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Not Fit To Print
Welcome to News Not Fit to Print
by Mark Harrison
Mark Harrison, who founded this magazine and
was our lead writer, passed away on December 5th, 2003, a victim of
cancer. He will be sorely missed.
In remembrance of him, we proudly present
a partial archive of some of Mark Harrison's more recent columns.
Always witty, always controversial, almost always right (!),
Mark had a talent for making us smile at current events, or for
making us mad (frothing?), or at the very least for getting us
thinking about the issues that confront us all. Check him out.
It's the Economy,
Stupid, October 2003
and President's Wieners, August 2003
Stupidity with Intelligence Like This? July 2003
Anyone? May 2003
Health Insurance, April 2003
My Protector, March 2003
Units of Input,
Unite! February 2003
Jesus Bomb? January 2003
of Jerry, December 2002
All rights reserved. Copyright 2001-2003.
Thanks for stopping by!
It's the Economy,
Stupid, by Mark Harrison
The title of this article is not addressing
you, dear reader; but rather, that person in the White House
who has pilfered billions of dollars from the federal treasury
that once belonged to you. But at least our money is being appropriated
for schools, hospitals, dilapidated highways, and outdated electrical
grid and energy production. Where could this be happening, you
may wonder. In Iraq, of course; but very slowly with daily attacks
on U.S. troops who are about as popular in the country as skunks
at a tea party. The recent $87 billion Bush requested for Iraq,
in addition to the $100 billion already spent, and the $4 billion
dollars a month we are spending for security and reconstruction
in the country, would go a long ways towards education, health
care, and refurbishing outdated infrastructure right here in
But instead we find ourselves, as the wealthiest nation on earth,
unable to care for our own while borrowing money from future
generations to pay for a war that was supposed to be about ridding
the world of weapons of mass destruction and bringing to justice
those responsible for the 9-11 attacks. But in reality, the war
is a "fraud," as Senator Ted Kennedy recently stated.
And Bush's answer to the fine mess he's got us into is that congress
should reign in spending on domestic programs.
When we gave George W. Bush the keys to the nation's treasury,
the administration put forth its first budget plan that stated
the record surpluses (inherited from the Clinton administration)
reflected "an unprecedented moment in history." And
looking a decade ahead, the administration predicted that a cumulative
$5.6 trillion surplus would build by 2011. Bush vowed that almost
all the national debt would be paid off and that retirement and
health plans would be strengthened for the future by setting
aside trillions in savings.
Yet the $5.6 trillion surplus projected for 2011 is now a $2.3
trillion cumulative deficit under the best-case prediction issued
by the Congressional Budget Office. We're talking trillions here;
a $7.9 trillion math error! George Bush doesn't qualify to be
a checker at a WalMart Super Center, let alone guardian of the
tax revenues collected from "we the people."
So where has managing the nation's budget as if it were George's
personal weekly allowance gotten us? The fiscal year beginning
in October will close with a record $400 billion deficit, and
2004 deficits are projected to be around $525 billion. But that's
okay, apparently, because we earn money the old fashioned way:
we borrow it from our children and probably their children who
haven't been born yet. And when they are born, they'll be slapped
with a bill from our federal government stating: You owe a gazillion
dollars to pay back the money borrowed by your ancestors for
the war in Iraq. "Can you say Iraq?" "Goo goo!"
The long-term budget forecast has declined as much in the last
two years as the total revenue collected by the United States
government from 1789 to 1983, according to a New York Times report.
Now we're making history.
When it came to choosing between leaving a few million American
children, senior citizens, and infirm behind in education and
health care, and the opportunity to dominate the world by controlling
the global gas and oil supplies by invading Aghanistan and Iraq,
the administration's reasoning went something like this: kids,
shmids; seniors, shmeniors; health, shmealth
To pay for 140,000 U.S. troops to remain in Iraq, it looks like
40 million seniors won't get much from Medicare to pay for their
prescription drugs. And now the best way to produce the revenue
for the health care needs in this country, reasons the administration,
is give the rich huge tax cuts while wasting billions on a senseless
war. That's so smart.
The U.S.A. has fallen victim to a management style that is patterned
after a sweet Enron deal, where a select few at the top take
what they want at the expense of the majority at the bottom.
The largest campaign donor to the Bush-Cheney ticket, George's
baseball buddy and CEO of defunct Enron, Kenneth Lay, stole billions
from his employees' pension and retirement funds and was punished
for his malfeasance with a harsh term of life at golfing.
Our nation can no longer afford to throw any more money at Iraq
as if it grew on Texas sagebrush. It doesn't look like the U.N.
is too eager to bail us out of the Iraqi quagmire with a security
resolution, foreign troops or financial aide without the U.S.
first turning control of the country over to the Iraqi people
and ceding transitional authority to the international body.
Why is the administration so reluctant to pull out of Iraq and
bring our troops home since Iraq is not the diabolical threat
to the world that the Bush administration so adamantly claimed
it was when selling the war to the American people? Can oil,
power and global domination be worth the almost daily loss of
life of brave American soldiers in a country where it becomes
clearer everyday that we are not welcome?
It would be best for the great people of this nation if George
Bush abandoned his economic and foreign policies and ate a little
crow so the less fortunate could at least eat beans. Poverty
is up, incomes are down, more people are out of work, and more
people are filing for bankruptcy since we've turned our once
thriving economy over to Bush. There is one bright side to America's
economic picture. The gross domestic product report shows that
government spending on defense has soared by 45.9 percent, the
strongest gain since the third quarter of 1951. It doesn't take
rocket science to see that Bush needs to pack it up for Texas.
by Mark Harrison
After two years, what have we learned about
the cause of the September 11 attacks, other than what the smart
people in the Bush Administration have told us: we good, them
bad? Apparently, this analysis is not specific enough for the
families and friends of 9-11 victims, who for 15 months fought
with the White House to establish an independent 9-11 investigation.
You would think the White House would want to investigate how
our national security was so horribly compromised, just in case
we want to prevent that from happening again.
So the 9-11 Commission was established under the conditions that
Bush gets to hand-pick the chairman to lead the investigation.
Bush believed the best man for the job was Henry Kissinger, who
is best known for covering up the truth, not uncovering the truth.
He gained his experience while serving as secretary of state
and national security advisor for president and crook, Richard
M. Nixon. But Kissinger stepped down from the 9-11 Commission
so he wouldn't have to reveal the identity of his Middle Eastern
business clients, who don't want to be investigated.
Now we have a brand new chairman for the 9-11 Commission, Thomas
Kean. You may know Kean as the former Republican governor of
New Jersey. You may not know Kean as director and shareholder
of Amerada-Hess Corporation that formed a joint venture with
Delta Oil of Saudi Arabia in 1998 to explore and develop oil
fields in the Caspian Region.
So what? Who close to this administration isn't in the oil business
except for Spot the First Pooch? Well, Delta Oil is owned, in
part by, Kahlid Mafhouz whose sister is married to Osama bin
Laden. This means that the man in charge of our 9-11 investigation
will be investigating his business partner's brother-in-law,
Enemy Number One.
The families of those slain on 9-11 filed
a lawsuit against the Saudi Arabian government last August for
civil damages totaling $1 trillion, accusing them of harboring
and aiding the terrorists who took down the Towers. Fifteen of
the 19 terrorists who flew the planes on 9-11 were from Saudi
Arabia, as is Osama bin Laden and the Wahabbi sect of Islam that
motivates their jihad. The lawsuit lists Kahlid Mafhouz and Mohammed
Hussein al Amoudi as alleged "financiers" of al Qaeda,
who are both in the oil and gas business with our independent
9-11 investigator, Thomas Kean.
Since the Saudi Government couldn't get Perry Mason for their
defense, they retained the Houston law firm, Baker Botts. The
"Baker" of Baker Botts is James Baker III, Secretary
of State to George Bush Sr. and the attorney who defended Bush
Junior's right to become president without having to be elected,
in Bush vs. Gore.
The commission is making headway. Their preliminary
report in July said "there is evidence of foreign support
for some of the September 11 hijackers while they were in the
United States." And just when the report starts to get juicy
28 pages go blank, scrubbed clean by the White House. And
what country in the report might we guess is implicated in supporting
the 9-11 terrorist attack? Afghanistan? Iraq? Of course not.
The mystery country is one that we haven't bombed.
It's troubling to consider that we've started two wars in two
years in two countries that had far less to do with the 9-11
terrorist attack than the mystery country that everyone knows
is Saudi Arabia. Lest we be overcome with acute warrior remorse,
so to speak, let's encourage ourselves by singing that country
western war ballad, "Have you Forgotten," by Darryl
Worley. It's real catchy. Just sing along with a bouncing ball,
or whatever. Here we go. "I hear people say we don't need
this war. But I say there's something worth fighting for. Some
say this country is just out looking for a fight. After 9/11,
then I have to say that's right."
That's right, Mr. Cowboy singer, we sure got even with someone
for 9-11. Imagine the expression on Osama bin Laden's face when
he saw how we got even with Saddam Hussein for something he didn't
do. And if that doesn't teach Osama a lesson that he'll never
forget, then this certainly will: Your mother wears U.S. Army
combat boots and worked for Enron.
This is such a convoluted mess, there is but
one way to know the truth, and that is to make it up. Let's start
from the beginning.
On the morning of September 11, 2001, Bush was reading the "Very
Hungry Caterpillar" to second graders in Florida when he
was interrupted and told that a tower at the World Trade Center
went down. Just as many great presidents would have had the presence
of mind to do, Bush continued reading the "Very Hungry Caterpillar"
for another 30 minutes, until after the second tower went down.
There are a few possible explanations for this bizarre behavior.
Explanation number one: The President of the United States isn't
good at multi-tasking and therefore couldn't focus on the "Very
Hungry Caterpillar" and a national emergency at the same
time. Explanation number two: The president was so scared that
he made a big boo boo in his pants and couldn't stand up without
a very stinky caterpillar running down his leg. Explanation number
three: The president's handlers told him only to talk about the
"Very Hungry Caterpillar," because they were afraid
he would blurt out something very dumb, like, "Have they
hit the second tower yet?" Lest I be accused of fomenting
conspiracy theories, I'll go with the stinky caterpillar explanation.
Why couldn't the FBII connect the dots? Here are the dots. Dot:
The FBI knew that commercial planes had been used as weapons
by terrorist groups for years. Dot: Suspicious flight school
students, who had no interest in learning to land, were being
monitored by the FBI in 2001. Dot: The FBI knew that a major
attack was coming based on intelligence gathered throughout the
summer of 2001 and through September. Dot: The 19 hijackers did
not appear on airline passenger lists, yet the FBI knew who they
were and released their names to the public within hours after
the attack. That's an amazing bit of spy work for an agency unable
to connect dots.
Explanation number one: The FBI couldn't find its crayon that
it likes to connect the dots with. Explanation number two: The
FBI stands for Full of Beans Inc.
Fortunately, we don't needs spy agencies to help formulate our
foreign policy. We have at our disposal forged intelligence documents,
hearsay, and country western songs.
High Crimes and
President's Wieners, by Mark Harrison
Rumors of yet another regime change are adrift.
And so close to home, too. But unlike regime changes in the recent
past, we won't have to blow up a country. The U.S. Constitution
has provisions for removing despotic leaders peacefully through
Bill Clinton was impeached by a majority vote of the House of
Representatives in 1998 for trying to keep his sex life a secret.
This is not news. Everyone who reads supermarket tabloids knows
that Clinton has been an insatiable sex addict ever since aliens
from outer space abducted him and experimented on his reproductive
organs. Bill, whose family and close friends like to call randy,
remained in office because the Senate did not impeach him.
Taxpayers spent $80 million dollars to impeach President Clinton.
That's expensive entertainment. It would have been cheaper for
the government to sign everyone up for the Playboy Channel.
Spending $80 million to impeach George W. Bush, whose family
and close friends like to call dumb head, would be a real bargain,
on the other hand. After turning record government surpluses
into record government deficits, starting a $100 billion war
that continues to cost $1 billion a week to fight Iraqis whom
we liberated with democracy, it becomes clear that we can't afford
to keep Bush as president any longer. Way too rich for our blood.
We need an economy model.
Impeaching the entire Bush regime shouldn't be too hard if House
Republicans apply the same standards of impeachment they applied
to Bill Clinton. After all, lying about "evidence"
of Saddam Hussein's nuclear weapons in a presidential State of
the Union address is different than lying to Congress about what
one does with one's presidential tallywhacker.
That's what Senator Bob Graham of Florida said in July. "If
in fact we went to war under false pretenses, this is a very
serious charge. If the standard of impeachment is the one the
House of Representatives used against Bill Clinton, this clearly
comes within that standard."
House Republican Steve Buyer from Indiana is all for impeaching
the president. "I have heard [people] from both sides of
the aisle state publicly that [they] think these offenses rise
to the level of high crimes and misdemeanors." Unfortunately,
Buyer wasn't referring to Bush lying about the dangers of Iraq
so that he could occupy the world's second largest oil reserve.
Mr. Buyer's remark focused on the "high crime" of what
White House intern Monica Lewinsky did with President Clinton's
House Republican James Sensenbrenner of Wisconsin believes that
presidential lies are grounds for impeachment. "The truth
is still the truth, and a lie is still a lie, and the rule of
law should apply to everyone, no matter what excuses are made
by the president's defenders." Again, Mr. Sensenbrenner
wasn't talking about impeaching Bush for lying about Saddam Hussein
purchasing uranium from Niger for nuclear weapons. The congressman
was talking about impeaching Bill Clinton who lied to Congress
in a failed attempt to prevent his ding-dong from being featured
on the nightly news for the next year.
The Bush administration is not guilty of crimes
of erotic passion. Vice President Dick Cheney, whose family and
close friends like to call Dick Tator, knew that the documents
about uranium from Niger for Iraq's nuclear weapons program were
bogus long before Bush gave his speech. The CIA sent Joseph Wilson,
a former U.S. ambassador, to Niger to investigate the claim on
a request from Cheney's office. Cheney's chief of staff, Lewis
Libby, has admitted that during a briefing from the CIA "the
Vice-President asked a question about the implication of (Wilson's)
Dick Tator has been asked to resign in an open letter to President
Bush from a group of former senior intelligence officials for
selectively using intelligence to justify a war, and for knowingly
misleading Congress when the administration sought its authorization
for the use of force to oust Hussein.
