In The Kingdom of Fear
By Sheila Samples
"You're A Whole Different Person When You're Scared"
~~Warren Zevon, Hunter S. Thompson
My friend Bernie says since Democrats won the Congress, George Bush reminds him of a cartoon where this destructive Texas jackrabbit was careening headlong down a path, his eyes riveted on a rabbit hole in the distance. A tortoise, sunning himself at the side of the path, looked behind the rabbit where a baying pack of dogs, in hot pursuit, was gaining on him. The tortoise smiled. The poor bunny was in a race for his life. As he shot by, the tortoise called out lazily, "Think you'll make it?" The rabbit, looking neither to the right nor left, shot back desperately -- "I gotta make it..."
Bernie says Bush is running scared. So scared he's "pantin' like a lizard..."
Pantin' like a lizard? Hah. Having been raised in New Mexico with me, Bernie should know that Bush is panting because, well, that's what lizards do...Especially the venomous gila monsters, who are fun to chase, but only a fool would try to catch one. That's why the few Democrats out there who appear to be chasing Bush are, in reality, just trotting along in his wake. I suspect they fear the holocaust he is capable of inflicting if they catch him.
For six long years, Bush has "water-boarded" all who oppose him -- especially those in Congress -- with a steady stream of 9-11. Each speech is laced with visions of 9-11 -- 9-11 horror just over the horizon, 9-11 around each corner, 9-11 behind each tree. "Fear Itself" is the only option on the Bush-Cheney table, and they have used it relentlessly, not only to wage genocidal war in order to gain control of the world's resources, but to seize dictatorial power and to control the quivering masses. Constant and repetitive warnings and false-flag alerts, evidence of plotters and planners skulking among us, hateful ideologies swirling above us like mushroom clouds -- is it any wonder our elected representatives, once inside the Kingdom of Fear, lose all sense of direction, the ability to reason?
In his new book, "The Assault on Reason," former vice president Al Gore shines the light of truth upon this Orwellian prison of fear in which we are held captive. In fact, Gore says more in his Introduction than most people can manage to get across in an entire book. He says there is a "connection between the withdrawal of reason from the public sphere and the resulting vacuum that is filled by fear, superstition, ideology, deception, intolerance, and obsessive secrecy as a means of tightening control over the information that a free society needs to govern itself according to reason-based democracy."
Bernie says that sounds good, but as far as he's concerned, they're all just a bunch of spineless hypocritical weasels. "Something ain't right here," Bernie said. "These Democrats are different from the ones we sent up there. We elected them to do the two things they promised to do -- stop the massacre in Iraq and impeach the shallow, warmongering fool who lied us into his greedy war. They've been there nearly 11 months and they refuse to hold Bush and Cheney accountable for their treasonous lies or the massive destruction that gets worse every day. Blood keeps gushing from the sands of Iraq. Bodies keep piling up."
Bernie glared at me as he headed for the door. "Are they really scared, or are they just playing politics?" he asked. "Either way -- how do they sleep at night -- how in the hell do they sleep at night?"
If I knew the answer to that question, I'd know why my hero, Sen. Russ Feingold, gave a speech on the floor of the Senate in early October wherein he urged his peers to take a stand and insist the $150 billion war-funding bill include a timeline for beginning to withdraw troops because, he said, "There have been more than 3,600 killed in Iraq..."
I was aghast. Perhaps Feingold overslept that morning. Had he bothered to check, he would have discovered that, as he spoke, more than 3,800 of our soldiers and marines had been killed. He might even have mentioned the more than 37,000 injured and more than 21,000 suffering from disease and other medical problems. No matter how you stack them, that's a lot of bodies piling up...
I'd know why another of my heroes, Rep. John Conyers, who had been out there hugging the peerless David Swanson and the courageous Cindy Sheehan -- holding meetings in basements, whipping up articles of impeachment -- suddenly shut up, backed off, and dove under his desk when the polls closed. Freaked out -- after 21 terms in Congress!
I don't know if House droid Nancy Pelosi experiences fear; if she sleeps, or even blinks, but her strident insistence that she alone is the Decider on impeachment is a power grab indicating either her ignorance of, or contempt for, the U.S. Constitution. Article II, Section 4 leaves no wiggle room, but is a mandate -- "The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors."
Pelosi's mantra that "impeachment is off the table" mirrors Bush's 9-11 broadside, and is clear evidence that she is far more concerned with politics than with the faceless, invisible bodies that keep piling up because of her inaction. In a recent interview with CNN's Wolf Blitzer, Pelosi said she is determined that Bush will not escape his legacy. "This war is Bush's war and it's Cheney's war. And now," she said, smacking her lips in delight -- "this war is the Republican's war..."
So there you have it. When Pelosi and other members of Congress were sworn in after the 2006 election, 2,761 American uniformed military had been slain. In the ensuing 11 months, while Democrats were caving in, kissing ass, and giving Bush everything he demanded to expand his war, an additional 1,072 of our young men and women have perished. With 13 months remaining for this administration, one must wonder how many more innocent Iraqi citizens and American military must die in order for Pelosi to write Bush's legacy with their blood...
If Democrats in Congress actually read that document which they swore to "support and defend against all enemies foreign and domestic," they would know that any member of the House can start impeachment proceedings by (are you listening, Rep. Dennis Kucinich?) merely tossing a resolution in the hopper for referral to the appropriate committee.
There is good reason for Americans to be scared, for as George Orwell said, "It does not matter if the war is not real, or when it is, victory is not possible. The war is not meant to be won, it is meant to be continous...The war is waged by the ruling group against its subjects." It's them against us -- a greedy corporate cabal protected by a cruel and sinister Dick Cheney and Bush, a vicious, brainless jackass who endowed himself with "wonder-working" masturbatory power to torture and kill at will.
I once read that the Constitution is our birth certificate. If we are to remain a legitimate republic and escape this Kingdom of Fear, we must impeach both of these illegitimate warmongers. We must resist being fatigued into compliance with murder and into relinquishing our freedoms.
As Hunter S. Thompson wrote so succinctly just prior to the 2004 elections, "We are down to nut-cutting time," and, again, with Warren Zevron, Thompson admonished -- "If you can't run, walk...If you can't walk, crawl...But don't look down...It's a long, long fall."
Let us begin.
*Painting by Brooke Neal