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Runaway President

New -- 11 November 2006
 

It has already been pointed out that:

As long as the human race needs, or for that matter tolerates leaders,

it will be an inferior breed.  

Speaking of inferior... there are, for example, numerous examples of inferior leaders. The often astounding part is that these leaders -- who have been both thoughtfully removed and protected from any possible dangers occurring at the front lines and who at the same time have created catastrophic conditions for their respective groups or followers -- these same incompetent and/or unconscionable leaders have inexplicably escaped all retribution for their crimes and their grostesque lack of meeting their fiduciary responsibilities.

One category of these pathetic excuses for humanoids are selected Presidents of Nations -- the prime leaders of various sovereign countries -- who despite their incredible opportunities to do something positive for their nations, take a road all too frequently traveled and by their wretched actions and misdeeds become so hated by those they were allegedly leading, that these leaders quickly gravitate to the status of "Runaway President".

There is, for example, Alberto Fujimori, the "disgraced Peruvian ex-President" who "is living the good life in Chile." Alberto resigned the Peruvian presidency in 2000 because of corruption scandals, whereupon he left for Japan where he had citizenship (due to having been born to Japanese parents). Al is now living in grand style in Chile, walking the beaches, playing golf at the best clubs, and so forth and so on. He is also fighting extradiction to Peru on charges of corruption and more recently human-rights abuses -- "including the forced sterilization of up to 200,000 indigenous Peruvians -- during his campaign against the Shining Path rebels." [1] In other words, crime can pay.

Of considerably greater notoriety is Idi Amin Dada Oumee. "The former dictatorial leader of Uganda [who] from 1971-1979, [had] been called 'One of the most batshit loco leaders ever to seize control of a chaotic African nation.' Other dictators might find their enemies to be targets, threats, or terror: Amin found them tasty:

"After his coup of his predecessor, Apollo Milton Obote, Amin rounded up the military leaders that did not support his coup, murdered them, decapitated them and sat their disembodied heads around the presidential dining table, scolding them for not supporting him, and taking bites of their flesh." [2]

But then, alas, Idi baby fell upon hard times. After invading Tanzania, for no particular reason -- it's what Presidents often do -- the Tanzanians counter-attacked and deposed Idi, who was forced to flee his country, i.e. run away. And yet, "after years of torture, military insurgency, mismanagement of Uganda's economy to the point of disaster, and deaths of over 300,000 of his own citizens, he was never incarcerated. He lived for over twenty years in exile in Saudi Arabia, where one newspaper reported that he ate '40 oranges a day' to keep up his 'sex power'. Dada died in 2003, and is survived by four wives and 45 children." [2] Apparently, oranges have interesting side effects.

However, not all monsters of depravity have fared as well. Slobodan Milošević, for example, was indicted for crimes against humanity in May 1999 -- while he was still President of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. He eventually conceded defeat in a disputed presidential election in October 2000, and less than a year later was extradited to stand trial for "charges of violating the laws or customs of war and grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions in Croatia and Bosnia and genocide in Bosnia.

Wow! That sounds familiar.

He died "after five years in prison with just fifty hours of testimony left before the conclusion of the trial. Milošević, who suffered from chronic heart ailments, high blood pressure and diabetes, died of a heart attack brought on by unclear circumstances. Some of his supporters believe that he was murdered in prison prior to the rendering of a verdict by his accusers. [3]

Obviously, Slobodan baby did not plan ahead. It behooves any President in this day and age -- when engaged in presidential actions which send hundreds of thousands to their deaths in war, genocide, and... whatever -- one should simultaneously make friends with other sovereign countries where one can live out one's "retirement" in all possible luxury and, most importantly, in personal security. No President worthy of the name wants to find a popular referendum for his lynching being turned into reality. "Let them eat cake," is a phrase decidedly out of favor in aristocratic circles.

George Bush -- either one -- having taken presidential actions which caused the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Iraqi and thousands of deaths of soldiers and sailors following his lead as Commander in Chief of the U. S. armed forces -- might be well advised to do a little contingency planning for each of their respective retirements. This would be particularly true in that the latest grave insult to humanity, George W. Bush, has effectively eliminated habeas corpus, due process, and other artifacts of a formerly free nation -- and with indictment and/or impeachment threats from American citizens, various foreign countries, and other interested parties -- the Bush family might possibly have legitimate, albeit grave concerns of the kind which would rival Alberto, Idi, Slobodan, Aldolph, et al.

