How does he sleep at night?
What is it that enables George Bush to sleep at night when his avarice and iniquity as a ruler exceed that of Marie Antoinette? Could it be that he slept through his history lectures about the French Revolution while he was at Yale? Perhaps his capacity to sleep soundly stems from having the most powerful military in the history of humanity at his disposal. Being a member of a dynasty dating back to the 1930's would also tend to endow one with a sense of serenity as one plundered a nation's resources, shredded the US Constitution, initiated illegal wars, bullied most of the world, slaughtered innocents in the name of "spreading freedom", starved the poor to feed the rich, and allowed tens of thousands to suffer or die in New Orleans simply because they are poor and black.
While there could be many reasons for Bush's smug self-assurance as he gives the finger to most of the world's citizenry, I theorize that his sense of security stems from the level of protection he derives from America's Propaganda Matrix, the propaganda machine which enables the American Nightmare to masquerade as the American Dream. A friend recently commented to me that Orwell had written "1984" as a warning, but that the Bush administration had adopted it as a blue-print. Free and constant access to the mainstream media (to spread their sugar-coated versions of Pax Americana), genuflecting pundits like Michelle Malkin and Charles Krauthammer,corporate ownership of mainstream media, textbook companies and schools which portray a white-washed version of US history, heavily funded "think tanks" like the Hoover Institution, and the perpetuation of the myth of the United States as the "good guys" in many mindless Hollywood blockbusters unite to provide US leaders a powerful yet subtle means to manipulate their subjects. Why would Bush worry about the consequences of his actions when the propaganda machine at his disposal, like his military machine, is unparalleled in human history?
Not unlike the program the machines created in the movie called the Matrix, America's Propaganda Matrix manipulates the poor and working class by lulling them into an illusory sense of joy over being so "free". While wealthy dynasties (like the Bush clan), their sycophants, and their corporate cronies pillage the US treasury and employ foreign policies (like the Bush Doctrine) to seek world domination, an apathetic American public joyfully slaps magnetic ribbons supporting the Iraqi invasion onto its gas-guzzling SUV's, smiles and nods its assent at federal budgets calling for increases in an insanely bloated defense budget and cuts in spending for social programs, lightheartedly surrenders its civil liberties, and blithely watches the wealth gap widen to monumental proportions. The brilliance of the American Propaganda Matrix is that it enables a covert nobility to rule behind the guise of a "federal republic". With virtually no open acts of violence or totalitarian measures, a small fraction of the population in the United States maintains a vast majority of the world's wealth and power by ensuring that "their people" are elected and appointed to the key positions in the US government. Living in the delusory American Propaganda Matrix, many poor and working class Americans contentedly go about their lives as the "freest people in the world" enjoying the fruits of "sublime capitalism". In the American Propaganda Matrix, the American Way is The Way, and there is no room for critical evaluation. Those beguiled by the American Propaganda Matrix will tenaciously adhere to their delusions, regardless of who suffers or dies as a result.
Unfortunately for those in power in the United States, the American Propaganda Matrix has a "virus". In fact, as a free lance writer publishing on the Internet, and as a proponent of social justice, I am a part of that "virus". The "virus" consists of activists for peace and social justice who are attacking the "program" which manipulates Americans into believing in the false construct of the US as a benevolent world power with political and economic systems which the world must embrace. I know from the many emails (and comments on my blog) which I receive that more people are escaping the psychological clutches of this Matrix each day as they awaken to the harsh light of reality. As Americans examine their leaders and history more closely, they see the depth of the corruption, the pervasiveness of the lies, the extreme hubris, the insatiable avarice, the objective of global domination (regardless of the human cost), the white patriarchy, and the exploitation of the poor and working class. Propaganda does not hold up well under the scrutiny of critical examination. The Iraqi occupation, events in New Orleans, cuts in assistance to the poor, a rapid decline in the number of decent paying jobs, tax cuts for the rich, spiraling federal deficits, sky-rocketing gas prices, corporate plundering, and weakening environmental protections are coalescing to form a battering ram of truth which is shattering the delusions created by the American Propaganda Matrix. When reality bites, the pain is real, but as my wrestling coach said on many occasions:
"No pain, no gain!"
As the "virus" of activism for peace and social justice spreads like wild-fire, Karl Rove and his staff desperately seek to patch the highly vulnerable American Propaganda Matrix "program". Their efforts are in vain. Noam Chomsky posits the theory that the world has two remaining superpowers, the United States and public opinion. The "virus" has ignited public opinion to mobilize against the miscreants operating behind the veil of the failing American Propaganda Matrix. Bush's rapidly descending approval ratings provide the statistical evidence, but there are also more concrete indicators.
Cindy Sheehan symbolizes a turning point
Consider Cindy Sheehan. One woman standing in a ditch in front of George Bush's ranch in Crawford came to symbolize the national movement against the war in Iraq, and galvanized a growing number of dissidents in the United States to demand peace and social justice from a country whose leaders are sorely lacking in desire to allow either.
Activism in my neck of the woods
Yesterday evening, I left work and headed for the Plaza area of my hometown of Kansas City, anticipating the arrival of one of the Bus Tours from Camp Casey. My excitement was justified. Three to four hundred anti-war demonstrators gathered to show their support for Cindy Sheehan's group. The caravan from Crawford was a little late, but people found plenty to do as they waited. Petitions circulated. People met, mingled and discussed their disgust with the Bush administration and its imperialistic policies. Ira Harritt, a local peace activist who is heavily involved with American Friends Service Committee, and Nancy Carry, co-chair of the KC Iraq Task Force, took turns speaking to the group about local efforts to end the Iraqi occupation. Many of the demonstrators admired the enormous collage assembled with ribbons bearing the names of each US soldier who has died in Iraq since the illegal occupation began.