Republicans May Rise To Save America

by James Glaser
August 9, 2002

"We Are Losing America And What Is Left Is Despicable"

The quote above is from a life long Republican, third generation dairy farmer, who is so very saddened by the direction that America has been put on. Republicans pride themselves on being just a little more involved in, where those in Washington are taking us. This woman is not alone, many on both the religious and political right are starting to see what is happening to the country that we all love so much.

Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld on Tuesday repeatedly referred to Israel's control of the West Bank and Gaza as a "so-called occupation. For gods sake they have a army with hundreds of tanks and attack helicopters holding the total population of Palestinians in strict curfew and more than once they have attacked and killed civilians that mistook the hours of curfew. These people left their homes to try and get food and water for their families and our Secretary of Defense thinks this is a "so-called" occupation. Just wait until we have so-called occupations of American cities

"Focusing on settlements at the present time misses the point" Rumsfeld said. Settlements in various parts of the so-called occupied area...(were) the result of a war, which they (Israel) won" This opens up the United States to "capture" oil fields in Iraq or the rest of the Middle East and then we can say we won them "fare and square."

At one time America stood up for freedom. It didn't matter what your countries religion was, nor the amount of money and oil your people controlled. Now American foreign policy is set not by our own Constitution and the example that sets, but by corporate interests and lobbying by foreign groups that pump money and the promise of votes to those in Washington.

On April 11 of this year the American Government, it has been reported worldwide, gave the OK and maybe some help to the opposition of Venezuelan President Chavez to have a military coup. Chevez was forced to resign, which Washington immediately accepted and US officials did nothing to tell the coup leaders that the United States would impose sanctions on a government installed by military force. You see, America is supposed to defend democratically elected governments, but I guess here we were looking the other way and thought a Military Coup was legal.

Mark Weisbrot of Common writes "on May 3. Senator Christopher J. Dodd of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee requested an investigation from the US State Department, to find out what it did wrong in Venezuela. Well the State Department did the investigation without talking to one citizen of Venezuela, but relied on the testimony of the embassy staff. That staff had their careers to think about, before they answered any questions.

Even so "Significant parts of the report remain classified" That means that Americans are not allowed to know how we as a nation helped over throw a democratically elected government with a military coup.

Both the Washington Post and the New York Times cited numerous meetings between top US officials and the people who led the military coup of April 11. The press in Europe wrote, "The coup was discussed in some detail, right down to the timing and chances of success, which were deemed to be excellent."

The State Department could have investigated any of these or many other leads but chose to follow none. However, some of the things in the report are pretty damning, such as listing some of the reasons for US hostility to President Chavez. "His involvement in the affairs of the Venezuelan oil company, and the potential impact of that on oil prices" The President of Venezuela decided to get involved in how much oil HIS country was producing, instead of leaving that up to Washington.

We have to remember that this President Chavez was elected by the people of his country and that they have a constitution and a congress, just like we would like all countries to have. I never knew there was this caveat that said "new democracies must follow the rules that the United States of America dictate."

These two examples are just two of the reasons that dairy farmer is finding the America we have today, despicable. With examples like these, terrorist attacks are not such a surprise, but the result of people fighting for democracy, attacking that force that is number one in stopping them from attaining freedom.

It really does pain me to write these words, but over and over, the United States of America, my country that I love so dearly, takes the side of the King, dictator, or oppressor, when we can see for our selves that the people of these many countries we call friends, live closer to the way animals live than how we want people to live. America is no longer the champion of Liberty, but the champion of the Corporation, the Board of Directors, and the stock holders.

No longer does America even respect those few countries like Venezuela, that have followed our example and instituted a Democratic form of Government. Washington has found that it is far easier to deal with a Military Dictatorship than have to jump all the hurdles that a Democracy involves.

Just as that Republican woman's distrust of our policies rises to the top, I find there is still a ray of hope for our Nation. Not every one has fallen under the corporate thumb. There are still those in this nation that believe in our Constitution and the rights of every citizen to have a say in our government. September 11 silenced many of these people, but time and the very radical ideas coming out of the Bush Administration have made these people speak up. Many Republicans in Congress, (Yes the Bush rubber stamp is wearing out) are now voicing concern and voting their conscience.

With 73 Republican votes the House voted 262-167, to lift restrictions on travel to Cuba. They rejected White House arguments that the changes would weaken the US war against terrorism. Terrorism can be used as a stick for only so long.

Congress, then over Bush administration objections, freed hundreds of millions of dollars to destroy weapons in the former Soviet Union. Language included in an emergency spending bill approved by Congress, with overwhelming Republican support, allows spending to go forward without the certification.

The Bush Administration was holding up these funds by having to certify certain conditions before they could be spent. Congress went "end around" the administration and the whole world, America, and the Soviet Union are safer because of the destruction of these weapons. Something like this is a prime example of Bush Administration "radicalism," holding up spending in order to possess power over the purse, a Constitutional power given to Congress

At the Senate hearings on Iraq, members from both parties made it clear that Congress will be consulted and will be able to Vote before we attack Baghad. Senator Lincoln Chafee, R-R.I. Says he and his colleagues are slowly getting more comfortable scrutinizing and criticizing the White House. "We're still emerging from the post Sept. 11 climate of patriotism to question foreign policy decisions"

Senators Chuck Hagel of Nebraska and Richard Lugar of Indiana have been leaders in this resurgence of Congressional independence. They have said, "great powers have limitations, and most great powers in history have learned those limitations too late" Hagel said, "As great a power as we are today, we cannot fight terrorism alone."

Sure we can't fight Terrorism alone, but we surely we can create the climate for the continued expansion of terrorism and that is what I believe and many more Americans believe we are doing with our foreign policy today under the direction of the Bush Administration.

Most Americans want our country to be respected the world over, now it is hated by billions of people all over the globe. This hate is not for our freedom, but our oppression of others seeking that same freedom that we have. As long as we back those governments that oppress their citizens and those citizens see that America is doing just that, terrorism will continue to get stronger.

BACK to the Politics Columns.