By William A. Cook
It occurred to me in one of my less cynical moments, deluded no doubt by the merriment of the season, that all of those responsible for the havoc and chaos of these past six years should face the wrath of the American people and, one might hope, the wrath of the God of Justice and Vengeance. Once before I had similar urgings, in July of 2004 to be exact, and I penned an article titled “Legacy of Deceit: If Dante Knew of Bush and the Neo-Cons” that appeared in Counterpunch, wherein I placed our benighted leaders into the Inferno’s circles of Hell. The experience of the last two years heaped on that of the preceding four necessitates a reconsideration of the leniency of Dante’s punishment as it fits the crimes of our current horde that deserve an exclusive damnation prepared for their unique and heinous sins.
The urgency of this endeavor grows with time as these nefarious lunatics slither away from the public eye escaping to new positions and new offices beyond the glare of TV cameras and press conferences. Should one envision the Capital afloat in the marshes of the Potomac just beyond Jefferson’s Memorial, one might see the rats cascading down the gang planks and sliding down the ropes fleeing the Ship of State as it sinks into the muck led by William F. Buckley Jr. while Richard Perle, Kenneth Adelman, and Douglas Feith cling to his coattails in their mad rush to disclaim responsibility for the death and destruction they have wrought on the American people and the people of the mid-east. Behind them come the other “wormsmiths,” the crafters of polemics that enticed the American people and their clueless representatives to arms against innocent people that their ends might be achieved in wealth and power.
These men crafted their arguments in patriotic colors and ingenious innuendo that belied the deceit buried in obfuscation and omission. Their own conflict of interest — working on behalf of another state, benefiting from the largesse of Abramoff and his cronies, gaining visibility that brought them renown and access to insider contracts that increased their wealth – went unmentioned as they sent our youth to slaughter and sent America’s good will into the gutter. As the American people express their displeasure, indeed their anger at the lies and deception that has resulted in hundreds of thousands of Iraqi dead, almost 3000 American soldiers slaughtered and countless maimed and wounded, and in Palestine, thousands of innocent civilians savaged by missiles, cluster bombs, and chemical weapons of unimaginable kind, as the horrendous cost in infrastructure, commercial and cultural buildings and hospitals reaches into the billions of dollars, these pin-striped, coiffured and scented men scatter into the darkness of obscurity lest their vile words be resurrected and their guilt made transparent.
These men and the organizations they represent must receive universal recognition for the devastation they have wrought: Adelman and Abrams, Cheney and Chalabi, Cohen and Clawson, Feith and Frum, Krauthamer and the Kristols, Ledeen and Libby, Perle and Pipes, Rumsfeld and Rubin, Steiner and Eisenstadt, Wolfowitz and the Wurmsers, Beck and Foxman and Limbaugh and Yousef and all whose names I have failed to mention deserve equal representation in this time of retribution.
Let us not forget the instruments used to disseminate their lies and deceit, the litany of think tanks and organizations that propelled the country into the morass it now faces as this once proud ship of state sinks into the slough of despond: the Project for the New American Century that issued the report that led the U.S. into the ditch, the document that emblazoned pre-emptive war and extra-judicial killing and world dominance as the foreign policy of America, the American Israel ‘Political’ Action Committee, that equal opportunity exploiter of our Congressional representatives, that managed to infiltrate our Congress and the administration to such a degree that one cannot distinguish American policy from Israeli, the American Enterprise Institute, the Defense Policy Board, the Committee for the Liberation of Iraq, the Office of Special Plans, the Washington Institute for Near Eastern Affairs, the Center for Security Policy, the Jewish Institute of National Security Affairs, the Iraqi National Congress and others too numerous to mention.
