Armed Madhouse: Part I

Working Assets Serialization

06.13.06 - (Eds. note: This piece is part of a serialization of Greg Palast’s newest book, Armed Madhouse. Palast’s Armed Madhouse book tour is co-sponsored by Working Assets.)

THE FEAR: Including Marines in a tube, learning to speak Terrorist, Bush’s Khan job, National Security Document 199-I and Osama’s Mission Accomplished.

What are you afraid of? Our Fear Salesman-in-Chief has something for everyone.

So, Osama Walks into This Bar, See?

…and Bush says, “Whad’l'ya have, pardner?” and Osama says…

But wait a minute. I’d better shut my mouth. The sign here in the airport says, “Security is no joking matter.” But if security’s no joking matter, why does this guy dressed in a high-school marching band outfit tell me to take off my shoes? All I can say is, Thank God the “shoe bomber” didn’t carry Semtex in his underpants.

I’m a bit nervous. It’s an “ORANGE ALERT” day. That’s a “low threat” notice. According to the press release from the Department of Homeland Security, low-threat Orange means that there will be no special inspections of passengers or cargo today. Isn’t it nice of Mr. Bush to alert Osama when half our security forces are given the day off? Hmm. I asked an Israeli security expert why his nation doesn’t use these pretty color codes.

He asked me if, when I woke up, I checked the day’s terror color.

“I can’t say I ever have. I mean, who would?” He smiled. “The terrorists.” America is the only nation on the planet that kindly informs bombers, hijackers and berserkers the days on which they won’t be monitored. You’ve got to get up pretty early in the morning to get a jump on George Bush’s team.

There are three possible explanations for the Administration’s publishing a good-day-for-bombing color guidebook.

1. God is on Osama’s side.

2. George is on Osama’s side.

3. It’s about the oil.

A gold star if you picked #3.

Osama’s Mission Accomplished

On Thursday, May 1, 2003, President Bush landed on the deck of the aircraft carrier Abraham Lincoln. Forgetting to undo the parachute clips around his gonads, our President walked bowlegged on the ship’s deck in a green jumpsuit looking astonishingly like Ham, first chimp in space. The scene was so exciting that the media failed to notice that the War on Terror had ended on the previous Tuesday.

On that day, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld quietly acknowledged that he was withdrawing America’s armed forces from Saudi Arabia.

I’m always surprised at the debate over “What drives Osama? What does Al-Qaeda want?” There should be no confusion: Al-Qaeda states its mission, like most enterprises, on its Web site. Osama had it written out in English, in capital letters, so it wouldn’t be difficult to miss the point.

DECLARATION OF WAR AGAINST THE AMERICANS OCCUPYING THE LAND OF THE TWO HOLY PLACES—EXPEL THE INFIDELS FROM THE ARAB PENINSULA The “two holy places” are Mecca and Medina, and their “land” is Saudi Arabia. That’s what Osama wanted: U.S. troops out of Saudi Arabia.

Bin Laden issued his demand on August 23, 1996; and on April 29, 2003, the Tuesday before the President was chauffeured by fighter jet onto the deck of the Abe Lincoln, Mr. Bush gave bin Laden exactly what he wanted: U.S. troops sent packing from the Land of the Holy Places.

That’s astonishing. Until George W. Bush, the United States of America has never, ever, removed all our military bases from a foreign land no matter how much locals bitched or moaned. We even keep troops in Okinawa over the island’s strong objections, and World War II ended sixty years ago.

Am I accusing George Bush Jr. of being the first President of the United States to cravenly accede to the demands of terrorists? No, Reagan got there first, in 1984, when he gave in to Hizbollah’s demand and ordered our Marines to retreat from Lebanon.

No matter, President Bush was correct in announcing, “Mission Accomplished.” However, it was not America’s mission that was accomplished. It was Osama’s.

Coming soon: Part II of Armed Madhouse, “What Does Osama Want?”

URL: http://www.workingforchange.com/article.cfm?itemid=20950