Bush prevail, or listen and think?
Oberg, TFF director
Will the Bush regime "prevail" and go to war? Or
will it listen to citizens - and quite a few governments
- around the world and think?
Could it be that President Bush is projecting his
own subconscious and fears when he tells Saddam that "the
game is over"? Could it be that he and the apparently
desperate people around him are beginning to feel that
their bullying and vision-less game - not with the world
but against it - could spell the end of their regime and
the U.S. empire?
The Bush regime is politically fundamentalist:
we are right, they are wrong. It's based on
the flawed assumption that policies can be based on a)
dictating to friends and foes alike that they are either
with us/U.S. or against us/U.S., and b) ignoring every
type of listening, consulting and consensus-building
policies with rightfully concerned parties, including its
So, regrettable as it is, it's the Bush regime's
policies, not Saddam Hussein's, that have split the West
and now shake institutions such as the United Nations,
the EU and NATO.
We are not talking about events and statements made
the last few weeks. Citizens in virtually all Western
democracies, in the Arab world and elsewhere, as well as
a growing number of governments, have accumulated their
anger and fears over several years.
The overwhelming protests by millions of citizens all
over our common world on February 15 draws upon a
deep-seated resentment and a sense of having been
humiliated by those in power. They feel that they have
had enough after years of the Bush regime's
insensitivity, arrogance and bellicosity.
of the Bush regime
Here are some of the unilaterally destructive results
of the Bush regime's activities.
1. Mistaking the criminal act on September 11 for a
war. Then building up a world-wide war on terror that is
out of proportion with the problem and will cause more,
not less, terrorism. (In the year 2000, about 400 people
were killed world wide in terrorism - many lives, yes,
but not exactly the largest problem in the world).
2. Ignoring civil rights in the U.S. and elsewhere
(Guantanamo) in the struggle against this terrorism. More
Orwellian legislation is being prepared by Attorney
General John Ashcroft: Patriot
3. Undermining international law by withdrawing from
important treaties, fundamental principles and norms of
the UN Charter and refusing to participate in summits
where the common problems of humankind are being
discussed (often problems caused predominantly by the
American lifestyle and consumption patterns). These
policies are associated with fundamentally important
issues such as the Kyoto treaty, The International
Criminal Court, ICC, the Johannesburg World Summit and
the decision to stop funding the UN Population Fund as
well as with outmaneouvring heads or international
organisations and missions.
4. Forgetting to consult, after September 11, with the
sincerely sympathetic Europeans, ignoring NATO - that
evoked its Article 5 - and attacking Afghanistan
5. Devastating Afghanistan and killing 5,000-10,000
innocent people in this country with a population of
about one-tenth that of the U.S. In short, retaliating
completely out of proportion to the harm done on
September 11 (and they're still bombing).
6. Bombing Afghanistan and contributing far too little
to minimum humanitarian and economic aid. And then
rushing on to Iraq and Korea (and Saudi-Arabia, Iran,
7. Talking about the "Axis of Evil" which is based on
a simplified and paranoid worldview that provides the
U.S. a role similar to that of the Messiah and the Chosen
People - chosen to cleanse the world from that Evil.
8. Antagonising the Koreans, north and south,
dismissing the "sunshine policy" and ignoring the
commitments made in the 1994 agreement with North
9. Promoting the expansion of NATO and then
undermining it because the Allies will not blindly and
obediently accept that a member state is used in a U.S.
attack. Turkey, against the will of 90 per cent of its
citizens, is being blackmailed to serve a military
springboard for attacking Iraq and thereby could draw the
whole alliance into the disaster.
10. Antagonising both Russia, India and China on a
variety of issues and thereby potentially moving towards
a new Cold War.
11. Introducing a nuclear posture, a Ballistic Missile
Defence and a pre-emptive war-fighting strategy. The Bush
regime refuses to see that this amounts to blatant
violations of international law and common norms
laboriously built up and solidified over five decades.
