These days hang heavy, languid, dreamlike. I imagine how it must have been sitting in a park on the coast of France staring at the gray ocean sky in those dreary days right before World War II. The Nazis had stolen your country and you wondered how long it would be before your life, if you kept it, would be changed forever. That's about like how it is now as we sleepwalk through these hollow days of well-worn lies, listening intently for the echo of each footstep, as we wait for the bombs to start falling. |
It is a common theme used in several short stories I have read, although the only one I can readily identify was by Ray Bradbury: what would you do if you could go back in time, before the conflagration started, knowing now all the heartache and carnage Hitler had triggered? What would you do? The heroes in some of these fanciful stories ? maybe this was a Twilight Zone episode; I'm envisioning the actor Christopher Plummer ? went back in time and tried to stop the F?hrer's ruthless rampage before it started.
But the message in all these stories was mostly the same: history could not be changed, and proceeded as the history books surely tell us, despite the best-intentioned efforts of the inspired hero.
More recently, Stephen King's "The Dead Zone" was developed along these lines; in the movie version, it was the eerie Christopher Walken playing clairvoyant Johnny Smith who could read the future and foretell that evil Senate candidate Gregg Stillson, portrayed by Martin Sheen in a masterfully dastardly way, would nuke the world if allowed to achieve his destiny. Old Johnny, mimicking all those other heroes, decided he had to follow his intuition and save the world from a holocaust, so he went after the demented politician with a thirty-ought-six. He didn't have to kill him, though; the threat was enough to reveal the villain's true character (he tried to hide behind a baby, and all the newspapers snapped the photo). It cost Johnny his life, but it saved the world from disaster.
Oh, if real life only was as simple as popular fiction.
Lately, this archetypal fable has been floating at the periphery of my thoughts. Much in the same way George W. Bush fantasizes about how simple life would be without Saddam Hussein, many others, I'm sure, are having the same thoughts about Bush himself. And not a few of them, I'm equally sure, would put him in the same class of human being with Hitler, since many of his recent achievements bear a striking resemblance to the resum? the F?hrer so cravenly assembled.
A number of folks lately have suggested such that doing such a number on Bush would be an appropriate remedy for many of the ills of the world, especially in light of recent provisions of the Patriot Act, which mandate instant termination for anybody deemed to be consorting with known terrorists ? something our character-challenged commander-in-chief has certainly done simply by hanging out with people like Rumsfeld, a known terrorist if there ever was one. Hey, he sold Iraq its weapons of mass destruction, didn't he?
This radical and illegal recommendation of offing the big boss has lately become known as "pulling a vox," after the suggestion of the popular New York columnist and Internet legend who recommended invoking the Patsy Act provision on Duhbyah. But all that earned the voxman was a midnight visit from forty or so federal agents and the destruction of his website ? which lives on, by the way, in numerous and anonymous mirror websites lovingly maintained by admirers who seriously appreciated his suggestion, and his outspoken insistence that the tragic atrocities of Sept. 11, 2001 were an inside job, engineered by the petronazis in Washington, D.C.
These are the stark facts. Current American leaders are proven liars, particularly in the recent cases with Colin Powell at the U.N. and the subsequent terror alert based on the lie of a prisoner. In a court of law, one lie disqualifies all previous and subsequent testimony of any witness. It is not improper to infer that the lies told by the Bush administration in these two instances render everything its lackeys have said as fabrications to hide some other purpose, some other action. This inference can logically be taken back to the events of 9/11, whose coverup without investigation has lasted so long that there can be no doubt that the official version of those events ? blaming Osama bin Laden and saying the American defense apparatus was taken by surprise ? are total lies. There can be no doubt about this.
If the leaders of America are proven to be liars, why are they allowed to continue in authority? Because the entire government is collaborating on a gargantuan lie that it is operating in the best interests of the American, when it is crystal clear it is not.
And that is precisely what leads us to this "Dead Zone" scenario. We know, from the perspective of history, what results Hitler was allowed to perpetrate because no one had the foresight or courage to stop this demented dictator before he pillaged most of Europe. If no one does anything now about Bush and his designs on world conquest, will we reap the same harvest? Will the entire world be consumed in torrents of depleted uranium flames. It seems very likely that we will.
What will we do when we finally realize we have the reincarnation of Hitler on our hands? Bush even venerates Hitler memorabilia that is kept by his college fraternity. Will we stop the madman in Washington, or will we let him have his way?
I myself do not believe in the death penalty for any reason, not even for a proven lover of capital punishment and mass murder such as George W. Bush. I guess that's how I'm different from virtually all the leaders of the so-called free world, who now generally approve of killing thousands of innocent Iraqi children in order to divvy up that beleaguered nation's oil reserves among themselves.
