanese innocents by citing Bush's invasion and occupations in Iraq and Afghanistan. Iran has used the same rhetoric that Bush is using against perceived "enemies" who he complains are determined to stop his crusading.

What is the difference between Hitler imposing his philosophy of fascism on Europe through military intimidation and repression, and Bush's self-appointed mission from "almighty God" to recklessly employ military force across sovereign borders to "advance" his own definition of freedom? What is the difference from Hitler's use of his own induced violence as a pretext for the eviceration of rights in Germany, and Bush's own power grab and his own suppression of liberties here at home he claims are a counter to the increasing violent responses to his military muckraking abroad?

Our forces have, in the past, been used to attack fascist governments bent on expansionism. But, in his rhetoric after 9-11, President Bush effectively used individual terrorist attacks to justify his assault against Iraq. Yet Osama Bin Laden, the alleged ringleader of the destructive acts, was not in Iraq. The rebel leader, in fact shunned and denounced the leadership of Saddam Hussein as a betrayal of fundamental Islam.

The random exercise of our military strength and destructive power against Iraq and Afghanistan will not serve as an effective deterrent to these rouge, radical terrorist organizations who claim no permanent base of operations. The wanton, collateral bombing and killing has undoubtably alienated any fringe of moderates who might have joined in a unified effort of regime change which respects our own democratic values of justice and due process.

Our oppressive posture has pushed the citizens of these sovereign nations to a forced expression of their nationalism in defense of basic prerogatives of liberty and self-determination, which our false authority disregards as threats to our consolidation of power. By likening Iraq to the worldwide Muslim terror offensive the president does what Hussein could not; he binds Iraqis to the Muslim extremists. He practically invites them to join the battle there and ally with the forces that threaten our soldiers daily.

This will not create a democratic wedge against Muslim extremism in the region. Democracy cannot be imposed, no matter how much force is applied to the resisting population. Bush today quoted Thomas Jefferson's admonition to Lafayette that, "We are not to expect to be translated from despotism to liberty in a featherbed."

But there's another quote from Jefferson that Bush has overlooked in his zeal to wrap himself in the glory of our founding father's courage and vision. "Of liberty," Jefferson wrote, "I would say that, in the whole plenitude of its extent, it is unobstructed action according to our will. But rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add "within the limits of the law" because law is often but the tyrant's will, and always so when it violates the rights of the individual."

Bush satisfies himself that his actions are inviolable and within some nebulous notion of legality and constitutional privilege. But, little consideration is given to the rights and privileges of those who find themselves in the way of his ideological assaults. It is his 'tyrant's will' which compels Bush to prosecute his ideological defenses, wherever and whenever he deems appropriate. He aches to make his jingoistic crusade the nation's own, but, we are a nation of ideals, not ideology.

Our actions are dictated by our values, but, primarily, by our laws which our nation's system of checks and balances strives to manage for the benefit of all Americans; not just a select, determined few who would hijack our resources and sacrifice our citizens on an altar of one man's obsession to dominate all lessors who are unable to rally forces to resist his imperious expansionism.

In Jefferson's last recorded letter, written for July 4 in 1826, he reflected on our country's independence and against the type of monarchical arrogance Bush displayed in his speech:

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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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