Wednesday, March 14, 2007

How the GOP Made the World a More Dangerous Place

Bush has repeatedly compared what he calls his war against "Islamic extremists" to previous struggles against Nazism and Communism.

Nonsense!

The GOP has never forgiven FDR for having prevailed in World War II. Recently, the GOP would conspire with conversative media conglomerates to perpetuate a counter-myth: it was Ronald Reagan who prevailed in a cold war against "communism".

More nonsense.

This simplistic, jingoistic view ignores a remarkable leader by the name of Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachev who waged quiet revolutions at home and abroad. At Rekjavik, it was Gorbachev -not Reagan -who proposed "...a total elimination of Soviet and American intermediate-range missiles in Europe, and strict compliance with (and non-withdrawal from) the ABM Treaty for not less than ten years." (See: The Eighties Club) It was a nuclear showdown but not the type that we had prepared for since the 50's.

We had been threatened with peace --and were frightened by the prospect.

At the end of the Rekjavik sessions, it was a "...a tight-lipped Reagan" who escorted Gorbachev to the limousine. Gorbachev is reported to have said "I don't know what more I could have done."

"You could have said yes," Reagan replied, having already rejected the Soviet leaders proposals. It was Reagan -fearing the loss of his arch conservative base -who blinked. It was Reagan who left Rekjavik bearing the responsibility for having left a long and dangerous cold war intact.

It is true that the Soviet Union possessed considerable nuclear capabilities. In the event of a missile exchange, it might have destroyed the U.S. in the course of an hour. But, as we have said, it was Gorbachev who put that very capability on the table. It was Gorbachev who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1990. It was a Republican, Ronald Reagan, who blinked.

Consider the many Bush lies and exaggerations. Bush, like his GOP forebears, would like to compare his quagmire in Iraq to the war Roosevelt waged against the Axis powers. The truth of the matter is the Nazis had launched a world war with an awesome military machine -the most powerful military force that the world had yet seen. Nazis slaughtered millions of civilians in support of Hitler's quest for world domination and Russian oil. To liken Bush's many follies to WWII, to the world wide effort to crush the the very real threat of Nazism, is just absurd. Rather, Bush, by exploiting the extremist acts of of tiny minority, has empowered and legitimized their struggle. Bush has not only made terrorism worse, he has given it a megaphone.

Now we find ourselves bogged down in what may prove to be this nation's worst catastrophe. In the Middle East, Bush wages a brutal war crime against a civilian population and he does so upon a pack of malicious lies and transparent pretexts. Opposition to US aims in the Middle East cannot be compared to either WWII or the Cold War. If there are analogies to be made, they are Bush to Hitler, Halliburton to stormtroopers.

There is hope that the many throughout the Middle East who sincerely seek a positive change will find a voice. Only a united regional effort can expel the "crusader". If Bush is concerned about his legacy, he should keep this in mind: he will be remembered as the western crusader who re-united the disparate peoples who make up the region. He will have united "enemies" against us. He will have given them common cause to wage Jihad. Like Reagan who blinked at Rekjavik, Bush will have made the world a very, very, dangerous place, indeed'










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