Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Cyclic Polit. Morality 03-01-08

Is Political Morality Cyclical?

Mirza A. Beg
Written, December 16,2002

Muslim Observer Jan 8, 2003

Every four years during the elections the old administration is castigated for the lapses of judgements, political compromises, being out of touch and often, for plain immorality and circumvention of the will of the Americans and the constitution.

Charges though, exaggerated, are usually not without foundation. Opinion writers do cover the shenanigans, but we pay attention only when it becomes a full-blown scandal.

The spirit of resistance to government is so valuable on certain occasions, that I wish it to be always kept alive. (Thomas Jefferson, letter to Abigail Adams, February 22, 1787)

The scandals come with almost quadrennial bipartisan regularity. Major. Escalation of the Vietnam War based on a falsehood of the Gulf of Tongkin resolution, resulting in the "credibility gap" of the Johnson administration. Secret war in Cambodia and the overthrow of the Government in Chile culminated in "Watergate" of the Nixon administration. Savings and loan debacle in first and the Iran-Contra Affair tarnished the second Reagan administration. The renting of Lincoln bedroom (Symptomatic of bribes) in the first and Monica affair in the second Clinton administration jarred as well as entertained us for eight years.

Congress wakes up to what they already knew and condoned. At great expense and drama the investigations are televised and compete with the soap operas. Some of us malign the investigation as being partisan witch-hunt; others revel in the expose depending on which side of the political divides one roosts. Those found guilty after enormous expense are often pardoned by the outgoing administration and are rehabilitated when that party comes back to power. There is the rub.

After eight years of very successful soap opera called Clinton administration, Bush squeaked into office by a bare minority vote of the electorate and a bare majority of the Supreme Court. Irrespective of one's politics most were hopeful and reasonably convinced that Bush may not be the brightest bulb on the Republican roster, at least he appeared to be honest and would shy away from the felons and near felons of the former administrations. That was not to be. Graduates of the felonious Iran-Contra affair of the Reagan Administration are gradually being rehabilitated in this Administration.

Bush and most Republicans can justifiably be credited for being tough on crime, petty crimes that is! Former felons, pardoned felons and facilitators of mass murders from former administrations are gradually being rehabilitated in the corridors of power.

Mid way through his term, a more confident Bush has appointed Elliot Abrams, John Poindexter, John Negroponte and Otto Reich to manage critical policy positions. Mercifully Henry Kissinger has just withdrawn from Chairing the commission on 9/11. He could not reveal the list of his international clients as required. Good for those who really want the commission to find the truth. Mr. Kissinger and truth had never been on amicable terms. His role in Nixon era shadow killings has made it difficult for him to even travel to many European and Latin American countries.

The first four are graduates of the felonious Iran-Contra affair of the Reagan Administration. To recapitulate, they were discredited for plotting and subsequent cover up of sale of weapons to Iran (prohibited by law), so they could funnel the proceeds to the Contras (also prohibited), who indulged in mass killings and even raping of American Nuns in Nicaragua.

Abrams the then Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Central America pleaded guilty to withholding information from Congress and received two years probation and 100 hours of community work. In testimony to the congress, he said, ”I never said I had no idea about most of the things you said I had no idea about”. In his autobiography he wrote that he had to lie to the Congress to protect national interest.

Abrams is the Presidents man on the Middle-East policy. Bush wants to convince the world that he is committed to the creation of the Palestinian State. He appoints a man committed to destruction of Palestinian entity. Bush can fool us, the world leaders watch US policy more closely. Credibility gap again?

John Poindexter, former Admiral and National Security Advisor to President Reagan was convicted of five felonies involving conspiracy, obstruction of Congress. Appellate court reversed the sentence citing congressional immunity for his testimony. He is in the Homeland Security Department.

John Negroponte our Ambassador to the UN was then ambassador to Honduras overseeing horrendous human rights abuses by the Junta, some of whose former generals are not even allowed to enter the US. We want the world to think we are for Human rights!

Otto Reich now Assistant Secretary of State was Head of the Office of Public Diplomacy. Essentially his job was Goebbelian propaganda in praise of murderous Contras. We want the world to believe us.

Once safely ensconced in power Bush is gravitating towards people prone to felonious conduct. It is a shame that among two hundred and seventy million Americans he can not find honest, intelligent and dedicated Republicans to staff these positions.

It is an insult to the Americans in general and the honest law abiding Republican in particular. There are many highly qualified Republicans who could do credit to these positions. Perhaps they have not earned their stripes for deceit and thus can not be relied upon to play toady in times of need.

Mirza A. Beg can be contacted at

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