By Farooq Sulehria
US president George W. Bush begins his second
term 'with the ultimate goal of ending tyranny in our world',
an agenda he spelled out in his inaugural speech at the start
of his second term on January 20. Four years ago, in his first
inaugural address, he vowed to 'confron weapons of mass destruction,
so that a new century is spared new horrors'. To prove his commitment
to confront 'weapons of mass destruction', he went to Afghanistan
and Iraq where we saw how these 'new horrors' were spared in the
'new century'. In his second term, he wants to rid the world of
'tyranny'. His nominee for secretary of state Dr. Condoleezza
Rice ('War Lady') pointed out the six 'outposts of tyranny' in
her testimony before the Senate: 'In our world, there remain outposts
of tyranny, and America stands with oppressed people on every
continent, in Cuba, and Burma, and North Korea, and Iran, and
Belarus and Zimbabwe'. There were also implied threats to Chavez'
Venezuela (or Venezuela's Chavez perhaps) and Syria.
However, she forgot to include an oil-rich 'outpost' in the Middle
East: Saudi Arabia. Neither was any threat passed to Washington's
Pakistani buddy. The White House, in the aftermath of the inaugural
address, clarified that Bush's speech, 'linking relations with America
to practising freedom and democracy', did not represent a shift
in strategy for dealing with countries such as Pakistan.
The speech which Bush addressed to the 'people of the world', was
a 'vulgar orgy of triumphalism', to quote Sydney Morning Herald's
Mike Carlaton, 'probably unheard since Napoleon crowned himself
emperor of the French in Notre Dam in 1804'. Ironically, most of
the 'people of the world', according to Christian Science Monitor,
reject him: 'By most accounts President Bush is almost universally
disliked, even reviled, around the world....'
It is not just the 'people of the world' who dislike and revile
Bush -- his rating as second term president at the time of inauguration
is lowest in a hundred years. But Bush, it seems, is least bothered
about such ratings. He dismissed history's biggest human mobilisation,
weeks before Iraq invasion, on February 15. He spat on the UN's
face and ignored his EU buddies (except Britain) and went to invade
Going by his record, Bush's second inaugural speech should not
be dismissed as inaugural 'rhetoric', as many media pundits have
done. The speech he read out -- it was written by a speech-writing
team headed by Michael Gerson -- is a political statement outlining
US global strategy.
This 35-paragraph and 2086-word statement contained the word 'free'
and 'freedom' 32 times, 'liberty' 15 times and 'independence' two
times. In his previous inaugural speech, the word 'freedom' was
uttered only twice. Ironically, the protestors who gathered on Washington
roads enjoyed neither freedom nor liberty as the US capital was
virtually under the martial law.
There were however, two glaring omissions in this speech: Iraq
and 'war on terrorism'. The team of speechwriters carefully avoided
both. Not a single mention of 'Iraq' or the catch phrase 'war on
terrorism'. But speechwriters only write and re-write what they
are told to write. Not by Bush, but by his neo-con ideologues, students
of Leo Strauss, a professor with a German Jewish background. A former
Trotskyite, Strauss used to teach and propagate at the University
of Chicago but developed extreme right views.
'He illustrated his attitude towards democracy by citing the story
of Gulliver: when a fire broke out in the city of the dwarfs, he
put the fire out by urinating on them. This is the way, in his view,
the small elite group of leaders must treat the ignorant and innocent
public, which does not know what is good for them', the noted Israeli
journalist Uri Avenry writes in a recent column.
Leo's 'Gulliver', however, will not just urinate on 'the cities
of dwarfs' to put out the fire of 'tyranny'. He warns that USA must
fight 'by force of arm when necessary'. Leo's born-again Christian
Gulliver wants 'expansion of freedom in all the world' (Pax Americana!),
as the 'best hope for peace in the world'. A peace that prevailed
in the wake of 'shipwreck of communism' until 'the day of fire':
S11. The Biblical 'day of fire' was not the only reference to religion.
The entire inaugural 'sermonic' speech was laden with the word 'God'.
The scary part is not Bush's belief but when faith blends with
(war on) terror and (oil) business. His inaugural speech, coupled
with Dr Rice's testimony before the Senate, fans fears of a future
war on Iran, as warned by the New Yorker's Seymour Hersh. Or for
that matter when Donald Rumsfeld hints of an Israeli attack on Iran.
No the 'people of the world' cannot take the second inaugural speech
by President George W. Bush lightly at a time when Nostradamus'
1555 AD prophecy sounds ominously real:
"Come the millennium, month 12,
In the home of greatest power,
The village idiot will come forth
To be acclaimed the leader."
God bless America and rest of the world!