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9/16/02


 

TOUR DE FARCE

By David Podvin

Following George W. Bush’s speech to the United Nations General Assembly, there was a television panel discussion in which the awestruck participants expressed their gratitude for being privileged to witness such incomparable brilliance. The Bush performance, each panelist eagerly agreed, was a “tour de force”. I watched until my nausea threshold was exceeded, which occurred at the precise moment when one of the deep thinkers explained that the decision to bomb innocent civilians without any documented provocation reveals Bush to be a “great peacemaker”.

I could have sworn that I heard Lewis Carroll laughing somewhere in the background. Up really is down, and black really is white, if you are decent enough to believe it is so.

The Bush speech was an explanation of how Saddam Hussein is so evil that only a degenerate could ever possibly support him, a point that I intend to emphasize during my upcoming campaign to remove Ronald Reagan’s name from Washington National Airport. Bush failed to explicitly spell out why we are going to kill Iraqis when it was Saudis who terrorized America, but he provided a hint:

“In 1993, Iraq attempted to assassinate the Emir of Kuwait and a former American President.”

The regime in Indonesia has massacred many more East Timorans than Hussein has killed Kurds.

The regime in Sudan has slaughtered two million people, many more than Hussein is reported to have killed.

The regime in China has also murdered many more people than has Hussein.

But no one except Hussein has tried to kill Poppy Bush. More importantly, no one except Hussein is sitting on a vast reservoir of oil that can be easily stolen in the name of freedom and justice. Iraq is therefore nominated to be the location of the next war to promote peace, part of the ongoing effort by Bush to loot as much of the world’s treasure as possible on behalf of the corporate interests that financed his seizure of the White House.

The first evidence that Bush’s public pronouncements about Iraq are a subterfuge surfaced last year when W invoked the name of Adolf Hitler. There are few people who have maliciously destroyed as many innocent human lives as Hitler, and Saddam Hussein isn’t one of them. Hussein is a sadistic bully, but there is an all-important logistical difference between him and Hitler: The German military-industrial complex was so powerful that it conquered Europe and threatened to take over the world; the Iraqi military-sheep herding complex is so feeble that it has been unable to entirely subdue the Kurds. In the minds of conservatives, this distinction is excessively subtle.

The current litany of complaints against Hussein could be used to justify overthrowing many – if not most – of the governments in the world, including our own. The most legitimate Bush rationale for toppling the Iraqi dictator is that Hussein did not gain power through an honest vote of his own people. Apparently, what happened is that there were some election night irregularities engineered by Hussein’s younger brother, Jeb…

There is going to be a military assault on Iraq, even if Condoleezza Rice - the National Security advisor, not the oil tanker – must be assigned to manufacture photographic evidence proving Saddam personally croaked Mother Theresa. When you blatantly govern in a way that disenfranchises the vast majority of Americans so that your corporate contributors don’t have to share the nation’s wealth with the unwashed masses, diversionary tactics become a constant necessity. The war machine is now whipping the majority of the American people into a blind frenzy, which really isn’t very hard to do. In the face of hysterical nationalism, logic and reason have been rendered subversive. Bush discovered that al Qaida was too elusive to make a good enemy, so he’s found a stationary target. Many defenseless people will die, but life is a series of trade-offs. A crushing military victory should be just the tonic to boost those sagging approval ratings before they drop back below fifty percent.

It remains to be seen which country, after Iraq, will be the next to get the Rodney King treatment. There is one incredibly exciting possibility. Bush has said that the Iraqi government must be eliminated because it has acted in defiance of the expressed will of the United Nations. Intriguingly, the government of Vietnam is still in noncompliance with several U.N. resolutions. The sense of nostalgia should be overwhelming when the American military soon returns to the Mekong Delta; every true patriot can already see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Mae West once said that the problem with a good memory is that it will drive you insane. Most Americans are too mentally robust to remember they were told by Reagan during the 1980’s that we had to support Hussein (and his nuclear program) because - if Iraq were to be conquered - the hostile factions within the country would break up into warring little states. As a result, our sworn enemy Iran would become the unchallenged power in the region. Even after Saddam used chemical weapons against the Kurds, Reagan continued to back him, as did Dick Cheney and Colin Powell and Donald Rumsfeld. Now, Bush is determined to do what the Gipper said would be a tragic mistake, and the very same people who passionately supported the Reagan policy (and accused those who disagreed of being disloyal) are now passionately supporting the diametrically opposite Bush policy (and accusing those who disagree of being disloyal).

