And The DICK Goes To… (Awarding our Leaders)

Named after
US vice president Dick Cheney, the DICK honors outstanding achievements in
the art of duping the masses and using public resources for personal gain,
and while this year’s competition was understandably cut-throat, some DICKS
clearly stand above the rest.

2002.04.13

Now that the Oscars are over and the best escapist diversions for the year
have been chosen, it’s time for a new award: the coveted DICK.

Named after
US vice president Dick Cheney, the DICK honors outstanding achievements in
the art of duping the masses and using public resources for personal gain,
and while this year’s competition was understandably cut-throat, some DICKS
clearly stand above the rest.

The competition for Best Number-Fudging DICK was especially fierce this
year, what with Enron’s and Andersen’s boards vying for top honors.

An
extraordinary performance at the House Armed Services Committee has yielded
an even more deserving winner though … US Defense Secretary Donald
Rumsfeld!

A Committee member has reported that in requesting a $48.1 billion
increase to the military budget, Rumsfeld casually admitted that the
Pentagon had misplaced $2.3 trillion.

But not to worry, the missing
trillions would no doubt surface in time, and certainly shouldn’t influence
the decision to grant an immediate additional $48.1 billion to the war
machine. Funding is needed for important new weapons programs, and if that
means cash will be diverted from little domestic programs, like oh, say,
education and social services, then so be it.

Apparently the missing $2.3
trillion is no matter of real concern.

The Best Supporting Domestic DICK category had so many competitors this
year, it was impossible to call.

Would the prize go to L. Brent Bozell III,
founder of the conservative Media Research Center which devotes itself to
“training our guns on any media outlet or any reporter interfering with
America’s war on terrorism or trying to undermine the authority of President
Bush”?

Could have, but then again why not give the Best Supporting Domestic
DICK award to the entire US corporate media?

The military incursions abroad
and creeping societal rollback at home couldn’t have happened without its
myopic flag-waving support. Or that of the Democratic Party. Yes, just too
many contenders!

No winners this year: looks like we all are losers.

More luck in the Best Supporting Foreign DICK category though.

No surprise
there … big round of applause for UK Prime Minister Tony Blair!

Always
ready to salute US foreign policy, no matter how egregious or at what price
domestically, Blair has proven an enthusiastic cheerleader for the Bush
administration. Small matter that the local press mocks him as the
“president’s poodle” saying “whenever Bush has barked, Mr. Blair has rolled
over with his legs in the air.”

Faced with sagging approval ratings and a
crumbling domestic infrastructure, Blair gambles that war will give him the
boost of legitimacy needed to hang on to office: if it worked for Thatcher
in the Falklands, why not for Blair in Iraq?
So British soldiers and weapons
pour into quagmire war zones as Blair has Texan barbeques and postures at
press conferences with Bush. Nice job Tony!

The Best Profiteering DICK category was also crowded this year, but one
candidate was just so much more ambitious and rapacious than the rest …
that’s right, you guessed it – “Read-his-lips” Bush Senior!

If you sit on
multiple defense contractor boards, it’s always helpful to have a
war-mongering son as US president. Carlyle and United Defense among others
directly profit from Poppy Bush’s connections (conflict of interest anyone?)
and The London Observer has noted that Bush Sr.’s post-White House work has
increased the family’s net worth by several hundred percent.

Not limited to
profiting from defense connections, Bush Sr. has made a killing from other
operations too, such as the Canadian Barrick Goldstrike.

Right before Bush
Sr. left office in 1992, he helped coordinate signing over rights for a
US-government owned estimated $10 billion gold mine in Nevada to Barrick –
for only $10,000 in return.

Any surprise that Barrick put Bush Sr. on its
payroll soon after? And on and on.

So The Best Profiteering DICK award
winner for this year is particularly deserving, and we can look forward to
accelerated Bush profit-taking in 2002.

And now, drum roll please, our final winner for the grand prize of DICK Of
The Year stays in the family – two thumbs up for Dubya!

Where can we start?

Stealing the presidential election, draining the US budget, targeting
international environmental safeguards for destruction, alienating foreign
allies while rolling back civil liberties at home, promoting escalating
carnage (not to mention skyrocketing defense contractor profits) through the
“War on Terror” – well, it’s been quite a year.

Not bad for a guy who was
written off as a buffoon before September 11.

Interesting that, according to
Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney, Dubya placed a call to Majority Leader
Senator Tom Daschle asking him not to investigate the 9-11 events, and that
vice president Cheney also asked Daschle not to investigate the events that
led to 9-11.

It’s like that $2.3 trillion – nothing to worry our little
heads about.

But the overriding question remains – who really is the biggest DICK?

The
“leader” getting away with duping the public, or the public allowing the
leader to get away?

Author: Heather Wokusch

News Service: Common Dreams News Center

URL: http://www.commondreams.org/views02/0413-02.htm