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It's the Questions Stupid!
by Sheila Samples
July 14, 2004

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We are fast approaching the stage of the ultimate inversion: the stage where the government is free to do anything it pleases, while the citizens may act only by permission; which is the stage of the darkest periods of human history, the stage of rule by brute force.

-- Ayn Rand

On July 4th, Bush told a meticulously selected right-wing crowd in Charleston, West Virginia that war brings security at home.  He said it's his duty as our Leader to keep seizing opportunities to make us safer and safer.  In fact, eternal safety for the American people is his goal.  His will is strong, Bush says.  He will not be deterred.  He is resolved.  Relentless.  Won't quit trashing and smashing until he has personally delivered God's gift of freedom to every single man and woman on the face of the earth, or until he is reselected, whichever comes first.  No matter how many body bags it takes.

This was no Independence Day tribute to a still-young nation on its 228th birthday.  It was a blatant attempt by Bush to rally the faithful into a stampede to endless war with his embarrassingly repetitive and increasingly shrill mantra of long-ago discredited ideological claptrap. I looked out across that sea of fluttering red-white-and-blue plastic flags; recoiled at the mindless chant of "four more years!...four more years!" and instinctively knew the eyes of all in that bewildering crowd were hypnotically spinning like targets. 

What's going on here, America?  What's it going to take to get your attention?  Is there anything more morally horrifying than a hubris-infected fool who dares to recreate God in his own image, who forces upon the world a brutal doctrine of killing all who do not agree with him, claiming to liberate those who do -- yet destroying both groups in the process?  Think about it, America. That's our hubris-infected fool I'm talking about.  Our fool who refuses to explain to us the lies, the deceit and cover ups that have resulted in the sands of Iraq soaking up the blood of nearly 900 of our loved ones, more than 100 coalition troops and tens of thousands of innocent Iraqi citizens. 

America...?  Yeah -- it's me -- over here.  I'm not going away, so listen up.  Look at Bush.  What do you see?  Of course!  That kid on the bridge in Deliverance!  With a vacuous smirk, Bush began his spin on the way to war with a bit of innocent strumming -- immediately picked up and echoed by the media and neocon think-tank pundits. The Veep and his Project for a New American Century (PNAC) war hawks joined in, the New World Order guys, Bush's National Security Adviser and, finally, his Secretary of State.  What a performance!  We were mesmerized by gathering dangers, smoking guns, mushroom clouds, sudden horrors, nuclear bombs, links to Al Qaeda -- all interspersed with dire, multi-colored warnings of terrorists climbing through bedroom windows here in the homeland -- and all hitting us relentlessly from every direction in a strident Dueling Banjos cacophony.

Does it matter?  Does it matter that we were forced to accept answers for going on a killing rampage without being given time to ask the questions?   Does it really matter if the last things our sons and daughters see are the fireworks of exploding metal -- the last things they hear are their own screams as they fall amidst the dead and the dying?   It's as if the entire nation is playing a deadly game of Jeopardy.  The answer is -- "All of us who continue to remain silent."  The question is -- "Whose fingerprints are all over each individual flag-draped coffin in the steady stream of American dead shuttled back to their grieving families in the dead of night?"

Was it not Gandhi who said, "What difference does it make to the dead, the orphans and the homeless, whether the mad destruction is wrought under the name of totalitarianism or the holy name of liberty or democracy?" 

I can't believe we're having this conversation.  I thought you would surely "catch on" to the grim absurdity of it all by now.  We already have all the answers.  Bush says "time is not on our side," but we need to start hooking those answers up to their questions anyway.  There's no doubt that Americans will finally see -- in one shock of recognition -- the terrible destruction Bush has wrought at home and abroad.  When this happens, there will be a universal "John F. Kennedy" moment -- no individual will ever forget where he was at the moment he was jerked violently awake to realize that evil moves freely among us.  

We know why Dick Cheney, Paul Wolfowitz, Donald Rumsfeld, Richard Perle, Lewis Libby and the rest of the Vulcan gang are here.  They published their road map to global empire, "Rebuilding America's Defenses," for all the world to see in September 2000, and Bush immediately adopted it as his national security strategy.  Have you read it, America?  I thought not...

Bill Kristol, editor of The Weekly Standard, and a host of other signatories were more explicit in their goals.  In a January 1998 letter to President Bill Clinton they demanded that he remove Saddam Hussein.  When Clinton rejected them, they then wrote on May 29, 1998 to House Speaker Newt Gingrich and Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott, bemoaning Clinton's "failed leadership," and demanding that Congress go to war without the President's consent.

Still nothing.  So, in early April 2002, Kristol and his PNAC gang penned a letter to Bush, laying out the real reasons they are here.  Parroting Cheney's "sudden horror" and bogus "Saddam links to Al-Qaeda" syndrome, Kristol urged Bush to "accelerate plans for removing Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq." 

