Saturday, April 29, 2006

Nuclear Tipping Point

Well, here we go.

The Iran situation is heating up -- quickly and very dangerously. The IAEA has found Iran to be violating it's treaty obligations, Iran 'couldn't care a damn', and the Administration is ratcheting up it's rhetoric and calling on the UN -- whose actions are notoriously weak, even in the dim past when the UN hadn't been hobbled by the withdrawl of the political support of the United States. Now, Robert Fox of the Guardian quotes Michael Gordon of the NY Times as saying "The chances of diplomacy succeeding are nil". here

Well great, not only does the US refuse to negotiate directly with the agent of this supposedly 'very serious situation', and in fact refuse to 'recognize' Iran (though Republican's are happy to sell them weapons under St. Reagan as long as it can be used to support other pet projects -- you gotta love their priorities, values, integrity, commitment to the word of God, and 'principles') but somehow the zeitgeist of American politics is deciding, and encouraging others to believe apparently, that diplomacy is already, and without possiblity of alteration doomed. So, like, if diplomacy has zero chance of success, doesn't that mean we are going to war? 'Cause Iran isn't going to back down because of some scary articles by Sey Hirsch.

If there is anyone out there listening, please, we have to understand, if we go to war with Iran, 'the Long War on Terror' really will, at best, be a very, very long war. This will make the cold war look like a walk in the park on spring day. If we attack Iran, you can be 100% certain that there are Muslims, and Arabs, who will make it there life's work to see the US destroyed -- thousands, millions of them, where once there were a few hundred. Pakistan has Nuclear technology. Musharaff will not hold power if the US attacks Iran, and then A.Q. Khan, the founder of the Pakistani weapons program, not to mention his ISI supporters, will be free to export technology where ever, and to whomever they want.

This is absurd, and it is happening very fast. Wake up folks. Do you really want your children to be fighting a war against 1/4 of the world, do you really want to see the world in flames for generations? Is that what you want? There may still be time to make a choice. But you will have to make it. Are you for 'The Long War', or would you rather live, and bequeath a life to your children and theirs and theirs?

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Turning on the AC during the Fog of War

I saw two different things today both of which were emblematic of the real problem in this country.

The first was something I’ve seen before that is one of those perfect horror stories for use at cocktail parties, but only as a way of trying to defuse the real rage it brings on. Before I explain what I saw, I have to set up the context. So here in the nations capital we have been having the perfect weather that only comes for 2 weeks in the spring and two weeks in the fall, and makes California-philes like myself forget for just a moment what a bummer this ‘city on a swamp’ is. The weather is perfect: 70 degrees Fahrenheit, humidity at about 40%, sun shining, flowers blooming literally everywhere even in the little plots of ‘nature’ at the strip malls. It’s gorgeous out, and really this is only about the 4th or 5th day like this, so it’s still quite easy to appreciate. So I head on over to my local Starbucks on my way to school, and what to my wondering eyes should appear, but a woman in an SUV, a really big V8 Toyota Sequoia, with all her windows up, running the engine, just sitting there in the parking lot, doing her bills apparently. So I go into Starbucks, get a latte, sit down for a while, read a bit, then head back out, and what do you think I saw? The same woman, in the same SUV, with her engine still running easily 10 minutes after I went in. I assume that she had her windows up, and engine running so that she could experience the joys of air conditioning, on the first golden day in 6 months. On my second pass I also noticed that she had a nice ‘support the troops’ magnetic ribbon (no more bumper stickers for the wealthy Americans – when the political winds shift you can throw out your old convictions without even a mark remaining on your beautiful Toyota Sequoia and who cares if your just casually throwing out magnetic metals?)

