Rhapsody in Blood

by Edgar J. Steele

April 19, 2003 

"Next the statesmen will invent cheap lies, putting the blame upon the nation 
that is attacked, and every man will be glad of those conscience-soothing falsities, 
and will diligently study them, and refuse to examine any refutations of them; 
and thus he will by and by convince himself that the war is just, and will thank God 
for the better sleep he enjoys after this process of grotesque self-deception."
   -- Mark Twain (1916)

"To announce that there must be no criticism of the President, 
or that we are to stand by the President, right or wrong, 
is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American Public." 
   --Former Republican President Theodore Roosevelt, in challenge to President Woodrow 
        Wilson's crackdown on dissent following America's entry into World War I (1918)

"A public that hears only praise and no criticism will predictably answer "yes" to pollsters who ask whether the President is doing a good job."
   -- Mark Weisbrot , co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington D.C.

Today is Patriots' Day, unless you live in Massachusetts, where it is celebrated on April's third Monday and is called The Boston Marathon.  

Huh?  What's that?  I can hear the muttering from here, already.  It seems fitting that so few of us remember that  America's First Revolutionary War began on this day in 1775, because that date since has been annexed by so many other events of a nature contrary to the spirit which founded America. 

On April 19, 1775, British troops from Boston confronted a band of armed farmers in Lexington's town square.  Said John Parker, the farmers' leader, "If they mean to have a war, let it begin here."  Though unclear, it seems likely that the first shots were fired only by accident.  Men died and the British moved on to nearby Concord, where the battle began in earnest.  Nearly a century later, Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote stirringly of that day's events:

"By the rude bridge that arched the flood,
  Their flag to Aprilís breeze unfurled,
Here once the embattled farmers stood,
  And fired the shot heard round the world."
     --"Concord Hymn," a poem, sung as a hymn at a July 4, 1837 ceremony 
              to mark the completion of the Concord Monument

It is easy to forget Patriot's Day, due to the many ignominious events on this same date in America's recent history:

April 19 1933 -- President Franklin D. Roosevelt takes the US off the gold standard.

April 19, 1961-Failed Bay of Pigs disastrous invasion of Cuba- freedom fighters betrayed by being promised
air support, which was not provided

April 19 1989 -- Forty seven U.S. sailors were killed by an explosion in a gun turret on the USS Iowa
during gunnery exercises in the waters off Puerto Rico. Turret explosion is initially blamed on alleged
suicide pact between homosexual sailors, as conjectured by Naval Investigative Service & as leaked to
NBC News.

April 19, 1992 -- first attempted raid on the Weaver Family.

April 19, 1993 -- Federal agents attack Branch Davidian compound near Waco, Texas, shooting or
incinerating over 80 women, men, & children.

April 19, 1995 -- Oklahoma City At 9:02 a.m.: A massive car-bomb explosion was used as a detonator of; or
a diversion of attention away from, other INTERNAL EXPLOSIONS.

(I accidentally deleted the citation and URL for the above list of dates and events - I apologize to the author for not giving him proper credit.)

Today also caps a week in which much of America indulged in an orgy of self congratulations for having (pick one): (1) destroyed Iraq's weapons of mass destruction, (2) disarmed Iraq, (3) toppled Saddam Hussein, (4) effected an Iraqi regime change, (5) liberated Iraq.  Those were the various reasons given for this little imbroglio, one after the other, by Administration officials, then dutifully parrotted by the controlled media.  Many Americans think we were getting even for 9-11, with which Iraq had nothing to do.  Most believe this was to ensure the flow of cheap oil to the West.  None of these are the correct answer, though some have been byproducts.

Meanwhile, the party rages on, both here and in Israel, with people rhapsodizing over the blood spilled in this, the first of America's wars of pure aggression.  Things are only a bit less raucous in Britain, the only other country where one might find celebrants.  

