News Analysis: Indicting Bush

Nov. 12, 2006

The result of the U.S. midterm elections is not so much a vote for the Democrats although it catapulted them to the majority position after 14 years. It is more of an indictment of the Bush administration, specifically its policy on Iraq and the war on terror, its incompetence in managing the disaster caused by Katrina, the increase in costs of health services, and corruption.


The Democrats are jubilant over the results of the U.S. 2006 midterm elections. It catapulted them to the majority position, winning 230 out of the 435 seats in the House of Representatives; gaining 51 out of the 100 Senate seats; and 28 out of the 50 gubernatorial positions.

Exit polls revealed that 55 percent of voters said they disapproved of the war in Iraq and were far more likely to vote for Democratic House candidates. Six out of 10 believed that the war in Iraq did not make the U.S. more secure. And 55 percent favoured bringing home U.S. troops in Iraq. Other issues of concern were the incompetence of the Bush administration in managing the disaster caused by the Katrina hurricane; the spiralling costs of health services; and issues of corruption, of the financial and moral kind, haunting Republicans. Worth noting are the Enron scam, of which George W. Bush, had some business interests, and the cornering of reconstruction contracts in Iraq by Halliburton, which is linked to U.S. Vice-president Dick Cheney.

But the result of the U.S. 2006 midterm elections is not so much a vote for the Democrats but an indictment of the Bush administration and its policies.

George W. Bush was right when he said, during the recent election campaign period, that the Democrats have no clear policy regarding Iraq. Most of the statements of the Democratic Party are motherhood statements, such as the need for a new policy direction in Iraq. It did categorically call for or proposed a definite timeframe for the total pull-out of U.S. troops in Iraq. It took up the issue of the spiralling costs of health services but did not include the reversal of the governments policy of privatizing social services in its platform. The Democrats are not also clean as far as corruption issues are concerned, whether of the financial or the moral kind. Most if not all U.S. Secretaries of State, who are appointed by the President, came from U.S. companies in oil, construction, military or automobile industries. Also who would forget the Monica Lewinski affair that almost brought the downfall of the Clinton administration?

The conservative trend in world politics since the 1990s has blurred the lines of distinction between political parties. The Republican and Democratic parties may argue on certain issues but there are no policy differences in big issues. There has been no essential change in the policy direction of the U.S. for years even when the Democrats were in power. Much is the same with England where there were no major distinctions in the policy direction of the Conservative governments of Margaret Thatcher and subsequently John Major, the closest allies of George Bush, the father, and the Labour government of Tony Blair, the closest ally of George W. Bush, the son

The defeat of the Bush administration in the recently-concluded midterm elections is a vote of protest by the American people on the Bush administrations policy of terrorizing the world, through its global war on terror; on the hardships caused by the privatization of social services; and on the issues of corruption haunting the government.

The result of the midterm elections is a portent of things to come for the Bush administration and the Republicans. The next U.S. presidential elections will be in November 2008.


It is also a warning to the closest allies and followers of the Bush administration. Already the Blair government of England is enmeshed in a political crisis brought about by the Iraq invasion. Blair is also a casualty of the Iraq war: Under pressure by his own Labour Party for supporting the failed war, he has promised to step down before the year ends. The followers of the Bush administration (the big and small ones) should also take heed.

The Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo administrations support for the U.S. global war on terror and its local version, dubbed Oplan Bantay Laya (Operation Guard Freedom) which is a poor but no less virulent copy of the U.S. Operation Enduring Freedom, have resulted in numerous violations of human rights, including political killings and forced disappearances, and the suppression of the Filipino peoples civil liberties.

The reduction of government budget for and the continuing privatization of social services, including the streamlining of government hospitals and medical tourism, have worsened the lack of access of most people to essential services. The policies of liberalization and deregulation have caused the bankruptcy of local manufacturing and agriculture, and the spiralling costs of basic commodities.

The incompetence of government in responding to and managing disasters in the country and in evacuating OFWs in critical areas abroad have caused sufferings to victims. And corruption scandals have incessantly haunted the Arroyo administration.

Perhaps the only problem with next years elections in the Philippines (if it will push through) is that the opposition cannot get their acts together.

But the American people are not known for political action, the Filipino people are. Bulatlat

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