Since I’m not sure that it’s completely transparent just how incredibly horrible that is I will spell it out. Here sits this woman who is all about ‘supporting the troops’ burning up precious fossil fuels, polluting our air not just with gasoline fumes, but also with toxins associated with air conditioning, when the weather outside is gorgeous! Not only apparently would she rather that other people fight and die to preserve her right to waste gasoline, and not only is she not even remotely concerned about driving an extremely inefficient vehicle, but she has gotten so inured to the realities not only of the causes of the events swirling around this country but even inured to the basic facts of the weather. I have been in cars heated up by a day in the parking lot where even on perfectly cool days, their owners would rather take a 5 minute drive with the windows up and the air conditioner on – though in 5 minutes the AC can’t really change the temp in the car – than roll down the windows! Americans have gotten so used to their privilege and so committed to ‘not connecting the dots’ between those privileges and events in the big world, that it never occurs to them how extraordinarily self centered, ignorant, and effectively, deliberately in your face it is to keep on consuming, even when that consuming doesn’t even improve the situation in the slightest, and then turn right around and demand more and harsher military actions to prevent the world from expressing what is real in response to that consumption. The worst part I suppose is those poor soldiers in Iraq who are fighting and dying so that this woman can have air conditioning on a perfect day, while she sits around in her air conditioned stupor talking about how she ‘supports them’. Sure yeah, you really support them alright. You support them right into their graves.

The next thing I saw was some graffiti on a bathroom wall. It said “All terrorists must die” or words to that effect (I think it was more gutter level). And then someone else had written “Yes – that means Bush because he’s the real Terrorist”. And then someone else had written “Idiot” about the 2nd guy. What’s behind this? These words were observed on a college campus in the middle of Virginia. The odds that the individual who wrote them had ever known anyone who was harmed by a terrorist is extremely low. The most likely chance of him knowing someone harmed in the ‘War on Terrorism’ would be if he knew, or was himself in Iraq, in which case the person he knew was harmed by people defending their own country – in whatever confused way – from the naked aggression of US power, and in particular against military targets and so was in no sense a terrorist. So we see how the American people have come to see ‘terrorism’ all around them, in their fantasies of righteous rage they imagine enemies everywhere and fantasize glory in defeating them. And it is a fantasy, the fact is that for citizens of the United States of America, at this time in history, a vanishingly small portion of deaths in this country are in any way related to terrorism. I am far more concerned about the welfare of those I know for a multitude of other reasons (including driving on freeway, heart attacks due to smoking, and lung disease due to air pollution!), and looking out over the next century think the only reason my relatives will be harmed in any terrorist related way is if they are a part of the US military, or present at or near US military actions, engaged in promulgating this unilateral attack on the ¾ of the worlds population. Absent that, and absent the impetus to provide nuclear weapons to terrorists that the ‘War on Terror’ has stirred up, we could easily be quite unlikely to ever see an actual live terrorist in our whole lives.

Finally the other ‘authors’ of graffiti that responded to the first one, demonstrate how strongly polarized our society is becoming. The ‘self righteous, stick your head in the sand’ defenders of the right wing takeover have long since decided, as a point of honor actually, that silly things like facts, and realities, and truth, and the perspectives of others are irrelevant. The only thing that matters is ‘loyalty’ to the powers that be (even as those powers shift and change). On the other hand, the aggressive, finger pointing, blame throwing, of the ‘opposition’ asks us to believe that some how the stupidest president in history, and his scowling, nasty side kick/master somehow did this all by themselves – that if we can just get rid of George W. Bush, all of our problems will just magically go away.

In general this country is absolutely entranced with the ‘great man’ theory of history. That’s why the media obsesses so much about individual perpetrators of terrorism. The idea that if we just ‘got’ Bin Laden, Zarkawi, and the evil tyrants that are in charge of Iran, or indeed the evil tyrant that ran Iraq, all of our problems would just dry up and blow away, is nonsense of an incredibly delusional sort. (Saddam is gone, but the problems remain) While on occasion one man can make a difference in what unfolds in a limited area, the US’s need for enemies to hate, and excuses to invade, and it’s love of military might is a far more sweeping historical phenomena. Indeed the very paucity of actual terrorists is only a transient fact in the face of such naked aggression against the self-determination of others that has become the hallmark of US international activity over the last 50 years or more.

The fact is that there were huge forces at work, and the machinations of large numbers of people were required to create the alignment that is the ascendancy of George Bush. It was obvious at the time of his first run for office that Bush was selected by the Republican party not for his smarts, successful track record, deep knowledge of either domestic or international politics nor for his long standing efforts toward the goal of political power, but rather, and quite plainly because he was electable. They needed a face, a smile, a joke that could sway the deeply reactive, and largely uninformed American electorate. And they found those qualities in George W. Bush. The truth is that his incompetence is the greatest gift the left ever got. If Tricky Dick had come back it would be much, much less clear what was going on. Things like the outing of Valerie Plame could easily have been handled with more finesse – and then where would we be?