Staunch supporters of the Bush Administrations -- all three dozen of you -- will accordingly be happy to know that Bush senior, at least, has already planned well ahead. According to Paraguayan newspapers ex-President Bush has purchased (as of October 2006) an enormous estate in Paraguay consisting of some 100,000 acres (175,000, according to some which reports). The large "farm" is located within the watershed of the Guarani Aquifer (one of the planet's largest freshwater reserves). [4]

As noted by Martina Menendez Quintero [4], "Paraguay, incidentally, is the site of a U. S. military base, installed a few years ago after Paraguay promised to grant American soldiers [including ostensibly its current or former Commander-in-Chief] immunity from the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court. Surely it is no coincidence that last month, just after Paraguay announced that it would not renew the immunity treaty, first daughter Jenna Bush was spotted in the country 'on a secret trip' -- perhaps to try to convince [aka, bribe with U. S. Government funds?] the Paraguayans to reconsider." [4] [emphasis added]

Jenna was, apparently, successful. It is indeed heartening to know that a family that conspires together, stays together... all the while living in luxurious exile.

However, it should be noted that Ms. Quintero was writing for the Juventud Rebelde of Cuba -- and thus her unbiased status in this matter might be suspect. Suffice it to say that others [5-7] -- who might also perhaps share a similar disrespect for the Bush family -- have also reported the land purchase. One [6] included in their report, "...this situation could cause a hypothetical conflict of all the armies in the region, and called attention to the Bush family habit of associating business and politics."

Ah well, one's nation's loss is another nation's... loss.

The fact the Guarani Aquifer is one of the planet's largest freshwater reserves is probably extremely important in our analysis. If one anticipates water wars -- and who but U. S. Presidents and ex-directors of the CIA would have better access to the inside information on such prospects -- then establishing a mini-sovereign state on top of a massive freshwater aquifer... well, it makes a lot of sense. It is also logical -- albeit not necessarily ethical -- for some governments to welcome into their midsts and simultaneously provide extradiction immunity for those with millions of dollars to spend. After all, 100,000 acres at as low a value as $100/acre involves a purchase price of $10 million. At $1,000/acre, the investment reaches the realm of $100 million -- or if one report is to be believed, ~$175 million (plus assorted bribes and settlement expenses).

It must be heartwarming for many to realize that the frugal Bush family -- despite Barabara Bush's horrific loss of some paltry sum of a couple of thousand dollars in the Enron scandal -- has been able to put enough money away to enable la familia to make this purchase. One might even say that they "bought the farm" in Paraguay. One can only hope.

Obviously, being a public servant can have its rewards -- at the least on the order of tens of millions of dollars. Of course, the Bush family may have been able to obtain substantial financial assistance from their well heeled friends -- including the resources of the United States Government (for purposes of building the U. S. Base in Paraguay).

One such friend, of course, was/is Ken Lay, the former CEO of Enron, whose family walked away with almost $200 million when charges were dropped against Mr. Lay following his alleged death and extraordinarly quick cremation. Exactly why charges were dropped is not clear, particularly when Lay's co-conspirator in the scandal recently received 20 years in prison (i.e. the evidence did not require Ken Lay's testimony or cooperation), and when even if the man was dead, exactly why his family should be left with the ultimate golden life insurance benefit. Are there any prosecutors who have recently joined the ranks of millionaires? Or who are now learning Spanish?

The fact remains that it is a virtually a lead pipe cinch that Ken Lay is alive and well and living in Paraguay (or some intermediate pit stop other than Purgatory). There are going to be, apparently, a lot of Bush Administration members and their very close, very rich friends going down under and living atop an ample supply of fresh water.

At the same time, the massive farm purchase by the Bush family might be simply a wise land (and freshwater) investment. The Carlyle Group, of which the Bush family members are (and/or were) key players, has "at least $44.3 billion of equity capital under management" [8] and is certainly capable of making some key investments in the future. They have, after all, been extraordinarly successful thus far.

However, the land purchase was attributed entirely to the Bush family, and ostensibly George H. W. Bush left the Carlyle Group several years ago.

More to the point, there are reports that suggest the actions being taken by the Bush Family Cartel may be in response to expected War Crime charges being filed by the International Committee for the Red Cross. This action is allegedly against President George W. Bush, his Vice President Dick Chency, Donald Rumsfeld (Secretary of Defense), a scattering of U. S. military commanders, and most of the U. S. Congress. The charges are for crimes against humanity, and the action is only the second time such charges have been brought against the civilian and military leadership of a sovereign country -- the first being similar charges in 1943 against Nazi Germany, Adolph Hitler, et al. [5]

There's a degree of American ingenuity in that the Bush family chose -- rather than to bring final completion to the Bush family / Nazi regime correlation and conspiracy theories -- to buy in Paraguay instead of Argentina. At least, they'll have neighbors who can empathize with them.

