Is Bush a Threat to U.S. National Security?
I have been receiving articles suggesting that George W. Bush is a very dangerous leader because of his psychological condition. And I must confess that I have compared him with Napoleon or Emperor Nero, in my own thoughts.
But I think that it is best to dwell on his impact upon the security of the United States and, for that matter, of the Earth to which we all belong. Native Americans are said to want to provide for the next seven generations, while the Bush regime seems not even to want the rich to share with one generation, let alone to conserve.
Bush purports to be "protecting America" against Iraq, a small country with relatively little military capability. But his massive intervention in the Middle East does represent a serious threat to our security since every indication coming from that region points in the direction of a very dangerous destabilization occurring. If the people of Jordan, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, and perhaps other unstable or undemocratic states succeed in toppling governments or bottling up kings and rulers in palaces surrounded by desperate mobs we shall be in real trouble! But scary as this may seem, this may be what Bush, in his "Armageddon-inspired" zeal, may desire.
In any case, the national security of the USA is clearly at risk. Iraq under the scrutiny of UN inspectors is absolutely no danger, but an aroused Islamic world represents a danger of massive proportions, especially one which the USA has already been at odds with by means of the unquestioning support of Israel in terms of military hardware, money, and protection in the UN Security Council.
But let's think about national security a bit more. It really depends upon a lot more than simply having a massive and expensive military. The most important issues revolve around the education and health of our people for seven generations into the future. Other issues relate to our railway infrastructure (or lack thereof), our economy (going to the dogs mighty fast), our poor diets and resulting obesity and disease issues, our dependence on fossil fuels with the concomitant damage to Appalachian valleys and streams, not to mention the pollution of huge areas overseas by our oil companies, our loss of owner-operated farms in favor of factory-type hog, cattle, and grain operations with resulting over-use of antibiotics and hormones, pesticides, pollution of air and water etc.
Most of us are keenly aware of how the USA is being radically changed, for the worse, by processes which are either being fostered by the Bush administration or are not being acknowledged by the government. The rich are getting richer and the rest of the people are dropping behind, creating a potentially dangerous situation typical of unstable societies. In the civil liberties arena the Bushites are clearly a subversive force, threatening the very existence of our democracy and Bill of Rights. What can security mean if we lose our constitutional protections?
Bush's failure to do anything concrete in regards to the global warming crisis is a direct threat to the security of the United States. Not only is our basic food and fiber supply in obvious danger, but the expected inundation of our coastlines and estuaries will result in massive damage, not only to cities such as New York and San Francisco, but very specific damage to every naval installation in US territory. Forgetting about destroyed homes and flooded buildings, what about naval vessels that must dock at water levels ten or more feet higher than at present? Even a few feet higher at high tide means disaster. But our president can only fiddle while the USA burns, just like his counterpart, Emperor Nero!
The nuclear policies of the Bushites are also extremely subversive of our security. The abolition of our treaty with the Russians and the crazy plans for nuclear weapons in space, ones which dig deeply into the earth, nuclear weapons to use against enemy troops, etc. are all fundamentally subversive of our national security. Why? Because they move us away from a peaceful world that could become nuclear weapon free and instead intensify the dangers which nuclear radiation and war pose for everyone, ourselves included. We cannot expect other great powers to allow the USA to obtain absolute military dominance, or so history would seem to tell us. The contempt which the Bushites have for international law and for international agreements is clearly to be seen in their hostility to the International Criminal Court and their opposition to the treaty outlawing landmines, among other agreements. These latter are designed to prevent the horrible abuses of past wars and past human rights violations, and Bush's opposition seems to suggest sinister motives. Is this in our national interest? Ultimately it is subversive of our security because it increases the probabilities of continued violence in the world, violence which is bound to ricochet in our direction.
Bush's refusal to sign the Kyoto accords on global warming, as well as his bullying and bribing of other nations are all dangerous signs of self-assumed superiority. Now he seems to have adopted torturing of prisoners, spying on our colleagues in the UN Security Council, producing fake evidence, refusing to bring alleged terrorists to trial by jury, and otherwise violating the norms of civilized behavior, all of which places us in grave danger.
Hundreds of thousands have suffered and died to create an ethical democracy. Are we to see that dream destroyed because of the actions of 19 suicide attackers? Are we to see our still unrealized visions of freedom and justice for all sacrificed through the efforts of subversive leaders? I hope the answer is "NEVER!"
© 2003 Professor Jack D. Forbes, Powhatan-Delaware, is a historian, social critic, and poet, covering issues of international and inter-ethnic relations for 45 years. He is the author of Red Blood, Africans and Native Americans, Apache, Navaho and Spaniard and other books. He is professor emeritus of Native American Studies, University of California, Davis. He can be contacted at his web site.
This article was originally published in News From Indian Country April 7, 2003.