Europe Unplugs from the Matrix

Take heart that most Europeans not only understand the threat posed by the Bush regime to the future well being of the world but sympathize with the plight of those Americans who are fed up with the regime and want to replace it at all costs. After spending three weeks in Donald Rumsfeld’s “Old Europe,” I am happy to report that Old Europe is ringing the klaxons about the expansionistic goals of the Bush regime. Europe is free from the “Matrix” of perception management that has permeated the political and social life of America.

The BBC’s World television service aired a special report on living with a powerful superpower. Congratulations go to the team that put together the trailer for the special. Bush, it will be recalled, tried to emulate the fictional President Whitmore, played by actor Bill Pullman in the Fox movie “Independence Day.” By landing on the USS Abraham Lincoln aircraft carrier within eyesight of the San Diego skyline, Bush’s spin team was trying to suggest that Bush, whose record as a fighter pilot is murky at best, was somehow acting out the same sort of scene in which Pullman, who played a former fighter pilot who became president, joined in the air battle against invading alien spaceships. At the conclusion of Independence Day, Pullman, bedecked in a flight suit, celebrates victory over the aliens. Bush, clad in a flight suit, celebrated the end of “military operations” in Iraq. Honestly, the Pullman scene in a science fiction movie was more believable than the charade on the USS Lincoln.

But the clever ad people at the BBC must have picked up on the obvious links between Independence Day and the Bush publicity stunt. In its preview of its special on the United States, huge dark shadows appears over major world landmarks: the Arch de Triomphe in Paris, the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem, a busy street in Beijing with curious Chinese pedestrians looking skyward, the pyramids of Egypt, the African Serengetti (with animals fleeing the menacing shadow), and finally, the Houses of Westminster in London, where a BBC reporter nervously looks into the sky as a shadow comes over Big Ben. Are the shadows an invading fleet of alien spaceships? After the BBC reporter begins to describe the special report, the viewers finally are made aware that the huge shadow is an American flag descending around the world. Bravo BBC! That network has much to teach the lame American news networks about not only how to defend the news media from scurrilous attacks from an unpopular Tony Blair government but in going on the offensive against the Bush regime by using a very clever spin borrowed from Hollywood.

Bush also makes it so easy for the French to hate him. Bush, who tore up the Kyoto Accord on global warming and is a wholly owned subsidiary of Big Oil, can take solace in how his policies are affecting the French. Southern Europe is suffering from one of its worst heat spells and draughts in 100 years. French vacationers in southern France have had to rapidly evacuate from intense wild fires that have burned thousands of hectares of forests and camping sites. French rivers like the Loire are at their lowest depths in years. French farmers are suffering from lost crops. But what does Bush say about global warming? He calls it “silly science.” While Italy and Russia have come to the assistance of French fire fighters, what has Bush offered? Nothing. In Bush’s demonic view of the world, the French vacationers and residents in southern France are indistinguishable from the government. Bush probably figures the fires are some sort of divine retribution for France’s unwillingness to go to war against Iraq.

Meanwhile, French (and Spanish and Portuguese) bathers along the Atlantic seacoast have to use detergents to wipe off oil from themselves as a result of the sinking of the oil tanker Prestige nine months ago. Fishermen in the region are experiencing low catches from the spill and the environment will be adversely affected for years to come. But does Bush care? No. Moving oil in tankers is his lifeblood. When one sinks, the only thing that Bush cares about its insuring oil companies for the loss of their oil. No wonder Christine Todd Whitman and her deputy walked out of the Environmental Protection Agency a few months ago.

So, in France, without even considering the war on Iraq, it is easy to loathe Bush. But, contrary to the right wing hype artists, the French are not anti-American. They have adopted the French-speaking Texan Lance Armstrong, who just won his fifth Tour de France, as one of their own. And a little news for Armstrong’s fellow Texan Bush: the cyclist who has more courage in his little finger than the president has in his entire body, proclaimed a few months ago that he was not only against the war in Iraq, but he is against all wars! I hope Mr. Armstrong, who would be my candidate to be a future U.S. ambassador to France, has the chance to tell Bush to his face about his feelings about war in the event there is a White House event honoring his fifth victory. However, knowing the vindictiveness of the Bush cabal, such an event seems unlikely.

The Europeans definitely know how to handle their own fifth column of neo-cons. Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, once again, faces a criminal investigation of his shady business deals between his media conglomerate, Mediaset, and the securing of American film rights, including those from his close pal Rupert Murdoch. There are also interesting links between the how those bogus documents purportedly from Niger, which claimed that Saddam Hussein was trying to but Nigerien uranium, wound up in the hands of the U.S. government. It appears that one of Berlusconi’s magazine’s, Panorama, was at the heart of the laundering of the Niger disinformation through the European media, with Murdoch’s media empire and Lord (Conrad) Black’s Hollinger Group being part of the scam. Berlusconi, who one French law enforcement official revealed is the head of a large Italian Mafia bribery network, parodies Tony Soprano in his rants about AIDS patients, Germans (he said a German European Parliament member looked like a concentration camp commander) and saying that he, like other Italians, can find humor in jokes about the Holocaust. There must have been some late nights of laughter at the Crawford Ranch recently when Bush hosted his Italian friend and ally. Bush likely recounted how he gleefully gave the juice to hundreds of Texas convicts, including born-again Christian Karla Faye Tucker who he once mimicked by sniffling, “Please, don’t kill me.” Berlusconi must have had Bush in stitches over, “Giorgio, did you ever hear the one about the concentration camp?” These two disgusting creatures really do deserve one another.

Berlusconi’s membership in the infamous P-2 (Propaganda Due) Masonic lodge also provided him with close links to Italy’s secret services. No wonder the bogus Niger documents some how miraculously made their way from the Italian military intelligence service right into the hands of a reporter for Panorama. Just like how bogus documents from the Iraqi intelligence ministry implicating British Member of Parliament George Galloway in taking money from Saddam found their way into the hands of a reporter for Black’s Daily Telegraph. It seems that The New York Times and its episode with Jayson Blair is not unique in journalism. The neo-con media in the United States and Europe has its own share of fakes, phonies, and frauds parading around as journalists.

Sensible people (and they are in a clear majority) in London, Paris, Berlin, Rome, and other European capitals are planning for the eventual running out of town of Tony, Silvio, and their political and media allies and capos. Meanwhile, for Americans who despise the Bush regime, take heart that throughout “Old Europe,” you have many fellow travelers. If you want to unplug from the Matrix, go to Europe, enjoy the French joie de vivre, the Spanish hospitality, and the British wry sense of humor. Our European allies are doing all they can to rid themselves of their scourges of neo-conservatism and they are with us all the way in our upcoming campaign to cleanse our corridors of power of the same blight.

WAYNE MADSEN is a Washington, DC-based investigative journalist and columnist. He wrote the introduction to Forbidden Truth. He is the co-author, with John Stanton, of the forthcoming book, “America’s Nightmare: The Presidency of George Bush II.”

Madsen can be reached at: