good barometer of stormy weather to come is the spirit in
which various peoples around the world are celebrating such
an auspicious dawning. If we gauge the mood of the new millennium
by the crazed
frenzy of fear and repression leading up to this ominous
night, then the new age is not exactly going to be party time.
brief survey of worldwide party plans reveals that the poopers
are in the ascendant. In Saudi
Arabia, Sheik Abdullah bin Jabrain, a leading Muslim cleric,
flatly declared that "celebrating the holidays of the
infidels is not allowed, even if its [sic] out of courtesy,
because they are not holidays that Allah
revealed." The conceits of universalism
are so easily overthrown; not even courtesy is globally recognized
as a virtue, as anyone who lives in our "multicultural"
society knows all too well.
GLOBALIZATION OF HATRED
of the great unsung benefits of globalization is that we are
getting to know certain peoples very well, and beginning
to realize that some regions of the world breed malevolence
and hatred like dew oozing from the very earth. They are the
sore spots, the hotspots, sources of conflict and constant
war, and we shouldn't fool ourselves into believing that we
can control or even completely understand the spasms that
rack these regions. Ireland
is one. The Middle East is another. What is a Westerner to
make of the dour Sheik, who declaims: "Muslims are forbidden
from glorifying these days, congratulating those who follow
them and showing any form of happiness or joy which would
recognize this heresy"?
ALIENS AMONG US
form of happiness or joy is hateful to the fearsome ayatollah,
whose fiery asceticism
reflects the merciless glare of the desert sun. If human happiness
is "heresy," then unhappiness is, presumably,
a state of grace but it would be presumptuous and ultimately
futile for me to go much further in analyzing the implications
of the Sheik's profound utterances on the subject of how to
celebrate the new year. Short of following the example of
of Arabia and going "native," or at least making
a lifelong study of the subject, no Westerner can comprehend
the Sheik's mindset. If and when life on other planets is
discovered, we may be startled to realize that we have more
in common with the inhabitants of Betelgeuse
XIII than with some of our fellow humans.
NEW YEAR'S KOSHER?
party is no merrier in Israel,
that beloved theocracy,
where an official council of rabbis has made it all but impossible
for even foreigners to enjoy a New Year's party. Hotel owners
have been told that they may not hold New Year's celebrations.
While not forbidden to rent facilities to non-Jews, hotels
must somehow make sure that no Jews would be admitted. Music,
at any rate, is strictly forbidden at these gatherings
no, not even a single verse of "Auld
UNDER THE SKIN
rabbinical edict intimidated the Jerusalem Hoteliers' Association
into declaring that even such dreary affairs would be out
of the question. Hotel owners, fearful of offending the powerful
rabbinate, would rather be safe than sorry especially
since a hotel in the Jewish part of town must be certified
or else go out of business. The official explanation for the
restrictions is that the New Year's celebration falls on the
Sabbath although it is unclear why non-Jews should
be forced to obey such strictures. The high priests of the
Jewish state, like the Ayatollah Abdullah, are determined
that the New Year 's Eve celebration will be muted at best.
No singing, no dancing, no drinking no joy. However
much Jews and Arabs may conflict in the temporal world, spiritually
these worshippers of a fierce desert god are brothers under
the birthplace of Jesus,
some of the more secular Palestinians are planning a "Bethlehem
2000" celebration, to be climaxed by the release of 2,000
doves at midnight symbolizing the region's hopes for
peace. There's only one problem, however, perhaps emblematic
of the Middle
East peace process itself: doves fly by day, and sleep
by night. They may not be in the mood for aerial acrobatics
when the New Year kicks in. The organizers, however, are not
just winging it, but are fully prepared for this contingency:
the plan is to turn on the floodlights and fool the birds
into thinking that day is night. If political leaders can
do it to voters, maybe it will work on the far brainier doves.
dour mood has even infected San
Francisco, the ultimate party town; the Washington
reports that "religious leaders in San Francisco,
meanwhile, defeated a hotel's plans to inflate a seven-story
blue martini glass on Union
Square, complete with a 10-foot olive. A prayer vigil
will be held there instead."