This is probably as good a time as any to clarify that in my opinion one doesn’t need to believe in, or not believe in, conspiracy theories. Nor does my basic point that the War on Terror is the Cold War meets The War on Drugs require that those in charge actually plan the kind of self-reinforcing cycle that it really is. The reality is that the people of this country, through their knee jerk emotional reactions, and jingoistic know nothing attitudes, and love of violence for it’s own sake, are the only real force needed to drive the war on terror forward. Any politician who isn’t willing to get on the band wagon and lead this herd where it wants to go, finds that no one is willing to follow – ask any number of people from Al Gore, to Michael Dukakis. It’s not that either the Republicans or the Democrats are ‘bad’ or are failing us, it’s that the mass of people have a set of emotional responses and pre-ordained beliefs about how the world is, that they are not willing to investigate or change. Of course I can sit in my V8 automobile and run the AC on perfectly fine day when oil prices have doubled in 2 years, and of course I am quite happy to vote for more troops to make sure that I can continue to do so. And the idea that there is anything at all about my behavior that is open to question is only an invitation to a fight. The idea that the Democrats are going to save us, or that if they don’t that means they are ‘bad’ or failures or whatever, is the same basic drive that is moving us away from democracy in the first place – the belief that in a democracy what happens is not reflective of the people. Which is a deep fantasy.

We have to understand something. In a monarchy if the king rules badly, ignores information, promotes friends rather than competence, then things go badly, and everyone gets to blame the king. And more importantly, Kings who want to govern well quickly begin to realize that they have to, in plain terms, grow up. But in a democracy there is a deep and subtle problem. Individual power centers, special interests, try to manipulate the mass of people in order to get what they want. Whether it be businesses or government or whoever, people attempt to manipulate information so that the democracy gives the special interests what they want. More importantly because blame is so nebulously diffused the responsibility for what happens is difficult to take on individually. Furthermore in free market society, where everything is valued only for how well it sells, short term, emotionally reactive, and primal motivations are used to keep the sales up. The result of all this is that people are free not to grow up, not to understand how what they do affects the system. Finally because they don’t grow up, the information gathering and dissemination systems (the media and the government) are more and more prone to tell people what they want to hear. The Bush administrations manipulation of intelligence is just a symptom of a much larger societal process in which we refuse to hear things that we don’t want to hear. Why because we don’t have to grow up. The failures of the media and of government aren’t isolated, and they can’t be blamed on nefarious individuals with either sinister motives or lack of ability. They are extremely capably motivated to provide to the public the exact things that will pay the bills. And those things are lies, con-games, and ‘happy stories’ that put us to sleep, keep us free from guilt, and responsibility, and make us feel not just happy, and fun, but deeply morally right. Whether on the left or the right, we all believe the fundamental story of our time – it’s someone else’s fault.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Censure and the Long War

What follows is another 'blast from the past' but not quite as old news as the first one. With this one I'm going all the way back to the heady days of the Feingold Censure Motion. The point of posting this is that the basic big picture represents my views pretty well, is not something that other people are saying, and is a sufficiently large issue that it doesn't really change with the day to day happenings. In many ways that is the point of why I'm doing this. Too much of what we see in both the media and online is too tightly coupled to each days events to really allow for meaningful discussion on the causes and forces that are shaping what is going on around us, and in my view that isn't an accident. The institutions reflect the way people's psychology works and that is to obsess about the details mostly out of needing to feel involved in something. In other words all the reactive posturing to day to day events isn't going to get us out of this one, not in the big picture.

This essay concludes with my personal favorite blow across the bow of the whole geopolitical mess we are in which is to tie energy research into the 'war on terror'. One way to tell that we aren't serious about the war on terror is to watch where the money goes, or rather where it doesn't go. It doesn't go into the kinds of things that would really make us safe, like getting free of our dependance on foreign oil, or securing our own ports, instead it goes toward funding the aggressive wet dreams of people who have spent their whole lives being in love with violence.

