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ISSUE 117 VOL 1 PUBLISHED 9/19/2003

Subversion: The Bush agenda

By Dan Schramm
Staff Writer

Friday, September 19, 2003

How would you feel if you arrived back on the Hill two weeks ago to find that St. Olaf College was no longer a Lutheran liberal arts school?

Let’s say the Board of Regents got together over the summer and decided the current programs at St. Olaf weren’t bringing in enough revenue from alumni, so they restructured the college so that everyone must pursue a career in big business. All other programs have been canned, and all of the school’s resources have been concentrated into areas that will help seniors get the most lucrative job options after graduation.

Despite a few expections, I think most of us would be pretty upset about this. After all, no one consulted us on this; it was simply assumed that the only things we desired out of life were power and wealth.

Now imagine that the leaders of our country decided the democratic process is too burdensome for a global empire, so they decided to make a few adjustments to the Constitution while no one was looking. Amendments 1, 4 and 5 go out the window, selective editing fixes that part about only Congress having the power to declare war, and some other bits and pieces are shuffled around too, for good measure.

Actually, it’s not that hard to imagine, is it? It’s what the Bush Administration has been doing all through our long national sleep of mindlessly self-indulgent patriotism that began after Sept. 11, 2001. During this dark night of endless war and endless justifications for war, the only way of comprehending the behavior of our leaders and their cronies in mega business is to realize that American democracy is no longer profitable for the likes of Haliburton and Lockheed Martin.

Since when did the American people decide it was our duty to forcefully spread our “democracy” to every country located above large reserves of oil?

While the spin masters of our president cynically manipulate our society’s natural idealism, the unknown puppet masters in the shadows of Wall Street secretly influence a foreign policy shift that will be seen in later history as a stain on our nation’s honor. This foreign policy shift is well -explained in an essay by Robert Kaplan in the August issue of Atlantic Monthly entitled “Supremacy by Stealth: Ten Rules for Managing the World.”

While some of Kaplan’s recommendations for changes in military tactics seem fairly sensible given the new focus on terrorism as the primary threat to our defense, he also seems to think our troops belong in any country we want to put them. One starts to wonder why our military needs to be deployed in virtually every country on the globe in the first place.

Kaplan writes, “We can dominate the world only quietly: off camera,” where he refers to “universal principles [of human rights and democracy]” as the “traditional weapon of the weak seeking to restrain the strong.” He notes with approval that “satellites that can track the neurobiological signatures of individuals will make assassinations far more feasible.”

One can almost picture Kaplan slaving over the keyboard as he typed out these monstrosities.

You’d think people like Kaplan are lonely wackos living out in Montana, but they are far from alone. They are, in fact, the voice box of the elite class controlling our country.

The complacent majority in our society is either too stupid or too lazy to pay attention to the loss of our national conscience. However, the threat posed to our democratic principles by Bush and the economic oligarchy he represents is perhaps unprecedented in America’s history. We wouldn’t want St. Olaf transformed without our knowledge or approval, so why are we standing idly by while it happens to our country? The time to fight back is now.

Staff Writer Dan Schramm is a senior from St. Louis, Mo. He majors in philosophy with a religion emphasis and an environmental studies concentration.

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