Some months back, a Bush administration operative told a New York Times Reporter something like “We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality.”
Well, it’s here.
This past weekend the New York Times reported in ghastly detail about the mistreatment of Afghan prisoners by U.S. soldiers. The story was so gruesome that it was hard to read through at breakfast. Among other abuses, soldiers, the article said, would repeatedly strike prisoners on the upper legs with fierce blows, leaving deep and painful bruises. As a result, two prisoners died, the cause of death believed to be blood clots caused by repeated blows to the legs.
There was little reaction from the Bush White House or the Republican led Congress. Apparently the story does not fit the Bush administrations version of reality. And so today, when a new international report by Amnesty International, citing abuses of Afhgan prisoners in Afghanistan and Cuba, labeled the prison camp in Guantanamo Bay “the gulag of our time” and said the U.S. has created a new lexicon for abuse and torture, the Bush administration said it wasn’t so, maintaining the U.S. remains a leader in Human Rights. I wonder how the little girl pictured in the New York Times article, the daughter of an apparently innocent taxi driver basically beaten to death by U.S. Soldiers in Afghanistan, feels about the reality of that statement.
Meanwhile, nearly 2000 U.S. Soldiers and countless Iraqi’s have been killed. The war there we are told is going well. We are making progress.
Here on the home front, the headlines tout a breakthrough by South Korean scientists who apparently have discovered how to clone human embryos and extract stem cells, potentially opening the door to ground breaking medical treatment of sick and injured people. The South Korean government immediately pledged additional funding for further research. President Bush, rather than calling for a U.S. expansion of scientific research, responded by threatening to veto congressional legislation that would ease current U.S. restrictions on stem cell research. In the world according to Bush, reality apparently means that frozen embryos headed for the waste bin have more importance than humans suffering from disease and injury who might be helped by advances in the research.
In fact science doesn’t seem to play much of a role in the Bush reality. While every serious scientist in the world seems to have acknowledged the threat of global warming, those in the Bush administration have their doubts about the theory. And speaking of theories, according to many Bush supporters, that’s all Evolution is, a theory, despite its recognition by virtually every recognized scientific body in the world as the central concept of the earth’s biology. In the Bush reality, Intelligent Design, a code for Creationism, is the preferred theory, and is being pushed on schools across the land. Maybe that is why the Bush administration has cut the National Science Foundation budget by $100 million.
But at least we know that President Bush is looking out for our well being, stumping across the land to promote his plan to save Social Security, preserving the pensions of future generations. But not one word has he mentioned about the tens of thousand of United Airlines employees whose pensions are damaged and lives disrupted by United’s dumping of its pension responsibilities. Not one word about the need for corporate responsibility, about honoring commitments to workers has he uttered. Apparently there is no room for that in the Bush reality.
But hey, those judges he is appointing will look out for us. I hear Priscilla Owen is a real stickler for the protection of employee and consumer rights.