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Wednesday, November 10, 2004

The advantages of the Bush win

The folks at Counterpunch didn't, and don't, like John Kerry much. With good reason. Joshua Frank points out some of the "positives" from the Kerry loss. Excerpt:
The environment? Sure Bush has been awful, but Bush's forest plan was actually re-written with the help of two Democratic senators, Ron Wyden of Oregon and Dianne Feinstein of California. As veteran forest activist Michael Donnelly wrote in CounterPunch in December 2003, "Perhaps the greatest irony is that the forests have fared far better under Bush than they did under his Democrat predecessor. Under Clinton's [Salvage Rider] plan, some 1.1 billion board feet of Ancient Forest stumps were authorized annually. Much to industry's chagrin, under Bush, around 200 million per year has been cut. Already, that means that 2.7 billion board feet LESS has been cut under Bush than would have been under a Gore administration with the Big Greens usual silence regarding Democrat stump-creation."

Yes, you read that correctly. Clinton's plan was actually worse for our national forests.
Bush has perhaps proven to be the left's best organizer. His policies brought record numbers into the streets prior to the Iraq invasion. Even though more Iraqis perished during Clinton's first four years in office than on Bush's watch thus far, and Clinton didn't inspire even a fraction of the uproar, global or otherwise.

Depressing, yes, but all too true.

As historian Gabriel Kolko argues in Dimes Worth of Difference: Beyond the Lesser of Two Evils, Bush may well be the better man to destroy the reaches of the U.S. Empire. He believed that keeping Bush in office could make old alliances such as NATO obsolete, humbling American foreign policy by forcing us to deal with our own arrogance. We cannot pursue a go-it-alone strategy forever. Kerry, as he's admitted, would have done his best to stop this trend of U.S. isolation in foreign hostilities -- and reestablish America as the unequivocal global menace. Bush's go-it-alone policy is unsustainable. Kerry planed to make the war sustainable by leaning on allies.

Now that Bush is reelected, Kolko explicates, America's allies and friends will have to confront such stark choices, a process that will redefine and probably shatter existing alliances. Many nations, including the larger, powerful ones, will embark on independent, realistic foreign policies, and the dramatic events in Spain have reinforced this likelihood. This, he says, will force the U.S. to become a more tolerant member of the global community.

Had Kerry been elected, postulates Kolko, the Senator would have done his best to bring back the global alliance that has caused insurmountable problems for so many around the world. A Kerry victory, then, would have stifled our unified anti-capitalist resistance to empire while four more years of Bush could inadvertently strengthen our cause by broadening the anger of resentment towards the U.S.'s global supremacy.