The kid and I were chatting happily last week about really really important things such as this country's top movie, Spongebob Squarepants, when, suddenly, she pointed at the TV screen behind me. Then, as her face contorted in anger, she said ominously – “He's e-e-e-e-v-u-l...”
Startled by the look on her face, I turned to the TV, expecting to see the Red Skull with his boot on the neck of Captain America -- but it was only George Bush, smirking and chortling and kissing members of his cabinet on the lips. “No, honey,” I said, “that's only the president. That's George Bush.”
“Well, okay,” she said, with a shudder. Then, squenching her eyes shut and pursing her lips, she muttered – “But I'm gonna call him Stinky.”
I don't know which is more appalling -- that millions of comatose adults flock to theaters to pay homage to Spongebob Squarepants while the world goes to hell around them, or that a single 8-year-old, familiar with the stark, good-versus-evil battles waged by Spiderman, Captain Marvel and the entire battalion of Ninja Rangers, could take one look at George Bush and instantly recognize a villain.
I hope she never sees Paul Wolfowitz, Condi Rice, Richard Perle and the rest of the Vulcans when they take their second-term circus act on the road. Wow. What a gig. Think about it. Stinky and the Vulcans -- The Greatest Show on Earth -- coming soon to a midway near you...
They never seem to tire; their contortions grow more grotesque as they parade before the world with bells and whistles, high-wire acts, sword-swallowing feats, freak shows...one act bumping into another, faster and faster...now you see it, now you don't...grinning barkers motioning from the raucous celebration whirling beneath the big tent...tanks and gun-ships, bombs and blood...
I am dumbfounded as people in this country clamor for tickets to the obscene, pornographic performance of this hideous group. I cannot understand why leaders of other nations stand by, enthralled -- with neither the courage nor the decency to yank the curtain before this murderous bunch shows up with their next act and brings the entire international house down.
Later, when the stench of bloated corpses can no longer be ignored, they'll say they didn't know. But they knew. We all knew. Dick Cheney, Vulcans’ production manager and Paul Wolfowitz, dance director, published the show's program in 1992 with their “Defense Planning Guidance,” wherein they called for “preemptive” military action against friend and foe alike to establish and maintain the US as the sole global superpower.
Fortunately, this act flopped. But the Vulcans didn't go away. They merely backed off and waited in the wings while refining their little program for world domination and looking for a lead singer for their group.
In addition to an “event on the scale of Pearl Harbor” to jump-start their strategy, they needed a front man -- an arrogant Nazi "Overman" doppelganger so shallow and eaten up with hubris that he could easily be convinced of his God-like superiority, and would have no qualms about the genocide necessary to reduce the world population and to achieve their goal of a new world order in which no nation dared challenge US dominance.
They needed an Orwellian fool, one willing to debase himself -- unable to discern reality from fantasy. But more important, they needed one who could successfully captivate a gullible populace by cloaking acts of inhuman brutishness in words like “freedom”, “democracy”, “liberation”, “God”, and “compassion”.
That man was George W. Bush. And he hit the stage in a dead run -- a rapper, a moon-walker, a whirling dervish of death. He's on a killing rampage, and any American with the perception of an 8-year-old knows he must be stopped. Sooner rather than later. That's why we have a Constitution, a Congress -- a watchdog media. It's time for the madness to stop -- before the terrorism and evil we are spreading in the name of freedom metastasizes further, and we are drawn onto massive global killing fields from which there is no escape.
Later, some will say, “We didn't know what they were doing to our children...we were just supporting our troops...If only the media had told us -- had shown us what was going on -- we would have done something to stop it."
But they will know in their hearts that the time to have stopped it was before it started -- the instant the first big lie was told. They will know that on Nov. 2, when they bought tickets for four more years of madness, more than 1,200 Americans had already been brutally slaughtered, more than 9,000 Americans injured or maimed for life, and more than 100,000 innocent Iraqi men, women and children destroyed. And all for lies. For greed. For power.
The media has been literally yelling about what we are doing in Iraq -- just not the U.S. media. We have no excuse for not knowing about the atrocities of Guantanamo Bay, the torture and murders of Abu Ghraib, the mass killings of civilians in Fallujah and countless other Iraqi towns and cities. We cannot help but know that most people in this stricken country have no electricity, no water, no food, no medicine -- that our troops have been ordered to shoot on sight any male between the ages of 15 and 50 whether or not he is armed -- that hospitals and clinics were first on the list of targets and that aid groups and ambulances were stopped at checkpoints.
I cannot judge if Bush, or even the Vulcans, are evil. However, although they refuse to be held accountable, evil is being perpetrated in Bush's name, and under his watch. As Rana Kabbani wrote in Britain's Guardian newspaper last week, “...the graves of Falluja speak for themselves.”
Kabbani reported that, “Iraqis watch as their homes and mosques are desecrated by soldiers who shoot injured men in the stomach in pre-emptive lunacy that mirrors that of their leader. (Emphasis added) They and a billion Muslims watched as Americans forbade families from burying their dead, and allowed stray dogs to gnaw the corpses of pregnant women and toddlers on the mean streets of what was once Falluja, during Id al-Fitr, Islam's Holy Feast. No one is taken in by the lies and arrogance and greed of this racist war.”
It is a mystery to me why Americans would vote for four more years of war crimes against humanity. However, while watching a C-Span program on the subject shortly after the election, I was struck by the answer given by a sweet-sounding woman from Missouri – “I had no choice but to vote for Bush,” she said almost regretfully. “I was obliged to vote for him because he was endorsed by God...”
Has there ever been a more glaring example of the chasm that grows wider every day under this administration between “religion” and “Christianity”? Religious “believers” who cast their votes were instructed by their leaders to cast a “vote for God” or for a man who would “ban” the Bible, support not only gay marriage, but drive-through abortions and killing babies for stem cell research. Verily, this deeply religious woman, and millions like her, had no choice but to vote for Bush.
Perhaps that is why so many Christians are weeping...
So, as Stinky and the Vulcans head for that fantastical midway and begin rehearsing for their next number entitled, “To Iran -- and Beyond!” just remember even an 8-year-old knows instinctively that the coming attraction transcends comic-book horror. It's the real thing. And it's e-e-e-e-v-u-l...
Later, we cannot say we didn't know.
Sheila Samples is an Oklahoma freelance writer and a former civilian US Army Public Information Officer. She is a regular contributor for a variety of Internet sites. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Other Articles by Sheila Samples