PALL OF FEAR
a prayer vigil wins out over a seven-story martini glass on
New Year's Eve in what Herb
Caen used to call Baghdad-by-the-Bay, you know
something's up. A pall of fear, mixed with sanctimony and
permeated with the threat of violence, has settled over the
nation and the world like a poisonous fog and the party
cancellations are pouring in.
the Imperial City,
where officials urge residents to stockpile at least several
days of food and other supplies, a high profile event
at the downtown MCI Center, "Capital Countdown 2000,"
was suddenly nixed. Promoters declined to get very specific
about the reason for the abrupt cancellation, but a lack of
ticket sales forced another big Washington, D.C. bash at the
Ronald Reagan Building and
International Trade Center, a black-tie charity ball,
to bow out. Fearful of reenacting the Battle
of Seattle, Mayor
Paul Schell put the kibosh
on the city's long-planned celebration. All over the country,
hotels and other people are "cocooning"
cowering in fear of enemies both real and imagined.
yes, they have us where they want us: shivering with fright
and waiting for the government to "save" us. Good
God, will people never learn? What will it take for them to
realize what is really going on here a sign from God?
Or, perhaps, a sign from the Other Guy, His
Satanic Majesty whose "hideous" visage,
according to a report in the Weekly
World News, has been photographed hovering over the
US Capitol! If you've been stocking up on Spam
and canned peaches in preparation for Y2K,
you've no doubt read this story on line at the checkout stand.
Now I know, I know what you're thinking: the Weekly
World News is not as reliable as the staid old National
Enquirer. But do yourself a favor and follow
that link. Read this riveting account of how "intelligence
agents" using "handheld" cameras "that
are generally found on spy satellites photographed the hideously
evil Face of Satan hovering over our nation's Capitol on November
PORTRAIT OF TERROR
report goes on to reveal that "President Bill Clinton
has ordered the CIA, FBI,
and State Department to
pool resources in an unprecedented interdepartmental investigation"
to get to the bottom of this mysterious apparition. The tabloid
quotes "one unidentified, veteran CIA operative"
image is a portrait of terror unlike anything we've ever seen
in this country. Is it something supernatural? Is it some
kind of life form? Is it and hell yes, I'll ask the
question is it Satan himself? Is it a threat to our
TO THE SATANIC CHIEF
threat to our President hell, it is our President.
Just ask the 3,000 Iraqi children who die each week
as a result of US-UN sanctions imposed on that prostrate battle-scarred
nation they'll tell you. Just ask the victims of the
Sudan bombing, sacrificed on the altar of Bill Clinton's spin
machine perhaps they will cry out from their graves,
this mystic night, and testify to the Satanic power that cut
them down in their tracks. But our "unidentified CIA
veteran," in this shocking interview, is not far off
the mark when he goes on to say:
want more? We're monitoring this thing from space and from
the ground around the clock and it just keeps getting darker
and denser and more ominous by the day. The wind doesn't blow
it. Radar can't scan it. Geiger counters can't read it. The
naked human eye can't see it. You actually have to look through
the lens of a million-dollar camera to even know it's there."
anonymous Weekly World News reporter describes the
awful apparition as "sitting up there over our nation's
Capitol like a crow on a clothesline, taunting our every move,"
and asks: "Is it somehow a sign of events either bad
or good to come?" You don't need a special camera to
capture the spirit of the nation and the world as it stands
on the brink of the new millennium: the Weekly World News
story perfectly expresses the Zeitgeist of the new
age: a dark, ominous sense of foreboding.
spite of the scientific"experts" (including economists)
who assure us that everything is getting better in every way,
that crow on a clothesline is indeed taunting us, and that
bird is not alone: indeed, a whole flock is crowing triumphantly
over their recent "victory" in Kosovo, and the loudest
of these war birds are now squawking for a showdown with Saddam,
with Russia, with China, with anyone who dares stand
up against Washington, world headquarters of Satanic Evil.
increasingly popular worldview that puts the US
Capitol at the epicenter of evil is held not just
by many conservatives, but also by large sections of the populace
in the Balkans, Russia, and North Africa, and is virtually
unanimous in China and the Middle East. If you want to know
why just read this ABC News story headlined "Crackdowns
Worldwide: Precautionary Arrests Reported in Europe, Africa,
Middle East," which reports that "law enforcement
and security services around the world are interrogating,
detaining and arresting people with suspected links to terrorists
and terror activities."
KNOCK KNOCKIN' ON CLINTON'S DOOR
don't they knock on the door of the White House? There are
a few people there who ought to be interrogated, detained,
and arrested, for they are the biggest and most arrogant terrorists
of them all. As they scour the world in search of enemies,
they are exercising their imperial prerogative to corral every
dissident, and round up the "usual suspects" in
a global "sweep" and a show of their global
reach. As a display of raw power, it is a warning and a portent
of things to come.
AND RUMORS OF WARS
and rumors of wars dominate
the news "armed conflict is currently raging in
a third of the world's nations," according to a survey
done by the National Defense Council Foundation. "It's
going to be a very tough next 20 years," says retired
NDCF executive director Army Maj. Andy Messing Jr. If the
War Party has free rein in the years to come, that may be
putting it lightly.
