Manifest Destiny

At the end of his State of the Union address, a speech hypocritically punctuated with references to the US as the champion of liberty and democracy, the saviour of oppressed people everywhere, President Bush declared that “the liberty we prize is not America’s gift to the world, but God’s gift to humanity.”

The message is simple. The US is enacting God’s will with its constant invasions of far away countries. It’s right to intervene anywhere it sees fit is conferred by divine right. This is hardly a new idea. Defending the US annexation of Texas in 1845, John O’Sullivan asserted that the US was simply fulfilling its ‘manifest destiny’ with ”the development of the great experiment of liberty and federated self-government.”

References to God and the US’s divine mission now fuse every speech Bush makes with reference to Iraq. His unique brand of divine right imperialism - his promise to bring democracy and freedom to the people of Iraq - now accompanies the usual rhetoric about ridding the world of a mad man.

We can only assume the writers of Bush speeches suffer massive bouts of historical amnesia, for this journal has several times in the past had cause to quote comments by senior US officials in relation to Iraq.

We need only observe Madeline Albright’s (former UN Ambassador) comment, when asked her opinion of the 500,000 Iraqis who had died since sanctions were imposed. She replied it was a “price worth paying.”

Colin Powell, now seated on the right hand of Bush, was once asked his opinion of the number of Iraqi civilians killed during the Gulf War. He replied: “Frankly, that’s not a figure that bothers me.” Indeed, the number of civilians killed overseas never bothers US policy makers. When Vietnam invaded Cambodia to put an end to Pol Pot's bloody massacre of 2 million civilians, it was the US who supported a Chinese invasion and the US who sided with the Khmer Rouge. And where was the US when 1 million civilians were being butchered in Rwanda? Again it was the US who propped up other murderers who massacred their own people in their tens of thousands - Noriega, Pinochet Mobuto, Sukarto, Sukarno, Amin, Trujillo, Marcos, Papa Doc and Savimbi. On top of this the US has helped topple 40 governments since 1945 and subverted elections in another 23 countries. Always to further the interests of their corporate elite and always to the detriment of human rights and civilians who desire only peace. Whilst Bush is keen to find a link between Saddam and Islamic terrorism it is to be remembered that during the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan, the US funded islamic zealots to the tune of $6 billion; training the terrorists of the future - some now prisoners of the US in Cuba - in US military bases such as Camp Peary, Camp Picket, Harvey Point and Fort Bragg. When it comes to human rights abuses and terrorism, the USA is top of the premiere league of rogues states. Bush's grievance with Saddam has nothing to do with saving lives and everything to do with securing US access to the region's oil and gas supplies