Issue 279 of SOCIALIST REVIEW Published November 2003 Copyright © Socialist Review

20 REASONS TO STOP BUSH

     

1

Representing the rich: Introduced $1.6 trillion of tax cuts in 2001, 43 percent of which benefited the richest 1 percent. Made $350 billion more tax cuts in May, promised as a measure to create jobs--225,000 jobs went in the next three months. In the first nine months of the 2003 fiscal year, corporate income tax revenues slid by $18 billion.

 
 

Persecuting the poor: Ruled out any benefits for workers who have been unemployed for a total of more than five years--two thirds of the total unemployed. Also cut 40 percent of budget to after-school programmes. Pushed an extra 1.3 million Americans (up to 32.9 million) into poverty in his first year in office. Half the US population has no pension provision.

2

3

State secrets: Overturned the Presidential Records Act introduced after Watergate, meaning Reagan and Bush Sr wouldn't face scrutiny for the Iran-Contra affair, the BCCI scandal or the Savings & Loan debacle. Post-9/11 legislation hugely expanded the FBI's authority to tap phone calls and the internet, and to circulate this information among government agencies.

 
 

Election thief: Bush's brother Jeb disenfranchised tens of thousands of black American voters as 'suspected felons' in the key state of Florida. The majority Republican-appointed Supreme Court then stopped the recount when it looked like Al Gore would win. Voting machines for 2004 have been provided by three major corporate donors to the Republicans.

4

5

Corporate stooge: Amassed $193 million for his 2000 presidential campaign. Enron and Halliburton (former chief executive Dick Cheney) were among the biggest donors. In March multibillionaire Riley Bechtel joined Bush's Export Council to advise on creating markets overseas. In April his company received a $680 million contract after a market had been 'created' in Iraq.

 
 

Civil wrongdoing: Hundreds of 'enemy combatants' held indefinitely without trial and tortured at Guantanamo Bay and Bagram air base. Two deaths at Bagram classified by military pathologists as homicides. Introduced mass internment of American Muslims and Arabs after 9/11, mainly for technical violations of immigration law. By 5 November 2001, 1,182 had been detained, since when even the statistics have become classified.

6

7

Dog of war: In September Bush set a $368.2 billion Pentagon budget. He's demanded an extra $87 billion to control Iraq. A study by the House Budget Committee's Democratic staff concluded that the cost of the Iraq war and occupation could easily exceed $417 billion, more than will be available for a ten-year prescription drug benefit for Medicare.

 
 

Zealous Zionism: Provides $3 billion a year military aid to Israel as it represses and assaults the Palestinian Occupied Territories. When Israel launched shells into Syria last month Bush said that 'Israel must not feel constrained in terms of defending the homeland'.

8

9

Attacking Afghanistan: At least 4,000 civilians and many thousands more fighters were killed in the first wave of Bush's 'war on terror'. Former Unocal employee Hamid Karzai has been installed as a glorified mayor of Kabul while the rest of the country (bar oil and gas pipelines) has been abandoned to poverty, neglect and warlordism.

 
 

Invading Iraq: 10,000 civilians and perhaps 40,000 conscript soldiers murdered. Paul Bremer installed in Saddam's presidential palace, ruling by colonial decree with the rubber stamp of an appointed 'governing council'. Oil multinationals in Iraq granted full immunity from prosecution, Iraqi industry privatised and corporation tax reduced to 15 percent.

10

11

Nuclear reaction: Withdrew from the 1972 Anti Ballistic Missile Treaty to allow the 'Son of Star Wars' National Missile Defence system. Developing 'mini-nukes' as part of first-strike nuclear policy dubbed 'the Bush Doctrine': China, Russia, Iran, Iraq, North Korea, Syria and Libya were all named on the potential hit-list.

 
 

Biological terrorism: Rejected an international accord to enforce the 1972 treaty banning germ warfare. The US holds stocks far exceeding any possible defensive purpose and a rogue US scientist was almost certainly responsible for 2001's anthrax attacks.

12

13

Toxic Texan: In August Bush decided to relax the Clean Air Act controls on industrial pollution. The US is responsible for one quarter of the world's greenhouse gas emissions, despite only having 4 percent of its population. Bush has refused to sign up to the minimal restrictions agreed in the Kyoto Protocol, which he has encouraged Russia to scupper.

 
 

Revoking regulation: Bush cut half a billion dollars from the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) budget, cutting water quality grants by 32 percent and land conservation provision by 50 percent. Revoked rules designed to deny government contracts to companies violating environmental and workplace laws.

14

15

Genetic modification: Bush made Monsanto executive Linda Fisher deputy administrator of the EPA. Refused to sign the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety agreed by 131 governments. Tried to dump GM goods on sub-Saharan African countries on the brink of famine. Launched a trade war on the EU rather than accept labelling of GM foods, which 92 percent of US citizens support.

 
 

Anti-choice: Sent a delegation to the UN children's summit to declare that abstinence, not condoms, was the way to fight Aids. Prohibited the US Agency for International Development from funding family planning agencies that provide abortion counselling, referrals or services. Eliminated contraceptive provision to federal employees.

16

17

Gay-basher: Bush launched 'Family Protection Week' last month. His cohort, Focus on the Family's executive director James Dobson, said that extending civil marriage licences to same-sex couples threatened 'the future of western civilisation'. He has made a succession of anti-gay political and judicial appointments, including right wing zealot attorney general John Ashcroft.

 
 

Drugs tsar: Approved a bill denying financial aid to students convicted of minor drugs charges, but allocated only 3 percent of the amount requested by the Justice Department for litigation against tobacco companies. Appointed John Walters, an opponent of prison drug treatment programmes, as 'drugs tsar'. Despite accounting for only 15 percent of estimated illegal drugs users, black Americans constitute 58 percent of those in state prisons for drug felonies.

18

19

Crime and punishment: The US continues to execute juvenile offenders as young as 16. It has the world's largest prison population: over 2 million. While Bush was governor of Texas its prison population rose from 41,000 to 150,000. He refused to sign up to the International Criminal Court as US citizens might be prosecuted for war crimes.

 
 

Racism: Withdrew US from International Conference on Racism to avoid debating reparations for slavery and Zionism. 12.9 percent of black men aged 25 to 29 are in prison, compared to 1.6 percent of whites. Thirteen percent of all black men in the US--1.4 million--are disenfranchised due to previous convictions.

20

 

Compiled by Andrew Stone

 

Return to Contents page: Return to Socialist Review Index Home page