Dark Pearl

“We don’t torture.”—George W. Bush  (Straussian ‘ignoble lie’)

“We don’t do body counts.”—Gen. Tommy Franks (Straussian ignoble truth)

By John S. Hatch

 03/20/06 "ICH" -- -- I don’t believe in Jesus, but I’m starting to believe in the devil. What is it about neo-con, Reptile-Republican Fundamentalist Christian politicians in particular, that accounts for such breath-taking, sadistic, self-indulgent, unnecessary cruelty? How to explain it? Florida Governor Jeb Bush wants to trim the state budget so he can deliver $1.5 in tax cuts to his wealthy friends. How to go about it—auction off some Diebold voting machines? Execute fewer blacks (perhaps just temporarily exclude kids, the mentally handicapped, the mentally ill, or the demonstrably innocent)? No. He is actually denying high-nutrient formula to high-need, high-risk children, such as those with CP or those on dialysis who need to be fed through a stomach tube. Medicaid went from a more expensive version to one which cost $15 for six cans, to nothing. It was suggested that parents and caregivers ‘blenderize’ food and insert that down their sick kids’ tubes, something which most doctors argue is ineffective and dangerous. Maybe just send the kids to Guantanamo, where they know how to deal with picky eaters.  

            But really. Why would a Governor, a filthy rich guy, a member of the Bush Dynasty, perhaps the next American emperor, a Christian who wears his love o’ Jesus on his sleeve, why would such a man want to deny life-saving nutrients to sick and dying children at a real savings amounting to a virtual nullity, that is a negative number because as they get sicker as a result of his policy, children need more and more expensive medical intervention. Is this the same governor who became girlie-man hysterical over the case of the unfortunate Terri Schiavo who turned out to be deathly impervious to all his incantations and invocations and pious pronouncements about the sanctity of life? Turns out she was as brain dead as the last guy he ushered to the electric chair, just as all the not-so-girlie doctors said. It’s funny the life-and-death distinctions that the reptile republicans draw with such ease. Did I mention that the milk-denied feeding-tube kids happen to be dirt-Katrina poor? Maybe that’s a clue. At the same time as the Schiavo fiasco was unfolding, the exact opposite was taking place with regard to a little girl on a ventilator in another hospital. The insurance company wanted it shut off. The mother did not. Guess who won? And do you think the little girl was white, or black? Seems in Bushland if you’re white (with money) you have a right to life (even if you’re dead). If you’re black, and poor, you have a right to die. Harsh? Katrina, kachink. 

            What is it with these Bushes? Granddaddy Prescott, not content to run a bank and get stinking rich and enjoy what passes for ‘refinement’ in America, instead found it necessary to help bankroll Hitler at a time when such otherwise laudable high finance couldn’t quite be overlooked in America. Jeb’s brother Neil bankrupted a bank (very well, a Savings and Loan) that he ran, leaving taxpayers on the hook for maybe a couple of billion. But praise the Lord of miracles! Jesus kept him out of jail. 

            Poppy Bush after being chief CIA spook and authorizing who knows what cloak-and-dagger mayhem and (illegal) murder around the world, claimed to be ‘out of the loop’ when it came to Rapacious Ronnie Reagan’s arms dealing with hostage holding Iran (and as part of that dirty deal the captives were held far longer than they would otherwise have been) and his resulting loving aid to his nun-raping, Archbishop murdering, exploders of children’s heads, Reagan’s darling ‘Freedom-fighters’ in Nicaragua (sound familiar?). You’d think a former head of the CIA would at least have  learned to lie convincingly, but for that perhaps one must first understand basic syntax. But looped or not, George H. W. got lots of unnecessary blood on his hands during Gulf War I. Whole oases of the stuff while his brave military men and women used bulldozers to bury surrendering conscripts—kids buried alive in the desert, or systematically picked off, one by one, from low-hovering helicopters, unarmed and unresisting. And then let’s not forget the piece de resistance, the  mother of all massacres, the so-called Highway of Death, in which not even dogs and goats were spared. But Jesus must’ve been looking over somebody’s shoulder, because Poppy never got charged with war crimes. Jesus kept him out of jail too. 

