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Sheila Samples: Haunted Empire

Haunted Empire

By Sheila Samples

And travelers now within that valley,
Through the red-litten windows, see
Vast forms that move fantastically
To a discordant melody;
While, like a rapid ghastly river
Through the pale door,
A hideous throng rush out forever
And laugh -- but smile no more.

~~Verse VI, The Haunted Palace, by Edgar Allen Poe

''The people have spoken,'' Bush gloated on Nov.4 to an ecstatic White House press corps. ''The voters of America set the direction of our nation for the next four years...They've given me political capital -- and I'm gonna spend it.''

Four days later, after shifting the blame for what he was about to do onto the people -- after announcing he had the "will of the people at his back," Bush celebrated by grabbing a giant firecracker, ramming it into the mouth of Fallujah, and firing it up. The explosion was heard around the world.

Now, standing there admidst the flames, impervious to the shrieks of the fallen, reveling in his new, ill-gotten four-year "erection," Bush arrogantly invokes the name of God as he pushes the terrified people of Iraq out of their homes, their cities -- pushes them out of their lives and off the face of the Earth. In his pathologically unbalanced mind-set, Bush believes he is above the law of cause and effect -- he can do no wrong -- his gut feelings supersede all logic and reason and humanity.

Bush's genocidal jihad against Islam goes beyond arrogance and ignorance. It is evil, dirty, deceptive and slithery. It is satanic warfare. Now that Bush has dumped the blame on the people, it will be interesting to see if God and History --whom Bush has managed to tangle into one forbidding, powerful entity -- will escape being held to account.

Bush has a thing about History. Although he got a C and a degree in it from Yale, History seems to extend no farther back in time for him than September 11, 2001. While he claims to be "called by History to save civilization," he inexplicably uses History both to justify his war on terror and to whip the people into quivering obedience.

"History," he said in the waning days of the presidential campaign, his eyes darting nervously back and forth, "History can deliver sudden horror from a soft autumn sky..."

Bush's garbled diablerie that History is an entity poised to attack without warning is the mother of all malaprops. The people's unquestioning acceptance of such ludricous jumbling of language can only mean that at least half the citizens in this country are dazed -- even deranged -- with fear.

It's not enough that Bush wants Americans to look under their beds at night for Osama Bin Laden, a near-seven-foot specter dragging around a dialysis machine; or Abu Musab al-Zarkawi, a one-legged dead escape artist -- now he insists the people go through their days in a dead run, looking over their shoulders to see if History is gaining on them. "History will judge what I'm about." Bush told Washington Post's Bob Woodward for his book, Bush at War, " And...the world is better off because of the decisions I have made -- along with others." Along with others? When we consider those others who crouch behind the throne and the cross and pant for global war, we can only hope that History will soon be up and about its business of judging this destructive bunch.

Bush also confided to Woodward that the reason he helped with the book was so people could see how he had gone to war in Iraq. The story had to be told, he said, so that it would be a blueprint of historical significance that "will enable other leaders, if they feel like they have to go to war, to spare innocent citizens and their lives."

Yeah. Watch and learn, fellas -- watch and learn...

To Bush, the "big news" was he had changed how America fights and wins wars. "It makes it easier to keep the peace in the long run," he said. "And that's the historical significance of this book, as far as I'm concerned."

Bush likes to say History has placed great demands on our country, and reminds us that "events have come quickly" since 9-11. The people have been subjected to a constant mantra of gathering dangers, sudden horrors and vile, evil killers who are out to get them. "We must do our duty," he told cheering troops at the US Army War College in May. "History is moving, and it will tend toward hope, or tend toward tragedy." Because of History, Bush explained inanely, the families of our soldiers and civilian workers "pray for their sons and daughters in Mosul and Karbala and Baghdad."

And in Fallujah. What will History say about Fallujah? Will it condemn the US media for refusing to show bodies of at least 1,200 men, women and children "insurgents" decomposing in the streets because it is too dangerous for their families to retrieve them?

Will History touch upon the senseless tragedy of more than 400 US servicemen and women who have been injured or maimed, or more than 50 who were killed while trying to spread freedom and establish democracy with AK-47s, howitzers anda cluster bombs?

Where is History when what little remains of our children are sent home, sealed in flag-draped coffins -- out of sight, but more important -- out of mind?

History will show that a majority of the "people who have spoken" whom Bush credits with setting the direction of our nation for the next four years are but hapless victims of a corrupt voting system. Many watched in horror as corporate rogues and administration thugs orchestrated a non-violent overthrow of their government on November 2. Realizing that the "political capital" Bush is eager to spend so lavishly is nothing less than their own sons and daughters, they're raising their voices in outrage, only to find the complicit media in full lockdown mode, and their relentless Orwellian screams reverberating helplessly against the walls of the Internet.

If they do not know already, Bush's "voting Americans" will soon realize they woke up -- spoke up -- too late. With their ballots, they unlocked the gates.

The Beast is loose.

They cannot go back. They will never be allowed to return to a place where Democracy once reared its majestic head and ruled in the greenest of the world's valleys. They now must weep for their lost children in a haunted empire.

