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Commentary :: Politics
Bomb Plots, Elections, Smokescreens, and the Way Forward
19 Aug 2006
Can the Democrats halt the agenda of the Bush regime or do they even want to do so?
In the wake of the recent discovery of the alleged bomb plot in Britain, the Bush regime has been highlighting the danger to national security in order to line people up behind its fascist agenda. Keep in mind that all we know so far are the accusations of this plot. Often government accusations turn out to be fabrications. Remember the "dirty nuclear bomb plot" of alleged terrorist, Jose Padilla, a few years ago? He was never charged with this even though the headlines helped the Bush regime in its scare tactics. First we had the "shoe bomb" but now we also have to face the threat of "Islamic fascists" using toothpaste and shampoo to destroy our way of life. We need to be clear what is really behind this most recent smokescreen. We also need to understand what is necessary to change the terms of debate in such a way that we challenge the Bush regime agenda in a real way and not be led into traps that actually support the regime.

Since 9/11 the Bush administration has used "national security" to divert people to support the U.S. grab for global empire and the resultant imperialist terrorism it has unleashed on the world. First our enemy was supposed to be bin Laden and the Taliban. Then it was Saddam and his weapons of mass destruction. Now it is Iran and the “entire network of Islamic fascists.” Notice how the terrorists have now been transformed into “Islamic fascists.” By slightly changing the terminology referring to the alleged enemy we have now encompassed all the former enemies and also included Iran, Syria, Hezbollah, Hamas, and just about any others the Bush regime may throw in later. (Where North Korea fits into the Islamic fascist network seems to be a bit unclear.)

It is interesting to learn the Bush administration pressured the British to make the arrests in this latest "bomb plot" a week earlier than the British had planned. Was this planned to divert attention from the atrocities being committed by the U.S. and it’s ally, Israel, in the Middle East? Did it have any connection to the election defeat of Joe Lieberman? Maybe both?

VP Dick Cheney did not hesitate to put forward the "either you are with us or against us" philosophy of the Bush regime. After the primary victory of Lamont and the night before the British made their arrests, Cheney stated, "The al-Qaeda types, they are clearly betting on the proposition that ultimately they can break the will of the American people in terms of our ability to stay in the fight and complete the task…It is an unfortunate development, I think, from the standpoint of the Democratic party to see a man like Lieberman pushed aside because of his willingness to support an aggressive posture in terms of our national security strategy." He went on to claim that there is "a significant body of opinion" among Democrats who want to return to "the pre-9/11 mindset in terms of how we deal with the world we live in."

What he was making clear is that the Bush regime has gone to great lengths to attempt to scare the American people with the specter of "terrorism" in order to justify the fascistic program of the regime. And once again, the regime is making it clear that any opposition to this program is unacceptable. For Cheney and the regime he represents, the only question in the upcoming election is who can most aggressively wage "the war on terrorism." All those not in lockstep with the Bush regime are with the terrorists.

Lieberman clearly got the message and is marching in lockstep. He reiterated the message when he stated Lamont’s stand on the war "will be taken as a tremendous victory by the same people who wanted to blow up these planes in this plot hatched in England."

For those that think Lieberman is out of step with other leaders of the Democratic Party and that somehow the upcoming elections will offer a choice between the fascism of the Bush regime and a real future, think again. The Democrats are actually trying to portray themselves as the real defenders of national security. House Democratic Leader, Nancy Pelosi stated, "They are not Swift boating us on security" ("Democrats See Security as Key Issue for Fall", NY Times, 8/15/06). On August 14, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee posted a xenophobic video on their website. It showed footage of immigrants crossing the border interspersed with images of Osama bin Laden, referred to increased terror attacks and pointed our the nuclear ambitions of North Korea and Iran. It concludes with the words, "Feel safer? Vote for change." In other words we are supposed to support the Democrats because they can better wage the U.S. terrorist war.

Democratic Senate leader Harry Reid made the message very clear in an e-mail, "During the 2002 and 2004 elections, Republicans tried to sow fear in the American public by claiming they were the ones who could keep America safe. This from the same crowd that has driven Iraq to the brink of disaster, left Osama bin Laden on the loose to attack again, and continue to ignore our security needs at home." The bottom line is that the Democratic leadership is trying to be more reactionary than the Bush regime in the so-called war on terror.

But despite the fact that there is no real difference between the choices offered by either the Republicans or the Democrats in this election, we do have a real choice. But we can not allow them to limit the debate to "which party can keep us safe." We can not fall into the trap of keeping Americans safe as a priority. Yes, the Bush regime and U.S. imperialism has made us less safe by its murderous actions all over the world. There are real terrorists who hate the U.S. because of these actions. But are the lives of Americans somehow more valuable than those of people in the rest of the world?

We can not allow protection of Americans to be the justification for the crimes of the Bush regime. We must take the clear moral stand of former UK Ambassador Craig Murray in his testimony before the International Commission of Inquiry on Crimes Against Humanity by the Bush Administration. He was talking about the torture used by the CIA when he stated, "…I don't believe it works, but even if it did work, I would personally rather die than have anyone tortured to save my life." Allowing the debate to be limited to who can keep us safer will only rope people into supporting unjust wars, torture, police state measures, racist and xenophobic policies, and much worse.

We must expose the fact that the "war on terrorism" is a war for global empire and that the election is a contest between the two major parties over who can wage this war better. People who want to see the ravages of the Bush regime stopped do not have a horse in this race. Even if the Democrats should succeed in getting control of both houses, they will not stop the U.S. war of terror against the people of the world because they support it. They only have some minor differences on how to wage it.

As stated by Sunsara Taylor:
"As much as there are Democrats who at times criticize how the war on Iraq was initiated, or even how it is being handled today, now that the U.S. has invaded they are concerned first and foremost with preserving the strength, unchallenged power, and overall interests of the U.S. as an imperialist empire, including in Iraq and the wider Middle East. If you listen, it is from this perspective of preserving America’s strength that Lamont criticizes aspects of how the war has been waged: “We are a much stronger country…when it comes to the war on terror when we’re true to what we stand for, and we’ve compromised a lot of that over the last few years… That weakens our country.” It’s not that the Democrats haven’t noticed how many people in “their base” hate this war, it is that the particular role the Democratic Party plays is to pursue imperialist interests while at the same time leading “their base” to believe that it is their will that is being expressed." ("Ned Lamont: False Hopes, Bad Terms, and Ticking Clock", Revolution, 8/20/06)

But the vast majority of people have no interest in supporting parties which are fighting over who can defend and expand the U.S. empire most efficiently. To really stop the crimes of the Bush regime will take a political struggle that changes the terms of debate and that actually drives the regime from power. The Democratic Party is not the answer and relying on the election on November 7 to change things will only lead to disaster. Millions must come to see that October 5th, a day of nationwide protests against the Bush regime program, can change the way people view the world. If all the people, in their millions, outraged by the direction in which the Bush regime has dragged the country take concerted action on October 5 then the possibility of turning things around and onto a much more favorable direction will become reality. The vague hopes of millions of isolated individuals will become an undeniable moral force and have unprecedented political impact. This vision can set new terms for society and send a political shock wave throughout the world.

Kenneth J. Theisen is an organizer with The World Can’t Wait - Drive Out the Bush Regime!
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