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News :: Environment
Bush’s Acceptance Speech: True Lies and Terror , Terror, Terror
03 Sep 2004
Bush offered up no surprises in his acceptance speech at the RNC, continued to pretend the invasion of Iraq was part of a War on Terror, and promised us more right-wing judges, more international military adventures, and a new attack on the foundation of Social Security.
George Bush's bombastic acceptance speech at the conclusion of the Republican National Convention in New York City was remarkable in one way: he managed to read the words that had been crafted for him without stumbling.

Otherwise, it was all very familiar stuff--the deliberate obfuscation about Iraq's being part of the "War" on Terror, the careful avoidance of any mention of terror's mastermind, Osama Bin Laden, the reference to those mystical Weapons of Mass Destruction. Familiar too, was the misrepresentation and lying about the record of the past four years. Bush slid over his disastrous economic record by claiming that his administration had produced thousands of jobs, when the truth is that millions of jobs have been lost during his first term of office. He spoke of improving health care when in fact more people than ever are without health insurance, and he spoke of improving education, when even Republican governors are complaining that his "No Child Left Behind" initiative has never delivered the promised funding. He even tried to describe the massive loss of manufacturing jobs in America, and the decline in earning power that has forced families to hold down two and often three and four jobs to make ends meet as a "wonderful opportunity" for personal growth and development!

The other big lie was the bogus claim that the Bush presidency has been about increasing liberty in America and abroad. The truth? At home, there has been the Patriot Act, which Bush in his speech didn’t mention once--no doubt because so many principled conservatives loath its undermining of basic Constitutional liberties--not to mention many federal intrusions on state, local and individual rights and authority (for example restrictions on the right to abortion and abortion counseling, a ban on the use of medical marijuana, the shutting of schools that don't measure up on government-mandated standardized tests, and of course the call for a constitutional ban on same-sex unions). Abroad there was the government-funded effort to destabilize and overthrow Venezuela's elected government (twice if you include the Bush administration's immediate support for the failed coup that briefly overthrew President Hugo Chavez), and the continuing support for Israel's brutal military rule in occupied Palestine.

Of course, Bush repeatedly cited Iraq and Afghanistan as two Middle Eastern countries where his policies are supposedly introducing liberty, but this is true doublespeak. Iraq, a land in the grip of a bloody insurrection against an iron-fisted U.S. occupation, can hardly be said to be free or democratic if those words have any meaning, and most knowledgeable observers, including many within the American government and military, concede that even at best, what emerges from that mess will have little resemblance to a democracy. As for Afghanistan, having overthrown the Taliban government, the U.S. has largely abandoned that country to its fate, which means feuding warlords and a resurgent Taliban, not to mention a continued presence of Al Qaeda fighters and their leaders, including the elusive Bin Laden.

Bush offered little in the way of his plans for a second term except for more of the same. He focused primarily on continuation of his vainglorious War on Terror, but his promise to make America safer has to be taken in the context of a nation on Orange Alert for virtually the entire campaign. How exactly the invasion of Iraq has made the U.S. safer was not something Bush wanted to discuss, but is something Americans should be pondering.

His domestic policy offerings were bare bones. ,br>

For the rest of this column, please go (at no charge) to This Can't Be Happening! .
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03 Sep 2004