Actual armored assault vehicles from Vancouver and from Salem graced the streets of the quiet residential neighborhood that Bush "visited" yesterday. (Vancouver has an assault vehicle? Man, Portland must be green with envy. All they have is those ridiculous possum trucks and that silly ice cream truck.) As I walked down the side streets of this little neighborhood, I found the heavy police presence both disquieting and somehow reminiscent of the old US propaganda films detailing the sins of Eastern Bloc nations behind the iron curtain. Once, we were shown pictures of places like this to remind us how great it is to live in a "democracy" instead. Now, we just step out our front doors and see the same eerie scenes.
The headline of the Tribune this morning reads, "Bush:Mission Accomplished." It goes on to detail how the crack police dept was able to get Bush in and out of the area using decoys, "sleight of hand," back roads, secrecy, and an overwhelming show of force. Job well done.
I must ask the obvious question here. If we really live in a democracy, as we have been told since grade school, then why was this necessary? Why did it take assault vehicles, tanks, military style weapons, and sneakiness to get "president" bush into our city? And why did he even come at all, if not to meet or to communicate in any way with the people who actually live here? This wasn't a visit, it was an occupation.
The police state needn't be so self-congratulatory. They can only play so many tricks to prop up this crumbling dictatorship before they realize the truth. No government can last long without at least a pretense of legitimate authority. They no longer have that. When the "president" must be hidden and sneaked through the streets like the criminal that he is, the party is over. All the tanks and assault vehicles in the world cannot force the people to continue to tolerate a dictator they do not support. This man was not elected, he does not represent the people of this country. He is, in fact, a parasite. He has callously asked people to give up their lives, to sacrifice their family members, to bear the brunt of his ignorance in his bid for glory and gold. Yet he refuses to even look at these people when they come to the streets to tell him what they think. How much longer will people tolerate this behavior? From the looks of things yesterday, not much longer. The People have turned their backs on the man who would be king as surely as he turned his back on them yesterday. He needs us, but we do not need him.