Wolves in Sheep’s Clothing

Wolves in Sheep’s Clothing

I recently saw Chris Hedges, the author of a new book called American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America, on the radio/alternative television/Internet program Democracy Now! Which, in my opinion, is one of our best avenues for getting the truth out i.e. the mainstream or corporate media are the lapdogs for the Robber Barons & feed us nothing but a pack of lies. And as a matter of fact, I just saw Chris Hedges in person here in Portland, Oregon about a month ago when he delivered a talk on his book tour promoting his recent book. After Mr. Hedges finished his talk, people lined-up to have him sign their copies of his book. I didn’t buy his book but wanted to give him a copy of an essay I wrote called “Why the Christian Right is Wrong.” When I got up to the table where he was signing people’s books, I was a bit nervous & said ‘I just wanted to give you this & I started a book on the Christian fundamentalists attack on secular humanists about 20 years ago…’ and he interrupted with a smart-ass “well you should have written faster.” Anyway, that aside, I wasn’t trying to claim that he’d stolen my idea or anything but simply that we were on the same wavelength. And even though he did piss me off a bit with his sarcasm, I must hand it to him in that his talk that night & recently on Democracy Now!, brought up some very good points & even though I learned some of these things through my research over the years, I seriously doubt if I could have put them as succinctly as he has? But before I start in, what got me thinking about writing this essay was something else that I feel is related & which I heard on the alternative media recently. It was a story about what they call ‘vulture bond speculators.’

I don’t know if you know or remember, but Paul Wolfowitz, who worked for the Reagan administration & also Bush Sr. & now Bush Jr., is one of the most extreme hawks or should I say vultures, this country has ever known. In fact, he was the main architect of what has come to be known as the Plan for the Next American Century or better known as the P.N.A.C. And this was written up in the early 1990s & included the invasion of Iraq & the Middle East. What struck me the other day when I heard about these ‘vulture bond speculators,’ was that I remember Wolfowitz testifying before some sort of committee shortly before we invaded Iraq, and his confident reassurance to the members of the committee when asked about how much this ‘liberation of Iraq,’ might cost us i.e. the poor taxpaying slobs, not the Congressmen, Wolfie assured his questioners that the Iraqi oil would pay for it & it’d only cost us an initial couple hundred billion, I believe? Well recently it was published that our “liberation” of Iraq has cost us over $2 trillion dollars! But hey, what the hell? So what if we can’t afford to provide medical insurance for 47 million American citizens, our fund Head Start, or our schools are falling apart, or people are losing their homes, their pensions, their self-respect, at least the wealthiest Americans are prospering & getting tax breaks on top of their already obscene profits. That’s the ‘free market!’ What does it matter if these same bastards are getting rewarded for ‘outsourcing’ decent paying American jobs overseas so they can rake in even more profits? What was amusing in a perverse sense was that the greedy bastards accidentally revealed their true agenda at the beginning of our ‘liberation’ of Iraq when they dubbed it ‘Operation Iraqi Liberation.’ Because if you notice, the initials for this ‘campaign,’ are O.I.L. & what does that spell? It spells out what the vultures are really up to in invading Iraq & why they lied every step of the way in their claims of Weapons of Mass Destruction, the connection between Al Quida & Saddam, the tubes that could be used to enrich uranium for the processing of nuclear weapons material, & lastly, our desire to bring ‘democracy’ to Iraq.

In any case, what occurred to me was the fact that even though Wolfowitz had lied through his teeth to us & helped dupe us into invading a country which had nothing to do with the tragic events of Sept. 11th, and he had been pushing for the invasion of Iraq since the early 1990s, he was rewarded by being made the president of the World Bank? Even assuming for argument’s sake, that he sincerely believed our invasion wouldn’t cost us, why in the hell would a person who was obviously so wrong & to such a degree, be rewarded with the stewardship of The World Bank? And no, I’m not trying to paint some grand conspiracy theory. No, I believe it’s really a matter of gross incompetence, indifference, & pure greed. But what is interesting is the fact that the World Bank along with the World Trade Organization, & the International Monetary Fund, are all responsible for what amounts to loan-sharking to the Third World countries who are being crushed under the debts that these three major world institutions suckered them into. If you really want to have your eyes opened, check out a book by John Perkins called Confessions of An Economic Hit-Man!

In brief, Mr. Perkins lays out what his job was i.e. he & others like him, would approach the leaders of various nations which had resources our power elite wanted to get their hands on & would first attempt to seduce them with exotic hookers, lavish gifts, outrageous bribes, etc., and if that didn’t work, they’d tell the mark (leader) if he didn’t accept the ‘loan’ offered by the World Bank, the I.M.F, or the W.T.O., he would be assassinated. Although most ‘leaders’ caved-in & accepted the ‘loan,’ there were a few who refused & that was when the ‘jackals’ were sent in. The ‘jackals’ were professional assassins & were usually successful in taking out their targets but when they failed, that’s when the U.S. military was called in under the guise of taking out some new Hitler who only a few months earlier had been one of our ‘staunchest allies.’ The point of these ‘loans,’ was the certainty that these poor, developing economies would fall behind & not be able to finance their ‘debt’ or even the interest on it. And this is when The World Bank & etc. would call in their markers i.e. loans & say to the ‘debtor’ nation, ‘okay, well since you can’t pay your debts, you must open up your infrastructure e.g. power, gas, oil, water, etc. to us—let us buy them up for pennies on the dollar & charge your citizens 300% or more for their utilities, etc. And this brings us to the point of why these bond speculators have been labeled ‘vultures.’

