Dr. Fraser- Point of View
August 13, 2004

As we approach the US elections

“A nation’s artists and musicians have a particular place in its social and political life.
Over the years I’ve tried to think long and hard about what it means to be American: about the distinctive identity and position we have in the world, and how that position is best carried. I’ve tried to write songs that speak to our pride and criticize our failures. {{more}}
These questions are at the heart of this election: who we are, what we stand for, why we fight. Personally, for the last 25 years I have always stayed one step away from partisan politics. Instead, I have been partisan about a set of ideals: economic justice, civil rights, a humane foreign policy, freedom and a decent life for all of our citizens. This year, however, for many of us the stakes have risen too high to sit this election out
… Like many others, in the aftermath of 9/11, I felt the country’s unity. I don’t remember anything quite like it. I supported the decision to enter Afghanistan and I hoped that the seriousness of the times would bring forth strength, humility and wisdom in our leaders. Instead, we dived headlong into an unnecessary war in Iraq, offering up the lives of our young men and women under circumstances that are now discredited. We ran record deficits, while simultaneously cutting and squeezing services like afterschool programs. We granted tax cuts to the richest 1 percent (corporate bigwigs, well-to-do guitar players), increasing the division of wealth that threatens to destroy our social contract with one another and render mute the promise of “one nation indivisible.”
…Our American government has strayed too far from American values. It is time to move forward. The country we carry in our hearts is waiting.”
The words above are those of Bruce Springsteen. He is one of many celebrities who feel that they have had enough of the kind of world their president is trying to create and are prepared to devote their energies, time and money, to rid the White House of George Bush II. Along with the celebrities are a number of generals and former diplomats, both Republican and Democrats, who are of the view that George W has gone against the values that Americans hold dearly. I could not help but quote Springsteen at length for his article published in the New York Times identifies the feeling of an increasing number of Americans who feel betrayed by their President. Springsteen states clearly that he had avoided partisan politics in the past, but the stakes are now too high and he has set out on a mission, as he put it “to change the direction of the government and change the current administration come November.”
November’s Presidential election would be an interesting one. Kerry is not necessarily a favourite to many of the Bush critics, but what drives them is a determination to boot George W out of the White House. What will happen in November is left to be seen. George W is playing the terrorist issue for all it is worth. It is now becoming common in the United States of America to hear terror alerts at regular intervals and these are likely to intensify as November approaches. Some of the evidence on which these are based, are dated, according to some reports. Obviously the plan is to scare Americans into holding on to Bush who is said to be tougher on terrorism and better capable of handling it.
But is that so? The security services that messed up so badly at the time of 9/11 are now trying to get us to believe that they are on the ball and now hold solid evidence about efforts to sabotage the American elections and to spread terror in the USA. We might have believed them before 9/11 but from where does this new -found credibility emerge? Secondly, there can be little doubt that terrorism has intensified since George Bush started on his crusade to rid the world of terrorism. Scarcely a week passes now without news of what is dubbed terrorist activity. But this has now become a game because everything is blamed on Al Qaeda. The first reaction of many people, for instance, to the recent bombing in Istanbul was to blame the Al Qaeda network. This is now being reviewed and Turkish rebels are believed to be the culprits. The truth is that George W is like a red flag before the eyes of the terrorists.
Under George W America has become the most hated country in the world, even being equated in some quarters with some rogue states. The full magnitude of this can be better understood when we bring into the picture the widespread and deep sympathy felt around the world following the horrendous activities of September 11.
Instead of building on the good will, President Bush and his backroom boys sought to hatch a plot that some of them had been contemplating for some time.
Many Americans were prepared to go along with the Bush initiative, but later felt a sense of betrayal when it was understood that he lied to the nation. The invasion of Iraq was supposed to have made the world safer for democracy. Today, I imagine that not even George Bush honestly believes this.
But we are not only talking about America. All of this insanity affects us seriously. We have been forced to introduce security measures at the Port and elsewhere that make little sense. We have to bear the cost of implementing these measures, but for what purpose? Any terrorist who wants to create havoc in this country can do it easily, but do the terrorists, so called, have an interest in St.Vincent and the Grenadines? Bush wants all of us to feel threatened by terrorism and support his crazy policies. This is not to say that terrorism is something to which we must turn a blind eye.
But Bush’s method of dealing with terrorism is not the way to go. Everyday he creates new terrorists by his policies. Even if he succeeds in capturing persons like Osama Bin Laden, others will fill their places. Bush might not be capable of even rethinking his strategies. Hopefully, we will not be burdened with him after November.