Letter to the Emperor: Thanks, But No Thanks
By Marty Lolich
In regards to the empire you currently have under construction,
could you please build something more beneficial for us ordinary
subjects? Don't get me wrong - I consider myself very fortunate
to have been born in the United States rather than some less
privileged corner of this troubled globe. It's just that I
don't see the advantage in pouring our blood and treasure
into the military industrial complex and wars of "liberation"
that win us more enemies than friends. I've been told this
is for my own protection, but I'm willing to take the chance
that peace can be achieved by choosing something other than
I'm sure you'll dismiss my comments and leave the grand
strategy of geopolitics to the intellectual heirs of Leo Strauss,
who postulated the mandate of the cognizant few to rule the
ignorant masses by deception. I'll admit that compared with
those who wield the powers of empire, I'm a mere peasant with
little experience and a superficial knowledge of how the world
really operates. But you know what? I refuse to be a good
little peasant, and there are many more like me taking a good
hard look at your new clothes - and we are appalled at your
The outrage over the partial nudity that flashed across
our television screens on Super Sunday was a momentary distraction
from the obscenity of war, lies, and the massive debt being
heaped on our children. We may not know the secrets of national
security, but we know family values include economic security.
You should have limited your imperial ambition to conquests
overseas because when you loot our treasury and export our
jobs, we get riled. You're supposed to provide us with bread
and circus, but we've been getting mostly the latter.
You've been feeding us patriotism, religion, and above all,
fear. A year ago you stampeded your subjects into stripping
store shelves of duct tape and plastic sheeting to seal their
homes against weapons of mass destruction that have proved
as illusory as your compassionate conservatism. You perpetuate
our terror by giving us a perpetual war on terror. The suicide
hijackers who attacked our country were no illusion, but their
most essential weapon - hate - is not likely to be conquered
by military invasion.
I can imagine what your handlers would say - how hypocritical
it is for me to complain, having led a comfortable, safe life.
Have I not indulged in the consumer lifestyle, and don't I
drive my car nearly every day? Gasoline doesn't grow on trees
- it flows in black crude from beneath the sands of Saudi
Arabia and Iraq. What would happen if those spigots were turned
off, or if the natives were permitted to sell their oil in
euros instead of petrodollars? Don't I realize the only thing
keeping our economy afloat in a sea of budget and trade deficits
is the primacy of our currency, maintained by military dominance?
Here is another question: how long can an empire stand on
a foundation of debt and coercion? Your neoconservatives claim
their Project for the New American Century is fostering "the
single sustainable model of national success," but considering
the rate at which this model is converting the planet's resources
into pollution, do you really think we should make the rest
of the world just like us? But that's not the plan anyway,
is it? There can only be one empire, and an empire does not
give - it takes. Perhaps that's why you're encountering so
much resistance - not only abroad, but at home as well. Your
imperial court is taking from the poor, giving to themselves,
and transforming our constitutional republic into an empire
that violates the American ideals we were brought up to believe.
Even if our democracy has long been a thin fašade for the
power behind the curtain, we cling to that fašade rather than
acknowledge fealty to the power.
Therefore, millions of us peasants are embracing democracy
and putting it to the test. We realize we're up against your
corporate media, your black box voting machines, and legions
of flag-waving bible-thumping loyal blind subjects. Fortunately
for us, your own excessive avarice and mendacity have added
fuel to a movement that is going to topple you from your Oval
Office throne and replace you with someone else. Meet the
new boss - same as the old boss? Maybe, just maybe, the movement
you helped fuel will continue to blaze, and government of
the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish
after all. For your unintended assistance, you have my thanks.
But for the empire you wanted to build for your own benefit
- no thanks.
Sincerely, Your Very Disloyal Subject
P.S. All empires decline and fall, so don't expect me to
follow you into the ash heap of history.