Up until 11 p.m. Eastern Time on election night, exit polls show John Kerry comfortably leading George Bush in Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania and New Mexico giving him a clear victory in the Electoral College, and a projected national margin of some 1.5 million votes….But after midnight, the vote count mysteriously turns, and by morning George W. Bush is declared the victor.
( From the introduction to the book Did George W. Bush Steal America’s 2004 Election?)
The evidence collected by the authors of this new book, all 767 pages of it, clearly constitute a case that this is, in fact, what happened on the night of November 5, 2004: that the President and the administration now avowedly intent on bringing democracy to every country in the world (whether they want it or not), committed the most egregious “manipulation, fraud and theft” of the democratic system in order to continue in power.
In other words, the election of a government based upon a big, bad, bald-faced lie.
I suppose, in the context of such a demonstrable rape of essential democratic values, it should come as no surprise that the continuation of the George Bush era, and the nexus of his political power, should be based upon another lie — to wit, the protection of American citizens from the phantom weapons of mass destruction possessed by the evil one, the Iraqi dictator, Saddam Hussein.
So, in such fashion, the American Gulliver bestrode the world, flexing its vast technological superiority in military arms, threatening any and all who might dare challenge the lust for hegemony implicit in the God-given American mission to bring democracy to the far corners of the world.
But for any Gulliver wannabe, there is a hidden danger. It is called truth. Inevitably, the Gullivers of world geopolitics are brought down from within when, for one reason or another, the exercise of power fails; when the costs become too great and the lie cannot be sustained with the support of the populace.
It is then that empires begin the process of crumbling from within.
That is the lesson of history.
It was so for the Romans, for the Germans, and indeed for the United States of America but a generation ago in the paddies and jungles of Viet Nam.
It is a lesson the citizens of the United States of America are beginning to learn all over again.
It begins with a couple of sheets of paper destined to become known in history as “The Downing Street Memoranda”.
The memoranda first surfaced in British newspapers. They were given coverage in Britain and other European countries, but initially received scant attention in the corporate media of the United States.
The first of the memos chronicles a briefing session for British Prime Minister Tony Blair, held in July of 2002, during which the head of British Intelligence (the famous M5) told Mr. Blair that his good buddy George had already decided to go to war, and that intelligence information was being altered to fit the case — in the words of the memo “fixed around the policy.”
The British Foreign Minister, Jack Straw, described the Bush case for war, based on the presence of weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) as “thin.” That terminology can be taken as a classic of British understatement. Months before the secret briefing, Straw had been told by his own officials that. “U.S. scrambling to establish a link between Iraq and al Qaeda is so far frankly unconvincing.”
In fact, there was no linkage between the secular state operated by Saddam Hussein, and the fanatical fundamentalist Islamic organizations bent on establishing religion-based governments in the Middle East, just as there were no weapons of mass destruction.
Indeed, the officials reported, “far from threatening the United States, Saddam has not succeeded in seriously threatening his neighbours.”
Despite all this, and more, Tony Blair joined his good buddy George in fabricating the tissue of lies which now has led to close to 2000 young men and women dying in the dust of Iraq, along with tens of thousands of Iraqi citizens.
Why did Tony Blair go along with an unnecessary war? The memoranda suggest it was mostly from a British position based on the somewhat arrogant notion that Bush did not know what he was doing, and a British influence could help him make better decisions.
Some influence! Some decisions! More to the point was the opinion of Mr. Straw expressed to Mr. Blair on March 25, 2002, when he wrote: “We have also to answer the big question — what will this action achieve?”
The answer is being spelled out in the torn limbs and body parts of Iraqis every day — something between nothing and not a helluva lot.
As another of the briefing papers put it: “…we need to be sure that the outcome of the military action would match our objective. As already made clear, the U.S. Military plans are virtually silent on this point.”
And still are.
For that is where the war has come — a war begun “soon after 9/11 happened, the starting gun was fired for the invasion of Iraq.”
There is a terrible insanity at work here: a war against a dictator and a nation who had nothing to do with the action that precipitated such terrible vengeance from the most powerful nation on the face of the planet.
But now there is something moving in the underbelly of America — something with the eerie echoes of Viet Nam … and Watergate … and it is the sound of truth wriggling and writhing and forcing its way into the consciousness of the American people.
Now there are clear signs that as the truth inexorably forces its way out and into the American consciousness, the Bush attempt at establishing the American Empire is crumbling just as did the trumpeted thousand year reign of the Third Reich and all the other forerunners created upon a lie.
For the first time since 9/11 and the invasion of Iraq, a majority of Americans think their nation should have stayed out of Iraq, and only 37 per cent still approve of the way Mr. Bush is conducting his war, increasingly seen as a war without any end. Sixty percent of those recently polled say the war is going badly, up 13 per cent since a similar poll three months ago, and despite the constant assurances of Mr. Bush, Donald Rumsfeld and a coterie of Generals that everything is just fine and the enemy is on the run.
What is even more telling is that solidarity amongst the Republican Party is coming apart, especially because Bush cannot make his domestic policies — social security, tax cuts, et al — acceptable to the American people.
The polls have been consistent, the trend line constant: the last four polls asking whether the President was doing a good job registered more people in the nay section (42 to 48 per cent) than the yeas.
Winning the Iraq war and establishing a Middle East beachhead of American-style democracy was to be the centrepiece of the legacy of the George W. Bush presidency.
An increasing number of his own people are coming to believe that a legacy based on a lie brings no honour to the perpetrator.