The Tyranny of the Bush Administration
Everyone is tired of hearing how abysmal George W. Bush was as president (for good reason), but is America still blind to the injustices of the ‘rule of Bush’ that, according to Locke’s definition in his Second Treatise of Government, is undoubtedly indicative of a tyrannical government. His motives were impure and his dishonesty with the American people is appalling. Former president Bill Clinton was taken to court and put on trial for his actions of sexual deviancy in office, when Bush’s actions involving Iraq ended the lives of 4,693 US soldiers/ correspondents and over 100,000 Iraqi civilians and counting; Bush never saw the inside of a courtroom. We impeach and attempt to convict a president that engages in oral sex, but do nothing to one that is responsible for over 100,000 human lives lost? Interesting…
In this clip of a speech that was delivered by former President Bush on Veterans day, he expounds on the legitimacy of invading Iraq based on the assumption that Saddam Hussein had in his possession dangerous weapons of mass destruction, but according to an article by the Associated Press, “the CIA’s top weapons inspector in Iraq said that the hunt for weapons of mass destruction had ‘gone as far as feasible’ and found nothing, closing the investigation into the purported programs of Saddam Hussein that were used to justify the 2003 invasion”. This justification was nothing but a scapegoat for the Bush administration to push their agenda to invade Iraq, which they portrayed as a response to 9/11, an event untied to Iraq or Saddam Hussein, but deeply rooted in terrorist camps located in Afghanistan instead. Regardless of the negative potency of Saddam Hussein’s rule, Bush had no legitimacy in invading Iraq, especially when the terrorist camps were primarily located in Afghanistan. Locke defines tyranny quite explicitly as the “making use of the power any one has in his hands, not for the good of those who are under it, but for his own private separate advantage….and his actions are not directed to the preservation of the properties of his people, but the satisfaction of his own ambition, revenge, covetousness, or any other irregular passion” (Locke ch.18). With this definition in mind, let us examine the actions of the Bush administration in regard to motive (which obviously was not a reaction to 9/11, seeing that Iraq was not involved in the attacks on that day, nor was it the threat of weapons of mass destruction, which were never found). Former president George Bush Sr. was known for his negative relationship with Iraq and Saddam Hussein in relation to Iraq’s aggression toward Kuwait in the early 90’s. This may point to a motive of George W. Bush to seek “revenge”(Locke) for his father’s qualm (his father no doubt being the reason Bush jr. ever stepped foot off his ranch in Texas and into his house in Washington). This motive is absolutely improvable, but it is extremely conducive to speculation. One undeniable motive was the benefits reaped by members of the administration as a result of the war in Iraq. Dick Cheney for example was the CEO of Halliburton before becoming VP of the United States, Halliburton being one of the largest oil companies in the United States. Jennifer Wells reported in the Toronto Star in 2003, quoting Forbes magazine, “’The liberation of Iraq couldn’t have come at a better time for Halliburton’…which put a $100 billion price tag on the rebuilding effort”. The main benefactor of the war in Iraq? You guessed it, Halliburton. The author recognizes the explicit “connection between Halliburton and Dick Cheney, who ran the company before running the office of the vice-president. The Veep continued to draw $1 million annually from the company in ‘deferred compensation’ after cashing in $30 million in stock and options…” (Wells). There was a blatant conflict of interest here. This obviously ties back to Locke’s definition of tyranny, since this is a misuse of power to attain personal gains and it has unfortunately resulted in the lives of countless innocents. This should not be tolerated. Bush is a ‘rebel’ according to Locke, deviating from what is right and replacing it with “his own ambition” (Locke).
Bush ends his speech above assuring America that “we will settle for nothing less than victory”. I ask, victory for whom? Surely not the children of Iraq who were forced to witness this war behind their tears, not their parents who had no choice but to watch their children grow up in this environment, not the mothers of countless soldiers who lost their children, not the children of those soldiers, not their wives and not my relatives who are Iraqi citizens living in Baghdad. No, unfortunately, the victor here is clearly tyranny. And will there be justice for these misdeeds? No. The Bush administration’s golden parachute is as expansive as it is powerful, dripping with oil and blood, coming down slowly and without contention.