by Paul Street; May 09, 2007
George W. Bush sure looked uncomfortable spending a day with the Queen of England. I find this ironic. It is richly appropriate that he be intimately linked in the public eye for at least one day to the English monarchy.
The core founding United States document The Declaration of Independence (DOI) was written in fierce defiance of the English crown, the British Empire, and the institution of absolute monarchy.
But the U.S. President Bush has been defying key DOI postulates in ways that the original “royal brute” (as Thomas Jefferson described the King George of 1776) would approve. He has invoked a modern version of the Divine Right of Kings by claiming to be above the law in enacting such policies as the wiretapping of U.S. citizens, extraordinary rendition, the denial of habeas corpus to “enemy combatants” and the torture of alleged terrorists and occupation resisters.
Boy-king George has only half-jokingly referred to the nation’s billionaires as his real “base” and to thinking it would be easier to rule through dictatorship than via “democracy,” which he falsely claims to promote within and beyond Iraq. He is a longstanding close friend of the monarchical rulers of the totalitarian and arch-reactionary state of Saudi Arabia. His administration sponsored and supported a military coup against the democratically elected president of Venezuela in April of 2002.
And while he just cringed through a royal day culminating in a nauseating and hyper-classist white-tie dinner that cost U.S. taxpayers untold tens if not hundreds of thousands (millions?) of dollars, more United States troops died in an illegal war that Bush strategized with top British officials while hiding his plans from the American people. People trying to deal with the aftermath of a devastating Kansas tornado were denied assistance from state National Guard units still diverted to Bush’s arch-criminal oil occupation of Mesopotamia.
In the leaked Downing Street Memo of 23 July 2002, it was revealed by top British military intelligence officials that English authorities learned something remarkable from Bush and his team. “Military action was now seen as inevitable,” the British discovered. “Bush wanted to remove Saddam through military action,” the Memo reads, “justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD. But the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy.”
The cooked intelligence claims used to trick the American people into supporting the pre-ordained invasion of Iraq were being manufactured in advance by U.S. authorities. British rulers were let in on this terrible reality.
Things got positively weird between Team Bush and the rulers of England five months later. In a two-hour meeting with British Prime Minister Tony Blair that took place in the White House office on January 31, 2003, Bush discussed several ways to provoke a confrontation. One of the methods he proposed was to paint a U.S. surveillance plane in the colors of the United Nations in hopes of anti-aircraft fire that could be used to justify an invasion.
Formed in opposition to British rule and institutions, the DOI made history by saying that the consent of the governed was the only legitimate basis for a government and that the people had the right to replace an authoritarian government with more popular forms of rule. This is the well known right of revolution.
Just less than two hundred and twenty one years later, the rulers of the British state knew more about Bush’s foreign policy plans than “the Decider’s” own U.S. subjects as he prepared to undertake the thoroughly immoral and illegal invasion of petroleum-rich Iraq. Nearly two hundred and thirty one years later, after at least one stolen Bush election, the majority of those subjects oppose their authoritarian president’s recently escalated criminal war but lack confidence in their ability to do anything to stop it. After committing numerous offenses worthy of impeachment, removal, incarceration and worse, the messianic- militarist Bush continues to tell reporters and the public that his decisions on Iraq will be informed by his generals and “commanders on the ground” – unelected military authorities – and not by merely elected “politicians in Washington.” He exhibits special reverence for the title “Commander-in-Chief,” also suggesting a belief that military rule has supplanted civilian rule in his authoritarian mind.
Paul Street is a frequent ZNet contributor and the author of many articles, studies, speeches, chapters and books. He can be reached at email@example.com.
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