Valenzuela's Veritas

In ominous times truth always finds a way out from darkness into light. Always. Through truth knowledge grows into the power and strength to question the actions of governance. In times that try men's souls it is those who seek enlightenment who are truly free. Given the choice of possessing ignorance or knowledge, even when ignorance would lead to an easier life, I would choose knowledge,thus escaping the life of sheeple, escaping the bondage of not knowing, not caring and not understanding.


Manuel Valenzuela is a social critic, commentator, Internet essayist and author of Echoes in the Wind, a novel now published by His essays appear regularly at various alternative news websites from around the globe. Mr. Valenzuela welcomes comments and can be reached at He encourages readers to surf the collection of over 100 essays he has written which can be found visiting his archives and by searching the Internet. He welcomes comments at

Saturday, December 27, 2003

The Exploitation of the American Soldier: Part I of II: Of Caste Drafts and Society’s Complicity

The care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction, is the first and only object of good government… The mass of mankind has not been born with saddles on their backs, nor a favored few to ride them. – Thomas Jefferson

Where justice is denied, where poverty is enforced, where ignorance prevails, and where any one class is made to feel that society is an organized conspiracy to oppress, rob and degrade them, neither persons nor property will be safe. – Frederick Douglass

We are not afraid to entrust the American people with unpleasant facts, foreign ideas, alien philosophies, and competitive values. For a nation that is afraid to let its people judge the truth and falsehood in an open market is a nation that is afraid of its people …The wave of the future is not the conquest of the world by a single dogmatic creed but the liberation of the diverse energies of free nations and free men. … Mankind must put an end to war or war will put an end to mankind. – John F. Kennedy

The government is merely a servant -- merely a temporary servant; it cannot be its prerogative to determine what is right and what is wrong, and decide who is a patriot and who isn't. Its function is to obey orders, not originate them. – Mark Twain

We hang the petty thieves and appoint the great ones to public office. – Aesop

Am I not destroying my enemies when I make friends of them? -- Abraham Lincoln

An imbalance between rich and poor is the oldest and most fatal ailment of all republics.

In peace the sons bury their fathers, but in war the fathers bury their sons. – Croesus

There are no warlike people, just warlike leaders. – Ralph Bunche

The story of the American Soldier is much more than a propaganda-laced cover in Time magazine, designed to sell copies, make profits by exploiting patriotism, create acquiescence in BushCo’s preemptive warmongering and empire building policies and in fostering approval and support of a most ambiguous war campaign. The story of the American Solider is much more than a picture of three soldiers posing in full battle gear, M-16’s in hand, ready to invade a “rogue nation,” destroy its infrastructure and kill its citizens. (Perhaps three soldiers dressed in military dress uniform, without machine guns, protective helmets and Kevlar vests would have been more appropriate and in better taste, given the deep resentment and animosity our little pre-emptive wars are creating throughout the world. In Indymedia Jakarta, for example, an anonymous poster labeled the US “psychopaths in pure culture” after he/she saw the cover of Time. Patriotic propaganda at home, terrible portrayal represented abroad.)

Hidden behind the illusory fantasy the corporate media portrays of noble fighting in tumultuous wars, lies a world of death, suffering and lifelong sacrifice, a world of psychological trauma and physical torture, a world of Veteran abandonment by the same government that has sent millions to kill and be killed, a world where America’s finest, along with their families, are swept underneath the rug of indifference and a world in which ethnicity, class structure and society’s deadly ills mix in a noxious concoction to form that most clandestine of military drafts that is based on poverty, lack of education and the caste one is born into.

Our soldiers have become mercenaries to the elite few, neither defending the illusions of freedom or democracy abroad, instead fighting, killing and destroying for the sake of the oligarchy, a small band of miscreant chickenhawks in both government and business enriching themselves through the collective exploitation of low and working class men and women. Expendable cannon fodder our troops have become, invading, occupying and policing those regions of the world the oligarchs want to conquer and subjugate. The corporate Leviathan’s personal army is unleashed, sent to secure its hegemony, economic prowess and resource-rich feudal estates.

Throughout history, the lower and working class structure has been created and purposefully oppressed and exploited – through insurmountable obstacles designed to make almost impossible an escape from the caste one has been permanently placed into – to defend and protect the elite’s interests. The American army is but another instrument to achieve the oligarchy’s powermongering aspirations. Through Bush, the American Soldier is being used to enrich the military-industrial complex, the oil-energy cartel and the corporate Leviathan oligarchy that controls both business and government.

It is hard to believe that we are securing our own freedoms and liberties by invading and taking away those same principles from other peoples and nations that had nothing to do with 9/11. Do not be fooled by this propaganda hallucination; the truth of the matter is that our sons and daughters are fighting to secure and expand the interests of the few; to enrich their bank accounts and increase their insatiable thirst for power and control. We are invading nations, becoming an offensive fighting machine. Our troops are not defending our lands, we are not being invaded, our freedoms, liberties and democratic principles are not being threatened by an alien enemy but rather by our own government. Warmongers we have become, offensively decimating and pilfering other peoples’ resources, nations and rights for no righteous intentions. This is not the America of old, and, thanks to a few at the top, our soldiers fight battles without just cause and moral standing.

The American Soldier is being used and abused, like so many others before, for cynical purposes. Expendable they are to the oligarchy, both in mind and body. Burned, scarred, brain damaged, amputated and torn open by hot molten shrapnel our soldiers return, dead or wounded, becoming invisible symbols of the horrors of war and of the exploitation a few lunatics at the top subject them to. Mentally stressed, exhausted, damaged and psychologically shredded our men and women become, unable to heal the perpetual scars of battle that will linger in their minds the rest of their lives.

For many, the stresses of what they have seen, breathed, tasted and touched will be a part of their daily lives, ingrained in everything they do, present inside them like a demon attached to their torso by a macabre chain of trepidation. Over time the demon will devour them from inside, altering their personalities and their way of life. This is the sacrifice they are expected to assume, one that changes them forever – if they are lucky enough to survive. They sacrifice their remaining existence, the remaining years of their lives. This is the story of the American Soldier, forced to sacrifice life, mind and limb while the few chickenhawks who send them enjoy their million dollar fundraising dinners, basking in their million dollar homes paid by million dollar bank accounts.

The ultimate sacrifice is being paid for reasons that few comprehend, in circumstances that yearn to be understood and for a reality that is hard to believe and accept. The excuses have been many, and many have been impeachable lies and shams. Freedom and democracy are but the latest, found at the bottom of the barrel by Bush, in a last act of desperation, being the hardest to implement, therefore the hardest to prove wrong and question. Now our soldiers are made to believe these audacious deceits, when in fact they die and suffer for much more sinister motives.

For these reasons, like Time, I agree that our heroic men and women, in overcoming so much with so little and in spite of everything the elite few have done to endanger their lives and futures, should be named 2003’s Person of the Year. The reasons, however, are altogether different. Like so many, I am for our soldiers, against the war, and this article is dedicated to all those who through no fault of their own find themselves caught inside the most frightful nightmare they will ever be forced to endure. We can only hope these moments of madness instituted by those at the top will soon end and we can devote ourselves to fighting much more important battles at home.

Everyday Guerilla War in Iraq

Away for months now from the safe confines of this country’s faraway shores, the American Soldier in Iraq has had to endure the constant stresses of a continuous and unrelenting guerilla war. It was a war those at the top, where the buck is supposed to stop, had undoubtedly expected before the launching of the massive invasion of Iraq. Dozens of national security analysts, armed forces brass, intelligence personnel and Presidential advisors had in most likelihood foreseen the prolonged street to street violence and resistance our men and women would have to face during the “keeping the peace” phase of the occupation. To not have expected it would have simply been a complete failure in intelligence and leadership. In cost-benefit analysis, however, a few thousand American casualties outweighed the perceived benefits soon to be reaped.

Tens of thousands of men and women trained for and expecting open desert combat were thrust into a guerilla war very few were ready or prepared to fight in. Their training in instruments of war having been deemed useless in guerilla urban warfare, many have struggled to understand an enemy that sees in the American Soldier invasion, occupation, exploitation and humiliation. As a result, more than 455 have died and more than 10,000 have been evacuated due to various injuries and maladies. These brave soldiers were inserted into poorly trained urban policing roles, -- far removed from their particular niche training – into environments they did not understand, a culture alien to most and a language unlike anything they had ever seen. Trained in the traditional roles of war, our soldiers have instead had to adapt, evolve and learn as they go, in a war none of them asked for, for a purpose that has nothing to do with defending our freedom and liberty. Daily they are shot, maimed and scorned at, unable to discern friend from foe, welcomed not with roses but with RPGs and roadside bombs. Securing the peace has meant street warfare and Iraqi dehumanization, death and destruction, alienation and growing hatred. Gaining hearts and minds has been a failure, instead being turned by Bush into into saving face and covering one’s ass.

The Hummers that transport our troops are without bomb resistant armor. Kevlar vests are in short supply – more than 40,000 are needed for soldiers patrolling cities and towns. Parents back home have had to buy these vests out of their own pockets to protect their sons and daughters. Many soldiers are dehydrated, safe drinking water is scarce. Many have traded their M-16 for enemy AK-47s because of the former’s tendency to jam on a consistent basis. Prolonged tours of duty have been extended to troops whose time to return home has arrived and gone. The “leaders” at the top, in order to fulfill self-defeating ideologies, and in order to not be looked on as fools, refused to increase troop strength when military officers knew it would be necessary to help secure the peace. As a result, fewer troops mean less security and more mistakes. But when the reputation of those at the top is at stake, when they refuse to acknowledge mistakes, cannon fodder troops are but insignificant statistics that are seen as lifeless drones, without wives, husbands, sons, daughters, mothers, fathers and friends. They are expendable entities.

