The alphabet soup of lies

Using WMD and GDP, the Bush administration has created an alphabet soup of lies to push its extreme, pro-Wall Street agenda, while trying to bully its way back to the White House in November.

Some say there are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics. The president’s recent economic report is a case in point. With its projections of 2.6 million new jobs (or 3.8 million new jobs – White House spokeswoman and fuzzy mathematician Claire Buchan said both numbers are accurate) the 2004 report, as part of their election year strategy, tries to put a shiny new coat of paint on an economic “recovery” that is just a lemon for most people. Last year, Bush forecasted that 1.7 million jobs would be created, but the U.S. actually lost 53,000 jobs. Over 3 million jobs have been lost since Bush took office.

Working-class families are facing economic insecurity, poverty is rising, as are racist disparities. Bush says he is the “war president,” well he is conducting a war on workers here and around the world for one goal – U.S. corporate domination and profit.

N. Gregory Mankiw, chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisors, claimed that “outsourcing” jobs is actually good for the economy since it provides cheaper goods and services. But how much can the jobless buy? No, that argument tries to justify a global race to the bottom, whip sawing workers around the world. It’s good for the economy of maximum profit.

During the Great Depression – with great pressure from masses of people – President Franklin Delano Roosevelt created an “alphabet soup” of programs, called the New Deal, that put people to work, built the state and national park system, promoted the organization of unions, helped farmers, relieved some forms of discrimination, and curbed the control of monopolies. The WPA and the CCC – to name a couple – made life better for millions of working people. That’s quite a contrast to this administration’s alphabet soup of lies.

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Phony talk on nukes

George W. Bush’s speech against nuclear weapons proliferation at the National Defense University Feb. 11 oozed with hypocrisy and deceit. Bush ordered other nations to abide by rules against nuclear proliferation even as he exempted the U.S., with its enormous, growing nuclear stockpile. Bush said that “terrorist states” regard nuclear weapons as “weapons of first resort.” Yet Bush himself vows to use “bunker-buster” nuclear bombs as if they were ordinary battlefield weapons. And Bush made it clear in his Nuclear Posture Review of 2002 that he’s prepared to use nukes first, even against a non-nuclear country.

Bush should lead by example. Instead of requesting billions for nuclear weapons programs he should put a moratorium on the production of U.S. nukes.

Bush spoke of a “black market” operated by Dr. A.Q. Kahn, the so-called father of Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal, who has confessed to selling nuclear technology to other countries.

But we have to ask: Why did Bush invade Iraq, which had no nuclear weapons, while next door Pakistan was apparently operating a bazaar where nuclear technology was on sale? The question serves to highlight the lies and hypocrisy of this administration. Pre-emptive war and invasion will not curb production of nuclear weapons. Nuclear nonproliferation advocates had predicted that Bush’s preemptive war doctrine would touch off a scramble by many nations to acquire nuclear weapons to defend themselves against a unilateral U.S. attack.

Greg Palast and David Pallister charged in a BBC/Guardian exposé that, “according to both sources and documents obtained by BBC,” the Bush administration had earlier spiked the investigation of Dr. Kahn’s lab, and that this “followed from a wider policy of protecting key Saudi Arabians including the bin Laden family.”

Hidden in Bush’s “war president” speech was the threat of a preemptive strike against Iran, North Korea, or another nation in the months ahead. He must not be allowed to carry out such threats. The world cannot afford another pre-election “October surprise.”