Les Blough, EditorThe President of Liberty, Freedom, Love and GodFri Jan 21, 2005 17:14220.127.116.11The President of Liberty, Freedom, Love and God
By Les Blough, Editor
Jan 21, 2005, 13:03
Yesterday, January 20, 2005, George Walker Bush was sworn in for his second term as President of the United States. He read a speech written for him by paid wordsmiths at the $68 million extravaganza celebrating commencement of his second term. It was funded largely by the corporations who have put and kept him in office. We include the full text of his address below this editorial for the convenience of the reader.
All sound apologia (defense) contains 3 basic standards.
* It begins with an admission of the presuppositions (set of assumptions) - the foundation on which the argument rests.
* The argument stands or falls on whether it can be logically deduced from these presuppositions.
* Of paramount importance are the requirements for a definition of terms, internal consistency and supporting, factual evidence.
These three requirements comprise an Axis of Logic. Below, we examine Mr. Bush's inaugural speech based upon these rules of argumentation.
Definition of Terms
Bush used the term "liberty" 45 terms in this crafted speech and "freedom", 27 times. How did he define "liberty"? He spoke of the "survival of liberty"; the "success of liberty"; "the appeal of liberty" and the "promise of liberty. He said "Liberty will come to those who love it". He stated, "When you stand for your liberty, we will stand with you".
He spoke of "soldiers [who] died in wave upon wave for a union based on liberty"
Bush stated his belief that the "world [is] moving toward liberty".
But just what is George W. Bush's definition of "liberty"?
He stated what liberty does not mean:
"Liberty for all does not mean independence from one another."
Bush's speech defined liberty this way:
"In America's ideal of freedom, citizens find the dignity and security of economic independence, instead of laboring on the edge of subsistence. This is the broader definition of liberty that motivated the Homestead Act, the Social Security Act, and the G.I. Bill of Rights."
Does this definition of freedom include the dignity of those U.S. citizens who were put into cages yesterday while they protested his first-term wars on the people of Afghanistan, Iraq and Palestine?
Anthony Harwood described the scene at the inauguration yesterday in The Mirror (UK):
"Streets were fenced off, anti-aircraft missiles deployed, combat jets patrolled overhead, snipers scanned the vast crowd from rooftops and hundreds of police stood along the route of the parade.
"There were hi-tech chemical, nuclear and biological weapons sensors, bomb sniffing dogs and boat patrols on the Potomac River."
How does this description fit with Mr. Bush's definition of freedom and dignity as he delivered the craft of his hired speechwriters from this virtual bunker in Washington yesterday? Did he deliver this speech with dignity or while cowering behind his new Police State?
When Bush speaks of dignity, is he speaking of the dignity of thousands of U.S. citizens who have been harrassed and imprisoned during his first term in office for exercising their first amendment right to free speech? Does he refer to the dignity of those U.S. citizens whose names appear on Homeland Security computer lists because they have spoken out in protests against the wars of the Bush regime? Does he refer to the dignity of those who are routinely taken out of line at U.S. airports for extensive searches for the only reason that they have protested the foreign war policies of this regime? Does he refer to the many who have been deported because of their dissent with his policies from 2000-2004?
Bush defined "Freedom" this way:
"At this second gathering, our duties are defined not by the words I use, but by the history we have seen together. For a half century, America defended our own freedom by standing watch on distant borders."
Based on this definition of Freedom, Bush argues that do defend the freedom of the United States it has "stood watch" in other foreign countrie, thereby attempting to justify violation of the national sovereignty of those nations. An average of 22% of all U.S. troops have been stationed in 214 countries from 1950-2000. On average, there have been 118.8 million U.S. military troops (one year each) stationed in foreign countries during this period. Now the number is higher. In his January, 2004 report, America's Empire of Bases, Chalmers Johnson finds:
"It's not easy to assess the size or exact value of our empire of bases. Official records on these subjects are misleading, although instructive. According to the Defense Department's annual "Base Structure Report" for fiscal year 2003, which itemizes foreign and domestic U.S. military real estate, the Pentagon currently owns or rents 702 overseas bases in about 130 countries and HAS another 6,000 bases in the United States and its territories." (Supporting data)
Is this what George W. Bush means by "defending our own freedom by standing watch on distant borders"?
Is expansion of U.S. hegemony what he means when he said:
"The best hope for peace in our world is the expansion of freedom in all the world."