This is what life is like for our sons and daughters in Iraq. As a result, moral is low, AWOLs are numerous and suicides increasing. The reality is that most troops do not know what it is they are fighting for, and the only discernable objective seen is the pursuit of black blood, American hegemony and strategic base allocation. Protecting the numerous Bush crony war profiteers, those reaping billions in reconstruction money, is also a central command given to our soldiers. Destruction of a nation, after all, is an extremely profitable business venture, especially to friends of the administration.

We have destroyed a nation only to rebuild it once again, granting it and the profiteers the many funds desperately needed to reconstruct the fabric of our own nation. Our social fabric rots, its funds disappearing away like footprints on a wet beach, sacrificed to the war profiteers, leaving us all behind as waves of greed return to the Leviathan. Pilfering our wages and our soldiers for their own fraudulent purposes, and we dare raise not our voices. The systemic larceny of both Iraqi and our country’s financial and resource assets continues unabated, and the exploitation of our greatest assets – our men and women – has become a national travesty.

The ceaseless campaign to make corporate mercenaries of our soldiers, basically a slave army designed to enrich the Leviathan with each forward step taken by its collective boots, is resulting in the death and injury to hundreds and thousands, respectively. All for the love of the almighty dollar, the greed of a few and the unquenchable addiction for power and control of the nation’s oligarchs. Our men and women are dying in vain, but when the army is an assembly of citizens from ghettos, urban reservations and rural communities, mostly from low and working caste families, perhaps those where the buck is supposed to stop care not in sending young lives to die and suffer for the greater wealth of a few contributors and friends.

Caste Drafts and Society’s Role in the Making of a Soldier

Out of the worst neighborhoods and rural outposts they are from, living both in concrete jungles and desolate fields of dried up crops. Today’s United States armed forces are an amalgam of rural and urban, black, white and Hispanic, all sharing low and working class backgrounds, coming from the worst educational districts in the nation. This is the American Soldier, not upper middle class or elite boys and girls, not the sons and daughters of the oligarchy. The armed forces are composed of those less fortunate, those with little or no opportunity and future, those whose educational systems are in shambles and those the system throws away into its bins of refuse.

Children in urban areas, mostly black and Hispanic, find themselves encaged by the invisible walls of the ghetto, unable to escape, by reason of income and parental lack of education and opportunity, their modern day reservation. These centers of indigence and ingrained ignorance, fed by a system that helps exacerbate rather than alleviate both, are a living, breathing, vicious cycle in which escape is near impossible, where individuals remain stuck inside for their entire lives, passing on the same destiny to their children. Thus, without jobs, without a decent income, with a lack of education and opportunity and fighting against a system that maintains the status quo, a caste system emerges, trapping generations of urban people in a perpetual state of oppression.

The system feeds off of those less fortunate, indeed, depends on them for its exploitable needs. The caste system needs low wage slaves to work those jobs necessary to keep the economic engine running. Capitalist elites need to subjugate entire segments of the population in order to exploit workers with low wages and long hours. Keeping millions in shackles, through incarceration in ghettos, robbing children of a decent education and denying upward mobility through lack of opportunity, guarantees the continued prolongation of the perpetual caste system.

As future fighting machines grow up, they must survive the concrete jungles, full of dangers lurking around, either in confronting street pressures, gangs or drug zones, in bad households and in worse school systems. Learning little, development being purposefully impeded, resources being almost nonexistent, the future soldier begins to see at an early age that unless he or she escapes the iron grip of the urban reservation, life will be the same or worse than parents and grandparents. Seeing that exodus is virtually impossible thanks to the numerous obstacles placed at one’s feet, the future soldier sees in the armed forces the only viable alternative.

The educational system in these areas is a disaster, ill-preparing students for higher education and for those jobs that offer upward mobility. The armed forces know exactly what goes on in urban areas and their corresponding school districts. It is for this reason that they flood high schools, in some cases primary and junior high schools as well, with recruiters who immediately begin selling the “benefits” of the armed forces to the still young and naïve students seeking a way out of their confined existence. These schools force upon their students an annual standardized test that is given by the armed forces to better determine future prospects. Recruiters are given personal information about students and the harassment begins, oftentimes with phone calls to a student’s home and forced meetings at school. Recruiters may seek out potential grunts at homes. Counselors begin recruiting as well, pushing student’s towards joining the armed forces.

These heavy tactics are repeated over and over, year in and year out, until quotas are met. Young men and women, still innocent and easily manipulated, seeing the bleak prospects at home, are in essence pushed to join the military and become future killing machines. Promises of solid wages, better and higher education, an escape from the prison called the ghetto, an opportunity to be released from the chains of the caste, all are reasons for joining, all become part of the caste draft that is thrust upon urban students.

This nation prides itself on the voluntary aspects of today’s military. In reality, upon careful inspection, it can be seen that when one is living in a reservation, without viable opportunity to excel or a meaningful future to look forward to, the freedom to chose becomes a choice to survive, and in that sense there is nothing voluntary about joining the armed forces. When given a choice to either remain in a perpetual caste or escape onto new horizons, the decision is simple. In the world’s richest nation the choices presented to the urban citizen should not be so profound.

However, when the system encourages and indeed fosters the caste system in order to have a large number of easily exploitable subjects that become either soldiers or low wage slaves, the choices become not voluntary in the normal sense of the word but rather compulsory decisions made to better one’s life. The system’s diseases make joining the military the only option in order to live a better life, and, in the real world, the system drafts these men and women thanks to the widespread levels of oppression it creates.

This makes the belief in an all volunteer army nothing but a mirage. People are basically forced to join, preferring to risk going to war than to dying living a life of hardship in an invisibly enclosed Bantustan that offers little of anything. The caste draft therefore selects the downtrodden, the less affluent, the less educated and the ones that, were they to stay near home, would have but a very uninviting future.

This is manifested in the aggressive recruiting campaign targeting Hispanics. The goal stated by the military is to increase this minority representation from its present 10 percent representation to 22 percent in the next few years. This exponentially growing group, usually low income with very few educational or employment prospects, has been targeted as the next wave of impoverished minorities that will act as tomorrow’s cannon fodder in wars. Economically vulnerable citizens are always a huge recruiting segment for the armed forces. It is these people that provide the means by which to carry out future wars. Sent to the front lines, Hispanics will fight and die, and the reason therefore exists to have the system work to keep this minority at the margins of society.

Similar recruiting circumstances also apply to rural America, where instead of concrete jungles there exist farms of monotony, destitution and lack of opportunity. Education in these regions, while not as bad as in urban centers, still lags far behind those of richer suburban districts. Opportunities in rural zones are limited, jobs are few, wages low, chances for higher education minimal. For these same reasons a large portion of the armed forces are comprised of white rural men and women looking for an escape and a chance to better their lives. Again the caste system is at work, pulling rural youth in the direction of the armed forces. Replace the words ghetto, reservation, urban and Bantustan, and the same forces that push minorities into the military is prevalent, though to a lesser degree, in rural areas. It is from these districts that most of the military recruits come from. Low, working caste men and women, less fortunate, less well educated and less likely to escape the caste they have been born into than their suburban counterparts, seek escape from barren rural towns and farms that do not offer a prosperous future.

Thus recruiting and aggressive marketing is used to lure these young men and women into the military. The government is not stupid, and it knows exactly where it will be able to meet its quotas. Again, we might think the choice is voluntary, but is it really when one wishes for nothing more than to escape the environment and the caste that cannot be escaped? When government does nothing in its power to better the lives of millions, in reality making a student’s decision obvious, pushing indigence and lack of opportunities in order to garner recruits, is the choice really voluntary? Today’s young men and women simply want to live a life worth living, a betterment to their present predicament, an escape from their homes, and, when the only opportunity to achieve this is by joining the military, then the voluntary charade we are made to believe in does not exist, and the finger can then be pointed to the caste draft that has through the system’s failings introduced millions to the armed forces.

Sure, many join out of patriotism and manipulation or out of hereditary tradition, but these soldiers are few and far between. Volunteering for them is indeed a part of their decision making process. (More will be said on this subject in Part II.)

History Once More is Repeated

In the not so long history of human civilization the continued exploitation of the working classes continues to be manifested. This can easily be seen in the government’s – and corporate Leviathan’s – abuse of America’s brave soldiers. As has been the case throughout history, the poor are exploited for the benefit of the elite, and today we see an entire army fighting, suffering horrendous physical and mental injuries and dying for the interests of our feudal lords. Serfs and slaves, low, working and middle class, the differences are minute, the similarities eerie. Time continues on its journey, as does the human caste system that creates so much inequality, injustice and human devastation. To be born in misery and deprivation is not one’s fault; to create and foster it is insidious.

Through a system that purposefully creates and furthers lack of opportunity through the continued preservation of blatantly destitute educational institutions thanks to unjust and nefarious tax schemes the caste system remains intact, a solidly invisible concrete wall that acts as an obstacle to millions who through birth are destined to become exploitable and expendable beings. Those living in areas devoid of growth and job prospects, making low wages and suffering through numerous hard working hours without benefits thanks to the influence and money of elite capitalists are trapped in a vicious circle that helps maintain the caste system to what it is today.

This caste, much like India’s, is almost impossible to escape. It ensnarls millions. People are born into it through no fault of their own; they live and die in it, unable to escape its grip thanks to the numerous barriers purposefully placed there by the system. Today the American dream of upward mobility is but a façade, another illusion ingrained into our minds to whitewash the reality that has become the United States. Our soldiers are not the first to be exploited, nor will they be the last. Unfortunately it is a part of humanity, from our cave days until today, and only a united citizenry can decide whether it continues into the future or suffers a most painful death in the present.

