imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Calendar Publish RSS
Features
latest news
best of news
syndication
commentary


KILLRADIO

VozMob

ABCF LA

A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List

LAAMN List




IMC Network:

Original Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech

Surviving Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: canada: quebec east asia: japan europe: athens barcelona belgium bristol brussels cyprus germany grenoble ireland istanbul lille linksunten nantes netherlands norway portugal united kingdom latin america: argentina cmi brasil rosario oceania: aotearoa united states: austin big muddy binghamton boston chicago columbus la michigan nyc portland rochester saint louis san diego san francisco bay area santa cruz, ca tennessee urbana-champaign worcester west asia: palestine process: fbi/legal updates process & imc docs projects: radio satellite tv
printable version - js reader version - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

Bush's state of the union speech-The die is cast

by Fred Weston Saturday, Feb. 01, 2003 at 1:04 AM

War Speech

Bush's state of the union speech

The die is cast

By Fred Weston

"Once again we are called to defend the safety of our people, and the hopes of all mankind." The words of George Bush's annual state-of-the-union address were full of lofty sentiments. But the President aims were more prosaic. Half way through his first term of office, his popularity ratings are falling. He is worried that he may not get re-elected in two years time. The first part of his speech, not accidentally, concentrated on the state of the economy: "We must have an economy that grows fast enough to employ every man and woman who seeks a job," Bush declared.

His analysis of what needs to be done was not even worthy of a simpleton. In typical Bushism he stated that: "Jobs are created when the economy grows; the economy grows when Americans have more money to spend and invest; and the best, fairest way to make sure Americans have that money is not to tax it away in the first place." When he refers to "Americans" he is obviously not referring to all Americans, but only to the rich. That is clear when he adds that: "It is fair to tax a company's profits. It is not fair to again tax the shareholder on the same profits. To boost investor confidence, and to help the nearly 10 million seniors who receive dividend income, I ask you to end the unfair double taxation of dividends." Put quite simply, this means all those speculators in the Stock markets are to be allowed to make profits from their perfectly useless activities completely tax free. The American worker will continue to be squeezed and the sons of the American workers will be asked to risk their lives for the profits of the oil barons.

In fact the central plank in his stimulus package, is exclusively for the benefit of the rich: the 4 billion worth of tax cuts and other measures that he is now hoping to get through Congress. But, as The Economist points out: "job creation was one of the key aims put forward in last year's state-of-the-union address, and yet, in spite of the 2001 tax cuts and the stimulus package put together a year ago, the economy has lost more than 180,000 private-sector jobs in the past 12 months. Unemployment has risen to 6%. Those opposed to the latest round of tax-cut proposals complain that they are unfairly skewed in favour of the rich and are in any case unlikely to be effective in kick-starting a sluggish economy. They will, though, succeed in pushing the budget deficit through the roof. Hours before the president spoke, his budget director said that this year's deficit could hit a new record of 0 billion."

image by Natasha Solona

As he prepared to get to the essential part of his speech - that is, the planned war on Iraq - he listed all the plans to improve social security, health care, education… But no improvement is to be forthcoming in these fields. For example, he pointed out that: "…for many people, medical care costs too much - and many have no coverage at all." But he added that: "These problems will not be solved with a nationalized health care system…" He even managed to talk about the environment, promising a hydrogen driven car within a generation. This from a man with huge oil interests, and from the same man who has refused to abide by the Kyoto agreements!

The reason why Bush was forced to dedicate half his speech to social and economic questions, promising all things to all men and women, is that the mood in the USA is changing. On the eve of the new war in the Gulf, the US economy is in deep trouble. A majority of Americans are now questioning the president's economic management; and not only that.

Many ordinary working Americans are doubtful about the wisdom of waging war on Iraq. So are America's "allies". Bush knows that the recession of the early 1990s played the key role in his father's failure to win a second term of office in the 1992 election. Although America won the war, Bush senior lost the presidency ("It's the economy, stupid!"). Things are not going as planned!

The recent mass demonstrations in Washington and San Francisco of over half a million people were a warning of what awaits America once the guns start firing. Similarly in Europe there is a widespread opposition to the war even before war has been declared. This itself reflects a ferment of discontent in society that is seeking an outlet. On February 15, there will be antiwar demonstrations in most of Europe's capitals and huge turnouts are expected.

