Back from an extended vacation, that is -- some of which was spent in southeast Alaska, in case anyone was wondering. But I don't really have much to say about my visit to the beautiful state of Alaska, except that it kept me away from any sources of accurate information and, therefore, at the mercy of CNN.
In other words, I wasn't able to follow the 'news' very closely for most of the month of May. But as luck would have it, there apparently was only one story worth covering during the entire month, so I didn't really miss much. For the benefit of my readers, I have pieced together, as best I can, the big story that unfolded whilst I was away -- the story that, I am told, provoked outrage among the American people.
It seems that, in a faraway part of the world, there were a bunch of guys who - about 15 years or so ago - lived fairly decent lives. Not great lives, mind you, but fairly decent lives. Relatively speaking, of course. They could, for example, boast of having the best schools in the region, and the best healthcare system. They had access to food and clean water. They were employed and they could, for the most part, provide for their families.
But all of that changed when another country, after manufacturing a pretext, came and laid waste to these men's homelands. Launching a cowardly attack from the air, the unseen enemy slaughtered countless thousands of their countrymen. Many of the men lost a father, a mother, a sister, a brother, a son, or a daughter. Many lost their homes, their jobs, their land, their livelihood, their hopes, and their dreams.
The invaders destroyed their nation's once-modern civilian infrastructure. Water treatment facilities were deliberately targeted and destroyed, as were power plants and sewage treatment facilities. Chemical storage facilities were deliberately bombed, poisoning the land, air and water. The illegal utilization of vast quantities of radioactive depleted uranium weaponry left the land poisoned as well. And unexploded cluster bomblets were left littering the countryside, waiting to maim and to kill for decades to come.
Soon, easily preventable diseases began to run rampant. Cancer rates skyrocketed. Clean water became a thing of the past, replaced by raw sewage flowing through the bomb-scarred streets. Hunger and starvation became facts of life. For well over a decade, the outlook remained bleak. Bombs continued to intermittently fall from the sky, killing indiscriminately. The invading power closed the nation's borders to trade, preventing the rebuilding of the country's shattered infrastructure. Water and sewage treatment facilities could not be repaired, medicine could not be provided to the sick, and food could not be provided to the hungry.
How many have died as a result of the aggressor nation's illegal actions is anyone's guess. Estimates run as high as 2,000,000. The only thing that can be stated with certainty is that the body count will continue to mount. Indefinitely.
Just when the men thought that things couldn't get any worse, their homeland was subjected to yet another massive, sustained aerial bombardment. Thousands more lives were snuffed out. Thousands more innocent victims were maimed and disfigured. Thousands more homes were destroyed. The little that still remained of the nation's civilian infrastructure was targeted for destruction. More chemicals and radioactive weaponry poisoned the land.
And this time, the bombings were followed by a military occupation and takeover of the country. After having their friends and family members violently taken away from them, and after losing their homes, their land, their livestock, their jobs, their health and their livelihood, these men then had their country taken from them -- stolen by an occupying military power so thoroughly deranged and depraved as to loot and pillage the nation's very history -- indeed, the very history of mankind itself. And to top it off, the men were then arrested and imprisoned by the foreign forces. Some were arrested for the 'crime' of defending their homeland from the murderous occupiers, while others were arrested for doing nothing at all.
I need to pause here briefly to note that no aspect of this tragic story, up to this point, generated any measurable level of outrage from the American people -- who, as we all know, tend to be very selective in their expression of outrage. But we're not quite through with this story yet. What happened next was that the men, while imprisoned, were subjected to various forms of torture and sexual abuse, which was, conveniently enough, captured on film. And those images - or at least a very small, and not necessarily representative, portion of them (can you say limited hangout?) - found their way into circulation. And that, of course, provoked a considerable amount of outrage from the general public, and a considerable amount of consternation in Washington.
Torturing and humiliating political prisoners does not, I guess, go well with a slice of apple pie -- even though the idea has been openly tossed around for the last couple of years by various administration hacks and their media mouthpieces, and everyone seemed to agree that it was definitely an idea whose time had come. I mean, we are trying to fight a war on terr'ism here, folks.
