By Chris Floyd
Published: December 17, 2004
It was a largely secret operation, its true intentions masked by pious rhetoric and bogus warnings of imminent danger to the American way of life. Having gained the dazed complicity of a somnolent Congress, U.S. President George W. Bush calmly signed a death warrant for thousands upon thousands of innocent victims: a native population whose land and resources were coveted by a small group of powerful elites seeking to augment their already vast dominance by any means necessary, including mass slaughter.
A flashback to March 2003, when Bush finally brought his long-simmering brew of aggressive war to the boil? Not at all -- it happened just last week. This time, however, the victims were not the Iraqi people, but one of the last remaining symbols of pure freedom left in America itself: the nation's herd of wild horses, galloping unbridled on the people's common lands.
With an obscure provision smuggled without any hearings or public notice into the gargantuan budget bill -- 3,000 pages of pork and chicanery approved, unread, by Bush's rubber-stamp Republicans and that wiggly bit of protoplasm known laughingly as the "Democratic opposition" -- Bush stripped the nation's wild horses of long-standing legal protections against being sold off, slaughtered and shipped overseas for meat. The Bush plan, spearheaded by Montana Senator Conrad Burns -- longtime bagman for Big Cattle interests -- sets a production goal of up to 20,000 wild horse corpses in the coming year, The Associated Press reports.
Why must these magnificent beasts be massacred, after decades of bipartisan protection? If they could speak, no doubt they'd look at the state terrorists of the Bush Regime and say: "They hate us for our freedom." And certainly, anyone cramped within the narrow confines of a harsh, blinkered worldview would be offended, even unmanned, by the sight of such splendid exemplars of liberty. First brought to America by the Spanish conquistadors, these bold rebels broke free of their masters and have roamed wild and unfettered for centuries....