The Guardian 2 February, 2005

The Emperor speaks

Born-again Christian, George W Bush delivered two speeches on the day of his second inauguration last week. They were full of banalities, platitudes, hypocrisy and liberally sprinkled with religious references — "we are guided by a larger power than ourselves who creates us equal in His image" and, "America's vital interests and our deepest beliefs … bear the image of the Maker of Heaven and earth."

His speeches were delivered in the usual moronic and insincere Bush one-line grabs.

But it was the atmosphere of this US$50 million spectacular that was most vulgar. It was a display of corporate wealth with their representatives lining up to reap the huge contracts that will flow from Bush's program for wars around the world. He has just asked Congress for another $50 billion for the Iraq war.

Bush, with his triumphal grin was a nauseating spectacle. He was flanked by Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice, Wolfowitz and other warmongering minions in crime.

Bush threatened the "enemies of liberty" … "America remains engaged in the world by history and by choice".

It was left to Condoleezza Rice, who has succeeded Colin Powell as Secretary of State, to name the immediate "enemies" — Iran, North Korea, Myanmar, Zimbabwe, Cuba and Belarus.

Needless to say nations such as Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Jordan, Morocco and Egypt, none of whose governments can be considered "democratic" nor their people to be "free", did not warrant a mention — their autocratic governments are already toadies of the United States and that is the real criteria for acceptance by the Bush administration..

The horrific consequences of Bush's evangelical mindset that believes that he is the messenger of God are frightening to contemplate. "He is in the White House because God put him there for a time such as this", declared US army Lieutenant-General Boykin. And this President, who definitely did not win his first election in 2000, still has many questions hanging over his head surrounding his second term election.

Bush hijacked the words "freedom", "liberty" and "democracy" as America's private property. He used the words "freedom" and "liberty" over 25 times in one of his short speeches. In her speech, Condoleezza Rice echoed Bush with such remarks as, "Our duty … is to spread freedom and prosperity around the globe".

Global Cop

The US administration intends to impose its will on the rest of the world using these clichιs to justify its wars and occupations. What this means in practice can be seen in Iraq and Afghanistan.

"America, in this young century, proclaims liberty throughout all the world, and to all the inhabitants thereof", and, "It is the policy of the United States to seek and support the growth of democratic movements and institutions in every nation and culture, with the ultimate goal of ending tyranny in our world." US aggression and occupation of both Afghanistan and Iraq and will be used incessantly in the future." said Bush.

No country that hosts US bases — and more than 100 nations do — can be considered either free, independent or democratic.

Furthermore, there is no evidence that the so-called democratic countries are capable of bringing peace to the world. In reality, "democratic" America has foisted more wars, more invasions, more assassinations, more subversion, and more interference on other countries than any other nation in recent times. And these interventions are taking place in a number of countries right now and are to be intensified in Bush's second term.

Bush ignored the terrible trauma and chaos brought to Iraq by the US invasion and his lies about weapons of mass destruction. Even his "war on terrorism" hardly rated a mention in his speeches.

Bush also outlined his domestic policy which is all about pushing through the privatisation of everything possible including the all too limited US welfare provisions. "We will widen the ownership of homes and businesses, retirement savings and health insurance".

Bush says that "the public interest depends on private character", thereby shifting responsibility for the welfare of society's citizens from the State to individuals — self provision or in practice "dog-eat-dog". He continues, "the edifice of character is built in families", a reference to his right-wing Christian fundamentalist agenda on single mothers, birth control, abortion and other women's rights.

At the end of Bush's inauguration speech, which was concluded by his familiar "God bless America" (Bush never calls on God to bless anyone else), his minions struck up the chant "U.S.A! U.S.A! U.S.A!", responding to the rabid nationalism inherent in every Bush word.

Make no mistake, Mark Latham was right. Bush is the most dangerous man to have ever occupied the position of US President.

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