A new book by William A. Cook, “Tracking Deception: Bush Mid-East Policy” published November 2005 by Dandelion Books

Below is an excerpt from a chapter in the book it was first published as an article on Counterpunch.org, January 23, 2003:

Rule by the Capricious and the Corrupt
Militarism vs. Democracy

“More than 725 American military bases (are) spread around the world. … Many garrisons are in foreign countries to defend oil leases from competitors or to provide police protection to oil pipelines, although they invariably claim to be doing something completely unrelated–fighting the ‘war on terrorism’ or the ‘war on drugs,’ or training foreign soldiers, or engaging in some form of ‘humanitarian’ intervention.”
Chalmers Johnson, “The Sorrows of Empire”

How many Americans understand the implications of Johnson’s observation? Bush’s “State of the Union” address, with its repetitive mantra declaring America’s gift of “freedom” to the world and its on-going fight against “terrorists” (used 20 times) obscures the reality of America’s deployment of “over half a million soldiers, spies, technicians, teachers, dependents and civilian contractors in other nations” (Johnson) for purposes of protecting private investors who use American forces to protect their private interests, not the interests of American citizens. Indeed, it is arguable that our invasion of Iraq and our toppling of the Taliban, a government the US put in place, happened because we needed Iraq’s oil reserves and the Taliban refused to cooperate with the deployment of oil and gas lines through their territory. Bush’s idealistic rhetoric follows a stream of recent efforts to present this administration’s imperialistic and militaristic agenda as economic freedom for the world and security at home.

He was particularly active in November when he spoke to the National Endowment for Democracy, when the administration supported the international business deal cobbled together by the corporate representatives at the Free Trade Area of Americas, and when he addressed the Brits and defended his invasion of Iraq. All these efforts hinge on an abuse of the word “freedom.” Bush lassos freedom to economics, as in “economic freedom,” implying that the management of income or resources has equal rights with the citizen, that by some occult metamorphosis an economic system has been reborn as a person. The FTAA business deal in Miami managed to avoid any reference to humanitarian concerns or laborers’ rights, although Venezuela pressed for such consideration, as they made possible “freedom” for trade; the brazen omission of the citizens from consideration did not cause them to blink as they, too, conferred on “trade” rights that are reserved for people.

Peggy Noonan, Ronald Reagan’s speech writer, told Chris Mathews recently that President Bush’s speech to the National Endowment For Democracy was a “master piece.” In that talk at the beginning of November, Bush used Reagan’s speech at Westminster Palace in 1982 as the reference point for his own remarks. Perhaps Peggy penned Ronnie’s words? Why else label Bush’s derivative remarks a “master piece”? Well, there is another reason: it is a “master piece” of deception, but, then, so too was Ronnie’s. Both speeches embody the manipulative duplicity of the ruling elite as they mouth “Democracy” and “freedom” when they mean in their guts “Corpocrisy” and “indentured servitude.” (“Corpocrisy” is the apparent rule by the people through a voting process, but the actual rule by corporate hegemony.)

What Jefferson feared at the inception of this nation has become the reality of our democracy: a land governed by “pseudo-aristoi,” as Jefferson sardonically labeled them, “extremely wealthy individuals and overly powerful corporations.” This was the third of the “agencies” Jefferson feared as threats that could destroy a democracy. The remaining two were other forms of governments like monarchies and organized religions (Thom Hartmann, Unequal Protection, 2002). Those “overly powerful corporations” now act as individuals claiming rights under the 14th amendment, would you believe, despite the reality that the Supreme Court has never stipulated as “law of the land” that corporations can legitimately claim that right (Hartmann 107). For those who would argue that the Court has accepted that status based on precedent, remember that same Court upheld the “Institution of Slavery” on the same grounds! Precedent is often the imprisonment of the people on the cross of coddled consistency.
From: Counterpunch