It's the policies, stupid
Whoever wins the Big Prize will inherit
a free world so angry and fed up with US policies
November 2, 2004
As Americans gather to excerise their god-given
right to pick the leader of the free world, that world huddles
anxiously in the far-flung corners of the
planet to see what comes next. This has all been posited as good news for
John Kerry, who is poised today to take control of the massive
house of cards left
behind by one of the most criminal organizations since the Nixon White House.
even if the Republicans manage to fall short in their racist
and anti-democratic quest to steal enough votes to cling to power,
a new president can't expect
a free pass. Whoever takes the oath in January -- giving the current administration,
by the way, another two months of Rump Parliament leeway to ruin everything
even further -- whoever wins the Big Prize will inherit a free world so angry
and fed up with US policies that no amount of finesse, charm or tweaking
can force the genie back in the bottle. Score one for the people of the
The one thing George Bush has done right is to unmask the darker side of
US imperial dreams. For this, he is routinely excoriated even by "true" conservatives,
stalwarts of his own party, by liberals, moderates and blind, left-handed
pipewelders -- in short, everyone -- all who decry the loss of US "influence" in
the world at large.
Please allow me to thank God. [note: this is not
a Grammy acceptance speech]. In an earlier piece before the US
warning], I wrote that "Mark
my words: this war signals the beginning of the end of the US as a world
power." Following the axiom that only a pompous jackass
quotes himself (those who know me well can opine, both friend and foe)
let me elaborate
There is not a single war in history where the aggressor does not claim
to have been provoked. Nobody cares what kind of forged documents we
up, or how many Americans the government can dupe. All the childish, macho,
swaggering crap, all the "freedom fries" and "liberty toast" in
the world won't wash the bad taste it leaves it the mouths of world opinion...
Over the next few decades, our standard of living
will slide as the world community recoils. Why should it be otherwise?
As Paul Simon sang of a different war
a generation ago, "You can't expect to be bright and bon-vivant so far
away from home/so far away from home".
The right wing, of course,
is desperate to hold on to power, trotting out all the tricks they
can muster to intimidate, obfuscate, bluster
way to a second wave of unmitigated destruction. They are well on
their way to succeeding, as 200 million bucks buys a lot of neat
Election Spoiled Rotten]
But despite the ouija board polling
industry, the phenomenally uninterested and incompetent press,
and a largely
comatose US population, it seems obvious that Bush is also hated
by his own people,
though certainly not by the margins seen in the rest of the world.
There's enough mistrust to ignite a civil war and fuel a new axiom, "if
he wins, they stole it."
It has always been Kerry's election
to lose. The problem is what happens next? If Bush is booted today,
there are precious few
thanks to the work of this administration) against the US war machine.
The trouble is that in the ponzi scheme of US politics,
voters are asked to chose
between shapeshifters, magicians, sound bites and teams of spinmeisters
equally prepared to argue that their man did and did not mean
whatever it is that
he did or did not say. Hey diddle-diddle, she's the one in the
enormous political courage, it leaves little room for a mandate;
the winner simply sits at the helm of a huge, unwieldy ship that
itself, its rudders fixed and sails rigged by corporate interests
unresponsive to anything
but their own power.
The antiwar movement, the vestige of the US "left," has
promised a sort of November 3 Movement, aimed at sustaining the
opposition to US
policies that victimize the world's people. However, it has been
an outgrowth of the
stampede toward Anybody But Bush; the logic was that it is so essential
to get rid of Bush that these forces should hold their fire against
Satan is safely out of the way.
myriad variables that make this avenue appealing to a certain
crowd will also
conspire in the same and different ways to make it essential
to hold off in the future.
Tomorrow is when the November 3 movement will begin to break
down, its collapse fueled by the internal contradictions that
The clock is ticking on US empire. What the world needs is
a sustained, vigorous, coherent and unyielding opposition to
have brought us to
this point. None of that will come from any new administration.
It will be forced on it by challenge from below and from without.
The US left
on board if it chooses; for much of the world, however, it seems
that the train is already leaving the station.
Writer, singer, linguist and activist Daniel Patrick Welch
lives and writes in Salem, Massachusetts, with his wife, Julia
Nambalirwa-Lugudde. Together they run The Greenhouse School, greenhouseschool.org. Some
of his articles have been broadcast on radio, and translations
are available in up to 20 languages. Links to the website are
appreciated at danielpwelch.com.