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Robert Scheer
Robert Scheer
12 Mar 2014
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4 Feb 2014
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A Budweiser commercial during the Super Bowl, that annual celebration of violence as sport, featured a most … Read More.

McCain, the Man Who Would Be Bush

Comment

Are Americans unusually stupid, or is it something our president put in the water? As millions surrender their homes and sacrifice other standards of our nation's economic stability and reputation to the caprice of the Bush-Cheney imperium, a majority of voters tell pollsters that they might vote for a candidate who promises more of the same.

Assuming likely voters are not now thinking of yet another Republican president simply because John McCain is the only white guy left standing — an excuse as pathetic in its logic as the decision four years ago to return two Texas oil hustlers to the White House because they were not Massachusetts liberals — must mean that tens of millions of Americans have taken leave of their senses.

If not the white-guy syndrome, why would even a shocking minority of Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama supporters say they prefer McCain to the other Democrat? How otherwise to explain the nation's widespread bipartisan rejection of the Bush presidency and yet a willingness to let McCain continue in that vein?

To be sure, as a senator, McCain has exhibited flashes of independence on behalf of taxpayers, as in his support of campaign-finance reform where he partnered with Democrat Russ Feingold. McCain's investigations of the military-industrial complex shamelessly exploiting terrorism fears set a high standard, as in exposing the air-tanker scandal that dispatched a Boeing exec and a former Pentagon employee to prison. But his political ambition is showing.

While he previously harshly criticized the enormous waste in the Iraq occupation, today, as a presidential candidate, he opens the door to a hundred years of taxpayer dollars tossed down the drain in Iraq. The man who was tortured now hugs a leader who authorized the same.

By so unabashedly embracing the most glaringly failed U.S. president ever, McCain has surrendered the right to be considered an independent candidate, judged on his own merits and personal history. A vote for McCain is a vote for that rancid recipe mixing religious bigotry, imperial arrogance and corporate greed that he had stood against in the run-up to the 2000 presidential election, when he challenged George W. Bush, but to which he now has capitulated.

Too harsh? Then consider just how tight the space is between the rocks of our failed Mideast policy and the hard place of our impending financial disaster.

The sudden out-of-control spike in the cost of oil — the key short-term market variable, the specter that stokes inflation fear and limits moves to avoid recession — is not a natural disaster or in any realistic way the result of inefficiency in the use of energy. What more than doubled the price of petroleum in the short run was not that too many of us bought Hummers, but rather that the political stability of the region that contains the bulk of that oil was deliberately and recklessly roiled.

In the name of fighting the 9-11 terrorists, the Bush administration overthrew the one Arab government most adamantly opposed to the Saudi financiers of that son of their system, Osama bin Laden. Instead of confronting the royal leaders of a kingdom that supplied 15 of the 19 hijackers, we invaded a nation that supplied not a single one. While Bush overthrew Saddam Hussein, who had no ties to the hijackers, he embraced the leaders of Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, the only three nations in the world that had diplomatically recognized and supported the Taliban sponsors of al-Qaida.

Consider that historical marker at a time when the UAE and Saudi Arabia bankers are buying major positions in distressed U.S. financial and other key corporate institutions. I know, it all sounds too conspiratorial, like imagining that we might wake up from this national nightmare and discover that the CEO of Halliburton, who replaced Dick Cheney when the latter selected himself to be Bush's vice president, now has his headquarters in Dubai, tucked safely into the obscenely oil-revenue rich UAE that our troops were sent to Iraq to protect.

There is no national outrage, or even seriously sustained media interest, over the fact that Cheney's old company profited enormously from ripping off U.S. taxpayers to pay for the Iraq occupation. Nor is there even much curiosity about the shenanigans of Cheney's old company, which is doing business with Arab oil sheikhs at a time when the U.S. banks these Middle Eastern oil interests bought into are moving to foreclose on American homeowners.

It's just the sort of egregious betrayal of the trust of the taxpayers that Sen. McCain would have gone after, before he sought to don the soiled robes of the Bush presidency.

E-mail Robert Scheer at rscheer@truthdig.com. To find out more about Robert Scheer, and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate web page at www.creators.com.

COPYRIGHT 2008 CREATORS SYNDICATE INC.



Comments

2 Comments | Post Comment
Okay you hit the nail on the head. This posted in our paper in Washington state (Spokane) today, thank you for the insite. Friends don't let friends vote republican. I am soooooo worried about what will happen with a republican president again. I have been a Republican supporter for 30 years. We as a nation can't afford it. I and my family can't afford it,, I used to be considered middle class not anymore gas prices are killing us, no health care is killing us, mortgage forclosure looming is killing us for Americans are drowning in this nation and the only way out is for Democrats to unite! I want the IRAQ war to be OVER and now! I am a Hillary supporter as of 2 months ago(her heart felt answer to the "how do you do it?", and although I don't think she will win the nomination. I WILL support Obama and Hillary running a combined front. And most of my like minded Republican friends would be willing to support this TEAM. Lets get this election on track and blow the republicans out of the water with a landslide. Obama for Pres and Hillary running as V.P. -make it happen! Is anyone listening?
Comment: #1
Posted by: catch
Sat Apr 19, 2008 7:55 PM
All too true. If the people of this country vote McCain into office then we will have no excuses for choosing national financial and moral suicide. The only problem I have with Scheer's article is his Arab baiting remarks about their economic control of our nation, while ignoring all the other foreign money that is buying us up. It sounds just like the traditional anti-Semitic propaganda used against Jews, only this time the Semites are Arab. He is far too astute an observer to let these kind of remarks go uncommented on; he should be better than that.
Comment: #2
Posted by: michael nola
Sun Apr 20, 2008 12:44 PM
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