November 2003 #3

The Oracle in the Palace

He’s a lovable oaf isn’t he? George the Lesser. Did you know he went to visit the Queen? He had tea with her and some of her friends came over and George entertained them with his wit and enthralled them with his wisdom.

“Surely he is one of ours”, they said. “Surely he has sprung from our loins and has become our leader”, the men and women of the Court said as they swooned into a state of bliss.

A comedy? A farce, surely, then? No. That happened in London when Shrub the Little gave his only address while in London. I mean we know where Little Johnny stands – he only got a 23 hour visit and a 25 minute speech. In London Georgy rambled on for almost 40. After that he got tired and distracted and had to have some milk, a lie down and relax with his favourite book – ‘The Adventures of Superman’, Marvel Comics, Vol 28, Issue 7, 1964.

Four things came out of Bush’s speech. Four things that should have any fair-minded Yank, Aussie or Brit worried – no matter what their political persuasion.

The first is Bush’s commitment to the capitalist enterprise. He said “The third pillar of security is our commitment to the global expansion of democracy … By extending the reach of trade, we foster prosperity and the habits of liberty.”

What were his words of wisdom and comfort to the US people immediately after 9-11. He said go out and shop. Forget your woes and spend. All we have to do is replace one word in the quote mentioned earlier – capitalism for democracy – and we have the thrust of his meaning. I argue that because he also said the way to achieve democracy was by fostering the habits of liberty. According to George the Oracle, that means the habit of spending.

The second worry is his linking of a particular form of religious fundamentalism to justice. He said, “It's rightly said that Americans are a religious people. That's in part because of the good news that was translated by Tyndale, preached by Wesley, lived out in the example of William Booth.”

One of the things these men had in common was their commitment to military styles of religion. Indeed Booth, the founder of the Salvation Army, has left his legacy in the form of a private religious army that is now one of the worlds most secret societies. Wesley, while doing much good for the literacy of rural communities in England, wasn’t adverse to slavery and was deeply committed to modernisation. In short he wanted to see educated workers in the mines – who were saved and washed in the blood - rather than ignorant, unsaved, unwashed workers in the mines.

Bush also said, “We believe in open societies ordered by moral conviction.” But to him this means a special type of morality that reflects the fundamentalist zeal he, Blair and Howard adhere to.

The third worry is Bush’s lack of ability to sack himself. He said, “Many governments are realizing that theocracy and dictatorship do not lead to national greatness; they end in national ruin … The people have given us the duty to defend them and that duty sometimes requires the violent restraint of violent men”.

If George the Second is so committed to ridding the world of violent men and in particular those who rule by fiat of theocracy, maybe he should look at his own government run “School of the America’s” or as its now known, “The Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Co-operation”, funded by the Department of Defense and responsible for training dictators like Panama’s Noriega, Argentina's Galtieri, Alvarado in Peru, Suarez in Bolivia and Rodriguez in Ecuador.

All these men, like Bush, were religious men who were able to put to good use the training they learned in the US funded training camp at Fort Benning in Georgia as they killed, disappeared, tortured and raped their way through their countries. This is not to mention US involvement in funding or hiding and protecting international terrorists and former dictators.

If George is serious about getting rid of dictators and deny those who keep them opportunity to prosper, he should resign forthwith and stop this deadly charade.

Finally, we heard the plainest, most distressing admission from Bush when he stated, “The United States and Great Britain share a mission in the world beyond the balance of power or the simple pursuit of interest … The deepest beliefs of our nations set the direction of our foreign policy.”

Founded on fundamentalist religious grounds, a bond formed by common interests of empire, imperialism and enrichment of the already obscenely rich, Bush declares the mission of the ruling elites. That is, nothing short of world domination and rule under repressive, fundamentalist Christianity. A form of Christianity that says its OK to harbour terrorists and train dictators – as long as its our terrorism and our dictating that is done. A Christianity that says, we should develop nuclear ‘bunker busters’ while allowing millions to die of AIDs because we don’t want our drug companies to become unprofitable. A religious fundamentalism that is willing to lie, cheat and deceive in order to reach its goals.

These four admissions should galvanise us into action. They should shake us up to go out beyond our immediate circle of friends and warn as many as we can of the dangers that could lie ahead. I say could, because, unlike Maggie  Thatcher, I believe there is an alternative.

What I’m not sure of is what form it will take. Some will argue socialism, some a benign dictatorship, some will argue anarchism and I’m sure there are other models also worthy of mention. However, whatever form the future takes it must be better than the one outlined by George. 

He said that many governments are realising that theocracy and dictatorship is not the way to go. He is wrong there. It’s not the governments that are realising, it’s the people who are fighting as never before to free themselves from the chains of oppression and fear. George, John and Tony, just like the so called ‘leaders’ of so called ‘peaceful’ Middle East ‘partners’, rule with just as much theocratic and autocratic (if we take outcomes as a measure) authority as the leaders in the Middle East they hold up as ‘friends’ – Saudi Arabia for instance. They may not be dictators, but our collective Western society is becoming far more fearful, far more restrictive of civil liberties and far less tolerant that we can be.

The future belongs to us. Not them. If the mark of a prophet, which under the fundamentalist Christian notion of these types of people is that you will know them as a prophet because their revelations occur or their ‘truth’ is revealed, then I hope we can make George’s prophecy come true and that the most dangerous government on earth can be brought down, along with its satrapies, and that he can leave the palace of the Queen of England knowing he can not only spin a good yarn, but also read the tea leaves.