Deputy Secretary Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, whose family
and close friends like to call warmonger, advised Bush to include
the nuclear weapons "evidence" in his January State
of the Union address, according to a CIA intelligence official
and four members of the Senate's intelligence committee in a
report by Jason Leopold for Online Journal.
Imagine Secretary Wolfowitz saying to his president, "That's,
right dumb head, just repeat this in your State of the Union
speech: 'The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein
recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa.'
Why, you ask? So we can hurry up and go to war before it gets
too hot in Iraq, dumb head, sir."
At first it was bunker mode for the White
House when the world began to learn that the administration exaggerated
the dangers of Iraq to convince the American public that war
was the only answer. Nobody was talking but White House chief
spokesperson Ari Fletcher who tried to convince reporters that
the Iraqi nuclear weapons claim was old news. Fletcher quit,
and successor Scott McClellan started his new job by being asked
by reporters 20 times in four days about Bush's false statement
in the State of the Union speech. McClellen dismissed reporters,
whose job it is to find the truth, by saying the subject had
already been "addressed." It hasn't.
The White House press staff was unable to quell the controversy.
On Bush's tour of Africa, he was dogged with questions about
Iraq. National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice went on television
to tell everybody that Bush was "technically correct' in
that the British government provided the bad intelligence. She
had also warned the administration a month before the speech
that the nuclear weapon's "intelligence" was based
upon forgeries, which she neglected to share with us on the Sunday
morning talk shows. Secretary of State Colin Powell was sent
out on damage control, too, and said that the outcry was "overwrought
and overblown and overdrawn (and) not totally outrageous."
Going to war for nothing is "not totally outrageous"?
The White House tried to redirect the debate onto the overall
danger posed by Saddam's chemical and biological weapons, which
haven't been found.
CIA Director George Tenet had his turn at spinning the truth
and tried to take the fall for the administration by claiming
that his staff approved the sixteen words in question, even though
the CIA had determined months earlier that the intelligence was
In a rare move by the most secretive White House in history,
eight pages of the 90-page top-secret National Intelligence Estimate,
used as reference for the State of the Union address, were declassified.
But instead of answering questions, more questions arose. The
State Department, for instance, termed the reports that Saddam
was shopping for uranium in Africa as "highly dubious."
Then came the Prime Minister Tony Blair show that entertained
Congress and joined Bush in a news conference that heralded their
war exploits and the intelligence that justified it. Before Blair's
plane (a.k.a. Blair Force One, in the U.K.) landed back in Britain,
he had received the horrible news about the suicide of U.K. scientist
and weapons inspector David Kelly who had leaked to the British
Broadcasting Corporation that Blair had exaggerated the dangers
of Saddam's regime. Kelly had recently been grilled and reprimanded
by his government for the leak.
The White House lost control of the media cycle, so Stephen Hadley,
deputy national security adviser under Condoleezza Rice, has
taken the blame for the nuclear weapons reference. Hadley's excuse?
He forgot. According to The New York Times, CIA director George
Tenet met with Hadley in 2002 to make sure Bush didn't mention
Niger uranium ore in his speeches. "The reference was omitted
when Mr. Bush gave [a] speech in Cincinnati on October 7."
And it stayed out of Bush's talks until suddenly Hadley had a
lapse of memory just prior to the State of the Union address.
Somebody is lying and it's not Bill Clinton this time. This is
what House Republican Steve Chabot from Ohio said about impeaching
the president for lying. "It would be wrong to tell American
children that some lies are alright. It would be wrong to tell
the rest of the world that some of our laws don't really matter."
Of course, Mr. Chabot wasn't speaking of Bush lying about the
evidence of the Iraqi threat and leading our nation into a preemptive
war on pretexts. Chabot was speaking of impeaching Bill Clinton
for not being forthright about leaving a stain on the most famous
blue dress in history.
Who Needs Stupidity
with Intelligence Like This? by Mark Harrison
Looks like we didn't need to start a war in
Iraq, after all. We must have got our intelligence dossiers mixed
up with our Tom Clancy spy novels. And those "vast stockpiles"
of biological and chemical weapons that Bush said Saddam Hussein
possessed turned out to be part of an outrageous plot.
The "imminent threat" of Hussein's
capabilities to launch weapons of mass destruction was the justification
given to Americans and the world for the first preemptive military
strike in U.S. history. I guess we were wrong. Not much we can
do about that, now. All that's left for us to do is say we're
sorry and occupy the oil-rich country, of course.
We in the USA like to forgive and forget.
And we think that Iraqis should forgive us for any inconvenience
that we many have caused by dropping millions of pounds of bombs
on them. Sure, we could have further scrutinized President Bush's
claims that Iraq has enough material "to produce over 25,000
liters of anthrax enough doses to kill several million
people ... more than 38,000 liters of botulinum toxinenough
to subject millions of people to death by respiratory failure
(and) as much as 500 tons of sarin, mustard and VX nerve agent."
But forgetting is much easier than math, especially when nothing
And that was long ago. Weeks, maybe. We've
forgotten about all that now. Whatever it was. And we've
forgiven our president, as well, for the time he took away from
our favorite television shows with special war coverage featuring
Pentagon press videos da, da, da, daaa and now, the latest from
our war room, brought to you by our sponsors with cures for irritable
bowels, and so forth.
We forgive and forget. Until agitators hinder
our forgetting ability by reminding that the sole justification
for a preemptive war against Iraq was "proof" of weapon
s of mass destruction. And what about the evidence that Hussein
had ties to al Qaeda and was providing the organization with
banned weapons to be used against Americans? Not so, according
to two of the highest-ranking leaders of the terrorist organization
in U.S. custody, Abu Zubaydah and Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. They
told CIA agents in separate interrogations that al Qaeda did
not work with the Iraqi government. Spokesmen at the White House,
the State Department and the Pentagon declined to comment on
why Mr. Zubaydah's debriefing report was not publicly disclosed
by the administration last year, before the war.
"I remember reading the Abu Zubaydah
debriefing last year, while the administration was talking about
all of these other reports, and thinking that they were only
putting out what they wanted," one intelligence official
told The New York Times. And one report the White House really
wanted the U.N. to read was evidence that Iraq had sought significant
quantities of uranium from Africa for nuclear weapons production,
which was forged.
Okay, we're sorry we wrecked your country,
your schools, hospitals and infrastructure on false pretexts.
Everybody makes mistakes. Please forgive us, Iraq. After all,
Vice President Dick Cheney is setting the example by forgiving
the throngs of perpetrators who call him a greedy fat head. As
far as we know, Cheney has forgiven those who have disagreed
with the administration about the war, which is unpatriotic,
you know. Not only does Cheney forgive, he forgets, too. He can't
seem to remember why he paid "multiple" visits to the
CIA over the past year. But the CIA hasn't forgotten.
An environment was being created by Cheney
and a top aide that pressured analysts into making assessments
of Iraq that supported the urgency of war, according to unnamed
senior CIA officials, in a Washington Post report.
Cheney's spokesperson was asked by the Post
why the vice president only wanted CIA reports to surface that
supported an Iraqi invasion, and nothing to the contrary. No
comment. But if there were a comment from Mr. Cheney's office,
it would go something like this: pant, pant, drool oil, power,
and world domination slurp, gurgle cover up secret agenda gurgle,
gurgle, gulp, burp none of which was covered by respectable
Respectable newspapers tell us now that the
administration is downplaying finding weapons of mass destruction
in Iraq, and is focusing more on following a paper trail that
could prove, without a shadow of doubt, that Saddam was actually
thinking about them. It's a good thing we've forgotten about
the "thousands of tons of chemical agents" that Bush
said Hussein has produced. Because U.N. Chief Weapons Inspector
Hans Blix said, "The more time passes, the greater is the
possibility that no weapons of mass destruction exist there.
