Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Searching For the "Ring that Binds Us"

Scott Ritter, the former intelligence officer who served as a weapons inspector for the UN in Iraq, who since the invasion of Iraq has spoken out in opposition to the war, has recently generated much discussion, and considerable controversy among anti-war activists, with his suggestion that all progressive activists should, for the time being, de-emphasize their concerns for any other issues besides the war, and concentrate their attention on working against the war with a "laser-like concentrated focus." He further suggests that the anti-war effort should be organized under a united structure, and that if we can successfully bring an end to this war, we will defeat our "enemies," whom he identifies as the neo-conservative Bush regime.

As a life-long "warrior" himself, a member of the intelligence/military establishment, Mr. Ritter well knows that one of the most basic tenets of "warfare" is "Identify the Enemy." If we fail to properly "identify the enemy," then we run the risk of not only fighting the wrong battle, but also of being "used" by our REAL enemy to fight his battles for him, or else of being duped into expending all our energy in other battles before our real enemy even shows his face.

But although I support Mr. Ritter's noble goal of uniting a powerful anti-war movement, I think he is mistaken in assuming that we need to de-emphasize other issues to accomplish this goal, and I also think he is mistaken in identifying the Bush neo-cons as our REAL "enemy."

We need to properly "realize" what we can all clearly see, which is that these "neo-cons" are not all that smart. They've hatched a "grand plot" to "rule the world," and now they've laid an egg in Iraq that is even now in the process of destroying them. Anybody with two brains to rub together knew that Iraq was going to be a quagmire, yet these idiots are so "dumb" that they thought it was going to be a cakewalk. They ignored not only the lessons of Viet Nam, (and Colin Powell realizes even now how horribly he "screwed up"), but all the lessons that History offers us.

But there is a much larger Power that lies behind these neo-cons. This Power has provided this neo-con cabal with a certain amount of "muscle," and it will abandon them as they start to fall, (this is happening already). This Power may be weakened a bit by the inevitable defeat in Iraq, but I think they knew that going in. The oil is no doubt very important to them, but I am sure they already have contingency plans in place, should they lose control of this oil, (and see it go to China). Other energy technologies can be rolled out for instance, if all the Power of amalgamated Capital were thus applied.

Amalgamated Capital is our REAL enemy. Corporations are more powerful now than government itself. (Of the 100 largest "economies" in the world, 50 of them are American Corporations). Iraq is only one element in their grand design. Iraq has being used, and is being used, as wars are always used, to divert our attention from the malfeasance of Capital. Exploiting patriotism is one of the oldest "tricks" in their book, and amalgamated Capital has been using it for thousands of years.

Corporate Globalization is no joke, folks. Surely everyone has read "Confessions of an Economic Hit Man." Amalgamated Capital, which, if you've read that testimony, you know behaves EXACTLY like the Mafia, (only on a MUCH larger scale), has set out a scheme to not only subvert individual governments, as they already have subverted ours, but they intend to subvert "government" itself, by claiming the entire world to run as THEIR private company.

THEY are our enemy, folks. It is these forces of Corporate World Domination that is our REAL enemy. Underlings like the foolish, power-crazed neo-cons are only puppets to amalgamated Capital, to Corporate Power. They are "puppets" on the strings of these Puppeteers. When we are fooled into putting all our attention on the puppets, then we are being controlled by the Puppeteer, just as if we were on his strings ourselves.

That is NOT to say that we should not focus on working against this horrific war. And we should CERTAINLY strive to achieve a United Front in doing so, (and Scott Ritter is an excellent candidate to lead such a United Front), but I am concerned when people think, as Mr. Ritter has stated, that ending this war is going to represent "victory" for us.

The war will end whether we help end it or not. We may be able to help end it faster, but these idiotic neo-cons have committed our military to a "battle" that cannot be won. All of History would have taught them this, but they were just too crazed by power to learn. But when the war ends, the designs of Capital will not. Their Power will remain. They will STILL completely control the Means of Communication, (and they are avidly trying to figure out a way to control the Internet also), and by that power they will continue to control our government.

Surely none among us thinks that this ex-coke head and drunkard, this dim-witted frat-party boy, is the "mastermind" that opposes us. Bill Clinton did as much, if not MORE, to advance the Power of Corporate Globalization as Bush. Bush has opened up the purse of the common citizens for the Corporate Elite to reach in and indulge themselves in an orgy of Greed. And he has also made bold moves to further destroy Democracy and establish outright Fascism, but in doing so, he seems to have only weakened himself, and strengthened the degree of resistance against him. Clinton was a great champion of Global Corporate Power. He was a great supporter of the WTO, and NAFTA could never have passed without his enthusiastic efforts to ram-rod it through. In fact, the primary reason Clinton was elected at all was that Ross Perot rose up against NAFTA, and split Bush the First's vote. But perhaps the most damaging thing that Clinton did was sign the Telecommunications Act of 1996, which paved the way for greater consolidation in media ownership. The ink on this bill was not even dry as Corporate Power moved quickly to suck up media outlets under their control. Surely we realize that the Means of Communication are the means of power.

When the neo-cons fall, as they surely will, The Puppeteer will only trot out another of his puppets to mesmerize us, and keep our attention off of him, (and another "Clinton" puppet is now waiting in the wings). And old saying sums up this "game" used for so long and so well by The Puppeteer to keep us from thinking straight and sorting out this foolish game. "Fools line up to vote, those with the REAL power pick the candidates." When one puppet falls into disfavor, another just takes its place.

