FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Raving Rock and Roll Fables

Caught up in the fable, I watched the tower grow Five year plans and new deals, wrapped in golden chains And I wonder, still I wonder Who’ll stop the rain

John Fogerty (Creedence Clearwater Revival) Who’ll Stop the Rain

The shades of Vietnam deepen as America and the world slide toward Armageddon. Screaming Biblical echoes in Mesopotamia/Iraq and Palestine/Israel. Mad bosses measuring phallic missiles. Reportedly preparing explosives to massacre on a greater scale than Dresden, Tokyo, Hiroshima, and Gulf War I. Words of solemn wisdom and warning from Iraq:

“The time for persuasion, for reasoned argument, is long past. Our leaders are self-observably unreasonable. If there is hope of stopping this war, then it will be because we the peoples of this world engage in massive, nonviolent civil disobedience, shut down our governments, and overthrow the institutions of war. We have but short days. We have to begin to ask–what will we risk for peace?”

This is the time of history, of war and peace, of Bush’s rush to violent power for oil and domination. The time of global stands in defense of democracy, peace, freedom, thought and truth. The time of Cheney and Rove and Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz’ comeuppance or their blood guilt. The time to stand and fight for one’s beliefs. Or the time of the “good Germans” and genocidal furious slaughter of innocents. The time before the time the soldiers refuse to follow their orders. The time of Kennedy’s Camelot and the invasion of South Vietnam that’s never been recorded in our school history books. Today US/UK bombers hit ground-to-ground missile units in Iraq, but it won’t be recorded in official US history. Today is just ten days since the Mother of the kid killed in Genoa at the G-8 riots in July 2001 read Subcommandante Marcos’ Letter to Rebel Italy aloud, at the giant Rome site of the biggest peace demonstration in the world, ever:

“It is a war by money, which is represented by Sen?r Bush (perhaps in order to emphasize that he is completely lacking in intelligence). And it is against humanity, whose fate is now at stake in the soil of Iraq. This is the war of fear. Its objective is not to defeat Hussein in Iraq. Its goal is not to do away with al-Quaida. Nor does it seek to liberate the people of Iraq. It is not justice, nor democracy, nor liberty which drives this terror. It is fear. . . . Fear that the world will refuse to be treated like plunder. Fear of that human essence which is called rebellion. Fear that the millions of human beings who are mobilizing today throughout the world will be victorious in raising the cause of peace. . . . This war is against all humanity, against all honest men and women. This war seeks that we should know fear, that we should believe that he who has money and military force also has right. This war hopes that we shall shrug our shoulders, that we shall make cynicism a new religion, that we shall remain silent, that we shall conform, that we shall resign, that we shall surrender . . . and that we shall forget . . . The powerful have invoked God at their side in this war, so that we will accept their power and our weakness as something that has been established by divine plan. But there is no god behind this war other than the god of money, nor any right other than the desire for death and destruction.”

This is the time of the Emperor’s New Clothes. Lyndon B. Johnson would carry on his presidential conversations while he sat on the toilet, defecating and bitching about Vietnam. Now George W. Bush will strut naked to the teleprompter, and read that he is an impatient patient man. That anyone who opposes mass slaughter is irrelevant and loves Saddam Hussein. That he hasn’t decided whether to attack Iraq yet, but he will very soon. That he doesn’t remember where he was when he went AWOL from the Texas Air National Guard. That he pretends he intends, contemplates and understands regime change and preemptive war and shock and awe. But he’s completely naked. Now is only a month since Pentagon sources confirmed what Operation Shock and Awe would supposedly do to the cradle of civilization in Baghdad:

The plan includes . . . a sudden decimation of Baghdad by raining down on its people, in two days, over 800 cruise missiles ? more than were used in the entire Gulf War. . . . rather like the nuclear weapons of Hiroshima, not taking days or weeks but minutes . . . a firestorm, a Dresden or Tokyo with 60 years of new technology. It would be a war crime of quick and staggering proportions. . . . Such a plan, of course, makes a mockery of Donald Rumsfeld’s ritual insistence that the Pentagon takes enormous care to avoid civilian casualties; the plan apparently is to kill a staggering percentage of Baghdad’s civilian population in the first day alone . . . The United States is planning to suck all the oxygen out of the air with a fireball over the heads of the five million residents of Baghdad so that “nobody in Baghdad will be safe.” . . It is as if Bush and his sociopathic advisors want stronger terrorist groups ? want further attacks on Americans ? so as to justify their lust for global military dominance. Regardless, they’re certainly doing their best to provoke it.”

It’s destroying Hu? “in order to save it,” the “secret” bombing of Cambodia, Dien Bien Phu. It’s Babel. It’s Joshua toppling the walls of Jericho. The World Trade Center and the giant Buddhas of Afghanistan and the Bali disco bombing and embassy bombings, the USS Cole, suicide martyrdom ripping apart the Middle East and spreading to Africa, with North Korea and Kashmir ticking in the background. Terror and betrayal and prophecy and treasonous leadership. Bush stumbling from imperial disaster to photo op to campaign fundraiser to shake Ariel Sharon’s gruesome, ruthless, blood-stained hand. The answer to Osama bin Laden’s prayer for final confrontation between Islamic fundamentalism and the US corporate faith in money, sex, power.

