Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Bush's new world disorder

The outcome of America’s mid-term Congressional elections lends weight to what Abraham Lincoln is reported to have said: you can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can not fool all of the people all of the time. A social shift is under way in the United States and it is mirrored in the turn against George W.Bush’s Republican Party at the mid-term Congressional elections. After 9.11, Bush claimed that there was a clear link between the perpetrators and Iraq. Most Americans apparently backed him and this helped create the sentiment to justify the invasion of Iraq in 2003. Now most Americans believe that the war in Iraq is a disaster - which it is, both for the American forces and, more importantly, the Iraqi people. Whereas before the invasion, Iraqis had no connection to Islamic-inspired terrorism, today they queue up to become suicide bombers, targeting both the US troops and other religious groups. Not only that, but the wholesale corruption that has engulfed the occupation has reached the very heart of the White House. In fact, voters put corruption in Washington ahead of Iraq as their main issue of concern.

Bush's deeply dangerous and reactionary regime has, of course, enjoyed the complicit support of the Democratic Party for most of its term in office. Democrats supported the 2003 invasion and stood aside while Bush’s proclaimed "war on terror" actually became a war of terror against the American people’s democratic rights. Even now, the Democrats are only saying that it’s time to work up an exit strategy for Iraq because the war has gone so badly wrong. There is also plenty of evidence that many of the Democrats elected to the House of Representatives embrace social policies that are indistinct from – and sometimes even to the right of – the Republicans. Many ran on anti-abortion tickets while others contesting seats along the border with Mexico outbid Republicans for the size of the fences they would erect between the two countries. After all, the Democrats are a capitalist party, just like their opponents. Yet while the shift to the Democrats is a pale reflection of deeper disquiet among Americans, it is clear that the political system has entered a period of sharpened crisis. On the eve of the polls, four US military newspapers actually called for the resignation of defence secretary Donald Rumsfeld, the architect of the invasion. The US economy is teetering on the edge of a major downturn following a credit squeeze combined with a loss of jobs to foreign competition, while the position in Iraq can only deteriorate. The new world order is beginning to crumble in its heartland.

Paul Feldman, communications editor

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