With the Means of Communication in the hands of the "enemy," it is crucial for us, as Mr. Ritter counsels us, to UNITE our efforts. We must find the means to unite our efforts, so that we can unite our resources ($), to gain the power to create the requisite media to communicate our own message to the general population. Uniting the anti-war effort is a VERY good idea. But we must realize that ending the war is not going to free us from the designs of Corporate Power.

It is not a matter of choosing one issue upon which to concentrate. It is a matter of realizing that ALL issues are related. What we must find is the "one Ring that binds them all." We must find the ONE "issue" that binds together all the others. We do NOT need to ignore ANY issue, and we must be aware of all the issues, but we must realize that it is the threat to Democracy, or rather even more than that, the threat to "government" itself, presented by Global Corporate Power, that is the Ring that we must "find," and cast into the "Cracks of Doom." This is the "one Ring" whose destruction can and must unite us, for if we do not destroy It, It will most certainly destroy us.

Do any truly understand Tolkien's epic allegory? He witnessed the horrors in the mud of WW I. With his own eyes he saw the mud turn red with the blood of innocent boys on every side dying in the service of a Power they did not understand. He wrote the 'trilogy" in the midst of the rise of Fascism. Many have forgotten that there was considerable support for Fascism in England, (where Orwell also wrote), and also in America, where notables like Charles Lindberg, a noted anti-Semite, had considerable sympathy for Hitler. (Have all seem "V for Vendetta"? It is a comic book Orwellian allegory that describes a Spiritual "process" through which an apathetic population might be induced to rise up against Fascism. Despite its comic book character, it is an important film that seems to be getting little attention).

We need not choose between issues to support. Rather we must find the ONE issue that binds the rest together. That issue is the rise of Corporate Power, also known as Fascism. Every other, from the degradation of our environment, to immigration, to the war in Iraq, is but a derivative of that.

Democracy is the ONE "issue" that binds together all others. Our "process" (Democracy) is our most important "policy." Democracy is not an "issue" at all. Democracy is rather a "Principle." Democracy flows from Truth. It flows from high concepts like "Freedom," "Justice," and "Equal Rights for ALL," which themselves flow directly from the wellspring of Truth itself.

Ending the war is only going to end the war, it is NOT going to end the rise of Fascism. The war is going to end whether we find the means to unite or not. But Corporate Power will remain after American troops slink out of Iraq in defeat, (just as the surviving troops of Crassus stumbled home from Persia to Rome).

The defeat in Viet Nam did not weaken Corporate Power. The Corporate Elite "made a killing" in Viet Nam. War is always good for Capital, and just as they bet on "both sides" in our political system, by getting both the Republicans and the Democrats in their pockets, they usually support "both sides" in war. (The Bush family fortune was largely assembled by doing business with Hitler and the Fascists).

Mr. Ritter may be right that the neo-cons may be weakened, or even destroyed, by this war, but when they fall, The Puppeteer will remain, and new puppets will only take their place. As long as we remain mesmerized by the puppet show, we will remain under the control of The Puppeteer, just as if we were on his strings ourselves. We must cut these invisible 'strings" that keep us mesmerized, and we must turn and face the Puppeteer himself, with all the anger and determination of our United Power. The most basic tenet of Democracy demands that ALL power be derived from "the consent of the governed." ALL power flows from the People. When we unite in our DEMOCRATIC power, we will be MUCH stronger than this mere "wizard," this puppetmaster, behind the curtain.

Democracy is our "one Ring to bind us." If Scott Ritter can unite the anti-war movement that will be great, but we have fallen deeply under the spell of Corporate Power. It has woven inside each of us a will to individualistic satisfaction of our Desire. In our rampant "individualism," our main concern is to compete with one another to satisfy our egos, and we have largely forgotten how to "do" Democracy.

Democracy demands an awareness of the Common Good. It protects the rights of EACH individual citizen with religious fervor, but it DEMANDS that each citizen suppress his or her own ego, his or her own selfish Desire, before the Common Good.

In our will to satisfy our demanding egoism, (another name for individualism), the anti-war movement does not WANT to unite. It rather WANTS to remain splintered into thousands of small groups. Each one has an "Executive Director," or a National Coordinator," Etc, and this serves many egos very well. This is the classic 'too many chiefs, not enough Indians" syndrome, and it is a VERY powerful force. If Ritter can overcome it, and unite the anti-war factions into a real "movement," then good for him, and more power to him, but doing so will not require that we turn our backs on other issues. And I would warn people that if we can end the war, that will mean not "victory" in the larger war, but rather only a battle won in that war.( A battle fought to defend Minas Tirith in Gondor against Sauron's troops, is not a battle that can defeat the evil of Sauron himself).

Our Aragorn walks among us now. He has not yet thrown off his robes to reveal himself, but is rather yet waiting for his time. He WILL resist an offer to wear the Ring of Power, because he knows that such Power is in fact our Enemy. He will instead be a champion for Democracy, and he will obey the People, whose humble employee and servant he will be, and ever remain.

Anyway………back to Earth. (And please don't ask me yet how I know such things, but I do)………I would support Scott Ritter's efforts with the caveat that he must re-think his analysis that any need deny their concerns for any issue, and that success for the anti-war movement is going to bring any final "victory" against the marching forces of Fascism. Granted, it will be a major victory in an important battle, but winning it will NOT mean victory in the larger war. ALL issues are related, and it is Democracy that binds them together. Democracy is not an "issue," it is a Principle. We must fight not just to end a war, but for our Freedom! For Justice! And for Equality for ALL living people who draw breath on God's Earth.


Guest Essayist