April 22, 2002
It's time for a recap.
Before 9-11, the Republicans stole the election.
Since 9-11, they have been busy stealing the country and plotting to take over the world.
With the help of the Democrats and the suck-up corporate media oligarchy, of course.
This is disturbing stuff, potentially terrifying even. But it would be a lot more terrifying if the plots concocted by Bush and his puppet masters didn't look so much like episodes from Pinky and the Brain.
Like the cartoon lab mice whose plans always go awry, the White House gang comes up with one mad scheme after another to make their rich masters richer, overturn civil liberties, extend the right wing social agenda, and make the world tremble at American might.
Forget the election -- the media and the politicians have. A lot of angry voters haven't, but never mind. Let's concentrate on what has happened since the terrorist acts of 9-11.
Or what hasn't happened. A Congress that spent years and millions of dollars investigating a presidential blow job can't seem to find the time or money to seriously investigate how such an intricately plotted terrorist attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon could possibly have happened. How come no one saw it coming? Why didn't the Air Force intervene in time? Why didn't Bush respond immediately instead of talking to schoolchildren while the towers burned? How is it that our lavishly-funded spy agencies didn't have a clue? Or was it that they weren't clueless but somehow involved? Did the Israeli spooks know something they didn't share with us -- remember that spy ring that has mysteriously disappeared from the mainstream media?
Forget it, the White House and Congress say. Not important. We'll just start a war.
So Bush responded to 9-11 with a ludicrous and insane 'War on Terrorism,' the world's first war on a noun. The first target was Osama bin Laden, the mastermind of 9-11, we were told. Although that was unlikely at best, and certainly unproven, Bush went after him with all the enormous might of the world's only super-power -- by bombing one of the world's weakest and poorest countries to rubble. Ten billion dollars and thousands of innocent dead Afghan men, women, and children later, bin Laden is still on the loose. Bush has forgotten his name, but talks vaguely about a Marshall Plan to restore the country we just destroyed. Are you pondering what I'm pondering, Pinky?
While Bush ponders ways to make the Afghanistan mess look like a great victory, Israel's war criminal Prime Minister Ariel Sharon is using American tanks, guns and planes to crush Palestinians armed with rocks and rifles, justifying mass murder in the name of the 'War on Terrorism.' Bush first applauded, then waffled and demanded an Israeli withdrawal. Sharon told him to shove it, and Bush shut up. It's now clear which is the puppet and which the puppet master when it comes to the Mideast. Despite his silence about the Israeli slaughter of innocents, the talk of ethnic cleansing, and the mass graves, Bush is indeed concerned about the Sharon war because it has made the Arabs so mad at the U.S. and Israel that Bush's plans for a new war on Iraq have been endangered.
That war on Iraq would be declared not by Congress, but by King George the Second. Never mind that such a war would be illegal, unconstitutional, immoral, ugly, incredibly expensive and doomed to failure. It would be, the Bush White House thinks, a glorious adventure -- and a bonanza for the bomb makers and the Western oil companies, of course. I don't know, Pinky. Do they really think the American public is going to sit still for all this silliness forever?
Then there is the case of Venezuela, where, as Ted Rall of AlterNet puts it, "an American backed coup against Venezuela's President Hugo Chávez went from fait accompli to farcical footnote in a matter of hours." The extent of the White House involvement in the overthrow of a democratically-elected president will probably be debated for some time. But the gleeful White House embrace of the military takeover can't be spun out of existence. When the coup failed because the people of Venezuela wouldn't stand for it (pity Americans weren't so determined when Bush staged his coup), the White House was left with egg on its face.
It's all starting to unravel, Pinky. Non-rich Americans who have just paid their taxes are beginning to realize that the great Bush tax cut for the rich didn't much benefit them. Fewer and fewer people are paying attention to the lies and evasions of the corporate media, Bush looks more and more like a bewildered child trying desperately to follow an adult conversation he doesn't understand, judges are beginning to question Ashcroft's unconstitutional imprisonment of immigrants, people are thronging to Nader-sponsored "Democracy Rising" rallies, and Mike Moore's book "Stupid White Men" is still on top of the charts.
No matter how powerful the American military, how obsequious the Congress, how subservient the media, Bush and his masters can't totally control the flow of events, nor the news of their failures. Americans are beginning to waken from their post 9-11 'Daddy knows best' trance and starting to question what's going on.
Deck Deckert has spent nearly two decades as copy editor, wire editor and news editor at several metropolitan newspapers, including the Miami Herald and Miami News, before becoming a freelance writer. His articles and stories on everything from alligator farming to UFOs have appeared in numerous U.S. publications. He has written two young adult novels under a pen name, and co-authored a novel about the NATO war on Yugoslavia, Letters from the Fire, with Alma Hromic, who he met in an Internet discussion group. Deckert and Hromic subsequently married and are writing a book about their experience with Internet romance, Cyberdance.
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This Week's Internal Links
SCENES OF WAR, A Glimpse Behind The Curtain Of Silence - by Gregory Elich
Orwellian Inversion, Or Just Another Day At The New York Times? - by Stephen Gowans
Make A Sign - by Michael Stowell
Democracy Ver. 7.2 - by Lance Bauscher
The Immigrant Nation (Part II): Around My Heart - by Alma Hromic
The American "Dream" - by Stevan Konstantinovic
A Whispered Light - Poem by Sandy Lulay
War Is Peace - by George Orwell (Book Excerpt)
Deck Deckert on Swans
Essays published in 2002 | 2001