For the same reason that vultures have such a bad reputation i.e. preying on the dead & the dying, these ‘bond speculators,’ have devised a way to feed off the misery of the Third World countries being crushed by their national debts. By the way, it just occurred to me that we sure as hell had better hope that the two countries who we are in hock to up to our necks i.e. China & Japan, don’t decide to call in our markers. Because if they do so, it’ll probably make the Great Depression look like a picnic? Okay, well you’re probably aware of the efforts of various rock stars & other celebrities to reduce this crushing debt that is keeping so many of the world’s poorest from ever crawling out of their hole? And as usual, politicians like our coward from Crawford, Texas, jump on the bandwagon so they can pose as ‘humanitarians’ on the world stage. But what was revealed on the recent Democracy Now! Program in which I learned of this grand scam & shameless exploitation, was the fact that Bush & the other cold-blooded reptiles like him, persuade their citizens to help alleviate the suffering of these poor peoples by donating our tax dollars & then Bush’s buddies, like his buddy Ken Lay of Enron whom he claimed not to know after Kenny boy got busted, then buy up these countries’ national debts for pennies on the dollar because their debts have been reduced due to the generosity of the citizens of America, the European Economic Community, etc. And then the vultures, once they own the debt of these suffering economies & nations, turn around and sue them in court for the full amount of the original debt plus interest. And they have been getting away with it. Of course, when Bush-whacker was asked about it & told that he could stop it with the simple signing of a document, claimed he was unaware of the practice & would set up a commission to investigate it. Yeah, right! It’s the old, the check is in the mail. It’s no coincidence that Bush’s biggest campaign contributor is at the top of the pack of the vultures. And this brings me back to Chris Hedges’ book on ‘American Fascists.’ I’d say that Wolfowitz, Bush, etc. all deserve honorary mention in this club. In fact, I was watching something on CSPAN a few years back and an angry protestor stood up during a speech that Wolfowitz was making & gave him the heil Hitler salute & was promptly escorted out of the room. I now know a lot more about ol’ Wolfie & I’d say that he clearly deserves the label. At this time, let’s now turn to Chris Hedge’s interview on Democracy Now!, and I want to confess right up front that the vast majority of what is to follow is from Chris Hedges. I will attempt to quote him directly every time but I may miss one here or there but I intend in no way to plagiarize his work. I made these notes from watching the program on the Internet & will try my best to be clear when a point I am making is my own & when it is Mr. Hedges.

By the way, “Wolves in Sheep’s Clothing,” i.e. wolves (Wolfie or Wolfowitz), think about it? Hedges starts off with saying that the Christian Right’s goal is absolute power or a ‘Christian State.’ He does distinguish between the traditional Christian fundamentalists & this new brand of extremists who call themselves ‘Dominionists’ but most of them prefer to not use this term (probably because it’s too revealing?). When I heard this, it struck me that the Christian supremacists or white supremacists fervently believe that the Jews i.e. Z.O.G., are trying to create a one world government run by Jews when these dominionists are in fact attempting to create a one world government led by their brand of ‘Christians.’ It also occurred to me that throughout history, the Church & the State have competed with each other for dominion over the masses and at times, these twin pillars of ‘civilization,’ have joined forces against their subjects or citizens. I believe that we are experiencing the collusion of the State & many on the extreme Right who call themselves ‘Christians,’ but who are far from being true Christians. And one of the supreme ironies is the fact that these far right ‘Christians,’ are vocal supporters of the far right Jews in Israel. And they don’t just talk, they raise money for their Israeli fellow nut-cases, take tour groups to Israel, etc. As Hedges points out, they do so because they believe that Israel must dominate the region because it is in God’s plan & will lead to Armageddon. So much for the ‘lambs of God.’ These sick minds are salivating at the thought of the end of the world & in my opinion, are just as sick & evil as Osama bin Laden!

Following this, to be honest, I don’t remember if Hedges brought up the author Thomas Frank or if it was my idea? Anyway, Frank wrote an excellent book which I dissected called What’s the Matter With Kansas? And I strongly recommend this book if you want to understand how so many millions of Americans vote in our elections for politicians who are ‘outsourcing’ their jobs, cutting their pensions, health insurance, etc. In a nutshell, Frank says many of these voters are ‘Christians’ & the politicians skillfully manipulate their emotions by always pushing their emotional buttons on the issues of abortion & homosexuals rights. These lying lizards & snake oil salesmen know that these issues will never be resolved but that they can be used to manipulate the ignorant masses’ fears & that this will blind them to the much more serious issues of their economic well-being. In addition, a very significant factor in this whole charade is the constant appeal to ‘authority’ i.e. these charlatan preachers & politicians appeal to the average Christian because they are always invoking the authority of God & claim they are speaking for God & because people’s lives are so chaotic due to our being raped economically & the apparent social chaos of the ‘homosexuals’ & ‘liberals’ & ‘secular humanists’ taking over, people are scared & turn to God and fall prey to these modern day Elmer Gantrys.

