Monday, March 26, 2007

Grandkids will ask, "What did you do to protect America from Bush's tyranny?". How will you answer?

Grandkids will ask questions about Bush

In his book, "The Sorrows of Empire," Chalmers Johnson wrote; "Four sorrows ... are certain to be visited on the United States. Their cumulative effect guarantees that the U.S. will cease to resemble the country outlined in the Constitution of 1787.

"First, there will be a state of perpetual war, leading to more terrorism against Americans wherever they may be and a spreading reliance on nuclear weapons among smaller nations as they try to ward off the imperial juggernaut.

"Second is a loss of democracy and Constitutional rights as the presidency eclipses Congress and is itself transformed from a co-equal 'executive branch' of government into a military junta.

"Third is the replacement of truth by propaganda, disinformation, and the glorification of war, power and the military legions.

"Lastly, there is bankruptcy, as the United States pours its economic resources into ever more grandiose military projects and shortchanges the education, health, and safety of its citizens."

Generations of Germans asked their parents and grandparents, "What did you do to protect Germany from the fanaticism of Adolf Hitler?" Sadly, many had to reply - "Nothing," and many others would have had to admit that they actually supported him, some defiantly proud to have done so.

One day in the not too distant future your young children or grandchildren will be adults and may ask, "What did you do to preserve democracy during the regime of George W. Bush?" Will you be able to respond honestly that you tried your best to save our country from Bush's pathological lust for power, or will you, like those devoted fascists, stand defiantly by your support of the most pernicious administration in American history?

You know, or should know, the countless outrages against democracy this man has committed; this brief article can't possibly provide an exhaustive list, but the following few are representative.

He made an unprovoked war of aggression against Iraq and lied to Congress and the American people to do so. He authorized torture of captives. He has willfully put America in violation of the Geneva Conventions and in the process branded us as a rogue nation.

He has authorized illegal surreptitious surveillance of American citizens. He has authorized the abduction, torture and indefinite detention of people - including American citizens.

He has denied the constitutionally protected right of habeas corpus to those he chooses to brand as "enemy combatants." He is responsible for disclosing the identity of an undercover CIA operative, thus endangering the lives of a broad network of her contacts and rendering years of intelligence useless.

Through the unprecedented abusive use of "signing statements" he has claimed the dictatorial authority to violate laws at will. He is responsible for firing U.S. attorneys as retribution for their prosecution of his political cronies or their unwillingness to engage in trumped-up prosecutions of political enemies. With the help of the feckless Republican Party he has instituted tax and fiscal polices that have brought us to the edge of bankruptcy.

He has encouraged religious zealots in their campaign to replace the scientific search for understanding of our world with their interpretation of Biblical revelation. He is at the top of the list of most despised world leaders and has made America an international pariah.

Under Bush's domination, the Republican Party has attempted to ensconce him as the "unitary executive" answerable only to himself with no oversight by either the legislative or judicial branches of government. Fortunately, we now have a Democratic congressional majority that has reinstated congressional oversight of the executive branch, a dormant process while Republicans were in the majority.

In just two months at least three instances of executive malfeasance have been exposed for which heads should roll, and it's clear that there will be more to come. At long last there is hope that we may slowly return to sanity and regain some measure of respect by a world alienated by the years of Bush's imperial arrogance.

So if we survive the Bush catastrophe - when your grandchildren ask, "What did you do to protect America from Bush's tyranny?", how will you answer?

Bob Regl is a resident of Hattiesburg.

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