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Sorry, George – mea culpa not accepted

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By Wendy Binnie

A pundit remarked recently that the president looked quite contrite, agreeable and almost worthy of sympathy. Yes we would all like to think he has experienced redemption and, in his new iteration, come to the awareness that he had made mistakes and is truly apologetic and that from now on, we will find a new, gentler Bush.

Don’t count on it. Bush is a good ole’ get even boy from the Lee Atwater mode: Anything goes to achieve desired ends. The entire family is that way, including sweet mother.

George is not nice; never was and we should put aside any other picture before we become deluded. While he is appearing for the photo ops as Mr. Nice Guy, the truth is somewhat different.

Let us not forget that in the last year he and surrogates were hard at work undermining the president-elect and trashing the trash. It may take years, possibly his first term, to uncover the entanglements and the money wasted on illegal contracts with Bush’s military and other subcontractor vendors –who got away quite possibly with murder, and stripping the American people of their security and dignity.

We should not forget his self-serving agreements with the Saudis, another people who you simply cannot trust, and will do what is best for them regardless of the circumstances. The Bushies are willing to do this because they profit and they have the unmitigated gall to believe that they are above the law.

They also have expensive tastes. Let us not forget the Carlyle Group and everything that entails. One does not have to look too hard to find the soon to be ex- president’s fingerprints on just about everything that conflicts with Barack Obama’s view of the world.

Take this very simple example: From the very beginning, it was impossible to get a job rebuilding Iraq if you weren’t part of the Bush team and paid appropriate homage. The entire enterprise was run by his former campaign manager. The man who was the former chairman of the NRC, was also personal consultant to Bush going back to Dallas days. He was also the consultant to U.S. Steel and when U.S. Steel wanted a bail-out, they got it, and when they wanted a tariff after blowing all of their revenues on dividends, they got that, too.

The entire system is rigged big-time and who did the rigging? In the beginning, Bush appointed to Bremer’s massive support apparatus only Republican loyalists with the right resumes from evangelical schools, people who would make million-dollar decisions with little specialized talents or experience. It is the way credits are built up within the system.

Bear in mind that you are a winner by doing this and once you lose your powers, you are dead in the water. And Republicans never forget that they have to pay their dues.

Over the years, since the rebuilding of their country began, local Iraqi suppliers complained, to no avail, that although they bid far less, they never got the contracts which always went to Bush allies. Nevertheless, all of the major contracting work went to Che-ney’s firm, who got the contracts without competitive bids, and only two years ago lost $9 billion and thought it was no big deal.

Bush also screwed the taxpayers by agreeing to pay the military’s growing bill for ordnance, including the F22 Raptor, who’s price went up about $100 million before the first one was delivered although, in fact, the F18 was the finest all purpose fighter/bomber around costing less than $50 million apiece.

Bush had allowed military subcontractors of primary weapon systems to merge and acquire each other. Good for his father’s company, Carlyle Group, but not good for the American taxpayer or the next administration, which would have to answer for the question why so much money was squandered in unnecessary and stupid deals that did nothing for America.

Nor should we forget how he tried to start a conflict in Georgia by inciting the Russians ostensibly to set a climate for a continuation of Bush politics, with McCain carrying the ball. As we know, it didn’t work, but a new low has been reached in Russian-U.S. relations.

Nor did this government pay attention to the intelligence estimates from our protective agencies when Bush went against their findings to declare the hostile and belligerent intentions of the Iranians and move two carrier groups into the gulf.

Nor did it help by giving India, Pakistan’s sworn enemy, nuclear secrets and then placating Pakistan by giving them the financing for a squad of F-16s, one of our most advanced fighters. Our investment of more than $4 billion in Pakistan did not much help our cause either – only distancing ourselves from the people of that country and encouraging those in the military police to provide protection for the Taliban in the north.

How many other deals went on that we were not privy to, including deals constructed under NAFTA that allowed big business to move its assets overseas to provide payback to those labor unions that were anti-Republican, with the overall intention of crippling the unions and destroying American labor? This has not been addressed.

While Bush has had his day of reckoning with his “get even” mentality on middle class wage earners, he has not yet had to answer for his abuses and dishonesty when it comes to so many things from the environment to the Clean Air and Clean Water acts. How many have died because he postponed these standards?

How many people have died because of the FDA’s failure to inspect products from overseas that have tainted our medicines, foods and children’s toys? How many people have died because we have cut back on Department of Agriculture’s inspections at the plant level?

How much of the environment has been killed because the Department of the Interior has allowed unsupervised mining and the use of poisons to separate out precious materials that eventually go back into the ecosystem? How many have died because of coal emissions into the environment that raise water temperatures and kill fish?

These are not negligible issues and the very fact that they have not been splattered all over the media, shows that the influence of the White House even extends to what we read and believe. The list goes on and on, and it is depressing.

Today, Mr. Bush goes nice. But that is the mask he wears. He is penultimate evil, dressed in a gray suit, and none of us better forget that.

The sooner he goes the better off our country and the world will be. And the sooner we unravel all of the little deals that he has put together to benefit his own conservative interests, the better off we will be.

… As I was saying …

Wendy England Binnie, a novelist and op-ed columnist, lives in Oak Trace Villas. Contact her at smcnews@earthlink.net.