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24 November 2005 Edition

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Books: Slipping quietly into fascism

Fooled Again.

By Mark Crispin Miller

Published by

Basic Books

Fooled Again shatters mainstream media silence surrounding the myriad irregularities in George Bush's 'victory' over John Kerry in the 2004 US Presidential election.

The most glaring suspicion that the result was fraudulent arose around massive discrepancies between exit polls and the result in several states. Exit polls have been accurate at every election in living memory in the US except in 2000, which we have since discovered would have been won by Al Gore if the Supreme Court had not stopped the count and handed Dubya‚ the Presidency.

The exit polls in 2004 were dramatically at odds with the result, and every single discrepancy favoured Bush. In March 2005, a study came out from US Count Votes, computing that the odds against such an enormous error in the exit polls were 959,000 to one. In other words, the chances that the 2004 election was not rigged are nearly a million to one. There are other tell-tale signs: the votes for Democratic candidates for posts other than President, often dramatically exceeded the votes cast for Kerry.

All of this is news to many people because it has hardly been reported in the mainstream media. CNN were even obliging enough to 'adjust'‚ their exit polls after the results were known to make them match up with the outcome, swiftly followed by the rest of what Miller ironically refers to as the 'liberal media'. Meanwhile, the press highlighted the vote fraud in Ukraine, their suspicions aroused by the discrepancy between exit polls and actual results.

Instead of reporting the facts, Miller asserts, the media dismissed concerns as rumour and conspiracy theory, and ignored the overwhelming evidence which emerged, particularly in Ohio, where the State Senate investigated the matter.

Miller documents dozens of staggering assaults on democracy, from the co-ordinated disenfranchisement of overseas US voters (who favoured Kerry by a large margin), to suppression of the Black vote.

Ohio is the basis for many of the problems Miller documents, simply because it is the only state to have investigated the matter in any way.

Nonetheless, the evidence is stark: in Perry County, for example, the number of Bush voters miraculously exceeded the number of registered voters, leading to an exceptional turnout of 124%. In Warren County, a Republican stronghold, officials expelled the press and 'locked down'‚ the facility to count the votes in private. As the night wore on, the numbers for Bush increased in this county. A manual recount has not been permitted.

Miller's concern is that the theological right will go to any lengths to win and retain power, since they see their political opponents, literally, as 'agents of Satan'. He warns that this could happen again, and does not trust the Democrats to stand up against it.

Miller's case is compelling. It is particularly disturbing to consider how conditioned the public is. If it isn't reported in 'respectable' media organs, it isn't news. America is slipping quietly into fascism, and this book is a welcome and essential wake-up call.

BY BRENDAN HOGAN

Neo-cons, the Bush dynasty and the Nazi connection

Devastating Society: The Neo-Conservative Assault on Democracy and Justice

Published by

Pluto Press (2005)

Sterling £17.99

It can sound like high-flown rhetoric to describe the current Bush regime as a coup d'etat, fascist even. But when you consider the counts of war of aggression, mass murder, snubbing of the Geneva Convention, the use of torture, secret prisons and the use of chemical weapons, the reality is soberingly close to the rhetoric.

Also consider this: Bush's grandfather, Prescott Bush, was a key mover and fixer who gladly arranged American investment in the growing Nazi war machine of 1930s Germany. It was lucrative business for many in New York banking circles. US corporations linked up with German business to reap huge profits from the suppression of trade unions and use of cheap labour camps.

This liaison continued even into the Second World War and when the Third Reich was finally facing defeat, it is alleged that Prescott Bush was a key figure in spiriting Nazi loot out of Germany. The money he made would later serve to set up his son and grandson in the oil business. This is just one of the many claims into the neo-con takeover of American politics given in Devastating Society. The book is a collection of 12 critical essays, mainly by US-based thinkers and writers, showing how the American body politic has been infected by a virulent right-wing, authoritarian regime.

US society, like the world at large, is being sacrificed to serve the elite interests of financial institutions and corporations. Just like Prescott Bush, the operating principle is elite self-interest. Although the truth is veiled with the lofty language of "spreading democracy" and the folksy, mangled speech of frontman George W.

However, the neo-cons are not simply an aberration in US foreign policy. Since World War Two, this book lists nearly 70 serious interventions by US forces against other countries — an average of one per year over six decades. Neo-cons are but the latest, concentrated assault on democracy, at home and abroad.

One essay gives disturbing evidence that the Bush administration turned a blind eye to the threat of 9/11 and deliberately failed to take evasive action. More than 3,000 dead and that horror would provide political cover to implement the ne-con plan to corner the globe's oil reserves.

International aggression, bombing of civilians, mass detentions, human and civil rights violations, are all driven with a massive propaganda machine. A fraction of the public money wasted on this crass system would easily transform the world for the better.

This book is an important contribution to undoing the brainwashing of public awareness and empowering the historical struggle for democracy.

By Finian Cunningham

An Phoblacht Magazine

AN PHOBLACHT MAGAZINE:

  • The first edition of this new magazine will feature a 10 page special on the life and legacy of our leader Martin McGuinness to mark the first anniversary of his untimely passing.
  • It will include a personal reminiscence by Gerry Adams and contributions from the McGuinness family.
  • There will also be an exclusive interview with our new Uachtarán Mary Lou McDonald.

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