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John Kaminski: Alas, Babylon

Alas, Babylon*

By John Kaminski

It would be comical if the very president whose whole pretext for existing was predicated on hyping up the U.S. military to unnecessarily scary levels turned out to be the loser who revealed to the world that American defenses were nothing but disoriented kids no match for desert tough guys — plus mighty machines that don't work in bad weather and a sleazy symphony of finely tuned money-consuming BS that was usually false.

It would be comical ... except for all those Iraqi children lying in bloody pieces strewn on streets of mud brick desert villages and babyfaced U.S. GIs lying face down in sandstorms, unpictured and uncounted by American TV networks — "We don't want to upset the public with gory details!" Funny how the U.S. death toll on Arab TV is much higher than reported by CNN or NBC.

It would be comical if America lost a war to a country that didn't have any planes, any steel-spewing smart bombs (which the U.S. is now dropping in civilian neighborhoods to ensure innocent people will be killed for years to come), or any million-dollar missiles that can be fired from hundreds of miles away, thereby assuring the brave commandos doing the firing that they won't have to see tears gushing from the eyes of mothers watching blood gushing from the mouths of their children.

It would be comical if the good old USA lost a war to a bunch of ridiculously ordinary people many Americans disparagingly call ragheads — comical in the eyes of God, comical in the eyes of a world which has seen America go berserk with power and give its soul away to men who have no idea what a soul is.

It would be comical — and a well-deserved twist of fate — if America had to pay Iraq to let its troops go home.

But we jump ahead of ourselves. The fate of Iraq — and the world — still hangs in the balance. The sandstorm still rages. America's premeditated murder of a sovereign people has yet to be either completed or thwarted.

Let us take a moment, as Americans concerned with our future, to calculate whether it would be better for America to win this so-called war, or to lose it.

If all goes according to Washington's plan and America wins this so-called war as it planned it would, then Americans are in for just about the same treatment for themselves as was accorded the Iraqis, although with perhaps fewer bombs and more mandated vaccinations (some the ingredients of which, of course, will remain secret).

An exhilarated Bush will railroad passage of Patriot Act II through his android Congress, and the last vestiges of the U.S. Constitution will be permanently erased. What a real pain that Bill of Rights has been to businessmen over the years!

Freedom of speech will be the last to go, rubbed out with military tribunals which can hand out death penalties on 2-1 votes with no appeals. Already the state of Oregon is considering life in prison for peace protesters. Those remaining inhabitants of the dog cages at Guantanamo will be quickly eliminated to make room for newly convicted domestic dissenters.

All remaining environmental laws will be permanently revoked, the United Nations will be disbanded as the irrelevant institution it is, and new babies will be inserted with computer chips containing their social security numbers and econo-genetic classifications, something that will forever separate them from the children of politicians who go to Andover and Yale.

These are some of the things Bush will accomplish at home after he wins the war in Iraq. You as an American may now calculate if these new developments are desirable.

But before you do, consider the alternative: what if Bush loses the war in Iraq, or if conditions prove to be so intractible as to create some kind of negotiated stalemate?

Bush brings the troops home and almost immediately gets impeached for recklessly endangering the security of the nation and needlessly squandering the lives of thousands of young Americans, all on the basis of proven lies that the American media were too chicken and too unprincipled to challenge him about.

Hell, didn't those judges just rule that Fox media wasn't required by law to tell the truth in that case of the Florida reporters? Those judges are going places, either way, probably to the Supreme Court if Bush wins, and straight to jail if Bush loses.

Wouldn't it be great if all his judicial appointees were impeached along with him as dishonest shills of big business? That just might fix the court system.

But another thing happens if Bush loses this war, and it might just happen regardless of the outcome.

I'm talking about World War III. It's not just a metaphor anymore. We are tiptoeing along the edge of the nuclear volcano as I speak, and I'll tell you why.

When Bush finally pushed the button and went into Iraq without any legitimate provocation — only the lies he tried to tell that were rejected as fantasy at the United Nations — he opened the gates of Hell.

If the U.S. can invade Iraq for no honest reason, why can't North Korea do the same to the United States? They have much more legitimate provocation to point to than the United States ever had in regard to Iraq, in either war. The U.S. has threatened them repeatedly, and now Japan is launching a new spy satellite.

North Korea has every reason to believe this is a provocation against them. They have every right, according to what the United States has just done in Iraq, to attack both Japan and the United States preemptively, to protect their country from what genuinely looks like will be the use of weapons of mass destruction against them in the future.

They have a more legitimate reason to attack us than we had to attack Iraq.

Will they ask that the United Nations send weapons inspectors into the United States to check for weapons of mass destruction? North Korea has every right to ask this, in fact, a much more pressing right, a more legitimate reason to ask the United Nations to do exactly that than the U.S. ever did have or ever will have in its hysterically falsified case against Iraq.

Plus ... with the United States faltering as badly as it is in the sandstorms of Mesopotamia, with all the stories of "coalition" (ha!) forces shooting each other on a frighteningly regular basis, with the repeated failure of U.S. missiles to hit their targets and U.S. equipment breaking down under adverse conditions — plus all those phony, pre-determined outcome missile tests the U.S. has conducted in the past few years and other U.S. military exercises that were rigged to impress Congressional funders — how long do you think it's going to be before other countries start to notice that maybe the U.S., for all its braggadocio, maybe isn't all that tough?

Some of them might think, hmm, maybe those missiles won't really work, and even if they do, they won't really hit anything important.

See, this is the really bad scrape Bush has gotten us into. If we make much more of a spectacle of ourselves than we already have, other nations around the world are going to begin to believe that U.S. defenses are all talk and no real action, that is to say, no real danger to anyone with some toughness, guile, and a couple of long-range missiles that actually work.

This is what I talked about at the top, about Bush shooting his mouth off about toughening up the military in order to get elected, and impressing millions of timid, white-haired phonies enough to vote for him. (Let's skip the vote scandal this time around.)

How ironic that it was all talk and no action, how all these astronomical military expenditures really just went to executive bonuses for his Carlyle Group and Halliburton friends, and then how all the military tests were rigged by these same fools and their lackeys, so that Americans have a puffed-up defense budget for an inexperienced fighting force with weapons that have made plenty of money for their manufacturers but don't work reliably.

What happens when some hicktown tough guy from rural Eurasia has a couple of long-range missiles and figures he can get away with a free shot?

Or worse, that the collective of nations calculates America is so undependable and so hardhearted that it's worth taking a shot to stop this maniacal menace named George W. Bush, who bears a truly startling resemblance to Adolf Hitler.

Either way would be World War III and none of us would get to talk about it after it happened.

That's where Bush's preemptive war has brought us on this fateful day in March 2003 — right to the very brink of nuclear armageddon, where one false move torches the planet.

This would all be comical — except for that.

* - "Alas, Babylon" is the 1959 sci-fi classic by Pat Frank in which two brothers use the phrase as a coded message to indicate the nuclear holocaust so feared in those early days of the Cold War had actually begun. And it has in the year 2003, as the U.S. has already begun anew its barbaric radioactive poisoning of Iraq through the use of cancer-causing uranium-tipped bullets and shells.


John Kaminski, a writer who lives on the coast of Florida, is the author of "America's Autopsy Report," soon to be published by DandelionBooks.

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