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4/19/02

STRAPPADO WRACK

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The plans differ; the planners are all alike... - Frederic Bastiat

The Imperial Bush We Feared

Gentleness and slack has been shown the President. Expectation for a successful administration has always been our hope. As time passes and events play out their twists and turns, the true nature of the man becomes visible. All leaders have flaws. Most seek to serve their own interests. But when a fatal fault is exposed, it instills fear and dread. The evidence for this conclusion, did not come from a detailed analysis of policies or their relative success or failures. This judgment comes from the literal meaning of his own words. Mr President, do you really believe what you said?

His recent speech at VMI at the George C. Marshall ROTC awards, spoke directly on - a Call for the End of Terrorism. Public attention for this event was nowhere near the viewing of his address to the Nation after 911 or the last State of the Union message. But hidden within the text, is an insight into the man that cannot be denied. The opportunity to see the delivery of the message has an impact that a mere reading will not convey. This was one time that we, the people, could see the intensity in the heart and mind of the American President.

As commander and chief, no doubt he was addressing a group of future warriors. But when he came to the crucial passage, the applause dropped off to a faint whimper. Is it possible that this audience understands the significance and implications of this mindset, while the public sees and hears only what it wishes to believe?

" . . . Whenever global terror threatens the civilized world, we and our friends and our allies will respond decisively." (APPLAUSE)

"Every nation that joins our cause is welcomed. Every nation that needs our help will have it. And no nation continues (pause) -- around the world the nations must choose: They are with us or they’re with the terrorists."

Significantly, there was no applause from the audience.

How did we get from: "You are either with us or against us", elevated to support for terrorism? Are you saying that no one can or should question U.S. government definitions and identification of a terrorist? Our justifiable national cry and mission was to hold the perpetrators of the tragic and wicked attacks of 911 on America accountable. We were told that al Qaeda was responsible for these criminal acts? We keep hearing that the network of this band of cowards has been effectively neutralized, even if not completely dismantled. So where does accountability end and elimination of ever potential adversary begin?

Don't miss the subtle but crucial distinction. Most of the world supported a righteous effort to bring justice to those related to the crime. It is no surprise that intensity for that endorsement has dropped considerably, as Bush policy broadens the definition to include anyone who may threaten or even hate American presence. Moving to a state of perpetual and constant deployment, only guarantees a war of unending conflicts.

Bush's zeal and passion for this task is evident for all to see. His determination to resurrect the "axis of evil" mantra, claiming a duty to confront and eradicate it, is akin to dropping a red flag in front of a bull. But you can't kill all the steers, unless you resort to the slaughterhouse approach. Terrorists are consumed with hate. They seek political turmoil. How do you eliminate this threat when it is based upon a demented willingness to strike where a society is most fragile? Proactive arrogance only breeds a more determined foe. So why does the American alter ego require a garrison mentality? Is there a hidden need to validate the manhood of the country? Why paint our house red and rouse the temper of an animal?  Fences provide more safety, while rational effort are sought to neuter the beasts. If the attention of the deranged is directed away from a direct challenge, the matador is able to apply his deadly art . . .

The progression is frightening, for we are less secure today because of this misguided strategy. How can one rid the world of all remnants of terror when a new bogeyman arises when needed?  Terrorism is a tactic of the weak used against the strong. Who has more to lose when your enemy has nothing to risk? Isolating elements of terror, discrediting their sick hatred and a sober reflection on our projected image as an imperial tyrant, will place this task into the proper context.

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Emperor George II

Now, Bush seeks to expand the list of enemies. He claims to preserve the peace and prosperity of Antoninus Pius, while maintaining an empire using the methods of Tiberius. He wants to return as victor in full view of Trajan's Column, while he confiscates our rights and severely taxes our resources for waging a global war. Nero will once again play his lyre, while America burns. Bush you are no Stoic philosopher like Marcus Aurelius, for you act more like Domitian, paranoid over ever possible enemy. For all your appeals in the polls, you are not a Constantine, unifier of peoples . . .

The imperial empire destroys the Republic - America. Your mandate was to bring the terrorists to justice, not to create new ones. If neutrality in this expanded global conquest makes any state an enemy, you will be fighting most of the world. What will you do when support wanes? Will dissent be seen as being with the terrorists?

Continuing down this path will not bring you to the Appian Way. All roads lead to disaster. Your father spoke these words back in March 6, 1991: "Now, we can see a new world coming into view . . . Even the new world order cannot guarantee an era of perpetual peace. But enduring peace must be our mission ... "

How long will we have to wait for junior to make his New World Order speech? No one should be surprised when it comes. The father foretold the future - no perpetual peace! What we have today is permanent war, in defense of the imperial empire. Is that the policy you signed on to support? Which is it - applause or silence . . .  Your answer just might get you labeled a terrorist.

SARTRE - April 19, 2002

The ruthlessness born of self-seeking is ineffectual compared with the ruthlessness sustained by dedication to a holy cause. "God wishes," said Calvin, "that one should put aside all humanity when it is a question of striving for His glory."
 - Eric Hoffer

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