Tuesday, February 21, 2006

How Bush Sold the War on Terror

The Associated Press is reporting that Malaysia's former prime minister, Mahathir Mohamad, claims that Jack Abramoff was paid $1.2 million to arrange a meeting for Mohamad with President Bush.

According to the article, the 2002 meeting was not Mahathir's idea, it was suggested by the Heritage Foundation. What did the Heritage Foundation have to gain by this? Here's one clue.

So, Prime Minister Mahathir, whose policies had been rebuked by both the Clinton and Bush administrations, was told by the allegedly conservative alleged think tank that he could patch up his relations with Washington by meeting with Bush. How to arrange such a meeting? Here's what Reuters said regarding coverage by the Bernama news service of Mahathir's recent remarks:

Mahathir said it was the practice of the U.S. government to ask people who wanted to meet the president to use the services of lobbyists and this was not viewed as a form of corruption, Bernama added.

And what lobbyist did Malaysia turn to? According to the L.A. Times, Jack Abramoff back in 2002 allegedly took credit for setting up Mahathir's meeting with Bush, with help from his old buddy Karl Rove.

The White House told the Times the meeting was arranged through "normal staffing channels." Which is a classic way of getting to sound like you're denying something, when you might actually be acknowledging that you do it all the time.

Why does any of this matter? Because it wasn't just a corrupt lobbyist selling out to an anti-Semitic, anti-democratic national leader. It wasn't just the Heritage Foundation doing a complete 180 from its previous, principled opposition to Mahathir. It wasn't just President Bush somehow getting duped into meeting with the wrong guy. It was the executive branch of the United States of America selling itself by selling Mahathir to the American people as an ally and a friend.

Bush met with Mahathir, the White House told America, "to discuss Malaysia's role in the war on terrorism." But that's not what Mahathir thought he was paying $1.2 million for. Here's how the Associated Press reported Mahathir's comments Monday:

Mahathir said the Heritage Foundation believed he could help "influence (Bush) in some way regarding U.S. policies."

And Bush himself was asked after that May 14, 2002, meeting, what the point was of meeting with Mahathir. Here's what Bush said, according to the White House transcript:

Q Mr. President, can you tell us what you -- what we can expect of future Malaysia-U.S. relations as a result of these talks that are taking place today?

THE PRESIDENT: Well, I think you can expect continued cooperation -- intelligence sharing, for example. Let me finish, please.

One of the things that we're finding is that our enemy is shadowy. They lurk behind civil institutions and then they strike. They -- they're not like an enemy we've known before. And in order to make sure our respective societies are as secure as possible, we must share intelligence. We find out a lot about movements throughout the region, and we're more than willing to share with the Prime Minister's government what we know. And vice versa, and that's important. That's incredibly important. My most important job -- I remind this to the American people -- is to secure our homeland.

Q Not more extensive than that --

THE PRESIDENT: There's a lot more. We'll talk about trade. We'll talk about economy. There's a lot more to talk about. But when it comes to the security of a homeland, that's about as extensive as it gets. You see, I'm not going to let our nation forget, or our friends in the world forget what happened to us on September the 11th. It could happen to somebody else, as well, and the Prime Minister understands that.

The point of laying all this out is not to launch into a gratuitous opportunity to bash the president. It's to point out the striking familiarity of the language he used back in 2002 to explain his meeting with Mahathir. He acknowledged that trade and economic issues were on the table, but he refused to talk about them, steering the issue right back to the safety of his even-then-tired rhetoric about terrorism. It's fair to wonder what's not being said the other times he hews to that rhetoric.

Bottom line: An un-democratic country wanted to do business with America, so they made friends with influential people at the Heritage Foundation and they poured $1.2 million into a bogus foundation set up by an American lobbyist who called his friend Karl Rove and arranged to have the president of the United States -- for whom the lobbyist had raised more than $100,000 -- appear on national television to look the American people in the eye and tell them that he was meeting with a man previously found abhorrent by Bill Clinton, Al Gore, Colin Powell and the Heritage Foundation itself, in order to pursue the war on terror.

This is called war profiteering and the White House is now officially a part of it.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

Wow. Looks like you've uncovered another scandal. YAWN. Keep trying. With all this powerful "uncovering" you're doing, you may prevent Bush from being elected to a third term! Keep going. You're really helping your cause! Good work!

P.S. You were so sad when shotgun-blast-to-the-face dude didn't die, weren't you? Another scandal attempt, failed. Hmmm. Well, you fags can always try to rally behind Cindy Sheehan again. That did ya a lot of good.

LOL!

Mickey Finn said...

The comment above illustrates what Huxley warned against in his book, "Brave New World." A public which not only accepts, but embraces and defends the destruction of democracy.

Ol' Zeb said...

The "New World Order" is the liquidation of national assets -- and boundaries as needed -- for profit.

It has never been about national security but private profit. When push comes to shove, the Carlisle Group trumps the GOP.

The true believers won't see it coming; the apologists believe they will get a piece of the action.

Anonymous said...

This topic and discussion is boring.

chico-towner said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
chico-towner said...

Damn... Too many scandals to count!

The jackass with the first comment is living proof that our education system is failing.

Even an 8th grade civics class can comprehend how the Bush Crime Family is ruining our democratic republic.

We need to invest heavily in our education system, pay teachers a decent wage, supply kids with books, meterials, etc. This ignorance will be our downfall.

Anonymous said...

P.S. You were so sad when shotgun-blast-to-the-face dude didn't die, weren't you? Another scandal attempt, failed. Hmmm. Well, you fags can always try to rally behind Cindy Sheehan again. That did ya a lot of good.

His mother must be so proud!

Station Agent said...

The anonymous ass who led off these comments either didn't read the post or doesn't care. You can't read that post and say, eh, nothing wrong happened here.

Instead we get more personal attacks. "Fags" "Cindy Sheehan" We were sad when "shotgun-blast-to-the-face dude" lived. Harry Whittington was his name sir. You're too busy regurgitating right wing talking points to learn what you need to know to not sound like an ass.

Anonymous said...

Wow - that first comment is so telling. The lack of comprehension demonstrated by the meaningless remarks punctuated with the belief he actually scored a point (LOL!). It's scary and sad to think people this slow-witted are the voting base for this administration.

Anonymous said...

The first post was made by a total moron. I think I get it now they are placing there faith in god on G.W.Bush. The Bush admin and republicans are excepting money from enemy states/countrys for campain finance, NO really, duh.
Camp Hill,PA is flooded with these TV morons. I just got assaulted at work for saying bush sux, ah how we have all come together. I am still not shuting up they have to kill me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!BEFORE i DO.no Sooner no later.BushSuxIT

Anonymous said...

Yes... once again... double digit posts, thanks to me. I really must start charging a fee. I feel sad for all the topics I don't comment on, which have sad little "0's" and "1's" by the number of comments. Thank goodness for me, or this blog would be a depressing wasteland with tumble weeds rolling past.

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