Despite their superficial protestations of "let the inspections work before we bomb them," none of them really measures the situation in terms of babies with birth defects or mothers who have to watch their children die of easily curable diseases because U.S. sanctions prevent doctors in Iraq from obtaining even the most basic kinds of medicine. None of them assesses the current crisis in terms of lives to be lost. In their crass calculations of budgets and political influence, human life is valueless to them. All that seems to matter to them is control of commodities, and kowtowing to the wishes of Israel, which manipulates the U.S. like a puppet to achieve its own aspirations to empire.
I wouldn't want to be like them. I pity them. If this is our future ? if this is the way humans are supposed to behave ? well, I guess this is not my kind of planet. As my old friend Guido, just past 90 and still messing with the authorities, says: "Once a person is dead, there's nothing you can do. All those possibilities of a long life lived, those connections, those achievements, those relatives, those inventions, they're gone, and the world is a lesser place."
This all seems so obvious to most thinking, feeling people. So obvious it's not even necessary to state it. Yet it's a thought that apparently escapes the thinking of our erstwhile leaders. So who are they, and who are we to let them ignore it?
And all this talk about "beginning" a war against Iraq is equally repellent to me. Sometimes, when I'm walking down the street, I want to run up to some businessman, grab him by the shirt, and scream: "Do you realized we've killed a million Iraqi children?!"
Do YOU realize the United States has killed a million Iraqi children in the last decade?
So, that's why I don't take kindly to talk about STARTING another was against Iraq, because the first war has never really stopped.
But conceding how many Iraqis America has already killed is not something the froth-mouthed George W. Bush would readily admit to. He's just not that kind of person.
All he's interested in doing is creating a "Dead Zone" of his own, a whole series of them actually. Of course, recruiting a Johnny Smith to cut short his career wouldn't solve the problem, because there are plenty of pathetic political poltergeists willing to walk in Bush's shoes and pursue his identical objectives, in which ordinary humans just don't count for much. Just look at who's next in line: our own Dr. Strangelove, Dick Cheney, the one person in the world who can make George W. Bush look like a humanitarian.
For that matter, just look at the situation now unfolding in Iowa caucuses, look at the so-called opposition party. More Bush clones, all willing to push that button and bomb Baghdad on the bogus basis of the lies that have been in place for a decade now. Gephardt, Kerry ? all those pseudo-Democrats except Kucinich ? would all eagerly step into Bush's shoes and continue this assault on humanity and common sense, ordering the needless deaths of thousands more brown-skinned innocents simply because the men who really push the buttons behind the scenes say this is the thing to do.
America is the new dead zone, morally and spiritually dead, where for some time now the price of gasoline has been a far more important topic than the lives of innocent people. That's what happened in the first Gulf War: America wholeheartedly endorsed the slaughter of 150,000 people in a few weeks just to keep the price of gasoline from rising too high.
Don't you realize the war in Iraq has never stopped? And don't you realize that if something seriously radical isn't done about the situation as it exists now, this new War on Terror is never going to stop. When Bush spoke at West Point two summers ago, he said that there were 60 countries that harbored al-Qaida terrorists.
If we don't stop him here and now, that's 60 wars we have to look forward to. Sixty new Dead Zones. The U.S. already has armed troops in 40 different countries. I guess that means we need a bigger defense budget, right?
I never thought I'd have to say this, but the "Dead Zone" scenario is real, not fiction. It's here and it's now. If the world ever regains any degree of real freedom and equanimity, I cringe at what the historians are going to say about us, and about how we let a man with the IQ of a pea roam around the world killing thousands for reasons that were so obviously lies.
Then the question remains: what do we do when confronted by the certainty of evil? Especially when the vast majority of the people in authority don't consider it to be evil, and have basically signed on to the evil course of action.
We need at least to remember that the people in power who endorse this plan of action, who endorse the coverup of 9/11 and the abandonment of the anthrax investigation, who back the continuation of the attacks on hapless countries around the world, need to be separated from that authority as soon as possible. Immediately, if not sooner.
In our own distinctive ways, we all need to turn into Johnny Smiths, heed the unmistakable handwriting on the walls of our hearts, and take our own kind of action ? humane and compassionate but effective action ? to stop this menace that threatens to destroy the world as we know it.
To motivate yourself, simply consider the alternative if no action is taken. It's right there in the history books.
John Kaminski is a writer who lives on the coast of Florida and is running out of ways to say the madmen in Washington need to be stopped before it's too late for all of us.