January 31, 2003
Last Chance for Peace
Last Days of InnocenceA newspaper reproduction of Andy Warhol's portrait of Lennon came into my hands recently and it looks so good about now. It's the intersection of two souls who seem so gentle compared with the world we are leaving for our children.
Americans should realize that every citizen now faces a question of great importance in regard to where they stand on the issue of whether the United States should shed blood in another country that has not attacked it, that could not realistically be expected to mount any kind of an attack on it.
I know a great many well-meaning people who have put their faith in people who espouse the beliefs they cherish without realizing that those politicians don't believe or act on those principles themselves. But now it is war. Now the Pentagon is talking about attacking Iraq with 300 to 400 cruise missiles on the first day, as many as in the whole Gulf War, and then doing it again on every day after that. The plan is to use so much power in "conventional weaponry" that it is comparable to a nuclear war. This is the kind of goal our present government is preoccuppied with.
Anyone who takes the trouble to consider it can see that the administration's justifications for turning the U.S. an aggressor nation have no weight at all. They are ridiculous, and any one with the slightest desire to be cognizant of the truth can readily see that. The pretense that Iraq poses a threat to the United States is an obvious phony justification for colonizing Iraq and making some people very rich off the oil there. Later the process will continue throughout the rest of the Middle East as the U.S. takes over the region like dominoes.
That's essentially the scenario spelled out in the think tank projects of the Rumsfeld-Cheney-Wolfowitz gang. The strategy is world domination and the key is the Middle East. This is not some arcane, paranoid conspiracy theory, nor is it a Marx Brothers movie. These objectives are spelled out in documents that are public, like the dreams of the Project for the New American Century. (See "Rebuilding America's Defenses")
(For more on the plan, see
Online Journal John Pilger The Moscow Times, The Sunday Herald, The Washington Post The New York Times.)
Americans feel themselves to be extremely alienated from the centers of power and that's because they are. Perhaps increasingly so, perhaps always so. The creators of the American Revolution were slaveholders, after all. In their conception the franchise was limited to a narrow class.
And so it is today. In the elections of 2000 and 2002, we have seen a junta successfully turn the clock back to pre-Revolutionary America, to the colonial America that was an extension of the Kingdom of England. The America before the rudiments of the revolution, like "no taxation without representation," had been articulated. Pre-democratic America. Pre-Civil Rights America. Slave America.
These smooth characters pulled an inside job so quick a lot of people may have missed it. Maybe a lot of people who have to work hard just to survive missed it. But now the situation is getting very serious. Now it is war. Now it is America killing people in other countries. And it is Americans getting killed. Not by an invader, but by people protecting their homeland from an invader, a destroyer.
It's not a happy place for Americans to be, but once the attack on Iraq is manifest it will be irrevocable. It will change Americans, imperceptibly at first, but inescapably. Now we are shedding blood. Now we are destroying civilizations. They are talking nuclear first strikes. We are the plunderer, the conquerer. It will be the loss of whatever innocence is left. Americans can no longer see their country as the light of the world, the protector of freedom and justice, a benign force in world affairs.
However you individually conceive of your power in society, we are all part of this country. On paper it is a democratic society. In action it is far from it. That's not so much of an issue when elected officials have a healthy respect for the people they govern. But now the ruling junta demonstrates blatantly that it does not have any regard for the concerns of the majority.
The average person in America may not think he has much power. In a relative sense that may be true. The real decision-making power in America is increasingly centralized into a small, elite network.
We all have some portion of responsibility for what our government does, even in a society that has become as undemocratic as this one. But there is a class that has tremendous culpability. The elite fringe: the congressmen whose principles are clearly sold out to their sponsors and can make no move without their approval; and the elite media, who address the absurd lies of the administration as if they were true, not challenging blatant distortions, twists and omissions but blabbering on and on about a fantasy, who do nothing to challenge the corruption and injustice that has now grown to include mass murder and destruction -- they will have blood on their hands.