May 16, 2004

The State of the Union

by Rick Fisk | Special to
It used to be that the "State of the Union" meant an address given on the affairs of State by our President. It has now come to mean how many guards and Iraqi detainees were boffed by Lyndie England.

It's been a busy few months for our fearless leaders and their sycophants in the media. Abu Gharib has been at the forefront of our collective mind for the past week or so and the story has been treated, by both watchers and re-tellers, as expected: it's all about sex.

No big deal. The same people who were railing against the media for their portrayal of Clinton's misbehavior (actually perjury under oath) are talking about sex. Proponents of the current President are trying to defend him by making diminutive references to the "scandal", while those who oppose him, in general, try to make more out of the issue of sex than is warranted.

That is unfortunate, because what is being totally overlooked by the majority of participants is that several prisoners at Abu Gharib were reportedly beaten to death in the course of interrogations. One man was covered in ice and wrapped in plastic to conceal his injuries and then rushed off to the local Army medical unit to finish the cover-up. One would imagine death of detainees to be a far more sensational story. But do we hear about these allegations? Not really, we're busy talking about G.I. Ho and charging that the media is waging a campaign to oust Bush. The latter is a hilarious charge.

When Rush Limbaugh says that the photos we've seen merely represent what goes on at college campuses across the U.S., he's correct. But he and others who didn't have the intestinal fortitude to make such remarks until after he did do not want to comment on the alleged killings. I don't blame them. If I were loyal to this President, I'd much rather scapegoat a few low-life grunts for sexual perversions and charge media personalities with bias than deal with the issue of institutionalized murder.

It would be especially important to ignore the fact that this government has been holding a seventy-year old Afghanifarmer, and more than a few whom it claims to be "enemy combatants", including some who are American citizens, at Guantanamo, Cuba, without charges, for over two years.

Conveniently for these pundits, and this Administration, a new video has surfaced which is purported to show a formerly dead, formerly-peg-legged, terrorist behead a man who doesn't look even remotely like the man identified by authorities as Nick Berg. Which brings us to the reason that charges about a Bush-hating media are so hilarious.

It's nice for the government that the terrorists keep playing into its hands. And coming back to life after re-growing limbs. The beauty of being a government employee in this day and age is unfettered access to a completely unquestioning media (and populace for that matter). A media that never wants to hold government accountable for any of its serious transgressions.

When it was convenient for the government, the media reported how well the government had performed in its campaign against "terror." Al Zarqawi, the man now alleged to have killed Nick Berg, on camera, was reported to have been killed by coalition bombing raids. Before that, it was reported that he was injured seriously enough in 2002 to have required a prosthetic leg. The media gladly parroted the Pentagon's gloating in both prior instances, and today gladly parrots Administration claims that this man wielded the infamous dull knife.

It is no wonder that there are a gaggle of conspiracy theorists who see a peach-colored, silk robe and claim it to be a government-issued orange jump suit. What else are they to conclude? The government and its fifth column in the media consistently do whatever is necessary to keep the public from looking elsewhere for its news.

It's working. Five, white, Europeans, who speak Russian better than Arabic, are seen as Al Qaeda boogey men out to get your sister. And really, that's the state of the Union today:

Muslims are out to get your sister. If you don't have a sister, then it'll be your dog and your apple pie. Or Jews. Let's not forget that Jews are out to get your sister hooked on ecstasy and enslaved in a brothel somewhere in the Middle East.

That's what is important now. Never mind that America has become a police state, or that both Democrats and Republicans are trying to covertly and literally re-institute slavery in this country. It used to be that the "State of the Union" meant an address given on the affairs of State by our President. It has now come to mean how many guards and Iraqi detainees were boffed by Lyndie England.

Today, it's more important to set up straw men and windmills than it is to own up to our own failures. We got ourselves into this mess by allowing ourselves to be controlled. Whichever demon you oppose, it is likely that you still vote for Republicans or Democrats. And they continue to fail you. Like the sham being played out recently, the real issues will never come to light.

That's the real state of the Union. And you won't hear it from your media or politicians.

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