Earth vs. Bush

by DAVID VEST

So who will prevail? The overwhelming majority of the people now alive on earth, or George W. Bush?

Ken Lay’s creature, the man who was reading "Thomas the Tank Engine" when the first plane hit the World Trade Towers, stands with his finger on the nuke-yuler button. He is accompanied in his lonely madness by Bill Clinton’s creature, Tony Blair.

Standing next to each other, Bush and Blair look like a weirdly-morphed version of the twin writers played by Nicholas Cage in the film Adaptation. (One of the twins is bright and articulate, one is a successful idiot, and both end up lost in a swamp, up to their butts in alligators.)

Aligned against these protagonists, but powerless to stop them, we find France, Russia, Germany, China, the entire populations of both Old and New Europe, and the rest of the world’s people, from the pope on down.

In a bizarre, meandering sub-plot we find Nancy Pelosi and most of the Democrats, desperate to define themselves as "united behind our troops." (As opposed to defining themselves as united with the millions marching in the streets around the world.)

Ask yourself this: what are the odds of George W. "Is Our Children Learning" Bush being right, even accidentally, on anything, when virtually the whole planet disagrees with him? Would he have been proved "right" if he had managed to kill Saddam with his first wild Tomahawk?

It would be the height of naivete to wonder whether Bush and Blair ever ask themselves whether they can be right and the whole world wrong. They could care less what the world thinks. For them, public opinion is something to be defied when it cannot be manipulated. When it cannot be manipulated, that is merely a sign that "democracy" has "failed," as in the Turkish parliament.

To people like Bush and Blair, democracy "fails" if it works — i.e., if it somehow manages to reflect the will of the people. As the character played by Michael Caine explains in The Quiet American, the trouble with democracy is that you let the people vote and they elect Ho Chi Minh.

Now Bush and Blair propose to bring democracy to Iraq. Never has anything been so transparent to so many. People with no political sophistication whatever can see right through what is going on.

As a result, people everywhere are feeling indescribably frustrated and powerless. They understand exactly what is going on. They have tried every known peaceable means to stop this bone-crushing juggernaut and nothing has worked. Millions of people in the street, the United Nations, the leaders of the world’s most important countries, all have been powerless to stop Bush.

The more agitated people feel, the more ready they are to resort to desperate measures, the more surrealistic the coverage by the corporate media.

As I write these words, thousands of people are protesting in Portland, Oregon, where I live. Police are clubbing and tear-gassing some of them. Local television is describing the situation as primarily a problem for rush-hour commuters. One channel is using an ex-policeman in a helicopter for "expert commentary."

Watching the news these days, no matter what channel, is like listening to the earnest declarations of druggies. The only difference is whether they are on a bad trip or a good one. Some of them are angry and belligerent. The rest of them are visibly relieved when they get through the hard news (with all the hard words and unpronounceable foreign names) and work their way down to the "human interest" stories they are more comfortable with. Anyone with a reputation for actually reporting facts is kept as far from the action as possible.

Most of the anchors seem to have just arrived from the set of Invasion of the Body Snatchers. They talk as though they actually believe they are describing nothing more than a struggle between good and evil, a battle between a "coalition of the willing" and "world-wide terrorism."

They appear to have no idea they are really describing a struggle between George W. Bush (together with everything he represents) and the people of earth.

If you can’t follow the money, follow the spotlight. Watch how the target moves. At first the enemy was Osama bin Laden and Mullah Omar (remember him, anybody?). Then the enemy was Saddam. Now the enemy seems to be France or even the Dixie Chicks, anyone who grabs a microphone and vocally opposes the Will of Bush.

Count on it: Even if Saddam is killed and Osama captured in the same news cycle, not much will really change.

Even people who, long long ago, used to be naïve enough to believe that things would change if we could swap Bush for Blair can see that now.

Nothing will change until we change it.

DAVID VEST writes the Rebel Angel column for CounterPunch.

