by Karen Kwiatkowski
It is good that Halloween is finally arriving, because I'm not sure I could take much more of the run up from Washington.
Many professed Christians have a problem with Halloween. The idea of false powers and otherworldly challenges to the good and true is generally resisted every day by Christians, and most other people. Halloween as the symbolic unleashing of hell on earth is, perhaps, not to be celebrated. An alternate position is that in laughing in the face of danger, we overcome the illusion of false powers and conquer our fear.
Happily or horrifyingly, depending on your perspective, our professed Christian in the White House apparently adores Halloween.
In fact, it seems every day in power is Halloween for George W. Bush.
The Bush Administration has delivered both tricks and treats, depending on what kind of neighborhood you live in, and whether you welcome him (and his John Ashcroft mask) with the appropriate level of submissive toadiness and demonstrative gratitude for all he has done for you (or to you).
And his tricks are the stuff of legends!
This President apparently has a sorcerer's power to make all kinds of things disappear. One day it could be a stable non-threatening nation, tens of thousands of its inhabitants, and almost 1,200 American servicemen and women. Another it might be the precarious constitutional protections of individual American freedoms from a ravenous and fearful state. Just this week, we hear of 400 tons of missing explosives from Saddam's coffers now being used against American troops. Probably just another prank, courtesy of the Bush/Cheney White House.
Disappearing prisoners seems to be child's play for this administration, as is the hiding of thousands of crippled, dysfunctional and soon-to-be jobless veterans of Iraq. Making economic opportunity go away is another well-practiced Administration trick. Naomi Klein writes about the complex American economic agenda in Iraq, but the loss of domestic jobs and crashing economic performance here at home is nothing to spit at, either.
Hard evidence as to why we went into Iraq has also disappeared, or was it all really just an illusion from the start, a mask designed to frighten us into to handing over the candy?
In terms of the American military, George W. Bush and his posse have played another trick, this one more creative than just making things go away. Dr. Frankensteins all, they've carefully transformed an overlarge but generally proud defense establishment into a grotesque caricature of a patriot, a Minuteman, a Marine. Its massive appendages consist of defense industries and highly paid contractors, covered with gluttonous yet jumpy Congressmen and Senators congregating like bloated misshapen dog ticks on Rex's backside.
Their five-sided monstrosity is no longer animated by the touchstones of duty, honor and country, but by a brain of highly schooled yet immoral ignoramuses we call neoconservatives in the Bush administration and their shrill, whorish, yet increasingly exhausted cheerleaders at the National Review, The Weekly Standard and Fox News Channel. This 21st century beast is energized only by the struggling shrunken heart and starved lungs of an under-trained, over-extended, and increasingly ill-led military that deserves far better from Washington.
The thrills never end for the Bush Administration, whether they are printing funny money to cover their expenses and reward their friends, or telling scary stories about wars on terrorism that we are winning, but not really, you see… And if the American household doesn't want to hand over the good stuff, then well, someone no doubt is going to have to pay for disrespecting the hoodlums. We'd call the sheriff, you see, except in this interminable Halloween season, he plays for the ghouls.
We have military recruiters with government promoted access to personal information on our children. We have a never-say-draft military Stop-Loss program and reserve call-ups of 70-year-old grandfathers. We suffer a centralized and co-opted coercion of thought and suppression of truth the politicos call patriotism. In what we thought was the land of the free, the Bush administration has seen fit to identify and cordon "free speech zones" and assume arrest and detention rights over all those not following the "rules." In fact, under the Halloween rules of engagement the administration enjoys, innocent young people may even be shot and killed in American cities with only an "I'm sorry" from the government, if you are lucky.
We have a pillaging of the national pocketbook that the Bush administration considers not only their right, but their sacred responsibility. To what or whom, God only knows. I suspect it isn't Him.
Following the rules of sociopathy, the George W. Bush administration, as have previous administrations operating under a "Crisis Constitution," obsessively insists that we smile and nod while we empty our minds of logic, our hearts of a sense of justice, our wallets of cash.
Once this is done, we're still not finished. The garish and violent crowd at the front door demands that we open the doors to the rooms where our children sleep, as we hope silently that they won't awaken, or be too frightened. After all, they are the ones who will pay and pay, and pay some more for the current freak show in Washington, with lives intellectually constrained and economically unfulfilled, weighed down by national debt and the increasingly centralized socialistic corporatism in America. Perhaps they will follow in the footsteps of our immediate era, sacrificing their lives and livelihoods as the empire pancakes.
The nightmarish overnight transformation of the George W. Bush from libertarian-conservative presidential candidate to a neoconservative Caligula, and the present-day alternative of a new, more deadly-appearing JFK has frankly provided enough fright for a lifetime.
Perhaps we can stay up till dawn, watchful and wise. When the sun peeks over the horizon, we might roll up our sleeves and clean up the yard. We'll need an early start. The cheerfully irrepressible goblins and ghouls have left a hellacious mess.
October 27, 2004
Karen Kwiatkowski [send her mail] is a retired USAF lieutenant colonel, who spent her final four and a half years in uniform working at the Pentagon. She now lives with her freedom-loving family in the Shenandoah Valley, and writes a bi-weekly column on defense issues with a libertarian perspective for militaryweek.com. She's voting for Badnarik in November, as a matter of principle.
Copyright © 2004 LewRockwell.com