Nevertheless, the 'prisoner abuse scandal' did not sit well with most Americans (although it seemed to find some popularity among U.S. Senators and among those Americans who think that The Truth is delivered by drug-addled radio gasbags). And so the Bush regime - seemingly acting in "Holy Shit! What Do We Do Now?" mode, even though Team Bush was fully aware for quite some time that these photographs were in circulation - quickly released an amateurishly edited videotape depicting five hooded CIA assets decapitating a corpse wearing an American-issue prison uniform.
All of media whoredom immediately began talking incessantly about the brutality of the video, in an obvious and amateurish effort to both shift attention away from the abuse of Iraqi prisoners and to dehumanize the 'enemy,' thereby rendering the victims as deserving of the treatment they received. Despite all the talk about the video, which was obviously created specifically for the shock value that it would have on the American people, it was never actually aired in its entirety and it quickly disappeared from the Internet.
The story that I have heard is that plans to open the film on screens across America were shelved after it was test marketed to a group of Kindergarten students who burst into uncontrolled laughter at the poorly conceived special effects.
Not to be deterred, all the media's talking-heads expressed sustained outrage over the bizarrely bloodless beheading, pretending as though the much-discussed but unseen video was legitimate - when it quite obviously was not - and pretending that it was their alleged journalistic ethics that prevented them from screening the video, when the truth was that if the tape had been the least bit credible, it would have been aired around the clock.
Phase Two of "Operation: Change the Subject" involved a half-hearted attempt to market a preposterous story about the alleged use of Sarin nerve gas by opposition forces in Iraq. It seems that in no time at all, we had confirmed that our enemies are barbaric sub-humans and we had found their elusive 'weapons of mass destruction.' Clearly, our cause is just, and, as anyone can see, we are the good guys, not the bad guys.
For good measure, the Bush team threw some high-profile, and completely unwarranted, 'terrorist' warnings into the mix. One such 'terrorist' alert, dutifully reported by inexplicably straight-faced media drones, involved suicide bombers purportedly on the prowl in a town near you. Television reporters cautioned diligent Americans to be on the lookout for - and I swear they actually said this - "people trailing wires from their bodies."
If 'real' news broadcasts get any more ridiculous, then Jon Stewart will either be out of a job, or he will be anchoring CBS Evening News.
I kept my eyes open, but I failed to identify any 'terrorist' suspects trailing wires from their bodies. And despite my best efforts, I also failed to spot the "terrorists in disguise" that an FBI advisory warned of. But how exactly does one identify a "terrorist in disguise"? I must have missed a few reeducation classes while I was gone, because, to be perfectly honest, I don't even know how to recognize a 'terrorist' who isn't in disguise! Is there some kind of identifying feature that I should be aware of? I hear King George I and all his cronies on The Hill talk frequently of "The Terrorists," as though they are some sports franchise or some other clearly defined group of people, so I guess there is some secret means of identification that hasn't been shared with the general public. All that I have been able to ascertain is that a 'terrorist' is anyone who opposes the Western drive for global domination. And by that criteria, there are a hell of a lot of terrorists out there, including a good number in our midst. In fact, the overwhelming majority of the world's people would have to be considered 'terrorists.' So I am hoping that there is some other, probably Top Secret, means of narrowing the pool of 'terrorists,' because otherwise this is going to be a really, really long war.
Apparently the fake beheading video, the fake weapons discovery, and the fake 'terrorist' warnings were not enough, because the Bush team then decided to play one of its hole cards -- one that it has clearly been saving for the run-up to the 2004 elections: the long belated announcement that the Gipper has moved on to that great sound stage in the sky.
When I first heard the news, I thought perhaps they might be planning on pulling Saint Ronnie's corpse out of the ice box and putting it on display, but I guess they must have decided to bury him, possibly because the stench became too much for even Nancy to handle, or possibly because the cynics running the show realized that an empty, flag-draped box would do just fine. And according to news reports, the ever-gullible American people are actually standing in line for up to eight hours for the honor and privilege of walking past that heavily guarded empty box.
