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Bush's deceptions far exceed Clinton's

Kennebec Journal (Maine)

It is amazing to me that the Bush war supporters are so worried about Cindy Sheehan when there is much more to worry about.

How is it possible that former President Clinton was tried for impeachment after deceiving (lying to) the American people about an affair with one of the women with whom he worked?

Bush deceived (lied to) the American people by telling them that Iraq was making a nuclear weapon and was ready to attack the United States with an atomic bomb.

He then landed on an aircraft carrier in California and deceived the American people by telling us that the war was won.

It seems to me that Clinton's deceit about an affair with a worker from his office is minuscule compared to more than 1,800 American soldiers and at least 30,000 Iraqis dying so far.

Is it possible that the American people think that Clinton's deceit about an affair was more offensive than killing soldiers and civilians?

George Mayo




Mothers of soldiers beseeching Bush

In his column -- "War -- plain and simple" (Aug. 21) -- Michael Babcock, a Virginia professor of history, encourages America to "accept and defend our imperialism."

He cites the Roman Empire and pontificates that "empires can stand for things that make the world a better place."

He also attempts to comfort us by writing, "President Bush has embraced a transcendent view (of history) and a clear-cut vocabulary of war that goes with it," and continues with, "We are fighting a war over things that matter -- for ideals that transcend race, culture and religion: Ideals of freedom and dignity."

Bush started a war but is not fighting one. Our troops are.

Bush is clearing brush, embracing nothing but a pitchfork.

He is vacationing over things that matter to him -- biking and barbecuing.

Our troops are heading to Iraqi hot spots in hastily armored Humvee's trying to avoid roadside IEDs -- improvised explosive devices.

Bush is driving around to Texas fundraisers in a heavily armored limousine trying to avoid roadside GEMs -- galvanized explosive moms.

IEDs in Iraq are getting larger, bolder and more frequent.

GEMs in America are getting larger, bolder and more eloquent. Take heed: They are beseeching Bush, not impeaching him. Not yet, anyway.

My letter is not an endorsement or a condemnation of Cindy Sheehan or others. It is an observation and a question, believing that letters to the editor, like a juicy Sunday column, should seek to provoke thought, not ire.

Ergo, what if "Camp Casey" swells to empire status? Will it then -- or does it today -- stand for things that will make this world a better place?

Buddy Doyle



Americans must reclaim their country

Define morality. President Bill Clinton causes an uproar and is impeached for a sexual indiscretion, yet, sheeplike, we follow the vulgar travesty that is George W. Bush as he siphons billions of dollars and the National Guard away from our country.

Social, health and educational programs are compromised -- a national disgrace.

I am betting a dozen crullers that the people of Louisiana and Mississippi would rather that Dubya had directed excess testosterone toward an extramarital fling rather than his ridiculous muscle flexing made manifest in an unnecessary war.

I shudder to think of the cost, in terms of fuel as well as propaganda, as the Blue Angels "entertain" at the Brunswick Naval Air Station on Sept. 10 and 11.

I do not wish to detract form the skill and courage of these pilots, but, to paraphrase one of our greatest patriots, Pete Seeger, if you love our troops, bring them home ... if you love our country, stop the war.

Cindy Sheehan, like Pete Seeger, understands the grassroots of America. We must reclaim our country. If you go to Brunswick, please support Sheehan rather than the Bush government.

Government does not seem to be the right word, but I hesitate to use the alternative.

Patsy Tessier



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Of course Bush's deceptions exceed Clinton's. But it is in the interest of the wealthy individuals who own the corporate media to get Republicans into office.

So they magnify Clinton's minor shortcomings (and those of anyone else who gets in their way), and attempt to hide the vast evil of the Bush Administration.

Since most people only vaguely pay attention to the news, their impressions can be easily manipulated by repeating a lie over and over. This propaganda technique is called the "Big Lie", and was perfected by Goebbles, Hitler's propaganda minister.

