Sweet Dreams

Commentary by Michael Bonanno.

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Michael
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Sweet Dreams

Post by Michael » November 12th, 2004, 2:42 pm

A few days ago, a person who voted for George W. Bush on November 2 said that, when she crawls into her bed at night, she feels safe and comfortable.

I did something the other night.

Let me preface this by saying I really hate sensationalism.

That’s why I hated the so called presidential campaign we recently endured.

Who served how thirty years ago?

Each candidate taking passages from his opponent out of context and making sound bites that sounded quite different from what his opponent actually meant?

Three so called debates that saw one smooth dancer and one not so smooth dancer? Neither said anything in the debates that was worth remembering, if I remember correctly.

Americans didn’t learn a thing about either candidate (as if there were only two) from the ads.

Unfortunately, the same can’t be said about what Americans think they learned about the candidates from the ads. This is not even to mention the milquetoast media whose very existence depends upon sound bites and sensationalism.

I hate reality TV shows. This nation, as well as others, I’m sure, has a bad case of the peeping Tom syndrome.

They watch reality shows because they show “real” people under “real” conditions.

Bullshit! Maybe “Cops” comes close to that description, but what’s the thrill of seeing “real” people being arrested.

We’ve become a nation of peeping Toms.

I hate reality shows.

And blood? I know a few of you are nurses and for you, I’m grateful. However, I pass out at the sight of a paper cut. I wouldn’t have done well in medical school.

So, where am I going with all of this?

The other night, I did something.

I went to Google and typed in “beheadings”. I knew that there was video of beheadings on the net and I just wanted to see, for real, what Bush’s intrusive, greed driven, disingenuous foreign policy has caused. People are suffering. I’m not suffering, yet, at least not because I’m on the front lines in Iraq or because I’ve been taken captive by Islamic “radicals”. I felt I needed to empathize in a more intimate manner.

I found a site.

I began to play the video.

There were about five Islamic “radicals” standing against a wall and the victim was kneeling down in front of them. I don’t think victim was blindfolded, but I forget.

One of the “terrorists”, a long blade raised in his hand, made sort of a speech in Arabic. Needless to say, I had no idea what he was saying.

Then the five descended upon the victim and the man with the knife began his torture. I heard a bit of a gurgle, but I could look no more and turned it off.

Now, the first thought is going to be that was a terrible and disdainful act – and it was.

However, there are arms, legs and other body parts littering many areas, if not all areas, of Iraq.

Some used to belong to children.

Some belonged to old men and women.

Some belonged to American military personnel.

They don’t belong to them anymore.

I imagine that, what I couldn’t look at is what that scene of strewn body parts must look like.

When we fought the misguided war in Vietnam, the American people could see some of the carnage on their TV sets. I believe that’s what continuously strengthened the antiwar movement and ultimately forced Nixon to “withdraw with honor”. It wasn’t “with honor”. It was a cluster fuck. People were grabbing the skids of ascending helicopters to try to escape Vietnam. It was a mess.

George W. Bush, like Clinton before him, has allowed the merging of media outlets. He has been rewarded handsomely by their following his orders not to show the “down side” of war. I was never in a war. Some of you were. I imagine the carnage, and that’s all you can call it, is ugly.

When bombs are dropped on towns, villages and cities, everyone has a good chance of becoming a bloody pulp.

Now George W. Bush has a “mandate”. There’s a Republican administration, a Republican congress and a Republican Supreme Court – yes, a Republican Supreme Court.

It’s said that Saddam Hussein tortured his own people and that may be true.

Do we not think that the Chinese government is torturing its own people?

Do we not think that the Saudi government is torturing its own people?

Do we not know that the Sudanese government is torturing its own people?

Maybe Saddam Hussein tortured his own people. I’m willing to bet, though, that the sheer volume of torture inflicted by our bombs, our illegal invasion, the “extremists” we’ve drawn to Iraq that weren’t there before our invasion makes what Hussein did, bad as it was, look like a school yard spat.

So, before she tucks herself in at night, I suggest she goes to her computer, goes to Google, types in “beheadings”, finds one and sits and watches what the ill advised actions of the Bush administration has begotten. I don’t believe one single Englishman or American was beheaded in Iraq before we invaded it.

By the way, there is a store somewhere that’s selling videos of beheadings. I bet members of our peeping Tom society are buying them up like hot cakes.

Then type http://www.blackboxvoting.org into her browser’s address line. She’ll learn how this election was different and how elections are going to become more and more “different” as time goes on. She’ll learn that most electronic voting machines are manufactured by Diebold Inc. whose CEO, Walden O’Dell, before the election, made a “commitment to deliver Ohio to George W. Bush.”

I’m not a liberal. I’m a conservative.

I want to conserve and protect our right to choose who governs us.

I want to conserve and protect our republican form of democracy.

I want to conserve and protect the air we breath, the water we drink and the very earth upon which we walk.

