What Bush Did Not Say

The 'rise of authoritarianism,' the 'diminishment of liberties and fundamental rights,' the 'systematic use of torture' the 'widespread corruption' and the 'deterioration of influence in South America' are a few of the items Bush left out of his State of the Union speech. According to this op-ed article from Mexico's La Jornada, Bush has constructed a country that doesn't exist except in his speeches, where he can 'take refuge and forget his distressing political situation.'


Translated by Paula van de Werken

February 1, 2005

Original Article (Spanish)

President George W. Bush Shakes Hands With Vice President
Dick Cheney Before Giving the State of the Union, Jan. 31 (above);

— C-SPAN VIDEO: George W. Bush Gives
the 2006 State of the Union Address
Jan. 31 01:02:00 RealVideo

RealVideo[SLIDE SHOW: State of the Union].

President George W. Bush Delivers the 2006
State of the Union Address, Jan. 31 (below)

Not All Americans Are Thrilled With President Bush.
Protesters Outside the U.S. Capitol As Bush Delivers his
Fifth State of the Union address (above);

Anti-War Activist Cindy Sheehan is Removed from the Chamber,
Ostensibly for Wearing an Anti-War T-Shirt. Police Later Apologized
to Sheehan and a U.S. Lawmaker's Wife for Kicking
Them Out. Wasn't That Nice of Them? (below)

Bush Welcomes Journalists to Bushlandia. (above).

In his annual (State of the Union) address presented yesterday in the Capitol, President George W. Bush displayed the enormous political, ideological and moral erosion of his government, a lack of any accurate perceptions of reality, or new ideas to confront criticism of his domestic and foreign policies.

On the domestic front, orating from his bully-pulpit, Bush referred to "building our prosperity" which is in contrast to the brutal concentration of wealth that has taken place during his five years in power; to social programs which bear no relation to the growth of poverty in the richest country on the planet; and to his absurd tax breaks.

He received emotional applause with an offer to reform the social security system that was wrapped in charitable sentimentality.  He pushed for reinforcing the borders; and he advocated improving education with an educational system on its knees because of budgetary cutbacks, and plagued with anti-science superstition, sometimes coming from Bush himself.

To the rest of the world, the President offered more of the same: the reinforcement of American "Planetary Leadership," a leadership which hasn't diminished under his management; and the promotion of "liberty" and "democracy" in accordance with the perfectly well-known reality of what these words mean in the superpower's traditional foreign policies: the submission and obedience of other governments to Washington.

The leader remained faithful to his personal obsessions on the theme of "international terrorism," and he added a note of urgency toward the current offensive against Iran, because of the nuclear activities which the government of Tehran is developing.

Much more significant of the true "State of the Union" is what Bush did not say in his speech: the rise of  authoritarianism, the diminishment of liberties and fundamental rights,  the systematic use of torture, the rejection of democratic processes which are not to the liking of Washington, the scandalous and widespread corruption within the government and similarly in private enterprise, the criminal laziness of the federal authorities in facing the disaster of New Orleans, the deterioration of White House influence in South America, the (to date) $200 billion spent on the military adventure in Iraq, the almost 19,000 American casualties in that country (counting the dead and the wounded) and the tens of millions of dollars pilfered or stolen within the context of "reconstruction" in that unfortunate Arabian country. September 11, 2001 continues to be, at this point, the principle grounds and justification (and practically the only foreign policy) of the superpower; for these reasons the Commander-in-Chief called on Congress to ratify the Patriot Act, the tool of a regime exceptionally lacking in proposals.

The abyss between what Bush says and real life is so extensive, that it is opportune to apply a metaphor popular in Mexico to illustrate the tremendous gulf between official statements and reality. Bush has constructed a country that doesn't exist except in his speeches. His verbal concoction could well be called "Bushlandia," a psychological territory in which the occupant of the White House can take refuge and forget his distressing political situation, which is characterized by the fall in his approval ratings, public disapproval of his management, the outbreak of corruption scandals within his government and within his partisan surroundings, by the evidence that Washington cannot win the war which he unleashed in Iraq, by the astronomical and historical fiscal deficit, and by the unjustifiable growth of poverty and inequality within the world's largest economy.

Finally, the gap between Bush's speech and American realities has a worrisome similarity to that of the growing social unrest and the ease with which the political class in Washington, upon hearing the patriotic exhortations and sentiments from the Executive, enters into a type of hypnotic trance. And it is just that proof of their willingness to continue to live in Bushlandia, which the complacent audience in the Capitol gave yesterday.

© Watching America and WatchingAmerica.com. All Rights Reserved. 2005

Site Design v1.0 & v2.0:
Fifth Wall Media Design