I have stayed away from news and discussion of the inauguration as much as I could; it makes me sick to think of that smirking moron at the best of times, and his $40 million orgy of self-congratulation is not the best of times. Excuse me while I sick up.
But others are not so faint of heart or weak of stomach as I, and have done a sterling job of pointing out the essential vileness of the event. Here are excerpts to whet your appetite, but in each case go read, as the kids say, the whole thing.
Juan Cole provides a pictorial commentary on Bush Minor’s relationship with the US Constitution and says:
Bush has sworn an oath to uphold the US Constitution. He won’t. But Congress can. It should insist that the sunset provisions of the so-called “Patriot Act” (which should be called the “Abrogation of the Constitution Act”) be allowed to expire in 2005 and that the extremely dangerous “Patriot Act II” be completely rolled back. Republicans who care about the Constitution should join Democrats who care about the Constitution in putting a stake through the heart of this abomination. A noble 200-year-old experiment in civil liberties and democracy, for which US troops are giving their lives, must not be ended by a single act of terrorism and a clique of authoritarians in Washington.
Bush’s speech was about bringing liberty to the rest of the world. Let’s see if he can first do something to restore to the American public the liberties we enjoyed, as free men and women, until 2001. Let’s see if he can bring US government policies back into alignment with the Geneva Conventions and other international law on human rights, to which the US is signatory. Only then would he have earned the right to even think about trying to extend liberty to others.
Brad Leiter points out that Bush’s speech amounted to the declaration of World War III:
Very dark days lie ahead for humanity. On the most charitable (and implausible) interpretation, the talk about freedom is genuine. Even so, the idea that a single country would take it upon itself to “free” all those countries ruled by tyrannies would promise a global holocaust and bloodbath of unimaginable proportions.
On the more realistic interpretation, the talk about freedom is pure rhetorical pretense: the nation that enthusiastically supported tyrants and butchers in Indonesia, in Guatemala, in the Philippines, in Iran and Chile and Brazil and the list goes on; the nation that, today, does business with tyrants and monsters in the Central Asian Republics, in Saudi Arabia, in Pakistan, and elsewhere; this nation’s profession of a commitment to “freedom” is a worldwide joke–a particularly sick joke coming from an Administration staffed by many of the architects and servants of the horrors just noted.
Max Sawicky notes the disconnect between imperialist Bush and his favourite shibboleth, “freedom”, in Liberventionism, Rising:
It will happen like this: a new tipping point giving rise to some kind of generic terrorist threat with nuclear/biological overtones. We won’t be treated to an excess of specifics. Have we ever? A provocation could stir the drink. In effect, the U.S. attacks and describes the roiled posture of the target nation as the new, imminent danger. Don’t call it conspiracy. It’s a simple plan, and an old practice.
Really, do yourself a favour and read all three. It’s restorative to realise that one is, after all, not crazy: that the inmates really have taken over the asylum, and slack-jawed horror is a perfectly appropriate reaction.