Oil profiteering and the "oiligarchy"but a military coup led by General Ibrahim Babangida denies him the office. Instead, Abiola is jailed. Babangida is soon replaced in a coup by General Sani Abacha, who rules Nigeria as a dictator with the overt support of the US oil industry until his death in June 1998. (Contemporary African Database, BBC, Amy and David Goodman)
Neoconservativesin a statement that resounds with meaning among American neocons and conservative ideologues, but is ignored, to their great cost, by liberals and moderates. Kristol writes that the demise of the Soviet Union gives the opportunity for another battle to be engaged: a battle against liberalism. "There is no 'after the Cold War' for me. So far from having ended, my Cold War has increased in intensity, as sector after sector has been ruthlessly corrupted by the liberal ethos. Now that the other 'Cold War' is over, the real Cold War has begun. We are far less prepared for this Cold War, far more vulnerable to our enemy, than was the case with our victorious war against a global Communist threat." (David Brock/Frances Fox Piven)
Whitewater/Lewinsky and related "scandals"and the anti-Halloween screed Halloween, Trick or Treat? (alleging that the holiday is a plot to entice children into practicing "Pagan Occultism") produce a 40-minute documentary attacking the Clinton economic plan. Titled The Crash: The Coming Financial Collapse of America, the film tells viewers that Clinton's proposed economic policies will, in eight years, force the US Treasury to default on the then-enormous national debt, hyperinflation will render the dollar worthless (thereby putting the US at the mercy of Japanese bankers), the inner cities will be engulfed in flames, American citizens will spend hours a day in breadlines, and American democracy will be subverted in favor of a Hitler-like dictatorship. The film gains credence among conservatives because of narration and contributions from, among others, former attorney general Edwin Meese, former House Republican William Dannemeyer, and sitting US senator Trent Lott. The film urges a "spiritual revolution" and recommends citizens stockpile food. The film's producers and backers, most notably Pat Matrisciana of the tax-exempt Citizens for Honest Government, belong to a highly secretive and influential religious/political group called the Council for National Policy. (This group is discussed in detail in the They Said It page of this Web site.) The group, founded by, among others, evangelist and author Tim LaHaye, is comprised of powerful Republican lawmakers and evangelical, fundamentalist Christians such as LaHaye, Meese, Dannemeyer, Lott, Jesse Helms, Lauch Faircloth, Don Nickles, John Kyl, Bob Dornan, Tom DeLay, Dick Armey, Dan Burton, James Dobson, Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, Paul Weyrich, Gary Bauer, Phyllis Schlafly, Floyd Brown, Larry Klayman, Ralph Reed, and Oliver North; it is subsidized largely through the largesse of right-wing financiers such as the Coors and DeVos (of Amway fame) families, and Colorado businessman Foster Friess. The CNP exists to promote Christian Reconstructionism (see the They Said It page), empower far-right Republicans, and thwart Democrats and liberals, with the ultimate goal of replacing American constitutional democracy with what is, in essence, a Christian theocracy. The CNP and Matrisciana will soon join forces with veteran Clinton-basher and con artist Larry Nichols to attack the character and the presidency of Bill Clinton. (Joe Conason and Gene Lyons)
George W. BushIn an interview with reporters, Bush tells a seemingly off-the-cuff anecdote about his conversion to born-again Christianity, and in the process, says that he believes that to reach heaven, a person must accept Jesus Christ as his savior, period; he even spoke at length with evangelical Christian minister Billy Graham, and, according to Bush, everything Graham told him validated his beliefs. After the anecdote is published in the Houston Post, Bush endures heavy criticism from a number of Jewish leaders and organizations, particularly the Jewish Anti-Defamation League. Following Rove's advice, Bush refuses to back off from his explicitly Christian espousal. This is a calculated political move by Rove: of the 10 million people in Texas, only 100,000 of them are Jewish, and Christian fundamentalists are emerging as a powerful political force, particularly on the right. Rove's simple math tells him that Bush can win thousands of Christian fundamentalists' votes for the relatively small cost of alienating the politically less important Jewish voters in Texas.