The Big Lie is used by the billionaires to manipulate society and government to make even more money. Examples of the big lie in America:

1. Iraq was behind 9-11.
2. Iraq had weapons of mass destruction.
3. Globalization is good and inevitable, and protectionism doesn't work.
4. The US government is trying to spread democracy.
5. The US has the world's highest standard of living and the world's best healthcare system.
6. The economy is getting better.
7. Republicans are competent and responsible.
8. It's necessary to give up civil liberties to fight terrorism.

All these self-serving lies help the wealthy to maintain control and increase profits, as the standard of living declines among those who work for a living.

The Big Lie technique works because so many people are uninformed. It has helped to get the worst president ever into office twice, and has made hundreds of billions of dollars for the wealthy.

The best defense against the big lie is to stay informed. Don't depend on the corporate media for all your news. There are more balanced sources (such as ) on the Internet.

Pilgrims, revolutionaries, pioneers, frontiersmen, settlers, cowboys, lone gun slingers facing down the bad guys against all odds. These are the images that capture the imagination of Americans. They are the stuff of the American legend inculcated into school children and portrayed to all the world as the essence of rugged individualism that shaped the country and that underpins its current values.

But how much of it is true today and how much is merely a "once upon a time" fairy tale? I would suggest that, for all practical purposes, whatever its validity may have been in America's earlier history, that dream is now all but extinct. With each passing day, as current realities shine their glaring light on the tattered screen of the local Hollywood franchise, it fades ever faster.

Nevertheless, much of the audience happily closes its eyes and dreams on. So go ahead and dream.

Try to image, if you will, colonial leaders pleading earnestly before England's parliament for consideration of peaceful voluntary reforms to the imperial system by which much of the world was ruled at the time. Try harder still to imagine George Washington submitting respectful petitions for the nonviolent removal of England's annointed king as the figurehead for that very same system.

Somehow, even assuming survival of the petitioners, I have grave doubts that such attempts to "work within the existing system" would have met with any great success. But what remains of the American myth is still a useful tool, no doubt, in compelling obeisance and adherence to a system that is as far from America's true origins as the country's founders could have envisioned in their wildest nightmares.

I am as pessimistic now as I have ever been before about any significant changes in those nightmares. I'd be happy to be told that I'm wrong, but an article written by Chris Floyd and published by Counterpunch reflects my sad conclusions as well as any other I've read recently:

Let's be clear about one thing. Nothing that has happened in the past week -- the mass destruction in the Mississippi Delta, the obliteration of the city of New Orleans, the murderous abandonment of thousands of people to death, chaos and disease ­ will change the Bush Administration or American politics at all. Not one whit. The Bush Administration will not reverse its brutal policies; its Congressional rubber-stamps will not revolt against the White House; the national Democrats will not suddenly grow a spine. There will be no real change, and the bitter corrosion of injustice, indifference and inhumanity that is consuming American society will go on as before.

One proof of this can be found in the first polls coming out after the disaster, which show that a full 46 percent of the American people approve of Bush's handling of the relief effort. It seems inconceivable that any sentient being could witness the agonizing results of the Bush team's dithering, dilatory response ­ an agony played out in the full glare of non-stop media coverage ­ and not come away with a sense of towering anger at this criminal incompetence. But it's obvious that nearly half the American people have now left the "reality-based community" altogether; they see only what they want to see, a world bathed in the hazy, golden nimbus of the Leader. The fact ­ the undeniable truth ­ that behind this carefully-concocted mirage lies nothing more than a steaming pile of rancid, rotting offal means nothing to these true believers. The Lie is better, the Lie is more comforting, the Lie lets them keep feeding on the suffering of others without guilt or shame.

This painful split between obvious reality and popular perception is nothing new, of course. Today we look at old footage of Adolf Hitler and wonder how on earth such a pathetic and ludicrous creature could ever have commanded the adoration and obedience of tens of millions of people. Yet he did. As Eliot said, "Human kind cannot bear very much reality."

"How does it feel
To be on your own
With no direction home."
-- Bob Dylan, Like a Rolling Stone

Answer: Not good.

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