Very recently (two days after this essay was first posted), Time Magazine weighed in with a report saying, "New legal documents, to be filed next week with Germany's top prosecutor, will seek a criminal investigation and prosecution of Rumsfeld, along with Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, former CIA director George Tenet and other senior U.S. civilian and military officers, for their alleged roles in abuses committed at Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison and at the U.S. detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba." [9] One might think this sort of thing poses some real problems for the neocons.

It must be noted that some of the reports of the imminent indictment of the Bush Family are not always based on reality. Bush is not a favorite of the progressive left -- nor for that matter the conservative right (the conservatives who are actually conservatives and not neo-cons), an increasing number of die-hard Republicans, and about two-thirds of the American electorate. Accordingly, there are a LOT of reports charging the Bushites with every imaginable crime. This does not mean that such reports involve actions which have the force of law behind them. Furthermore, any such actions which may be taken will not necessarily mean that these people will ever be brought to justice. Let us not forget the likes of Idi Amin and, for the moment, Alberto Fujimori.

Furthermore, and this is important... The so-called bringing to justice of the leaders of sovereign nations is not necessarily a wise precedence to establish. Presidents and the like are often required by their oaths of office and the best interests of their country to do many things which are clearly of very questionable legality. For example, perhaps Alberto Fujimori's decisions -- while seemingly deplorable -- were nonetheless justifiable on the basis that he was protecting the nation from revolutionaries who threatened to overturn the elected government. Maybe.

The possibly more noteworthy examples are the periodic invasions of Iraq by a U. S. President named Bush; where all manner of deceit and skulduggery are engaged in order for the United States and its allies to continue to have ready access to cheap oil. Iraq, Afghanistan, and other countries obtain the attentions of such presidents because they have oil, and not that barn-carpeting excuse of Weapons of Mass Destruction. Nevertheless, George W. Bush may in fact just be one of several national leaders who are attempting to ensure critical energy supplies for the economies of their respective nations. It's their responsibilities, so to speak. And the fact remains that a goodly one-third of the populations of these nations, knowingly or unknowingly, may think this is a good idea. It is, after all, the Era of the Hummer.

On such a basis, therefore, how can one justify the indictment of Presidents who use admittedly unethical means, but where such means are allegedly on behalf of their nation and its citizenry? Is not the unilateral taking of such actions the reason why we have leaders? Of course, it is. And while this may be one of the best arguments on why a civilized society should not rely on leaders, it is what it is for the time being. It's why we pay them the big bucks -- although the big bucks come from corruption more than from government salaries and retirement packages.

However, there is a fine line of distinction where a leader's actions may be judged to be directly contradictory to the best interests of the nation he is leading, and when such highly questionable actions can no longer be tolerated. Any such distinction, of course, will then depend upon the judgments of many. It's only when the evidence is sufficient beyond a reasonable doubt that such leaders will face a form of justice. Perhaps with a bit of luck, Slobodan Milošević will just be the first of many, while a few others will be belatedly recognized for their positive deeds.

In the meantime ... Can you imagine an American Runaway President, an ex-leader so hated by his constituents and the rest of the world that he feels compelled to flee the United States? Does this mean, by the way, that his Secret Service security detail will go with him to protect him? Is there a place of Dan Quayle?

 

________________________

References:

[1] Patricia Caycho, "A cushy exile for a disgraced leader", Caretas (Peru), referenced in The Week, November 3, 2006, page 14.

[2] http://www.rotten.com/library/bio/dictators/idi-amin-dada

[3] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slobodan_Milo%C5%A1evi%C4%87

[4] Marina Menendez Quintero, "No haven for the criminal Bush family," Juventud Rebelde (Cuba), referenced in The Week, November 3, 2006, page 14.

[5] http://www.thepowerhour.com/news2/bush_paraguay.htm

[6] http://www.plenglish.com/article.asp?ID={EBA55617-2676-4091-ABBC-20650EB6FEE1}&language=EN

[7] http://www.politicalcortex.com/keyword/George%20H.W.%20Bush

[8] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carlyle_Group

[9] Adam Zagorin, "Exclusive: Charges Sought Against Rumsfeld over Prison Abuse," Time Magazine, November 12, 2006 -- http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1557842,00.html

 

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