Without further ado...

Censure and the Long War

Senator Feingold’s bill to censure the president for his illegal spying on Americans is a brave effort, a good strategy and a fine idea, but unfortunately, through no fault of the Senator’s, it misses a much deeper, and more problematic truth, a truth that we cannot ignore any longer if we hope to make a significant change in what is unfolding in this country. The truth is that as long as we all, collectively, continue to believe that the President can order a ‘War on Terror’, a ‘Long War’, that will last generations, then we have, in fact, collectively assigned the president precisely kinds of powers that the Administration want us to believe it has.

The Constitution of the United States of America makes very clear that while war making is a presidential power, the declaration of war is very clearly a power consigned to the Congress. It is very clear that the ‘War on Terror’ was first of all a slogan proffered by the administration and only secondarily, through repeated use, and non-existent opposition to it, become a policy of the United States government. If the President has the power to convert a political slogan into an actual deployment of US military might, over multiple generations, then we have already allowed the Constitution to be violated, and already consigned ourselves to the slow steady accretion of Presidential power inherent (and it is inherent) in such a decision.

How many Senators and Congressman knew when they passed an ‘Authorization for the use of Force’ in a Afghanistan, and more to the point, how many citizens of this country knew, that they were in fact providing legal cover, though not clear legality to, an indeterminately long, but already avowedly multi-generational, conflict against a non-specific enemy, with an unspecified, and in fact arbitrary set of circumstances defining ‘victory’? How many? Did the people of this county know then and do they know now, that they have decided to commit 100’s to 1000’s of billions of dollars annually to a fight against an enemy that at the time of their famous strike against a building and it’s occupants, consisted of probably a couple of hundred, and not more than 10,000 real members? Has it occurred to anyone that we almost certainly could have bought Iraq for 250 billion dollars, and gotten a better result than we have now? Has it occurred to anyone that by the same logic we probably could have paid a thousand Muslim men from Pakistan a million dollars each to go blow up Al-Qaeda central and been done with this whole thing years ago? How many people in the US right now realize that the Global War on Terror, the Long War that has now begun, has, if you believe the administration, been explicitly and publicly declared to be a war that will involve the conversion of the United States of America into a police state? That is what the decision to spy on Americans without a warrant amounts to.

As is well known the issue of how best to deal with the NSA spying problem is a political problem, but it is a political problem in the substantive sense of that word, not the modern day derogatory sense. The problem is that the bulk of those Americans that have an influence on the American political process have apparently, at least so far, decided that they *do* want a multi-generational conflict run from and for a military industrial state and therefore the Democrats and indeed anyone who attempts to oppose this decision will lose. Just as the Republicans have discovered that it wasn’t the Democrats who were driving big budgets, but the voters who, bless their little hearts, *like* money from heaven, so to do the Democrats now know that any attempt to resist the ‘War on Terror’ will only cost them at the ballot box – where it counts. The tendency on the part of the left to blame the Democrats for their lack of leadership misses this essential point. This is first and foremost a democracy, or a near approximation of one for the time being – it is the public that makes the decisions.

And thus we come to the fundamental question. Did the people of this country so enjoy their last multi-generational struggle, with it’s concomitant spending on weapons, police, and spies, that they really do believe that the right thing to do is to have another even bigger one. The ‘Cold Warriors’ (what an absurd phrase!) who run the Republican party can only offer up to us the same world they grew up in, a world of absolute enemies, and easy answers, a world of Fear, and Death, and the never ending struggle to achieve dominance for corporate America.

Most crucially of all, the American people have to decide which they want more: Fear, or Truth. Would we rather spend money and buy guns, and armies, and spies and propaganda or would we rather actually be safe? Do we want a war, and a war for our children and grandchildren as well, or do we want safety? Do the American people want to know what it would actually take to be safe? Are they interested in the experts who have clear solid recommendations for safety that don’t always make sense in the sound bite world, but do in fact make one safer, or do they prefer sound bites and slogan and more guns, and violence for the next 3 generations? Do the American people want to know about how energy issues are driving this whole problem, and that their beloved government spends less on energy research than it does on the embassy, (the embassy!) in Baghdad? Why can’t we have a Manhattan Project for energy to make us free forever from the Middle East? Because it would cost too much? That is quite a stretch, if you know anything about these issues or maybe because it would not be in the interests of Exxon Oil.