Is the expansion of U.S. military personnel and bases throughout the world synonymous with "expansion of freedom in all the world"? Or is it U.S. hegemony, violation of national sovereignty and support and installation of regimes by the U.S. like those of military dictators like Saddam Hussein, Perez Musharaff, Osama bin Laden, General Augusto Pinochet and many others?
In his inaugural speech, Bush spoke of his foreign policies as a:
"... concerted effort of free nations to promote democracy is a prelude to our enemies' defeat ...
Is he speaking of the current U.S. installed "interim government" of Iraq, headed by Allawi who executed men by shooting them in the back of their heads with his own hand in an Iraqi prison in 2003?
"America will not impose our own style of government on the unwilling."
When he spoke of "promoting democracy", was he speaking of U.S. support for the 2002 coup of democratically-elected President Hugo Chavez Frias in Venezuela and ongoing attempts to bring down the Chavez government in the interests of robbing the Venezuelan people of their oil? It is well documented that the U.S. government is currently attempting to impose its "own style of government" on the "unwilling" Venezuelan people who have elected their president 9 times through national elections and referenda in the last 6 years. How does Mr. Bush reconcile his lofty words with his actual policies of interference, coup attempts and funding the opposition party in Venezuela through the National Endowment for Democracy and other U.S. instititutions? The reader may cringe at the term, but I can find no more accurate term for his words than "lies".
The foreign policy violations of the Bush regime can be summed up succinctly and simply: They routinely violate national sovereignty and the right to self-determination among foreign nations and the last thing they want to see bud and thrive in foreign countries is real democracy.
Love, Value of Life and Human Worth
In his speech, Mr. Bush stated:
"Our nation relies on men and women who look after a neighbor and surround the lost with love. Americans, at our best, value the life we see in one another, and must always remember that even the unwanted have worth."
Has Mr. Bush been "surrounding the lost with love" among the people of Iraq? How about the people in Afghanistan or the people in Palestine where he continues supporting the Zionist killer, Ariel Sharon? Does he "value the life" he sees in the fallen U.S. soldiers and 100,000 dead citizens of Iraq? Does he see "worth" in the "unwanted" whom he has had deported through the machinery of "Homeland Security" because they spoke out against his policies? Does he value the lives and find worth in the "unwanted" who languish in homelessness, poverty right here in the United States? Does he find "worth" in the 3,471 men and women on America's death row in 2004 led in number by his home state of Texas?
The Underlying Assumptions of this Speech
There were two points of interest for us in the premises laid down by George Bush in his inaugural address:
* One premise upon which his speech is based is a curious one. George Bush stated:
"In the long run, there is no justice without freedom, and there can be no human rights without human liberty."
On the surface, it's a grand statement, one with most people would initially find themselves in agreement. However, this is statement is deeply flawed in our opinion. With these words, he (his speech writers) predicates "human rights" on "human liberty". We ask, does this mean that human rights violations can be excused on the path to achieving what Bush thinks of as "human liberty". Do human rights take second place to his notion of "human liberty"? Are the two concepts as universally accepted not one and the same?
* Another premise of his speech assumes that some question the human desire for liberty and that the world has experienced an unprecedented advance of freedom in recent decades:
"Some, I know, have questioned the global appeal of liberty - though this time in history, four decades defined by the swiftest advance of freedom ever seen, is an odd time for doubt."
These are at best "straw-man" arguments to serve as a springboard for more unsupported rhetoric. We ask, just who is it that questions the "global appeal of liberty"? Just who are these people who "doubt" that people universally want liberty? Where have we observed "the swiftest advance of freedom ever seen" in the last 4 decades? Was it in Chile under the Nixon regime? Nicaragua under Reagan? Iran under the the U.S. supported Shah after Mosaddeq was deposed by the U.S.? Is it in Afghanistan, Iraq, Palestine or Palestine under the Bush regime, where people are languishing and dying under the steel boot of the U.S. military? In the United States where the civil rights of Americans have been attacked by the govern? This straw-man argument rests on a false premise that attempts to justify war as a means to bring about "human liberty".
In his article titled, SUPERZERO: Mr. Uncredible Bush Goes on the Warpath, in today's issue of The Mirror (UK), Anthony Harwood writes:
"The re-elected president ignored the disaster in Iraq to use his inaugural address to proclaim that America was on the march for freedom.