            It’s quite normal for a son to want to follow in his Daddy’s career footsteps and to dream of exceeding the accomplishments of the old geezer. But what if you’re Genghis Jr., or Attila Jr., or George II? That can complicate matters a little. How to outdo Daddy’s deeds  when he was so devilishly good at what he did? How many people can a Vlad Jr. impale? You almost have to have a plan. In modern times you need a PNAC. And with the help of people like Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Perle, Jeb Bush, Eliot Abrams, and others, including the ultra-nasty Karl Rove. George Jr. got one. Or maybe it got him

            PNAC (Project for a New American Century), was think tank whose deep ruminations and profound ponderings had been bubbling and percolating and sending up sulfurous fumes  since even before the time of that other profound thinker Ronald Reagan (‘Ideas are stupid things.’), and which had advocated, amongst other items, a ‘winnable’ nuclear war against the Soviet Union. Now it just needed the right leader to come along, plus, please, please, please, a ‘new Pearl Harbor event’ to galvanize citizens into stupefied compliance,  a PNAC panic, and their gift to the world could be wrapped in just the right colorful tissues of  patriotism, freedom, democracy, and Christian values. A flag-wrapped  American Crusade for global domination. And George was just the guy to deliver the package, which actually contained those usual staples of American domestic and foreign polity: Banality, Bullshit, Bullets, and Blood. That was the real 4-B Plan for the New American Century that its patient proponents had waited so long to implement. 

            And they didn’t have to wait much longer. In George they had their man at last. Already plans were in place to invade Iraq, Syria, Iran, plans George liked very much, especially that first destination. ‘They tried to kill my Daddy!’ Bastards

            Karl Rove especially would have loved Operation Northwoods. That was the plan, advocated by Commie-obsessed dumbass maniac General Lyman L. Lemnitzer, and approved by the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the time (and perhaps even inspired by outgoing General Eisenhower), to murder an unspecified number of Americans on American soil (the number would have to have been sufficiently large to get everyone’s attention—bombs and shootings in Washington and Miami and elsewhere) and plant evidence pointing to Cuba, thus ‘justifying’ an invasion to rid the island of that meddlesome Castro and make it safe once again for democracy, or at least for Batista/Mafia types like in the good old days before the long-winded Generalissimo stole the place and closed the  crooked casinos. President Kennedy put a stop to the madness,  but one can visualize the PNAC people, and especially Karl grow all knock-kneed and girlie-man faint at the pure Straussian beauty of the plan. It had everything—death, deception, plausible deniability—and perhaps sweetest of all, the knowledge that only the boys in the secret tree house held the power. Sweet secret terrorism for freedom and Jesus. And Jesus would keep them out of jail.           

            Now PNAC had George, but they still needed their Straussian artifice, their own cloak-and-dagger Op Northwoods, their own private Pearl. It had to be big, and spectacular. It had to have the power to anesthetize the people into allowing their Straussian masters to implement the plans so carefully drawn and so patiently waited upon. It had to scare the crap out of everybody so that they would remain complacent and allow the newly proclaimed ‘wartime leader’ to defend them. And to seek revenge in their name, of course. Against whom didn’t so much matter. 

            It worked. 9-II was the perfect, prayed-to-Jesus-for PNAC Pearl. Well, the pearl wasn’t  quite  faultless; it was lumpy, it was discolored, it was fake, that is, manufactured, but for the purposes of the PNAC people it was precious nonetheless. It was a pure  Rovian rapture. When World Trade Center buildings one, two and seven came down in ways consistent with controlled demolition and in defiance of any other scientific explanation (the odds of even one building collapsing naturally in that manner even after such an attack have been calculated at billions to one), at a time when New York and Washington airspace was left unguarded (that the White House, Pentagon, Washington Monument, and millions of people in Washington and New York would accidentally be left unprotected only on that coincidental occasion simply defies logic), there was no turning back. It was show-time. It was blow time. Did you notice perchance how quickly evidence from  crime scene  ‘Ground Zero’ was removed and destroyed? How the White House resisted every reasonable call for an inquiry into the disaster, and when that proved impossible because of public opinion, how did its best to strangle it by denying personnel and funds and by so narrowly defining its mandate that it doesn’t even answer to the fate of Building 7? Anyway, it was time for Shock and Awe, American style, without delay. First an ugly orgy of pure destruction in Afghanistan as if to bomb an unfortunate stone-age country back to, well—the First Neolithic age, one supposes. Five-hundred pound bombs and cluster bombs cannot distinguish between the innocent and the guilty, and nor can bullets in the control of those who don’t care who gets hurt and for whom everyone is a ‘Raghead’ anyway. And of course the use of depleted uranium (half-life: 4.5 billion years) is a crime against humanity in itself. There would be many  such crimes amid empty talk of freedom and democracy. Death and lies. Lies and death. Banality, Bullshit, Bullets and Blood. And it was as if despite the tough cowboy rhetoric, Osama bin Laden was worth a lot more alive than dead to the Bush administration after all, and soon the President couldn’t stifle a yawn whenever the ‘Evildoer’ was mentioned. His real ambitions lay elsewhere, where the bastards had tried to kill his Daddy, who killed a heck of a lot of other peoples’ Daddies. 

