Tuesday, February 11, 2003

The Whitened Sepulchers
In George Bush's War House

If Jesus Christ had to bear the misfortune of launching his "Second Coming" ministry in the year of our Emperor, George Tiberius Bush, how would he fare? Sadly, he would discover: the more things change; the more they stay the same.

There's little doubt his name would have been omitted from the Emperor's Inaugural Ball list. In fact, there's every reason to believe he would have been beaten and arrested with the other protesters who were denied access to the presidential parade route.

Jesus Christ would begin his ministry among the exploding millions of hopeless Americans. He'd spend every waking moment in soup kitchens feeding the hungry; at family shelters housing the homeless and visiting AIDS hostels healing the sick. As he fulfilled his calling, he'd spread his gospel of redemption to the abandoned and betrayed in our runaway nation.

News of Jesus Christ's radiant personality, inspired oratory, compelling journalism and healing hands would spread like wild fire. Dozens of peace and progressive movements would beg him to speak at their rallies or join their little band of rebel writers. He would respectfully decline their invitations to spend more time doing the "hands on" healing work of his ministry. Unfortunately, Christ's growing reputation wouldn't go unnoticed by the Emperor's Royal Guard.

Jesus Christ would understand the urgent need to respond to our Emperor's frantic drum beats for world war. His speaking engagements would multiply overnight. He would be among the featured guests at the Washington rallies against another Iraq war. By this time, the Emperor's Royal Guard, known as the Homeland Security department, would've compiled a giant file of Christ's profile, movements, speeches, e-mails, phone calls and articles, replete with photos and videotape. Further, the Emperor would secretly sanction an expansion of the "Ten Most Wanted List" to include Jesus and all twelve of his apostles.

As Tiberius Bush glad-handed supporters after his grim State of the Union address, Jesus would burst through the crowd and stand defiantly before the Emperor. He would shake his forefinger at George Bush and condemn the president in an awesomely thunderous voice. He would accuse the Emperor and congress of being whitened sepulchers for endorsing crimes against humanity. In his brief TV exposure, Jesus Christ would've had enough time to express humanity's outrage at American imperial policies. He would declare: "The world wants peace now and no more war! You, George Bush, and the spineless rabble in congress and the Supreme Court are not worthy of the offices you hold!" At that moment, Jesus would pull a makeshift whip from his pocket and begin beating the Emperor. Instantly, the smugly contented crowd would flee for their lives into the congressional hall, running over their fellow legates. Jesus would chastise dozens of lawmakers in the chamber, sparing no one. The plug would be pulled on the TV broadcast just as federal security fell upon the whip wielding prophet.

Jesus Christ would be whisked away to an offshore detention center to avoid the long arm of US constitutional law. There he would be relentlessly interrogated. When it became evident no information was forthcoming, Jesus would be handed over to torturers from our Middle Eastern "allies," specially flown in for this purpose. After several days of savage abuse and no answers, Jesus would be dragged before a military tribunal at midnight.

In a cold and dimly lit room, Jesus would be forced to stand and listen to the litany of charges against him. It would take several hours before the prosecutor's dull monotone ended. The head magistrate on the three judge panel (hidden behind a black curtain) would inform Jesus many of the charges carried the death penalty. The head judge would state Christ's insurrectionist activities forced the court to declare him an "enemy combatant." Jesus would respond: "It is you who say that I am." After a brief consultation with the other judges, the head magistrate would slowly stand up and declare the verdict: "It's the determination of this court the defendant is an enemy combatant and a grievous threat to the sovereign security of the United States of America. Based on the facts presented before the court in this trial, we find the accused guilty on all charges and thereby sentence the defendant, as prescribed by law, to be hanged by the neck until he is dead." With these words, the judges would swiftly escape through a rear door as the military police hustled Jesus to the barracks to await his dawn execution.

Barely a word would appear in major media about the televised riot following the Emperor's address to the nation. Only a few obscure papers would make it a front page story. Every copy of the lone publication which featured a small picture of the incident would be quietly confiscated. That paper would later remark it was under IRS investigation. The Emperor's War House would offer no explanation as to what happened to Jesus Christ and his twelve apostles.

