By the end of the movie Bates realizes, when comparing the inmates with the two military forces trying to slaughter each other, that the true lunatics are not the much more pleasant inmates, but the military madmen he now firmly rejects.
In America we have a similar situation, except that the true lunatics escaped long ago and are now running the asylum, better known as the PSA, the Paranoid States of America. Moreover, they are trying their damnedest to reenact the insanity of World War I in Iraq. For four bloody years largely European armies futilely flung wave after wave of troops into suicidal battle after suicidal battle, half-wiping out a generation of young men in that wretched war. Bush is, apparently, also a firm believer in that last heroic charge that will breach the enemy lines and allow us to capture the flag at the top of the hill, except that the flag and the enemy keep moving, and there are precious few hills in Iraq.
Despite the very obvious anti-war vote in November, despite all the devastating facts on the ground in Iraq, despite the phenomenal cost and even more amazing graft and corruption, the grotesque immorality, criminality and inhumanity, and finally, not to mention the self-defeating paradigm that violence can vanquish violence driving this whole fiasco, the lunatics in the White House and the Pentagon are actually planning new military campaigns in Baghdad and Anbar Province. Up to 30,000 more troops are now being considered for deployment. "If only we can kill enough of the bad guys," they mutter, oblivious of the fact that they are the bad guys.
These lunatics, by definition, are largely psychotic, and are consequently incapable of comprehending reality. Instead they project their dark and terrible visions onto the world and act accordingly, with all the enthusiasm of a Jason or Freddy Kruger on Friday the 13th, slaughtering and torturing their hapless victims worldwide. Where we see a bewildered, teen-aged Iraqi villager, they see the demons of their own sick souls superimposed upon him.
And, to justify this holocaust, we have a continuous chorus of oh-so-serious, robotic Pentagon spokesmen and generals trying to convince us, the still sane ones, that we are locked in Armageddon with a phantom Caliphate against a phantom enemy in an ongoing, cosmic death struggle that will last from 50 to 100 years. The Merchants of Death are applauding these delusions- the International Communist Conspiracy resurrected with a crescent moon and star instead of a hammer and a sickle to tremble and rage at.
And when we thoroughly investigate the face of this diabolical, omnipresent enemy, we discover that it is but the faces of women and children, teenagers and old men, and that among the alleged hundreds of deadly terrorists incarcerated in Guantanamo, perhaps a dozen, if that many, fit this contrived description at all.
To put it bluntly, the powers-that-be in America have become a largely mindless, vastly destructive force in the world. The worst manifestation of this geoplitical tsunami is, however, not in the streets and alleyways of Baghdad, but in the impact it is having on the Earth itself. This force is not only polluting the planet with negativity and veritable human sacrifices to the Oil Gods by the thousands, but it is adding immeasurably to the processes that are relentlessly driving global warming by sanctifying the paradigm of Petro-Wars for decades to come.
Nor should we overlook the massive poisoning of the environment through the excrement of war. How much depleted uranium is silently gliding through the slip streams right now, winding its way toward Europe and elsewhere? Furthermore, with the tremendous diversion of funds toward perpetual war and related paranoid homeland security initiatives, the resources are simply not there to even begin to tackle global warming successfully.
So now humanity is at a crossroads. When scientists like James Lovelock warn us publicly that the gig is up and all we can likely do is flee north as the seas and deserts radically encroach upon us in the coming decades, this becomes a giant wakeup call indeed! And we have only a small window of opportunity to reverse the looming, Hellish transformation. But to climb through that window, we must first stop the lunatics and return them to the asylum as quickly as possible. They may have a collective death wish, but we do not. We represent the living.
Thus we, the progressive forces of humanity, must set our intentions clearly and work for their achievement powerfully as we move into 2007. The key goal must be to achieve peace in both the Middle East and Afghanistan as quickly as possible, to stop the deep regional hemorrhaging threatening to engulf even more countries. It is not enough to be anti-war, for that maintains a dualistic dynamic with the forces of war. We must be Pro-Peace, period, transcending this duality and uniting as much of humanity as possible on all sides. Then we can build on that foundation to begin repairing our world.
So please make your heart-felt New Year's Resolutions now. Let us dedicate ourselves to victory over this plague of madness, with a commitment to see our goals through to the end, because the alternative is, simply, the ultimate destruction of all we love.