The greater the number of authorities which coalition inspectors
have interviewed, each with higher levels of responsibility than
the last, without finding weapons, the more likely it is that
they do not exist or that only a few remain." quoted the
Portuguese newsweekly, Visao.
Bush's main ally, British Prime Minister Tony
Blair, denied accusations that evidence against Iraq had been
manufactured. Blair told the House of Commons that claims of
Iraq's 45-minute launching capabilities of chemical and biological
was added to intelligence dossiers at the behest of aides, despite
the reservations of intelligence officials. Blair didn't explain
why British intelligence officials take orders from aides who
have no idea what they're talking about.
Even the U.S. Military was surprised that
no chemical weapons were used against them by Iraqi forces. U.S.
Marine Lt. Gen. James Conway said U.S. intelligence was "simply
wrong" in leading the military to believe the invading troops
were likely to be attacked with chemical weapons.
>Senator Robert Byrd addressed Congress regarding
the mysterious lack of WMD's in Iraq. "It has raised serious
questions about prevarication and the reckless use of power.
Were our troops needlessly put at risk? Were countless Iraq civilians
killed and maimed when war was not really necessary? Was the
American public deliberately misled? Was the world?"
But how are we to recall these impeachable
crimes? I can't even remember where I put my case of duct tape
that I bought to fight terrorism; or, for that matter, the color
of today's terror warning code. Feels like a purple day. Which
I think means, pant, pant, go shopping.
by Mark Harrison
Because we care what our readers think, our
featured we-care-what-our-readers-think question is: Did Jesus
or George W. Bush say,"If you're not with us, you're against
us?" Please send your answer in immediately so this column
can be completed properly.
According to media reports, President Bush
used the phrase to recruit for war. But, according to the Bible,
which many people take for gospel, Jesus said,"He that is
not with me, is against me" to recruit for peace.
So, who's the plagiarist, here? Can't be Jesus,
or we would have to cancel Christmas. And retail is already suffering
so from the Bush economic stimulus plan that squandered the federal
surplus, put two-million people out of work, bankrupted the treasury,
and broke the world's record for the largest annual deficit in
So, Christ is in the clear; and for Bush,
well, we can't automatically assume that he borrowed these words
from the Prince of Peace for his own purposes. As soon as we're
done with our perpetual war on terrorism, Bush says, peace will
be ours to enjoy.
But before rushing off to Utopia, there are
reconstruction issues in Iraq to deal with, first. Amnesty International
has been poking around the country and complaining about U.S.
disregard for law and order. Mayhem could have been avoided,
says Amnesty and other organizations. Looting wiped out hospitals,
businesses, palaces, banks, and museums that once held priceless
art pieces and the world's oldest writings. But to be fair and
balanced, Amnesty should have reported on what a fine job we
did on protecting those oil wells.
Ancient art and cuneiforms (many yet to be
translated) from the "cradle of civilization" aren't
going to keep our trucks on the highways, planes in the skies,
and Bradley tanks in the battlefields. So obviously, the oil
fields were our top priority, which were secured first and foremost.
And Iraqi oil, our leaders have assured us many, many, many times,
belongs to the Iraqi people. Come now, does the administration
really believe that television has made us that stupid? Who else
would Iraqi oil belong to, Texans?
Of course no one wants to take Iraq's precious
oil. Certainly not Halliburton, the Houston, Tex. oil service
company that made its former CEO, Vice President Dick Cheney,
a filthy rich man from Gulf War One. And even before body bag
detail began in Gulf War Two, Halliburton's subsidiary, Kellogg
Brown and Root, was awarded the contract to extinguish Iraqi
oil fires. The contract was awarded without competition, leading
a person to believe that absolutely no other company anywhere
on Earth wanted that job too hot and greasy, maybe.
Halliburton's close ties with the White House
should not suggest that the White House had anything to do with
Halliburton's job prospects. The contract with the Army Corp
of Engineers initially was said to authorize extinguishing oil
fires and to perform related repairs. But mission creeps and
the contract has been found to include "operation"
of Iraqi oil fields and "distribution" of Iraqi oil,
according to a letter in May from Lt. Gen. Robert Flowers of
the Corp to California Rep. Henry Waxman.
The letter from Gen. Flowers failed to elaborate
upon what "operation" and "distribution"
of Iraqi oil might involve. Waxman is seeking the contract details
for Congress to review; which is a good thing, because it will
take smarter people than the average TV viewer to figure out
the meaning of "operation" and "distribution."
Iraqi oil belongs to the Iraqi people, Bush said. But what he
didn't say was that responsible people are needed, like Vice
President Dick Cheney's good friends at Halliburton, to make
sure that Iraqis get what's coming to them.
And wait until our new colonists learn about
"trickle down economics," the policy first attributed
to the Reagan administration that gives tax breaks and subsidies
to the rich if the rich promise by crossing their little hearts
and hoping to die if they ever fail to let a few bucks trickle
down to the working poor. Fasten your money belts, Iraqis; democracy
is on the way.
So, you are either with us, or against us.
Speaking of France, that country bit off a
little more Freedom Bread than it can chew. They'll pay big-time
for opposing war. Renaming our artificially processed and greasiest
source of essential-fatty fast-food, the Freedom Fry, is just
the beginning. Our breakfast toast grilled in chicken embryo
is now Freedom Toast. And our patriotism abounds so that we've
renamed the French Canadians to, you guessed it, Freedom Canadians.
We're working on a constitutional amendment that makes French
kissing an act of treason. And for such traitors we will reserve
just one, lone French tradition the guillotine.
There is even discussion of augmenting our
display of disdain for everything French by returning the Statue
of Liberty. A new one should be arriving from Iraq sometime soon,
anyway. Hopefully, a much smaller one made from molten Saddam
heads. Our present 151-foot cement and steal version collects
an awful lot of pigeon poop, costing taxpayers money that could
otherwise be used to bolster Bush's 2003 defense budget that
exceeds that of the next 25 nations combined, according to the
Center for Defense Information (www.cdi.org). Of course, before
shipping mademoiselle freedom back to France, we'd have to rename
her the Statue of Pigeon Poop.
And poop, in general, happens. But there is
an inordinate amount of the bull variety coming from the White
anyone? by Mark Harrison
Who else needs a regime change? Iran, Syria,
North Korea? We Americans specialize in establishing democracies
with the most modern military equipment available. We can eliminate
old worn out dictatorships in a matter of a few weeks and replace
them with puppets. Democracy can be yours for only hundreds of
billions of U.S. taxpayers' dollars. And with our precision killing
machines, collateral damage is limited to your civilians and
international reporters. Natural resources a requirement. Occupation
fees extra. We like to call it "shock and awe." You
might like to call it cheap democracy.
After the invasion, and once your backwards
country is secured by armed forces for U.S. businesses to set
up shop, you might get a Wal-Mart chock full of genuine USA products
made in China and other countries that pay workers just pennies
a day. You'all will like that. Hope you don't mind being called
"you'all." That's just the way we cowboys talk over
here in the land of the free. And if you're thinking about getting
in the way of our freedom and the democratic process, just remember
what happened to the Indians.