Until then, our sons and daughters will continue to die, suffer and undergo mental anguish, sacrificing their futures for the continued accumulation of wealth and power from the few oligarch’s that sent them to war. In the coming war of perpetuity, a most unfortunate end will come to so many of our loved ones, dead not from fighting for freedom or liberty or to protect our democracy but for trying to better their lives, escape their urban and rural reservations, find happiness and to flee that most debilitating and inescapable caste the system run by the powerful refuses to relinquish. History’s pages continue to be turned by the black abyss of ignorance that makes blind bats of us all.

Saturday, December 20, 2003

Fear Factor Orange: Mind and Behavior Control in America

Freedom and fear are at war. The advance of human freedom — the great achievement of our time, and the great hope of every time — now depends on us. By sacrificing human life to serve their radical visions — by abandoning every value except the will to power — they follow in the path of fascism, and Nazism, and totalitarianism. And they will follow that path all the way, to where it ends: in history's unmarked grave of discarded lies.
--George W. Bush commenting on the enemy, yet also most applicable to his own policies

"The people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."
--Hermann Goering, at the Nuremberg trials

The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.
-- Franklin D. Roosevelt

"It's second nature for any system of power to try and inspire fear…Bush's managers realize they only have one card to play. Would you direct him to focus the attention of the population on tax cuts or other gifts for the rich? Or on the Enron scandal, or the deliberate destruction of a decent environment for our grandchildren? Or would it be preferable to construct the image of a noble hero driving evil from the world while the population huddles in fear of monsters from whom our dauntless savior will rescue us? No choice…It is a frightened country and it is easy to conjure up an imminent threat…They have a card that they can play ... terrify the population with some invented threat, and that is not very hard to do."
--Noam Chomsky

"The Bush administration has presented Americans with a false dichotomy that we must choose between being safe or free."
--Emily Whitfield, ACLU national spokeswoman

We will not fear
--George W. Bush

[The lives and sacrifices of 3000 men and women should not be taken for granted. The deadly attacks of 9/11 should not be diminished. This article does neither. Threats do exist and concerns do arise, yet what we are experiencing today is much, much more than the government protecting us. It is manipulation, the greatest form of propaganda that is abusing our emotions and fears for political and powermongering gains.]

It is that time of the year again when the nation erupts in an assortment of colors marking the holiday season. Green, red and white, Christmas colors are upon us. Colors of cheer and joy, of Christmas past and present. A new color, however, seems to have made its most unwelcome way into the cocktail of delight and merriment, once again attaching itself to the nation’s pulse at a time of supposed warmth and happiness. The most un-Christmas-like color has infiltrated itself into our collective holiday cheer, creating with its presence a most frightful time of year. Like a most unwelcome neighbor or relative, orange has crept inside our homes and communities, making its annual appearance just in time to spoil our most cherished and comforting holiday.

Like a bad flu, Fear Factor Orange has returned, after its prerequisite six month absence, just in time to instill fear into our Christmas cheer. Thanks to Tom Ridge and his Department of Homeland Insecurity we must face yet another season under cover of orange gloom. It is the Fear Factor, the instrument used by this administration that conditions us all to the coming usurpation of rights, freedoms and democracy and the introduction of the police state. It is the tool by which Bush inculcates his perceived leadership into our delirious brains, thereby assuring himself of our unwillingness to abandon the President-hero, the fighter of all evil, our Crusading Commander.

Fear Factor Orange assures Bush that every three to six months the American public’s never healing scars of 9/11 will re-open, pussing out once again our still fragile memories of the horrific tragedy that the administration never fails to conjure up. With the wave of the propaganda wand, Bush and his megalomaniac marketers make out of the President a fusion of Santa Claus, George Washington, Napoleon, Gandhi and the Almighty itself, reincarnated out of thin air to save the nation from imminent peril. It is the perfect public relations gimmick to help assure Bush a second term in office. And fear not, those who have grown dependent on Fear Factor Orange, it will return once or twice more before November 2004.

Fear Factor Orange places in front of the masses the all too real and damaging emotions that we as a nation suffered on that most horrendous of days, where our innocence and perceived sense of infallibility were erased from the face of the earth. The construction of fear into our psyches places inside us our wanting for protection and salvation from those invisible yet perilous dangers of terrorism. It matters not that we cannot see the enemy, Fear Factor Orange conjures them up in our minds, full of bombs and bullets, hiding in every corner, ready to destroy us. In our search for self-preservation, therefore, we place our complete trust on the government to become the father figure we so desperately crave. The unthinking populace thus places into the hands of Bush the means to control and empower us. Through the use of fear Bush manipulates our behaviors, making us decapitated drones signing away our souls.

Our animal emotions are resurrected every time ominous Fear Factor Orange glows from our television monitors. The rational, human brain is replaced by our primitive, older one that places the primordial necessity and interest of self-preservation ahead of the analytical, abstract-thinking side that makes us question authority and its sinister intentions. Our ability to weight complexities is forgotten, threats are too much to handle; we refuse to believe the reality of the absurdity and refuse to listen to the absurdity of the fantasy. This enables Bush and company to further induce cooperation and acquiescence to each and every mandate they enact from average Americans who do not realize, to their great detriment, the continued erosion of their once sacrosanct freedoms, rights and democratic institutions.

Since 9/11, we have been told that in order to be made safe, in order to live in tranquility, we must place our undying trust in Bush and our government. In Bush We Trust. We must do as our government dictates for only it knows what is good for us. Fed insecurity and fear on an almost constant basis, either through government or corporate media propaganda, we are systemically brainwashed into believing that nobody is safe, that our nation is being attacked and that the future of our children is in peril. Forces of evil greater than anything we have ever faced are said to be invisibly flying throughout the nation, like winds carrying a deadly virus or toxin intent on destroying our way of life from within. Only by following the dictates of Bush, only by ignorantly and blindly obeying his commands will salvation be in our grasp. Only then will we be delivered from evil into the valley of heavenly safety.

In order to achieve that which cannot be reached, we are told to sacrifice our freedoms, rights and liberties so we can be made safe. In truth, we are setting free onto the world and surrendering over to the authorities that control us the powers inherent in the people, those democratic principles passed down through generations of struggle and sacrifice that have for centuries saved us from the growing threat of autocracy we now face. That we continue to blindly relinquish the remaining freedoms that have not already been taken from us in the name of security and safety should only add to our growing concern at the direction this nation is heading in.

Like drooling Pavlovian dogs, we are hypnotically following the glimmer of Fear Factor Orange down the road to fascism. Fear has been used wisely by this administration to rob us of the ingredients necessary to prevent and fight totalitarian governance from ever rising out of the fires of Hades. Like a flaming phoenix, however, this form of power is quickly rising, fed by our irrational give-away of that which we hold most dearly. Into the skies the phoenix flies, gorging on America’s remaining ways of life. Smelling a most frightened nation on its journey from coast to coast, like a wild animal it grows ever more powerful, brave and confident, ready to attack our collective jugular and enjoy the tasty morsels and blood of a most satisfying kill.

Our construct of reality has vanished in a haze of fog called fear. We are scared for the present, future, our children and ourselves. Anxiety runs in our blood, filling our veins and minds. The buttons of fright and terror being pushed by Bush drive us from normalcy to panic in a cruel game of tug-of-war whose only end result is the political manipulation towards re-election and psychological domination by exploitation. The takeover of the American mind, designed to make subservient slaves without thinking brains out of all of us, is gaining momentum, cruising like a monstrous freight train in its sojourn through the country, robbing and raping all who appear in its wake, infecting us with the fantasies of fear and insecurity that are slowly digging our graves.

Through the abuse and manipulation of fear, domestic and foreign policy are being concocted to suit conservative ideology. Social programs and services are being imploded by those who have for years wished them away. A police state is emerging that is subverting freedoms once deemed inalienable. Police officers now punish with impunity those who dare protest the evils of the elite. Patriot Act I, and now II, are giving the government powers once thought unimaginable, the stuff of Orwellian fiction. Government secrecy is now the norm, accountability is a thing of the past. Detentions, surveillance, intrusions and privacy annihilation, is this the America of yesteryear? Are we approaching 2004, or 1984?

Dissent and opposition are being curtailed, the nation is being wrapped around the flag. To support the pillage of our rights is to be patriotic, to fight the oligarchy is to cavort with the enemy. Our wages and soldiers are being sacrificed for the sake of the Leviathan, education is but a hollow dream that is leaving all children behind. Fascism is spreading like an epidemic, imperialism is rising its tentacles and the basic tenets of American life are being gobbled up by the corporate Leviathan. Meanwhile, Fear Factor Orange glows in the night sky, warning us all to be vigilant spies, untrusting of neighbors, aloof in our ways, living life paranoid at best and scared shitless at worst.

Catatonic we have become in our understanding of the war on terror. Fear Factor Orange, that color signifying a high threat of terrorist attack, spooks and terrorizes, creating a belief that “evil” people want to kill us. That the threat is even more remote than being struck by lightning does not matter to a citizenry that still suffers the post-traumatic fatigue of 9/11. Not to minimize the atrocities by any means, but it must be mentioned that only a minute part of Manhattan was struck, only a small side of the Pentagon was attacked. Those 3000 we will never forget, heroes to all, symbols of what makes this country great. Yet we are 285 million strong, spread over vast terrains. We must realize that the 3000 men and women are being politicized for cynical purposes, to use fear as a political tool in the game of power and control. Do not forget that.

Terrorists are not nation-states, their resources are finite, their numbers small. We are told to be vigilant, to be on the lookout for suspicious activity. This, consequently, places the eyes of hundreds of millions of citizens squarely, consciously or not, on the millions of Arab men and women who live in this country as Americans. Fear Factor Orange and paranoia combine to make of these citizens walking, breathing targets of unfair stereotypes, real or imagined, that fester in the American consciousness. Profiling and labeling thus combine to segregate moral, law abiding citizens. For them, Fear Factor Orange is indeed a time to fear and grow anxious.

