Thursday, February 23, 2006

They sure do!!!

Do Bush supporters hate their country?

By Jaime O'Neill
Paradise Post

Sometimes the people who still fervently support George W. Bush seem just plain stupid, and other times it seems they must be dishonest and even malevolent, harboring a hatred for their country that allows them to support misguided ideas and private agendas over the public good. In more reasonable moods, I want to believe that the Bush supporters are just like me in simply wanting what is best for the country safety, security, fairness and a commitment to a government that observes the principles upon which our nation was founded. When I'm thinking that way, I assume we don't disagree on goals and objectives, just on the most effective way to achieve those goals and objectives.

It's hard to keep that thought, though, when the lies keep piling up higher and deeper, and when so much of the energy of Bush supporters goes into evading reality. Is it really possible for there to be an honest difference of opinion about the calamitous Bush decision to invade Iraq? No weapons of mass destruction there, as we were told there were. No link between al-Qaida and Saddam Hussein, as we were told there was, and as we continue to be urged to believe by deceptive administration rhetoric. Almost no likelihood that a stable democracy will be possible in an Iraq rent by ethnic feuds and anti-democratic traditions. Billions upon billions of dollars squandered in Iraq, and billions more stolen by corrupt U.S. contractors. Meanwhile, the Homeland Security entity Bush created has shown itself to be yet another huge government boondoggle, and utterly witless in responding to a national emergency.

Beyond that, we have the shameful spectacle of Americans who call themselves patriots urging a forfeiture of our rights and liberties as U.S. citizens the rights to due process and the protections devised by the founding fathers to guard against abuses of power.

And beyond that, we have breaches of national security in the outing of a CIA agent for no better reason than spite. We have the staffing of all kinds of highly paid and important government jobs with incompetent administration cronies and partners in crime. We have repeated and massive failures of imagination. No one could have imagined a) people flying planes into U.S. skyscrapers, b) a storm of the magnitude of Katrina, or c) a Palestinian militant group like Hamas winning elections in Palestine these being just a few of the things Condoleezza Rice has said the administration couldn't imagine.

Beyond all of that, we have the growing gap between rich and poor, the exportation of American jobs by the hundreds of thousands, the wasteful and exploitive health care system that continues to bankrupt American industries, the packing of the Supreme Court with judges confirmed despite their stonewalling before the congressional oversight committees charged with vetting them before they assumed lifetime appointments. We have been unable or unwilling to secure our borders. We have seen corruption on an unprecedented scale and massive neglect of dozens of urgent national needs. Science has been disregarded whenever it runs afoul of the profit motive, and we have a foreign policy no one, least of all the people in charge of it, seems to understand.

Our actions in Iraq have fueled the most extreme anti-Western views throughout the Islamic world, and the entire Middle East is less stable than it was when the Bush bunch took office.

Meanwhile, we build for our children and grandchildren a legacy of international hatred, plus a huge debt burden as the Bush administration spends and spends as though there is no tomorrow.

We've squandered our good name and our moral authority in the world as we've watched Rumsfeld and Cheney and other spokesmen for our nation argue to justify torture in the interest of our safety.

At a time when it was absolutely essential that the world know unequivocally just who the good guys were, Bush and Co. have sullied the image of America all over the globe, drawing a portrait of a nation that behaves with arrogance, defies world opinion, ignores planetary environmental concerns, and treats other nations with disdain.

All of this harm has come to our nation and to its image, and still a cluster of supporters insist on tarring anyone who might question this ruinous administration. One of the ignorant nimrods who regularly write to this paper to call me a Marxist argues that those who disagree with the president are delighted to see America fail, that people like me take pleasure in anything that gives comfort to our enemies. He argues that people who question the reckless use of the military are "pacifist military haters." There is no truth to such baseless and childish nonsense, but he seems to think it sounds persuasive, or perhaps he thinks it's a kind of logical argument.

That's one of the reasons it's difficult not to think some of these Bush supporters are just willfully stupid.

These people grow more tiresome as they have less and less with which to argue. Their recourse, it seems, is to tag people they disagree with by calling them "leftists" and "liberals," as if those words cancel out all arguments. These people exploit the nation's soldiers to bolster their arguments.

They claim to support the troops, but you never hear a peep from them about cuts to the Veterans Affairs budget or the shameful number of avoidable deaths and injuries suffered by our soldiers because the Bush administration still has not provided frontline troops with the kind of armored vehicles that could have saved them from many of those deaths and injuries.

But to people who are either stupid or malevolent, hatred of those they would label as "liberals" trumps love of country every time and blinds them to the harm being done to our security, our heritage and our well-being.

***

Jaime O'Neill is a widely published freelance writer.

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