This is almost exactly what Defense Secretary
Donald Rumsfeld told Iran and Syria recently, that they should
learn a lesson from Iraq. Anyone hostile to U.S. interests abroad
will find themselves looking down the cannon barrel of a Howitzer.
America is your regime change specialist.
And for those who suspect that there's no method to our madness,
you'll be pleased to know that we have a very good plan. We plan
on ruling the world.
American conquest will not end with Iraq.
We plan on spreading democracy immediately to Iran and Syria,
like it or not. And after we teach the Middle East how to conduct
fair and honest presidential elections like our own, we'll conquer
the world and space. Yes, space. Our national missile defense
system is designed to give our U.S. Space Force something to
do. What good's a Space Force without space guns? Duh. And spare
us any petty objections. Who do you think you are, the irrelevant
We have no choice but to militarize space
because very soon, and sooner than you may care to believe, there
will be nothing left on Earth for us to militarize. Then, and
only then, will the entire planet be free, just dying to do business
with America. Now we're talking democracy.
And if you doubt our resolve, consider the
document entitled, "Rebuilding America's Defenses: Strategies,
Forces and Resources For A New Century, published by the Project
for the New American Century (PNAC). Portions of the blueprint
for global domination were first published last September in
Scotland's "Sunday Herald," revealing that the Bush
cabinet (months before they were the Bush cabinet) planned to
conquer Iraq as a step to take military control of the region,
whether Saddam Hussein was in power or not.
"The United States has for decades sought
to play a more permanent role in Gulf regional security. While
the unresolved conflict with Iraq provides the immediate justification,
the need for a substantial American force presence in the Gulf
transcends the issue of the regime of Saddam Hussein." The
document further describes U.S. armed forces abroad as the "Calvary
on the new American frontier."
And that "new frontier" could be
your country, soon. The "frontier" might be old to
you, but it will be brand new to us. And isn't this what makes
imperialism so much fun? And no need to wait until we topple
the regimes of Iran and Syria, which happen to be within easy
shooting range of our most recent acquisition, Iraq. The PNAC
document says that our "core mission" is to "fight
and decisively win multiple, simultaneous theater wars."
So when it comes to Free Trade, you had better vote "yes,"
because we'd hate to resort to military options when fatal threats
can achieve the same results. But if left with no choice, backs
up against the wall, so to speak, we will utilize every means
available to us to "discourage advanced industrial nations
from challenging our leadership or even aspiring to a larger
or regional role," says the plan that our leaders reportedly
It's a simple matter of good verses evil.
And, as our commander in chief explained to us months ago, we
are good and you are evil. And, evil ones, you know who you are
if you watch genuine USA television network news. Consider what
happened to the evil in Iraq. We blew it up. This means that
Iraq no longer qualifies as a member of the axis of evil. So,
we have an immediate opening. Any applicants? Canada, maybe?
Your communications director called our smart president a "moron."
Sounds like axis of evil material to me.
Some countries may not qualify to be in the
actual "axis of evil," but they can still be evil enough
to be invaded by coalition forces (250,000 U. S. troops, Tony
Blair and 900 guys from Spain). And we require no provocation
for our complete regime change services. As of this presidency,
and for the first time in U. S. history, we can preemptively
attack any country we want to, just as long as they are evil.
We Americans have a low tolerance for evil. So, our president
has made it easy for us to distinguish between good and evil
in this otherwise complex melting pot of humanity: we are good
and you are evil. And evil deserves to be destroyed with limited
nuclear weapons if necessary, without any provocation, because
our president said so, which means the Bible probably says so,
too, somewhere. Don't laugh. Our plan is foolproof: invade evil
regimes and replace them with good ones. And someday, all countries
will be good, just like the USA.
The blueprint to rule the world was reportedly
drawn up by PNAC for Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld and Paul Wolfowitz
before they were vice president, defense secretary and deputy,
and Florida Governor Jeb Bush. But since the majority of the
country voted against George W. Bush, not every U.S. citizen
is in favor of ruling the world. So, in order to rally public
support for dominating humanity and the world's resources, the
document disclosed a need for "some catastrophic and catalyzing
eventlike a new Pearl Harbor." And then came September
On September 12, Secretary Rumsfeld insisted
that Iraq should be a "principle target of the first round
in the war on terrorism," according to "The Washington
Post." But Secretary of State, Colin Powell, reportedly
persuaded the administration to hold off until public opinion
could be prepared for an Iraqi invasion. National Security Advisor
Condoleezza Rice (former Chevron Oil director who was honored
with an oil tanker bearing her name in the Caspian Sea) urged
the U.S. Security Council to "think about how do you capitalize
on these opportunities," according to "The New Yorker."
And now, thanks to the hunt for Osama bin Laden that has cost
some 20,000 lives in Afghanistan, according to reports in the
UK "Guardian," and, thanks to Unocal oil advisor, Hamid
Karzai, the new Afghani president, Unocal will build a pipeline
across Afghanistan from the oil-rich Caspian states. The evil
regime of Afghanistan was replaced with a good one, one sympathetic
to America's addiction to the cheap fossil fuels that threaten
to shut down the planet by 2050 if we continue consuming at present
Our plan to rule the world is in everyone's
best interest, of course. And once lesser countries become accustomed
to doing things the American way, they'll learn that we've been
dead right all along.
Health Insurance, by Mark Harrison
Bold reforms in health care have been proposed
by President Bush and would give seniors, the poor, sick and
disabled new health care "choices" whether
they want them or not. The reforms are especially good news for
those planning never to become seniors, poor, sick or disabled.
But there's even better news for the stock market and for-profit
health insurance providers, if you can believe it.
In a speech given to the American Medical
Association, a speech better suited for the American Gullible
Association, Bush laid out his vision for the future of Medicare
and Medicaid. Departing from decades of government guarantees
of basic health benefits for all Americans, President Privatization
wants to place the financial responsibility of federal health
care costs where he says it belongs: with the states that will
be forced to cut benefits; and in the business world where health
can be bought, sold, and traded on the stock market.
The fundamental precepts of Medicare are that
all working Americans pay into the same Medicare system; that
whether rich or poor, healthy or sick, and no matter in what
state they may reside, all have the same core benefits when they
But Bush insists seniors would better be served
by private health insurance companies and the integrity of the
marketplace, rather than by the federal government.
The savings to the federal government, which
needs money to start wars, would be enormous if it could shift
its responsibility for the 85 million Americans on Medicare and
Medicaid onto the states, stockbrokers, accountants and insurance
providers. And coincidentally, U. S. Secretary of Offense Donald
Rumsfeld needs that money for war right now.
Bush says Americans deserve health choices
which can only be accomplished by privatizing our social health
insurance system that has worked for over three decades. The
options include prescription drug discount cards, tax credits,
investing in the stock market, and some really fun choices the
president forgot to mention.
For instance, seniors can choose between contributing
to the profit centers of HMOs and other insurance providers,
and paying their own hospital bills, then moving into a cardboard
condo with a view of the Dumpster in a quiet ally close to the
Those on Medicare could save a whopping 10
percent on prescription drugs with government-issued "discount
cards." Or, they could choose to save 50 percent by telling
the U. S. government to shove their stingy cards where a proctologist
might find them and buying prescriptions in Canada which
is not part of Bush's health plan.
