Arma-geddon Sick of You


Bush's Sword of Damocles is poised above the people and city of Fallujah , ready to wreak the pent-up wrath his addled brain thinks his tainted election victory permits. This is the bizarre world-in-a-bubble in which most Americans reside. With a chorus of Onward, Christian Soldiers and a vapid, cheerleading press, the crusade continues unabated, as the world's revulsion continues to grow. True, Americans do have elections, and candidates often take different stances on important issues. But forget the blue state, red state diversion, an artifact of the US ' antiquated, slavery-era electoral system. In this winner-take-all distortion, geography itself is given animus, allowing for a host of mini-nationalisms to permeate fallacies about the American mentality. The fact is that Americans in 'blue states' are also quite likely to have voted for Bush, and almost as many in 'red states' will have voted for Kerry, the 'left' candidate. Does this change anything? Well, add to this soup the fact that a hundred extra votes are sprinkled onto the electoral college recipe because of representation in the Senate, note that Wyoming and California both get two votes in this medieval 'democracy,' and the distortion is complete. American Conservatism, albeit profound, is exaggerated, and Cheney's Corporate Crusaders march triumphantly on to a new wave of destruction. Of course it is important not to forget the stench wafting from this rotten election. The American fascists, who already thought they had a mandate from God, now think they have one from the American people. Not that any true believer needs any imprimatur other than the former, but hey, it can't hurt. Fortunately, this emphasis on what The American People want is an obsession which all parties to the electoral sham have in common. For better and for worse, a mandate from the American People is tantamount to a call from God, so they are now free to level Fallujah and tick off the other targets on their wish list. However, like true warriors, the election for these crazies is no more than a blip on the screen, a hiccup on the road to world domination. What is the true fascist reaction to the recent news that your invasion has killed 100,000? Why, to prepare to kill another hundred thousand, of course. Remember Kissinger's chilling exchange on the Nixon tapes where they casually discussed how many would die if they ordered the bombing of the dikes in the north of Vietnam : '--a few hundred thousand? That's a lot of people.' So, while American voters fret and fuss over the tiny problem of whether or not the will of the people actually matters, plans are on track to snuff out the breath of the people by the thousands oh-so-far away. The indifference to this coming massacre is as brutal as it is astounding. It's no wonder that the more 'esoteric' issue of depleted uranium dust doesn't register on the radar screens. Most Americans cant even muster the courage to say that the pending Fallujah massacre is wrong. A recent segment on NPR, that bastion of liberal media, had pundits discussing how best to incinerate a city of 300,000. Would air power be most efficient, or would house-to-house combat be necessary? Hmmm . . . now that's a puzzler! Deaf to the coming terror for the residents of Fallujah, and blind to its inevitable consequences, we watch (or mostly, don't) as air strikes reduce the small Nazzal Emergency Hospital , run by a Saudi charity, to rubble. Insurgents strike back with a range of attacks across a wide swath of central Iraq , killing more than 30 and wounding almost 60 others, among them over 20 Americans. A nervous habit of mine is to replay a song over and over in my head, like a musical worry stone. The past couple days it has been Bob Dylan's "God On Our Side." And not for nothing. Some of the troops poised to pounce on Fallujah were praying to Jesus and playing Christian rock. Colonel Gary Brandl of the United States Marine Corps commented: "The enemy has a face. It is Satan's. He is in Fallujah, and we are going to destroy him." The sheer terrifying stupidity of these commanders is reflected in the mentality of those up the chain (obviously--hence Gitmo and Abu Ghraib). A recent eye opener came from an interview of a Bush aide by Ron Suskind. The aide waxed philosophical about the great divide between those who make reality (Bush and his angels, I suppose), and those who simply study it. He actually used the term 'reality-based community,' which I find pretty fitting and ironic in a strange way. I have always considered the fascist core of the Bush junta to be on the other side of a reality divide--I just didn't mean it in quite the same way. It isn't really that funny, when you think about it. This is psychosis, a sort of mass hysteria which has sucked in tens of millions of Americans. The election, the votes, the campaign--it's all largely irrelevant anyway, to be perfectly honest--a colossal waste of time and money. Before a single vote was cast, the future of the US for the next generation had already been determined, not by the outcome of an election, but by the war in Iraq . This is still the focus of evil in the modern world, as Ronald Reagan might whisper from beyond the grave. Of course fraud matters. But we have to brace ourselves for the reality that the onslaught against Fallujah would be ready to go no matter who won. Majority and mandate are powerful weapons in the hands of the bullies; but how many fascists is few enough? Hitler only needed 30% to begin his slide into Armageddon. And the Americans are already on their way. The slaughter at Fallujah will be a watershed event in the collapse of the American empire, echoing across the next hundred years. This is hardly hyperbole; the world is already sick of US arrogance and bullying. And it's about to get immeasurably worse. Sometimes my habit goes into overdrive, and the songs form a medley in my head. Dylan asks, 'how many deaths will it take 'til he knows?' An upswell of hope convinces me that we might still avoid the slide into hell that seems our due, and the Sandinista hymn reminds me: 'Nuestro pueblo es el due'o de su historia/Architecto de su liberaci'n.' It doesn't last long, and Paul Simon's cynical ballad brings me back to the 'reality-based' community: 'God bless the goods we were given/And God bless the US of A/God bless our standard of living/--Let's keep it that way/Have a good tiiiiiime?'

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Daniel Patrick Welch's picture
Columns on STR: 15

Writer, singer, linguist and activist Daniel Patrick Welch lives and writes in Salem, Massachusetts, with his wife, Julia Nambalirwa-Lugudde. Together they run The Greenhouse School. His website is at