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G.W. Vader: 7 Signs the Farce is With Us
August 8, 2002
By Maureen Farrell

"Darth Vader has not developed his own humanity. He's a robot. He's a bureaucrat, living not in terms of himself, but in terms of an imposed system. This is the threat to our lives that we all face today." - Joseph Campbell

When Bill Moyers interviewed Joseph Campbell for PBS' Power of Myth series, he could not have known how prescient the legendary scholar would be. Mentor to George Lucas, and collaborator on the original Star Wars film, Campbell tapped into our collective unconscious without us being conscious of it.

As more of us became familiar with Campbell's work, however, and made the connections between mythology and life, it was easy to see ways History's villains, became, like Vader, "more machine than man."

But who would have thought Darth Vader would become President of the United States?

Perhaps Campbell did have a premonition, because when one substitutes "G.W. Bush" for "Darth Vader," things become abundantly clear. From his mockery of death row inmate Karla Faye Tucker to his refusal to release America's share of the United Nations Population Fund, George Bush has repeatedly proven he's "not developed his own humanity." And if anyone personifies "a bureaucrat" living "in terms of an imposed system," it's Mr. "Fully Vetted" himself.

Oh, sure, President Vader doesn't wear a discernable mask and is too preoccupied calling other people "evil doers" to acknowledge his allegiance to the dark side, but the proof is there. In fact, everything you need to understand what's happening in America and to the world today, is evident in the original Star Wars.

Consider, if you will, the following quotes:

1) "For more than a thousand generations the Jedi were the guardians of peace and justice in the galaxy. Before the dark times. Before the Empire." - Obi-Wan Kenobi

To understand the troublesome driving force behind our current foreign policy, one only need to refer to the New York Times, circa 1992, when the "Wolfowitz Memorandum," was leaked to the press. Crafted under Bush #41, and named after its author, Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz, the Wolfowitz Doctrine calls for American global dominance and an assurance that "no rival superpower is allowed to emerge." Through this plan, America's defensive policy of containment, of being "guardians of peace and justice in the galaxy," takes a dramatic turn and becomes an offensive strategy to "establish and protect a new order."

President Vader doesn't want to take over the world. He just wants to control it.

2) "Who's the more foolish . . . the fool or the fool who follows him?" - Obi-Wan Kenobi

British and American military advisors are scratching their heads over the dangerous and unrelenting scheme to invade Iraq. Brent Scowcroft, National Security advisor during the Gulf War, issued a double warning - saying an attack on Iraq would ignite the Middle East and insure that terrorism becomes more pronounced. Pentagon staffers, State Department officials, and most of our allies concur - believing an attack on Iraq is unnecessary and dangerous, not to mention immoral, illegal and insane.

But AWOL-prone Vader, who's never experienced battle, tells the public and our jittery allies he wants a regime change. Without the counsel of Congress, or the informed consent of taxpayers, our Imperial president is leading a parade of fool-hearty chickenhawks, who, despite Armageddon warnings and spurned inspection invitations to the U.N. and U.S. Congress, continue to bray about cake walks and street dancing.

3) "Fear will keep the local systems in line." - Tarkin

With color-coded alerts and Alice Kravitz TIPsters, we're poised to defeat Terror. Unless, of course, we mention Colleen Rowley or Robert Wright or an independent investigation into 9/11. In which case, Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld appear on Meet the Press, and snarl over dirty bombs and nukes and terrorists striking, not "if" but "when."

Borrowing a play book from Nazi history, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Ashcroft and Ari seem to be heeding Herman Goering's advice. "Voice or no voice," said Goering during the Nuremberg Trials, "the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. . . All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger." That sounds remarkably similar to berating those who cry over "phantoms of lost liberty" for "aiding terrorists" and "eroding our national unity."

4) "The more you tighten your grip, the more star systems will slip through your fingers." - Princess Leia

Immediately after September 11, the international community rallied behind America, forgiving ways the edict, "you're either with us or with the terrorists" foreshadowed the arrogance to follow. But they were with us, honestly and sincerely, until Vader tightened his grip, pooh-poohed their concerns and created the widest rift between the U.S and Europe in more than 50 years.

The good will squandered through President Vader's unilateral withdrawal from Koyoto and the ICC was small beans to other tyrannical tactics. His policy of dictating who should or shouldn't govern certain nations (especially those perched upon oil) has been deeply felt by Iraqis, Venezuelans and Afghans, while the Palestinians stand in the way of yet another hot commodity - the Second Coming of Christ.

In Kabul, assassination concerns suggest Afghanistan might be slipping though imperial fingers, or, at the very least, that not everyone appreciates having an oil stooge installed as president. At home, rumors that the war on Iraq is a forgone conclusion were amplified during the Senate Foreign Committee hearings on Iraq, when qualified critics of preemptive strikes, like U.N. weapons inspector Scott Ritter or former U.N. humanitarian aid coordinator Hans von Sponeck are excluded from official debate.

Democracy doesn't function well within empires.

5) "The Force can have a strong influence on the weak-minded." - Obi-Wan Kenobi

How else does one explain the popularity of Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter and Fox news?

6) "A Jedi uses the Force for knowledge and defense, never for attack." - Yoda

In June, the Washington Post reported that America's policy of deterrence and containment was a relic and an era of preemptive strikes had begun. With the headline, "Bush Developing Military Policy Of Striking First," it was official: ten years after causing an uproar among Senators Biden and Kennedy and politicians everywhere, the Wolfowitz Doctrine had become accepted, standard policy. Our nuclear promise to never strike first was also revoked, while terms like "defensive intervention" ignored the obvious: a first strike is still an attack.

7) "If once you start down the dark path, forever it will dominate your destiny." - Yoda

In an interview with BBC Radio 4's World This Weekend, former National Security Advisor Brent Scowcroft said, "You don't have license to attack someone else's country just because you don't like the leadership. We are supposed to be taking a lead on the moral issues of the world."

And, so it goes.

Are we going to point our death star at nations which look at us funny? If we continue to violate international law, how long before the United States is considered a rogue nation? And what will it take for Americans to realize that President Vader and his Storm Troopers profit from war?

Major General Smedley Butler, USMC, explained it this way: "War is a racket," he said. "It's not what it seems to the majority of people. Only a small inside group knows what it is about. It is conducted for the benefit of the very few at the expense of the masses."

How many have to die before we figure this out? Here we are, an America Empire, set to wage preemptive strikes and change the course of the world. Our path has already grown dark.

"When Ben Kenobi says, `May the Force be with you,'" Joseph Campbell advises, "he's speaking of the power and energy of life, not of programmed political intentions."

May the force be with us all.

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