A mother’s breast, a newborn child A poet’s tears and a drunken smile I can’t help feeling all the while Their meaning won’t be wasted You built your tower strong and tall Can’t you see, it’s got to fall some day

Townes Van Zandt Tower Song

Nobody lives forever Nothin’ stands the test of time You heard ’em say “never say never” It’s always best to keep it in mind That every tower ever built tumbles No matter how strong no matter how tall Some day even great walls will crumble And every idol ever raised falls And some day even man’s best laid plans Will lie twisted and covered in rust When we’ve done all we can but it slips through our hands It’s ashes to ashes and dust to dust Steve Earle Ashes to Ashes

Watch the tower grow. Do everything you can. Pull it to the ground.

TOM STEPHENS is a lawyer in Detroit, Michigan. He can be reached at lebensbaum4@earthlink.

Notes

Living Against Disaster.” by Ramzi Kysia February 24, 2003 (See also “This is Only the Beginning,” by Adele Oliveri, 2/20/03) (“Let’s not put limits to our imagination: as citizens and consumers, we have a tremendous power over the functioning of the economy, although we often fail to realize that. Why can’t we stop using our cars, why can’t we walk out on our employers all together, why can’t we block the main infrastructures of our own cities, why can’t we clog the email systems and web sites of the institutions that are currently supporting war? The possibilities are endless. We simply ought to ask ourselves ‘What price am I willing to pay to stop this war? Indeed, what price am I willing to pay to bring down this logic of violence and exploitation, and start building a whole new world from scratch?’ and then act accordingly.”)

No to War,” by Subcommandante Marcos, read by Heidi Giuliani, Mother of the late Carlo Giuliani, in Rome on 2/15/03

Shock and Yawn,” by Geov Parrish 2/24/02

 

More articles by:

Tom Stephens is a coordinator of the communications working group of Detroiters Resisting Emergency Management (D-REM).  Their web site is at: http://d-rem.org

Weekend Edition
January 18, 2019
Friday - Sunday
Kani Xulam
A Saudi Teen and Freedom’s Shining Moment
Jessicah Pierre
A Dream Deferred: MLK’s Dream of Economic Justice is Far From Reality
Ralph Nader
Bar Barr or Regret this Dictatorial Attorney General
Edward J. Martin
Glossip v. Gross, the Eighth Amendment and the Torture Court of the United States
Chuck Collins
Shutdown Expands the Ranks of the “Underwater Nation”
Paul Edwards
War Whores
Alycee Lane
Trump’s Federal Government Shutdown and Unpaid Dishwashers
Martha Rosenberg
New Questions About Ritual Slaughter as Belgium Bans the Practice
Wim Laven
The Annual Whitewashing of Martin Luther King Jr.
Nicky Reid
Panarchy as Full Spectrum Intersectionality
Jill Richardson
Hollywood’s Fat Shaming is Getting Old
Nyla Ali Khan
A Woman’s Wide Sphere of Influence Within Folklore and Social Practices
Richard Klin
Dial Israel: Amos Oz, 1939-2018
Graham Peebles
A Global Battle of Values and Ideals
David Rovics
Of Triggers and Bullets
Elliot Sperber
Eddie Spaghetti’s Alphabet
January 17, 2019
Stan Cox
That Green Growth at the Heart of the Green New Deal? It’s Malignant
David Schultz
Trump vs the Constitution: Why He Cannot Invoke the Emergencies Act to Build a Wall
Paul Cochrane
Europe’s Strategic Humanitarian Aid: Yemen vs. Syria
Tom Clifford
China: An Ancient Country, Getting Older
Greg Grandin
How Not to Build a “Great, Great Wall”
Ted Rall
Our Pointless, Very American Culture of Shame
John G. Russell
Just Another Brick in the Wall of Lies
Glenn Sacks
LA Teachers Strike: Black Smoke Pouring Out of LAUSD Headquarters
Patrick Walker
Referendum 2020: A Green New Deal vs. Racist, Classist Climate Genocide
Kevin Zeese - Margaret Flowers
Uniting for a Green New Deal
Matt Johnson
The Wall Already Exists — In Our Hearts and Minds
Jesse Jackson
Trump’s Flailing will get More Desperate and More Dangerous
Andrew Stewart
The Green New Deal Must be Centered on African American and Indigenous Workers to Differentiate Itself From the Democratic Party: Part Three
January 16, 2019
Patrick Bond
Jim Yong Kim’s Mixed Messages to the World Bank and the World
John Grant
Joe Biden, Crime Fighter from Hell
Alvaro Huerta
Brief History Notes on Mexican Immigration to the U.S.
Kenneth Surin
A Great Speaker of the UK’s House of Commons
Elizabeth Henderson
Why Sustainable Agriculture Should Support a Green New Deal
Binoy Kampmark
Trump, Bolton and the Syrian Confusion
Jeff Mackler
Trump’s Syria Exit Tweet Provokes Washington Panic
Barbara Nimri Aziz
How Long Can Nepal Blame Others for Its Woes?
Glenn Sacks
LA Teachers’ Strike: When Just One Man Says, “No”
Cesar Chelala
Violence Against Women: A Pandemic No Longer Hidden
Kim C. Domenico
To Make a Vineyard of the Curse: Fate, Fatalism and Freedom
Dave Lindorff
Criminalizing BDS Trashes Free Speech & Association
Thomas Knapp
Now More Than Ever, It’s Clear the FBI Must Go
Binoy Kampmark
Dances of Disinformation: The Partisan Politics of the Integrity Initiative
Andrew Stewart
The Green New Deal Must be Centered on African American and Indigenous Workers to Differentiate Itself From the Democratic Party: Part Two
Edward Curtin
A Gentrified Little Town Goes to Pot
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail