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Ship of Fools
by Carl Doerner
December 28, 2004

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The season of resolution-making is upon us but, in the view of many in our community, little is about to be resolved. Not since the 1930s has the world seen such threats to peace and economic security, and we must now add to this imbalance the depletion of the earthís resources, unraveling of our Constitution, failure of our electoral process, genocide in Africa, and the possibility of extinction of life in portions of the planet through global warming.

The delusion in British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlainís declaration upon his return from Munich in 1938 that conferees with Hitler had achieved "peace in our time" is dwarfed by the present Bush Administration and media distortions of reality. Hitler had made his intentions for conquest and elimination of Jews as clear to the world as Osama bin Ladenís promise to destroy the US economy, should our government not alter its course in the Mideast.

The Bush administration came into office bearing pre-set plans to project military power over the Mideast and wrest profit there for its corporate backers. In the process they have spent the nation into deeply troubling record debt and, in war making and policy changes, put all at risk. We know their designs for homeland security to be as flawed as the resume of their recent nominee, Bernard Kerik, to oversee that task. If not a majority of Americans, at least the rest of the world sees this administration as a sham.

Listening carefully, we hear repeated, in our time, all the masterful propaganda of the Third Reich, the fabrication of an enemy of the state and its purpose, the use of fear.

How can 59-million voters "be so dumb?" headlined Londonís Daily Mirror the day after our presidential election. With the exception of those whose sons, daughters, and friends have been among the ever-increasing number of dead, maimed, crazed, or contaminated in illegitimate Bush wars, or who lost loved ones in terrorist attacks, Americans are blithely consuming and absorbing popular culture. A majority still believe the lies Cheney, Bush and Powell fed them about Iraq being involved in the 9/11 attacks and possessing weapons of mass destruction.

They are being good Germans, and soon they will pay the price for loyalty to a similar leader, his practice of wealth to the privileged, his gutting of the Constitution under the guise of national security, and his doctrine and ideology of conquest and empire. Americans should particularly understand that when an administrationís leading advisors openly declare that the only function of government is national defense and protection of property while describing a sound program like Social Security as needing an overhaul, the fix is in. Such programs are targeted to be shut down.

The major media, "embedded" and married to persons in power in our replica of Hitlerís corporate state, now offer propaganda as truth. Nor is the public interest served by an opposition party. With a few notable exceptions, Democrats cling to their positions of privilege, behaving "at Court" as anyone must who wishes favors and to be invited to the ball. John Kerry proved the worst of these, giving full support to American aggression, failing to appropriately address the issue of terrorism during his run, and saving $50-million for future campaigns. He quickly conceded an election that will continue in dispute, if for no other reason than that historically accurate exit polls in numerous states tabulated for Bush had made Kerry the winner.

Osama bin Ladenís October 29 message to America, "Your security is not in the hands of Kerry, Bush or al-Qaeda. Your security is in your hands. Any state that does not mess with our security has naturally guaranteed its own security," mirrors his propositions of November 11, 2002, several months before the US invasion of Iraq. "From the worshiper of God, Osama bin Laden, to the people of the countries that are allied with the unjust American government: the road to safety starts with stopping aggression." And there was this promise: "As you kill, you will be killed; as you raid, you will be raided."

Ignoring both history and logic, and apparently willing to sacrifice American civilians and soldiers alike in pursuit of oil and empire both Bush and Kerry responded with vows to kill Osama bin Laden. As if eliminating this Saudi-born leader, his Egyptian deputy Ayman al-Zawahiri, the Jordanian, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, alleged leader of Iraqís insurgency, or any number of terror organizers in dozens of nations could cork the long-boiling rage of millions of victims of centuries of occupation and imperialism.

Steadily increasing casualties reflect the increasing Vietnamization of Iraq. While it does maim the innocent, "Shock and Awe" is deceptively staged entertainment, not military science. As the roots of terrorism are oppression and humiliation and its resources are infinite, it is futile to militarily engage terrorism; we can only remedy the causes.

When the next terrorist assault comes, as I feel it soon will, the target will be our economy and people who have benefited from oppression. The prospect of a nuclear weapon brought to an urban center in a small boat or car is ironically made more likely by those in power who, rather than working to ban such weapons from the world, have long brandished them to maintain hegemony. I see our malls as practically places of worship in our culture, and totally vulnerable to assault that would halt shopping as we know it. In the aftermath of future attacks there will be more curbing of freedoms of the victims. Ultimately we could live under martial law.

Laments my friend Kathy, "The ship is going down, and we are on it."

Carl Doerner writes news analysis for New England media and is the author of Ashes and Embers, a work of fiction. He can be reached at:

Other Articles by Carl Doerner

* Tribunal Convenes, Convicts Bush
* Glimmers of Hope