BY VERN TURNER
While listening to the great Dixie Chicks album, Taking the Long Way, I was reminded of the hysteria surrounding Natalie Maines’ offhand remark about being embarrassed to be from Texas – many of us are given good reasons to share that feeling on a daily basis – and for having George Bush as president. She made the remarks in London after a multi-million person demonstration against the invasion of Iraq by President Pinhead and his fellow lunatics.
The hysteria surrounding that remark came from a San Antonio DJ who basically torpedoed their career for a few years … until everyone realized that the invasion of Iraq was bullshit and she was right about Bush.
The examples of presidential nincompoopery haven’t ended there, nor was this a first.
The late, great Molly Ivins: For those of you who weren’t paying attention at the time, the executive branch of the United States government was illegally selling arms to Iran and using the proceeds to illegally fund a right-wing insurrection in Nicaragua against a government we didn’t like. A lot of people died.
Elliott Abrams was convicted on two misdemeanor counts of lying to Congress – former Rep. Jack Brooks of Texas said at the time Abrams “took more pride in not knowing anything than anybody I ever saw.” Abrams was also involved up to his eyebrows in funding the right-wing death squads in Guatemala [100,000 dead] and El Salvador [70,000 dead]. He was one of several Iran-contra figures pardoned by George I at the end of his presidency.
Abrams now holds a senior position on [George II’s] White House National Security Council, where it is to be hoped he won’t take a dislike to anyone in Latin America. – August 2001
One of the co-conspirators, Ollie North, even ran for elected office and got on all sorts of TV shows. He’s still flacking for the warmongers. WTF? How do these people retain such a platform when they’re famous only for breaking the law and getting a bunch of people killed.
Remember all that Civil Rights work from the ‘60s and ‘70s? We were gonna overcome … So, what happened to peace, love and racial harmony? Where did it go? Did the activists in the ‘60s and ‘70s simply take the bribes of corporate America and went along to get along with the Reagan revolution as Chris Hedges says in his disturbing book, The Death of the Liberal Class?
So, as Stan said to Ollie, “Here’s another fine mess you’ve gotten us into.” The “fine mess,” of course, is the 2016 election cycle and all the nonsense, hot air, lies, more lies, history re-writes [see all the stuff about the 2000 election in Florida in today’s blogs] and the misogynist ejections from mouths and pens of various candidates and pundits.
When all our recent history is distilled, it comes down to money and oil. Or is it oil and money? How many people have to die to protect our precious oil accessibility? Is it about the oil at all costs? What of our international addiction to oil? Is oil the curse of mankind? Is this the grease to Armageddon? It may be.
Think of what capitalism and imperialism, locked in a lethal embrace, have done to the “betterment” of mankind. Oh, sure there are all the conveniences, the travel, the antibiotics, the plastics and the wonders of the world that oil has directly or indirectly brought to virtually every home in the world. Then, there is the gift of mechanized war, the ongoing destruction of the environment, the greed, the crazy politics, the global climate emergency and the killing. It’s always the killing.
The United States continues to be the largest arms maker and dealer in the world. We don’t care that we arm enemies and potential enemies. It’s about profits, of course. The killing surrounding the oil wells in the Middle East continues apace. The weapons show up; they can be bought easier than … oil. The killing continues with new names, new faces, new horrors and old outcomes.
Thankfully, I’m concluding this rant as a statement of disappointment in ourselves, the people who chose not to vote, those who voted their racism, those who voted their greed over our grander status in the world, and those who just plain succumbed to the siren song that Karl Marx warned the world about: Unfettered capitalism will destroy itself from within.
He didn’t understand the full impact that oil would have on this thesis, but we’ve failed to manage that 250 million-year-old gift from our predecessors and now that mismanagement may cost us our planet’s ability to support human life.
How’s that for ignoring the millions of lessons over the last 200 years?
– Vern Turner lives in Marble Falls, TX and is a regular contributor to The Oklahoma Observer. His latest book, Racing to the Brink: The End Game for Race and Capitalism, is available through Amazon.com.