Some of those children slaughtered just in the voting month of November -- including 56 as a result of Bush gleefully spending his political capital in a homicidal rampage in Fallujah (Nov 8-13) -- are:

November 1, 2004
Lance Cpl. Jeremy D. Bow, 20, Lemoore, Calif.
Lance Cpl. Michael P. Scarborough, 28, Washington, Ga.
Lance Cpl. Travis A. Fox, 25, Cowpens, S.C.
Cpl. Christopher J. Lapka, 22, Peoria, Ariz.
1st Lt. Matthew D. Lynch, 25, Jericho, N.Y
Lance Cpl. John T. Byrd II, 23, Fairview, W.V.
Sgt. Kelley L. Courtney, 28, Macon, Ga.
Pfc. Andrew G. Riedel, 19, Northglenn, Colo.
Spc. Segun Frederick Akintade, 34, Brooklyn, N.Y.
Sgt. Maurice Keith Fortune, 25, Forestville, Md
Pfc. John Lukac, 19, Las Vegas, Nev.

November 2, 2004
Spc. James C. Kearney, III, 22, Emerson, Iowa

November 4, 2004
Sgt. Charles J. Webb, 22, Hamilton, Ohio
November 5, 2004
Cpl. Jeremiah A. Baro, 21, Fresno, Calif.
Lance Cpl. Jared P. Hubbard, 22, Clovis, Calif.
Spc. Cody L. Wentz, 21, Williston, N. D.

November 8, 2004
Pvt. Justin R. Yoemans, 20, Eufaula, Ala
Sgt. Carlos M. Camacho-Rivera, 24, Carolina, Puerto Rico
Lance Cpl. Sean M. Langley, 20, Lexington, Ky
Spc. Brian K. Baker, 27, West Seneca, N.Y.

November 9, 2004
Spc. Quoc Binh Tran, 26, Mission Viejo, Calif
Cpl. Nathaniel T. Hammond, 24, Tulsa, Okla.
Lance Cpl. Shane K. O'Donnell, 24, DeForest, Wis
Spc. Bryan L. Freeman, 31, Lumberton, N.J.
Lance Cpl. Jeffrey Lam, 22, Queens, N.Y.
Staff Sgt. Clinton L. Wisdom, 39, Atchison, Kan.
Spc. Don A. Clary, 21, Troy, Kan.
Lance Cpl. Branden P. Ramey, 22, Boone, Ill.
Staff Sgt. David G. Ries, 29, of Clark, Wash.

November 10, 2004
Master Sgt. Steven E. Auchman, 37, Waterloo, N.Y
Lance Cpl. Thomas J. Zapp, 20, Houston, Texas
Cpl. Robert P. Warns II, 23, Waukesha, Wis.
Command Sgt. Maj. Steven W. Faulkenburg, 45, Huntingburg, Ind

November 11, 2004
Sgt. Lonny D. Wells, 29, Vandergrift, Pa
Lance Cpl. Juan E. Segura, 26, Homestead, Fla.

November 12, 2004
Staff Sgt. Todd R. Cornell, 38, West Bend, Wis
Cpl. William C. James, 24, Huntington Beach, Calif.
Lance Cpl. Nicholas D. Larson, 19, Wheaton, Ill.
Lance Cpl. Nathan R. Wood, 19, Kirkland, Wash.
Sgt. John B. Trotter, 25, Marble Falls, Texas
Spc. Travis A. Babbitt, 24, Uvalde, Texas
Staff Sgt. Russell L. Slay, 28, Humble, Texas
Lance Cpl. Erick J. Hodges, 21, Bay Point, Calif.
Sgt. David M. Caruso, 25, Naperville, Ill
1st Lt. Dan T. Malcom Jr., 25, Brinson, Ga.
Lance Cpl. Aaron C. Pickering, 20, Marion, Ill.
Staff Sgt. Gene Ramirez, 28, San Antonio, Texas
Lance Cpl. Justin D. Reppuhn, 20, Hemlock, Mich.
Lance Cpl. Abraham Simpson, 19, Chino, Calif
Pfc. Dennis J. Miller, Jr., 21, La Salle, Mich.
Cpl. Peter J. Giannopoulos, 22, Inverness, Ill.
Cpl. Romulo J. Jimenez II, 21, Miami, Fla.
Spc. Thomas K. Doerflinger, 20, Silver Spring, Md
Staff Sgt. Michael C. Ottolini, 45, Sebastopol, Calif
Cpl. Joshua D. Palmer, 24, Blandinsville, Ill
Staff Sgt. Sean P. Huey, 28, Fredericktown, Pa.
Cpl. Theodore A. Bowling, 25, Casselberry, Fla
Petty Officer Third Class Julian Woods, 22, Jacksonville, Fla
Staff Sgt. Theodore S. Holder II, 27, Littleton, Colo.,

November 13, 2004
2nd Lt. James P. Blecksmith, 24, San Marino, Calif.
Lance Cpl. Kyle W. Burns, 20, Laramie, Wyo.
Cpl. Jarrod L. Maher, 21, Imogene, Iowa
Sgt. Morgan W. Strader, 23, Croosville, Ind.
Cpl. Nathan R. Anderson, 22, Howard, Ohio,
Cpl. Brian P. Prening, 24, Sheboygan, Wis.
Staff Sgt. Todd R. Cornell, 38, West Bend, Wis.
Maj. Horst G. Moore, 38, San Antonio, Texas
1st Lt. Edward D. Iwan, 28, Albion, Neb.
Sgt. Jonathan B. Shields, 25, Atlanta, Ga.
Spc. Raymond L. White, 22, Elwood, Ind
Lance Cpl. David M. Branning, 21, Cockesville, Md.
Lance Cpl. Brian A. Medina, 20, Woodbridge, Va.


Sheila Samples is an Oklahoma freelance writer and a former civilian US Army Public Information Officer. She is a regular contributor for a variety of Internet sites. Contact her at

© 2004 Sheila Samples

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