New American Coup
By Michael I. Niman,
Regular readers of this column and the alternative press in general no doubt have noticed a recent reliance on military and government intelligence sources who are cited in exposes about the Bush administration. In my last two national columns, for example, I’ve cited a former Marine intelligence officer, an Army Private, an Army Major, an Army Lt. Colonel, an Army Colonel and a CIA counterterrorism specialist. And these aren’t your typical retired octogenarian one-foot-in-purgatory ex-military types turned peacenik as they rethink their lives in the shadow of impending death. To the contrary, these are unrepentant warriors who still harbor no qualms about killing on command. Most of them self-identify politically as conservative pro-military Republicans who voted for Ronald Reagan and both Bushes.
Suddenly hard core militarists are joining forces with
moderate Democrats and anti-war activists to attack the Bush administration’s
foreign policy and their use of American troops.
And it’s these new voices that are supplying the hard evidence exposing
how George W. Bush lied to the Congress and the American people in order to
garner support for his invasion of
The most shocking information available about Bush
administration behavior regarding 9/11 and the ensuing wars doesn’t come these
days from conspiracy theorists on the left, but from right wing military
sources. Take recent
allegations, for instance, that the CIA attempted to plant weapons of mass
Even the intelligence community is split, with some of the
strongest allegations that Bush purposefully lied about WMDs coming from
official reports issued by the CIA itself. CIA
officials are upset that the Bush administration chose to ignore their
Everything we’re seeing now with whistleblowers emerging
from the CIA and the military points to another coup.
George W. initially came to power in what Europeans call a coup-de-grace,
with Jeb Bush, Kathleen Harris and their crew overseeing the intentional purging
of black Democratic voters from
What we’re seeing now is a second, somewhat softer coup. Only this time, it’s a military coup. By making public the very information that they would normally bury, the military and intelligence community is undoing the Bush presidency thread by thread. This wasn’t always the case. At the onset, the Bush presidency was a general’s wet dream. Bush nullified weapons treaties, funded bizarre new weapons programs, increased military spending beyond already astronomical levels, exempted the military from environmental regulations, appointed a former warrior as Secretary of State and gave the military a new elevated status within the national culture. He was also the best president a reactionary could hope for – giving police state surveillance powers to domestic law enforcement agencies as well as to the military intelligence agencies. But things have changed. Even ardent crackheads eventually learn disgust for their dealers.
The honeymoon between Bush and the military, in essence, is
over. With Bush on the cusp of
sending American troops to battle in a nuclear war in
Chief AWOL Cuts Military Pay
Adding insult to injury, the Bush administration both
extended tours of duty in hostile areas, and cut pay to the soldiers serving on
these tours. The Bush administration
is now working to eliminate pay raises previously won by military personal.
Hence, soldiers serving in
The problem, in the eyes of the military, is that politics
aside, this Commander-in-Chief is incompetent and his civilian military
leadership is lethally corrupt. Hence,
military and intelligence brass seem to be joining the grassroots revolt of the
grunts. The reasons for this are
many. Incompetent civilian leaders
are sending military units off on impossible missions, such as assigning a
relatively small force of tired warriors to occupy
The divide between the military and the Bush administration is exasperated by the fact that Bush and his top cabinet members all avoided military service themselves, mostly during the Vietnam war – a war that they all ideologically supported but did not want to fight in. Bush himself used his family’s political connections to secure a noncombatant position in the Texas National Guard, and then went A.W.O.L. (absent without leave) for approximately one year. He again used his political connections to avoid prosecution for going A.W.O.L.
The Chickenhawk Squawk
For career military officers, avoiding serving in a war that you ideologically support (without pretenses toward ideological objection), adds up to being a coward. Hence, conservatives coined the term “chickenhawks” to describe the Bush administration. The conservative New Hampshire Gazette researched not only the administration, but their pro-war supporters in congress and the corporate media, creating the chickenhawk database. They cite Dick Cheney, who avoided service, telling the media that he had “other priorities.” Rush Limbaugh had a medical deferment due to “anal cysts.” John Ashcroft got a deferment as a business education instructor. Elliot Abrams had a bad back. The Gazette’s list of draft evaders includes Brit Hume, Richard Perle, Tommy Thompson, Paul Wolfowitz, Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas, Tom DeLay, Newt Gingrich, Trent Lott, Joseph Lieberman, Roger Ailes, Michael Medved, Bill O’Reilly, Sylvester Stallone, George Will, Ronald Reagan and John Wayne, among dozens of others.
The term “chickenhawk” has become increasingly popular
among hawks who back up their archaic beliefs by putting their lives on the
line. While they have traditionally
supported the chickenhawks politically, due to the chickenhawks rhetorical
support of the military, they have little love or respect for what they see as
draft dodgers. Hence, when recent
events forced seasoned warriors to choose between supporting their troops in the
field, or supporting a cadre of hypocrites needlessly exposing their troops to
danger, a brave and vocal minority chose supporting the troops.
This led to the new and growing phenomenon of military and intelligence
agency whistle blowers. With the
Bush administration now threatening to start unsustainable wars in
As the military turns against its commander and chief, so will more and more conservative Americans. With the tide turning, journalists might once again muster up the courage to practice their profession – and their corporate employers might just allow them to do so. If current trends continue, this soft military coup will topple the Bush presidency – that is, as long as we’re not distracted by another 9-11 type attack.
For more information
about Military Families Speak Out, see www.mfso.org
, for Bring Them Home Now, see www.bringthemhomenow.org.
To learn more about George W. Bush’s service record, see www.awolbush.com.
The chickenhawk database is available at www.nhgazette.com/chickenhawks.html.
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