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Bear Left!

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Volume III, Number 17: 26 June 2003

Faith-Based Political Manipulation

Paul Corrigan

A majority of Americans support President Bush. That support is faith-based, not fact-based. If you believe that there is a supreme being in the heavens who created the universe and is keeping tabs on all of our deeds, I guess belief in Bush is not so far-fetched. For those of us with our feet and minds planted in reality, having faith in Bush is just plain dumb.

The Washington media are finally reporting that the Bush administration distorted intelligence and manufactured evidence to justify an invasion of Iraq. Of course the Bush administration lied about the need for war. It also lied about the expected benefits from that war. The fact that it lied about the war is consistent with its track record. Bush lied to get elected. He lied to get selected. He lied about the need for a tax cut. He lied about who was getting the tax cut. He lied about the benefits of a tax cut. His administration lied about the need for media consolidation. It lied about the benefits to the country from media consolidation. Virtually every policy statement the administration had made has been disingenuous.

The faith Americans that have in Bush results from his ability to play not to the American public's needs and aspirations, but to its fear and loathing. Bush's support comes from his promotion of a twisted sense of justice commonly known as retribution. The law of reciprocal punishment has its roots in ancient Babylon. Back then it was known as the Code of Hammurabi. As in the Bush administration, that code of justice was unequal. Different classes were treated differently. In ancient Babylon, there were three classes. The highest class included the King and wealthy individuals. The middle class was made up of free individuals. Slaves made up the lowest class. Sound familiar?

Under Bush, a large portion of the tax burden formerly borne by wealthy Americans has been transferred to the middle class. Bush avoided this fact in selling his tax plan and instead lied that it was a broad-based tax cut. More importantly, Bush relied on a large subset of Americans supporting retribution against social spending. In no real way was Saddam an immediate threat to American security, but he was the perfect target for the Bush administration to misdirect American retribution for crimes committed by al-Qaeda. Iraq was a unique opportunity for Bush. He was able to avenge his father's honor, provide billions of dollars in contracts to companies close to the administration, and rely on America's thirst for retribution to provide support for the war and his presidency.

There has been much talk of late about the evidence that was lacking in support of the war. Maybe now the American media will admit that the administration's policies as a whole lack evidential support.