            The incipient further slide into American Barbarism might have been predicted by that term—shock ‘n awe—as if blowing up Iraqi families (in the name of freedom and democracy, and liberation, of course) were no more consequential than providing a fireworks display for the amusement of Amerikaner Ubermenschen on the ground and those lapping it up on Fox or CNN. And a rapid slide it was. And in America, even before 9-11 occurred, even as put options were being taken on United and American Airlines stock and that of Morgan Stanley Merrill Lynch, that is, individuals with inside knowledge were betting massively that those companies’ shares would soon lose value,  plans had been made to invade Iraq—massive lies had been invented (as Goebbels taught, the bigger the lie, the better its chances of being believed), a propaganda machine greased,  Jesus was bonked on the head and snatched on board by the Christian far-right Falwellian loonies and other ‘good-doers’, Iraqi oil assets were tentatively divided up on paper, and it was show time. 

            When Donald Rumsfeld says that the gloves are coming off, you had better believe him, especially if you suspect he had itchy knuckle syndrome all along. Soon there was blood on cell walls—mostly Muslim blood, but no less red—in New York and Los Angeles and Boston and Chicago, amid a de facto suspension of domestic habeas corpus because the Justice Department used all kinds of tricks and loopholes to deny due process, or simply disregarded the law. Hey, everything changed, remember? Well it sure did. And if you thought that torture doesn’t exist in a domestic gulag system that has swallowed up more prisoners than any other nation on earth, mostly non-violent underprivileged and undereducated Black and Hispanic males, you would be quite mistaken. Muslim ‘terrorist suspects’ were routinely subjected to denial of civil rights, to beatings, threats, sleep and food deprivation, and what other perverted torments might occur to their racist and sadistic guards. No charges were laid, but many detainees were deported on spurious or real, if minor, immigration infractions. Others left in disgust. 

            As President Bush moved inexorably toward the concept of a ‘Unitary Executive’ Presidency, that is, the notion that a ‘wartime’ president is above the law, the Constitution and any constraints upon his behavior whatsoever including any impediment regarding the imprisonment without charge or trial, torture—or even the ex-judicial killing—of anyone he perceived to be a threat to National Security, as defined by himself, the United States was slipping into the greatest crisis of her  history. Never mind that Bush was/is no more a wartime President than any other President conducting un- undeclared war whether on drugs, crime, or Vietnam. This one was based on deception and lies from the beginning, and thus was and remains illegal, and therefore criminal. Furthermore, the concept of ‘Unitary Executive’ is as hollow as the legal-weasel justifications for torture or the treatment of the Constitution, with its sacred guarantees of civil rights—which Bush swore to uphold—as ‘…just a goddam piece of paper.’ And presumably the rights of American citizens—previously thought by some to be ‘God-given’—are just goddam paragraphs on that goddam piece of paper, to be ignored at the pleasure of the Unitary Executive, who as we know all too well doesn’t like to read. Except for the Presidential ‘findings’ he likes to write allowing himself to ignore any and all laws, and a concept as meaningless legally as ‘Unitary Executive’, unless you’re the torture-enabling, Constitution-suspending, ass-licking Attorney General. But he’s Hispanic! And Jesus has kept him out of jail. 

