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Guns, Oil, Payback
April 2, 2002
By arendt

Want to understand the junta in power? Its as simple as G - O - P: we've got the Guns; we'll take the Oil; anyone who objects we'll Payback.

And, its just as simple to remember who supports this policy: the Military/Prison industrial complex supports spending the taxpayers' dollars on guns and guards instead of health care, social security, or education. The energy industy supports depending on oil, reviving nuclear power, and forgetting about conservation and technical innovation. Finally, fundamentalists, of all denominations, are in charge of payback.

We have racist fundies who have been given the green light to go after Muslims, as long as they soft-pedal their anti-semitism. We have theocratic fundies who continue to assault a Constitution and a country that have more religious freedom and observance than any other first world country. We have economic and political fundamentists who want to demolish what little non-military governmental activity remains. We have military fundies who think world domination (a.k.a. full-spectrum dominance) is our patriotic duty. The Miami Cubans are an especially rabid group of fundies who have been doing CIA wet jobs for 40 years. And we have all-purpose hate radio for bashing anyone who is "different". This country is very ecumenical when it comes to payback.

America today resembles Cicero, Illinois during the reign of Al Capone. Gangsters have bought themselves some seats on the police board - after all, we are a representative kleptocracy; and gangsters are entitled to vote with their dollars too. The gangsters have decided the police should stick to handing out jaywalking tickets so that the bank robbers can get about their business without harassment. While they were at it, the gangsters appointed crooked lawyers to run the SEC so that crooked companies can cook their books in security. They appointed industry lawyers from the major pollluters to eviscerate the EPA, apparatchiks from the mining industry to rape the Department of the Interior, and a religious fanatic to supervise the deconstruction of the Establishment clause and the rest of the Bill of Rights.

For thirty years, the Republican Party has behaved towards the American system of government the same way that a thief pursued by cops in a museum treats the exhibits. That is, if the exhibit can be used as a weapon or a hostage, the thief will do it - either to save his skin, kill the cop, or make off with the loot. So, whatever branch of government the GOP got their hands on, they treated it as expendable. They use it as a weapon, loot the funds, and leave that institution for dead on the roadside. Richard Nixon abused the Presidency and caused Congress to weaken it by passing the War Powers Act. Ronald Reagan bankrupted the country and ran Iran-Contra to circumvent Congressional oversight. George Bush, up to his eyeballs in that mess, pardoned the chief perpetrators. The 1994 GOP Congress tried to ruin Clinton and shut down the government; they accomplished nothing positive. The reactionaries on the Supreme Court abused States Rights to wreck Federal laws until the GOP had need of Federal intervention to subvert the 2000 election and to interfere with "liberal" state laws.

In keeping with this Alice-in-Wonderland parody of government, our sabre-rattling cowboy commander resembles a fire chief who happens to be an arsonist. After a decade including the Gulf War, in which total American casualties were less than one holiday weekend's traffic fataliites, it seemed like militarism was declining. But, hey, if you want to be fire chief, you've got to have fires. So, the chief had all those underemployed firemen hang kerosene lanterns in hay lofts around the world. And, surprise, surprise, some cow kicked one over! Oh, boy! Now he gets to ring the bell and crank the siren on the big red truck that daddy lets him pretend to drive! Sometimes he even gets to pour more kerosene on the fire.

Speaking of Alice, we have to mention the magic mushroom diet that the conglomerated infotainment octopus has been feeding the American public for the past ten years. I mean, short of hallucinogens being dumped in our reservoirs, how else can we explain American's suspension of critical thinking about this slow-motion coup-de-cheqier? How could the American people, savvy folks we are constantly told, be fooled so long?

Just remember: you don't have to be a genius to commit the perfect crime; you just have to be in charge of the investigation. And how does one become "in charge" in America? One pays to be in charge. So, first, they bought the press. The press is in charge of informing the electorate, both about matters of public interest, and about the scandals of politicians. Once in control of exposing political chicanery, it was simple to hide the wolfishness of the thieves while condemning the barking of the sheep dogs. It was Gresham's law of political reporting: bad reporting drives out good politicians. As decent politicians left in droves, the result was a reactionary Congress and a partisan farce of an impeachment.

Payback coupled with an infinite supply of cash is very hard to beat in the long run. In the 2000 election, the money boys paid the press to lie about Al Gore and not to tell the truth about George Bush. The gangsters supplied the muscle - Congressional aides bussed to Miami (surprise!) to stage a "riot". And, just for insurance, a court packed by the gangsters validated the whole rotten deal in a weasel-worded disgrace of an opinion that may well serve as the tombstone of American democracy.

Slouching towards the trenches

My personal opinion is that the "W" in George W. Isuzu, Jr stands for Wilhelm - as in Kaiser Wilhelm, Jr (the second). Wilhelm II was a brittle, shrill, strutting popinjay in love with the military, although never at any risk himself. He happened to have inherited the most powerful country in Europe from his father, by whom he was always overshadowed. Wilhelm II dispensed with the wise counsel of Bismarck, scared a friendly England into an alliance with his enemy France by trespassing on the British Navy's superiority, and constantly disturbed the harmony of the Victorian era with his macho braying. He blundered into World War I, became a figurehead in a military government, and ignominiously fled to Holland after the surrender. The Germans, like the GOP, were also good at Guns and Payback, but not so good at Oil. Perhaps that is why they lost. Twice. Big-time.

Unless we want to be yet another example of Santayana's people "who do not remember history", we had better speak up fast. A third world war, which no-one except some Pentagon fanatics wants, is being put on the rails by military planners operating in secret. Timetables are being drawn up for walking straight into a mid-East quagmire that will make the Western Front look like a Queens-rules boxing match.

I remember history. I remember that once the shooting started in August 1914, all the labor leaders and all the opposition leaders followed their armies, leming-like into the slaughter. Once the draft machinery was running and the casualty lists came in, the war was unstoppable. And, it was a war like no one had ever seen. They talked of cannon-fodder and mechanised death. And that was with the technology of a century ago. I also remember that the sad-sack anarchist who started it all spent the war comfortably in jail, and lived to tell about it.

So, whether you are left or right, whether you think the perpetrators are terrorists or freedom fighters, the time to think is running out. If you want democracy to have a chance in a world of Drug Running CIA/ Mossad spooks, false-flag provocations, IMF loan sharks, off-shore banks, Hot Money, and Enrons, speak now or they will forever hold your peace.

Get off your asses. Its about to be "Mourning in America" again.

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