The correct answer?  Israel, of course.  We eliminated one of Israel's prime enemies, or so we think.  Time will tell.  (You've gotta wonder what happened to Saddam and his lieutenants, not to mention hundreds of thousands of Iraqi soldiers and all their equipment.  They fought like hell for a week, suffering modest casualties, then just disappeared.)

All week long, there have been no pictures of the civilian casualties - media orders - just soldiers saying, "Hi, Mom" and anchors interviewing anchors.  There has been no mention of American deaths - in either Iraq or Afghanistan - media orders again.  These are the same "embedded media" people that served as America's military cheerleaders serving up lies and distortion on a daily basis.  Think not?  Listen to what the real heads of the media have to say:

As Richard Salent, former President of CBS News, said in a rare moment of honesty:  "Our job is to give people not what they want, but what we decide they ought to have."

And from John Swinton, former Chief of Staff of the New York Times:  "The business of the journalist is to destroy the truth; to lie outright; to pervert; to vilify; to fawn at the feet of Mammon, and to sell the country for his daily bread. You know it and I know it... We are the tools and vassals of the rich men behind the scenes. We are the jumping jacks, they pull the strings and we dance."

Walter Lippmann:  "The news and truth are not the same thing."

"News is what someone wants to suppress. Everything else is advertising."  That, from  former NBC news president Rubin Frank.

The Russians, I think, say it best in one of their proverbs:  "There is no news in the truth and no truth in the news."  There are two well-known newspapers in Russia:  Pravda and Izvestia.  Pravda translates as "truth."  Izvestia means "news."

At every turn, the administration gave the reason and the media ran with the ball.  Never once did they tell the truth - that this is all for, and at the behest of, Israel.

And there is now spontaneous rioting by hordes of Iraqis, protesting the American occupation.  "It's going wrong, faster than anyone could have imagined. The army of "liberation" has already turned into the army of occupation...So now - with neither electricity nor running water - the millions of Iraqis here are ordered to stay in their homes from dusk to dawn. Lockdown. It's a form of imprisonment. In their own country."  The Independent UK, Thursday 17 April 2003.  In fact, it is going so wrong, that even the American controlled media can no longer ignore the rioters.

While you may have heard about the looting and the rioting, you sure didn't hear from the media some of the more sordid details, like the indiscriminate machine gunning of civilian protestors and professional looting, some apparently by Americans:

"And like the Mongols, U.S. troops stood by while Iraqi mobs looted and destroyed artifacts at the National Museum of Iraq in Baghdad. They also reportedly joined looters who pillaged other lucrative targets like office buildings, stores, and private homes."  "Was Saddam Right?  Are Americans the New Mongols of the Mideast?" Wayne Madsen, April 14, 2003 http://www.counterpunch.org/madsen04142003.html

"US troops have sat back and allowed mobs to wreck and then burn the Ministry of Planning, the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Irrigation, the Ministry of Trade, the Ministry of Industry, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Culture and the Ministry of Information.  They did nothing to prevent looters from destroying priceless treasures of Iraq's history in the Baghdad Archaeological Museum and in the museum in the northern city of Mosul, or from looting three hospitals.  The Americans have, though, put hundreds of troops inside two Iraqi ministries that remain untouched - and untouchable - because tanks and armoured personnel carriers and Humvees have been placed inside and outside both institutions.  And which ministries proved to be so important for the Americans?  Why, the Ministry of Interior, of course - with its vast wealth of intelligence information on Iraq - and the Ministry of Oil.  The archives and files of Iraq's most valuable asset - its oilfields and, even more important, its massive reserves - are safe and sound, sealed off from the mobs and looters, and safe to be shared, as Washington almost certainly intends, with American oil companies."  "Americans defend two untouchable ministries from the hordes of looters," Robert Fisk (in Baghdad), April 14, 2003 http://news.independent.co.uk/world/middle_east/story.jsp?story396997 