Bush should not be allowed to control our lives or our destinies. Ashcroft and Ridge should not dictate our stresses and concerns. Our government should not shamelessly insert fear into our already hectic lives. The threat of attack will always linger, a strike is most likely inevitable thanks to our foreign policy and arrogance, but to constantly alter our way of being, to give up our freedoms for our security, to create a world in which our children will never breathe the same rights we once had, is to acknowledge that the terrorist elements have already won. They have succeeded in terrorizing, in instilling fear, in having our government change the basic structure of our democracy. We must fight Bush’s attempts to bankrupt us of all we cherish. We must keep living our dreams, keep pursuing our goals and we must never allow our democratic principles to dissipate like stone eroded by the sands of time. Our children must live in freedom, they must savor their rights. They must enjoy the fruits of the labors and sacrifices of descendents long gone and those built by our hands and minds because if forced to live in a world devoid of freedoms, they will never know what their parents once had, and you cannot miss something you never had. Thus, they will never fight and sacrifice for that which they never knew existed.

If an attack manifests itself, whether it is today or ten years from now, we must simply rise like we always do, united as one, standing proud and strong, ready to mourn, pick up and keep on living. This is America, after all, the land of the free and the home of the brave. Suffering and mourning is the story of man, whether in World War I and II Europe or Civil War America, in hundreds of revolutions, battles or fights for freedom, to honor a people’s way of life is to sacrifice and mourn, to evolve and stand strong. It is what determines the character of a people, the strength of a nation. Ask the world, nothing comes easy.

We cannot allow those who would do us harm to triumph in altering our way of life, and we cannot allow Bush and company to assist in this endeavor. Our security is important, but not at the expense of our freedoms, rights, liberties and democracy. It is not at the expense of creating a police state where we are all potential suspects and victims. The loss of our freedoms and rights should not come at the expense of the rise of a fascist state under the guise of comfort and refuge. For if we allow this to happen, we will have neither and the great reality that is the United States will fade away into dusty memories of oblivion. In the long history of mankind our era will be but a small blur buried and forgotten by the sands of time. Don’t let Bush succeed. Decry fearmongering. Remember, what does not kill you makes you stronger. Fear not, for life is all about conquering that which we most fear.

Friday, December 19, 2003

The Evisceration of Democracy: The Corporate Leviathan and the Emergence of the Fascist State

"You cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today." - Abraham Lincoln

"Every government degenerates when trusted to the rulers of the people alone. The people themselves therefore are its only safe depositories." - Thomas Jefferson

Perhaps it is a universal truth that the loss of liberty at home is to be charged to provisions against danger, real or pretended, from abroad." -James Madison, 1798

"Liberty, Equality, Fraternity." - French Revolution slogan

What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? We will have to repent in this generation not merely for the hateful words and actions of the bad people but for the appalling silence of the good people We have flown the air like birds and swum the sea like fishes, but have yet to learn the simple act of walking the earth like brothers We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools.
-- Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

When I despair, I remember that all through history the ways of truth and love have always won. There have been tyrants, and murderers, and for a time they can seem invincible, but in the end they always fall. Think of it - always. - Gandhi

All that is needed for the forces of evil to triumph is for enough good men to do nothing. - Edmund Burke

From California to Maine, the United States is teeming with good, decent and talented Americans whose potential is as unlimited as the vast expanse of the universe. Of all creeds, colors, ethnicities and religions, those lucky enough to call this great land home find themselves living in the wealthiest nation the world has ever seen. Through our hard work we can afford to live in expensive and monotonous cookie-cutter-loss-of-individuality homes made of plywood cut down from once-pristine forests in Brazil, Africa or Indonesia. We can afford two mammoth-sized gas-guzzling tank-SUVs thirsty for Latin American or Middle East oil. Merrily this holiday season we purchase and consume numerous durable and non-durable products made by developing nations low-wage slave labor we support through our extravagant demand. And, of course, we eagerly devour the abundance of mercury and pesticide-laced, preservative-filled, hormone-induced, chemically injected, fat and sugar covered, artificially flavored foods, products, fruits and vegetables that we see at grocery stores and restaurants that are humbly provided to us by, who else, corporations.

Yes, we are gluttonous primates, one and all, swimming in an ocean of overabundance, swerving giant waves of the vast amount of trash we produce and swallowing overflowing tides of materialism on our way to do that which we have been trained so well to do: shop and consume. We must keep our corporate feudal lords happy with our tribute to them in the form of our hard-earned wages, after all. The Leviathan s feeding frenzy has begun, that special time of year when our wallets and purses are made smaller and our debts larger. To the Leviathan, Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year, full of materialistic joy and consumeristic merriment, so full of jolly profit and growth, cheerful pillage and exploitation. So, as we hear bells, jingles and carols, watch the hurricane-like tempest of corporate advertisements flushed onto our screens urging us to consume, see the bright twinkling lights in frenzied malls, smell our aromatic pine trees covered in decorations and feel the cold chill we all associate with joy, happiness and Christmas, keep in mind that another special holiday season is upon us. And realize that just as last Christmas, our freedoms, rights and democratic institutions stand a little less sturdy than in years past. Like a Christmas tree once so fragrant, living and robust that eventually dies, withers and is thrown out, the freedoms and rights we take for granted are disappearing and decaying before our eyes, being granted instead to the many conglomerates that make up the corporate Leviathan.

Something is amiss in this great nation, and the downward spiral begins with the Leviathan, that most ominous of creatures, spawned by the mating of debauched capitalism with unhindered power, that has taken control of our government and the representatives we elected to serve our interests. At the top of the Leviathan, acting not as its brain but as its actions, easily maneuvered by the plethora of strings attached to his appendages, is George W. Bush, the President of the United Corporations of America. Dubiously anointed to watch over this great land, he has presided over the greatest corporate leeching and raping of a nation in human history. Thanks to him, the Leviathan has: trampled worker rights, robbed us of our life savings, been granted numerous pollution spewing exceptions, transferred out hundreds of thousands of jobs to low wage slave nations, been granted billions of dollars in tax breaks and government subsidies and has had a perpetual war declared in its interests from which it will reap billions of dollars in profiteering, I mean reconstruction, deals. Installing Bush in office has had its rewards. All this, of course, to the huge detriment of you and I and the future of our progeny.

Since the coup d etat that overthrew democracy in November 2000, a new paradigm has emerged, one in which the political battles being waged are of such importance and magnitude not just to the politician seeking office, but to the interests of the Leviathan as well. We have reached that most frightening stage in our capitalistic development whereby the unyielding and ever-increasing power of the Leviathan trumps the dwindling power of democracy by the people. Now, more than ever, the idea of democracy is but a barren fagade injected into our psyches that gives the illusion that we are active participants in the direction the US is headed towards. In reality, we are nothing but pawns in a system run by the powerful elite oligarchy.

The beginning of the end of democracy as we know it began with that fatefully deceitful election in 2000. What has been the natural and inevitable progression the destructive forces of unhindered capitalism were blindly leading us towards has come to fruition. It is the mixture of government with big business, the combination of state power with that of the Leviathan, of powerful corporate-government elites and oligarchs dancing a jovial waltz of unfettered powermongering, forming one of the most perilous forces to be spawned by man. It is called fascism, brought to our nation by the fluctuating winds of ideology and fraud.

From now on, the Leviathan s puppetmasters will do everything in their capacity to control the reins of power, and this will include much more calculated, careful and clandestine usurpations of our democratic principles than the almost-botched defrauding that took place in Florida 2000. Democracy in this country is being eroded not by the sands of time but by the expropriators of the electorate.

This recipe for deception that greed has brought onto our shores is common practice in developing nations such as those in Latin America (Mexico for 70 years under the PRI being the perfect example) that purport to be democratic but in reality have run US backed quasi-dictatorships for decades. It is here where the ruling elite minority showcase the mirage of elections simply to contain the populace into a perpetual state of stupor and complacency, creating in the masses the impression that their vote counted in an election that is labeled "clean and democratic."

In the end, widespread fraud has been committed through media and government propaganda and the sheer audacity and old time tradition of stuffing and losing ballots. When it is all said and done, the powerful have their man at the helm and the illusion is created whereby the masses are made to believe that the person who received the most votes now has a national mandate to lead. Of course nothing could be further from the truth. This phenomenon is prevalent at the local, state and national levels of governance. It is a fight for power, money and control, of huge importance to a ruling party of robber barons and scoundrels that can both continue plundering the nation blind and running the nation like their own feudal estate. We are now seeing the reality of this in the US.
The power of the Leviathan is made that much stronger by having a willing puppet sitting in the White House. This can be seen in the incredible amount of laws, appropriations, tax breaks, pork, corporate welfare, privatization of government services, legal indifference, regulations and decisions made by Bush since taking office in favor of those personalities comprising the various parts of the Leviathan. These actions, by consequence, have only served to squander our rights and freedoms by trampling worker rights and wages, civil liberties, pollution laws, social services, education and the like.

The pressure has also been exerted on us by creating a sense of fear amongst the population that makes it known that if we do not acquiesce to these changes, we will be labeled and attacked, as in fascist tyrannies, as being "unpatriotic," "treasonous," and "sympathetic to the terrorists." You are "either with us or against us," after all. To protest, seek transparency, accountability and the truth is to be a terrorist traitor, an "enemy combatant."


What the 2000 debacle in Florida manifests is the great lengths the Leviathan composed of corporations, the military-industrial complex and the oil/energy cartel, and having an ignorant army of foot soldiers called fundamentalist Christians will go to in assuring for itself the allegiance of the most powerful man on the planet. The election of 2000 simply had to be won, even by a pervasive fraud that disenfranchised voters. We will elect you but you must advance our cause. You scratch my back and I ll scratch yours. When the insatiable addiction of power and control intermingles inside a molotov cocktail of greed and love for the almighty dollar those who rule will do anything to stay in their perched positions of hereditary and nepotistic circumstance.