There would be mounting outrage in the nation following these traumatic events. The Emperor would schedule a short address to the nation in an apparent attempt to calm the unease. Tiberius Bush would use the opportunity instead to rant against the rise of enemy combatants in the US. He would strongly assert his "court" was doing everything possible to bring these criminals to justice. And, due to the SOFA incident, the Emperor would assert it was vital to strengthen the Patriot Act further and invoke martial law indefinitely. No mention would be made of Christ's execution or the fate of his apostles.

If Jesus Christ were alive today he would face the same cruelty as two millennia ago. Indeed, the more people struggle for change, the more vicious vandals like George Bush fight to ensure conditions remain the same. Humanity stands at an unprecedented crossroad. The battle line has been drawn between those who support endless war and those who prefer to build endless peace. We don't need another hero. For the first time in history, we have the Information Age tools to defeat the dogs of endless war and guarantee universal peace.

George W. Bush will be the last American Emperor. Today's worldwide peace movement is resistant to the "divide and conquer" tactics boiled up in Bush's War House basement. His whitened sepulchers of death and destruction will be defeated by the dynamic, liberating effect of informed opinion.

Francis Fukuyama was prophetic in his 1992 landmark essay: "The End Of History." However, he came to an incorrect conclusion. When the cold war expired of its own futility, we didn't witness the end of history. It was the end of state sponsored secrecy and propaganda and the beginning of open access to information. With the rise of the Internet, no nation has absolute control over the news. The fear of external enemies is harder to sustain when people have universal access to the truth about the lies. Demonization is no longer enough to convince the public our problems are caused by someone other than ourselves.

Throughout the ages, great leaders are legion on the long march toward global peace and justice. Many are known only to those who had the good fortune to benefit directly from their service to humanity. Among the saintly servants, no life shone brighter than that of Jesus Christ. Despite this fact, his hard work and sacrifice have fallen victim to the greatest misinterpretation in human history.

Jesus Christ did NOT come into this world to die for the sins of mankind. Our sins are our personal responsibility. Like all prophets, Jesus Christ redeemed weary souls through the example he set in his life, not his death. Simply put, he came into this world to show us "The Way" to redemption through leadership and a well lived life.

When we focus on a prophet's passing, we brainwash ourselves into believing the only way to save souls is through death. Since no one wants to die, salvation is left to the few with the "superhuman" courage to confront tyranny. Of course, this is the convenient excuse tyrants used for centuries to murder the prophets who tend to disturb the status quo. Tyrants absolved themselves of their deadly deeds by proclaiming the martyrs "were somehow asking for martyrdom" or bleating the officials were only "doing their jobs" and "following the law."

When we demystify the lives of the prophets and live according to their teachings, we begin to understand there's nothing superhuman about standing up for truth and justice. We ultimately discover the most important reasons for existence are to walk humbly with God and make ourselves worthy enough to be of value to others. If we committed ourselves to these simple principles for life, love and happiness, no army on Earth would have the power to defeat us. Let's remember Jesus Christ and the prophets brought salvation to the world through service to humanity. We're all born to be prophets and peacemakers. The saints would thank us when we finally get this message. And God would be happy to shutter the prophet foundry in order to work on other divine business.

Franklin L. Johnson

Monday, February 10, 2003

America's Evil Empire Imperialism
And The Backhand Of God

Referring to America's effort against al Qaeda during his State Of The Union address, George W. Bush said these words:

"To date, we've arrested or otherwise dealt with many key commanders of al Qaeda...All told, more than 3,000 suspected terrorists have been arrested in many countries. Many others have met a different fate. Let's put it this way -- they are no longer a problem to the United States and our friends and allies." (Applause.) {emphasis mine}

No one in major media had the courage to express outrage at these awful remarks spewing from the lips of the worst president in American history. Outside of a few titles, Mr. Bush offered no details as to who these people are; where they're being held; what are the charges against them and what their immediate fates would be. No democracy should tolerate absolute secrecy -- not even for alleged terrorists. Further, the president's "no longer a problem" remark, delivered with his best bemused smirk, is language more befitting a Mafia don. Whether Mr. Bush knows it or not, the American people shouldn't be in the business of kissing his hand or any other part of his narrow anatomy.