Now, with very little fanfare, Israel quietly prepares to restart its Iraqi oil pipeline, closed for over 50 years:  http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/ED04Ak01.html

Still willing to give America a pass on this?  Consider the following:

"'It looks as if part of the looting was a deliberate planned action,' said McGuire Gibson, a University of Chicago professor and president of the American Association for Research in Baghdad. 'They were able to take keys for vaults and were able to take out important Mesopotamian materials put in safes.  I have a suspicion it was organized outside the country, in fact I'm pretty sure it was,' Gibson said. He added that if a good police team was put together, 'I think it could be cracked in no time.'  The pillaging has ravaged the irreplaceable Babylonian, Sumerian and Assyrian collections that chronicled ancient civilization in Mesopotamia, and the losses have triggered an impassioned outcry in cultural circles.  Many fear the stolen artifacts have been absorbed into highly organized trafficking rings that ferry the goods through a series of middlemen to collectors in Europe, the United States and Japan."  "Looters Had Keys to Iraqi Vaults," The Guardian, April 17, 2003, www.guardian.co.uk/worldl...24,00.html

Furthermore, the lists of what was in the various museum collections were systematically burned by somebody, so as to make it much more difficult to identify the rarities when they emerge into the world's marketplace.

Not yet, eh?  Well, here's the clincher:

"A coalition of antiquities collectors and arts lawyers, calling itself the American Council for Cultural Policy (ACCP), met with US defence and state department officials prior to the start of military action to offer its assistance in preserving the country's invaluable archaeological collections. The group is known to consist of a number of influential dealers who favour a relaxation of Iraq's tight restrictions on the ownership and export of antiquities. Its treasurer, William Pearlstein, has described Iraq's laws as 'retentionist' and has said he would support a post-war government that would make it easier to have antiquities dispersed to the US."  "US accused of plans to loot Iraqi antiques," Liam McDougall, Arts Correspondent, Sunday Herald, http://www.sundayherald.com/32895 

Hmmmm....Pearlstein...Pearlstein...gee, I wonder what that fellow's ethnic persuasion might be...

Now, from the very Administration officials who brought you Baghdad II, comes the next exciting installment:  Damascus I.  All according to plan - the plan laid down by Paul Wolfowitz and Richard Perle, two of Israel's most trusted agents masquerading as American citizens.  Lebanon will fall with Syria, so does not rate a chapter of its own.  Iran will be the next.  At some point, America will bomb North Korea, just so the zionists can claim this is not a war against Islam, fought by Israel's proxy.

And already you have heard the drumbeat increasing in the controlled media, while America masses its forces on Iraq's border with Syria.

"President Bush has yet to say the words, but, barring a conversion not seen in Damascus since the days of St. Paul, there will be a forcible regime change in Syria."  Zev Chafetz, "Terror-friendly Syria needs a change, too,"  NY Daily News (4/16/03) http://www.nydailynews.com/news/ideas_opinions/story/75794p-70003c.html  And the loquacious Mr. Chafetz (gee, there's that ethnic persuasion again) previously had noted:  "Anyone hoping for an April V-Iraq extravaganza will be disappointed. Beyond Baghdad, the Battle of Iran lies ahead - and the Battle of Syria and Lebanon. Fortunately, these axis dictatorships aren't (currently) more militarily formidable than Iraq."  Zev Chafetz, "Iraq's only the start - Syria & Iran are next,"  NY Daily News (4/02/03)

More war, more blood, more rhapsodizing both at home and in Israel.  All for the greater good of......our best friend, Israel, of course.

"Every time anyone says that Israel is our only friend in the Middle East, I can't help but think that before Israel, we had no enemies in the Middle East."  John Sheehan, S.J. (a Jesuit priest)

Until the world has had enough, of course, and decides to put us in our place.

New America.  An idea whose time has come.

-ed

"I didn't say it would be easy.  I just said it would be the truth."
            - Morpheus

Copyright ©2003, Edgar J. Steele

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