What worked in Florida was the embedding of a strong ally of the Leviathan, Jeb Bush, to the state governorship and by consequences the state electoral system, of which the notorious Katherine Harris was in control of. She was not only in charge of the election mechanisms in the state but she was George W. Bush s Florida campaign coordinator. Now, I am no hound dog, but that sure smells like a conflict of interest to me. A brother and a campaign coordinator basically deciding in favor of Bush, in a state both parties knew would decide the election.

As such, tens of thousands of black eligible voters were purged from the voting records, in essence denied the opportunity to cast a vote by covertly being labeled with a criminal record they did not have or deserve. The vast majority of these voters would have most likely voted for Al Gore. The elimination of thousands of black votes, in a state that was a virtual toss-up, assured Bush of victory, and the Leviathan the Presidency. And, since the votes were black, in destitute and indigent areas, no scandal would be brought to the public conscious by a restrained and corporate-friendly media. The planning for this defrauding of American democracy was extensive, premeditated and meticulous. It is the result of power gone insane, of the consequences of allowing crony capitalism to run rampant, full of money and greed, to corrupt a system that in 220-year-old paper, at least, seemed brilliant. The clandestine sabotage of American democracy had been set in motion.

The election was of paramount importance to the Leviathan and fundamentalist Christian concerns, and today we can see why. The takeover of America has commenced; the fusion of corporate and government power is upon us; the use of religion in government policy and comments is increasing, a police state has been engendered. Democracy is being constricted, our freedoms and rights of speech, protest, assembly and open criticism are methodically being curtailed. Opposition is being silenced, protests squashed. The Bill of Rights and the Constitution are slowly being burned into dark gray ash. Fascism is on the horizon, its black horse riding thunderously through the plains of ignorance, slashing open government treasure and releasing the winds of war in its thrust to empire. We are living in dangerous times, and, if nothing is done soon, our destiny will be forever scarred by the whips of totalitarianism on our way to the gallows of servitude.

Ignorant we grow to the coming chaos, lost among our escapes and fantasies, our patriotism and fear. The corporate Leviathan has swallowed and morphed with government, becoming one and the same, the oligarchy now in possession of the richest nation in history, controlling the most modern army the world has ever seen. The quest to duplicate and surpass the empires of Greece, Rome and England continues; death and destruction, suffering and pillage, these are the times that try men s souls and which the great books of history forebodingly warn about.


The gradual elimination of democracy begun in November 2000 has continued with the Republican redistricting battle in several states, most notably Texas and Colorado. These blatant operations are done for the sole purpose of disenfranchising mostly minority voters by reshaping districts for the purpose of making them Republican strongholds. These new districts will thus vote Republican, helping send to Congress Tom Delay s grunts and yes-men. With more firepower, the Republican party (the greater of two evils comprised of traveling salesmen loyal not to us but the Leviathan) can control more aspects of the agenda it wants imposed on the nation. There is a frightening trend taking place, one that subverts democracy throughout our nation for the sake of maintaining in power a force put in place in November 2000 that is gradually robbing us of what this great nation once so proudly stood for.

With Congress under the hypnotizing power of greed and power the Leviathan can more easily move the strings of government. It opens the door to unfettered power in the hands of Bush, who can rule with impunity and complete lack of accountability. His edicts go unchallenged, his secrets remain hidden and slowly but surely he transforms the country into a nation of serfs obedient to our feudal lords. In the vast majority of times, the Bush agenda is a spitting image of the one espoused by the corporate Leviathan that is designed to grant the beast more power to the detriment of the working masses. We are witnessing the metamorphosis of a President ordained by the powers that be to become Dictator. This mutation is transpiring before our ignorant eyes, ever so slowly, ever so clandestinely. When the day comes that our eyes open from our slumber of lethargy we will find ourselves chanting the slogans of autocracy and marching step by step with the armies of despotism.


In California, a democratically elected governor, suffering from fiscal crisis and unlikeability, was used as a scapegoat for the electorate s ills and anger and was recalled earlier this year thanks to the Republican anti-democracy movement. The Republican brains installed, through propaganda, fascination with stardom and the gullibility of the average Californian, an actor governor who can both help facilitate Bush s victory in the state in 2004 and facilitate Republican control of state government. What began with the political impeachment of Bill Clinton, geniusly contrived to garner anger and support from millions of traditional conservative voters into a massive mobilized outpouring of votes for Bush in 2000 under the theme "restoring honor and integrity to the White House," continued with the manipulation in California. Like pawns, conservative voters were used, falling for Republican propaganda in electing Bush in 2000 and Arnold this past fall. The California coup further subverted our democratic beliefs, and we were all willing participants in the Republican/Leviathan plan for maintaining Bush in 2004.

Today, as a continuation of the Bush 2004 plan, the corporate media is already conditioning us to the greatness and virtues of George W. Bush, feeding us incessant propaganda about the "war on terror" and our President s valor and leadership abilities in times of great uncertainty. The use of fear will be applied like never before to scare us all into voting Bush back in office. 9/11 and its emotions will be exploited, the use of terror will be hammered and emphasized, patriotism and the illusion of freedom will rule the airwaves. The Democratic candidate will be subjected to the greatest smear and negative campaign you will ever see. The Leviathan s manipulations know no bounds, and this form of democratic erosion may be enough to guarantee a Bush victory next year. When so much is at stake for the Leviathan, it unleashes the fires of hell to guarantee victory.

A little less publicized but more ominous sign of the disappearance of democracy were the congressional elections in Georgia in 2002, where under dubious circumstances Democrat candidates lost elections to underdog Republicans. Now, you might say, that does not mean much, underdogs occasionally do win. What set this election apart, however, was the use of electronic voting machines, and the numerous rumors of fraudulent manipulation of software that spread throughout the state. Other irregularities (such as disappearing, misplaced, shuffled and lost votes) concerning electronic voting machines have been reported in various states throughout the country.

Much more dangerous is the exponentially-growing use of electronic voting machines around the nation that cast votes through touchscreen methods without a paper trail or auditing. Every year, more and more precincts are switching to these voting machines whose manufacturers are owned and operated by supporters of the GOP. One company contracted to provide these machines, Diebold, has in recent months been under fire for leaked emails concerning the stated vulnerability of its machines to outside tampering. Diebold machines do not provide a paper record or printout, thus lending themselves to manipulation. Of course the great worry to democracy is the fact that the CEO of Diebold, Michael O'Dell, is also a huge supported of George W. Bush who has promised to deliver Ohio s votes to the incumbent President. He has hosted a $600,000 fundraising dinner for Vice President Cheney and Diebold s board has itself contributed hundreds of thousands of dollars to Republican campaigns. Another company in the industry, ES&S, was once owned by the Republican Senator from Nebraska, Chuck Hagel.

These machines will naturally be implemented in those areas of the country that can afford them, mostly in white neighborhoods. The threat of fraud through electronic voting machines should not be taken lightly given the fast approaching election of 2004, perhaps the most important vote Americans have and will ever make. With the technology undoubtedly becoming the future, fraud will never be easier. It is hard to stuff 100,000 ballots by hand, but by computer, it is only a click away. A few thousand omissions here, a few thousand additions there and what gets created is an effortless tampering of an election and the gradual evisceration of democracy. Of paramount importance is the transparency and accountability of this growing technology. If left in the wrong hands, democracy as we know it could be a relic of history, nothing but a minor sentence in the grand book of human civilization. Fraud does not disappear with the progress of time, it evolves, and so must we.

In urban, minority areas, usually too financially strapped to purchase expensive Diebold or ES&S machines, older, outdated and easily corruptible machines are used. These machines, which have been used for years in these usually indigent precincts, have consistently been culpable disenfranchisers of the American minority. The debacle in Florida 2000 is a perfect illustration of just how many votes are never counted using outdated machines. Since minorities usually vote Democrat, it is easy to discern who benefits and who does not. This is another sleek and stealthy Jim Crow maneuver by those in power. It is the 21st century version of denying minorities a voice in how their government is run. With the growing number of people of color rising every year, it is in the oligarchy s best interest to assure that their votes are manipulated, one way or another, so that they do not interfere with the designs of those in power.


is a method to the madness in all these anti-democracy manifestations, and that is to assure the continuation of oligarchic power in government which in turn leads to corporate Leviathan control over our nation. The intertwined weave of government and big business has begun the process of exploiting us all into the subservient serfs of yesteryear. Corporate control of the government is not a far-fetched illusion; it is reality, it is here and it is now. The Leviathan s power, wealth and greed are at their apex after years of growing, maturing, subjugating and exploiting. Never has the Leviathan yielded so much strength and influence not only in the confines of this country but throughout the world.

Simply look around you to see the reality that so many of us refuse to acknowledge. Congressional loyalty not to us but the corporate world, a President whose every act only emboldens the Leviathan and augments his own powers, a homogenous corporate media spewing brainwashing propaganda, the usurpation of laws and regulations that once protected workers, education, the environment, the sick, poor, middle class, elderly, children and women. The absurd debt and deficit figures purposely created to shift government spending away from appropriating social services and towards a permanent military economy. Our rights and freedoms are being rolled back, giving way to an authoritarian society catering and empowering only the elite oligarchs. Pollution from their factories kills and sickens hundreds of thousands each year. We are prevented from purchasing prescription drugs from outside the US. Higher education is being made harder to attain. The cost of healthcare is highway robbery, our veterans are swept underneath the rug of apathy. Our taxes support their evils, our children die in their wars, our wallets and sacrifice make them richer and our votes grant them the mandate to do with us as they please. The war against us has been unleashed.