Now these same voices through these same think tanks pour out their declarations of innocence as they rush to the ramparts to cast blame on an inept President and his Secretary of Defense. Had they been in positions of power to direct the war they initiated, all, they proclaim, would have turned out well; but since they did not care to run for office and receive the mantle of power, they had no right to entice the republic into illegal wars or support for apartheid regimes like that in Israel. And so lacking a position that carries with it responsibility to the people they have harmed, these cowards slither off to other places where they can belittle the idiots they lured to the precipice, always in the comfort of air conditioned offices and plush surroundings, never caring to view the legless, eyeless, mind-broken men that return from the field of battle scarred for life because these soulless Neo-Cons take no responsibility for the slaughter they have brought upon a hapless people.
But they are not alone; there’s another group that stands yet on the decks of the Ship of State, so clueless that they continue to believe that this Neo-Con, government-led administration follows their dictates and believes the superstitions they inflict on their respective congregations, the right-wing Zionist Evangelicals that know they speak the Lord’s words and predict the coming Armageddon. Despite the evidence revealed by David Kuo in his recent book, Tempting Faith, these prophets, whose words rebound off the baldacchino of commercial satellites, respond only to their own egos as they extol their brilliance before their believers, parading in their padded outfits, gesturing in dramatic mode with Bible held aloft, resonant in voice, dripping with pious sincerity and holiness.
Such men have guided their faithful to turn from the teachings of Christ and take up the cross of racism and revenge that is embedded in the vengeful God of the Old Testament, the one, true God that called upon His people to exterminate the tribes that occupied the lands sought by the Israelites of old, the promised lands that even now, 2500 years later, a new band of Zionists claims belongs to them using the superstition of ancient texts as legitimacy for their contention, even as they ethnically cleanse or kill outright the indigenous people of the land of Palestine.
Who are they, these ministers of war, that flagellate their laity daily with dire diatribes about Satan’s impending presence in their midst, the prophecies of doom and destruction that John predicted in the Book of Revelation? They are cruel, heartless men who have abandoned compassion for coercion, humility for hubris, truth for treachery, and faith for fable. They have maligned the loving Christ of the New Testament by metamorphosing Him into a blood thirsty God of vengeance intent on destruction of the world while they enlist their congregants as obedient and willing soldiers in their crusade to enshrine the Zionists in Israel and eradicate the Palestinian people. To this end they have cajoled and coerced our representatives, joined their bloody hands with the Neo-Con lobbyists, and enlisted the fear of God’s wrath as a political tool of power to control and ravage the nations of the mid-east. These are ministers of hate that have corrupted the cloth by bearing false witness before the very God they proclaim to serve.
A litany of these fabricators of truth must include the mystification of Dobson, Robertson and Hinn, the mendacity of Lindsey, Kennedy and Hagee, the guile of Falwell and Ryle, the forgery of LaHaye, the sham of Franklin Graham, the deceit of Roberts, the hollowness of Evans, and their secular counterparts that encourage such deception as heard in the quackery of Miller, Prager and Coulter, and the dissembling of Limbaugh. There are more, too numerous to mention, who find voice through the casuistry created doctrines dispensed by Dominionists, Dispensationalists, End Timers, and Christian Zionists; others who join forces in organizations like The Christian Coalition, the Eagle Forum, the Family Resource Council, Promise Keepers, and the Vineyard Movement to name a few.
What appropriate retribution might be imagined for this horde of sinners that took God’s gift of intellect and twisted it into a tool of deceit, vengeance and death? Dante placed the politicians and the popes in his circles of hell, in torments appropriate to their crimes; let’s update Dante since he could only contend with destruction by sword, lance, catapults, and fire. We are far more advanced. Progress in arms has been our one delight and arguably our greatest achievement. Such wars and political intrigue that Dante witnessed would be but footnotes compared to our accomplishments. He found fault with Florentine politics, quibbles in a city state that resulted in his conviction for graft and corruption; his absence at the time of the trials became his permanent exile. Our conflicts are global and our means of achieving our goals more ruthless and absolute. We need punishment appropriate to our progress.
