The Blanket

The Blanket - A Journal of Protest & Dissent
Looking Down the Barrel of Freedom


Fred A. Wilcox • January 28, 2005

In his 2005 inaugural address, George W. Bush informed the world that he intends to spread "freedom" across the globe. Mr. Bush loves the sound of words like "freedom" and "democracy", and who can really blame him? It would be lovely, would it not, to live in a country where ordinary people control what the government does with their tax money. It would be truly exciting to live in a nation in which politicians speak openly and honestly to their constituents. And it would be grand altogether to live in a country where the chief executive acts like an elected official, rather than a Roman emperor who believes he has the right, indeed the duty, to spy upon, threaten, invade, and destroy other nations in the name of freedom and democracy.

Nearly two years after the United States invaded Iraq, the entire world knows that Mr. Bush and his friends lied to the American people and to the world about Saddam Hussein's stockpile of weapons of mass destruction. We know that Mr. Bush and friends lied about the connection between Saddam's regime and the attacks on September 11, 2001. We know that the Bush administration was so anxious to invade Iraq that it sent American soldiers into battle without the proper equipment; indeed, sent men and women off to the war zone without armored vests and in Humvees that lacked the proper armor to protect soldiers from roadside bombs or rocket propelled grenade attacks. When asked by a member of the National Guard why U.S. soldiers have to dig through dumps in order to find materials to use to fortify their vehicles, Secretary of War Donald Rumsfeld replied, with the arrogance of a man who has never seen combat, "You go to war with the army you have." We know that the U.S. military, and most likely the Central Intelligence Agency, has tortured and murdered Iraqi prisoners of war, and that no high ranking American official has been held, or ever will be held, accountable for violations of the Geneva Conventions on warfare.

So what, exactly, does Mr. Bush mean when he proclaims that he intends to launch a crusade for freedom and democracy, spreading justice throughout the world, liberating people who are living under tyrannical governments, freeing people who are suffering under regimes that jail citizens without due process, regimes that practice torture, assassinate their enemies, invade their neighbors, and refuse to listen to the pleas of the world community to behave in a more just, less violent, manner? Is the United States of America prepared to invade autocratic nations like China, Pakistan, Russia, and Columbia, in order to teach them the meaning of freedom? Does Mr. Bush plan to send troops into the occupied territories, in order to prevent Israel from building its Apartheid Wall, and to stop the Israeli army from killing Palestinian children? Are we going to see American tanks rolling through the streets of nations that do not practice American-style capitalism, and that refuse to support preemptive strikes against poverty-stricken and poorly armed countries like Iraq?

Since the attacks on 911, the United States has become a nation increasingly gripped by fear. The media simply repeats what it hears from government officials, and Congress approves Mr. Bush's nominees for Secretary of State and Attorney General, knowing that the former lied to the American people about the necessity for attacking Iraq, and the later approves of using torture in America's so-called war on terror. Right wing fanatics on Fox News and other programs insult and threaten anyone who questions the government's right to kill women and children in order to save them. The Bush administration's evangelical supporters rant about gay marriage, while applauding the destruction of Iraq. The climate of fear spreads and deepens. Journalists, the military, politicians, all appear unwilling say openly that the commander in chief of the armed forces is an emperor without any clothes, a delusional ideologue who believes that he has a God-given right to attack those whom he perceives to be our nation's enemies.

What does all this have to do with Ireland? A great deal, really. Mr. Bush and friends will invite Irish Republicans and their sworn enemies to the White House for a St. Patrick Day's shindig. There will be lots of good drink and food, perhaps a bit of song and dancing. The resident in the White House will stand beside his favorite fireplace and ramble on about peace, freedom, justice, and other things about which he knows absolutely nothing. He might even promise to help bring an end to the standoff in Northern Ireland. He will be speaking, as we say here in the states, with a forked tongue.

If he were able to do so, Mr. Bush would round up every Irish Republican here and abroad and send all of them off to some remote Gulag. Relying on G.W. Bush to help heal the wounds of warfare and to promote genuine democracy in N. Ireland is like believing that the head of New York's mafia families should be appointed to the Supreme Court.

Anyone who still thinks that Mr. Bush and friends believe in freedom and democracy need only look at the terrifying streets of Iraq. Those who still hope that America's elected emperor will help the peace process in N. Ireland fail to understand what this man and his minions have done, and are doing, to the United States of America. We are an increasingly divided, angry, fearful nation. Our budget deficit continues to balloon, the dollar declines in value, and our nation is bankrupt. Meanwhile, we watch Iraqi being destroyed, and our own sons and daughters come home from an un-winnable war in flag-draped coffins. We weep not just because these noble men and women have lost their lives but also because we are afraid of the future. No one really knows what the fanatics who believe that democracy comes from the barrel of a tank will do next. "Bring 'em' on," says Mr. Bush. And we, the people, await the next attack on our country.




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The Blanket - A Journal of Protest & Dissent



All censorships exist to prevent any one from challenging current conceptions and existing institutions. All progress is initiated by challenging current conceptions, and executed by supplanting existing institutions. Consequently the first condition of progress is the removal of censorships.
- George Bernard Shaw

Index: Current Articles

28 January 2005

Other Articles From This Issue:

The Road to a Mafia State
Anthony McIntyre

Help is On the Way! Lawyers, Guns, Money...& Golf
Karen Lyden Cox

Four Reasons for Ideological Shift
Liam O Ruairc

Tilting at the Windmills
Mick Hall

Looking Down the Barrel of Freedom
Fred A. Wilcox

Saor Eire Again
Bob Purdie

Sex, Lies, But No Videotape
Seaghán Ó Murchú

25 January 2005

The Danger of Securocrats
Mick Hall

Criminality Accepted as the Norm
Davy Adams

The Rapture
Brian Mór

Bertie Talking Bollix
Anthony McIntyre

Pact Impact
Dr John Coulter

Holocaust Revisited
Anthony McIntyre



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