January 23, 2003
Welcome to the Muscle Beach Party
A BUZZFLASH EDITORIAL
In the end the Bush Cartel is banking on making the kind of impression on the world that a thug makes with a baseball bat on a car.
It's all about image and firepower. It's how the playground bully establishes himself. Pick the weakest guy in the school -- the one nobody likes much anyway -- and beat the living daylights out of him. Keep all the kids nervous and on edge. Let them think that you are a little bit mad and might just beat up on them for the fun of it. Tell them that you will protect them from the gang that lives in the next neighborhood in return for their loyalty. Make an example of anyone who challenges your leadership by denouncing them and bloodying them up. Establish a system of stool pigeons. Rummage through lockers, at your will, for any signs of betrayal. Issue warnings from time-to-time about how you have information that the other gang has plans to rape your mothers and sisters, and lay waste to your homes -- and that is why you need to trust in the playground bully from your school, because he will protect your mothers and sisters from the gang that few have ever actually encountered.
It's governance by brazen muscle power, by unfailing commitment to picking a target to destroy as an example of your ruthlessness, and your will to use any means necessary to establish and preserve your leadership. And if your attack is successful, you will enjoy the spoils of war -- the second largest oil reserves in the world. This is all the better, because you double up your goal of displaying raw, harsh military power, by combining it with additional natural resources that reinforce your dominance. You will be sitting on top of the world, masters of the universe, controlling almost everything on the Monopoly board.
And to accomplish this goal, you never blink, you never apologize, you never let facts get in the way of your mission. You remain steadfast and focused. Getting distracted by truth and ethics is a sign of weakness. And weakness is something you can smell and feel in a man. It was the weak ones that lost the Vietnam War, the bullies argue. It didn't matter if the U.S. was right or wrong. It didn't matter if innocent people were massacred right and left. It didn't matter that a country like Cambodia was turned over to the Khmer Rouge who left in their wake hundreds of thousands dead. No, none of that matters to the bully. To the bully, all that matters is winning, winning at all cost, even if the reasons for starting the war no longer matter. The bully knows that if he looks back, allows emotion or conscience to throw him off course, the playground children will overthrow him one day when his back is turned. And he needs an enemy to be the phantom source of fear that is the foundation of his reign. It is all about forging ahead, picking a target that meets your goals and then building a case, whatever the facts, and then going in for the kill. Keep your eye on the prize.
Of course, America was supposed to be about something different. It was supposed to be about democracy. It was supposed to be about one person, one vote. It was supposed to be about a nation that used the ballot box to elect its officials, not partisan judicial appointments. It was supposed to be a country with a thriving two party system -- and not a two party system where one party instills fear in the nation and the leaders of the other party just stand in fear. It was supposed to be about being a model of democracy, ethics and world citizenship.
The problem with being a bully is that a bully never really has any friends. And one day one of the children in the playground, who is a little smarter and a little bigger, punches out the bully and replaces him -- and no one steps into help, because the bully has governed by fear, not by friendship.
The men who led America's revolution feared and resented King George. And so it is today.
The citizens of America are onlookers -- and possibly victims -- of two bullies playing a game of chicken. One bully, our modern King George, thinks he's got the biggest guns, and that the other bully is a pushover. The other bully is just a mad tyrant and is used to not blinking first. It makes for volatile possibilities in an age of weapons of mass destruction.
Our King George, a man who was too cowardly to serve in Vietnam but supported the war and let others die, is convinced he's a tougher hombre than that sadist Saddam. It's a match-up that you wish you could leave to the two of them to resolve off in a corner, although George one-on-one with Saddam wouldn't last a minute. Our King George is a pampered little pup who is all talk and no cattle in a one-on-one fight. His confidence lies in this nation's dazzling and deadly military technology and a volunteer army that is serving as cannon fodder for his imperial visions. Soldiers come and go, but dynasties last forever.
Since September 11th, BuzzFlash has argued that the conduct of the Bush Cartel's war on terror was something that needed to be addressed as part of a national discussion. In the daily barrage of propaganda, it is hard to keep focused on the fact that our lives are really at stake. And if our lives and the lives of our loved ones are on the line, we have a right to have input as to what strategy best preserves this wonderful nation and the lives of those who live in it. There are bad men in the world like Saddam Hussein -- and there are many ways of dealing with them. But resolving the Iraqi situation, short of war, is not what is on the mind of the Bush cartel. They need someone to make an example of, and Saddam is their guy.
France and Germany now realize that if they let King George bully his way into a war with Iraq, there will be no stopping him. The emerging power of Europe would be threatened by an unprecedented assertion of American domination, largely for the purpose of form meeting function: using military might to intimidate the rest of the world. That is how King George's advisors -- and the King himself -- see this war: as the first step in asserting a new American hegemony -- and stealing the second largest oil reserves in the process. Britain, with the second largest number of oil companies in the world, is America's only unfaltering major league ally. Let's restate that: Britain is actually a faltering ally (only 10% of the British population support an attack on Iraq without the approval of the U.N., according to the latest poll). It is only Tony Blair's blind "oil" allegiance that keeps Britain by King George's side, a historical irony if there ever was one.
This war is about the manner in which nations conduct themselves. The bullies that are running this country now believe that they are playing football on a concrete field without padding and with no referees. The Democratic leadership, always a bit naive, think that America is still being run like a baseball game, with close team cooperation, mutual respect and four impartial umpires to enforce the rules. Wake up Democratic leaders, the Republicans own the umpires.
Ethics don't matter to the King George administration. Honesty doesn't matter to the King George Administration. Following the law doesn't matter to the King George administration. Respecting constitutionally guaranteed civil liberties doesn't matter to the King George Administration. Abiding by treaties doesn't matter to the King George administration.
All that matters is muscling your way to victory. All that matters is winning and expanding one's power base and riches.
For this, we are going to war.
A BUZZFLASH EDITORIAL
otherwise noted, all original