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Whar, Whar, Whar
February 12, 2002
by Jacob Kaufman

"Whar, Whar, Whar," a petulant Scarlett O'Hara protested in her Southern drawl as she tried to turn the conversation between her handsome twin suitors from 1861's impending crisis to herself. Those words, that scene were authored by Margaret Mitchell in her historic epic, "Gone With the Wind" in 1936. The words echo in our ears today as George W. Bush proclaims that his (not necessarily our) war may last for decades - "whar, whar, whar".

That day described in "Gone With the Wind", during which Scarlett would be flaunting her incomparable charms, was to be one of a gathering of several families at a neighboring plantation, of festivities replete with a barbeque. Thus was the antebellum South.

Most, if not nearly all, of the landed, slave owning Southern aristocrats favored hostilities in 1861. War would result in a vidicaton of their cherished doctrine of secession, gain them new political power bring them economic gain much as it would corporate moguls today who seek favorable legislation for their industries, tax rebates and vast profits accruing from a never ending armed conflict.

The story's protagonist, Rhett Butler, saw only disaster for the South if war came. His famous line, spoken at a gathering of men folk following the barbeque, is, "All the outh has is cotton, slaves and arrogance". A young firebrand Confederate named Hamilton, leaped to his feet to challenge Butler to a duel in defense of the honor of his region. As you may recall, Butler, in order to spare the life of Hamilton, withdrew his seemingly rash statement and, tongue in cheek, apologized.

Should Mitchell be alive today, might she have brought her book up to date in light of current events? Whould she re-characterize Rhett Butler to have him say, "All this country has is greed, selfishness, fear, self righteousness, fear, hatred and (of course) arrogance".

Considering the millions who, at least tacitly, support Mr. Bush's "whar", Rhett Butler would be chastised by the mainstream press, stripped of his citizenship, threatened by a rabid mob, imprisoned, stood before and convicted of treason by a military tribunal and subsequently hanged then drawn and quartered in a public execution. His name would be vilified, his words demonized in history books and his likeness protrayed as a everlasting symbol of evil.

Many decades later, I'm certain, Rhett Butler's characterization of his country would be proved true for, unless halted, our nation will expend its finite resources in unending conflicts scattered over the planet in dozens of sovereign nations who had best be left to solve their own internal situations. Nebraska,s Republican Senator Chuck Hagel put it best recently when he remarked, "We can't declare war on the whole world".

"Why are we thus engaged?" you might ask. Why - because Bush nas defined "fighting terrorism is our calling". Yes, and Bush finds war as a means to become a demagogue. Bush realizes it is far more popular to fight a world war than to preserve world peace. Bush finds it convenient to use war hysteria as a smokescreen to plunder the national treasury. Bush envisions himself as a war president standing shoulder to shoulder with Abraham Lincoln, Woodrow Wilson and Franklin D. Roosevel.

"Whar, whar, whar," coupled with Chiclen Little's ominous cry "The sky is falling, the sky is falling" are all we hear fromNBC, CBS, ABC and Fox. We are fed propagands based on utterances of those who perpetuate unedefined fear and unending frustating from Bush, Cheney, Rumsfield, Powell, Rice, that dupe Ridge and the Keystone Kops Tenet and Mueller. All these and more are being paid exhorbitant saleries paid out of our treasurey's deminishing tax dollars to terrorize us with their words and programs. It's like inflicting pain on oneself with one's on whip.

As Bush so often reminded us during Campaign 2000, "It's your money". Well, if it is our money, why are we letting him waste it on a series of hopeless and endless mini-wars in order to immortalize himself?

America, stop beating yourself with your own whip.

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