In two years, George Bush boosted America's Evil Empire Imperialism to full throttle. He's used the tragic events of 9/11 to move the global peace and prosperity goal posts well down field and littered the distance with warfare. He's incited rebellion against US unilateral policy and generated universal hatred toward our people. He's threatened the preemptive first use of nuclear weapons in an environment of endless war, all the time. And he's strongly pledged to bankrupt the US treasury in his irrational attempt to fulfill these preposterous policies. No American voted for any of this. In response, we must fulfill our duties as vigilant citizens and constitutional defenders by making sure George Bush fails miserably at each and every one of these sinister endeavors.

The hypocrisy of the president's positions on Iraq and North Korea are easy to explain. No matter how many times George Bush says his Iraq war isn't about oil, everyone knows that it is. Everyone knows the Bush administration is an oilygarchy. Everyone knows Iraq has 112 billion barrels of proven oil reserves, maybe more. Everyone knows Saddam Hussein is a perfect target in a defenseless nation. Everyone knows Iraq has been used as a live testing ground for allied (mostly US and British) state-of-the-art weaponry, including depleted uranium (DU) munitions. It's important to note Mr. Bush threatened Iraq with nuclear weapons if they use chem/bio weapons against our soldiers although the US has used DU weapons against Iraq. While the next Iraq war would be clearly a crime against humanity, the constant bombings, occupation and embargo of that defeated nation are ongoing crimes against humanity.

The object in the Middle East is for America to seize the oil reserves and indefinitely occupy the area. This would secure America's global super power hegemony. And it would justify our rampaging defense budget. However, no one voted for any of this nonsense. While hegemony may've been rationalized in the past, it's inappropriate for an emerging Global Village in the Information Age. America should jettison the super power/empire image and join the other nations in sharing, not warehousing, the world's important resources.

North Korea is only a different side of the same warfare welfare coin. The desperate plight of this extremely poor nation is being used to support the proliferation of nuclear weaponry and power. In the US, our nuclear deterrence and atomic energy industries are under great political pressure. Our aging missiles and plants are obsolete. And a new nuclear power plant hasn't been built in America for more than twenty years. With the cold war over for fourteen years, the military and civil nuclear industries needed a rationale to stave off extinction. Not surprisingly, they found that excuse in North Korea.

The object in the Far East isn't to end nuclear proliferation. The nuclear hawks prefer its extension because it would be a win-win-win situation for them. First, we'd encourage our Far East allies (Japan, South Korea and Taiwan) to start nuclear deterrence programs to defend against projected buildups in North Korea and China. Next, we'd continue selling nuclear power plants to North Korea and China to bolster the bottom line of our civil atomic industry. Last, we would use all this bristling nuclearism as a pretext to build Star Wars for about $500 billion to $1.2 trillion, depending on the model. These scenarios are undeniably music to the ears of the World War and nuclear power industries.

In short, George Bush's war game isn't about spreading democracy and peace -- quite the contrary. This whole process is about indefinitely extending America's global hegemony regardless of what other nations think. If Mr. Bush and the World War Industry believe they can execute this wicked program without inducing strong retaliation, they're grossly mistaken. Already, this madness has been severely denounced. Consequently, it's the duty of every American citizen to join humanity in running the clock out on American Imperialism and dismissing George W. Bush at the earliest electoral convenience.

The spectacular, midair disintegration of the shuttle Columbia is a dire omen. It can't be mere coincidence this horrific tragedy happened exactly at the moment George Bush was ready to plunge the planet into incomprehensible violence and destruction. If for no other reason, it may've bought time for cooler heads to prevail. The universal momentum against war and for peace has never been stronger. The Columbia (association: District of Columbia) disaster could be interpreted as the much needed brake on Mr. Bush's insane imperialism scheme.

There's a connection among the components of errant US policy. Endless war, nuclear proliferation, Star Wars and the space race are odious elements of American imperialism. They're based on obvious racism, sexism and classism. God smote these evil deeds with one mighty backhand. Humanity has no business even thinking of colonizing other worlds until we stop the inhumanity we perpetrate right here on Earth. God has loudly spoken. We would do well to heed this message from the Supreme Being.

Franklin L. Johnson