Reagan's 'death' was conveniently timed to coincide with the grotesquely overblown remembrances of D-Day -- which makes perfect sense, I suppose, considering that it was the Gipper himself who traveled to Bitburg to lay a wreath on the graves of fallen Nazi SS officers. But that's not important. What is important is that we have rolled the 'Great War,' the 'War on Communism,' and the 'War on Terrorism' all into one, with George W. Bush, the spiritual heir to Ronald Reagan, leading the charge.
For some reason, I am suddenly reminded of this blast from the past, courtesy of the April 13, 1981 edition of Newsweek. Note how many compelling facts surrounding the attempted assassination of Reagan are cavalierly dismissed and/or ridiculed. Only us conspiracy buffs, I guess, are interested in such things.
So here is the situation as I see it: the unelectable George H.W. Bush, after using the telegenic Reagan to elevate himself to the office of Vice-President, attempted to have the Gipper whacked so as to earn himself a quick promotion. And now, 20+ years later, George's son and namesake will cynically use the memory of the very same Gipper to resuscitate his largely discredited administration -- and everyone in the media will gamely play along with this cynical charade. Un-fucking-believable.
By the way, since we seem to have segued onto the topic of the attempted assassination of Reagan, I see where patsy John Hinckley, Jr. will be allowed greater freedom now. Most Americans, I suppose, still don't know about the ties between the Bush and Hinckley families. I don't know much about genealogy myself, so I can't vouch for the accuracy of these posts, but if they are accurate, then those connections run deeper than previously thought.
(http://genforum.genealogy.com/bush/messages/6588.html and http://genforum.genealogy.com/bush/messages/6589.html)
Well, that just about brings us up to date, except for a few other assorted 'news' items that I suppose I should touch on, such as the recent assassination of the putative head of the puppet government in Iraq. I can't remember his name and I'm not going to bother to look it up, because, in the grand scheme of things, it isn't really important. He is, after all, just one of many U.S. collaborators who have been, and will continue to be, killed by his countrymen. That, you see, is what happens when you are viewed by the vast majority of the population as a treasonous shitbag [editor's note: this originally read "scumbag," but my spellchecker program suggested that perhaps I meant "shitbag" and I had to agree] -- a reality that Ahmad Chalabi apparently suddenly awakened to, as evidenced by the fact that both Chalabi and his CIA handlers immediately began pretending that they will no longer be giving each other hand jobs -- at least not in public. In a possibly related development, the new interim American puppet is being openly marketed as a CIA asset, possibly indicating that his role will be a very temporary one.
Elsewhere in the news, GWB once again appeared in public looking as though he'd had a run-in with the heel of one of Laura's shoes -- possibly while she was taking a break from serving as a technical advisor on the new version of The Stepford Wives. This time, The Smirk's handlers claimed that he 'hit the wall,' so to speak, on the final leg of the grueling Tour de Crawford. Shortly after the incident, The Not-So-Great Communicator gave another televised speech during which he demonstrated, once again, that Big George may have been on to something when he reportedly noted, years ago, that "Jeb's the smart one." And since Jeb doesn't seem as though he was first in line at the IQ table, I assume that King George I was speaking in relative terms, as in "Jeb's the smartest of my boys." By the same token, it could be said, of the current full-time occupants of the White House, that "Barney's the smart one." But that's really beside the point.
In other news, CIA director George Tenet fell on his sword, nicely setting himself up as the fall guy for a long list of 'intelligence failures' that have transpired during his reign. And Tenet is, of course, an ideal scapegoat, given that he is a holdover from the Clinton administration -- enabling the Rush Limbaughs of the world to continue promoting the ludicrous fiction that everything wrong in the world today is attributable to Bill Clinton, and to the 'liberal' Democratic Party in general, while everything good and pure is brought to you by the party of the dearly departed Ronald Reagan.
That is about all I have for now, but I will be back soon with yet another rant on the lies that continue to be spread by the 'Peak Oil' propagandists. Until then ...