"He did not mention Iraq by name - where 1,360 personnel have been killed and 10,500 injured, helping to earn him the lowest approval rating in 50 years for any president starting a second term."
In his speech, Bush stated:
"And all the allies of the United States can know: we honor your friendship, we rely on your counsel, and we depend on your help."
Is this the same George W. Bush who launched unprovoked, unilateral war on the people of Iraq over the objections of the international community and the United Nations. Is this the same Mr. Bush who arrogantly declared his "go it alone" policy on the false pretext of weapons of mass destruction?
Paradigms, Preconceptions and Perceptions
All people listen and read the words of George W. Bush through the paradigm through which they view the world around them. We absorb his words with preconcepts and our perceptual filters. To these conditions we freely admit. Through them, we see a lack of well-defined terms, manifold internal consistancies and factual inaccuracies. Those who wish to ignore the contradictions and deceptions in Mr. Bush's speech do so based upon their own preconceptions and perceptual filters. They will float emotionally along with the lofty, meaningless adulations he made of himself and his warmongering, capitalist regime because they want to do so. Many will ignore these deceptions even as they lose their homes to foreclosure in the impending burst of the real estate bubble, their loss of their social security benefits, jobs, the devaluation of their dollar against the Euro, their unprecedented national debt and quite possibly a crash of the U.S. economy like none seen since the Great Depression.
Many will ignore these well-crafted deceptions while the killing machine of the U.S. military they fund continues to wreak havoc and death on brown people in foreign lands. But at least half of the U.S. population sees them for what they are: Lies, gilded in the golden wraps of terms like "Liberty", "Freedom", "God", "Love" and "Security".
Act Now Against War, Injustice and Tyranny
We ask the reader to consider seriously what your part may be in the international movement against war. This international movement has many faces and the participants many roles and duties. Those who lead the movement are currently found in the resistance to occupation in Afghanistan, Iraq, Palestine, Venezuela and many other places on the planet.
We are among the multitudes who will continue to battle this regime with heart, mind, body and soul. Be sure that we will not stand by while the global tyrant in Washington and his entourage continue their doctrine of military dominance, global warfare, racism and their invasions, occupations and colonisations of foreign nations. We will not stand idly by while they continue their corporate empire's attacks on the common worker, their usury and economic violence and their attacks on civil liberties in our country. We will continue to help build the growing international movement against the Bush Regime by protesting in the streets, reporting the truth and educating our neighbors about the real plans for U.S. expansion. We will do so for as long as we breathe - for as long as it takes to bring down this gang of international thieves and killers now holding power in Washington, D.C.
© Copyright 2003 by AxisofLogic.com
Biography, essays and poetry of Les Blough
Below is the full text of George W. Bush's Inaugural Speech on January 20, 2005
President Sworn-In to Second Term
The White House, January 21, 2005
Vice President Cheney, Mr. Chief Justice, President Carter, President Bush, President Clinton, reverend clergy, distinguished guests, fellow citizens:
On this day, prescribed by law and marked by ceremony, we celebrate the durable wisdom of our Constitution, and recall the deep commitments that unite our country. I am grateful for the honor of this hour, mindful of the consequential times in which we live, and determined to fulfill the oath that I have sworn and you have witnessed.
At this second gathering, our duties are defined not by the words I use, but by the history we have seen together. For a half century, America defended our own freedom by standing watch on distant borders. After the shipwreck of communism came years of relative quiet, years of repose, years of sabbatical - and then there came a day of fire.
We have seen our vulnerability - and we have seen its deepest source. For as long as whole regions of the world simmer in resentment and tyranny - prone to ideologies that feed hatred and excuse murder - violence will gather, and multiply in destructive power, and cross the most defended borders, and raise a mortal threat. There is only one force of history that can break the reign of hatred and resentment, and expose the pretensions of tyrants, and reward the hopes of the decent and tolerant, and that is the force of human freedom.
We are led, by events and common sense, to one conclusion: The survival of liberty in our land increasingly depends on the success of liberty in other lands. The best hope for peace in our world is the expansion of freedom in all the world.
America's vital interests and our deepest beliefs are now one. From the day of our Founding, we have proclaimed that every man and woman on this earth has rights, and dignity, and matchless value, because they bear the image of the Make
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