These strategies also effectively prevents the United
States from providing moral leadership towards a more
12. In the process, creating jitters throughout the
world economy and causing the dollar to decline steadily,
while oil prices are going the other way. Just imagine
what much higher oil prices will mean for millions of
people in poor oil-importing countries.
13. Putting thousands of American lives at risk: a) by
sending soldiers into combat and b) by steadily
increasing the risk of future, retaliative terror attacks
on the U.S.
14. Planning a nuclear war on the Iraqis, something
only a callous and irresponsible person would do to
further his own interests. In addition, ignoring
completely that, according to UN Security Council
Resolution 687 of 1991, the Middle East shall be a zone
free of Weapons of Mass Destruction and that, therefore,
Israel is obliged to be inspected, comply, co-operate and
be disarmed like Iraq.
15. Undermining the United Nations and creating the
conditions for a deep split in its Security Council by
exclusively imposing its own will on the world
16. For all practical purposes conducting a political
war on "old" Europe and the European Union (which
admittedly has made a joke of its idea about a common EU
foreign and security policy). The U.S. will punish
Germany in particular for its "treachery" (See
17. Creating a huge democratic deficit within the
West: a) George W. Bush, the world's most powerful
leader, was not elected, he was selected. b) according to
opinion polls the majority of citizens world-wide are
against a war while a number of "democratic" governments
support the war. The Bush regime has been so amateurish
that it has never thought of a political exit strategy,
should the war option turn out to be unacceptable or
18. Developing an empire that is not built on vision,
benevolence or economic strength but on military power
(half of the world's military expenditures), economic
exploitation of millions around the world, megalomania,
arrogance and plain contempt of virtually everybody else
who are not "with us."
There is nothing constructive about the Bush regime;
it's a political and civilisational destroyer. When did
you last meet someone who thought George W. Bush was a
man with a rational policy or an attractive vision of the
future world? Many felt that about, say, Kennedy, Carter,
or Reagan. Today people around the world shake their
heads in resignation or feel that George W. Bush, his
clique and attitudes, begin to look like a serious danger
to the world. This is not anti-Americanism. But it is
anti-Bushism. And we do need non-violent
moral power versus military might - a deadly
Never has the gap between intellectual and moral
power, and technological and military power been so deep.
There is nothing to laugh about anymore, if there ever
Extrapolate the kinds of thinking, policies and trends
above into the future - 2, 5, 10 years. Do you think it
can go well? How long will it take before the
international community, as we know it, breaks down in
chaos and, perhaps, world wide warfare? How much longer
can the real problems of humankind wait for solutions
while the Bush regime wastes the world's resources,
derails our attention and consumes our energies on
foolish struggles against imagined and self-contrived
Mr. Bush' game must come to an end before we all slide
into incurable decay. He is far more dangerous to the
international community than Saddam Hussein. They are
both political fundamentalists but only Bush seems to
have the mind-set, the (weak) intellect and the mighty
military power to plunge the world into uncharted
territories of utter chaos and destruction.
Perhaps the best we can hope for at this juncture is
some kind of damage limitation. What is needed, however,
in a world order perspective is free, non-commercial and
internationally monitored elections leading to peaceful
regime change in Washington.
democratisation through world
Given the extent of the American empire in today's
world, we must also begin to think imaginatively about
ways in which citizens around the world, not only the
American people, can influence the election of future
U.S. leaders and the course of its global policies.
February 15 may be one indicator of something new: those
influenced by U.S. power voice their democratic opinion
to influence U.S. policies.
Global democratisation should go through non-violent
confrontation with the Bush regime and co-operation with
every American who is half as scared as the rest of us
are. February 15, 2003, was the largest ever global,
pre-war protest and it was a great sign of hope for
humanity and decency.
(Nuclear) War are hardly deterred by a few million
But we must not be content now. The struggle for a
peaceful resolution to the Iraqi and other threatening
conflicts, not to mention the abolition of war as an
accepted social institution, requires a sustained peace
debate and activism in the weeks, months and years to
come. We should not take for granted that Masters of War
who do not seem afraid to shake the fate of the earth
with their nuclear weapons, would be deterred to the
point of backing down just because a few million people
© TFF 2003
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