We who would oppose what is happening, who would make a difference on these issues have to stop blaming the Democrats, and find out what it is going to take to get the American people to start caring about what is true, and not just what sounds good, to care about the actual welfare of their grandchildren and not keep shelling out cash for a war that will never end. This country is not great because of it’s CEOs, and it is not great because of it’s salesman. It is great because of it’s engineers and scientist. Any culture that stops paying attention to what is true, and starts preferring only what sounds good, is a culture that will not last for long.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

The Cycle at work

The AP brings us this 'informative' piece (here)

So 'Al-Qaeda' backs the insurgents. This is supposed to mean what? That if we fight in Iraq we are 'fighting them over there'?

How 'bout a different spin. How about 'of course they do'. After all the enemy of my enemy is my friend. We forced these two groups together. Hell we created the insurgents. The whole point of Al-Qaeda is that they don't like us.

Is anyone surprised that they might issue some statements in support of people fighting us? big deal -- they are a bunch of losers in caves, let em 'issue statements'.

Of course the 'mainstream' political discussion, which means what's on TV, will try to use this as 'proof' that we have a war on, and have to continue the War on Terror. And all the big 'tough guys' on Faux News, and in the Republican Party in general and the Right Wingnuts, will treat this like it's some big deal, a reason for all of us to quake with fear, and spend more money and blood.

I think it proves the war on terror is a self re-inforcing cycle and that the media's job is to tell the rulers of the world (that would be us) what we want to hear.

Since the issue of presidential veracity is back in the news again, I want to make a couple of quick points.

Clearly todays big news (here) is that the President lied to the American people when he claimed evidence for 'Weapons Labs' had been found.

But lets flesh that out a bit shall we? Is this part of a pattern and is it 'in the past' or is it ongoing? Back up to this last weekend. Remember when the president said "I wanted people to see what some of those statements were based on, so I wanted people to see the truth." (here) Though I don't recall seeing anyone mention it, the fact is that the president was lying when he said that, and lying in a particularly twisty, any-way-you-look-at-it kind of way.

How so? First, not only do we all now know, but he knows that we all know, that in fact the 'truth' he wanted people to see, was not true. It was in fact false. So to use the word 'truth' about what was stated then is to lie now. Second, we also know that not only had the President been informed in the NIE that these tales were likely false, but indeed what Joe Wilson was saying in public, and what he had told the CIA, was that they were false (which in fact was true). So the president knew *then* that the information he was leaking was false, or in the language of the common man President Bush so wants us to think of him as, a lie. A big fat one. It was a lie then, and it was a lie this weekend when he lied about lying about it. In fact what really happened, as the president has now told us, exept for his disengenuous use of the word 'truth', was that the president used the seeming authority of his office, and the office of those associated with him (Cheney and Libby) to inject a lie into the national debate in a surruptitious way in an attempt to discredit Joe Wilson. Precisely what Fitzgerald stated in his court filings.

So, what do we know? We know not only that the President lied, we also know something far worse now. We know that the president is a habitual, serial, and inveterate liar. He may well be a pathological liar. He lies to cover up for old lies. That is very definitely the mark of a pathological liar.

Anybody who believes anything Bush says, or indeed his office says, is a fool. There have been way too many lies, on way too many critical national security issues for any other position to be taken by a sane and reasonable person interested in their own self-preservation.

Okay, so, now that we all know. Can we worry about other issues? Like how we are going to stop the war on terrorism when this country is being run by liars, con-artists, and people with 'For Sale' tattooed on the back of their necks?

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

To inaugurate my blog I'm going to back up and post some old stuff I've got, sort of clear out the pipes. Some of these are a bit long, two pages or so, but in looking them over if anything they come out as (in my humble opinion) terrifyingly prescient.

Since Arianna has the Drug War back in play over on HuffingtonPost, I'll start with a piece I wrote in 2002 about the War on Terror and the War on Drugs. have a look oh intrepid reader, and share with me the marvel of how nothing has changed. Plus c'est la change, plus c'est la mem chose.

without further ado...

