Saturday, October 15, 2005

George Bush's
Unholy Roman Empire Will Fail

A century from now, if humanity can forestall extinction that far, our descendants will consider why we lost our collective minds and how we regained our sanity. Meanwhile, most Americans are deeply concerned about the direction of our nation and wonder when this monstrous nightmare will disappear.

The cold war ended in a whimper, rather than a bang in 1989. This unleashed a torrent of goodwill around the world which led to abnormal and uncontrolled economic growth in the late 1990s. The usual suspects used this period of exuberant irrationality to engage in various get-rich-quick schemes. The speculative growth produced spectacular corporate disasters, such as Enron, WorldCom and Global Crossing.

In the midst of this economic evolution, a political plan for global dominion was secretly prepared by a bunch of rabid neocons. A document, titled "Rebuilding America's Defenses," was released in September 2000 by the Project for the New American Century (PNAC). In it, PNAC argued that America was the lone superpower in the world and we should use our dominant position to consolidate global control in our hands. Further, it stated such a plan would be rejected by the American people, if put to the vote. However, it was deemed the electorate could be swayed by some kind of catastrophic, Pearl Harbor-sized event. Exactly a year later, the catalyzing event occurred. This couldn't be mere coincidence.

George Bush was shoved into the White House as the first step in the process for global control. The neocons used social issues in the 2000 presidential campaign to deflect the electorate's attention from their actual plan. It was the year of God, guns and gays. George Bush rose to power on the strength of his antiabortion, antigay evangelical base and the promotion of a stronger defense. This was no accident. A similar set of circumstances prevailed 1,700 years ago in Europe. It's helpful to refer to the historical record to gain perspective on our current condition.

In the year 312, on one of the days before the crucial battle of Milvian Bridge, emperor Constantine had a vision. It was of a cross of light at midday bearing the inscription "in hoc signo vinces" (in this sign you will be victorious). That night, he had a dream which confirmed his earlier vision. He ordered the symbol of the cross painted on the shields of his soldiers. Then, he went on to victory at the battle of Milvian Bridge. Whether this story is more fiction than fact is still debated. What can't be debated is this battle was fought against Constantine's brother-in-law and co-emperor of the Eastern Roman Empire, Maxentius. It resulted in his complete control of the Eastern throne.

While Constantine was tolerant of paganism from 312-320, he eventually established policies which attacked idolatry. He combined pagan and Christian rites to smooth the transition to a unified empire under Christianity. He enacted laws for Sunday observance; declared December 25 as the birthday of Jesus and probably originated Lent and Easter based on pagan holidays. He presided over the Council of Nicaea in 325, which produced the Nicene Creed. This official statement of faith affirmed Christ's divinity and it was enforced politically by Constantine. Then, he fought and defeated his co-emperor in the West, the more tolerant Licinius, to consolidate his control over the entire empire. Those who refused to accept Constantine's brand of Roman Christianity were put to the sword. In short, Constantine used religion to consolidate his realm into what was to become the Holy Roman Empire, the ultimate integration of church and state.

While an exact comparison can't be drawn between Constantine and George Bush, there are several striking contrasts which should give one pause. The obsession with consolidation of power is the most obvious. Constantine fought to gain control of the known Western world. George Bush wants to control the entire planet. Constantine had a life-changing, spiritual experience. George Bush is a born-again Christian. Constantine used religion as an excuse to raid and conquer opposing nations. George Bush calls his war on terrorism a crusade, an ugly inference it's a battle between Christianity and Islam. Constantine established Christianity as the state religion. George Bush wears his evangelical stripes on his sleeve. Constantine enacted many laws to aid the spread of Christianity, built churches and exempted them from taxes. George Bush shredded the constitutional separation of church and state when he set up his faith based initiative in the White House. Constantine had the benefit of the strongest army and economy in the ancient world. George Bush has the same benefit today, except for one glaring difference. Currently, the rest of humanity has many more options with which to respond to Bush's unprecedented power grab.

The geopolitical straightjacket we find ourselves in can be summarized this way: George W. Bush and his supporters in the World War industry, mega-corporations, global banks, US energy cartel and neocon think tanks thought they could bring the rest of the world to heel by seizing the oil reserves in the Middle East and elsewhere. Further, they believed they could leverage this control to force humanity to accept our de facto policing of the planet. We're well on our way in this regard with military bases in more than 130 nations. Through the use of fear and intimidation, the Bush mob expected to keep the dollar strong and our creaking economy secure. The only problem is this evil plan is being met with resistance everywhere. The Bush mob and America shouldn't be surprised.

Doubtlessly, the end of the cold war offered a splendid opportunity to reorder humanity's priorities. The Bush mob attempted to seize the moment by quickly entrenching the New World Order, which is the Old World Order, only newer. It's the same old stew with the same recipe from the Roman days up to now with a few different spices thrown in when the natives get restless. However, the 21st century requires we go a different way. The irresistible forces of mass information/education, mass communication and mass transportation produced the proper response and it's the Global Village. For the first time in history, humanity has the capacity to complete the universal spread of freedom, peace and justice by simply providing the tools to engender prosperity. And none of this has to be imposed at gun point.

War has been obsolete since the end of World War II. Mass murder and mayhem have been maintained because they are profitable. It's time to take the profit motive out of mass murder and transfer it to mass education. There are no enemies in the Global Village. It's time to defund the World War industry. Think about it. George Bush was handed a projected $5.6 trillion surplus. In five short years, he turned this windfall into a projected $4 trillion deficit. Why doesn't somebody ask: Where did the $10 trillion go? If those funds were available today we could easily cover the Gulf Coast reconstruction; raise the minimum wage to a living level; provide universal health care; house all the homeless; offer Head Start to every child; rebuild our crumbling infrastructure; expand research and development programs; reduce our greenhouse emissions; encourage the production of new energy sources and stimulate high-paying job creation and a host of other value-added enterprises while having billions left to boost foreign aid. Instead of spending the $10 trillion on this worthy agenda, George Bush stole the money; gave it to his friends; then, foisted the illegal and immoral Iraq war on us.

George Bush's Unholy Roman Empire will fail because humanity won't tolerate it. The rest of the world doesn't need us. We need them. With only five percent of the world's population, it's very difficult to threaten six billion people. The Global Village will happen whether we participate in its creation or not. It makes no sense to use intimidation tactics. The answer to the end of the cold war isn't to establish a new tyrant on the block. Rather, it should be considered an opportunity for Americans to compete freely and honestly with other nations. If we're really # 1, the proof will appear in the pudding. We must cease the evil practice of rigging the political and economic marketplaces to favor our entrants. The New/Old World Order, based on war, fear and violence must be replaced with the Global Village based on liberty, justice and peace.

Washington, DC, is a beautiful city, full of grand marble monuments, just like Rome had at the height of its power. Washington has a senate, which is the most powerful deliberative body in the world, just like in ancient Rome. Our capitol city has a leader with war on his mind, just like the Caesars of Rome. And Washington has many mean streets full of desperate people living on slave wages. It was the same in early Rome. The inevitable question is: Do we want to expire on the ash heap of history due to imperial overreach, just like the Roman Empire, or do we want to choose a different path? This is a serious question requiring a thoughtful answer. Perhaps, it's time to renovate our capitol city. We could replace the Roman Empire motif with a warmer Global Village design. Marble, while beautiful at a distance, is cold to the touch. More often than not, it reminds you of death. From this perspective, Washington is a glorious, gleaming monument to death, just like ancient Rome. Is it a wonder why decisions in this city always seem to favor death over life?

Incidentally, Constantine never really cared much for Christianity. He was baptized on his deathbed. Constantine was a true believer in covering his keister when it counted, just like George W. Bush.

Franklin L. Johnson