The Guardian August 16, 2000


The bad and the even worse

The US Republican Party Convention held last week elected two ultra-
conservatives, George Bush Jnr and Richard Cheney, as its Presidential and 
Vice-Presidential candidates for the Presidential elections to be held on 
November 7.

The victory of the Bush-Cheney team would spell new acute dangers to the 
world with the likelihood of an even more aggressive foreign policy, more 
threats of force and the use of force against countries which refuse to bow 
to American dictatorship.

It could mean the scrapping of the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty and 
the go ahead for the construction of a new Star Wars system.

There would be intensified attacks on the working people of America, the 
already inadequate welfare system and workers' rights.

George Bush, the Republican's Presidential candidate, is the son of the 
former President who was responsible for the war against Iraq and the 
continuing sanctions against that country which have resulted in the deaths 
of an estimated 1.5 million people, the majority being children.

Richard Cheney, his Vice-Presidential running mate was an assistant to 
Nixon and Reagan and was actively involved with the former President Bush 
in organising the war against Iraq.

Cheney is associated with the big US oil companies and they can be assured 
that he will look after their interests around the world. Cheney's record 
also shows him to be racist, anti-women's rights and anti-labour.

In 1986, Cheney voted against a US Congress resolution calling for the 
release of Nelson Mandela. (See Culture & Life, page 10, for more on 
Cheney.)

The Bush-Cheney team is the product of big money enthusiastically donated 
by the big American corporations who expect that they will reap rich 
rewards once "their" team is elected. Scores of millions of dollars have 
been contributed by the corporations to the Bush election fund.

The Democrat Party is to hold its Convention this week and is almost 
certain to elect Al Gore to be that Party's Presidential candidate. Al Gore 
is presently Vice-President to Clinton.

Unsavoury

The Clinton record is almost as unsavoury as that of the Republicans. 
Behind Clinton's hypocritical word spinning is a similar aggressive 
overseas policy.

Clinton has maintained sanctions and the illegal bombing of Iraq, is 
responsible for the illegal war against Yugoslavia, has done all in his 
power to back up the machinations of the Israeli Government as it fights a 
rear-guard action to hold on to Palestinian land.

Clinton has maintained the sanctions against Cuba and has authorised the 
use of US armed forces in what may turn out to be a big war in Colombia.

Clinton has not yet announced a decision on the question of the new Star 
Wars system and may prefer to leave that decision to his successor.

Commenting on the Presidential elections, Sam Webb, the National Chairman 
of the Communist Party USA, says that with a Gore government the struggle 
for progressive policies "will be contested on more favourable ground.

"If Bush and the far right motley crew win, unions will see legislation 
designed to cripple labour's political clout. If Bush is given a thrashing, 
working people will be positioned to fight for anti-scabbing legislation, 
an increase in the minimum wage and maybe even the enactment of genuine 
labour law reform.

"This election is not so much about the political virtues (or vices) of Al 
Gore as about what kind of outcome on November 7 will open up political 
space for the exploited and oppressed.

"It's about what kind of outcome will enable the working class and people's 
movement to fight on more favourable terrain; what kind of outcome will 
allow the emerging broadly based, loosely constructed people's coalition 
that has emerged since the 'Battle of Seattle' to continue with renewed 
vigour the struggles that so dramatically erupted over the past year.

"Grass-roots mobilisation will be the order of the day as it always is", 
said Sam Webb.

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