He can be reached at: davidvest@springmail.com

For a sneak peek at Vest’s new CD of scorching blues and rock ‘n roll, Way Down Here, visit: http://www.rebelangel.com

Today’s Features

Alexander Cockburn
Ominous Signs

David Lindorff
Peacekeepers at Ground Zero

Diane Christian
Blood Sacrifice

Kathy Kelly
The Morning After Shock and Awe

John Stanton
US Bombs Iran

Wayne Madsen
How to Live with a Rogue Superpower

Anthony Gancarski
Iraq and the Death of the West

DAVID VEST
Earth vs. Bush

Ahmad Faruqui
The Liberation of Iraq in Perspective

Robert Fisk
We Bomb, They Suffer

Website of the War
Iraq Body Count

Keep CounterPunch Alive:
Make a Tax-Deductible Donation Today Online!

home / subscribe / about us / books / archives / search / links /

Like What You’ve Read? Support CounterPunch
Weekend Edition
July 31-33, 2015
Jeffrey St. Clair
Bernie and the Sandernistas: Into the Void
John Pilger
Julian Assange: the Untold Story of an Epic Struggle for Justice
Roberto J. González – David Price
Remaking the Human Terrain: The US Military’s Continuing Quest to Commandeer Culture
Lawrence Ware
Bernie Sanders’ Race Problem
Andrew Levine
The Logic of Illlogic: Narrow Self-Interest Keeps Israel’s “Existential Threats” Alive
ANDRE VLTCHEK
Kos, Bodrum, Desperate Refugees and a Dying Child
Paul Street
“That’s Politics”: the Sandernistas on the Master’s Schedule
Ted Rall
How the LAPD Conspired to Get Me Fired from the LA Times
Mike Whitney
Power-Mad Erdogan Launches War in Attempt to Become Turkey’s Supreme Leader
Ellen Brown
The Greek Coup: Liquidity as a Weapon of Coercion
Stephen Lendman
Russia Challenges America’s Orwellian NED
Will Parrish
The Politics of California’s Water System
John Wight
The Murder of Ali Saad Dawabsha, a Palestinian Infant Burned Alive by Israeli Terrorists
Jeffrey Blankfort
Leading Bibi’s Army in the War for Washington
Geoffrey McDonald
Obama’s Overtime Tweak: What is the Fair Price of a Missed Life?
Brian Cloughley
Hypocrisy, Obama-Style
Robert Fantina
Israeli Missteps Take a Toll
Pete Dolack
Speculators Circling Puerto Rico Latest Mode of Colonialism
Ron Jacobs
Spying on Black Writers: the FB Eye Blues
Paul Buhle
The Leftwing Seventies?
Binoy Kampmark
The TPP Trade Deal: of Sovereignty and Secrecy
David Swanson
Vietnam, Fifty Years After Defeating the US
Robert Hunziker
Human-Made Evolution
Shamus Cooke
Why Obama’s “Safe Zone” in Syria Will Inflame the War Zone
David Rosen
Hillary Clinton: Learn From Your Sisters
Sam Husseini
How #AllLivesMatter and #BlackLivesMatter Can Devalue Life
Shepherd Bliss
Why I Support Bernie Sanders for President
Louis Proyect
Manufacturing Denial
Howard Lisnoff
The Wrong Argument
Tracey Harris
Living Tiny: a Richer and More Sustainable Future
Kollibri terre Sonnenblume
A Day of Tears: Report from the “sHell No!” Action in Portland
Tom Clifford
Guns of August: the Gulf War Revisited
Renee Lovelace
I Dream of Ghana
Colin Todhunter
GMOs: Where Does Science Begin and Lobbying End?
Ben Debney
Modern Newspeak Dictionary, pt. II
Christopher Brauchli
Guns Don’t Kill People, Immigrants Do and Other Congressional Words of Wisdom
S. Mubashir Noor
India’s UNSC Endgame
Ellen Taylor
The Voyage of the Golden Rule
Norman Ball
Ten Questions for Lee Drutman: Author of “The Business of America is Lobbying”
Franklin Lamb
Return to Ma’loula, Syria
Masturah Alatas
Six Critics in Search of an Author
Mark Hand
Cinéma Engagé: Filmmaker Chronicles Texas Fracking Wars
Mary Lou Singleton
Gender, Patriarchy, and All That Jazz
Patrick Hiller
The Icebreaker and #ShellNo: How Activists Determine the Course
Charles Larson
Tango Bends Its Gender: Carolina De Robertis’s “The Gods of Tango”