With that twisted macho smirk of his, George W. keeps telling us that he’s “a war president.” So, how’s he doing? Let’s check the numbers:
•Official count of American troops killed so far in his war of lies in Iraq: 2,000 and rising daily
•Official count of those wounded: 14,755
•Number of weapons of mass destruction found in Iraq: 0
•Total tax dollars thrown into his Iraq war so far, counting the latest $50 billion payment: $260 billion
•Number of Bush daughters, nephews, and nieces who are of prime enlistment age: 10
•Number of Bush family members who’ve enlisted in his war: 0
•Percentage of Americans who think the Bushites “deliberately misled the public” in order to go to war in Iraq: 52 percent
•Percentage who now approve of his handling of the war: 32 percent
Not so good, but there’s an even more startling statistic that the establishment media has deliberately failed to report—the percentage of Americans who now want Congress to consider impeaching Bush if he lied about his reasons for invading Iraq: 50 percent! This new data from Ipsos Public Affairs, the highly regarded, non-partisan polling company, shows a stunning surge in grassroots support for removing W. from the White House. It’s even more remarkable considering that the media barons have provided zero coverage of the burgeoning sentiment for impeachment. Likewise, not a single congressional Democrat has stepped forward to support what is fast becoming a majority opinion of the people. They can hide the numbers, but they can’t long hide from the sentiment. To learn more, go to www.afterdowningstreet.org.
The only thing more disgusting than torturing prisoners of war is the effort W. is making to kill legislation that would ban such torture by our military. The ban was introduced by Sen. John McCain, a former prisoner of war who was tortured at length years ago by his Vietnamese jailers. McCain’s amendment was passed in the Senate by a rock-solid vote of 90 to 0—including 46 Republicans and even the GOP majority leader. McCain, speaking of his fellow prisoners of war, said during the debate: “Every one of us—every single one of us—knew and took great strength from the belief that we were different from our enemies.”
But, incredibly, the Bushites don’t want the U.S. to be different from the world’s brutes on this fundamental matter. They are working feverishly to get the House to kill or water down McCain’s principled amendment. If that fails, the White House says that Bush will issue the first veto of his presidency, claiming that the ban on torture would tie the president’s hands. Well, yes! The very idea of the ban is to bind our leaders to a standard of behavior recognized by all civilized nations. The military knows that torture yields worthless information, false confessions, and a bitter determination by the armies of those tortured to return the favor. Not only is it inherently evil to sanction, as Bush proposes to do, the “cruel, inhuman, and degrading” treatment of enemy soldiers that we capture, but it also incites our enemies, putting our troops in even graver danger.
It’s one thing for Bush, Rumsfeld & Gang to proclaim their moral bankruptcy to the world; it’s another to let them drag our good name down with them. To find out how you can help ban torture, go to www.humanrightsusa.org.
BETTER BUSINESS MODEL
What if business people started saying no? No to mega-growth, no to the frenetic pace of trying to get superrich, no to dog-eat-dog economics. No to the prevailing corporate ethic that your business must always be getting bigger to be a “winner.” Well, it’s happening. It gets little coverage by a media constantly fawning over barons like Amazon or Starbucks, but there is a quiet rebellion among entrepreneurs who are choosing a heretical business path. These folks want to make a profit—not a killing. They don’t want to run over their competitor or become a farflung chain. They want more control over their own lives and want their businesses to be based on satisfying customers and treating workers as valued partners. One of these community-based entrepreneurs says he rejected the chance to buy out a competitor: “I’d rather pack my kids’ lunch and walk them to school.” Another, who runs a tea shop isn’t dreaming of 10,000 stores, but of making customers feel truly welcome. “You need to become part of the community and give people an alternative to the big chains,” he says, adding that, “when I go to Starbucks… instead of hearing ‘Thank you,’ I hear ‘Next.'” Likewise, the owner of a natural food store that successfully goes head-to-head with Whole Foods says, “We live in an isolated and lonely culture. People stop in our store for the social interaction as well as the products. We’re an oasis.” These community-based entrepreneurs are creating an economic model that contributes much more to society’s pursuit of happiness than the suck-em-dry, Wal-Mart model. You can vote with your dollars: Either choose Wal-Mart, where they have to hire a greeter to give you a hokey hello… or choose some real place, where they actually know your name.
Jim Hightower is a speaker and author. To order his books or schedule him for a speech, visit www.jimhightower.com. To subscribe to his newsletter, the Hightower Lowdown, call toll-free 1-866-271-4900.