The Hightower Lowdown

George W. Bush makes war on evildoers -- except the ones he likes; and W and his cohorts love war -- unless they're the ones who have to fight.


Bush's Dangerous Dance With Dictators

For a guy who claims to be a "rancher," George W. sure is stepping in a lot of cow patties.

Take his undeclared, unlimited, undefined war against all of the world's "evildoers." George claims the moral high ground in his crusade against the "Axis of Evil," but as he strides around the globe he's stepping into some mighty gooey and stinky alliances with repressive, dictatorial, and demonstrably evil regimes in such places as Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Kuwait, and Uzbekistan. As even The New York Times has noted: "Washington will be mopping up for years from the inevitable foreign policy disasters that come of befriending autocrats who maintain a stranglehold on their own people."

Bush is not merely befriending thuggish dictators, he's arming them! He has quietly lifted restrictions banning U.S. arms and other military resources from being sold or given to these unsavory and unstable regimes. In the past year the Bushites have dumped some $3.5 billion worth of military hardware and support into explosive regions and into the hands of evildoers who'll use the weaponry to prop up their own dictatorships. This includes equipment for Yemen's special forces, Cobra attack helicopters for Pakistan's military dictator, Hellfire missiles for Kuwait's repressive monarchy, and surveillance equipment for Kyrgyzstan, as well as arms shipments to governments fighting their own people in Azerbaijan, Colombia, Ethiopia, and the Philippines.

Thirty-two of the regimes getting U.S. firepower have been denounced by Bush's own state department for having "poor" or worse human rights records, and these arms will only make life more miserable for the people. Bush also got Congress to allocate half a billion dollars for secret sales of arms, so we won't know how many weapons are being shipped where ... and why?

Help stop arming autocracy. To fight this, contact Business Leaders for Sensible Priorities at 212/243-3416.


The Chickenhawk Database

If you're a Bush, there's nothing like an Iraq attack to deflect your political problems.

George the First was widely considered a doofus with no popular appeal until he decided to go after Saddam Hussein in 1990, causing his poll numbers to soar. He didn't get Saddam, and his war to protect the Kuwaiti oil monarchy ultimately didn't save him from being defeated by Bill Clinton, whose campaign theme was "It's the economy, stupid."

Now a decade later, George the Second is in deep doo doo, facing skyrocketing deficits, rising unemployment, sinking stock prices, a stinking corporate scandal, more probes into his own business dealings, probes into Cheney's business dealings, and ... well, "Hey, gang, look over there -- it's that old nasty Saddam Hussein, let's go get him!"

The problem with Bush's chest-thumping bellicosity is that lots of ordinary Americans and Iraqis will be the ones who'll pay the ultimate price for his political adventure. Perhaps if our commander-in-chief had ever had to face bullets himself, he would not be so quick to howl for war. But George W. avoided the Vietnam War, thanks to family friends who pulled strings.

This puts him at the top of a list of "Chickenhawks" compiled by the New Hampshire Gazette. The Gazette's "Chickenhawk Database" is made up of prominent figures who are big warmongers now, but who avoided being in an actual war when they had the chance. Dick Cheney, John Ashcroft, and Karl Rove -- three Bushites pushing hard for an Iraq attack -- are on the Chickenhawk list. So are such congressional warmongers as Trent Lott, Phil Gramm, and Tom DeLay, as are some of the more bellicose media personalities, including Rush Limbaugh, George Will, Bill O'Reilly, Geraldo Rivera, and Tony Snow.

Another interesting fact about these Chickenhawks is that none of their own family members will have to go to the front lines of the war they're so loudly promoting. To see the Chickenhawk Database for yourself, go to www.nhgazette.com/chickenhawks.html.

For more information on Jim Hightower's work – and to subscribe to his award-winning monthly newsletter, The Hightower Lowdown – visit www.jimhightower.com. You can hear his radio commentaries on KOOP Radio, 91.7FM, weekdays at 10:58am and 12:58pm.

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