2009.11.13 Hello Vietnamistan, Goodbye Obama

If anyone had told me back in Reagan's days that his Assistant Secretary of the Treasury and a Wall Street Journal editor, Paul Craig Roberts, would become one of my favorite columnists, I would have laughed. Now Roberts puts more truth into one essay (e.g., "The Evil Empire") than you could glean rummaging through the entire WSJ archive. Likewise if anyone had told me I would agree with Maj. Gen. Albert Stubblebine, the commanding general of the United States Army Intelligence and Security Command from 1981 to 1984, when he would later say that 9/11 was an inside job, or with Lt. Col. Robert Bowman, former Vietnam combat pilot and Director of Advanced Space Programs Development for the U.S. Air Force in the Ford and Carter administrations, or with Morgan Reynolds, George Bush's chief economist for the United States Department of Labor in 2001-2002, who believe and say the same thing, I would have found the idea ludicrous.

If anybody had told me back in Vietnam days that Senator Robert Byrd, who supported that illegal and immoral war, would become one of the bravest and most eloquent opponents of the current and even more illegal and immoral -- if that is possible -- Terror Wars, I would have questioned his sanity. There are many, many examples of former servants of the empire having become, especially since 9/11 and the start of the fraudulent Terror Wars, what they would probably themselves have called a few years earlier "radical dissidents." Many former "conservatives" have left Noam Chomsky in the dust in the distance they have traveled from center stage to join the "wild men in the wings," as McGeorge Bundy referred to Chomsky et al. in 1967.

It would seem that a revolution has taken place, but it is a strange kind of revolution, because nothing much has changed. Here we are again in the middle of a "quagmire" that has cost more than a million lives (4,600 of them Americans), and almost $700 billion, threatening to cost another $179 billion in 2010 and with a "liberal" president about to send in tens of thousands of additional troops. Some of us "radical dissidents," in the permanent state of frustration and dismay that unfortunate predilection for old-fashioned "family values" such as truth and justice condemns us to, are fond of saying that we must change people's minds before we can change the world. But that revolution of the mind, if the polls I've seen are not mistaken, has in fact taken place. What happens now?

There are two possibilities, as I see it: 1) nothing, i.e., things continue as they are because it really doesn't matter what people think and Big Brother already has us completely in hand, or 2) this is the calm before the storm. The latter possibility, as seen from the Fox News perspective, may be brought on not only by "terrorism" but also by "socialism," as rabble-rousers like Glenn Beck are screaming at us. However illogical and vapid such propaganda is, it serves a purpose: when the day comes, when martial law is declared, we should not be too surprised, or wonder about the reasons. It may not even be necessary by 2014 (in Glenn Beck's scenario) to connect the next 9/11, economic collapse, disease epidemic, or other catastrophe to fictive "terrorists" like the 19 Arabs or crazed "socialists" like President Obama. Who will be wondering and analyzing why it happened, once it does? We will be glad to have toilet paper and a handful of mush, like millions of other serfs on the planet.

Given these two choices, one is tempted to hope for the first. After all, life in the Brave New World Order ain't that bad. At least we have toilet paper. We'll need a lot of it to keep our consciences clean. Or maybe not. Our age, the age of the truth movement, the antiwar movement, the single-payer health insurance movement, the save Social Security movement, the decriminalize marijuana movement, the yes-we-can movement, etc., may become known to historians as the most constipated of all time. Never before, they will say, have so many wanted to do so much, and done so little.