February 19, 2007
"Money Trumps Peace"
By Mary Lyon
Oops, he did it again. That's twice now, at least from what I can remember off the top of my head, since George W. Bush ascended to the top of the ziggurat. He gave away his game. I'm absolutely certain it was inadvertent, but that's exactly what he did. Lucky for him, both times now, few of the people who should have been paying attention actually did so, because his blunder hardly moved the needle. But it sure smacked me upside the head. "Money Trumps Peace."
Here it is, in context, from the latest news conference Junior so imperiously granted, on Valentine's Day, 2007, no less (some valentine):
BUSH: It's an interesting question . One of the problems, not specifically on this issue, just in general, that _ let's put it this way: Money trumps peace, sometimes.
In other words, commercial interests are very powerful interests throughout the world. And part of the issue in convincing people to put sanctions on a specific country is to convince them that it's in the world's interest that they forego their own financial interest.
And that's why sometimes it's tough to get tough economic sanctions on countries, and I'm not making any comment about any particular country, but you touched on a very interesting point.
Specifically, this was a response to a reporter's question about possible pressure our country might put on European allies who do a lot of business with Iran . But its true meaning went a lot deeper - like just maybe, to the heart of the matter. Ladies and gentlemen, we have now seen Bush's hand fully tipped. And he couldn't have been more concise. To him, that's the whole ballgame: "money trumps peace." That's why he lied and cooked the books to get us into war to begin with. That's why he's surrounded himself with Dick Cheney/Doug Feith/Scooter Libby/PNAC types who worship at the altar of worldly riches and ruthless conquest to ensure those riches. That's why he lusts after war in Iran . Sure, he SAYS he doesn't have any plans or intentions to pick a fight with them, too, but that's what he said about Iraq a few years back, even while the finished "plans" had already been approved and forwarded to those in charge of implementing them. But at least he's finally admitted his motivation.
If we can step back in time a little bit, to the dawning of this Era of Horror, Young George tipped his hand back then, too:
Transition of Power: President-Elect Bush Meets With Congressional Leaders on Capitol Hill
Aired December 18, 2000 - 12:00 p.m. ET
GOV. GEORGE W. BUSH (R-TX), PRESIDENT-ELECT: I told all four that there were going to be some times where we don't agree with each other. But that's OK. If this were a dictatorship, it'd be a heck of a lot easier, just so long as I'm the dictator.
The really sad part is that these are the only two documented cases in which Junior has actually told the full truth about his take on major policy-making. Yeah, he might also be honest when he speaks about Laura, or Barney, or Drunk and Disorderly, his miscreant twins. He may even be speaking a version of half-truth about how he really wants to work with the Democrats and believes so heartily in bipartisanship. What he leaves out, provided he isn't standing there with his fingers crossed behind his back as he speaks, is that bipartisanship is just peachy - provided both sides of the political spectrum simply come together to do it all his way. The rest is all lies, fairy tales, lies, exaggerations, lies, misstatements, lies, smokescreens, lies, distractions, lies, and talking points - also known as more lies.
I'm actually somewhat surprised that Dubya did show his cards like this, in either case. You shouldn't do that when you're playing high-stakes poker. Perhaps he's just had such a lucky run up til now, that he's gone sloppy. But it's really happened only twice, back then and on Valentine's Day, 2007. Besides, when he's had a lifelong track record of 24-hour clean-up crews and the Cavalry charging in to pull his butt out of a jam and clean up his messes, you can see how that would have made him a little cocky by now. He's never had to face serious consequences, and certainly never had to clean up after himself. Somebody else always stepped in to do it for him, whether it was a reliable group of friendly Arabs with bail out money for his bankrupt Texas oil companies or James Baker fixing his election in 2000 and trying to rescue him yet again via the Iraq Study Group. When you've always been pulled out of the muck without even having to hose yourself down, you start to get this sense of untouchability, entitlement, and invincibility. Doesn't really matter WHAT you say, or whether you blow your cover. You'll never have to pay for it.
As we watch Congress dance around various votes on the war in Iraq and the troop surge, and to-fund-or-not-to-fund, or to-stand-by-Bush-or-not-to-stand-by Bush, to end the war or just wind it down slightly, we need to keep this in mind. "Money trumps peace." That's Bush's bottom line, and what motivates him in every respect. Cheney, too. It will keep them pushing to keep stirring things up in the Middle East , and NEVER to leave. They're following the money, aka the OIL. They'll only be dragged out of there kicking and screaming. Their enablers in the House and especially the Senate, are probably beyond reach, or beyond help, so they'll continue to run interference for their quarterbacks of greed. Especially since most of them have bought into Bush's lies for so long, it's become a habit they can't break.
This is the dynamic we'll be watching over the next several months, as Nancy Pelosi, John Murtha, Dennis Kucinich, Harry Reid, Chris Dodd, and Russ Feingold and friends attempt to up the ante, and stop Bush from his yen to double down on a losing game in Iraq.
The hope we have for our side is that the Senate and House votes are indeed just the first steps. Regardless how a still-appeasing media tries to paint it, the majority vote in both chambers WAS against Bush's war. It may not have been a decisive victory for the Democrats, but it was a victory nonetheless. More voted our way than didn't. As the headlines from Iraq continue to be bloody and violent, and as polls continue to show larger and larger numbers of Americans want our troops brought home, the pressure will grow on Bush's hapless teammates. Several of them already caved to it to some extent with the holiday weekend Senate vote. We have to keep that in mind, and make use of it every time we sign a petition, send an email, write a letter to the editor, or call somebody's office on Capitol Hill. The momentum is NOT with them. It's with US. The White House Press Corpse snoozed through the "money trumps peace" statement last week (just as they missed Bush's prescient "if this was a dictatorship" remark years ago), but we shouldn't. As long as we recognize the hidden dynamic at work here, and understand the motivation of the enemy, we will eventually prevail. Money may trump peace, but the voters eventually trump it all.
And then go DO something about it.