In this assault against us, the Leviathan is slowly but surely chaining us to the dark, stagnant dungeons of fascism, or, in Mussolini s words, corporatism. The road leading to this form of governance is gradual and stealthy, but the signs all point in this most ignoble direction. After all, Hitler and the Nazis did not rise overnight; it took years of careful planning and orchestration to meticulously prepare the system, and the people. Yet corporatism has many faces and shades of gray, each form evolving differently according to the tools at the rulers disposal. Ours is a velvet-like approach that upholds the illusion of liberty, freedom and democratic traditions while disintegrating each one in the most leisurely of ways.

Dark clouds loom in the horizon, the nefarious Leviathan is becoming omnipotent. Its claws are deeply entrenched in the soils of governance, despoiling man and land, air and water. The addiction of power is ruining a once grand system of the people, by the people and for the people, leaving us at the margins of impotence on our passage from noble country of freedom towards degraded beacon of exploitation and avarice. Freedoms we once enjoyed our children will never know existed. Rights we once shared our progeny will only dream about. A nation we once loved our offspring will learn to revile. In the course of human events, what happens in the next ten months might decide the next 100 years of human history and the combined future of over six billion people. These are indeed the times that try men's souls.

So this Christmas, in the accompanying warmth of family and in the glow of logs cracking bright, take a second to ponder our remaining freedoms and rights. Democracy is dying, the Constitution is going bust, together must we battle, before all we have is lost. To all you who care about this great nation, it is time we erupt into one vast and peaceful conflagration.

Monday, December 15, 2003

The Walls That Divide Us

"[The Fence (Wall)] creates hatred, it expropriates land and annexes hundreds of thousands of Palestinians to the state of Israel. The result is that the fence achieves the exact opposite of what was intended. … We must once and for all admit that there is another side, that it has feelings and that it is suffering, and that we are behaving disgracefully. Yes, there is no other word for it: disgracefully. … We have turned into a people of petty fighters using the wrong tools."
-- Avraham Shalom, head of Israel’s Shin Bet from 1980 to 1986

To Sharon, Palestinians are declared "non-existent, the victims become victimizer, colonization is development, resistance to occupation is terrorism, and the refugees’ right of return is a threat to Israel’s demographic security and Jewish character."
--- Nasser Aruri, February 2002

Anti-occupation, anti-apartheid and anti-dehumanization is not anti-Semitism nor anti-Israel. Pro-peace, pro-human rights and pro-freedom is not pro-Palestinian. The power of freedom is pointing out when it is being denied. The search for justice and equality comes not from hiding from fear of criticism but rather from taking the road less traveled up the mountain of truth.
--- Manuel Valenzuela

Wall fortifications have historically been erected to protect the populace of a city or region from marauding and conquering aggressors. These monoliths of defense, protection and survival are as old as our civilization, a part of the human condition that lives on regardless of time, place and technology. Built, destroyed and rebuilt again, these man made creations evolved along with man. One need only look at most European cities, from ancient Athens to ancient Rome, from every town and village in forests, valleys and mountains, to bear witness to ancient walled fortifications as evidence of the brutal history of man fighting man; of man attacking, pillaging and destroying his enemy’s cities and plundering its treasures. In Asia, the Great Wall of China is a colossal achievement in defense, thick and impenetrable, slithering thousands of miles, designed to provide protection from storming Mongolians. Throughout the Eurasian land mass one can see walled cities and their still visible but eroded remains. The Middle East, the cradle of civilization, is clustered by ancient walled cities that were attacked and plundered, burned and destroyed innumerable times. Africa too has its share of fortifications, as do the Americas, with the Mayan city-states being among its best examples. The history of mankind has been marked by perpetual war, perpetual violence. It is a symptom of our disease; our animal urge for power, territory and control, our unyielding appetite for the shedding of human blood and the usurpation of wealth and land. Walls are but testament to our fear of each other.

In many instances, however, walls have not had their desired effect and indeed have helped exacerbate a city or town’s eventual demise. History has proven that walled fortifications have withstood initial and subsequent assaults, even thwarting mighty armies, yet most cities inevitably succumbed to the pressures from outside. Through sieges by the invading force walls ensnarled a population, making captives of them in their own homes. Slowly but surely the people capitulated to the tight noose tied around their collective jugular that was made worse by their own internal caged suffocation. Hunger, thirst, common sense and the feeling of being trapped like lions for months led to a city’s surrender – if the invading army hadn’t destroyed the walls first. If history proves one thing about man and walls, it is that while psychologically useful, walls and the cities they protected eventually fell, they imprisoned those it designed to make free and they shielded the populace from the realities outside. Much like the French Maginot Line of World War II fame, defensive walls, and as an extension the cities they protect, are almost certainly doomed to fail and fall.

In modern times, walls have been erected to serve more sinister and ominous purposes than their historical antecedents. During the rise of the Nazis in Germany and their eventual blitzkrieg of Europe, different walls were erected, designed not to protect citizens but to encage and isolate Jews in city ghettos. Imprisoned in these pseudo-jails, Jews were separated from the non-Jewish population. Walls of segregation they became, on one side freedom and normalcy, on the other nightmares and hell. Ghettos became zones of squalor and suffering, decrepit cells of torment for millions of innocent European Jews, displaced from their homes and their possessions, sent to rot and wait until empty Nazi trains returned from the foggy clouds of gas and ash. Walled ghettos became areas of humiliation, ridicule, oppression, poverty, exploitation, hardship and dehumanization, where human beings were subjected to the worst evils known to man. Daily shootings of innocent men, women and children, treated worse than animals, their life made a living hell. From ghettos to concentration camps, walls and fences preserved Hitler’s answer to the Jewish question. Behind these apparatuses of clandestine terror, unspeakable horrors occurred that the world was made blind to. Walls designed to separate, imprison and annihilate millions also acted as catalysts for covering up and hiding ever-growing realities of inhumanity. Finally, the allies were victorious, and with that came the tearing down of ghettos and concentration camps. Walls were destroyed, making visible to the world the atrocities of the Nazis.

The end of World War II brought about the carving up of nations and peoples between the Allied victors, who, like a game of geopolitical chess, decided destinies and lives based on strategic interests and diplomatic posturing. Totalitarian winds of power brought to the world the Iron Curtain, the Gulag and the Berlin Wall, those odious symbols of Soviet communism and the Warsaw Pact that the shivering Cold War engendered. Walls and fences were designed and erected to contain the populations of Eastern Europe from escaping despotic regimes and fleeing to the greater freedoms of the West. Caged in their own lands, under autocratic and ruthless dictators acting as Soviet puppets, the populace suffered. They were confined to the shackles of Soviet communism, subjugated by the system with their freedoms taken away, unable to smell life beyond the extended cage of captivity. Millions disappeared in Gulags. The Iron Curtain and the Berlin Wall segregated and partitioned two forms of governance, two ways of living. Peoples from the same ethnicities, religion, culture and nation and, in the case of Berlin, the same city, were divided and separated, torn in two, told by competing ideologies that they had to belong to one or the other.

These walls, however, did not protect the population; rather, they protected those in power from the aspirations of their subjects. These instruments of division helped split the world apart, helped preserve for 45 years the illusion of ideology and the captivity of men by fear and propaganda. Freedom, however, cannot be abrogated forever. The end of the Soviet Union’s power saw the momentous tearing down of the Berlin Wall and the Iron Curtain, leaving years of bitterness and frustrations behind with each chip of concrete broken by man-powered hammers. In Germany, magnificent joy overcame a city and a nation, and perhaps even the world, at the sight of giant graffitied cement slabs disappearing from the mist of broken ideology on their way to the dark closets of history books. Ingrained in the faces of those who witnessed the Wall’s fall were tremendous moments of happiness and victory, of freedom and salvation, along with the rivers of tears made possible by the opening of clogged dams full of pent-up frustration of lives and dreams squandered. The Wall could not overcome the weight of the world’s peoples.

Years later, apartheid South Africa introduced to the world consciousness tracts of land called Bantustans, similar to but larger than ghettos, much like reservations, separating blacks from other ethnic blacks and of course from the white minority. Bantustans were filled with overcrowded shanty-towns made of cardboard and other discarded trash the white elite threw out. Blacks lived in squalor, treated like animals, denied adequate education, jobs and opportunity. Segregation of the races, one a majority yet impotent, the other a minority and powerful, split apart by tangible fences and invisible walls acting as the forces of the exploiter and the exploited, the oppressor and oppressed. The indigenous masses were made slave-like creatures of indigence, subservient and reliant on the white elite. Laws, rules, institutions and development were made separate for the two groups, always benefiting the few elite to the detriment of the black majority.

Separate and unequal, apartheid’s evils lurked in every indicator by which we measure society, in every dust-filled corner and gust of wind. Incessant poverty and despair swirled through every shanty-town, entire generations were deliberately allowed to decay into oblivion while the keys to a life worth living were thrown out into the deep expanse that is the Indian Ocean.
Today, South Africa’s blacks have revolted and torn open the barbed-wire fences of apartheid, slowly reconstituting lives lost and happiness undone. All is not well, however, as years of misery and neglect have come at a steep price. Blacks are generations behind their white counterparts in terms of education, opportunity and wealth. Much like American slave descendants, they have been set back hundreds of years, now deeply entrenched in a caste structure the system will not willingly or expeditiously abandon. Progress will come slowly; the elite already have most of the wealth, resources and power, most having come at the callous filled hands of the exploited slaves of apartheid. Some walls, it seems, are sturdier than others.

More recently, in the United States, new walls have appeared on the southern borders to keep humans out, not in. Like sentinels overlooking into Mexico, these dark and tall iron walls menacingly guard against Latino immigrants wishing for a better life of work and happiness. Built on the border with Mexico, in major American cities and towns and designed to impede access into the home of the free and the land of the brave, these mutated and grotesque imitations of Iron Curtain dogma serve only to deter the next wave of American slaves from entering the country in only that particular city or town. Instead, thousands of eager exploitable workers circumvent the walls enveloping border cities and cross the much more dangerous, isolated and scorching deserts of the American southwest.

