Archive article from The Socialist Issue 378
Stoking the fires of opposition
NEVER ONCE directly mentioning the invasion and occupation of Iraq, George Bush's inaugural speech at his 'coronation' last week talked a lot about ending tyranny and bringing his version of 'freedom' to every corner of the world.
But as New York Times columnist Bob Herbert wrote, seeing the inaugural ceremonies reminded him "of the scenes near the end of The Godfather in which a solemn occasion (a baptism in the movies) is interspersed with a series of spectacularly violent murders.
"Even as President George W Bush was taking the oath of office and delivering his inaugural address beneath the clear, cold skies of Washington the news wires were churning out stories about the tragic mayhem in Iraq."
Strip away Bush's fantasy world where freedom is on the march and you have a more unstable world with more fear and terror fanned by the actions of the first term of George W Bush's regime. The new Bush administration, when you strip away the rhetoric, offers little different.
A poll taken across 21 countries on every continent the day before his inauguration showed a clear majority fear that Bush will make the world a more dangerous place.
When Bush talks of freedom he means the freedom to exploit the working class and oppressed in every corner of the globe to further US imperialism's interests. And rather than removing tyranny, Bush will seek to impose the tyranny of US imperialism and its military might in any area of the world he thinks he can get away with.
His regime's drive against tyranny will be very selective. They won't bother with tyrants who preside over nothing of interest to US big business interests or those who act in their interests.
But in the oil-rich Middle East - especially Saudi Arabia and Iran - the Bush regime hope to impose their view of 'freedom'.
The experience of Iraq shows how Bush's concept of 'freedom' works. You can have elections but the result will not end the occupation by 120,000 troops and it won't end the exploitation of the country's resources by US big business.
The authors of a report on post-conflict reconstruction have slammed the US government's efforts to 'rebuild' Iraq as "wasteful, inefficient and rife with corruption". The only thing they forgot to point out was that it was also very profitable for the companies involved.
Bush was correct when he said his actions will light an "untamed fire" across the world. Unfortunately for him and his regime it will be a fire of opposition to Bush's imperial vision.