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The Democracy of Hypocrisy

The following article was published in Open Forum on November 04, 2008 then again in Online Opinion on December 15, 2008

Two rigged elections, 9/11, the hunt for Osama, Saddam’s WMDs, a pre-emptive strike and the war on terror. A b-grade Hollywood movie? Or the past eight years of Bush in the White House? Writes Reuben Brand.

The new millennium was ushered in with the Y2K bug and the inauguration of the 43rd President of the United States of America.

One of these was a malicious virus that would spread throughout the world wreaking havoc wherever it went; the other was a computer related problem.

A lengthy election campaign saw Vice President Al Gore officially beat George W. Bush in the National Popular vote by over half a million. But Gore’s polar ice caps were soon to be melted as Bush fired up his election warming campaign and coerced the state of Florida to victory.

Bush’s brother Jeb was conveniently positioned as the Governor of Florida and his campaign co chair Katherine Harris by some fantastic twist of fate just so happened to be Florida’s Secretary of State.

Harris was responsible for purging 57,700 people from the electoral role on the premise that they were all convicted felons; even ex-offenders whose rights had been legally restored were illegally erased.

There were also numerous accounts of people being convicted of crimes years into the future; one man was convicted of a felony on January 30 2007. Don’t ask me how these masters of time and space did it, but as a result of this slight clerical error as Harris put it; over 4000 alleged conviction dates were then deleted from Florida’s electoral role.

It turned out that roughly 90 per cent of these people were not felons after all, and not so surprisingly over 50 per cent of them were of African American and Hispanic descent. A mere coincidence that they were all predominantly Gore supporters and had little to no intention of voting for Bush and his purging posse.

So the votes were counted, eyebrows were raised and they were recounted, until an adherent Republican majority on the U.S Supreme Court had it stopped and George W. Bush was un-triumphantly sworn into office.

On September 11 2001, an estimated 2762 people tragically lost their lives; a city lost two iconic towers and the Bush administration lost what little credibility it had left as the war on terror and pre emptive strike doctrine was announced to the world.

The USA PATRIOT Act was passed without hesitation or question in the darkest hours of the night and gave the Bush Administration the legal right to listen in on its own citizen’s phone calls, to read their emails, intercept their text messages and faxes, access personal health and financial records, and enter homes and offices without the consent of either owner or occupier. Not bad for a days work, especially when it’s all in the name of freedom and democracy.

Osama Bin Laden, Al-Qaeda, W.M.D. and Terrorist had become the four most over used words in Bush’s vocabulary as he escalated his pro war rhetoric. And the world began to shudder at the recognizable sound of his oil hungry war machine.

In a brilliant piece of public marketing one year later on September 12th 2002, President Bush addressed the United Nations Security Council regarding military action against Iraq. Not that Iraq had anything to do with 9/11 or Bin-Laden for that matter, but that didn’t seem to bother anybody at the time.

Suddenly Iraq was stockpiling Weapons of Mass Destruction. Hans Blix, the United Nations chief weapons inspector couldn’t find any, but Bush and his buddies were certain Saddam was hiding them somewhere in that big sand pit of his.

Operation Iraqi Liberation was to be a great success and finally the cowboy commander in chief would be able to liberate all of the oppressed oil from Saddam’s tyrannical regime.

I guess the small and ever so trivial fact that the US had already ratified and signed the Iraqi Liberation Act in 1998 had nothing to do with their intentions in the region, or the imminent invasion.

The US and the coalition of the willing ignored UN Security Council procedures and pursued without any authorisation, an invasion deemed illegal under international law. Operation Iraqi Liberation or Operation Iraqi Freedom as it was quickly renamed to avoid the acronym of OIL had given itself the green light.

In the early hours of the morning on March 20 2003, the skies over Baghdad were stained with the blood of Bush’s biblical battle. The city was burning as innocent civilians were blown to bits and the pre emptive strike shock and awe was hailed as a military success.

With the fall of Baghdad and Bush’s triumphant ‘mission accomplished’ speech, the world had forgotten about the already decimated Afghanistan and it’s freshly hand picked puppet government. This was a convenient breather for the wartime President, as he had unfinished business back in the homeland.

Masses of e-voting glitches, voter intimidation and suppression, a larger number of votes than there where voters and foreign monitors being barred from polls; It’s not election day with Robert Mugabe, but rather the 2004 US election.

Computers were loosing entered votes and there were multiple accounts of machines producing a vote for Bush when the voter pressed the button for his opponent John Kerry. The Bush administration was definitely leading by example in its moral battle for freedom and democracy.

In one of his many speeches about Iraq, President Bush addressed the world and said “We know that the regime has produced thousands of tons of chemical agents, including mustard gas, sarin nerve gas, VX nerve gas”, but the only chemical agents found in Iraq were those that US marines had used on Iraqis.

White Phosphorous or WP as it is known as by the marines is a chemical weapon usually used as a dense smoke screen; but the effects upon human contact prove to be fatal. Exposure to WP results in extensive second and third degree deep tissue burns, as the phosphorous is absorbed into the body it causes major internal organ damage and even multi organ failure. But it doesn’t count as a chemical weapon when the ‘good guys’ use it… does it?

In his term as President, George W. Bush has invaded and overthrown two countries, threatened an imminent strike against a third and has illegally detained hundreds of innocent people in concentration camps like Abu Ghraib, systematically stripping them of all basic rights and subjecting them to routine humiliation and torture.

From a supposed retaliation to the 2762 lives lost in the 9/11 attacks George W. Bush and the coalition of the willing have caused the violent deaths of over 1.2 million people, mainly all civilians. On average that is 657 innocent deaths per day for the past five years, and for every one person that lost their life on September 11 2001, US led forces have killed approximately 434 Iraqis.

Bear in mind that in the time it has taken you to read through this article on average five innocent Iraqis have just been killed.

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