When the idea of a prescription discount card
was first proposed last year, the Congressional Budget Office
found the discounts didn't amount to a pile of genetically modified
beans, and it flew through Congress like a dirt dirigible. So,
President Compassion tried to fly the proposal again in his Sad
State of the Union address in February. But what with having
to convince Americans that Saddam Hussein has the imminent capability
of delivering nuclear warheads to major U. S. cities on camel
back, there wasn't much time in his speech to outline another
important choice. Namely, if seniors are unable to pay 90 percent
of the cost not covered by their prescription "discount
cards," then they could always earn a little extra cash
by choosing to sell their organs.
Bush would like to get the government out
of our hospital beds and put business people in them; which would
be good for the economy, which is really lousy except for the
duct tape sector and related defense industries. But Bush learned
in the school of hard knocks that even when the economy gets
bad, it doesn't really matter if you're rich.
You don't have to be rich to invest in the
stock market to pay for future health care costs. But you can't
be poor, either. And you can't be one of those who chooses not
to gamble in what that commie Castro calls the "world's
largest casino." And those who do, wish to Caesar's Palace
they would have sold their stock investments before Bush was
selected president of the United States and the market lost nearly
$5 trillion dollars.
If the market seems inadequate to offer insurance
to cover an eventual operation or treatment, then another Bush
choice is a tax credit in exchange for bailing out of the traditional
Medicare system. This tax credit can, of course, be applied to
expensive private health insurance. But if an American, who deserves
choices, chooses to spend his or her tax credit on a six pack
of beer every Friday night, instead of applying it to a health
insurance premium, then, too bad. They can always choose to pray.
Faith-based medical care would become a popular choice under
the Bush plan.
But these choices retreat from the pact that
government has made to Americans over the decades with FDR's
New Deal and LBJ's Great Society. So, maybe GWB could call his
plan a New Steal from a Great Society.
My Protector, by Mark Harrison
The government's number one responsibility
is to protect its citizens from harm. And the Bush administration
is doing an admirable job of protecting our country from future
terrorist attacks by ridding the world of Saddam Hussein with
an Iraqi war since they can't find Osama bin Laden after blowing
up Afghanistan. Terrorist networks have further been demoralized
by the US Patriots Act that violates constitutional privacy rights
by authorizing the FBI and the CIA to spy on patriots just in
case they're terrorists.
And domestically, the administration is protecting
our citizens who operate polluting industries that donated more
than $44 million in campaign contributions to the Bush-Cheney
ticket. The contributions from these trade groups were tracked
with codes to ensure that the respective industries, whether
oil, mining, timber, asbestos, etc., got what they paid for.
And in just over two years, we've seen 25 years of environmental
protections, guaranteed by both Republicans and Democrats, ignored,
challenged, or rescinded by those currently in the White House.
If there be any solace in Bush rolling back
environmental regulations that safeguard citizens from the industrial
poisons released into our waters, sky and soil, we must consider
that Bush is an honorable man, working hard to protect his campaign
donors, even if it means rising health care costs
And in protecting citizens from harm, our
government leaves no one behind. Under the compassionate hand
of the Bush administration, even one of our most prominent citizens
is being sheltered from the financial harm that can be inflicted
by asbestos-injury lawsuits.
When Vice President Dick Cheney was CEO of
Halliburton Company from 1995 to 2000, he understood the special
needs of those suffering from asbestos-related diseases at his
company. About 273,300 workers have filed suit against Halliburton
since 1976, though most filed before Cheney's tenure. But, according
to William McNary, President of USAction, a health care coalition,
the Cheney-led Halliburton Company knowingly poisoned its own
workers for years and is counting on federal bailout legislation
to escape responsibility to the people it has injured.
Cheney and Halliburton contributed more than
$150,000 to members of Congress who sponsored legislation that
would limit the ability of workers to sue companies for their
asbestos-related diseases. Mercy! (expression of genuine disbelief)
Could it be that someone has hung "for sale" signs
on our laws of the land? And are these laws peddled to polluters
at the expense of the polluted? Certainly not in a democracy
that guarantees "justice for all," confirmed Zelma
Branch, Halliburton's spokeswoman when questioned about the money
trail. "Our PAC (political action committee) has made contributions
without regard to the pending asbestos legislation (sure, Zelma).
Any similarities between the supporters of such legislation and
the recipients of contributions from our PAC is purely coincidental
>"Coincidental" like the White House
killing the EPA asbestos health emergency declaration scheduled
for last April in Libby, Montana. No need to warn between 15
and 35 million families nationwide about the dangers of disturbing
the highly carcinogenic tremolite fibers in the Zonolite insulation
in their homes, the administration reasoned.
Just days before the scheduled public health
notification that was backed by years of research, the head of
the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs,
John Graham, blocked the EPA warning. According to reports and
memos gleaned from nine boxes of EPA files obtained through the
Freedom of Information Act by Pulitzer Prize winning reporter
Andrew Schneider of the Saint Louis Post Dispatch, EPA director
Christie Whitman and Superfund chief Marianne Horinko were outraged
with the White House move. A senior staffer said the White House
didn't exactly order the declaration aborted, but, "they
just really, really strongly suggested against it. Really strongly."
A bit thuggish for a White House greeting.
The "Libby Declaration" authorized
the removal of Zonolite insulation from homes in Libby, which
was done last May, without national fanfare. A diluted and muted
statement was issued that was sure not to alarm the millions
of other Americans about the serious health hazard in their walls
and ceilings. With Zonolite in as many as 35 million homes across
the nation, that could cost billions.
And billions we don't have, I might add. With
a war in Iraq, battles in Afghanistan, Homeland Security trying
to hire cable TV technicians as spies, and tax cuts for the wealthy,
there really isn't much left over for ambulance chasers with
asbestos claims. Billions here, billions there; only so much
money a president can borrow from future generations by operating
a corporation, I mean the government, with the largest budget
deficit in U.S. history. It's a wonder there's enough of your
money left over for the thousand-dollar screwdrivers that the
Pentagon buys from struggling defense contractors. And as important
as safeguarding the public health may be, it's safeguarding the
health of corporations that puts Bentleys and Lamborghinis in
the garages of average Americans.
When Schneider contacted the EPA and the OMB
(Office of Management and Budget) for his December article, both
agencies acknowledged the White House was involved in killing
the emergency health warning, but refused to explain why. Perhaps
the administration has new scientific evidence proving that asbestos
is good and fun to breath. Perhaps a televangelist has a miracle
asbestosis cure, and pull out those check books, please. Or,
perhaps Dick Cheney wants to limit the damages from his own asbestos
liability as Halliburton's CEO.
In seeking an interview, the OMB (Office of
Money for Bush, Inc.) told the reporter to check with the EPA.
Then the EPA (Environmental Pollution Agency) said to check with
OMB. And OMB's head of its Office of Information and Regulatory
Affairs (propaganda department), John Graham (defender of industry
cleverly disguised as public servant), refused repeated interview
The administration killed an EPA announcement
that would have warned 15 to 35 million Americans about the microscopic
asbestos fibers in Zonolite insulation that, if disturbed and
inhaled, could cause the lung cancers that have killed and sickened
thousands in Libby. Tremolite fibers are up to one hundred times
more carcinogenic than those in more common asbestos. So, instead
of the national emergency health declaration, the EPA listed
the hazard on its web site, which is "a joke," said
Senator Patty Murray, D-Wash., who is sponsoring legislation
to ban asbestos from the U.S.
