Masters of war 

War is never something to be proud of, but an unprovoked war of brutal aggression to seize and control the resources of a small, defenseless nation halfway around the world from the United States is particularly shameful. While it was extremely painful to witness the merciless bombing of Afghanistan to drive out of power our former allies, the Taliban government (remember the “heroic Islamic freedom fighters” of the 1980s?), our nation’s blitzkrieg assault on Iraq heralds a new era of American imperial atrocities of frightening proportions.

But of course our populace doesn’t remember the heroic Islamic freedom fighters of Afghanistan. Allen Ginsberg said, “The name of yesterday’s newspaper is amnesia,” and the war in Iraq revealed that almost half of all Americans had come to believe that Saddam Hussein had ordered the air strikes on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon just a short year and a half ago. Forgotten also has been the fact that our military establishment supported and helped arm Iraq in its eight-year war against Iran not so long ago.

This is madness, for sure, but it is also a precise measurement of the degree to which our citizenry has been successfully dummied down by the relentless, decades-long attack of the wholly compromised news media and the mass entertainment corporations that own them. Now it’s “America At War,” “Operation Iraqi Freedom,” “Homeland Security,” “Shock and Awe,” page after page and hour after hour of disgusting pro-war propaganda building public support for the bully-boy adventures of our illegitimate president.

With its ducks all lined up in a row following the Bush putsch of November 2000 and the Republican Party takeover of the House and Senate in the disgraceful 2002 elections, the ugly cabal of unbridled greedheads who rule our social order is now determined to install its long-anticipated New World Order.

The regime change in the United States engineered by Richard Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Condoleeza Rice, Paul Wolfowitz, Karl Rove, Chief Justice William Rehnquist and their henchmen proceeded so smoothly and with so little protest from the electorate that foreign conquest by their smash-and-grab tactics seems easy — and they’re going for it in a big way.

So pay close attention, ladies and g’s, because the nightmare has only started. The meanness and unmitigated greed which for so many people around the world have for so long characterized the American spirit are now unleashed and will soon be functioning at full force. It’s time to stand up and be counted in opposition or stand by and watch the imperial juggernaut steamroll everything we hold sacred. —Chicago, April 20, 2003

Check out the accompaniments to this story:

Curt Guyette
Human consequences

Tim Robbins
'A chill wind is blowing in this nation ...'

John Sinclair
Fat Boy

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