Way We War
June 21, 2002
NOUN: Philosophy 1. The theory that the self is the only thing
that can be known and verified. 2. The theory or view that
the self is the only reality. - The American HeritageŽ
Dictionary of the English Language: Fourth Edition. 2000
"We are resolved to rout out terror wherever it exists to
save the world from freedom!" - George W. Bush, January
31 (In a Freudian slip?)
Anyone who can see that not only does the emperor have no
clothes, but that he's not even wearing underwear, with the
warts on his ass in plain sight, raise your hands.
The rest of the world sees it, has seen it since the beginning
of this administration, and has been trying to tell us - but
not all of us are listening. Many of us don't want to hear.
Anyone who reads foreign news accounts is aware that whenever
George W. Gump goes anywhere in the world, there are massive
demonstrations. Tens of thousands of ordinary people who clog
the streets to protest the "leader of the free world."
Many of the demonstrations have turned violent, with demonstrators
being injured and a few killed.
How could that be happening? How could anyone in the world
possibly not want to cheer loveable, warm fuzzy, just plain
folks George W. Bush? Why, he brought honor and integrity
back to the White House! When less affluent young men were
fighting and dying in Vietnam, Young George bravely stayed
behind in the U.S. to defend women and children from an invasion
by Mexico. He proudly stood aside for his last year of military
service to give some other young man the pride that comes
from serving his country. And afterward, out of the goodness
of his heart, he used Daddy's connections to save several
businessmen the trouble of blowing their own money. In the
meantime, he selflessly helped force Arlington, Texas to donate
the land and finance a ballpark for the baseball team for
which he was a figurehead . It was a terrible sacrifice, but
he swallowed the bitter pill and became a multimillionaire.
So how could it be that when he goes anywhere, people put
their safety and lives at risk to publicly show they do not
like this man and his policies? Why is it that whenever Bill
Clinton goes to the same countries, thousands show up in the
equivalent of a mass group hug?
What do they know that we, in our country don't know and
don't want to know?
They live in countries where their media don't have an interest
in propping up this pantload whose main accomplishment in
life up until December 2000 was to lose other people's money
and otherwise just occupy space. They live in countries who
are affected by the punitive and destructive policies of the
United States since January 2001.
When you look at it, the GOP has a habit of defining the
U.S. in terms of an enemy, even if they have to create one.
The Communists had the starring role for 50 years, and when
they folded up shop, that left them without an enemy. The
far right didn't know what to do. While the rest of us were
looking for a "peace dividend" - the money we wouldn't have
to spend on the Cold War being used to do some good at home
- the right wing looked inward and found our enemies in this
country. Liberals, abortion providers, environmentalists,
gays, single mothers, minorities, children, and anyone who
wasn't far right wing were the new enemies. The right had
never liked these groups of people, but they now put put their
new targets on the front lines of the war.
So with all these evildoers, there could be no peace dividend.
Not while there were upper class tax cuts to attend to. The
pain and suffering of the wealthy must be alleviated, or else
none of us is truly free, you see. And no demagogues had better
call it "class war". That would be divisive and wrong.
Now the far right has maneuvered George W. Gump into the
toughest job in the world, a position that doesn't give George
anywhere else to fall upward into. He and his administration
have not wasted one minute since January, 2001 in their drive
to turn the rest of the world into one humongous Third World
country. Or another Texas.
Item: Nine Japanese are dead after a Navy submarine
rams their boat while GOP fatcats are allowed to drive. The
U.S. response to Japan? None, because, well, they were Japanese.
They didn't even rate enough for us to throw up on any of
their heads of state.
Item: The United States backs out of treaty after
treaty, like the ABM treaty, the International Criminal Court,
and Kyoto treaty. We also pulled out of the international
conference on racism in Africa along with Israel. Why? Because
we can. We're the United States. What are you gonna
do about it?
Item: The United States has been implicated in, if
not directly behind, the failed coup in Venezuela. Our government
issued a statement that winning the popular vote does not
give the elected winner a mandate. This bit of irony was followed
by a loud laugh track played in the rest of the world, but
was not audible on television sets in the United States.
Item: In June of 2001, Public Affairs magazine
reported that the United States told India that Afghanistan
would be invaded in October. The reports showed up in Janes
Defense News and on the BBC in advance of September, 2001.
Item: We have redundantly bombed the people of Afghanistan
back into the Stone Age, while trying to bring back Osama
bin Ladin "dead or alive." He is still alive, unlike
several thousands of Afghani peasants who were not smart enough
to be wealthy, and therefore living somewhere else.
Item: In a purely political move, we have imposed
tariffs on foreign steel, lumber, and other products in a
cynical ploy to win Republican votes in swing states. The
European Union says it will impose its own tariffs on other
products in swing states in retaliation. (True story).
Item: Bush gives his State of the Union Speech, which
will be famous only for the knuckleheaded "Axis of Evil" part.
The rest of the world scratches their heads and ask what we
are smoking over here.
Item: The Bush administration ignored the situation
in the Middle East, despite the advice of outgoing Clinton
officials who warned Condi Rice and others to pay close attention
there. George didn't want to do anything Clinton had done,
or would do, so he used the "now you boys play nice" approach
to Middle Eastern policy. When trying nothing didn't work,
Bush Inc. was all out of ideas.
Item: While the Middle East situation was blowing
up and threatening the entire region, Boy George and his war
party got amnesia about Osama bin Laden and decided that it
was time for Saddam Hussein to go. Dick Cheney went to the
Middle East to line up support for invading Iraq. In country
after after country, he was told: "Are you nuts? 'Axis of
Evil?' We have our own 'Axis of Not Very Nice Guys' over here.
You help us with them, maybe we'll talk. Get out of here with
your 'Axis of Evil.' Besides, some of us kind of like old
Item: We're now talking about pre-emptive first strikes
against countries with weapons of mass destruction, forgetting
that they're only following our example. In the meantime,
the situation with India and Pakistan is touch and go, and
we are moving closer to nuclear war than we have in many years.
The Doomsday Clock has been moved ahead for the first time
in years. The United States is now pursuing a policy that
used to be called "peace through strength," but expecting
peace from this crowd of Cold Warriors is like expecting virginity
from Madonna. In 'us versus them' terms, almost everyone else
is now officially 'them.'
Do I need to list any more items? They exist, and you can
probably cite your own. We have a real embarrassment of riches
In these days of globalization, it's strange to me that the
United States can behave as if we're the only ones on the
planet, with no repercussions for others, or ourselves, down
the road. Bush Inc. seems to have a serious case of solipsism
- we're the only ones who matter, or even exist. Already,
there are reports that foreign investors are moving their
investments to other countries out of fear and concern over
the direction we are taking.
I don't believe for one second that anything I've said here
is disloyal, or unpatriotic - quite the opposite. I love this
world. I live here. I don't have any other place to go. So,
when I see something that threatens it, I have to say something,
and I hope more people will.
Anyone who believes the world is safer, better off, or less
dangerous than it was before January 2001 isn't getting it,
and probably gets their information from U.S. mainstream media.
The rest of the world knows what I'm saying. Nothing this
administration touches is better than when they found it;
just the opposite is true. How are we going to have peace
when it's filled with Cold Warrior chickenhawks?
While he was campaigning, Bush claimed to be a "uniter,
not a divider." While I think a better word would have
been "unifier," I can agree with one thing: we have
the very real chance that every country in the world will
set aside their disputes over boundaries and religion, and
unite to try to solve their common problem: the United States.