Any connection between the White House killing
an asbestos emergency declaration and its own efforts to pass
legislation that would limit companies' responsibilities to those
suffering with asbestos-related diseases is purely coincidental
We can feel secure with a government that's
doing all it can to equally protect all Americans from harm;
whether rich or poor; whether living with cancer-causing insulation
in their walls and ceilings, or not; whether they can afford
to buy a president, or not; whether they're rich enough to get
away with murder, or not. And with all this security, I wonder
how much a law costs protecting writers from suspicious cable
Units of Input,
Unite! by Mark Harrison
You probably know this from singing songs
like "Take This Job and Shove It," but as America's
workers, we are important economic indicators that are closely
monitored by government officials for the sake of capitalism
and most likely national security in case we're terrorists. The
indicator that is scrutinized more thoroughly than any employee
on a leisurely restroom excursion cares to imagine is worker
productivity. It is calculated by the amount of output in dollar
bills that can be withdrawn from each of us, the units of input,
for every hour we claim to actually work.
How important is worker productivity? So important
that U.S. Federal Reserve Board Chairman Alan Greenspan smiled
back in 2000 when four straight years of 3.4 percent gains were
recorded after a couple of decades of poking along at just 1.7
percent. "Riply's Believe It or Not" has photographic
evidence of this spectacle, I would think.
Productivity is now expected to gain about
2.5 percent each year; otherwise, government budgetary forecasts
will get more screwed up than they already are. And productivity
can be affected by many things, like whether or not we show up
for work, and, if so, how late or hungover.
If we units of input should slack by just
half a percent, then senior citizens won't get their drug prescriptions
for ten whole years. That's how important productivity is. And
a scrawny point-five can be gained by showing up for work sober,
for seniors' sakes. Is that too much to ask for old people? I
suppose I should explain what actually was said about seniors
and their prescription drugs in a New York Times report, since
I'm being edited. Former director of the Congressional Budget
Office, Dan L. Crippen, said the equivalent of a half-percent
decrease in worker productivity will cost the federal budget
about $800 billion, which would cover drug prescriptions for
the elderly for ten years.
So, productivity, the principal contributor
of economic growth, is in the apt, metaphorical hands of the
units of input. Our productivity is what makes the economy grow
and, thus, the wealthiest in our nation wealthier. Productivity
determines whether companies are making enough profits to avoid
raising prices, resulting in an inflationary economy, resulting
from the God-given right of the average CEO who made 532
times the amount of money than their average worker in 2000,
up from 42 times in 1980, according to commondreams.com
to make even more.
And to ensure the largess continues to flood
from the working poor upward to the ruling class, we, the units
of input, must continue to raise our productivity forever.
Fortunately, neither naps, nor steamy workplace romances need
be curtailed for the sake of this efficiency. Forbid that productivity
interferes with frivolous potty trips, way too many coffee breaks,
incessant office gossip, emergency beauty make-overs, four-Exedrine
hangovers, or other output-in-dollar-diminishing behavior. There
are many ways to increase productivity without resorting to being
productive. Work is still the place for novels and needlework;
and remains a favorite spot for staying in touch with friends
and relatives with the boss's money-saving communication devices.
And all the while, slaving for wages, there's still plenty of
time for on-line shopping and surfing the world wide web for,
The very same modern miracle that brings pornography
to us in the workplace is that which enables us to work less
and accomplish more, without working up a sweat, so to speak.
Computers brought us the "new economy" of 1996 through
2000 and a momentary but welcome reprieve from Chairman Greenspan's
sour puss. And then, not long after Bush took office, productivity
sky-rocketed. By the first quarter of 2002, the indicator marked
the best showing in 19 years with a growth rate of 8.6 percent,
according to the Labor Department.
Holy gazillions! What could have stimulated
America's work force so? Patriotism? Diet pills? Coffee enemas?
Visions of Obe Wan Kanobe body slamming Darth Vader? Business
managers offering free Prozac to slow-moving employees? Of course
not, Unit (may I call you that for short?). Just as the information
age of the "new economy" boosted productivity without
any imposition on the worker to work harder, another economic
phenomenon has affected recent productivity. And this phenomenon,
you won't be surprised to learn, is not you, a phenomenally more
productive unit. Gains in productivity are largely the contribution
of the almost 2 million units who have been downsized, pink slipped,
fired, walking papered, axed, Enron-ed or otherwise canned because
wealthy companies don't like to lose money when they can lose
units, instead. And the most puzzling mystery in the Milky Way
Galaxy: why didn't Bush's 2000 tax cut for the wealthy trickle
down to us units like it was supposed to?
Gains in productivity have further been accomplished
by limiting workers' hours so that companies can avoid paying
for benefits and overtime. Much like the largest private sector
and lawsuit-ridden employer in the United States that pays enough
to keep many of the "associates" below the nation's
poverty level: Wal-Mart, proudly keeping poor people poor with
low, low, low everything since 1962.
No matter where we work, wage earners would
be making the same money in 20 years as they are today, in real
dollars, should history repeat itself. Big business would continue
to amass wealth for the rich at the expense of consumers and
the environment by spending billions to buy government legislation
and deregulation without regard for "we, the people, too
often." But "we, the people" are more than units
of input. We outnumber the plutocrats by a vast majority and
are educating and organizing so that it may be recorded in history
that democracy survived in the USA. But you probably knew this
from singing songs like "Power to the People."
Who Would Jesus
Bomb? by Mark Harrison
Jesus of the Bible wouldn't bomb anyone, of
course. But for a president who says that Jesus Christ changed
his life, George W. Bush seems inordinately intent upon bombing
Iraq. So much so, the president's foreign policy has believers
around the world praying: "Do a quick work, oh, Lord, and
change the fearless leader before he blows up the whole earth
that the meek are supposed to inherit." Or some such divine
Unlike Bush, James, the "Lord's brother,"
doesn't need Pentagon briefings from Secretary of Defense I-can-conquer-the-world
Donald Rumsfeld to justify the urgency of a U.S. preemptive military
invasion of Iraq. James asks rhetorically in his biblical epistle.
"From whence come wars and fightings among you?" After
confirming with his Big Omniscient Brother and getting two holy
thumbs up and the peace sign, James proclaims in perfectly clear
and understandable King James English: "Come they not hence,
even of your lusts that war in your members?"
President Bush, according to the Apostle James,
has lusts warring in his members. But it's not altogether the
lust for revenge against Saddam for trying to kill his daddy.
And it certainly can't be because of the weapons of mass destruction
that Iraq may or may not possess, considering that many other
nations hostile to the US are confirmed to possess such weapons.
Is US policy, then, preemptively to conquer them all? Bush's
obsession with Iraq is a consequence of lust for the enriching
and empowering black crude that beckons from beneath the sands
of the second largest oil producing region in the world, to be
extracted and controlled by the United States oil companies that
stand united to those in the White House.
But Bush insists he's not invading the oil-rich
country for the spoils of war (nor earth). But, because Saddam
Hussein poses an immediate "mortal threat," as VP Dick
Cheney put it recently. But the CIA disagrees with the Veep-made-rich
by heading Halliburton energy company whose subsidiary, Brown
and Root, a major defense contractor, is building and equipping
military bases in preparation for war as we speak.