In Britain, where foreign minister Jack Straw immediately announced that Iraq was in a state of non-compliance, the mood of the public is solidly against the war, and a hundred Labour MPs are threatening to rebel. Political commentator Andrew Marr is warning of a seismic reaction, especially if war goes ahead without the backing of the UN. In London the organisers are expecting at least half a million to turn out on February 15!

In a desperate attempt to rally support for his war plans, in his state-of-the-union speech, Bush repeated the claim that Saddam is sheltering terrorists: "Evidence from intelligence sources, secret communications, and statements by people now in custody, reveal that Saddam Hussein aids and protects terrorists, including members of al-Qaida. Secretly, and without fingerprints, he could provide one of his hidden weapons to terrorists, or help them develop their own." And in order to scare the American people he added: "Imagine those 19 hijackers with other weapons, and other plans - this time armed by Saddam Hussein."

He completely ignores the fact that al-Qaeda has always been hostile to Saddam Hussein's regime. There is no proven link between the two. But the lie has to be maintained, otherwise they would have to admit the real reasons for attacking Iraq, that are based on control of oil reserves and on strategic interests of US imperialism in the region. But to say that openly would not go down well with the public who are already very suspicious of the whole operation.

He argued that Iraq had failed to demonstrate to the weapons inspectors and to other countries that it had any intention of disarming. Saddam, said Mr Bush, had treated his final chance with contempt. Yet none of this amounts to a serious reason for unleashing the dogs of war.

All this explains why the American public is getting restive and even in the tame congress voices are beginning to be raised expressing grave doubts about the wisdom of the whole enterprise. Some of the US ruling class are becoming aware of the risks as the day of invasion draws closer. This applies particularly to the Democrats. Senator Edward Kennedy said he would seek another vote in Congress before American troops went into action, while Senator John Kerry, one of the Democratic candidates for next year's presidential election, accused Mr Bush of "blustering unilateralism". This "opposition" however, will not mean that the Democrats will wage any serious campaign against the war. They represent the same interests as the Republicans. Senator Joseph Lieberman, another contender for the Democratic nomination, said the president had begun to make an effective case "in a way he hasn't done before".

Even The Economist, which has all along adopted a hawkish stand on Iraq, is now sounding a worried note of caution: "In two years, Mr Bush said, America had gone from a sense of invulnerability to an awareness of great peril, and from bitter division in small matters to calm unity in great causes. That unity might not yet be as strong as Mr Bush would like." Of course that doesn't mean its editors are calling on Bush to step back. It is merely advising him that he must do a little more to present a more convincing case.

As a result of the growing opposition inside the US George W had to adopt a cautious tone in his speech. He stopped short of declaring war. And he made it clear that he will continue to try to get United Nations backing for any military action against Iraq. This sudden concern with the opinions of the UN is not in itself proof of any change of heart in the White House. But Bush has now got it into his thick skull that in order to overcome the resistance to war at home and abroad he will have to pull a rabbit out of his Texan Stetson hat sooner rather than later.

In order to muster public opinion in support of Bush's domestic and foreign policies some theatrical coup is needed. We can expect something of the sort pretty soon. He therefore announced that Colin Powell, the secretary of state, will present intelligence evidence that "demonstrates" Iraq's links with terrorists and its continuing efforts to develop the notorious weapons of mass destruction to the UN Security Council on February 5th. What this amounts to is that they will fabricate whatever "evidence" they need. No one will be able to prove or disprove it. The world will just have to accept the word of Bush.

In spite of his manoeuvrings, Mr Bush left his audience in no doubt of his determination to act - with or without allies. The massive movement of troops and equipment to the Gulf has long ago reached the point of no return. Having gone so far, Bush cannot turn back now even if he wanted to do so.

January 30, 2003

See also:

The Split in the western alliance - Can Europe's opposition prevent war? By Alan Woods (January 24, 2003)

"Delenda est Carthago" - US imperialism hell bent on war with Iraq By Alan Woods (January 21, 2003)

The US Anti-War Movement and the January 18 Demonstrations, by Toby Shepherd and John Peterson (January 21, 2003)

US Perspectives - 2002 Editorial to Special Issue of Socialist Appeal (July, 2002)

The decline and fall of the American Empire by Alan Woods. (June 16, 2002)

See also the website of the Workers' International League in the USA.

