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Destroying to Save

The Not so Hidden Agenda in Administration Policies

By Daniel Jordan and Neil Wollman

05/01/06 "ICH" -- -- One infamous line from the Vietnam War was, “It became necessary to destroy the village to save it.” The Bush Administration has carried this thinking to stratospheric heights. Here are some pointed examples.

Destroying Freedom To Save It:

The Orwellian absurdity of the Patriot Act, destroying freedom to save it from evildoers, goes unchallenged in American media and politics. Our government claims the right to infringe on any and all civil liberties; engage in warrantless wiretaps; peek at our email messages, book purchases and library withdrawals; and enter our homes all without even the minimal oversight from FISA. Spying on citizens is deemed “Homeland Security.”

This Administration claims the right to imprison people without access to the outside world, family or counsel. Lest Americans think this applies only to foreign “bad guys” Halliburton’s KBR subsidiary is building detention centers across the nation to hold tens of thousands of people. Bill Bennett has just blustered that the U.S. ought roll out the Espionage Act again and prosecute for treason reporters who criticize or expose facts about the Bush Administration. Our nation is being pushed beyond normal politics. Conservatives and liberals alike should be concerned. Critics (including these authors) are likely already on watch lists.

Destroying Iraq To Save It:

To save Iraqis from a tyrant whom we created we have destroyed their infrastructure and killed thousands of Iraqis whose lives we, and they, were told would improve. Post-invasion deaths attributable to the war have exceeded those from the ravages of Saddam. Their right to vote is overshadowed by daily miseries, fear, death via sectarian violence or U.S. military air strikes, sickness from devastated water and healthcares systems, and constant frustrations from lack of everyday resources.

One quintessential example of “destroying to save” is Fallujah. The US tried either to round up or kill the able-bodied men in Fallujah by bombing everyone out of the town, and then driving the men back into it so they could be bombed some more. We leveled Fallujah in 2004 and remain intent on rearranging the rubble.

Destroying Our Environment (And Future Economy) To Save It:

The Administration claims to be saving the environment while keeping our economy strong. But current policies will do neither. The Administration refuses to acknowledge the destruction of our environment, and proceeds gleefully with policies that will hasten the process. Using Global Warming as an example, it has not restricted carbon dioxide but put in limited voluntary measures that have done little, not supported the relevant Kyoto Protocols, disputed alarming research or called for further years of study when action was needed, and ousted or gagged scientists with opposing views. Figures released in mid-April place 2004 greenhouse gasses at their highest level ever recorded, with the U.S. being the principle culprit.

Thus we see Polar ice caps melting and glaciers receding. Alaskans are now concerned about forest fires. Greenland is no longer covered solidly in ice. Warming oceans are destroying marine ecosystems. Rising sea levels are forcing remote villagers to move to higher ground (if any exists).

Rising sea levels will destroy our climate, coastlines and economy. If remote villagers need to move, so will wealthy seaside resort residents in the U.S. What will our economy look like when our major cities, most along our coasts, are under water? We will see ever increasing post-disaster mass relocations like those following Hurricane Katrina.

We citizens share the blame, though, as these policies are partly driven by our daily decisions. Each of us drives the demand for oil that leads to a degraded ecosystem and a foreign policy that leads to seeking foreign oil control.

Readers willing to look honestly at events will find their own examples of our government destroying things in the name of saving them. If the current administration’s philosophy carries into the future, expect the destruction of our social security and Medicare systemsfor startersallegedly to save them of course. Perhaps our only hope is that the Bush Administration will continue to stretch destructiveness to such an extent that even its supporters will begin to object.

The Neo-Con’s vision of a “New American Century” has dragged us instead into an Anti-American Century in which our children will pay dearly for our mistakes. Destroying our country and others is not a form of salvation, but of mass suicide.

Daniel Jordan, Ph.D.; Research consultant and Dean, College of Social and Political Justice, International University for Graduate Studies, St. Kitts & Nevis, BWI; drdanj@adelphia.net

Neil Wollman; Ph.D.; Senior Fellow, Peace Studies Institute, Professor of Psychology; Manchester College, North Manchester, IN 46962; njwollman@manchester.edu;

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