Take the case of Pat Robertson. This guy is a multi-millionaire or as Hedges said, some say Robertson is a billionaire. Hedges pointed out that Robertson has made a lot of money buying & selling ‘blood diamonds,’ and I heard some rumors a few years back that at one point Robertson’s illegal not to mention, immoral diamond operation in Sierra Leone, Africa was about to be revealed & that he had his diamond mine buried along with some poor African miners who were still alive but he was afraid would expose him. I can’t say this is a fact but check it out yourself. And though Hedges didn’t mention it, I bet that Robertson raised & continues to raise the money for his diamond-mining in Africa from his flock of fundamentalist fools by claiming he’s helping the poor & starving African children & that he’s bringing them the word of God? Doesn’t any of his ‘congregation’ ever question why a so-called ‘man of God,’ is a multi-millionaire flying around in his own private jet & surrounded by bodyguards & living in such opulent luxury?

What’s more, as has been recently revealed in the alternative media & in the Nicolas Cage movie Lord of War, the trade in ‘blood diamonds,’ is done by the warlords who are massacring their own people with the weapons they buy from arms dealers with the diamonds they steal. Robertson & his kind have the audacity to claim they are relieving the suffering of Africa’s teeming masses when in fact they are aiding & abetting these vile, warlords who are slaughtering the innocent. If only Robertson’s gullible & clueless parishioners knew where their offerings collected on Sunday mornings were really going.

Subsequently, at this point it occurred to me that Hedges’ book is a condensed version of what I am writing about & he touches on some of my main concerns. In a nutshell, my book which appropriately I have titled Truth Against the World, is about the interplay between Christian fundamentalists and their attack on secular humanism, their anti-intellectualism, their undermining of our public education system, and the cooperation of the corporate media & partnership with the transnational corporations who are really pulling everyone’s strings. On the whole, these ‘Christian’ dominionists & the ‘free market fundamentalists’ are vying for control of the entire planet & both are confident that they will come out on top i.e. masters of a ‘New World Order’ which Hitler first proclaimed in the 1930s.

Equally important to remember is that Hitler, like Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell, George W. Bush, etc., also claimed to be concerned about ‘family values.’ And Hitler like our ‘dominionists’ & fundamentalists, was afraid of & warned the German people to be aware of homosexuals, intellectuals, Jews, labor union leaders, etc. Note also that Mussolini, that other fascist tyrant, said that fascism should really be called Corporatism. In other words, big business & big religion share a fear of independent people who can’t be brainwashed into accepting their simplistic propaganda. By the way, Hedges’ ethics professor when he was attending Harvard’s Divinity School Seminary, James Luther Adams, spent a couple of years in Nazi Germany working for the underground church & witnessed firsthand the madness & violence. And he said, way back then, “in a few decades we’ll all be fighting Christian fascists.” Talk about being prescient?

Unquestionably, one of the major factors in explaining how the dominionists have gained so much power & influence in America is the fact that they have built their own parallel media empire as Mr. Hedges pointed out e.g. The Christian Broadcasting Network. In fact, I have heard different numbers but I believe there’s supposedly something like 70 million Americans who consider themselves part of the Christian Right? And it’s pretty much agreed upon that they were the major reason why George W. became president. Have you ever noticed how many presidents & politicians profess their belief in God regularly & especially when they’re in front of national television cameras?

The next point that Hedges made struck me as a very profound insight i.e. demagogues like Robertson, Falwell, etc., appeal to the masses especially when people are in a state of despair. Think about it, Hitler came to power in Germany because they were going through a severe economic depression & he convinced half the German people that their troubles were all the result of a vast, Jewish conspiracy to take over the world. And today, as working class & middle class America is going down the toilet economically, Robertson & the other phoney ‘Christian’ preachers tell their believers that it’s because of the secular humanists, the homosexuals, the liberals, feminists, etc. Equally important in this context is the fact that as Noam Chomsky has pointed out, the majority of Americans don’t even know that they don’t know i.e. what’s going on behind the scenes politically & economically. Chomsky has also shown in great detail how we have been indoctrinated for decades to accept it as if it were a law of nature that Capitalism is the only viable economic system there is & all the illegal & immoral machinations of the corporate/military/media/university elite have become invisible. The information is out there but people are too overwhelmed with their daily struggle to survive to research & find out for themselves what is going on. In short, ‘Globalization’ is simply the newest variation of the ages old war on the poor. Hedges put it even more succinctly with “Globalization coupled with these demagogues is a frightening & toxic combination and if left unchecked, it will destroy our democracy.”

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