Somewhere, Lewis Carroll is still laughing.

Unfortunately, countless children are about to lose their lives so that another Bush family score can be settled and another resource-rich country can be plundered. Inevitably, there will also be numerous fatalities among Iraqi fetuses. Bush and his pious “pro-life” brethren have infinite devotion to the sanctity of the unborn - at home and abroad - right up until the disposable little bastards get in the way of going to war. The head of one anti-choice organization has blessed the attack on Iraq, saying all God-fearing people know the difference between murdering babies through abortion and the inevitable collateral damage that takes the lives of enemy combatant embryos.

It is a crazy, fucked up world in which we live. Inarticulate fools are lionized by corporate media fluffers for having nonexistent wisdom. Truth is something to be simultaneously exalted and avoided at all costs. What’s right or wrong is always subservient to what’s expedient, and anyone who notices is unpatriotic. Religious people tell us humans are special because we have souls that distinguish us from animals, and then they insist that we behave like sheep. Worst of all, this tidal wave of psychosis is presented deadpan, as though it were not the absolute height of insanity.

It is insanity. Once again, the madness of crowds is being roiled by deceivers who always turn out to be far less clever than they imagine themselves to be. The most powerful country in the history of the world is now enthusiastically preparing to annihilate countless victims of Saddam Hussein based upon unsubstantiated allegations from a counterfeit president, all in the name of peace and love and kindness. Bush first says that he has absolutely no problem with the Iraqi people, and then he insists we must launch a devastating all-out attack on them, and the majority of Americans nod in agreement at this sage logical couplet. It is the epitome of burlesque, except that it will result in the slaughter of far more innocent people than Osama bin Laden has killed.

However – and it is absolutely essential for our morale that we always remember this – the people we are about butcher are not Americans, so it doesn’t count. Back home in the greatest nation on God’s green earth, victory parades will be held and star spangled banners will be waved by cheering patriots who (courtesy of the discreet mainstream media) will be blissfully unaware of the extraordinary carnage that has been committed in their names. Our deserter-in-chief will be surrealistically hailed as a war hero for manfully using high tech weaponry to exterminate people who live in huts. Meanwhile, new schemes will be quietly devised to manufacture and then destroy the next false incarnation of the Fuehrer.

We are about to experience a glorious victory, the kind where you can swing from the heels without ever having to worry about getting hit back because you have chosen your opponent so wisely. In the land of the free and the home of the brave, the deaths of Iraqi women and children won’t even be mentioned, except by a few seditious fringe people, and those malcontents had better learn to keep their mouths shut before they also start reminding Bush of Adolf Hitler.

In Iraq, the survivors will be busy burying civilians who would still be alive if only their continued existence had been profitable for the members of the American Petroleum Institute. The Iraqis will be the latest of God’s children to find out that, scriptural misinterpretations notwithstanding, the value of human life does not transcend the borders of the United States of America. They, too, will have learned that anyone who gets in the way of George W. Bush is first demonized and then destroyed.

The people of Iraq are about to move up in class. For decades, they have been terrorized by a second rate military operating at the behest of a lawless unelected warlord who will do anything to retain power. Now, they are going to be terrorized by a first rate military operating at the behest of a lawless unelected warlord who will do anything to retain power. We can only hope that those uneducated peasants are sophisticated enough to appreciate the upgrade.

In the end, George W. Bush will address a joint session of Congress. He will receive dozens of standing ovations from Republicans and Democrats alike. He will honor the military for saving so many lives by ending so many lives, thank the Prince of Peace for inspiring us to eviscerate our enemies, and congratulate the American people for their heroism in standing up to a Third World country that spends less on armaments than we spend on pornography. He will also mispronounce several words and give every outward manifestation of having been lobotomized, but no one who loves this nation will ever notice. Television analysts will proclaim with straight faces that this is a sublime moment for God and country, that goodness has triumphed over badness, that Bush truly is Alexander the Greatest, and that his speech was a “tour de force”.

And somewhere, Lewis Carroll - master of the absurd - will be laughing harder than ever.

More David Podvin

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