November 08, 2004
Bush ran as the guy who kicked in the door and claimed the place for America (the “indispensable nation”, Madeleine Albright, Democrat) and Kerry ran as the guy who wants to share the killing and divide the spoils. Voters seemed to pick the high-stakes, maximum return, Lone Wolf approach. According to Darwin (according to Kropotkin) things don’t always work out so well for lone wolves...
Whatever the debate about the role of religion, this election showed us again that the true faith of America’s political elite is empire. On that there is no argument now. Kerry the ex-war protestor sounded like Lyndon Johnson... we’ll only stay until the people have freedom. Only months ago Aristide the democratically elected President of Haiti was bodily removed from his country on the orders of U.S. Secretary of State Powell. A right-wing dictatorship was installed. No objection from Kerry or the Democrats. Empires do what they got to do... And Canada trails along, training Haitian cops and soldiers. This while the poor and their leaders are shot down in the streets, with not a peep from the NDP or the Bloc. No party leader in the U.S. or Canada calls for the restoration of Aristide. A disgrace... When U.S. leaders talk like pirates about pre-emptive regime changes our political elite confine themselves to assisting with target selection (How about Syria? Iran?...Sudan would be nice. Martin is already aboard for this one. Helping Bush sort out Khartoum is the least we can do for the benevolent empire.)
Canada’s role does not change. After Powell’s lies to the Security Council and the bombing and mayhem of invasion, with more than 100,000 Iraqi’s killed and thousands of American casualties, all our parliamentarians can find to say is maybe the UN should help out, with the US in the lead of course, of course. And maybe the spoils (excuse me, economic assistance) should be spread around a bit...after resistance has been incinerated, that is.
Always, as in this election, the empire must be declared to be a great democracy trying to do good in the world...selfless, helpful, doing all the heavy thankless work, etc. This has been the great hokey line for years. And don’t cross the saints in their labours. Consider what happened to the great socialist leader Eugene Debs. When President Woodrow Wilson said America was entering World War One to “Make the world safe for democracy”, Debs said that was a lie and urged resistance to the war. Wilson, a Democrat and an “idealist”, arrested Debs for espionage and sent him to prison for seven years.
So we are all to say Bush and the empire from whence he comes is trying to do good. In his day, when he heard similar claims, Tolstoy commented: Yes, the masters will do anything for the poor, except get off their backs.