MARK KARLIN, EDITOR OF BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT
BuzzFlash started publishing online in May of 2000, so the site was ready to pounce in outrage when five infamous justices of the Supreme Court stole the presidency for George W. Bush in the late winter of that year.
The passion of opposition to the illegitimate presidency of Bush - and the commencement of the never-ending war in Iraq, opposition to social and economic equality, increased voter suppression and the continued packing of the federal courts with right wing ideologues, among other egregious assaults on democracy – ignited a simultaneously furious and dismayed response among progressives. At that time – up to around 2003 - there were not many daily internet sites that focused on the politics of the United States from a progressive perspective, and it was like picking low-hanging fruit to expose the lies, hypocrisy and manipulation of the US public by the Bush administration. That, of course, includes the still many unanswered questions about why Bush personally ignored warnings - including a CIA briefing - about the potential for 9/11 occurring.
In 2014, there are an untold number of sites breaking political stories about the truth behind covert government actions and the backstory behind public relations tales from the White House, Pentagon and the CIA. But in the first years of the new millenium, there were just a small number of sites like BuzzFlash (including Truthout) daily focused on exposing the dishonesty of the unelected White House. It wasn't that difficult: the corporate mainstream media - such as the megaphone for White House claims of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, Judith Miller of The New York Times - transmitted Bush administration assertions much as stenographers would.
For sites such as BuzzFlash and Truthout, all one had to do was go to secondary sources outside of the United States or articles in smaller papers to shed light on the truth: read from non-corporate media that were not part of the incestuous DC media-government collusion and connect the dots. The reality was that the primary sources used by the likes of The Washington Post and The New York Times were echoing misinformation, while the secondary sources available from blogs and news sites throughout the world were more reliable than our own mass media.
Endless revelations appeared online about the pernicious machinations of Dick Cheney, who - along with his staff - appeared to be lurking wherever there was a neocon effort to launch and sustain wars. Of course, Cheney - and his sidekick "the unknown of unknowns" Donald Rumsfeld - were ostensibly serving at the behest of George W. Bush. Bush agreed with their bellicose neocon agenda and let them operate with a very long leash. Many, including BuzzFlash at the time, would argue that Bush was reading from a militaristic hegemony script written, in essence, by Cheney and Rumsfeld.
It has been six years since George W. Bush left office, and it is still hard for me - after having written countless commentaries on his eight years in the White House - to fully comprehend the tragic farce of a man and administration whose incompetence was exceeded only by its neocon military interventionist policies and its right wing domestic zealotry. The underlying strategies, ideology, pronouncements and actions of the "Bush the Second era" were a combination of deadly action, socially reactionary rhetoric and a general dimwittedness that boggled the mind. Bush himself was the epitome of the verbally pratfalling underachiever - a patrician buffoon - who only made it to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue as a result of affirmative action for scions of the wealthy and ideological supporters on the Supreme Court, where he was "elected" to office by five elitist votes.
Thus, it is appropriate bathos for George W. Bush to be currently promoting a new book that he describes as "a love letter to his father." That's a bit odd considering that during the Bush war on terrorism, George W. ignored the advice of his father's advisers not to invade Iraq and, instead, let Cheney and Rumsfeld - who had worked in the White House together under President Gerald Ford - lead the nation into a financially ruinous war in which hundreds of thousands of Iraqi and thousands of US military lives were lost.
Bush's explanation for writing the book - no doubt with the help of a "ghost author" - reveals the usual George W. Bush smugly tactless underside. He told USA Today:
"At first, I was thinking about publishing it after he moved [on, as in died], and I decided this is such a love story that I wanted to publish it before he passed on," Bush says. At the event, he plans to tell him, "It's a love story about you, Dad, and I hope people read it." He jokes that he wants to boost book sales "for two reasons: One I want them to get to know you better. And two, it helps with the pension."
That's a whopper George W.: "And two, it helps with the pension."
Meanwhile, George W. is using his book tour for his homage to "Poppy" Bush to promote the unannounced candidacy of his brother Jeb for president. Given that there are more than 300 million people in the United States, wouldn't it be a bit destructive to a robust democracy to have three people from the same family serving as president in one person's lifetime? Just two Bushes as president took a dramatic toll on this nation that continues to this day.
Amidst George W.'s tribute to his father, it is important to remember that George Herbert Walker Bush not only served as president, he was also head of the CIA (the CIA headquarters is even named after him). Add to that the elder Bush's eight years as vice-president under Reagan, and history has shown that he was up to his neck in alligators in Iran-Contra, giving a green light to drug cartels in exchange for their cooperation with the CIA, and contriving the Gulf War against Saddam Hussein, among other nefarious "accomplishments."
The Bush family's most profound legacy is having provided the United States with a false narrative of its history, conducting wars and in stealing elections. They may be patricians, but they know where the bodies and votes are buried.
Everybody empathizes with someone who loves his or her father. However, that does not an honest family make. A well-tailored boor can love his father, as George W. proves.
For the Bush family, there are a lot of public displays of affection that are a veneer over the family's cellar of nefarious secrets.
After all, this is an oligarchical clan that hijacked the United States and got away with it.
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