Bush’s Actions Recall History’s Tyrants

Counterbias.com, May 29 2007
Bush’s Actions Recall History’s Tyrants

By Sherwood Ross

As public sentiment begins to build for impeachment, it might be illuminating to examine the many ways President Bush operates in a manner reminiscent of history’s tyrants.

That Bush should act as a tyrant is not surprising given his appreciation for Christian Dominionism. Remember the Christian books were and are written about the poor, the meek, those deserving compassion and aide. Hence the Geneva Bible used the word tyrant over 400 times in talking about mythical and historic rulers. In contrast, the subsequent translation commissioned by the English King James I, eliminates “tyrant” and replaces it with the word “king.” According to scholar Adam Nicholson, the King James Bible and modern editions equate the notion of King and God, which by definition makes Imperial Christianity at odds with commonsense notions of equality, justice, and democracy. To say that Bush sees his role as Christian, and Imperial King as chosen by God are not illogical ramblings, but convenient for a racist-elitist who has no time to alleviate suffering of people in New Orleans, Afghanistan, Gambia, Mexico, etc.

Though we might generate an extensive list of his abuses and crimes, here is a list of ten areas that come readily to mind to compare G. W. Bush and his regime to other tyrannies.

First, tyrants tend to see themselves, as Hitler did, at the head of some kind of “master race.” President Bush and his backers would deny it, but their drive for a “New American Century” betrays them. They seek to be world-beaters, and won’t sign the global warming treaty or any other cooperative document. Republicans, at their last national convention, jeered the very mention of the words “United Nations.” Those among them or outside their clique who see it differently get slandered. Recall how Bush’s hatchet men impugned Senator Kerry’s Vietnam War record. This was reminiscent of Nazi claims Germany’s Jewish veterans of the Great War did not deserve their medals. Another manifestation is that neo-cons and pseudo-Christians (what Christopher Hedges calls Dominionists) from Rumsfeld and Dobson to Robertson and Haggard, would reduce American citizens who identify as homosexuals or bisexual to second-class citizenship status. Bush’s backers are convinced of their superiority at home and globally.

Second, tyrants tend to be congenital, brazen liars. Bush lied about Iraq’s threat to America just as Hitler lied when he claimed Poland attacked Germany first in 1939. The UN told Bush there was no WMD in Iraq, yet Bush said there was and made war. He knew better. As many as 600,000 Iraqi civilians are dead, two million have fled, and a nation is being destroyed before our eyes.

Third, tyrants engage in outright suppression or manipulation of the news – and pursue a preeminent position for state-propaganda. The Bush Administration has paid off newsmen to plug its achievements, sent out video press releases disguised as news stories, banned photographs of coffins returned from Iraq, and even planted a phony journalist (who was actually an ex-Marine and full-time gay escort) in White House press conferences. Now their move toward censorship leads them to spend millions to bribe Iraqi journalists and encourages the puppet government in Baghdad to limit press freedom too. (Call it “Freedom’s Power.”)

Fourth, tyrants will use a “crisis” to grab total power. After the massacre of 9/11, President Bush’s henchmen pushed through the unread and underappreciated Patriot Act (warrantless wiretaps, fiat appointments, and all). Recall 1933, when Hitler declared a “state of national emergency” after the Reichstag fire, which likely was set by the Nazis. In conjunction with his signing statements, and philosophy of an unaccountable, Supreme Executive, the Patriot Act and the Military Commissions Act purportedly gives Bush the power to arrest any American citizen on his say-so and he has allowed his intelligence agencies to spy illegally on American citizens without a court order.

Fifth, tyrants torture. Relying on an absolute subordinate and protector, Bush picked Alberto Gonzalez for the top legal position in the nation. Recall, Gonzalez was the very man who rationalized the torture of captives – yet advised Bush to order it done in Gitmo or anywhere else outside the 50 U.S. states, lest Bush be subject to impeachment for violating American law and the Constitution. Bush also lavishes billions on dictatorships such as Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, whose own Gestapo-like police obligingly torture individuals whom the CIA kidnaps and delivers. Bush has turned back the clock of history to the Spanish Inquisition – with equally beneficial results.

Sixth, tyrants tend to make serial wars. Soviet Russia’s Stalin attacked Finland, Poland, and Hungary. Imperial Japan struck Korea, Manchuria, China, America, and UK. One war is never enough for a tyrant. Recall Napoleon invaded nations to liberate them from kings, only to put his relatives on their thrones. Having invaded Afghanistan and setting Iraq ablaze, Bush now threatens Iran — all three countries being oil-rich or geographically sited for oil transmission lines, or both.

Seventh, tyrants are notorious for their closed-mindedness. They ignore their critics. Japan walked out of the League of Nations rather than answer for its conduct. Bush doesn’t listen to critics, either. The Pope denounced America’s war on Iraq as immoral. The UN Secretary-General called it “illegal.” Millions the world over protested it. And a majority of Americans call it wrong but Bush ignores them. Polls show 70% of the Iraqi people want the U.S. to get out but Bush refuses.

Eighth, tyrants spend lavishly on the military. In the Thirties, Germany, Japan and Soviet Russia devoted a high percentage of their gross national product to their war machines. Today, America spends more on armaments than all other nations combined. And under Bush, America is the Number One arms merchant in the world.

Ninth, tyrants don’t respect the sovereignty of other nations. Bush rationalized his attack on Iraq as “preventive war” — a euphemism for the supreme war crime, “a war of aggression.” According to reporter Seymour Hersh and former Marine/UN Weapons Inspector Scott Ritter, the Pentagon has already dropped troops into Iran, armed and trained dissident Iranian groups to engage in Contra-style terrorism and sabotage against a legally elected government. The Pentagon operates over 700 military bases in 130 countries and refuses to leave Iraq, Okinawa, Italy, and Greenland despite protests from their citizens.

Tenth, tyrants have double standards. Bush declares he’s for “freedom” but forges alliances with the heads of Saudi Arabia, and former Soviet Asian republics like the slavocracy of Uzbekistan where citizens have zero rights and protesters are boiled alive. Bush warns Iran against making a nuclear bomb while he sells nuclear technology and weapons to Pakistan and India, and scraps non-proliferation treaties to make America’s nuclear arsenal more lethal. Bush threatens Iran, which spends $4-billion a year on arms, while he authorizes over $500-billion on arms including missile bases in Eastern Europe and killer satellites. Bush tells us to worry that Iran might make one nuclear bomb while he has over 10,000 that he can launch at anytime. Bush accused Saddam Hussein of germ warfare capability while W. has overseen the building of the greatest germ-warfare capability of any nation in history since the Soviet Union under Stalin.

Are these reasons grounds for impeachment? Not if you believe this is the New American Century. Not if you believe Americans are the Master Race. Not if you believe people in the American government and her military should rule the world.

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This article was originally published at Virtual Citizens.

Sherwood Ross is an American who writes on political and military subjects for national magazines and the Internet. Reach him at sherwoodr1@yahoo.com.

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