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Fire on the Swamp

By Richard Neville  Posted by Rob Kall (about the submitter)     Permalink
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Farewell Katrina, next time will it be your big sister? How strange it took a hurricane to blow away the emperor 's clothes, when Bush has always posed naked. Power corrupts not only rulers, but those who serve in the shadow of power, like media types, rattled by Katrina 's fury, spinning in the wind, and ashamed of their spinning. Finally, they are making up for lost words.

Can we make up for lost souls? Will we start to see what else has been happening in front our eyes for the last 20 years? Now that the most affluent 1% of the US population holds more wealth that the entire bottom 90% combined, why are we surprised to find Bangladesh in the backyard? Now that the top 500 CEO 's make more over morning tea than their employees earn in a year, we enter the realm of a United States of Somalia <http://www.cipa-apex.org/toomuch> .When the cavalry finally comes to the flood, it 's the cavalry; not doctors, not generators, not Food Aid. Let them eat bullets.

FROM BLOW DRIED TO HAIR RAISING

The wealth gap is barely a subject of debate, not even when our leaders demand tax breaks for millionaires. What 's going on? It 's like we 're stuck in a psychic jail, feeding on denial, greed, distraction and disinformation. You 'll be safe in the superdome. The insurgency is on its last legs. The climate isn 't changing. Widespread "stop, question and search " powers do not infringe freedom.

Every so often an inmate gets a glimpse of this gulag, as weirdly happened to Fox News reporters, Geraldo Rivera and Shepard Smith, as they fell through the Matrix to find thousands of victims still imprisoned in New Orleans and abandoned, six days after Katrina blew in. The footage is hair-raising. <http://www.crooksandliars.com/2005/09/02.html#a4763>

On the seventh day, New Orleans resembled an occupied city. Soldiers beat up reporters, police smashed cameras. <http://www.nppa.org/news_and_events/news/2005/09/hurricane2.html>
Taking photos of the dead was forbidden. As in Iraq, no-one did body counts.

GONE WITH THE WIND

It 's a testimony to the cowardness of pre Katrina media that so many residents of Louisiana made bitter references to their national guard being "away helping Iraqis " when they should have been at home helping them. Actually, they 're not helping Iraqis, they 're hurting them. The death toll of Hurricane Neo-con is tenfold that of Katrina.
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AS the anniversary of 9/11 approaches, we can reflect that the war to "save civilization " has resulted in rolling it back. As one of many who foresaw the war on terror as a war of disaster <http://www.richardneville.com/archive/2001/journal011001.html> , I take no pride in being prescient it was obvious. Still came the hate mail saying I was too dumb to get Realpolitik, the worship of power over ideals. During the chorus of claims that Iraqis would rain rose petals on the marines, I offered - if such happened - to eat my beanie. (Not that I own a beanie). One former Trotskyite turned Brownshirt, gloatingly blogged he would send me another two. By the time he got to the post office, insurgency bombs were exploding, as were his rose petal fantasies.

WHERE DO WE GO NOW?

How come so many well traveled bright sparks got it so wrong? Were they driven by blind revenge, or by the spin of Pentagon appeasers, or a gut aversion to emotional Arabs, or unadorned blood lust? One thing we now know for sure about Bush, Blair and Howard: Liars, killers and planetfuckers three. With a smile.

Where do we go from here? The future is threatened by several lethal beliefs, including Muslim Fundamentalism, Climate Change Denial, Militarism and Christian Fundamentalism. Three of these plague the White House and Canberra. (Also, under Australia 's imminent anti-terror laws you can be jailed for saying Iraqis have the right to resist occupation.)

It was Bush advisor, a 1988 Presidential candidate and the founder of the Christian Coalition, Pat Robertson who last month called for the assassination of Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez. "We have the ability to take him out, and I think the time has come that we exercise that ability ". What is Chavez 's crime, apart from sailing through seven unrigged elections? A few days before this effusion of Christian diplomacy, Hugo Chavez had warned a vast audience at the "Festival of Youth and Students " in Caracas, that the choice ahead for the world was stark - a future of barbarism or a bottom up re-invention of socialism, owing to the "urgent need to save life on the planet " (as well as his own life). Chavez told delegates from over 100 nations that they were confronted with the "most cruel, aggressive and hypocritical empire in history ", <http://www.ain.cubaweb.cu/idioma/ingles/2005/ago16festival-clausura.htm> and he urged young people to be "revolutionaries and work for change ", to show "it is possible for the human race to teardown an empire ". Which is probably why Bush wants to tear down Chavez.
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Nothing is more threatening to fossilized privilege and power than the surge of a new generation towards higher goals and ideals. A recognition that Realpolitik is the Devil 's toy boy. Beware those who claim the knack for initiating an ideas revolution has gone with the wind. What it takes is a thirst for change, a revival of idealism, a willingness to confront the status quo ... and some hot music . It 's in the wind.

Richard Neville rneville@ozemail.com.au
has been a practising futurist since 1963, when he launched the countercultural magazine, Oz, which widened the boundaries of free speech on two continents. He has written several books, including Playpower (71), the a bio of a global serial killer (79), his sixties memoir, Hippie Hippie Shake (95) and his latest handbook of social change, Footprints of the Future. A social commentator and a professional futurist with a sharp tongue, Richard is based in Australia, where he continues to "stir the possum ". http://www.richardneville.com

 

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