Dangerous to all

The Bush administration’s announcement of a first-strike policy is unilateralism on steroids. This “war first, negotiate never” strategy is disguised in rhetoric, exploiting real concerns and fears of terrorism and weapons of mass destruction.

The current object of their first-strike policy is Saddam Hussein and Iraq. Leading Democrats with presidential aspirations support this imperial and undemocratic plan.

A Bush administration report said some 150,000-200,000 American GIs would be required to invade Iraq, meaning large numbers of Iraqi and American casualties. So the rush to support such carnage needs to be condemned.

Yet with Iraq as the foil, the Bush administration is “re-writing” international “rules” to guarantee their sole superpower status for global U.S. corporate dominance.

This policy is causing splits in the ruling circles. Former Clinton operative William Galston took issue with the Bush doctrine, raising the long-term danger of unilateralism. “A global strategy based on the new Bush doctrine means the end of the system of international institutions, laws and norms that the United States has worked for more than half a century to build,” he wrote in The Washington Post.

Scott Ritter, a former U.N. weapons inspector in Iraq, also charged that Bush’s public authorization of CIA operations to remove Hussein, undermines any ability to continue the U.N. inspection program. “Absent any return of weapons inspectors, no one seems willing to challenge the Bush administration’s assertions of an Iraqi threat, wrote Ritter. If Bush has a factual case against Iraq concerning weapons of mass destruction, he hasn’t made it yet. Ritter suggests that the weapons inspection program itself, not Hussein may be the real target.

In this era of globalization, international cooperation and equality of nations is necessary to solve basic problems, from war, terrorism and violence to AIDS and cancer to environmental degredation to poverty and racism. The first-strike policy places is dangerous and a cover to demolish any existing basis for international coopreration, sovereignty or rule of law.

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A lot at stake in elections

According to a recent poll, for the first time since Sept. 11, less than a majority of Americans are optimistic about the country’s direction.

Clearly concerned about a downward trend in its ratings, the Bush administration, with cooperation from the corporate-controlled media, has mounted an all-out campaign to focus voter attention on fears of terrorist attacks and claimed threats from abroad, in an attempt to divert attention from its ultra-right pro-corporate domestic political agenda.

Bush and other top Republican officials are traveling constantly to states with key congressional and gubernatorial races, often at taxpayer expense, pulling out all the stops to entrench and expand the political power of the ultra-right in this November’s elections. Bush recently attended five campaign events in one day in Sioux Falls, S.D. – a key state in the Republican effort to regain control of the Senate. There, the Republicans are going all out to try to unseat Democrat Tim Johnson and replace him with an ultra-right Republican.

But protests, rallies and labor struggles in recent months show that the majority of Americans do not want the ultra-right’s anti-people policies.

Americans don’t feel safer as a result of the Bush “war on terrorism.” They don’t want a police state that throws the Bill of Rights out the window; they don’t like tax cuts for the rich; they don’t like how profit-hungry corporations, the super-rich and ultra-right ideologues are determining White House policies.

They want secure Social Security and Medicare, affordable prescription drugs and health care, quality public education, child care, worker and immigrant rights, reproductive rights, a healthy environment, and preservation of our most basic civil rights and liberties. They want peace and international cooperation.

Labor, the women’s movement, environmental groups, and others are mobilizing to defeat the ultra-right this November and win gains for a progressive, working families agenda. A lot more must be done to win. And there’s a lot at stake. We should all get involved.

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