[Back to In Defence of Marxism] [Back to USA][Back to Middle East] [Back to "War on Terror"]

Report this post as:

Local News

Change Links September 2018 posted S02 10:22PM

More Scandals Rock Southern California Nuke Plant San Onofre A30 11:09PM

Site Outage Friday A30 3:49PM

Change Links August 2018 A14 1:56AM

Setback for Developer of SC Farm Land A12 11:09PM

More problems at Shutdown San Onofre Nuke J29 10:40PM

Change Links 2018 July posted J09 8:27PM

More Pix: "Families Belong Together," Pasadena J02 7:16PM

"Families Belong Together" March, Pasadena J02 7:08PM

Short Report on the Families Belong Together Protest in Los Angeles J30 11:26PM

Summer 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert! J11 6:58AM

Watch the Debate: Excluded Candidates for Governor of California M31 5:20AM

Change Links June 2018 posted M28 7:41AM

The Montrose Peace Vigil at 12 Years M22 8:01PM

Unity Archive Project M21 9:42AM

Dianne Feinstein's Promotion of War, Secret Animal Abuse, Military Profiteering, Censorshi M17 10:22PM

CA Senate Bill 1303 would require an independent coroner rather than being part of police M10 9:08PM

Three years after OC snitch scandal, no charges filed against sheriffs deputies M10 8:57PM

California police agencies violate Brown Act (open meetings) M02 8:31PM

Insane Company Wants To Send Nuke Plant Waste To New Mexico A29 11:47PM

Change Links May 2018 A27 8:40AM

Worker-Owned Car Wash on Vermont Closed A27 5:37AM

GUIDE TO REBEL CITY LOS ANGELES AVAILABLE A13 12:39AM

lausd whistle blower A11 6:58AM

Website Upgrade A10 10:02AM

Help KCET and UCLA identify 60s-70s Chicano images A04 8:02PM

UCLA Luskin: Casting Youth Justice in a Different Light A02 6:58PM

Change Links April 2018 A01 6:27PM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

Abolir l'économie S18 11:18AM

The Dictatorship of Corporations S17 5:26PM

18 Lethal Consequences Of Hunting S17 3:13PM

Paraphysique de l'outplacement déontologue S15 6:51AM

Creative Destruction Hack Mod Generator S15 3:49AM

Shopping du bashing S14 8:42AM

After Lehman Brothers, Experts Say Global Financial Crisis Can Happen Again S13 8:28PM

“Animaniacs in Concert!” Starring Voice Legend Rob Paulsen S12 9:30PM

Probabilités de fin d'humanité S12 6:49AM

Florida Area of Migrant Farmworkers Denied Right to Construct Health Clinic near NaplesCIW S11 2:57AM

Propagande de virus, virus de propagande S10 7:34AM

Steer clear of work morality! S09 12:10PM

Sweatshop Lodge Ceremony Continues in US Fed Prisons Led by Inmates S08 6:17PM

Paraphysique de l'origami S08 7:11AM

The Shortwave Report 09/07/18 Listen Globally! S06 11:23PM

August 2018 Honduras Coup update S06 12:28PM

Du réussissement putréfié S06 10:55AM

Brett Kavanaugh Filled The 5th Circuit With Execution Judges S06 6:14AM

Log S06 4:25AM

Augusta Georgia Woman Gets 5 Year Prison Sentence for Writing About Russians Crime Acts S05 8:29AM

Paraphysique de contextualité S05 8:29AM

Crisis Regulation in Global Capitalism S03 3:39PM

Ex-voto de réification S03 10:24AM

Please Oppose Warmonger, Execution and Torture Supporting Bush Operative Brett Kavanaugh A31 10:45PM

Paraphysique d'exploitation occultation A31 10:24PM

Ryan Zinke Is Charging Taxpayers For A Trophy Hunters' Council A31 2:10PM

Is the Financial Crash 2.0 Coming? A31 10:07AM

The Shortwave Report 08/31/18 Listen Globally! A30 11:44PM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2018 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy