Wednesday, March 12, 2008

What War Wrought

War wrought a perpetual arms race stoked by the generational innovation of increasingly lethal murder-machines.

War wrought the deadliest century in human history, the 20th. About 70 million people were killed as a direct result of war. This number doesn't include the millions who died indirectly due to starvation, bad water and disease. Millions more were herded into massive refugee camps to live and die in incomprehensible squalor. More than 90% of these casualties were unarmed, innocent civilians.

War wrought state-of-the-art weapons so deadly they kill our soldiers on contact as well as the alleged enemy. Napalm, fuel-air explosives and depleted uranium munitions are the latest doomsday devices.

War wrought a warning from a venerated five-star general. Eisenhower saw the handwriting on the wall. He told us about the peril of permitting the vertical integration of an entire industry dedicated to the welfare of warfare -- also euphemistically called the "defense" department. Whether out of fear or failure, we continue to ignore his stern advice to beware the military industrial complex. This blatant irresponsibility led to the global stockpiling of mountains of weapons, specifically designed to destroy human beings. Death and destruction are now considered reasonable solutions to human problems, while peace, justice and liberty are considered unachievable. America spends about a trillion dollars a year fighting terrorists who have no resources. How is this possible? Who is pocketing all this money?

War wrought the construction of one of the biggest structures ever built, the Pentagon. In this building, our best and brightest military minds spend their days contriving plans for war and spreading rumors of war. As long as the Pentagon and similar structures stand, there can never be peace on Earth.

War wrought instant elimination of our constitutional rights. George W. Bush used the 9/11 attacks as an excuse to abolish our legal protections with the stroke of his pen. If World War I, World War II and the cold war didn't require the scrapping of our rights, then why does the nebulous war against terrorism require it?

War wrought environmental degradation. The greatest polluters on the planet are national militaries. They use secrecy and bogus threats to national security as shields against proper oversight and indictment. The sad result is they pollute at will.

War wrought the massive waste of our national resources. Quibbling over contract fraud in Iraq is useless. The illegal, immoral wars of aggression in the Middle East were frauds from their start. These crimes against humanity require an international tribunal, similar to the Nuremberg trials, to prosecute the perpetrators in the Bush regime.

War wrought nuclear weapons which can't be used to defend us. Billions are spent yearly to nursemaid these Armageddon engines. While the possibility of mutually assured destruction (MAD) is no longer an urgent issue, it still hangs over our heads like the Sword of Damocles.

War wrought the rise of corrupt politicians who pass ridiculous budgets to feed the greed of the military industrial media incarceration complex (MIMIC). In return, they receive their forty pieces of silver in the form of campaign funds. Our undemocratic politics are a shameful disgrace.

War wrought a myopic media. They celebrate mass murder orgies by our military and they characterize them as acts of heroism.

War wrought an immoral religious establishment. They bless the bombs and bullets destined to kill incalculable numbers of innocent non-combatants in evil, unnecessary wars. Both soldiers and civilians deserve a better fate than this.

War wrought the super-saturation of humanity with small arms. Rebels appear on TV with bullet bandoliers and machine guns. Most of these people are ignorant and penniless. So, where did their weapons come from? More than 90% of these weapons are manufactured by the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council (US, UK, France, China and Russia).

War wrought a disturbing growth in the number of those who believe in the end of the world. Readers of the Left Behind novel series about the Apocalypse are everywhere. Daily, we see the powerful overwhelming the powerless. And we know power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. The only way we'll survive this death-dance is if we replace the lust for power with a love of peace.

War wrought Bush's Orwellian idiot-antics posing as responsible decision-making. Will Dubya detonate Middle East War III against Iran in a desperate effort to retain Republican control of the White House? The recent forced retirement of CentCom Commander, Admiral William Fallon, is a bad sign such a crazy act of unprovoked aggression could be unleashed.

War wrought all these savage and sorrowful things because we refuse to answer the ultimate question: Who would Jesus bomb?

Franklin L. Johnson

Monday, March 10, 2008

The Hillary Conspiracy
And Our Dead Democracy

When you take a hard look at what's going on in our politics today you'll soon notice there are two battles being waged. First, there's the public relations (PR) crusade. The politicians, pundits and admen want us to believe a pleasant contest is taking place. They work hard every day to profile how much sweet democracy we're getting compared to other nations. While there's some truth to this simple observation, this isn't what's really happening. It's the other battle we should pay closer attention to, namely, the furious political death match over the very soul of our nation.

The Republican power brokers quickly approved John McCain McBush as their heir-apparent to Dubya. He demonstrated his loyal Bushie bona fides by hugging, fondling and kissing the requisite nether regions of very important people. This quadrennial dance is as cult-like as they come. Yet, the Republicans somehow get away with painting the Democrats with this brush even though their rituals are the epitome of craven cult behavior. Conversely, the Democrats are confounded by an unexpected plot change.

The Democratic power brokers want to dance the cult polka, too. But, their party is always crashed by some upstart who refuses to suspend disbelief permanently. It appears there are Democrats who prefer to live in the real world. People like these are troublesome because they often wander off the rote reservation. The most prominent wanderer of them all is Barack Obama.

The party power brokers chose the two candidates they wanted to present to the electorate. John McCain and Hillary Clinton got the early nods. The only issue of concern to them was the primary season formality. The candidate vetting process is so tightly controlled by the Establishment it's virtually impossible to reach this point without the approval of the party gatekeepers. Obama became an Establishment favorite with his stirring keynote address at the 2004 Democratic National Convention (DNC). This gave him easy access to the power brokers when he decided to run for president. He was expected to make a good showing. But, he wasn't supposed to become a serious candidate. As fate would have it, Obama is now the Establishment's worst nightmare. He's a man on a mission with a message. Of course, this only means they'll be forced to do whatever is necessary to stop him.

The tragedy of Bill and Hillary Clinton is they've become what they despised when they were very young and idealistic. Hillary no longer wants to be president because she'll do great things for America. She now wants to be president because she got drunk on the Kool-Aid of political power. She's convinced herself Obama doesn't deserve consideration, no matter what the voters say. She's feverishly obsessed with winning and she doesn't care what it takes to prevail. If she can't win the nomination fairly, she'll strike a deal with the devil. In her desperation, this may be the only choice she has left.

Hillary's twelve straight primary and caucus losses to Obama required drastic action from the Clinton camp. They opted to attack Barack with smears and dirty tricks. If you can't rise to your opponent's level, you can always bring him down to yours. Despite the savage assault on Obama's credibility, the voters still prefer him to Hillary. The party power brokers are not amused.

America is no longer a democracy. We've morphed into a textbook oligarchy: a nation of, by and for the rich. The Ruling Class consolidated their authority over the last three decades. And that power is almost absolute. What Obama represents is probably our last best chance to reverse this evil process. If democracy is ever to flourish again in this nation, we must prevent the complete transformation of America into a police state.

Our superficial election cycle is threatening to rupture into an all-out war to stop Obama. The power brokers from both parties are ganging up to get the job done -- no matter the people's will. Hillary showed she had a glass jaw early in the primary season. She needed a dubious win in New Hampshire just to stay in the race. Every dirty trick in the book was hurled at Obama, yet his support holds strong. Barack lost the Ruling Class vote when he said he wasn't interested only in stopping warfare. He wants to end the mindset which gets us into illegal, immoral messes in the first place. The Establishment considers this heroic statement for peace to be an act of war.

The projected McBush/Hill-Bill-y matchup is in serious trouble. Hillary has little chance of overtaking Barack in the regular delegate count. The superdelegates won't override the popular vote. And any decision about the banned Michigan and Florida delegates won't provide a deciding margin. This view raises a very important question: If the Establishment gets a race they didn't intend, what will they do to get the race they really want? With billions of dollars on the line, the answer is they'll do whatever it takes to get what they want. Now, that's a very scary prospect.

Obama has traveled a long way from a humble community organizer to become the People's Choice for president. Clinton has gone a long way in the opposite direction. Her powerlust has changed her from a promising public servant to a creature characterized as a bitch, witch and monster. These are the dismal opinions of many influential people. Americans don't want change alone. They want a breakup of the Ruling Class monopoly over our lives. Only a genuine outsider, like Obama, could provide proper consideration of this serious issue.

A McBush/Hill-Bill-y race will be about all-out-war/all-the-time. A McBush/Obama campaign will be about contrasting points of view. Reactionary rhetoric from McBush will only serve to isolate him from mainstream voters. Americans are sick and tired of war and McBush's rumors of war. The only chance the Republicans have to win the presidency is to run against Hill-Bill-y and her high negatives. Therefore, the Establishment will boost "The Hillary Conspiracy" to stop Barack from becoming the Democratic nominee.

Obama is an ideal Rorschach test. He scares the Establishment because he's not beholden to them and he offers new hope to struggling Americans because he seems to think outside the box. Barack Obama will be the next president of the United States if the voters get the chance to decide his fate. His election will be a new day for democracy. And the only people who'll be unhappy about his rise to power will be members of the Ruling Class. They'll be very upset because...well...they don't believe in democracy.

Franklin L. Johnson