by Bill C. Davis
Reprinted from the Online Journal, with permission.
I wonder why I can't relax? Why can't I allow the virtual reality that is trying to pass itself off as America to have its way with me? The banal tight-lipped experts that clarify the agenda and the hardware—the graffiti on the bombs—the PR romps on the battle ships—the jocular tone during the pentagon briefings—the orchestrated questions—the stroll across the map of Afghanistan with pointers and detached intrigue. There is nothing worth listening to and yet the package is working hard.
George, to put it bluntly because we're too exhausted to put it any other way, is a befuddled and arrogant front for the questionable forces that crammed him and their agenda down our throats. To watch Air-Force One carry him from place to place makes one ask, why waste the fuel or the grandeur to ferry a false and innocuous presence from meeting to meeting as if he will do something helpful and meaningful for the American public. He has nothing original or challenging to say or offer.
He is obsessed with talking about evil. Sometimes he sounds like Jimmy Swaggart condemning men who trifle with prostitutes when he himself couldn't resist the temptations he outlined so vehemently. It is a specific kind of pathology to attack and accuse another of the crimes the accuser is guilty of. George's obsession with evil raises many questions not the least of which is the question of that particular pathology. It is not unlike James Baker, that luminary from the Carlyle Group, accusing Democratic voting board members of mischief in a state, run by the brother of the questionable candidate, rife with voting irregularities.
This war is the reality George wants because it's a reality he knows how to function in. Black and white—either/or—with or against—dead or alive. Governor Death graduates to President War. This war is the death penalty principle applied to the international scene. If one subscribes to the notion of cosmic invitations one could argue that George called this present reality onto us. This is what the crew he assembled were bred for—this kind of action—this insane reality that is engulfing us and which is being used to ennoble ignoble people. If there is a conscious cosmos, the attack did not happen because of sex, as Jerry Falwell or William Bennett from the Ministry of Vice and Virtue would have us believe. The 2000 election itself would seem a more likely candidate in that the distance between who we say we are compared to what we actually do became naked. The veil was lifted and the face of a government run not by the people or for the people, as our contract with the cosmos says it is, but a government run by corporate thugs who use the military as their hit-men became clear as day—as clear as the day began on September 11.
This military moment will not protect us. The Gulf War and its subsequent actions did not protect us—it did the exact opposite. It is a terrifying irony that the billions spent for our "defense" created the rage that was the breeding ground for the attack of September 11. We did get a return on our investment but it was not what we were told it would be. And how will we interpret what we are being told now?
It behooves every American citizen to interpret and critique every action and statement emanating from that video image being projected by the man behind the curtain, even as the image commands us to "pay no attention to that man behind the curtain." As he gives us marching orders we must pay attention—know what the image is saying but be very clear about what levers and buttons are being pushed that make the video image necessary.
Karl Rove goes to Hollywood to put the gauze of patriotism on the collective lens. What, one brave producer might ask, is more patriotic than the truth? Cinema verite or the gloss of subterfuge? Can the agenda of the cabal that strong-armed its way into power stand the glare of lights? Karl Rove knows what all divas know—lighting is everything.
Cinema verite would show us what Dean Acheson decreed years ago in the post WWII restructuring of our place in the world: "If anyone disobeys the US, we must destroy them." The Disney version of that motif is that men are shaving their beards and women are burning their burqas. If the Taliban had obeyed would the issue of beards and burqas be part of the script?
The way we must prevail is to keep the light shining on them. We must use every instrument our Constitution and our democratic principles give us, even as the present regime tries to take them away. The surge of patriotism I feel is not getting in line behind the leaders that seem to represent something quite different from the Constitution and the bill of rights. George in his ineffable way said it just a month before he took up his ill-gotten tenure—" "If this were a dictatorship, it'd be a heck of a lot easier . . . just as long as I'm the dictator . . ." Ha-ha-ha. I can hear the script conference with Karl Rove and Karen Hughes. "That's a good line Karl—why do you want us to cut it? He did say it . . . Oh, I see, this is a story 'inspired' by actual events."
The challenge for actual Americans is to make the actual events inspiring—to have the events speak to the American soul rather than be used as a stimulant. We need evolution not an adrenaline rush—we need the truth and we need the government that we told the world and the heavens we would always have.