I want to conserve and protect human life that means us no harm and has done nothing to deserve our wrath and fury, phantom or not.

After watching the beheading and reading about how George W. Bush or someone controlled by neoconservatives and global corporations will be at the helm of the former United States of America, killing us and killing them, for a long, long time, she can then tuck herself into bed and know that all will be well.

Each day is, indeed, precious. However, days will, in the not too distant future, no longer belong to us.

Sweet dreams.

mtmynd
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Post by mtmynd » November 15th, 2004, 1:34 pm

Powerful piece, Michael.

There is no doubt why the U.S. is in Iraq, but couldn't 'we' simply give the billions of dollars to Iraqis? Yes, a pay off for running their country's oil. We did topple Saddam, which possibly a majority approved of, but then just given, say, $100K to every family to spend as they wish. A lot of needless bloodshed would have been prevented, and the Iraqis would be quite wealthy, and they could then spend that money on American products to improve their lives. A win-win situation, eh? A sort of positive 'shock and awe'...

Keep up the good insights...

cecil

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Post by Michael » November 15th, 2004, 8:58 pm

cecil, I’m not sure if you’re writing this response with tongue in cheek or not. I get the feeling in reading it that it's a combination of tongue in cheek and insightful logic.

Yes, what you write is logical.

I keep writing that Ashcroft or, now, Gonzalez, will eventually intercept something of mine. I haven’t seen evidence of it yet, but that doesn’t mean I’m not being watched. After all, what I write is philanthropic and, with this particular administration, that translates into unpatriotic.

Your proposed solution would most definitely be less bloody. However, there’s what I see as a flaw in it.

Allow me.

If this doesn’t get my home raided, nothing will.

When our ancestors, for the most part, landed on the shores of North America, they were technologically superior to the indigenous inhabitants. They needed a place to which to escape and they landed here.

They didn’t even consider the fact that people already owned this land and they didn’t “discover” it. It was here all along.

However, as I wrote, the “insurgents” were technologically ahead of the Native Americans.

So they moved across the land like a hot knife through butter. On their travels, they made raw deals with the inhabitants, from the inhabitants’ point of view. They made deals with Native American leaders that made those leaders very wealthy, yet kept the tribes in relative poverty (relative to the “insurgents”).

They attempted to convert the inhabitants to Christianity and took a page right out of Bush’s book. By the way, it would be a miracle, and I don’t believe in them, if Bush could write a book. They took the “you’re either with us or with the “heathens”” approach to conversion.

Those Native Americans who wanted to preserve their traditions and beliefs were, as we all should well know by now, slaughtered.

We are doing very much the same in the Middle East. We’re making corrupt Middle Eastern governments very wealthy by accepting their “permission” to control their land and resources.

Meanwhile, the average Ahmed is living in poverty, has no say in the governance of the populace and sees this as a consequence of American ownership, with the “blessings” of the leaders of his country.

Finally, on September 11, 2001, they took a huge step in defending themselves.

I don’t condone what they did on 9/11 because I abhor violence, but I also don’t see it as a “terrorist” act. We’ve attacked them for a long, long time if they didn’t play nice and let us own them, their land and their resources.

Unfortunately, 3,000 people, the vast majority of whom had nothing to do with America’s “discovery” of The Middle East, perished on that fateful day.

What do the terrorists say?

“Sure, you can carpet bomb any of our Islamic nations if we don’t do what you want us to do. But we destroy structures in The US and kill innocent Americans and we’re terrorists.”

It’s sort of like calling the indigenous people of North America “terrorists” because they had the gall to try to stop us from stealing their land and resources. I don’t see much difference.

Don’t we think that, if The Native Americans had 747s, they’d have flown them into the wagon trains?

The beheadings.

Yes, they’re awful. I can’t imagine – I just can’t imagine it.

They’re as awful as the indigenous people of North America scalping the “pilgrims”. What an awful thing to do!

Now, we have to make some judgments.

Is taking over control of resources that don’t belong to us, by force if necessary, better or worse than flying planes into buildings?

Is scalping European invaders better or worse than the temerity with which those invaders stole land and slaughtered that land’s inhabitants?

You tell me.

mtmynd
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Post by mtmynd » November 16th, 2004, 12:23 pm

Tough questions you put forth, Michael, and I can only put in my two-cents worth -

Historically, as you pointed out with a brief primer of American history, humanity is filled with the mighty over the weak(er). I don't see that changing any time within my lifetime... it is our collective nature, or our evolution as a species, if you will.

Is there any real difference between the power of intellect over the less-informed (to be gentle about it)? That's what appears to be at stake in our modern world - the more intelligent versus the less intelligent on some level or another. It is to America's so-called advantage to be able to create a military machine that is undoubtedly the most powerful military power the world has ever seen... achieved thru the intellect of those that create such 'machines'. America's 20-25% gluttonous use of the world's oil sustains both our energy and our intellect in a broad sense... perhaps intellect and energy are linked more than we may realize.

