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SHUT UP, GEORGE

By William Thomas

 Opinion

www.Lifeboatnews.com
Jan. 22, 2003 Chill, okay?

All this rah-rah rant for war is becoming as tiresome as listening to a whining child who isn't getting his way.  I know you've got this thing for Baghdad 's bogeyman. But your obsession with stealing another country's oil ignores and imperils an entire planet already threatened by carbon-induced ecological collapse. It's the oil, George, that's the real weapon of mass destruction. Even if you "win" every last oil reserve, everyone else will lose.  But instead of questioning the rush to transfer all that liquid carbon from deep under ground into the atmosphere, all we're hearing is how much you need to "Kill!   Kill! Kill!" for another oil fix. Wasn't Afghanistan enough?  Maybe you should seek professional help.  While you're at it, tell Dick and Donald to put a cork in it, too. (That's British for shut your gob.)  Your distractions aren't working. Just about everyone understands that sweet crude is an even stronger addiction than   alcohol or cocaine to a Texas oilman.  We know that your brother Jeb threw out the winning votes in Florida .  And we know who paid for your selection as CEO of the United States by a few Grand Ol' Party cronies disguised as  judges.  Okay, so you're the first U.S. president with an MBA.  Maybe that's why a London newspaper observed that repaying billions to your backers has not been so much a presidential purchase "as a corporate merger."  Others in Congress are calling it the looting of America by a  "Commander-In-Thief" as scrupulous as Marcos, Noriega, Saddam, Sukarno, Diem, Sharon, Netanyahu and other past and current White House allies.  Under your Enron-staffed regime (with admittedly plenty of other top people pulled from other corporate ranks), the paper went on to say that after your coup, "The distinction between business and government has simply been blurred to near invisibility."  [The Guardian April 27, 2001 ]  Makes me nervous.  I'm not sure you're qualified to manage a corner store, let alone run the most powerful country on Earth.  You say you want to control the whole world.  Do you at least have a learner's permit?  Your record isn't exactly reassuring.  Even after being rescued from your first failure in the oil business back in '79, when Osama's brother Salem bin Laden stepped in to finance Arbusto in Houston -- and despite Big Oil bailing you out of your repeated incompetence -- you never proved too swift at running companies.  Except into the ground.

Do that with our spaceship and we're screwed. I gotta tell you George, a whole lot of people onboard this sun-circling space colony are less than super impressed by how you put the kibosh on Kyoto -- before making bloody grabs for oil transfusions in Afghanistan and now, it  looks like, Iraq.  And FARC you too. What's going on in Columbia ?  What are American advisers doing fighting rebels in that country's oil patch?

Maybe we should ask  those FARCers why they're so upset. I understand about your needing to ensure   another petro fix.  But hey, we could all cut back a little instead.  Didn't you hear what happened the last time American advisers ventured into another jungle, where was it, Vietnam ?

Sorry. I know you don't like going here.  But your "War On Terrorism" hasn't been a big success either.  Even before you could finish congratulating yourself on whipping al Qaeda, they blew up Bali . It's true that opium production's back on track in the country that supplies most of America 's heroin needs. (What's the White House skim these days?)  And two oil pipeline deals potentially worth bazillions are now going ahead over there. (Ask Dick about that.) But women are still being tortured, gang-raped and shot by the thugs you supported to get rid of the last thugs you supported in that desperately impoverished place of war-weary widows and hungry, one-legged mine amputees.  You remember. Afghanistan .  And we remember that you never caught Osama bin Laden like you pledged you  would.

What's the point exactly of spending $585,000 a minute on weapons of mass destruction -- when some two-million Americans are homeless, many of the rest  can't afford to get sick or grow old, schools and ghettos have become  war  zones, and entire towns are being boarded up just like the factories  that  used to employ them?  

I'm just wondering if you really have to go looking for trouble when you  have so much at home.

