September 4, 2002
By W. David Jenkins III
have to hand it to George W. He's really got some folks suckered
into this "war on terrorism" thing. The Hard Right has really
done its homework and they definitely have all their lemmings
all in a row. I can't help but watch in amazement as they
assemble and sell off this potentially disastrous "policy"
against Iraq and move the rest of us closer to a more isolated
position in the eyes of the world. And some people are actually
buying this snake oil. Here we are, getting ready for the
media bombardment of 9/11 "anniversary specials," and Bush
Inc. is working overtime proving to those of us who can think
independently that they haven't learned a damn thing.
But we'll get to that shortly.
Almost 365 days ago, we watched an attack on our television
sets. An attack like this generation had never seen before.
It was called "another Pearl Harbor." And, yet, even the folks
who remembered Pearl Harbor were amazed. Even though some
people insisted on making the comparisons, those who remembered
knew better. This really was something altogether different.
We weren't being attacked by a country this time. We were
being attacked by an ideology. We were being attacked by a
perversion of a different theology. And, worse yet, there
were plenty of warnings of what was going to happen. Oh, but
we were too busy. There were more important things to worry
about. Remember the big news a year ago? Remember what was
all over the air? Remember what Bush the Little was doing
Summer 2001 was the year that one would've thought Peter
Benchley was having an identity crisis. It was the year of
the shark. Every time you turned on your TV, there was another
hapless swimmer getting munched on. Oh, it was terrible. It
was like those pesky man eaters were everywhere. Never mind
that an un-elected president was crashing a disastrous tax-cut
through Congress. The economy was in the early stages of being
undermined by a political toddler paying back his campaign
contributors, but so what? People were being bit up by sharks,
for crying out loud.
Pay attention, will you?
And if sharks weren't good enough to keep your mind off the
really important stuff, there was always Chandra Levy. Don't
even get me started on that one.
Oh, did I mention? Baby Bush was on vacation for the month
of August last year. Remember he gave that "I'll let stem
cell research go forward just a little bit" speech from Crawford
while that big ol' horsefly shared the stage with him? Then
he came back from vacation - and less than two weeks later
it all hit the fan. And for some doggoned reason, I just can't
seem to shake the feeling of déjà vu' this year. I mean, here
we are in August a year later and the Center on Budget and
Policy Priorities report says that Bush's tax cut really helped
to tank the economy and instead of rogue shark attacks (they
must have got their fill last year) we have to worry about
our kids being kidnapped.
Oh, and did I mention Baby Bush just got back from another
Sure, all that sounds trivial and, by itself, it is. But
if we examine what was happening during this time a year ago,
which the cable news viewers have only recently found out
about, there's a good reason to feel a little leery.
We know, for example, that at the beginning of Bush's vacation
last year (Aug. 6th), he received yet another warning concerning
terrorist attacks on American soil. He had also, earlier in
the year, received the Hart-Rudman Report concerning the reality
of terrorist attacks on the United States which he ignored.
Much as he had ignored the specific warnings from FBI expert
on counter terrorism John P. O'Neill who ended up resigning
in disgust, took a job with WTC security, and perished when
the North Tower collapsed on 9/11.
We also know that Bush was aware of the possibility of commercial
airliners being used as weapons, especially after the Genoa
Summit in July. So we also know that his "we had no idea"
remarks a mere three months ago were a blatant lie.
But something else also happened in mid-July. Few folks know
about a four-day meeting of senior Americans, Russians, Iranians
and Pakistanis at a hotel in Berlin. The conference was part
of a classic diplomatic device known as "Track Two." Niaz
Naik, a former foreign minister of Pakistan, who was at the
meeting said that "The Americans indicated to us that in case
the Taliban does not behave and in case Pakistan also doesn't
help us to influence the Taliban, then the United States would
be left with no option but to take an overt action against
Afghanistan." (Guardian 9/22/01) In other words, we threatened
the Taliban and Osama. T
he United States needed security in Afghanistan in order
to further "commercial developments in the region," something
which had been sought for decades. U.S. officials made these
threats mere months after rewarding the Taliban with over
43 million dollars to combat the drug trade in Afghanistan
- which just happened to be their main export. The Guardian,
in an article by Jonathan Steele, Ewen MacAskill, Richard
Norton-Taylor and Ed Harriman, dated September 22, 2001, goes
into much more specific detail concerning American threats
against the Taliban.
But let's try and sum things up. One year ago, Americans
were pre-occupied with sensational stories on their favorite
cable news channel. It wasn't a fact that more people were
being attacked by sharks in 2001 any more than there are more
kids being kidnapped in 2002. It was tragic last year as it
is this year, but it's still just hype. It takes people's
minds off what's really going on. Let's face it. In all actuality,
the number of child abductions has decreased by almost half
since 1997. There were 115 that year but there have only been
62 this year.
So, yes, we're being manipulated - once again. Not only that,
but the big 9/11 anniversary is coming up and it's the perfect
time to hook those who don't support bombing the crap outta
Saddam the way the "chicken hawks" want to. Just keep showing
the video footage from that day, add the CNN poisoned dog
video and then splice it together with that famous (and monotonous)
shot of Saddam firing the shotgun from that balcony. That
should do it, don't you think?
Which brings me full circle to my original point: America's
gonna take the bait again. Bush is all by himself - except
for the "gang of four" - in his pursuit to avenge his Poppy.
Iraq is no more dangerous now than it was almost two years
ago when the Kid stole office. We hadn't heard a dad-burn
thing about Iraq until the "fortunate one" made his infamous
"axis of evil" speech. It boils down to this. He's made a
horrible mess of a prosperous and peaceful country in record
time. Now he needs to do something to take our minds off so
many things. And even worse, it's personal. Any first-year
psychology student can recognize that. People are out of work,
their 401s are garbage, the ice in the Arctic Ocean is turning
to slush and the best he can come up with is "we'll get used
to it" - not to mention he's got a maniacal zealot for an
Attorney General who just can't seem to help but shoot buckshot
into the Constitution every chance he gets.
And to make matters worse, now we got Cheney speaking to
veterans about how he knows that Saddam has the weapons we
fear. Well, by golly, if anybody should know what Saddam has
it would have to be Cheney. After all, he did spend his Halliburton
CEO-ship selling Iraq over 20 million dollars worth of weapons
technology from 1998 to 2000, dodging trade sanction violations
by channeling the sales through foreign companies. Psssst.
The Vice President is a traitor. Shhhhhhhh.
So, here we are. Bush Inc. is truly afraid that they just
might lose control of the legislative branch in November -
big deal, like they pay it any mind anyway - and they are
all by themselves in waging another war before they clean
up the mess from the last one. America, the once proud, is
being led by a small group of small minds into a possible
invasion that will unleash unimaginable hatred and backlash
against America and its understandably reluctant allies. The
call to war is being led by a group of "chicken hawks" - a
group that has never had the fortitude to withstand combat
themselves - while senior members of the Pentagon, the real
soldiers, are pushing for caution. This country has gone to
Hell in a very short time (started right around Jan. 20th,
2001) and they know it. If ever there were fertile ground
for an "October Surprise," this is that ground. They have
51 percent of the lemmings out there hoodwinked.
Good God, this is like an instant replay of a year ago. And
we can see, in hindsight, that shark repellent wouldn't have
helped the real threat of last year.
What's going to save us this year?