Okay, enough is enough, President Bush’s conflating of the Drug War and the War on Terrorism, means the Shrub has given up any pretense of working with the ‘opposition’, given up any pretense of working together to face a common threat, and instead is using this crisis to further his own, more importantly his parties, narrow agenda. Actually it is quite funny that he would be the one to introduce a connection between these two into the national debate because the connection between them is something he is least prepared to defend.

The fact is, the ‘War on Drugs’, is un-winnable, destructive to global peace and security, and extremely expensive to no purpose. That is the perspective of those who wonder at the value to society of creating an economic incentive to lawlessness. That is the perspective of those who question the usefulness of the police state and wonder at the societal value of putting millions of people in jail and the creation of a permanent class of federal employees whose livelihood depends on a steady stream of ‘wrongdoers’. Now here’s the perspective of the political class: It provides the perfect fodder for electoral dominance – It will never go away so we can continue to gain electoral strength from it year in and year out. It is so obviously ‘right’ that Mr. and Mrs. Voter can be counted on to support it. It provides a perfect cover for expanding our hegemony overseas. It provides a perfect excuse to expand police powers, to merge the police and the army, and to supply both with advance weaponry and surveillance technology. In fact it provides a good justification for research into such devices. Better still by virtue of being illegal the price of the contraband substance is guaranteed to rise to extreme heights, this in turn creates an extremely wealthy class of people who benefit directly from the very illicit-ness of the contraband good and can therefore be counted on not to organize opposition to its illegality. It creates a class of citizen whose entire livelihood depends on its continued illegality, and on its continued use and availability – the prison guards in our rapidly expanding for-profit prison system. It facilitates the removal of liberals and radicals from the rolls of voters (felons can’t vote). In fact, it’s not a half bad way of financing ventures that may not quite meet the approval of Ma and Pa voter either. It is crucial to understand the following: The more we try to stamp out drug shipments (but not drug users – we can’t be locking up all those rich coke heads, now can we George?) the more profit those who succeed in shipping drugs will make. The more profit they make, the more others will attempt to get a part of their business, and therefore the more drugs will flow. This is the endless spiral of the drug war and why it has not been and never will be ‘won’. Once this spiral begins its motion, a self-perpetuating logic keeps it in place. The entire spectrum of politically powerful individuals from the ‘drug lords’ (both overseas and in the US), to law enforcement, and prison personnel, and finally to politicians, and military planners all want the drug war never to end. Why is it that the right-wing, those removers of government from the back of the people, consistently want to spend billions of dollars de-stabilizing foreign countries fighting ‘drug’ wars when it is their children (come on George, what really went on? And why didn’t you take that test?) who are busy snorting up all the coke they can lay their hands on? You think poor kids can afford $1000 dollar a night habits?

Okay so what does that have to do with the War on Terrorism? The War on Terrorism is a made to order scheme of similarly limitless possibilities. Lets just start with the best of them: It can’t be won. What? You didn’t know that? Nope not a chance. As long as one pissed off farmer with a gun (and there’s nothing like military adventurism in a foreign country to piss off the locals), decides to shoot at a ‘peace keeper’, or five crazed fanatics can buy enough duct tape, and automatic weaponry (which by the way Uncle Sam is only too happy to sell all around the globe) to kidnap a journalist, well, guess what, you’ve got a terrorist on your hands. No this thing is only going to be over when the right wing says its over, and they aren’t going to do that for a very, very long time. Anyone who suggests it might be over is guilty of disloyalty. In fact, by dropping lots of bombs on foreign countries, and unilaterally invading or otherwise attacking anybody that makes a plausible target to the folks back home, they are extremely likely to generate enough terrorists to keep us busy for the next 30 years. Just as with the drug war there is a cycle here where both sides feed off of the other side’s actions. We attack them because they attack us, thus hurting new people who enter in on the side of the terrorists. Worse yet, by responding with ‘overwhelming force’ (which somehow doesn’t quite overwhelm), we make the terrorists seem powerful, dangerous, and important, thus attracting people to their cause. Why is it that terrorism has never ended in Israel? Because they aren’t tough enough? Aren’t mean enough? Don’t stand up for themselves? What a load of horse hockey.

