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Ignore the man behind the curtain

Observations from the Edge
Robert T. Nanninga
Coast News
February 20, 2004


"It's well we cannot hear the screams that we create in others' dreams." — Edward Gorey

During Super Bowl XXXVI the United States government bought some high price commercial space to air Public Service Announcements telling millions of viewers purchasing illegal drugs was tantamount to financing terrorism. After I stopped screaming expletives at the television, everyone in the room, including the Green Party's candidate for governor, shared a subversive chuckle. The mendacity was almost comical. As Greens, we knew the score.

This commercial attempt at bait and switch is an example of what Noam Chomsky considers manufacturing consent. Too be honest, it's not as if the Bush Administration is having difficulty finding support for their axis of greed, quite the contrary. The fact that George has been given cart blanche to run roughshod over the planet by an emasculated congress should be seen as license enough to have his way with the world. But is that enough? Of course not.

Illustrating how fragile the public mandate is to wage an indiscriminate war, George and his captains of corruption, gave transparency a new face when these 30 second propaganda spots linked pot smoking teenagers from Des Moines with the Taliban and Al Queda. Talk about undermining one's intention. Just as Iran and North Korea did not appreciate being called evil, I'm certain Americans who use recreational drugs were in no way cowed by Dubya's empty rhetoric. In fact I would suggest most of these folks now consider smoking a joint or dropping ecstasy a fitting way to protest American foreign policy.

George Bush knows Oil and America's addiction to it it is what funds terrorism, not illegal drug use. If he really believed that, his niece Noelle Bush would be sharing a cell with John.Walker Lindh for sedition and other forms of anti American activity. And if trafficking in drugs set the bar for terrorist behavior then the Central Intelligence Agency and everyone ever associated with it would now be housed in the human kennel at Guantanamo Bay. Then again American crimes against humanity are not crimes at all, merely business as usual.

Let's look at the record of America's state sponsored terrorism, besides financing and training anti-Castro Cubans, anti-Nicaraguan contras and Osama bin Laden and other anti-soviet rebels. In 1998 Amnesty International made this statement; "Thoughout the world, on any given day, a man ,woman, or child is likely to be displaced, tortured, killed or ‘disappeared ‘ at the hands of governments or armed political groups. More often than not , the United States shares the blame."

According to the recent edition of Earth Island journal, in 1997 the United States, without any declaration of war, mined Nicaraguas harbors in direct violation of international laws, while CIA financed contras attacked the port city of Corinto. Because of this action the World Court ruled the United States was guilty of supporting and directing terrorist activities. Ordered to pay $17 billion in damages for lost lives and property, the Reagan Administration ignored the World Court ruling.

Also on the list of American sponsored terrorism, in 1989 George H.W. Bush sent 27,000 Americans to Panama to "seize" former CIA operative General Manuel Noreiga, because he rebelled against U.S. meddling in Panamanian affairs. For those of you with a short attention span, American justification for "Operation Just Cause" and the resulting death of 4,000 civilians was Noregia's supposed support of drug trafficking.

In reality, the attacks of September 11th were not the result of the few drugs currently not approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), America envy, or religious distain. These attacks are directly related to U.S actions, not American ideals. In his book Petrotryanny, John Bacher rightfully documents there is one factor that links US foreign policy to the American appointed monarchies in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, and an ever changing cast of repressive regimes, juntas, dictators, despots and mercenaries throughout the world .The tie that binds American interests to global terrorism is always the same, oil.

Not only does oil fuel the regimes of oppression worldwide, it also fuels America's big stick. The Pentagon, as the world's largest consumer of oil, burns more than 150 million tons of oil annually. And that's in peace time. According to the Worldwatch Institute the military burns enough oil in a year to run this countries urban mass transit system for almost 14 years. So it should come as no surprise the George W. Bush advocates the building of bombers as to protect military interests sitting beneath the Arabian Peninsula and the Caspian basin.

To paraphrase William Jefferson Clinton, "It's the oil stupid."

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