The War in Iraq -- The Consumer's Crusade

by Phil Rockstroh

October 4, 2004   


(Swans - October 4, 2004)   We believed the ghosts of Vietnam had been dispatched -- dissolved in the beatific light flaring from the blasts of our high-tech bombs dropped from Belgrade to Baghdad. Once again, American bombs lit the Mesopotamian night... The citadels of the New Jerusalem were made manifest, displacing the desert darkness with every detonation... The wicked cowered before our righteous fury... Ghost and demon fled back to Hell... Our enemies trembled, stricken with the knowledge that the final reckoning was at hand and their iniquitous hour had passed.

But now, blinded by blasts of searing sand granules, we wince and stumble. The desert wind taunts us. Our visions of conquest evaporate as the pitiless sun glares down upon the folly of another empire come to free the heathen hordes from their brutish ignorance -- by way of relieving them of the confusing burden of their untapped wealth.

Of course, the only small recompense we asked in return from those monumental ingrates was unfettered access to their oil.

The only reason for this is a nobility of purpose such as ours requires a great amount of energy to sustain its radiant glory; such a selfless enterprise requires rewards for those long suffering souls on the home front. The consumers of the United States must be allowed to sit, in perpetuity, high above the roadways of the land, serene within their over-sized pick-up trucks and SUVs, their junk food-bloated countenances must never be darkened by want, doubt, nor self-reproach.

So we are told we must soldier on. Withdrawal from Iraq is not an option. Take note: Never has an empire risen and flourished beneath the sun whose soil has not been composted with corpses.

Hence, this is not the time for fretting. We must go into the breach. The gaping maw of empire must be fed...the belly of the beast rumbles. It would ill-behoove such a powerful and awe-inspiring beast to gravel for its meals...it needs oil to thrive and it need not proffer an apology to anyone. For what sort of predator has the need to ask for dispensation to sate its god-given appetite?

That was the post-Vietnam era mistake -- all the pathetic naval gazing and enervating self-doubt. Richard Nixon knew the truth: People respect ruthlessness; they loathe equivocation -- it makes them damn nervous. But the nattering ninnies won that round and brought Nixon down.

And for their anti-American sins of self-doubt they received Jimmy Carter, who delivered cardigan-draped bromides of thrift and Sunday school sermons of self-restraint and personal sacrifice...and that sort of thing drove people to cocaine and disco.

And the high cost and banality of (not to mention brain-damage incurred by) those activities left the nation susceptible to the platitudes of easy prosperity and the shallow, confident man assurances of power and prosperity without sacrifice promised by Ronald Reagan.

All the while, through the nineteen-eighties, George W. Bush hid himself among mountains of the afore-mentioned Bolivian powder and Arnold Schwarzenegger brandished fists full of anabolic steroids and created for himself a body that is a precise metaphor for his adopted land, a nation that worships the appearance of strength -- but whose interior life is as stunted as that of a narcissist bodybuilder, a preening twit for whom the larger world serves no greater purpose than for the adoration of his over-sized, oil-lacquered muscles.

More and more, the American mind began to suffer from steroid-induced psychosis. Our self-absorption was only surpassed by our paranoia. The proxy armies of the Evil Empire awaited the command from their Kremlin masters to attack and enslave us. Homosexuals plotted to destroy the American family -- thereby leaving aimless children adrift and easy prey for conversion by skulking sodomites. Civil liberty advocates employed legalistic weasel words to hamstring the police and thwart the legal system giving criminals carte blanche to roam the streets and commit crimes with impunity, while their Welfare Queen mothers cushioned their posh asses on the leather seats of Cadillacs and cruised the city streets trading Food Stamps for crack cocaine.

Then it grew far, far worse. Then came a threat to everything we hold sacred in Christendom: Bill Clinton.

But godly souls need not have worried -- he turned out to be simply a Sybaritic salesman of global neo-liberal colonialism. The sinner increased the flock of the saved. For once you have them strung out on the lust for consumer goods, lottery tickets, and the like, then they'll grow hollow, anxious, and desperate enough to believe that religious fundamentalism will be a balm that will sooth the ache of emptiness attendant to trading one's humanity for the caged life of an economic animal. The more limited the scope of one's life, the easier the notion of Hell is to envisage. When one's life offers no greater purpose than mindless labor and joyless appetites -- the greater the need for release -- the greater the desperation to believe in the boundless freedom of Heaven.

Plus, Bill Clinton even did Ronald Reagan one better: He bitch-slapped those Welfare Queens so hard their taxpayer-subsidized gold teeth rattled. Across the land, good Christians paused to listen to the satisfying thwap.

The poor must be taught that God, seated upon his golden throne, scorns the sight of their wanton and indolent ways.

The era of George W. Bush has brought a new revelation: If the rich had even more money -- then the Baby Jesus would smile.

The Kingdom of the Lord stands before us. If we listen closely, we can hear the voice of God as he counts his money. Our enemies plot to deprive us of his riches -- that is why they strive to kill us as we attempt to retrieve the oil wealth he left for us, and us alone, beneath their lands.

So top-off your gas tanks, good citizen-soldiers of the Lord -- it is your duty to your God and Country. Those are not traffic jams on the freeways of the United States of America -- but the marching formations of God's Holy Army rolling towards the final battle with forces of darkness. That is not smog draping the horizon before your windshield -- but the hems of the celestial robes of angels. Like the fumes discharged from your exhaust pipe, you too will rise in the Rapture.

Drive, the Lord said unto his armies. The earth will tremble beneath your righteous radials. The road ahead leads to victory in Iraq -- if not blessed Armageddon. Do not pause. Do not tarry. Doubters will be but roadkill on God's highway.

The EndTime battle is at hand. You are being tested. This is how you can hasten the Second Coming: You must not waver from living beyond your means -- as well as the means of the planet to sustain you.

You must fall into the ranks of The Consumer's Crusade. Do not mourn the casualties of the wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, and the holy conflagrations yet to come -- continue to fill-up your gas-guzzlers in their hallowed name.

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Published October 4, 2004
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