Valenzuela's Veritas

In ominous times truth always finds a way out from darkness into light. Always. Through truth knowledge grows into the power and strength to question the actions of governance. In times that try men's souls it is those who seek enlightenment who are truly free. Given the choice of possessing ignorance or knowledge, even when ignorance would lead to an easier life, I would choose knowledge,thus escaping the life of sheeple, escaping the bondage of not knowing, not caring and not understanding.


Manuel Valenzuela is a social critic, commentator, Internet essayist and author of Echoes in the Wind, a novel now published by His essays appear regularly at various alternative news websites from around the globe. Mr. Valenzuela welcomes comments and can be reached at He encourages readers to surf the collection of over 100 essays he has written which can be found visiting his archives and by searching the Internet. He welcomes comments at

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

George W. Bush’s Lasting Legacy to America: Part I of III

Induction into the Hall of Shame

At no worse time in America’s history could we have been cursed with such failure, ineptitude and incompetence at leadership as we presently find ourselves infected with. The failure where the buck is supposed to stop has been monumental, deserving of an old worn down and rusted placard gracing a Hall of Shame adorned by the worst men ever to carry the purple robe of power. To this undistinguished group we therefore include the name George W. Bush, forty-third President of the United States of America, anointed by the Almighty, appointed by fraud, chosen by brand name, purveyor of cronyism and corruption, enemy of the common man and best friend to corporate interests and the elite that own them.

This Hall is reserved for those so-called leaders that throughout history preempt humanity, sending us spiraling backwards in time and into realms of most ominous circumstances. Endowed with faculties devoid of intelligence, analytical investigation, wisdom, morals, compassion, virtue, honor, integrity and possessing an indelible ability to turn eras of gold into periods of feces, these men have historically almost single-handedly done their best to ruin human progress and civilization. In spite of these miscreants, we have managed to survive, yet not thanks to those who by whatever wave of the magic wand find themselves perched at the top of society’s hierarchical pyramid.

The latest candidate to the Hall of Shame is our very own buffoon-in-chief, a man who through the careless alignment of the stars and planets collided with the horror of 9/11. It does not take a rocket scientist to realize, through ordinary observation, the limited capacity and painful psychiatric dilemmas of the person residing in the White House. Those of us who do discern the reality of this troubled, incoherent and mentally-weak individual cringe at the realization that the world has been living the last three and a half years under the shadow of this less than able person. At no time in America’s history has a man been so unqualified for the job of “most powerful person in the world” as has good old 43.

Has America been degraded so much that its leader is George W. Bush? Is his ascendancy a symptom of our disease and the result of our dumbing down? Perhaps the answer to our problems is looking in the mirror and trying to answer these questions.

43, the anti-Midas

From the moment of birth everything George touched turned to poop. He was born with the “Bush Touch,” the anti-Midas, after all, and it would follow him wherever he planted toxic roots in fertile soil. From being one of the worst, most ignorant and incurious students in college and Business School – all vividly remembered by professors and classmates – to multiple failures in business – always being bailed out by daddy or daddy’s friends – to a governorship granted him thanks to his last name, daddy’s connections and corporate anointment, George has almost always been less than a success, clearly unworthy of the job he now besmirches on a daily basis. The only thing he has ever had, the only talent ever endowed to him, has been a marketable last name filled with fame, connections and money and a penchant for crony capitalism and corruption that has enamored him to the corporate oligarchs. It was these that enabled him to blatantly and without remorse usurp the will of the people and commit outright fraud in becoming president.

Without a mandate his administration set out to unilaterally destroy numerous world treaties, protocols and institutions, including the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, the Convention on the Prohibition of Landmines, the Kyoto Protocol on global warming, the International Criminal Court, a protocol to create compliance for the Biological Weapons Convention, decisions concerning the Chemical Weapons Commission, the UN framework Convention on Climate Change and the Convention to Limit the Sale of Small Weapons to name but a few. The seeds of worldwide discontent had been planted, yet the interests of the military-industrial complex and the Corporate Leviathan had been harvested.

Instead of concentrating the maximum efforts of the government on knowing, understanding, learning and combating the growing threat of terrorism, as many professionals throughout academia and government had advised, his administration focused their energies on Cold War era weaponry and Star Wars programs that were dubious at best and fantasy-laden at worst. Terrorism was ignored, shoved into a dusty and dark closet that would only see light on 9/11. This dereliction of duty, this malfeasant ignorance of a grave and gathering threat was as purposeful as it was criminal, in the face of such apparent threats that were left to fester and gather steam, slowly gaining a momentum that manifested itself with the horrific images we all saw and felt on 9/11.