PARTIES ON DOWN
have two questions for those of you cowering in your bunkers,
preparing for the worst, quaking with fright. Now that government
officials have turned you into paranoid nutballs who jump
at the sound of backfiring autos and have three months worth
of dried beans stored in the basement how come these
same government officials are out partying? According
to news reports, the State Department's top terrorism
official will ring in the New Year whooping it up with Clinton
on the National Mall. "I am going there to enjoy myself,"
says Michael A. Sheehan, who holds the exalted office of "counterterrorism
coordinator" at the State Department. "There are
no guarantees in life." Yeah, including the guarantee
that someone hired to protect us from an alleged worldwide
"threat" will report to work on the day of the impending
disaster. How seriously do federal officials take their own
phony "anti-terrorist" scare? "I've read all
the stuff coming in," said Sheehan in response to questions,
"and I intend to be there. If I see something suspicious,
I'll report it to the first cop."
MILLENNIAL MADNESS, AND EGYPTAIR 990
something mighty suspicious about this terrorist scare, all
right, and that brings me to my second question: Whatever
happened to the EgyptAir
990 investigation? How come that once-hot story seems
to have slipped completely below the radar of the major media?
That, you'll remember, wasn't an act of terrorism.
Indeed, the "t"-word was never mentioned by government
officials in connection with that case and to this
day they expect us to believe that the pilot simply shut off
the engine and plunged the plane into the ocean for reasons
unknown. Yet now, suddenly, we have a total turnaround: from
a complete unwillingness to deal with the terrorist issue
to a prolonged campaign of scare-mongering and "precautionary"
arrests worldwide. But if we, unlike Michael Sheehan, take
the imminence of a terrorist threat seriously, then why rule
out an act of terrorism in the case of EgyptAir flight 990?
knows what they're covering up, and what's really behind the
most intense government propaganda campaign since the Kosovo
war? Uncovering the web of lies woven by government spinmeisters
is what we do here at Antiwar.com, and what better place to
remind you of that than in my first column of the new millennium?
We greet the New Year as fearfully as any of our readers,
but also with hope. Hope that a new year will bring progress
in the battle against the War Party. We
have recently seen more improvements and new features at this
site, and I am happy to report yet another success.
SZAMUELY OUR LATEST COLUMNIST
have spotlighted George
Szamuely's New York Press pieces as an act of homage
to a great writer and in the secret hope that he would
one day join the ranks of our writers and turn out a column
exclusively for us. As proof that wishing sometimes does
make it so, I am pleased to announce the addition of the wildly
popular George Szamuely to our stable of columnists. Born
in Budapest, Hungary, educated in England, he has worked as
editorial writer for The Times of London, as editorial
writer for The Spectator (London), and was an editor
at the Times Literary Supplement. In the US, Szamuely
has been equally busy, working as an associate at the Manhattan
Institute, as editor at Freedom House, as film critic for
Insight, as a research consultant at the Hudson Institute
as well as weekly columnist for the New York Press.
His work, always first-rate, has appeared in Commentary,
American Spectator, National Review, the Wall Street Journal,
National Interest, American Scholar, Orbis, New Criterion,
Daily Telegraph, The Times, the Sunday Telegraph
and now Antiwar.com.
George didn't come cheap by our relatively humble standards
you can be sure he's worth a lot more than we're paying
him. And that brings me to yet another order of business .
. . Those who signed up for our e-mail list have already been
hit up yes, folks, this is a reminder and now
it's your turn. The War Party has millions nay, billions
to spend. We can never come close to matching them,
naturally, but then we don't need to: all we need is enough
to pay the cost of uncovering the truth. These costs are minimal
virtually nonexistent, compared to the War Party's
propaganda machine but they are, nonetheless, very
real, and must be met. Won't you help? We'll send you all
kinds of books and other goodies: intellectual ammunition
in the fight against globalism
Celebrate your support for and dedication to the cause of
peace in the new millennium by making
your contribution today; right now, via secure credit card
server, or by mail at the address below.
IS THE TIME
our American supporters, right, left, and center: now
is the time to make your tax-deductible charitable
donation to Antiwar.com, a division of the Center
for Libertarian Studies, an educational tax-exempt 501c(3)
organization. Would you rather send your money to help build
the War Machine, or would you prefer to build the antiwar
don't have to be Nostradamus
to predict what the new millennium has in store for us: it
is precisely what governments everywhere and at all times
have practiced continually, since the beginning of history,
and that is war. Here, at history's
end, we have the final war, the struggle of an emerging
world state to exercise hegemony over the globe. It will be
a long and bloody struggle, and throughout the coming years
the question will pose itself again and again: which side
are you on?