A rumor is circulating in Washington, D.C. that, on one of the upper floors in the State Department, there is a room called the Shrine, and that every day Secretary James Baker and emissaries from President Bush and the Secretary of Commerce gather there to pay homage. The name of this Shrine’s god is stability and all the incantations end with the holy response: “New World Order.”
A year ago, when this Shrine was installed, Mikhail Gorbachev was one of its High Priests and Saddam Hussein was the Devil to be exorcised. The United Nations was the “mecca” toward which all faces turned.
There was no problem in passing the collection plate to support missionaries for this new religion. The multinationals and the international bankers are quite willing to donate petty change to win converts to the religion of Stability because they are betting that the bread they put on the waters will come back to them a thousandfold in taxpayer subsidies for their “sales” to nonpaying “customers” in Russia.
Unfortunately for the Stability worshipers, their premier symbol of Stability, Gorbachev, has become powerless and irrelevant, At the same time, despite a humiliating defeat in war, the Devil Saddam refused to be exorcised; he appears to be just as strong as ever.
The passion for Stability explains the mystery of why the Bush Administration worked so long and so hard to prop up Gorbachev, long past the point when everybody else understood that he was just a Communist politician trying to hang on to the bureaucracy which the people inside the former Soviet Union hate with a passion.
All the talk we heard during the last year about “democracy” in the Soviet Union was fraudulent window-dressing. Gorbachev was never elected, and his approval rating is said to be a pitiful four percent.
The reason why the international corporations want to keep Gorby and the Center as the government to deal with is the large amounts of money that the big banks and corporations have already loaned. If the government disappears, who can be called on to repay the loans, or at least the interest on the loans?
From 1917 to 1989, Communist stability was based on killing dissidents and escapees. Gorbachev deserves the credit for making the decision not to shoot those trying to flee across the Iron Curtain. But that was the beginning of the end of his old-style regime because Communism cannot be maintained without terror.
That’s good news for those who cherish freedom, but bad news for those who worship at the Shrine of Stability. Freedom is just not very orderly, and the birth of freedom usually comes with dangerous instability.
The Bush Administration calls it a good investment to give the ex- Soviets billions of dollars of U.S. taxpayer-paid cash and other goodies. We are being told that a massive infusion of short-term “humanitarian” aid and long-term financial credits, all underwritten by the U.S. taxpayers, is a good “investment.”
But there is no evidence to support that notion. It’s only a good “investment” for the multinationals who want to make U.S. taxpayer- guaranteed “sales” or loans. Paper promises of vague moves toward a free market economy are not enough to justify billions of dollars of U. S. aid.
The Bush Administration is talking about reducing our armed services by 700,000 men in order to make funds available for aid to the Russians. But why don’t the Russians reduce their standing army by 700,000 and put those men to work doing productive things, such as building housing, making the trains and buses run on time, or transporting fuel and parts to activate idle equipment?
Empty shelves in Russia are not caused by shortages, but by the failure of a state-controlled distribution system. If massive amounts of U.S. foodstuffs are donated by Americans and airlifted to the Russians, our gifts will still be victims of those same distribution problems.
The people who will profit by this donation are the big U.S. corporations whose “sales” are paid for by U.S. taxpayers. Probably some favored Russian politicians will benefit, too.
Night after night on U.S. television, we are told that America is suffering from a recession because Americans aren’t buying enough for Christmas. But it would be very easy for retail stores to increase their “sales” if they could sell to nonpaying customers who would send the bills to the American taxpayers.
The Bush Administration came up with a plan to aid the Soviet economy in about five days, but it’s taking five months to develop a plan to aid the U.S. economy, now scheduled to be unveiled in the State of the Union Message in January. The priorities of the Bush Administration just don’t make sense to the American people.