The time has arrived to seek accountability where the buck is supposed to stop, where once honorable and wise men sat, ready to place the heavy weight of blame exclusively on their shoulders. For they understood that leadership entails taking responsibility for the failings under their watch, especially when the failure was as severe as it was incompetent in this instance. When every decision emanating from the White House is based on politics, however, the buck is passed around and around like a hot potato, never to touch the President’s hands. Three-thousand men and women died because the threat of terrorism was ignored, even when Bush knew it was of utmost importance. Three-thousand innocents perished because corporate interests were number one on the agenda, higher on the radar screen than a possible terrorist attack. Three-thousand energies were extinguished and sacrificed because an attack on America was needed to grease the engines of raging and blind patriotism, the instruments of war and the assembly lines of the military-industrial complex.

With the collapse of soaring towers and the arrival of toxic clouds of debris America and the world were introduced to the workings of George W. Bush, 43rd President of the United States of America. On that infamous day a fork in the road was reached, and unfortunately America headed in the wrong direction, entering a pitch black tunnel from where light ceased to exist, led by animalistic emotions run amok, tribal passions resurrected, nationalistic tendencies exploited and blind trust in one man. Thinking himself a conduit of the Almighty, appointed to rid the world of evil through the introduction of death, suffering and destruction and the indoctrination of crony capitalism and debauched democracy to lands seeking neither, George W. Bush exploited America’s searing hunger for revenge and the emotions rising from the most primitive parts of our brains to unleash fury at those nations who coincidentally happened to have been targets of opportunity for the Bushies and their corporate masters in the months preceding 9/11.

The world has been forever altered, distancing itself more and more from sanity and from a peaceful co-existence. We are on a collision course with ourselves, the most dangerous of enemies, heading in the direction of self-extermination, led by warlike and unwise leaders, loyal not to people but to profit, seeking advice not from the mouths of the wise but the pockets of the greedy, intent on transforming happiness into perpetual fear, dissent into subservience and freedom into control.

The Division of a Nation

The battle lines are being drawn, red and blue do we now stand, polarized into two groups, split apart by the workings of one man. The incredible unity after 9/11, when red and blue became one, blind to our colors, ethnicities and creeds did we become, has been lost to the passage of time and the polemics of an administration politicizing everything for its benefit. At no time before, or since, have we all felt the unity of communal integration, when we truly became unaware of our differences on our way to universal fraternity. Complete strangers became sisters, enemies became brothers and what seemed like the inevitable coming together of a most diverse nation seemed at once assured. A people heterogeneous in character were fusing into one nation indivisible. It would only be a matter of time, however, before the workings of one man became the undoing of a most beautiful weave of humanity whose momentum was halted before it could become a threat.

A mandate from Heaven descended like a virulent plague into the delusional mind of 43, spawning forth the evisceration of civil rights and freedoms at home and the decimation of Mesopotamians abroad. A war pre-planned without the necessity of 9/11 was ordained, assured through the workings of the new Pearl Harbor, morphed into a vague ‘war on terror’ and rationalized through an amalgam of lies and deceits. The drums of war were sounding, its trumpets calling us to battle, the boots of a nation on the warpath could be heard.

The Bush administration had Americans hypnotized under the glaring trance of misguided patriotism born out of primitive emotions whose tribal antecedents never leave our human condition. Under the veil of the red, white and blue the questioning of authority ceased to exist and the followers of warmongers did we become.

Exploiting the fragility of our psyches in the wake of the World Trade Center tremors, Bush had free reign to do as he pleased. At no time in human history had such a horrific event affected so many millions, literally transforming us into vengeful-filled, acquiescent, easily controlled and manipulated creatures blindly following and trusting a government whose interests had nothing to do with ours. The power of television and the macabre images it recorded for all to see was the perfect tool to mobilize an entire nation towards the construct of war and the economy of the military-industrial complex.

