Thursday, December 18, 2003


George Soros, economic genius and the founder of a network of philanthropic organizations under the umbrella of the Open Society Network active in more than fifty countries, has been much vilified by the Bush administration for contributing money to the citizen action groups working to depose his regime.

Soros has since published a response to the Bush Cheney slander. He had this to say in the Miami Herald on, "Why I Gave."

President Bush has a huge fundraising advantage because he has figured out a clever way to raise money. He relies on donors he calls "Pioneers," who collect $100,000 apiece in campaign contributions in increments that fall within the legal limit of $2,000 a person, and on those he calls "Rangers," who collect at least $200,000.

Many of these Pioneers and Rangers are corporate officials who are well situated to raise funds from their business associates, bundle them together and pass them along with tracking numbers to ensure proper "credit." They are buying the same level of access and influence for their corporate interests that they previously obtained with their own and corporate funds. With the help of Pioneers and Rangers, President Bush is on track to collect $200 million.

To counter the fundraising advantage obtained by this strategy, I have contributed to independent organizations....

My contributions are made in what I believe to be the common interest. ACT is working to register voters, and MoveOn is getting more people engaged in the national debate over Bush's policies.

There's a lot of suspicion about Soros' motives even among the left but I see no reason to believe he is not acting out of genuine concern for the public good. George also has an excellent essay up on The Atlantic site called, The Bubble of American Supremacy.

Soros analyses the foreign policy of our current neo-con power-mongers and predicts the bubble is about to burst. Being no stranger to power himself, George presents the inherent dangers of the neo-con agenda in logical progression from how 9/11 helped Bush overcome his lack of a public mandate and gave him a license to bomb,

September 11 removed both obstacles. President Bush declared war on terrorism, and the nation lined up behind its President. Then the Bush Administration proceeded to exploit the terrorist attack for its own purposes. It fostered the fear that has gripped the country in order to keep the nation united behind the President, and it used the war on terrorism to execute an agenda of American supremacy.

to why this ill-advised scheme is not only destroying our freedom and ruining our international reputation,

It is ironic that the government of the most successful open society in the world should have fallen into the hands of people who ignore the first principles of open society. At home Attorney General John Ashcroft has used the war on terrorism to curtail civil liberties. Abroad the United States is trying to impose its views and interests through the use of military force. The invasion of Iraq was the first practical application of the Bush doctrine, and it has turned out to be counterproductive. A chasm has opened between America and the rest of the world.

but is actually endangering the citizens of the US more now than pre 9/11.

Declaring war on terrorism better suited the purposes of the Bush Administration, because it invoked military might; but this is the wrong way to deal with the problem. Military action requires an identifiable target, preferably a state. As a result the war on terrorism has been directed primarily against states harboring terrorists. Yet terrorists are by definition non-state actors, even if they are often sponsored by states.

The war on terrorism as pursued by the Bush Administration cannot be won. On the contrary, it may bring about a permanent state of war. Terrorists will never disappear. They will continue to provide a pretext for the pursuit of American supremacy. That pursuit, in turn, will continue to generate resistance. Further, by turning the hunt for terrorists into a war, we are bound to create innocent victims. The more innocent victims there are, the greater the resentment and the better the chances that some victims will turn into perpetrators.

....Moreover, by allowing terrorism to become our principal preoccupation, we are playing into the terrorists' hands. They are setting our priorities.

And unlike so many of the pundits out there who complain but offer no solutions, Soros has an alternate plan to repair the current political damage.

I propose replacing the Bush doctrine of pre-emptive military action with preventive action of a constructive and affirmative nature. Increased foreign aid or better and fairer trade rules, for example, would not violate the sovereignty of the recipients. Military action should remain a last resort. The United States is currently preoccupied with issues of security, and rightly so. But the framework within which to think about security is collective security. Neither nuclear proliferation nor international terrorism can be successfully addressed without international cooperation. The world is looking to us for leadership. We have provided it in the past; the main reason why anti-American feelings are so strong in the world today is that we are not providing it in the present.

Nor will we in the future unless we all vote Bush out in 04. Miserable Failure is not an option.


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