Keep the pressure on for peace and justice

Opinion

Because of the growing opposition to the Iraq war, the state of the U.S. economy and deep concerns about new threats to democratic rights, things are moving to the left.

As little as a few months ago, Bush and his Republican guards believed that they could win the ’04 elections based on anti-terrorist war hysteria and the fact that we had tens of thousands of U.S. troops in harm’s way in Iraq and, by next November, who knew where else in the world. They believed this election would be won on phony patriotism, anti-Arab racism and a mass hysteria based on fear and revenge over 9/11. Bush wanted the Republican convention in New York because he was going to run as the 9/11 President.

Back then, Karl Rove, Condoleezza Rice, Donald Rumsfeld, Colin Powell and Dick Cheney thought the war would be an asset in their efforts to put Bush back in the White House in 2004.

Since then, however, the war has not gone as they projected. U.S. casualties are far greater then they predicted. The U.S. armed forces are not seen as liberators but as an occupying army facing increasing resistance and mass chaos.

And now, with the revelations that they lied about the reason for going to war in the first place, and outed their own CIA operative to stifle dissent on their policy, people don’t trust Bush and the war issue has become a liability for them.

The polls show for the first time that, if the election were held today, a plurality of voters would prefer one or more of the Democrats running for president over George W. Bush. Even though it is only by a very slim margin, Bush is generally going down in popularity and in public confidence.

All the massive demonstrations before and during the war that some said would not have any effect actually laid the basis for the crisis this administration faces today. Bush is now back to his pre-9/11 poll numbers. This is also bad news for the Republicans and any pro-Bush Democrats seeking reelection next fall.

The $87 billion for the war is not popular today mainly because of the state of the U.S. economy and the fact that most local and state governments are near or in bankruptcy and the federal government is doing nothing. So education, health care and nutrition, housing, mass transit funds are all being cut back, but they want billions to finance murder and mayhem in Iraq.

Adding to the sad irony of their failing policies, while they adamantly oppose affirmative action here at home, the results of their policies are promoting it on the front lines in Iraq. Because of the “poverty draft,” there is a disproportionate number of Black and Latino soldiers (and therefore of U.S. casualties) in Iraq.

And while the Bush administration opposes providing health care for millions of children here, they are for it in Iraq to try to bribe the Iraqi people into accepting U.S. domination.

While they’re proposing to spend billions in massive public works in Iraq to rebuild what they’ve destroyed, they are opposed to spending for desperately needed job-creating public works here at home. In Iraq apparently we can afford to spend endless sums but here at home everything has to be cut back.

This administration is asking working families to sacrifice their vital social services so that they can give corporate welfare to Halliburton and Bechtel in order to steal the Iraqi people’s oil.

This after we have lost over 3.3 million jobs since Bush has been in the White House and there is mass unemployment all over the country, as we currently suffer through a so-called “jobless recovery.” And while hunger, homelessness and poverty are growing they are giving the top 1 percent more trillions of dollars in tax welfare.

And what kind of “operation” is this administration bringing to the Iraqi people when it promotes racist policies here at home and the administration is out to take away the democratic rights of the U.S. people through the infamous Patriot Act and under the guise of homeland security.

We must never forget what White House Budget Director Joshua Bolten has quoted Bush as saying: President Bush in his frustration to get his programs passed “often says that life would be a lot easier if it [U.S.] were a dictatorship. But it’s not and he’s glad it’s a democracy.” Imagine that those words could be uttered in the White House as some kind of a joke!

Nov. 2, 2004, is about 370 days away. Any serious advocate of peace and justice cannot ignore the coming election. The struggle must go on, and needs to be stepped up and to reach broader sections of the American people until we bring the troops home and send Bush into political retirement.

Our nation and this world must and can be saved from the grave consequences of the Bush policies.



Jarvis Tyner is executive vice chair of the Communist Party USA. He can be reached at jtyner@cpusa.org