Thousands of migrants have died trying to cross to a better way of life, to a new beginning that the bright light of American opportunity has presented millions of immigrants past and present. So many deaths, in fact, that more people have died in just a few short years crossing the imaginary and tangible walls and fences that compose the border than the total number of people killed trying to cross the Berlin Wall. From Germany to Mexico, the human hunger for freedom and happiness is hard to defeat. Death, arrest and all other walls of disenfranchisement are no match for the triumph of the human spirit.

Walls and fences are all encompassing, a dark blotch scarring American society, from those visible southwestern behemoths altering the desert landscapes to the unseen barriers of separation that have made barren the lives of millions of American Indians through hellholes commonly called reservations to the omnipresent obstructions of racism and apathy that have shackled the arms of progress for minorities for over two-hundred years. The United States is not innocent, nor is it immune. A wall may fall but another takes its place.

Today the US is participating, both by its implicit and explicit military, financial and political support for Israel, in the spawning of a most portentous barrier of separation and misery: the Apartheid Wall being constructed in Israel under the auspices of Israeli security. This wall of concrete, steel and wire slithers hundreds of miles up the West Bank, with watchtowers every 200 meters, beyond the 1967 Green Line borders, annexing and usurping large tracts of Palestinian land – anywhere from 10 to 15 percent of the West Bank – that will effectively displace more than 700,000 people. It is much longer, taller and sophisticated than the Berlin Wall, designed, it is said by Sharon, to keep Palestinian suicide bombers away from Israel. In reality, however, it acts as a quiet "transfer" of peoples, a deterrent to peace, a tool to expropriate land and an impediment to a viable Palestinian state. The Wall represents the oppression and dehumanization of one people by another.

In essence, the Sharon Apartheid Wall is a political mirage that makes a prison of the West Bank, which is already divided into several Bantustan-style cages. The Gaza Strip, it must be noted, is already encircled by fences and soldiers, making the massive prison one of the densest population centers in the world. Palestinians in these two reservations cannot leave without Israeli permission, cannot use the extensive system of roads built for settlers, have their lands expropriated without restitution, – especially if they are fertile, on high ground or have access to water – have their crops and trees razed and their homes bulldozed. They are subjected to daily inequalities, injustices and humiliations imposed on them by settlers and the IDF. Small children are randomly shot by IDF forces as if they are animals; Palestinians going to work must wait long hours to pass the innumerable IDF checkpoints littered throughout the Occupied Territories while settlers pass unchecked and uninterrupted; relatives of suicide bombers are arrested, their homes destroyed; ambulances carrying emergencies are stopped at checkpoints, oftentimes for long waits that inevitably leads to the death and or the suffering of the injured. To be Palestinian today is to be treated worse than an animal in your own land. It is to be confined to your ghetto-like town or refugee camp, surrounded by razor-sharp wire or trigger-friendly soldiers, living in a deprived state of indigence, knowing that the land you love is systemically being swallowed and stolen by the great democracy in the Middle East. To be Palestinian is to have no freedoms and hopes, to be trapped in a tempest of perpetual ruination.

The Bantustan prison colonies that have been created in the Occupied Territories are being overrun by settlements. Their arable and strategic land is being converted to suit Israel’s purposes. Its peoples find themselves surrounded by IDF and settler-only apartheid roads that crisscross both the territories and ghetto-style towns and cities that make it almost impossible for Palestinians to commute to other towns, work, – in the remote case there is any – and to visit relatives. What is happening in the Occupied Territories today, as well as in Israel proper, is the most radical form of collective punishment, economic genocide and apartheid seen since the end of the South African racial dehumanization machine. The Wall being built is a symbol of this wrongful mechanism that is making miserable the lives of millions whose lives are methodically being eroded by an elected government that through its actions makes implicit its will to cleanse the Occupied Territories of Palestinians.

What the Wall assures is not the security of Israelis but the continued struggle for freedom of the Palestinian population, the continued vicious cycle of violence between two Semitic peoples vying for the same land and the impossibility of a solution to the Palestinian question. Action and reaction, cause and effect, violence will never stop, insecurity will only increase. The Wall is neither temporary nor reactionary, it will not halt those who have nothing to live for except revenge, payback and martyrdom. The desperation and hopelessness is too extensive, its causes too omnipotent.

The Sharon Wall’s real intent is to prevent a viable Palestinian state from ever coming into existence. It is designed to displace hundreds of thousands of people, to rob them of their livelihoods, their farms, houses, access to schools and dignity. In many circles, this is synonymous with ethnic cleansing and genocide, and, more and more, there is a growing realization that Israeli tactics are being implemented not for security purposes but for the desired effect of trying to exhaust and defeat by submission once and for all a people that will not let go of the little land and dreams they have left.

Sitting in the background, supporting Sharon’s government with up to $18 billion in grants and loans, is our government, complicit in this blossoming mechanism of human misery. The Wall’s funds come from us, as do those of IDF weapons and the razor-sharp wire enveloping Palestinian towns and camps. Settlements presently existing and those being built are financed by our tax money, some of which ends up in Israel as financial and military assistance from the US. Apartheid roads, Caterpillar bulldozers, Abrams tanks, Apache helicopters and the dehumanization of the Palestinian people is all financed and politically supported by the citizens of the United States through the stealthy acquiescence of the Bush administration. Our government has vetoed over 30 United Nations resolutions concerning the Occupied Territories and the harsh treatment of Palestinians by Israel over the last few decades, and Israel itself has failed to comply with more than 65 UN resolutions imposed on it. Iraq, on the other hand, broke but a few and hell was unleashed upon its borders. Of course you will not hear a word from a one-sided corporate media that methodically omits and distorts the reality and truth that has become the Middle East.

As such, we are becoming a spitting image of the Sharon government and the IDF with our treatment of Iraqis and Afghanis in our present quagmire in the Middle East. We are bombing near civilian areas, killing innocent children, enveloping towns with razor-sharp wire, humiliating Iraqis, forcing civilians to have and show American-made ID cards, destroying crops, bulldozing houses, arresting relatives of suspected resistance fighters, censorship of journalists and media, arresting and shooting innocent civilians and subverting democracy by going against the will of the people in our appointment of government puppets. The Bush administration, in order to correct its mistakes before election time is imposing collective punishment on Iraqis, learning well from IDF tactics. Our government’s actions smear us all in complicity and in Iraqi, Afghani and Palestinian blood, making us defenders of American oppression and exploitation in Iraq/Afghanistan and supporters of Israeli terror, ethnic cleansing and apartheid in the Occupied Territories.

The road to Middle East peace leads not through Baghdad but through Jerusalem. The most important victory in the "war on terror" will come not in warfare but in peace between Israelis and Palestinians. The hatred being manifested throughout the world against us is directly proportional to our government’s support for Israel and its harsh policies against indigenous Palestinian people. The world sees our tax money going to Israel, and the assumption is made that what Israel does has our tacit consent and approval. Horrific images coming from the Occupied Territories are seen everywhere on the planet except in this country. The UN has recently voted overwhelmingly to allow the International Court of Justice to determine the legality of the Sharon Apartheid Wall. A number of Israeli soldiers, officers and pilots have spoken out against the occupation, refusing to fight Palestinians. The world knows exactly what is going on while we are made ignorant to those actions our wages help finance. World opinion concerning Israel – which at present continues its downward spiral – is directly linked to Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians, a plight whose realities are hard to escape and whose human feelings are hard to restrain.

Sharon’s Wall is but a small microcosm of a much larger picture that will not solve Israeli security. Whether bombs rain down from the sky or are strapped on young adults, the terror is the same. Stopping the vicious cycle of madness, the illegal occupation and the dehumanization of the Palestinian people will. Jews in Nazi ghettos fought as a resistance in search of freedom; today Palestinians are doing the same. It is human nature. It is human history. Just look at the Philippines, World War II France, Algeria, South Africa, Chechnya and Iraq.

Sharon can start the road to peace by realizing that historically, a united population’s brightly burning flame for independence and desire to escape from the claws of oppression has never been extinguished by occupiers and oppressors. The struggle for freedom is as strong as any weapon, as determined as any army. He must realize that walls divide people, creating hatred and animosity, that they do not serve their psychological and political intent and that in the end they inevitably all come tumbling down. Learn from history’s lessons, Mr. Sharon: Tear down your Wall. If you do not the weight of the world’s cries eventually will.

Tuesday, December 02, 2003

The Hidden Unseen War: The Reality of Bush’s Iraq, Part III: Failed Policy

As Americans everywhere sit on their couches absorbed by the circus that is the daily corporate-media-driven soap opera of Joe millionaire, Survivor and the mutant called Michael, half a world away, lost among dunes and ancient rivers, our soldiers struggle to understand a populace that is slowly but surely turning against them. The significance and symbolism of two soldiers being shot while inside their vehicle, dragged out and beaten to a pulp with concrete bricks by gangs of young Iraqi adults must not be ignored. Neither must the brutal death of six Spanish soldiers in circumstances eerily similar to that of the two Americans. It is a most ominous sign of a coming chaos, of a failed Bush policy that threatens to tear Iraq apart at the seams.

Visions of Somalia reverberate, mutilated bodies being witness to the growing frustration of the populace with the US occupation and its "nation building" policies. Every month there seems to be a steeper escalation in the resistance fighters’ hatred of American soldiers, and this is manifested in their highly meticulous planning and the tenacity and savagery of their attacks. So frustrated is the population, it seems, that a growing number of Iraqis nostalgically desire for the return of the savage dictator if for no other reason that he at least provided security, stability, jobs and a reasonable semblance of normalcy. Spanish Foreign Minister Ana Palacio, a strong advocate of the Iraq invasion, recently said that "There is a serious security problem" in Iraq…"Daily life, above all in Baghdad, is in worse condition than during Saddam Hussein's time." Without jobs, wages, electricity, water, self-government and, above all, security, Iraqis are growing increasingly impatient with the Americans. It seems promises that were once made have become nothing but lies.