An October 10 CIA letter quoted a senior intelligence
official saying that the chance of an unprovoked attack by Iraq
on the United States in the foreseeable future is low. However,
if the U.S. strikes first, there is a "pretty high"
chance that Baghdad would attempt to defend itself with biological
or chemical weapons in an Iraqi war.
But, according to the White House, you can't
take the CIA warning of a U.S. first-strike leading to chemical
or biological warfare "out of context." And though
the "context" is never mentioned in Bush's war speeches,
the "context," with little doubt, is oil.
There are 40 nations besides Iraq that the
Defense Department considers existing or emerging threats and
believed to possess weapons of mass destruction. And with no
material evidence linking Iraq to the al Qaida terrorist network,
why is the Pentagon preparing for war?
Considering that 15 of the 19 suicide bombers
who attacked the World Trade Center and Pentagon on September
11, 2001, were not from Iraq but from our oil-exporting ally,
Saudi Arabia, Bush's "war on terrorism" is bombing
up the wrong trees... or, rather, sand dunes. But U.S. dependence
on Saudi oil prohibits invading the country that is now under
investigation by the FBI and the CIA for funneling money through
charitable organizations from Princess Haifa al-Faisal, the wife
of the Saudi ambassador to Washington, to two of the 9-11 hijackers,
according to "Newsweek Magazine." But, reasons the
Bush administration, we must invade Iraq.
North Korea recently admitted to a program
that produces enriched uranium that can be used in nuclear weapons
which nullifies the 1994 Agreed Framework wherein the country
pledged to freeze operation and construction of nuclear reactors
suspected of being a part of a covert weapons program. Another
fine reason to invade Iraq.
In exchange for North Korean missile parts
needed to build a nuclear arsenal capable of reaching every strategic
site in India, Pakistan, Bush's new terrorist ally, a "rogue"
nation prior to the 9-11 attack, has been shipping North Korea
designs for gas centrifuges and much of the machinery it needs
to make highly enriched uranium for the country's latest nuclear
weapons project. Militarily speaking, this poses a threat to
South Korea, Japan and 100,000 American troops in Northeast Asia.
The shipments, in full view of U.S. spy satellites, were conducted
on U.S.-built C-1301s, no less, according to intelligence officials.
But we must bomb Iraq because Pakistan is purportedly helping
Bush track down Osama bin Ladin. Remember him? The alleged mastermind
of the 9-ll attacks and the reason for our unconstitutionally
undeclared war on terrorism? Bin Ladin is reportedly hiding in
Pakistan, not Iraq.
But we must invade Iraq because the country
has proven reserves of 112 billion barrels of oil, compared with
49 billion for Russia and 15 billion for the Caspian states,
countries considered back-up oil suppliers in the event that
peaceful but tense relations with Saudi Arabia, a principle supplier
of U.S. oil, breaks down and oil supplies are cut off.
Bush must bomb Iraq because the country possesses
vast areas of unexplored hydrocarbon potential. These fields
may hold the world's largest remaining reservoir of unclaimed
petroleumexceeding the untapped fields in Alaska, Africa
and the Caspian Sea, according to energy analysts. A war in Iraq
will determine who controls the world's fossil fuel energy markets
in the twenty-first century. Or, until such time the planet can
no longer absorb fossil fuel emissions into the atmosphere and
retaliates with cataclysmic climate change.
So instead of funding solar, wind and other
clean energies that can free the U.S. from foreign oil dependence
and, thus, the imperialist military doctrine of the administration,
V.P. Dick Cheney secretly wrote the nation's energy policy based
upon recommendations from polluting, fat cat, international energy
executives. By excluding representatives from clean fuel industries,
and thus data that could turn the country towards energy independence
with clean and inexpensive fuel, the report concludes that by
2020, the U.S. will depend on foreign oil for two-thirds of what
it consumes, up from one-half in 2000. And where there is oil,
there will be military escalation to protect it, currently costing
taxpayers over one billion dollars a day.
Oil explains why Iraq is first on Bush's list
of nations to conquer. The lust for oil and the absolute
power and unthinkable wealth that it guarantees could thrust
humanity into a war costing hundreds of thousands of lives and
further incite anti-American sentiment among Arab nations. But
conquering Iraq will guarantee the oil elite many more years
of satiated greed while assuring that millions in the middle
and lower classes will be subjected to the escalating cruelties
of war and terrorism.
President Bush should follow the wisdom of
men of peace like the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., whose
life and work we celebrate this month: "Violence beget(s)
that which it seeks to destroy." But instead, Bush is heeding
the "lusts that war in his members," and in the members
of his regime, for the sake of almighty oil.
The Gospel of
Jerry, by Mark Harrison
The Reverend Jerry Falwell called the Prophet
Mohammed, founder of the Islamic religion, a "terrorist"
in an interview broadcast on the CBS program "60 Minutes"
in October. Jerry apparently has been spending too much time
in the Southern Baptist section of the Kingdom of God and listening
to speeches by George W. Bush.
In an AP follow-up piece, Falwell said he'd
learned much about the Prophet Mohammed from reading books. From
his throne in heaven, the Prophet Mohammed wishes that Jerry
would quit reading those unauthorized biographies and start reading
the Koran where Muslims learn to honor Jesus as Messiah and to
love their neighbors. And Jesus, from his throne in heaven, wishes
that Jerry would quit embarrassing Him on national TV.
It's not clear why Jerry wants to stir up
hatred and division, instead of peace on earth and good will
towards men and women; unless it's true what Kashmir's chief
Muslim cleric, Mohammed Omar Farooq, said about Jerry after the
terrorist remark. "(Jerry) is an ignorant bigot (who) outrage(d)
the religious sentiments of the second largest religious group
in the world." Farooq didn't reciprocate by calling Jesus
a flim-flam man simply because gazillions of dollars are televangelized
in Jesus' name.
Falwell "apologized" for his remarks,
meaning he's either asking pardon for his offensive statements,
or he's making a formal justification for them, depending on
a preference for first or second dictionary definitions. Regardless,
apologies did little to mitigate the damage from the protests
that Falwell's statements incited, which left five dead and 42
injured in India, as reported by The New York Times.
No one reportedly died or was physically injured
last year when Jerry said the 9-11 attacks were caused by Satan's
attorneys working down at the ALCU, the femi-nazis who demand
that physicians rather than Big Brother help make their private
health care choices, and, naturally, those perverted, hell-bound
homosexuals, Republican or not.
Jerry believes that God is so mad at liberals
and lesbians that He had no other choice but to send Prophet
Mohammed's followers on suicide hijacking missions to New York
and Washington on September 11 to kill about 3,000 people; giving
George W. Bush a pretext to retaliate by killing another 3,500
innocents (according to news reports) in Afghanistan, march a
quarter million Christian soldiers into Baghdad, and get the
battle of Armageddon off to a rip-roaring start. And if you believe
the gospel according to Jerry Falwell, then you might be interested
in a little plastic Kitchen Jesus that will sanctify and protect
your food from causing obesity, complete with a convenient refrigerator
magnet, all for a free-will offering of just $49.95.
The North Columbia Monthly
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is an independent magazine that often challenges contemporary wisdom
by encouraging critical thinking about issues and attitudes in the
region and beyond.
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