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The Neighbors are Whispering
May 9, 2002
By W. David Jenkins III

Every so often I face a dilemma. Although news is breaking out all over the place, I still sometimes get stuck. Even though Bush II is a gold mine of material, a fertile ground for well earned insult not to mention a bleeding crook, sometimes you have to wonder if you’re beating a horse that just won’t die. How many different ways are there to say “I hate that spoiled brat” or “Somebody please lock him up before everything is gone.” And so I pace and wonder what do I say next that hasn’t been said already? And then, out of nowhere...

Allow me to set this up a little bit. Message boards are full of reference to Bush II in terms relating to a “special someone” who was a part of world history from Germany, oh let’s say late 1930’s to 40’s. Even the reader response I continue to receive constantly brings up the “Right Reich” or “Herr So-and-so” when they refer to Bush II. Some responses are out and out impulsive verbal attacks while others are well written essays depicting similarities that they feel need to be given the time of day to anyone who will listen. But the fact remains that people simply cannot help seeing parallels between 2002 and 1939 and it angers and scares the crap out of them. And the only thing that scares and angers them more is that people in general are too busy watching idiots eating live cockroaches on “Fear Factor” than worrying about what’s happening right under their noses.

As I stated above, sometimes inspiration comes out of nowhere. It was a simple conversation which solidified something I, and obviously others have been feeling.

One of the other things I do for release and to express myself is to play music. I’m a regular “pit band” member of a local performing arts center in upstate N.Y. and for the last few weeks I’ve been accompanying the children’s drama workshop production of “Alice in Wonderland.” After one of the performances last week, a young mother of three came up to the musicians’ pit with a request. She wanted to see my T-shirt.

I was wearing a royal blue gift from a friend (thank you Joanski0 from DU) which has a large American flag on the front. That was all she could see with my jacket covering the rest. I told her, “You may not like it, depending on your politics.” See, the rest of the shirt says “This American Patriot Protests the Corporate Owned George W. Bush.” It also has the First Amendment on the back. When I pulled my jacket back, she put her hand to her mouth and quietly gasped. She was shocked, but not how you might think.

This pleasant, soft spoken woman was from Switzerland. She and her family have been here for 2 ½ years and she was shocked that an American was against “W.” But she was pleasantly shocked because all she had seen was American media and the unwarranted and obscene stroking they’ve been giving the Great Impostor. She honestly believed that we all loved the guy and, with the news and information she’s been receiving from her home “over there,” she truly didn’t understand how Americans could be so ignorant. Didn’t they recognize the danger that Bush seemed to portray as the rest of Europe did. And then she said it.

“Bush reminds us of someone very bad.” She said it in a whisper as if she was afraid somebody might hear her. Mind you, we were in a crowded auditorium with a zillion kids all over the place and the place was noisy as all get out, but this woman sincerely didn’t want anybody to hear her. Sensing her uneasiness, I responded by asking her, “You mean somebody from the 1930’ and 40’s?”

She put her hand to her mouth again as her eyes widened and said “Yes.” We both knew who we were talking about. But something about her response made me uneasy.

We’ve all seen the message boards where people call Bush and other Republican vermin “Nazis” and other references to that dark period in world history. But this woman was serious, not that those of us who recognize the parallels aren’t, but she was truly frightened. Her fear came from the all-too-recent reality that her family and neighbors had experienced. Europeans experienced the nightmare of unelected, unchecked and reckless power first hand. Many Americans, on the other hand, are still in a state of denial when it comes to what happened almost two years ago (God, has it been that long?) let alone what’s happening right now.

The thing is it’s not just the Arab peoples who have a certain loathing for us. Our European friends don’t trust this monkey either. Our allies genuinely fear Bush, but not out of a healthy respect. Bush is feared because of how he “acquired” his job and his reckless and irresponsible behaviors as viewed by the world community. Despite what the pundits may say, Bush does not have an unwavering coalition of world wide support. Tony Blair, for example, is in danger of losing his job if he keeps up his blind support for Bush’s follies. The pundits may say that Blair is with Bush, and that may be so, but Blair’s people will send him packing if he keeps it up. Blair’s people remember that bad person from not so long ago too. Even though the media may show Blair and other world leaders shaking Bush’s hand in support, the people those leaders represent would rather put their hands around Bush’s neck and shake his stupid little head. We’ve all seen what little the corporate media is willing to show us of the huge anti-Bush/anti-America protests which have taken place all over the world. But they are happening and they are protests consisting of enormous numbers of angry citizens. Why not here where the real danger is festering? Sure, we’ve had protests but nothing to the degree and frequency warranted in light of the danger that we all will eventually face. Listen, kids, the world thinks we are George W. Bush!

I know this woman I spoke to was just one person. But her visible fear of being heard in a public place speaking against the reckless and illegal power that is Bush II was absolutely chilling to me. She was the one who said Bush was using the 9/11 disaster as a kind of Reichstag Fire. She was the one who commented how the media seems like nothing more than an extension of the Bush II administration. She was the one who expressed a sincere fear and loathing for what Bush was doing to what was once America. She recognized the signs of not so long ago. A nations’ apathy masquerading as “patriotism” fueled by a biased media, thus allowing an evil, unelected power to wage aggression, not only against the world but against its own people.

Our neighbors are whispering. They recognize all too clearly what’s happening here. Their fear and apprehension is real. They’ve seen the arrests of citizens without charge. They’ve seen the waging of war by power hungry maniacs. They’ve seen a country kept in the dark by propaganda. They’ve been there. The familiarity of it all for them could very well be our undoing should we be left alone in Bush’s war. George Jr. was right. He is a “uniter, not a divider.” He’s managed to unite the people of the world against us.

And the rest of the world thinks we’re right behind this evil imbecile. Seriously, they really do.

Are you mad yet?

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