Saturday, November 05, 2005
Johnnies Come Lately
NOW, after so much damage has been done: many thousands dead, injured and maimed in a needless war; an American city left in ruins; expanding numbers of Americans sinking into poverty and going without access to healthcare, NOW suddenly these scions of the elite, of entrenched wealth and permagov “public service” are speaking out against the perfidy of the Bush Administration. As Rich Miles puts it:
In the October 17 issue of US News and World Report, editor in chief Mortimer Zuckerman published a scathing description of the shortcomings of the Bush administration in a back-page editorial titled “One Swampy Mess.” Two days later, Lawrence Wilkerson, Colin Powell’s chief of staff when Powell was Secretary of State, revealed much of what he knew about the Cheney-Rumsfeld ‘cabal’ that circumvented regular channels of decision-making in the State and Defense departments, allegedly to ram through policies including the Iraq War that otherwise might have withered under public scrutiny. And in an interview published in the Financial Times of London two days BEFORE Zuckerman, Bush 41’s friend Brent Scowcroft let loose with his grave misgivings about the basic honesty and competence of his pal’s son’s presidency. There have been several more high-profile defections from the lockstep Republican Bush 43-as-god ideology, notably in both houses of Congress, but also including such stalwart Bushian apologists as the National Review, the Wall St. Journal, and even (gasp!) Fox News. It’s starting to look like jackals on a carcass, now that the head elephant is weakened enough to be attacked, along with his coterie.
Norman Solomon, in a Perspective piece at that same web site, points out that not only have the people who knew what was really going on kept their counsel until now, when it’s too late to bust Bush out of office, but that the nation’s newspaper of record, the New York Times, was complicit in leading the country to war, but now has taken on the self-righteous mantle of a late-arriving Cassandra, telling us now what many of us who have never supported Bush have known for years - that there are not and never were good and compelling reasons for the US to send our children to war in Iraq. Quite the contrary, the whole war was fabricated at virtually every level, as several observers said it was.
So my question to these Bush-bashers-come-lately is: where the hell were you people when we needed you?
Now that his administration has overreached, now that they’ve become vulnerable, NOW these people who helped MAKE Bush are suddenly concerned? Don’t get me wrong, anything that helps bring this nightmare to an end is welcome, but this is a time for new voices to rise and head these people off. Plainly, they will try to keep ahold of as much top-down power as they can.
There were many who tried to speak before hand, former officials and patriots who’ve tried to stand up to the Bush Administration, people who’ve paid for their principles with their careers, with threats against their families. Lets recognize all of this newfound truthtelling for what it is ... misdirection to salvage something from the mess that Bush and Cheney have made for the people who own them.
The press that helped Bush/Cheney sell the war is suddenly doing their job too, perhaps with the hope that we’ll all forget how badly broken and beholden to corporate bean counters they are. After all, as Bush’s unpopularity deepens, they can’t afford to be tied to a ratings-loser, can they? Hard to sell useless geegaws and exotic pharmaceuticals if no one is watching or reading you, isn’t it. The Left Coaster links to a piece in Editor & Publisher about an upcoming story in the NY Times, the very paper that did the most to help sell the lies that led to war. So government insiders are speaking up, the press is speaking up, and as Steve Soto notes in the Left Coaster piece:
When Harry Reid shut down the Senate earlier this week due to Pat Roberts and Bill Fristâ€™s stonewalling of a Phase Two investigation over how the Bush Administration used intelligence in making its case for war, many of us wondered why now? What took you guys so long to use a procedural lever that youâ€™ve had available to you all along that could have been employed before the election to raise the issue of Bushâ€™s lies into a campaign issue? Was it a sudden re-growth of guts and balls that did this, or did the Democrats now come into possession of new information that was withheld from them before the election that gave them the club to force this issue out into the open now? We now know the answer, and it is the latter.
The institutions and the powerful who failed to do their jobs when so many of us were speaking out, working hard to help elect a weak Democratic Party candidate that most of us weren’t thrilled about and doing our best to raise the alarm about the lies and corruption, NOW they’re willing to help us?
It’s about damned time, but if Bush is brought down, we need to next look at reclaiming our public institutions, lessening corporate power and replacing the supposed opposition that helped handmaiden this war into happening. After all, it’s only a matter of time before this venal class anoints another monster like Bush to extend American Power and make blood money off of another war, more exploitation of labor or the environment. We may share a common goal now with these jackals, but they aren’t our friends.