“The terrorists are trying to stop our progress. And we'll ultimately prevail because they're -- they have -- their ideology is so dark and so dismal that when people really think about it, it's -- it will be rejected. They just got a different tool to use than we do.”
-- George W. Bush
“And now, my beauties, something with poison in it. Poppies ... Poppies. Poppies will put them to sleep. Sleep. Now they'll sleep!”
The Wicked Witch of the West
Will you all wake up, or what will you do? You heard our President speaking: “They got a different tool to use,” and if you don’t stop them, they’re going to be running through our streets and, worse, our malls, blowing us into little pieces as if we were mere chattel from Baghdad. Just numbers on the AP wire -- 45 today, 65 tomorrow, a leg here, a head there, a lot of blood on the altars of worship … damn, that’s not an American fate.
I have this directly from the source, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, who warned last week, in a speech that will be remembered for as long as human history is written, that Americans are dupes, and that those of us who oppose the Bush administration and its self-created “War on Terror” are not just fools and traitors but “appeasers,” likened to those nefarious Brits who, before World War II, preferred to go about their lives rather than stand up to Hitler and say, “Here, Adolf -- take that!”
I won’t dignify Rumsfeld by quoting again his repulsive remarks and his apparent ignorance about the causes and consequences of World War II. World War II presumes a World War I, which, before “World War II,” was called “The Great War” -- “great” signifying not its nobility or just cause, but its utter size and disaster, the most useless and fruitless war ever fought for no reason among top-heavy “powers,” who just couldn’t get along in their greed to dominate the earth and its resources. And the greatest “appeasers” of Hitler were not, as Rumsfeld would have it, a cowardly population, but the lords of industry and big business -- Ford, General Motors, oil companies, railroad magnates, Rockefellers, Bushes and the Chase Manhattan Bank, for whom even President Roosevelt, that “traitor to his class,” made special exceptions in a codicil to the “Trading With the Enemy Act” of December 1941, just after the attack on Pearl Harbor, in the knowledge that the entire “world economy” would collapse if he didn’t.
Wow -- that was a long sentence. But it was a long war -- not two, but one continuous war, stretching from 1914 to 1945 and beyond, the one thing Rumsfeld got right in his role as public shill and First Sacrifice of the Bush agenda, if it comes to that (because it won’t be Cheney, and you can take that to the bank). It was Clausewitz, we’re always told, who said that “War is a continuation of politics by other means,” but he was wrong: War is a continuation of ownership by any means.
Think about it: Who shall be master of the seas? Who’ll get the diamonds in Africa, and the oil in Venezuela? How come Russia can’t deal with Vienna, and who owns the Balkans? Surely the whole thing can be worked out if “Cousin Willy” and “Cousin Nicky” -- respectively, the German emperor and the tsar of Russia -- meet on their yachts and have their pictures taken. So let’s have a “World War II” to fix a “World War I.” And let’s have a “World War III” now, because the Republicans say that’s what we’re in, and Mommy Bush’s baby, “43” (as opposed to her husband, “41”) wants it so.
I’m not making this up. On that phony ranch in Texas, as well as that white man’s pile in Kennebunkport, these two cross-eyed failures actually wear “windbreakers” with their numbers on them, “43” and “41.” It makes a kind of sense now that we know that “43” is just a regular “frat boy who can’t get enough of fart jokes,” according to U.S. News and World Report. Bush Jr. is also “known to cut a few for laughs, especially when greeting new young aides,” who might conceivably have gone to work in government out of some distant memory of ideals. What a hoot!
There was a time in American history when the people would have run these varmints out on a rail, and tarred and feathered them, too, but those days now belong to a history that “43” and his henchmen are doing their best to erase. "You ask, 'Is it serious?'” Rumsfeld has said. “Yes, you bet your life. People don't do that unless it's a serious situation."
Before you ask the obvious question -- “Do what?” -- let me remind you that, according to last weekend’s reports, the opium crop in Afghanistan has increased by some monstrous percentage that even a soccer mom couldn’t wrap her Capri pants around. (It wouldn’t help if she did, because the terrorists are going to be at Talbot’s any minute.) According to the New York Times, “Afghanistan’s opium harvest this year has reached the highest levels ever recorded,” accounting for “92 percent of the worldwide opium store” and exceeding by 30 percent the total demand for opium “worldwide.” That would include the United States, Canada, Europe, Russia, the former Eastern bloc, Central and South America, Australia and any other place you can think of that isn’t “Islamo-fascist.” That is the result -- actually, the goal, because there’s so much money in it -- of the war on terror you’re so terrified about.
Poppies … Poppies … Poppies.
is the author of international bestselling books including:
Anastasia: The Riddle of Anna Anderson,
Isadora: A Sensational Life, and a biography of the
anti-fascist journalist Dorothy Thompson,
American Cassandra: The Life of Dorothy Thompson.
His essays have appeared in Salon, Vanity Fair, New
York Times Book Review, and many others. Peter lives in
Burlington, Vermont. He can be reached at:
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