Kristol's bottom line was that "Saddam, along with Iran, is a funder and supporter of terrorism against Israel."  He reminded Bush that "Israelís fight against terrorism is our fight. Israelís victory is an important part of our victory. For reasons both moral and strategic, we need to stand with Israel in its fight against terrorism."

Kristol and 33 other proud Americans signed that letter, including former presidential hopeful Gary Bauer, William Bennett, Ken Adelman, Linda Chevez, Eliot Cohen, Rich Lowry, Clifford May, Richard Perle, Daniel Pipes, Norman Podhoretz and James Woolsey...

So, why is Bush here?   A guy who's never accomplished anything on his own, doesn't read, makes snap "gut" decisions that destroy whole cultures and societies, including his own -- why is he here?  What could those five Supreme Court judges have been thinking -- or smoking -- in 2000 to anoint such a dangerously ignorant and hollow paranoid schizophrenic as the most powerful man in the world? 

I hate to say this, but it looks as if Bush is only here for the killing.  He's finally found something he's good at and so far -- thanks to target-eyed flag-waving Americans -- destroying all those who are either with us or with the enemy has been as easy as sticking firecrackers in a frog's mouth.

It took me a while to come to grips with that.  My own "JFK moment" came in November 2002 with the Israeli-type Hellfire missile assassination of six men -- one of them an American citizen -- in Yemen.  Nothing has happened since then to change the impact of that moment.  The media barely mentioned we were engaging in cold-blooded murder, nor that President Ford had signed a 1976 executive order banning assassinations that was, and is, still in force.  The media giggled and nodded when defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld regaled them with the surprise "hit," saying he hoped it was the first of many such successful operations.   No charges, no trial, no evidence, just murder -- the handiwork of a dictator or a tyrant -- surely not that of an American president.  And it's been downhill from there -- abuse, torture, daily spilling of innocent blood, maimed and slaughtered American citizens, orchestrated terror alerts for political gain, total international chaos...  Evil truly moves freely among us.

World domination.  Support for Israel.  Controlling the world's resources.  That's why they are here.  And -- watch my lips -- they have no more intention of leaving in November 2004 than Hitler did in 1933.  What kind of spell are we under that few of us can remember history before 2000?  It might behoove us to take a peek at history since Bush, who openly admits he longs to be a dictator, rags on and on about being "called by history" to seize opportunities to destroy anything in his path.  Might be prudent.

Don't make me walk you through this.  Read the Decrees of 1933 for yourselves -- the repressive February 28 Decree that suspended civil liberties in the wake of the false crisis created by the Reichstag fire...the Enabling Act which trashed the Reich constitution and gave Hitler total power to enact laws that were effective on the day they were published...and the Law Against the Establishment of Parties, which established Hitler's National Socialist Party as the only political party in Germany.  Read about the people who had misgivings about these decrees, but -- what the heck -- the state was in danger, Hitler was seizing opportunities to make them safer, and he gave a killer "God" speech. Inexplicably, the people raised little objection to Hitler assuming full dictatorial power.  They trusted him, even loved him.  What could go wrong?

The resulting New World Order, or Third Reich, that descended upon Germany in all its crushing devastation is a long read and really really boring for those of us who would rather go to a Spiderman movie.  For those who prefer more recent history, why not take a quick look at the "Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism," otherwise known as the USA PATRIOT ACT -- 342 pages of civil liberty offenses that was rammed -- unread -- through the Congress in October 2001.

Hey -- come back here America!  I'm not through with you yet!   While we still can, every one of us should be required to read Bernard Weiner's June 2003 article, "Germany in 1933: The Easy Slide Into Fascism."   Weiner, a co-editor of The Crisis Papers (, writes that, of course, George Bush is not Adolph Hitler, but he points out the "disquieting similarities" between the two eras.  Weiner describes what I perceive as our current "national madness," and says, " becomes easier to simply permit oneself to sink, ever so slowly into this collective illness, into accommodation with the ruling party, even though the police-state is constantly violating citizens' privacy."

Okay.  That's it.  You're free to go.  Isn't freedom great?

Oh, and one more answer -- in a June 1992 interview with the late, great Sarah McClendon, Poppy Bush confided, "If the people were to ever find out what we have done, we would be chased down the streets and lynched."

What do you think the question to that one is? 

Sheila Samples is an Oklahoma freelance writer and a former US Army Public Information Officer. She is a proud member of the Order of Saint Barbara -- the Field Artillery's Patron Saint. She will accept praise and atta-boys at: Complaints and death threats should be directed to her cousin, Junior Samples, at BR-549.

Other Articles by Sheila Samples

* Truth and Freedom, Slip-Sliding Away
* Playing the CYA Game
* My Master's House
* If Royko Were Here . . . On Going Nowhere With the 9/11 Commission
* It Takes a Nitwit
* The Case That Wouldn't Close