Ever since Communism collapsed the right wing has needed an enemy – some devil to justify their obsession with weapons and warfare. The War on Terrorism is made to order – a fact that is not lost on them. No sane person can oppose it, and yet from it will proceed every single nightmare of our collective unconscious. Search and seizure rules will be removed, surveillance, wiretapping and other more advanced techniques will become routine. The prison system can be expanded and law enforcement personnel increased. Military operations of large scope can justified. Already we are seeing this ‘war’ used an excuse to invade foreign countries. In fact since every continent holds terrorists of one sort or another, justification can be found for establishing global hegemony – with our friends the Russians of course. Political opponents can be vilified, thus ensuring continued success at the ballot box. Military expenditures for every weapon system, not just ones that might help fight terrorism will increase. The fascinating thing though is that this infinite justification for every right wing wet dream will not in fact lead to intelligent thinking about what weapon system are truly useful – useful weapon systems win wars, useless ones prolong wars. Spending 40 billion on a Maginot line in space is not an error at all. True it won’t help in any way shape or form to find Osama, or prevent someone from hijacking a plane, but then, who would want that? If we did that, we might have to stand down on this war, and then where would all those advantages be? No, far more useful is to misdirect public attention onto ‘solutions’ that solve nothing, thus perpetuating the crisis and its bounty of political and military dominance for the right wing. Missile Defense stays.

Americans have been in a collective state of denial, a progressive cycle of know nothing-ness which our beloved rulers have not only encouraged, but in fact enhanced and profited from. The Reagan ‘revolution’ proved that the American public was finally so completely asleep that they could be counted on to go along with any lie, war, or crime with out a complaint. Thus they swallowed hook line and sinker the lie (which has come back even before new deficits) that the deficits of the 80’s (and the debt we still have) were Congresses – and hence the Democrats – fault . Thus they swallowed the lie that the Contra’s were loving, caring, lawful people, and that mining harbors in Nicaragua ‘never happened’. Somehow in the dreams of the American citizens selling weapons (funny how we are always selling weapons to people) to Iran who had only 4 years earlier kidnapped hundreds of US citizens, to fund an illegal war in Central America, was nothing like the constitutional crisis of a man lying about who he was sleeping with. They impeached Clinton, but blamed the whole Iran Contra Affair on a colonel. Best of all the American public believed it!

Wake up America, before its too late. Here is some reality for you: We didn’t ‘get Osama’. He got away – scot free. He is somewhere out there right now plotting the next one. We are not safer now, the military adventurism that our brilliant commander in chief launched played right in to his hands. There are geo-political fault lines of vast proportions opening up. BinLaden knew they would, and don’t worry he didn’t ‘make no mistake’, he knew America would respond militarily – that is precisely what he wanted. We are the most war-like country on the face of the earth. There was no surprise in what happened. What is surprising is how completely that strategy has fractured the geo-political landscape. How thoroughly he has shown up the interlocking web of deceits whose fundamental purpose is to keep the gasoline flowing, and how much the last 6 months have cost the arab tyrannies we have supported for the last 50 years. ‘Make no Mistake’ America, Bin Laden didn’t come from nowhere – his family and the Bush family are deeply aligned, and he knows it. He is the direct result of the military adventurism, and geo-political calculations of the last 50 years of American policies. He is the ‘Hen come home to roost’. Just like Saddam Hussien, and Manuel Noriega before him, he is ‘our boy’, and he has ‘gone native’. To think that we will solve this crisis with still more strong arm tactics, and even more alliances with tyrants (like our good friends the Pakistani’s or the Iranians perhaps?), thieves and killers is not only foolish, but it condemns our children to live in a world more violent, dangerous and ugly than anything we in this country have ever seen. Spetember 11th did not ‘change the world’, this is the way the rest of the world has lived for ages. We are not ‘innocent’ and beyond reproach – this has happened for a reason. What is that reason America? They are not ‘the evil doers’ – these simplistic slogan are designed to keep you asleep, designed to keep you from asking questions that might slow the juggernaut of the right wing takeover. Wakeup America, you are slowly but surely changing. Changing forever, and for the worse.