Friday, August 05, 2005

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George Bush Mimics Hollywood Movie

In George Lucas' movie, Star Wars III, the evil Sith lord characters use the powers of the 'dark side of the force' and crave absolute power. Their adversaries, the selfless Jedi knight characters use the power of the 'good side' to protect the Republic. Palpatine, a Sith Lord masquerading as a galactic Republican, becomes Chancellor of the Galactic Republic through deception. Then, he instigates a war that he himself orchestrated in order to dupe the Senate into eroding liberties and giving up their authority for the sake of security. The Senators readily buy his lies and Palatine reorganizes the republic into a Galactic Empire and becomes its dictator. He enlists the Jedi Council's patriotism to fight the 'separatist' army that he secretly directs. But, the naive Jedi catch on too late and are decimated.

Does the above sound a little familiar? Is George Bush a real-life Sith Lord? Bush's 'war against terrorism' is no less orchestrated than Palpatine's war and has led to the same result: a society dominated by security concerns. The top secret 'Downing Street memos', widely published in the UK but suppressed in the US media, confirm that George Bush offered manufactured intelligence to an overly trusting public as an excuse to preemptively invade Iraq. Multitudes of patriotic Republicans sincerely believe that Bush has made America safer. But, in truth, his interminable war made us much less secure because it turned the Muslim world against us and stirred up a hornet's nest of terrorists united by their hatred of America. Republicans have become adept at self-deception. They will believe any argument that justifies Bush and dismiss any news report that casts doubt on his war as just more anti-Bush propaganda from the liberal media.

Meanwhile, Bush, like Palpatine, has brought the assurance of civil liberties into grave doubt. All over the US, civil liberties are being decimated. The scare driven, Orwellian-named 'Patriot Act' is turning America into a police state. Even ultra-conservative Republican Bob Barr (Washington Times, May 17) writes that provisions of the 'Patriot Act' go far beyond fighting terrorism "and undermine our constitutional freedoms and Fourth Amendment rights." Checks and balances are gone. Bush has enabled the police to bypass the courts. The Executive branch rules. And, the GOP muzzles the Fourth Estate. Furthermore, the administration is now pushing for a national identity card containing invasive digital information along with expanded secret police powers.

As illustrated by the indignities of airport security searches, Bush's police state measures will fall on loyal American citizens. The vast Homeland Security apparatus will have to 'find terrorists' in order to justify all the expanded police powers and huge budget. Police states have an insatiable need for enemies. In Stalin's time, the secret police conducted 'street sweeps'. People waiting for buses and shopping for food were carted off to prison, where they were tortured. The beginning of an American Gulag filled with innocents is already here. The US prison at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba is full of mistaken identities being held for three years without proof and charge who just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Yet Republicans are cheering.

Incidentally, it's time for all you Republican gun rights activist to wake up. If it is dangerous for air travel to permit a passenger to have a toothpick or nail clippers, how can a terrorist-threatened society permit mass gun ownership? If the constitutional protections of civil liberties can be suspended in order to better fight terrorism, the Second Amendment doesn't have a chance. A government that spies on its citizens will not trust them with guns.

from The Dark Side of the Empire. Is Bush a Sith Lord? By PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS - Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan administration - held a number of academic appointments - contributed to numerous scholarly publications - graduate economics education at the University of Virginia, the University of California at Berkeley, and Oxford University - coauthor of The Tyranny of Good Intentions - pcroberts@postmark.net

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