Interestingly enough (to me) is that China is now the 2d largest consumer of oil, which may prove to be a great challenge in our future as to who will win the war for oil.

On a certain level I see this war as a war on the intellect on a country (people) that are at least viewed as a third world country, given their prosperity versus the so-called 1st world's lifestyles. [see my Sunday Stream - Foolishness of Fear which I see as another battle - conflicting religious ideologies.]

Man is a warrior... if not fighting others, fighting ourselves in mind and spirit, and there is no morality when the battles begin... it is a fight for our integrity and values on many levels of consciousness. I am a peaceful man that abhors war, but i do see that it is an inevitable mconsequence of our nature... while some outgrow the violent nature, there are always those that are still dealing with it. And so... life goes on and with it... death, whether by natural causes, environmental causes or ignorance... they are all linked with one conclusion - we all live and we all die.

thx for the inspiration, Michael,

cecil

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Post by Michael » November 16th, 2004, 5:39 pm

cecil, I have read “Foolishness of Fear”. It appears that Sunday Stream is doing well. Congratulations.

I feel badly that I haven’t yet commented in other forums and other threads. Truth be told, I belong to far too many boards.

I am also very committed politically to making change in the former United States not only through my writing, but in other ways as well. On Friday, I hope to post a letter that I’m sending to all individuals, organizations and publications that consider themselves “progressive”. I will share what suggestions I have for them on Friday.

Meanwhile, I am very appreciative of the fact that Doreen has allowed me to have this column. It helps me vent and also it gives me a forum through which I might enlighten a potential reader.
mtmynd wrote:America's 20-25% gluttonous use of the world's oil sustains both our energy and our intellect in a broad sense... perhaps intellect and energy are linked more than we may realize.
I believe that they are linked, but possibly not in the manner that you imply. I find this to be especially true when our “leaders” promote “faith” over science.

All great scientists, it seems, have had to fight religious zealots before we, including descendents of those very same zealots, benefited from the scientific discoveries.

It’s no different today. From global warming to stem cell research to alternate sources of energy, scientists are battling religious zealots so that they can move forward. If we get past the games of nuclear "chicken" that so many nations are playing today in lieu of total annihilation, I predict that the descendents of those who are fighting against stem cell research, discovering alternate sources of energy and activities to help slow down global warming (or at least get back to the stage where global warming happens naturally, as it will millions of years from now) will benefit from the science that their ancestors attempted to stop.
mtmynd wrote:It is to America's so-called advantage to be able to create a military machine that is undoubtedly the most powerful military power the world has ever seen... achieved thru the intellect of those that create such 'machines'.
Yes, The US has a powerful military machine. But, does the intellect that created that machine truly guarantee that The US will be victorious over the enemies of its choosing?

Witness Vietnam. I’ve heard the expression “social amnesia” used quite a bit lately and Vietnam is engulfed by “social amnesia”

If we should have learned anything from our ill advised venture into Vietnam, it should have been that, no matter how powerful we are, unless we’re willing to nuke the “enemy”, which would include “all civilians”, we can not fight guerillas on their home turf. The turf is unknown to the soldier on the ground while it’s known to the indigenous people like the backs of their hands.

We also wouldn’t nuke Iraq or any nation in the Middle East because of the damage it would do to the oil supply.

So, we’re stuck with sending young men and women, barely beyond the age of childhood, into Iraq as sacrificial units.
mtmynd wrote:war… is an inevitable mconsequence of our nature... while some outgrow the violent nature, there are always those that are still dealing with it. And so... life goes on and with it... death, whether by natural causes, environmental causes or ignorance... they are all linked with one conclusion - we all live and we all die.
cecil, I have two American Eskimos. We got the first dog and then, two years later, the second.

The first dog looked so bored and I felt sorry for her. So I thought it would be nice to get her a “play mate”.

Well, these two girls have been living with one another now for three years and they still vie for attention from either my wife or me. The don’t really get violent, but they do a lot of growling and unpleasant posturing.

Other than the fact that the dogs can’t speak, I don’t see this posturing by two supposed lesser life forms much different from the posturing that has brought on the carnage in Iraq.

Misunderstanding of the cultures and religions of others certainly plays into it, as is pointed out in “Foolishness of Fear”.

However, by the time someone “ascends” to the presidency of the former US, he, or in the future, hopefully, she is already wealthy. The position is a game and people and destructive machinery are the pieces to be manipulated.

They want for nothing. It’s for sure that the $400,000 yearly salary means nothing to them.

So their infantile and/or animal instinct takes over. They need power. They need dominance. In keeping with your stream, they need to make sure people understand that “god” likes them better.

I’ve included this point in the column I’ll post on Friday. We need to get back to a point where people want to lead and govern because they want to make things better for their fellow human beings.

Thanks for the post, cecil and continued good fortune with your enlightening column.

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