Who's the enemy again?  Old pals keep changing into new enemies and back again so fast, I can't keep track. It's the Russians right? Once a commie, always a commie. But I hear they're broke.  Their missiles are rusting in their silos, a weekend pilot in Des Moines gets more flight time than their best fighter jocks, and sailors are refusing to put to sea in subs sinking at the dock.   Besides, didn't they just join NATO?   Looking at the leader of a nation that was once a beacon of freedom, hope and decency to the entire world, I don't get why you persist in the cowardly mugging of indigent neighbourhoods unable to defend themselves against waves of stealth bombers, missiles, impregnable battle tanks and remote-controlled drones delivering Hellfire upon any unidentified "enemy" ensnared in their thermal imaging devices.  The Pentagon keeps saying they need more expensive weapons to ensure that Americans can keep most of our ship's remaining resources for themselves.   (And help pay for all those arms.)  The brass even published a study warning that billions of people forced to scrounge for garbage in steerage class are bound to get seriously pissed off.  Why not feed them George?  It's cheaper than shooting everybody. Use the armed forces to bring groceries, medicines, blankets, building supplies, heating oil and respect into places like North Korea and Iraq -- like you promised Pyongyang , and said you were going to do in Afghanistan .    Besides, let's face it.  Even though you've already declared war on 60 nations, and the corporations your dad fronts for are working round-the-clock to make more profits and munitions -- there just aren't enough bombs to go around.    Don't look now, but a starving, nearly collapsed country you called an  "Axis of Evil" has basically invited the world's solo Superpower to buzz off  -- while brewing a few of their own Big Bang "deterrents" against a madman brandishing B-2s, bio-weapons and something like 12,000 nuclear bombs.  That's you, George.    What happens when more countries fed up with your ignorance and your bullying start following North Korea 's lead?  Europeans are already waking up to the strength of the Euro and their own heritage.  What's going to happen when they realize they don't need the United States anymore? At least not half as much as you need their money to keep America afloat.  Ditto Asia .  Everyone knows you're kiting checks to pay for all those weapons. Issuing IOUs to cover all those overdrafts as they're presented for payment can get pretty hairy.  If you can't keep rolling over all those government bonds   every three months, you won't be able to make the next payroll for federal employees. Including everyone in the armed forces.    You don't want to go there. When the Soviets stopped paying their soldiers, a lot of them went rogue.  Even now some of your top brass are expressing doubts about the general-ship of someone who went AWOL from his own military service.

Your undeclared wars on the environment, alternative energy, international law, compassion and common sense aren't playing well either. Last Saturday, nearly one million Joe Six-packs, their wives and kids, older folks, students, American Muslims, Jews, people in wheelchairs and every other walk of life took a walk together in streets across America .  Did you happen to catch what they were shouting? "No blood for oil!"  "Peace is patriotic!"  "George Bush is not our president!"  Wild stuff. Maybe half a million marched in the Capitol you fled.  At least another 200,000 true patriots jammed 15 broad boulevards from the Golden Gate to San Francisco 's City Centre.  Plus all those other peace protesters in big cities and small towns right across the USA . Most of those folks were ordinary Americans who never dreamed they would participate in a public demonstration.  But you've got them all riled up. They fear for their children's future. And for all the other kids caught in your crosshairs.  So there they were, all those Americans you say you represent, coming together to tell you it isn't cool to rip up their Constitution, imprison thousands of people without charges, or drop more bombs on a million corpses in that lair of mass-marketed menace and Cradle of Western Civilization, Persia. Otherwise known as Iraq .  When you look at your watch, glance at a calendar, learn the alphabet, use a "0" in calculating your take, or plead someday for the protection of law -- think Iraq , George. That's where all those things came from. Just like you, people everywhere are running out of patience. Only they're asking, where does one tantrum-throwing brat get off blowing away an entire country, while threatening the rest of us with more of the same?  Better think again. Massed gunfire, starvation and bio-warfare may have worked great in wiping out America 's founding civilizations. But dropping 100,000 tons of bombs and hundreds more tons of radioactive munitions on a country the size of California -- before pulling the trigger on 12 years of epidemics and genocidal sanctions -- has not made many friends among the other 95.5% of the world located beyond the U.S. border.  What we want to know is why the leader of 4.5% of our space colony's population scuttled Kyoto's meagre attempts to save our atmosphere -- while his country continues to spew one-quarter of all global greenhouse pollution into our ship's closed recirculating air and weather systems?  Are you really that addled after all those partying years?  Or are you simply hogtied by Big Oil, Big Tobacco, Big Banks, Big Pharmaceuticals, Big Credit Card Companies -- and all those logging and mining interests that bought your presidential selection for $81 million? [The Guardian April 27, 2001 ] 

I'm no shrink. But maybe you feel so threatened or embarrassed by landing yet another job you've admitted you didn't earn, you feel you have to control everyone who doesn't think like you -- which includes most people on this planet. Except maybe a few tyrants jealous of what the New York Times termed your "dictatorial powers".  Meddling in the Arctic , Iraq , Columbia , Venezuela , the 'stans. If this is some kind of control trip over oil, are you sure this is a good idea? Maybe we should leave the rest of it in the ground.  Look at Mars, George. Get your hands on some photographs of Venus. Scientists say that what happened in those places is something rather unpleasant called "Runaway Greenhouse Warming". Like what we've got going here.

