The Rip Post

A Riposte Extra!




        Here is Condoleezza Rice's reaction to accusations that the Bush administration was bothered by the twelve million people demonstrating for peace around the world last weekend:
       "Nothing could be further from the truth."
        Let this stand as evidence of the Bush administration's singleminded zealotry. I believe Ms. Rice. I believe that nothing will deter the Bush government from invading and conquering Iraq. Not even 100 million people protesting.
        After all, the Iraq conquest was planned long ago---long before 9/11---in the Project for a New American Century's treatise on "Global Pax Americana." This is the Bush team's foreign policy that you now see being arrogantly implemented---in the disdain the U.S. shows for any country that disagrees with its hegemonic policies, its nuclear saber-rattling, treaty breaking, and dismissal of the United Nations as an impotent "League of Nations"-like body.
        Bush wants Iraq, and by God, nothing is getting in his way. Certainly not the fears of twelve million people who figure his adventuring will precipitate World War III.
       This is a government that does just what it wants---despite any public objection. Of course, there hasn't been much public objection since 9/11, largely because the public is too busy duct-taping windows and trembling in its Reeboks over the repeated (bogus) security alerts.
        Yes, this administration---the self-proclaimed liberator of oppressed peoples, the avatar of "compassionate conservatism," the "education president"-led regime that swore to bring Osama Bin Laden home "dead or alive" (but didn't), that claims to support the environment, while dismantling environmental protection fast than you can say "ozone"---has been very, very busy doing what it wants. So busy that the press can barely keep up with it.
        So, dear readers, while you are hanging up plastic sheeting to protect yourself against a boogieman who is as likely to harm you as lightning, here are some news stories from the past week that you might have missed, courtesy of Bill Moyers and his PBS program, NOW (for sources on all the stories, click here):
*In Afghanistan, a country the Bush administration would have you believe is now "free," where women's faces are freshly undraped and proud, well, things just aren't quite so. The Afghan chief justice shut down TV channels he finds un-Islamic, and intends to shut down coed education fast as you can say, "Taliban."
*The Bush administration, which supposedly functions under the "separation of church and state" doctrine, wants to allow religious groups to use federal housing money to build centers where religious services are held. In other words. . .de facto government-sanctioned houses of worship. Well, sure beats them godless commies, eh!
*Bush gave the big thumbs-up to bulldozing into mass graves any bodies of any U.S. military men and women killed by biological or chemical weapons in Iraq. Now that's what I call planning ahead.
*While Colin Powell, Rumsfeld, and others repeat that they don't want war, and that it is a last resort, and to be avoided at all costs, Bush signed an order allowing the U.S. to use nuclear weapons in Iraq. By the sheerest coincidence, North Korea and Iran are now working like Energizer bunnies on nuclear programs.
*While Osama Bin Laden, the Regis Philbin of Arab television, appears on the air every other day to provoke World War III (funny nobody can find him, isn't it?), the Food and Drug Administration is trying to figure out ways to treat radiation exposure in the event a "dirty bomb" is exploded within the U.S. Feel better now? Me too!
*Bush has made over fifty(!) major policy changes in environmental protection (or should we say lack of same) that have gone almost unreported. (Good job, Fourth Estate!) These have included issuing Executive Orders that do not require Congress's approval, rewriting technical environmental regulations and muzzling dissent within the administration, and generally greasing things for corporations looking to put profit over pollution. One report, from Ecologist Magazine (and therefore highly suspect, right?) says that there are enough chemical and biological weapons buried in the U.S. to poison the entire state of Florida. Including hanging chads.
*Hey, kids, looking to cut some corners with pesticides or hazardous waste dumping? Now's a good time! Civil and criminal penalties for breaking environmental law have dropped a whole bunch since Bush took office. In fact, the administration is helping corporations to keep using a pesticide---ethyl bromide---currently banned under international agreement in an effort to restore Earth's protective ozone layer. You know, the stuff that keeps your skin from turning into bacon. Good ol' Ethyl!
*Lots of rich guys who make the Fortune 500 list are pressuring their favorite elected representatives to support Bush's proposed dividend tax cut, while governors across the nation are a bit upset that this would increase state budget deficits by, oh, $4 ot $5 billion per year. Dividend, we fall.
*While the tax cut will go to the eight percent of the population that earns over $100 grand a year (Rip Post editors just miss!), Bush advisor Karl Rove told reporters that the president is a populist whose dividend tax elimination is aimed at helping "the little guy." Didn't know rich people were short.
*Bush revived a plan that will require an extra ten hours of work each week from women with small children who are employed under the federal welfare reform program. Guess that'll reform 'em!
       So as you tape up those windows, and cower at the sight of Tom Ridge speaking woodenly about an "Orange Alert" (sounds like a neat kind of popsickle, doesn't it?), and as your kids go to bed trembling that Saddam and Osama are going to "dirty bomb" Mommy and Daddy. . .because President Bush says so every other day, remember the ironclad words of that firmament of American wisdom, Condoleezza Rice:
        "Nothing could be further from the truth."
        In fact, keep those words in mind whenever you hear any statement from this administration.
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