At home the Orwellian-like Patriot Act was shoved down into our lives, so blind were we to its fascist tentacles and despotic structure, in one instant losing several freedoms and rights our ancestors had fought so hard to attain. The first blow to freedom was enacted, the first step towards a police state attained. From peek-and-sneak searches to library and bookstore snooping to “free-speech zones” to surveillance of phone and email accounts to introduction of police brutality and intimidation during peaceful protests to the threatening posture of questioning one’s patriotism to labeling dissenters terrorists America soon fell silent and intimidated to question an administration whose power was growing more each day. If you are not with Bush, you are against him, after all.

American Arabs and Muslims were silently picked up and disappeared, deported, lost among America’s growing infrastructure of gulags and prisons. Today, this can conceivably happen to any American, any day of the week. The Red scare has given way to the Terrorist Fright, and slowly we are being turned into spies, snitches, snoops and the instruments of a police state. This transformation of America is as clandestinely fast as it is shatteringly alarming. Yet the conditioning continues, and today more and more Americans are being asked to keep an eye on each other, whether it be government employees, truck drivers, neighborhood watches and even our own children. The old Soviet Union and East Germany could not be more proud.

The politics of division soon appeared as those supporting the administration’s actions at home and abroad clashed with those opposed. Since then, the division among the masses grows more each day, having begun like a small dry-river bed one day and since becoming a mighty and wide canyon whose powerful river erodes more soil each day. With each new Bush policy decision, lie, corruption or deceit the sides of the people’s canyon continue growing wider. The rift expands with each new tremor sent down from Washington to the lands of the United States, crossing imaginary borders and cookie cutter homes, sending shockwaves that are fostering a new era of divisiveness that is shedding the great American experiment and the tangled web we weave.

Lying before the notorious Florida Fraud took place that he was a “uniter,” not a “divider,” Bush has polarized the citizenry more than at any time since the Civil War. He uses cultural issues such as the controversy over gay marriage and his clandestine elimination of the separation between church and state to divide neighbors and colleagues. Using ideology for political gains, he has cemented a deep upheaval between Americans, separating us into rich, poor and middle class, black, brown and white, rural and urban, religious and secular, progressive and conservative, doves and hawks, educated and ignorant, gay and straight, those willing to fear and those willing to dissent, those giving up freedoms and those fighting for them. Republican and Democrat, our nation is deeply divided, becoming the antithesis of what we almost became three years ago.

The reason for our polarization is the pivot we all stand on. George W. Bush is the catalyst for our division. Half of us stand with him, half against, half believe him the ultimate patriot, half think he’s the ultimate terrorist. This most controversial of figures is seen by half of us as moral, a teller of truth and a friend of the common man. The other half, however, sees beyond the façade and knows him for the debased, immoral, compulsive liar and enemy of the people that he truly is, making the last four years for the corporate elite an orgasmic journey to the eternal heavens of metaphysical belief. One man has divided hundreds of millions, using it to his political advantage to split brothers, families, friends and neighbors. In our divisions he and his minions thrive, from the negative energy we create their power grows.

A brief yet unified past has given way to the divided present of today, creating animosity, resentment and frustration between and among us. BushCo would not want it any other way. To divide is to conquer; to separate is to crush the power of the people. United we cannot remain, for those in power begin losing their grip on the populace and the power they once controlled. Better that we be made to clash into perpetuity, failing to come together, failing to join hands to defeat a sinister yet evasive common enemy.

Those that purposefully divide us would rather we fight each other, declaring ourselves the adversary, rather than to see us fight as one the same entity destroying the fabric of our lives and the backbone of our nation. When divided we stand, the commons cannot exist and the veil of obscurity hinders our eyes from seeing the great disservice we do onto ourselves. Splintered and unwoven peoples stand not a chance against the puppeteers controlling the system. It is strength in numbers, not weakness in division, that will save this great nation.

The unity after 9/11 sent shivers down BushCo and the Corporate Leviathan’s spineless bodies, for in front of them stood the greatest superpower known to man: humankind united. Instead of fighting ourselves they feared we would fight the system and those in control. This evolutionary step could not be allowed to continue which is why we are where we presently find ourselves in.

We will never know how close we came to the wonderment and benefits of a united citizenry that could have transformed humanity and our nation, and we have the manipulations, policies and corruptions of George W. Bush and his brethren to thank for that.

If 9/11 was the closest we have ever come, today we are at the complete opposite of the spectrum, finding ourselves at the farthest region of unity. George W. Bush, uniter indeed.