you think I'm going to miss EastEnders
in order to hear the "State of the Union"
address you are wrong, wrong, wrong. Why bother,
when I know the state of the union sucks?
No sooner did Hans Blix open his mouth
then the Dow started
tanking; our war birds had hardly begun their latest
chorus of banshee-like screeching when speculation began
as to how
Saddam would strike back. So we're
going to hear about how some until now totally unknown
Al Qaeda "affiliate," Ansar al-Islam, is supposedly
backed by the Iraqis – in the U.S.-protected quasi-independent
statelet of Kurdistan. I might as well go to Debka.com
and get the
latest Israeli propaganda straight from the horse's
sorry, but I just can't get up even a modicum of enthusiasm
for the incoherent squawking of our marionette-in-chief.
I hate it when he scrunches up his forehead and squints
out at us with that simian belligerence, like
General Ursus in "Planet of the Apes."
Thomas is right: he is the worst President
we've ever had, in every respect. His presidency will
go down in history as the last gasp of the old Republic,
right before it degenerated into an empire more vulgar
than Rome, and more short-lived than Alexander's.
Who wants to see the nation's number
the nation" to war, as one breathless news
report put it? No thanks, I'll pass. I choose to ignore
the baboonish Bush, and instead urge you to heed the
words of Stormin' Norman Schwarzkopf, the commander
of our 1991 drive-by shooting in the Gulf.
In an extraordinary interview in the
Washington Post, Schwarzkopf continues the Pentagon's
offensive against this war, much more effectively than
all the peace demonstrations from here 'til kingdom
come. Skeptical of the administration's rationale for
war, the General is said to be
"Worried about the cockiness
of the U.S. war plan, and even more by the potential
human and financial costs of occupying Iraq. And don't
get him started on Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld."
resentment of Rumsfeld, who seems to enjoy his reputation
as a blowhard – albeit an entertaining one –
is palpable. The General complains that the objections
among senior military personnel were simply brushed
aside in the rush to war. That heedless arrogance was
entirely absent when Dick Cheney was in charge, but
"Rumsfeld, by contrast, worries
him. 'It's scary, okay?' he says. 'Let's face it: There
are guys at the Pentagon who have been involved in operational
planning for their entire lives, okay? . . . And for
this wisdom, acquired during many operations, wars,
schools, for that just to be ignored, and in its place
have somebody who doesn't have any of that training,
is of concern.'"
This is not just a fight over turf,
however, but over two polar opposite conceptions of
military and foreign policy. Schwarzkopf shares the
opposition of many officers to the post-9/11 military
strategy of this administration, which is to pit the
U.S., Israel, and possibly Turkey against the entire
"It's obviously not a black-and-white
situation over there" in the Mideast, he says.
'I would just think that whatever path we take, we have
to take it with a bit of prudence.'"
The General also isn't buying the idea
that we can turn Iraq into a Jeffersonian democracy
any time soon:
"I would hope that we have in
place the adequate resources to become an army of occupation,
because you're going to walk into chaos."
Never to walk out of it.
critique is fixed, not on the short-term prospect of
an American "victory," but on the inevitability
of defeat in the long run. It is a fundamental difference
between the old-line pre-imperial era senior officers,
who see their task as defending America, and the civilian
leadership imbued with a vision of conquest. The Vietnam
syndrome is supposed to be dead and buried, but
it lives on in the military, which knows, from bitter
experience, that the politicians will take credit for
the victories, however Pyrrhic,
while the grunts take the heat in defeat.
As Georgie Chickenhawk rallies the nation
behind yet another American incursion onto the Asian
landmass, the horrified and increasingly vocal reaction
of Schwarzkopf and his allies in the top ranks of the
military is not hard to fathom. They have opposed this
war from the beginning, and it is not too late for the
President to heed their wisdom. He may be the slave
of Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson, he may be Ariel
Sharon's gofer, but even a sub-literate reformed drunk,
whose brains have been sautéed in alcohol, knows
he can't win a war without the top brass.
keep hearing that war is "inevitable," but
you'll notice how they keep pushing back the date. First
it was going to happen right around Christmas, and then
at the end of January, and now they're saying the Ides
of March. If so, then perhaps one of the President's
more historically-inclined advisors will tell
Caesar to beware.
To the soldiers out there, consider
General Schwarzkopf's warning next to the ignorant ravings
of our bellowing Boy Emperor, who slithered out of the
draft and is now striking a Napoleonic pose. Which one
do you trust to make the decision to go to war?
Listen up, soldier. You have the power
to stop this war before it starts. Imagine the panic
that would set in if the ranks started echoing and acting
on the warnings of their senior commanders. The President
may be a slave to the War Party, but you sure
as hell aren't: you're an American citizen who has the
right to speak out. Isn't that what they're supposedly
sending you overseas to fight and die for?
Or is it?
all who agree with General Schwarzkopf, and side with
prudence over Rumsfeldian recklessness, here is how
you can spread the word. Just download the speeches
and statements of the generals who have spoken out against
this war, and share them with your friends. The speeches
of former Secretary of the Navy James
Anthony Zinni, and retired
Marine colonel Larry Williams can't get you in any
trouble: if they start treating Colonel
David Hackworth like some kind of subversive, then
we know we're in big trouble.
most "subversive" activity you can engage
in, however, is to keep yourself informed. Having arrived
at this site,
you're already on the right track….
so I did watch the speech, and taped EastEnders,
and wasn't I right? The phony connection made between
Iraq and Al Qaeda, even murkier than I imagined: the
braying bellicosity, the furrowed brow, the mean squint.
I must say, however, that I was taken aback when the
"Throughout the 20th century,
small groups of men seized control of great nations
… built armies and arsenals … and set out to dominate
the weak and intimidate the world. In each case, their
ambitions of cruelty and murder had no limit."
Freudian slip? An antiwar mole among the speechwriters?
Or a single moment of honesty amid a fusillade of lies?
What Bush is describing is his own rotten regime, up
to and including the neoconservative cabal that has
seized the reins of power in Washington, and set us
rushing off to war. The whole point of the President's
demagogic tirade was to intimidate the world, and most
of all the American people. Conjuring up the self-fulfilling
prophecy of an Iraqi attack on the U.S., the Bushies
expect us to quake in fear – and surrender ourselves
helplessly to their war plans.
After this display of demagogy, Helen
Thomas must be feeling vindicated. Yes, he's "the
worst President in all of American history," as
the state of the union, 2003, demonstrates beyond any
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