Paul Bremer and the occupation government live behind a fantasy world of concrete blast walls and razor sharp wire, in designated safe-zones protected by hundreds of soldiers and far removed from the daily life of average Iraqis. Saddam’s luxurious palaces and hotels have become a bubble for the occupiers and the profiteers who live inside them, most of whom are unable or unwilling to venture out into cities and streets. This is due to the crippling mist of all-encompassing insecurity and the all-too-real fear – or respect – of the resistance. Because of this, Bremer and company are out of tune with normal Iraqis and out of tune with a nation simmering in growing anger and frustration.

From concrete-brick-mashing mobs to rocket-spewing-donkey-carts, from roadside bombs to Blackhawk-ravaging missiles, the Iraq insurgency is an enigma to an administration that won’t publicly admit that the resistance is spreading, that it is nationalistic and that it is disrupting the occupation in its attempts at nation-building. In short, they do not want to admit that they were wrong in their presumptions about the invaded nation in their quest to keep the peace. They gloated and cheered at the fall of Saddam, at the relatively easy victory over the Iraqi army. Yet the fantasy bubble they believed and the harsh reality we now live in collided like two supernovas, creating a bursting energy of panic, chicanery and suppression of truth.

Today, their mistakes and the reality of Iraq are hidden from us in their belief that we are but gullible, believe-anything, attention deficit disorder drones addicted to the many fantasy television shows that enable us to escape our little real world circumstances. They have gotten away with so much lies and deceit, however, that one wonders whether they are correct. It is said that the first casualty of war is the truth. The second casualty, it may be added, is the American people. Propaganda and conditioning, worker bees we have become, relying on what they tell us, self-thinking minds we have none.

Back home, the neoconartists and Bush were delusional in their beliefs that they knew the Arab world, and Iraq in particular. In fact, they failed to grasp everything about this growing quagmire, from the Iraqi way of life to the importance of honorable revenge among families to the real attitudes towards the United States to the interwoven intricacies of tribal and Muslim culture. Forgetting the importance of cultural sensitivity in the training of soldiers, they have unleashed rabid resentment among the citizenry due to daily humiliations of men, women and children. These have not gone unnoticed. In their overzealous thrust to impose ideology they seemed to forget exactly where in the world they had invaded. Discarding history like yesterday’s trash, they now seem content in forgetting the old saying that "those who do not know history are condemned to repeat it."

Again and again bestowing the virtue of democracy throughout the entire Arab world, the administration fails to grasp just how historically different and culturally heterogeneous these peoples are to us. Iraqis and Arabs have a deep history rooted in thousands of years, not just a few hundred. Their systems have been in place since the dawn of time, their way of life based on rules different than our own. Bush and his Eurocentric, Western-style, Judeo-Christian gang of zealots have not attempted to dust off the pages of history nor of civilization in their attempt to impose American style systems of government on peoples who are not ready for it. Without the rule of law, an educated populace, a middle class and a viable state order democracy cannot be born. Replacing a system that has endured for millennia, under completely different conditions, beliefs and philosophies with a creation based on Western experience and thought will not be achieved in one year, one decade or perhaps even one century, especially under the threatening and watchful eye of tanks and smart bombs.

Bush talks democracy but what he means is democracy only if it benefits the United States. True democracy in the Arab world, if allowed to prosper, would be anything but good to Bush as fundamentalist Islam and anti-Americanism would reign supreme, thus washing away Bush’s neocon vision for the region. What Bush and his right-wing, Likud Party-puppet neoconartists naively wish for is a stable Iraq that will be subservient to Israel and that will act as a domino catalyst for the region, while at the same time acting as a staging point for American strategic imperial aspirations. Naiveté, it seems, is a neocon prerequisite, as their Jacobian daydream as influencers of the world runs in direct contradiction with Middle East reality and history. This reality is exactly the reason why our government supports dictators and inept monarchs throughout the region, if not the world. They are our puppets, serving our interests, not those of the native populations.

Democracy, after all, is the will of the people, not the design of the delusional. And right now, in the Arab world, anti-Americanism is at an all time high, thanks to Bush and his mentally-challenged foreign policy. "Diraqcracy" will not work, and, as such, will not be granted to the Iraqi people because of the inherent danger to Bush if it is allowed to prosper. With Shi’a, Sunni and Kurd groups comprising Iraq’s populace, each vying for power and autonomy, democracy will only lead to civil war. Besides, before preaching democracy for the world from his hypocritical pulpit perhaps Bush would be better served restoring it at home first, beginning with an introspection of himself and a careful look at his lack of honor and integrity in blatantly usurping the will of the people and the election of 2000.

If Bush really sought democracy and a better life for billions of world citizens, we would have already invaded, for the sake of bringing "freedom, liberation and democracy" to oppressed peoples, dozens of nations, all full of leaders representing the scum of the Earth. There are dozens of Iraq’s, dozens of Saddam’s, but not all with black gold or strategic locations from which to impose imperial aspirations. If you free one people from a tyrant you must do it for all, if not, Bush’s moral crusade becomes but a façade. Altruism is not George Jr.’s strength or motive because if it was, then Africa, rotting for decades in war and disease and continuing its steep fall to the bowels of despair would have already been anointed with Bush’s magic wand of democracy and salvation.

If democracy was of such importance to Bush, then the dictators and monarchs of Uzbekistan, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and many other nations in Central Asia and the Middle East would be eliminated, instead of being politically, militarily and financially supported by the administration. In truth, democracy is only a viable option if it fits the Bush agenda of strategic power allocation and resource exploitation. For an empire such as ours, the game of geopolitics brings hardship for millions of world citizens who will suffer from the support by America of ruthless dictators and inept monarchs who preach democracy and freedom but instill only illusions of both while subjugating and exploiting their citizens for the benefit of themselves and of the hand that feeds them.

Diraqracy is of such importance in Iraq that already freedoms of the press and of speech have been curtailed when acting against occupation interests. Arab news organizations have been threatened and shut down, international journalists have been harassed and Iraqi citizens critical of the occupation have received harsh treatment by soldiers. Government propaganda spews like hot geysers erupting many times a day as the attempt to brainwash and assimilate the masses to the occupier’s line continues unabated. In Iraq, democracy means profiteering by US companies and Bush/neoconartist allies, in essence pilfering entire sectors of Iraq’s economy by privatizing and selling most national institutions. Crony capitalism and destructive democracy have been imported to the cradle of civilization; greed mongering now flows through the Tigris and Euphrates, making fertile the soils of the profiteer occupiers. It seems that Iraqis were not the only ones looting and pillaging Iraq’s resources. To the victors go the spoils, after all. Democracy, it seems, is evolving the same in Iraq as it is in the United States.

Under Bush, the United States has meddled into an occupation that is leading to strangulation in an aridly sandy version of Vietnam, led by fervid hallucinators of deception that have knowingly created a jihad-awakening struggle that has no end in sight. Under the guise of "terrorism" and through Bush and his Minority Report, precognition-style, oracle-predicting, psychic-preaching doctrine of pre-emption, America can go to war with whomever, whenever and for whatever reasons it sees fit. The neoconartist magic crystal ball of fortune telling, it appears, can predict the future but not its consequences. It can apparently predict who will be an enemy – a threat – and who will one day have plans to do us harm. In the game of empire building, no challenger must be allowed to stand or compete with the great United Corporations of America.

This attempt at reproducing Dark-Ages style magic by the neoconartist wizards of naiveté has led to an armament escalation by nations that see themselves in the crosshairs of Bush’s Texas Ranger six shooters. A new arms race has begun, and the world’s peoples are its losers. The administration has alienated most of our allies, and most of the people in the world. Today we stand alone, caught in a quagmire, with no offer of help by those we so arrogantly shunned. Our support for Israel, in the obviousness of such callous and inhumane treatment of Palestinians that can be seen as apartheid at its best and ethnic cleansing at its worst, is separating us further from a world that sees the injustice, dehumanization, suffering and the blatant endorsement for such by our unevenhanded policies.

It is time we Americans wake up to the harsh reality that what puppet Bush and his cronies have done has been to alienate the world against us by arrogantly ignoring the collective will of the planet. The world today is much more dangerous than ever before; indeed, the United States is a much more dangerous place today than before 9/11. The neoconartists and Bush, blinded by pro-Likud, pro empire and pro Christian fundamentalist interests, have endangered us all. Bush has not only lost three million jobs here; he has created three million more jihadists as well, all eyeing their holy war at the United States George W. Bush has created. Through his actions and policies he has given Osama bin Laden exactly what he most wanted: a perfect jihad-building recruiting tool that is helping to mobilize tens of thousands of anti-American warriors. He has unleashed a vicious circle of violence that will not soon stop. In fact, it will get worse before it gets better.

What Bush does not see is that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. The entire globe sees how dangerous this administration is, why can’t we? It is time we begin questioning authority, stop being brainwashed and manipulated by the corporate media and start learning about this administration, Iraq, and, most importantly, the world. We are not alone on this planet. The garbage and lies we are fed by television is making fools of us all, and our democracy is disappearing as a result. We are neither informed nor curious, and the robbery of the American soul continues unabated. And so, as winter glues us to our couches and we sit fused watching the tube, obediently following the 24-hour coverage of the exploits of Michael, Kobe or J.Lo or any other of the corporate-media-created superstar heroes, keep in mind the brewing storm of resentment and animosity that Bush’s failed foreign policies are setting free. Blizzards of snow will be the least of our problems.