Here's another hint: Teller miscalculated. Spreading megatons of microscopic sunlight-reflecting particles into the atmosphere behind USAF tankers isn't helping to cool things down. Instead, Spaceship Earth is foundering fast. The polar ice caps are melting, astonishingly violent weather is causing costly chaos everywhere. And the rungs of the food chain atop which politicians, corporate heads, bomber pilots and all the rest of us so precariously perch are being rapidly dissolved by something called the "Sixth Great Extinction Event".  Extinction is forever, Dubya. And get this: The atmosphere protecting almost every living organism onboard our spaceship is as thin as a sheet of typing paper draped over a beach  ball. Only this beach ball is not something you want to play with. Not while it's whizzing at 7,000 miles per hour through the cold irradiated vacuum of deep space. We want to avoid a puncture! Which means we have to take good care of our space colony's paper-thin atmosphere. Because not even the President-select of the United States can run down to K-Mart and get another one on special.

Don't forget the oceans. Deepwater sailors like myself know that most of the really big changes spelling Big Trouble for us are taking place out of sight of land. Even though you can't yet see the seas about to lap the White House lawn, the ocean view is getting scary in places like Tuvalu , London and Holland . You do recall that our planet is two-thirds water.  Have your advisers mentioned that the oceans that supply most of our food are seeing their fisheries collapse? Or that all those tiny plankton that used to float around in huge happy colonies busily scrubbing CO2 from our space colony's closed, recirculating oxygen system are disappearing?  Part plant, part animal, these crucial critters are dying back even faster than the sharks in the Atlantic, and the coral reefs which nourish so much of the marine food I just thought I'd mention this, since America's media mesmerizers keep hyping consumption-driven distractions, while censoring all of the really vital news stories. A quick refresher: Humans can go without food for a few weeks. But they can only live without oxygen for about two minutes. Then they die.

You might have missed this next part. Pay attention. There will be a pop quiz very soon for the entire planet. The World Wildlife Fund now says that if everyone in the USA and Britain keeps consuming at current rates, we'll all be dead by 2053. Just like in those space disaster flicks, where the marooned astronaut either fries, suffocates or starves. Or pops like a balloon after being exposed to pure vacuum.

"Shop till you drop" is no longer a metaphor. If we keep consuming like there's no tomorrow, there really won't be a tomorrow!  We'll die carrying our last purchases home, trying to fill that unfillable emptiness within.

The clock is ticking on much more than Iraq . Scientists say we've got just 50 more years to either mend our mass dysfunction or evacuate everyone to at least two more Earth-like planets.

That's probably not going to happen. Not even with all that alien technology I know you're hiding. And all those bases on Mars. (That's a joke right? The last time your own Space Command tried to launch a Star Wars missile, it blew up in really expensive fireworks, before crashing into the ocean and killing more fish.) Our only chance now is for everyone to quickly pull the petroleum needles out of their arms.  Like the lady sang, our feet were made for walking. And bicycles and buses could really take off, once we start leaving our portable carbon burners in our driveways. You're an energy guy. Think of all the fuel cell powered public transit that could be bought for the price of just one $2.2 billion B-2 bomber!

This isn't pie in a some lethally smoggy sky. This new technology is yummy, home-cooked Canadian pie. You know. Those people living in igloos and log cabins who built a jet-propelled Arrow that flew circles around the American Air Force. Now you can buy fuel-cell buses from this on-line land of dog-sledding Sgt. Prestons.  If you put one of these bus's exhaust pipes in your mouth, all you'll get is water. (Try doing that in Detroit !)  That's right, Canada . You can't miss the place. It stretches along your entire northern border. There are some really smart people up here, George. And a lot of them are yelling at you.  It's true that when Canadians get cold, which is often, they waste more energy than anyone else.  But we're working hard to become more responsible spaceship drivers. We've just ratified Kyoto . And some of our biggest polluters are already folding their smokestacks. I'll wrap this up. I know you're busy, and it must be confusing with so many people shouting at you: Rumsfeld and Cheney cheerleading for another war like the ones they ducked. Your dad and your top generals screaming "Don't do it!" Even Tony is having second thoughts But click back into the big picture for a sec. Pretend you're watching Star Trek. Life-support systems are failing. Alarms are ringing all over the bridge. Some of the readouts are showing solar flare activity right off the Kp geomagnetic scale. Then Darth Vader's visage appears on the view screen. Though he has difficulty speaking in coherent sentences, his intentions are chillingly clear.  With the ship falling to bits, instead of offering to help with repairs, he's threatening to detonate more bombs inside its leaking pressure hull.

Just like the Kursk . Every Trekkie knows that, like any spaceship crew, we have to start pulling together. We've got to personally and corporately stop wasting water, squandering dirty energy, shredding our ship's solar radiation shielding, and ripping out the last rainforest air purifiers. Not to mention tossing persistent mutation and cancer-causing chemicals into our ship's air and water recyclers. That means you too, George. And the Enron jet you rode in on.

William Thomas is the author of All Fall Down: The Politics of Terror and Mass Persuasion. Bringing The War Home, Scorched Earth, Alt. Health and Chemtrails Confirmed.