Media in Trouble: All the news thats UNfit to print!: Inaugural Speech Analysis - Fishing for Policy

"The information of the people at large can alone make them safe, as they are the sole depositary of our political and religious freedom." --Thomas Jefferson 1810

Friday, January 21, 2005

Inaugural Speech Analysis - Fishing for Policy

As many pundits try to fish out policy hints in the speech, they may note that freedom was uttered 27 times, liberty 15, but the word policy only once. The most underranalyzed sentences Bush uttered from the mind of his speechwriter was this:
So it is the policy of the United States to seek and support the growth of democratic movements and institutions in every nation and culture, with the ultimate goal of ending tyranny in our world.
By now it should be no wonder that President Bush is following almost directly in the footsteps of Ronald Reagan. The tax cuts for the rich, the rising level of domestic poverty, the renewal of "spacewars". About the only thing original to "W" is this quagmire they are calling Iraq. While Reagan chose to outspend the Communists, Bush chooses to try and outkill the terrorists.

However, the quote above from apparently one of the top 5 inaugural speeches of all time (as senile Safire puts it), may be a glimpse into yet another Reagan emulation to come.

Reagan's idea of "support[ing] the growth of democratic movements and institutions in every nation and culture, with the ultimate goal of ending tyranny in our world" led to the Iran Contra Scandal. Of course the "the democratic institutions" Reagan helped out were the Nicaraguan rebels who wound up killing many innocent peasants in order to "end the tyranny" of the US backed but uncooperative Nicaraguan government.

Seymour Hersh points out that Iran is next on the sights of the administration. His main and most scary tactic for those of us who read Noam Chomski (Kevin Drum also analyzes Hersh's article here). Is that the Pentagon has taken over covert operations from the CIA. Bypassing the usual oversight by the Congress and President (not that a Bush signature matters these days). Basically making the world a "free fire zone." By limiting the power of Congressional oversight in the latest 9/11 intelligence bill, Congress took its own power away in this respect. So we can now prop up "Contras" in as many countries as we want, or allow the Pentagon to send special forces anywhere to destroy, or assasinate, without oversight.

While I think that an assasination of Saddam Hussein would have served a much better purpose than the war, regardless of legality, I think the Iran Contra scandal taught us that propping up "Contras" doesn't work cleanly. In fact the Contra's killed more than 40,000 (fact check) Nicaraguans.

The Iran Contra scandal was a black eye on America, which apparently we haven't learned much from. The Pentagon has lost the lessons learned by the CIA (in the 1970's), Congress has given them a blank check (much like they gave the President for Iraq), Ronald Reagan's funeral was one of the most elaborate and expensive ever (almost as if the Pope had cannonized him), and Oliver North (the manager of the Iran-Contra scandal) is taken seriously as a military correspondent on Fox News.

To me the most disturbing part of Junior's presidency is that he still hasn't learned a moral history lesson from looking at Reagan's administration. Instead Junior believes that by emulating Reagan in life, he will recieve the same treatment in death.