            They caught Saddam and put him on show-trial, quite illegally. Charge: killing 114 innocent Iraqis. American Post Gulf War I sanctions killed one million innocent Iraqis, half of whom were children under the age of five. Gulf War II has so far killed between 50,000-100,000 innocent Iraqis, many of them women and children. There is no evidence that Saddam tortured children, although perhaps he did. There is videotaped evidence that Americans have tortured and even raped young children, sometimes in front of their parents. Chaney and Bush are adamant that such practices will continue. Is a sense of irony lacking? Outrage? Why aren’t the streets full of vomit? 

            So just six years into the new century, and five into the disastrous Bush Imperium, with ever patient PNAC having finally had its chance to implement its bold policies, and already it could take a century or two for America to regain a semblance of honor and respect in the world. If that’s even within the realm of possibility. That is, if Americans recover the vision and courage to recognize that the America they thought they knew is gone, dead—stolen in two elections, democracy’s red blood bled out of her, her veins filled with the stinking formaldehyde of fascism. America the torturer. America the denier of justice and due process. America as brutal, illegal warrior and plunderer of the world. America the paranoid, spying illegally on its own citizens. America, gulag master to the globe. America in the thrall of a Jesus myth as crazy and vicious as PNAC’s own impending Armageddon. America, nuclear first-striker. America, failed state. 

            The danger is that the PNAC peanuts and their Divinely Inspired Protégé have committed such crimes on such a massive scale that there is now nothing to lose in moving forward even further. Having embarked on a great criminal scheme with all the bravado and machismo of the average stupid criminal, they are now left with no choice but to bluff their way through, to go down shooting, or to go to jail. Two elections have been stolen, why not  attempt a third? Or cancel elections altogether? Or, having been complicit (at the very least) in 9-11, why not go for 9-11 The Sequel and hope for even a fraction of the original’s success? When you have as much innocent blood on your hands as these people do, a little more won’t make much difference.  Look for a sequel sometime around late September ‘06. It might even happen in Canada, just for the  touch of Straussian finesse that would offer—it would show that the Evildoers are still at work, and it would teach those uppity Canadians a lesson for not joining the Coalition of the Killing. Straussians love to kill two or even three quail with one stone while sending secret decoder messages. 

            I began with the bizarre decision on the part of Florida Governor Jeb Bush to spend extra medical dollars in the Sunshine State by denying seriously sick children adequate nutritional sustenance. It’s not as if they were ‘bad’ children, refusing to say their prayers while demanding chocolates and ice-cream; they have to be fed formula through a tube directly into their stomachs. Many of them probably don’t have long to live. Gov. Jeb’s State government tried to present this as a money-saving measure. Those tax breaks, you know… 

            It turns out that his big Presidential bro indulged a similar incomprehensible mean streak (as if we didn’t know). Before passing the despised Patriot Act II, he had some tame Gonzalez or other slip in a clause giving the President authority to put any state on the so-called fast-track for carrying out the death penalty. For all the body parts, and blood, and torture, and insanity and sadness and death he is responsible for in Afghanistan and Iraq, it seems that George just can’t get enough of the stuff. So in spite of  recent DNA proof that many American death row inmates are innocent, or had terrible representation, or are mentally handicapped or were children at the time of their alleged crimes, George trumped Jeb by removing what few safeguards  which might remain against wrongful death. Why? There is speculation that as Governor of Texas just such a plan was denied because of that state’s demonstrably abysmal record of judicial oversight. (Supreme Court Justice Rehnquist, now mercifully departed, found that even innocence is not necessarily a defense against execution, make that black execution of course.) As governor, even with the enthusiastic help of the Ghoulish Gonzalez, George  was only able to execute 151 individuals (including the virtually undefended, mentally handicapped, children). Still a record, but imagine what he might have accomplished without such artificial constraints! 

            Sometimes the devil you know is the worst possible scenario. 

            America at the crossbones. If it’s already too late—bon soir et adieu!

John S. Hatch is a Vancouver writer and film-maker. Currently he is Associate Producer of ‘Windup’, a Dave Coté film entered at this year’s Cannes Film Festival.

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