Editorial: War at Home and Abroad
Make no mistake about it: the Bush administration is waging a war at home and abroad. While bombs rain down on Afghanistan, destroying homes, hospitals and mosques, the White House is presiding over an assault on the rights and on the standard of living of working and oppressed peoples at home.
For the American people, these are dangerous times. Administration officials are debating a wish list of countries to invade. They want to send the sons and daughters of working people to do the fighting and dying. Dreaming of Black Hawks over Somalia and marching on Baghdad, the rich and powerful will plunge us into disaster after disaster. We will get neither peace nor safety, prosperity nor plenty.
The issue is not simply that Bush is reckless. He is, but there is a more basic problem – the class of people that Bush fronts for. Look deeper at the “us or them” rhetoric and there is a certain truth to it: for or against big oil; for or against the airline owners; for or against a well-fed, well-dressed elite who would not know a hard days work if it punched them in the nose.
This is reflected in every debate in Washington. Budget surplus. What time is it? Tax cuts for the rich time. Economic crisis and looming budget deficit – time for more corporate tax breaks. They say if you are “with us,” then you support drilling for oil in wildlife refuges, invasions of other countries, and trade agreements that drive down wages.
The war is the leading edge of a racist, reactionary, and right wing agenda. Nowhere is this clearer than the debate about racial profiling. Before Sept. 1l, racial profiling was a widespread practice, but one that many of its practitioners tried to hide. Today, racial profiling is even more widespread, yet we find its defenders are jabbering away on every TV network.
The attack on civil liberties is another dimension of this reactionary agenda. The hundreds of unknown immigrant prisoners, held in places known only to their jailers, is a testament to the kind of country that Bush and Ashcoft yearn for.
The rich, along with their government and media, say “united we stand.” At the same time, they are trying to pull the rug out from under us. We do not have the same interests. We, working and oppressed people, need to speak up for ourselves and act in our own interests.