This is my vision. Every year from now and in perpetuity, we hold a world wide Day of Lamentation on the penultimate day of the year, just in time to force reflection annually on what bestiality humans inflict on their own. On this day, the sun would not shine; we would awake to see the sun in the east rise in fullness over the distant hills or the sea and watch as it slowly lost its glow. The dome of the heavens, sparkling with stars at first, would suddenly go completely black. Then in the east a new day would dawn as the dome became an enormous IMAX screen with streams of images moving inexorably through the dark sky toward the west. These images, seen by all the living in every part of the world, display our band of Neo-Cons, Evangelicals and Zionists that have so destroyed our earth doing what they do best, sitting at a computer or pacing before a pulpit while they fulminate and froth getting ready to belch their venomous lies to their respective flocks.
But instead of the plush, air-conditioned splendor of their respective offices at the AEI or AIPAC or PNAC, they would sit before a computer that displays no words and records nothing that they think. Rather they sit wrapped in green slime mucus that pours forth from their mouths covering them in their own mental vomit and cascades down over their pin-striped suits, over their trousers and sparkling shoes, as it flows over the Berber carpets and down the halls.
A similar image captures the criminals of the cloth as they prance before their benumbed congregations; but out of their mouths pours forth the blood of the Christ they have mutilated as they screamed for death to his brothers and sisters. Before them stand their laity, frozen now with arms aloft and eyes closed, mute statues depicting their numbed consciences that they gave to these soulless men. No sound issues from these mouths, once the refuge of their arrogant egos; no music swaddles the congregants in rhapsodic melody to quash the thinking mind.
These enormous images float over the dome of the night sky as new images emerge on the computer screens and on the screens our prancing prelates see next to the TV cameras that capture their eloquence for transmission via satellite to the peoples of the world. Now this same satellite sends images of all who have been destroyed by these hangmen, these prevaricators that lured men of power to devastate the people they hated and to lay waste the homes and farms and olive groves and wells and shops that gave them life. Now they sit mute or stand silently as those they killed stream before them, thousands upon thousands of the mutilated and the maimed whose lives had been snuffed out or destroyed before it could be lived; thousands upon thousands of nameless people, forgotten souls whose time on this earth cut short by the heartless, unthinking diatribes of these self-serving men.
And such images they are … poor Ali Abbas, tucked into bed by his mother as she kissed him good night and blessed him in the name of Allah, lying in the hospital bed, an orphan now without arms, covered in burns that have seared his skin and his soul, a hapless accident of “shock and awe”; another figure, an older man, Abdullah a-Zakh, appears on the screen as he holds the remains of his 14 year old son in his arms, a son that was buried twice, a victim of the IDF operation, “Locked Kindergarten,” where he saw his son’s body torn apart and located what he could find for burial only to find more on another day for another burial; the inhabitants of Fallujah, that once proud city leveled by American forces in imitation of the Israeli sieges of Rafah, Nablus and Jenin, move across the screen in single file, hundreds and hundreds of the dead, blackened now by the white phosphorous that turns the skin black and reveals the bones beneath, skulls visible beneath the seared face, eye sockets starring at Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz and all the instigators of this civilized state that finds “collateral damage” an acceptable way to dispose of the human detritus that stands in the way of their infamy; then the ravaged bodies of the 28 children of Qana in Lebanon, who became the innocent victims of Israeli vengeance, come slowly from the rubble of their bombed home, ghostly remnants of lives once lived in the joy of the morning glow and the laughter of their siblings, a steady silent line of children who would never see the sun rise again or see it set beyond the sea, and most sorrowful of all, poor little Abbas Hashem, only one year old, moves past with his blue pacifier still dangling from his green tank top; and, perhaps the most devastating symbol of this vileness to citizens of these United States, the mangled bodies of their own youth sent to slaughter by these fat and satisfied Judases who thrive on the havoc and mayhem they have let loose upon the world, each one in single file stares upon the faces of these horrible clowns in the vain expectation that they might feel a twitch of human guilt.
Throughout the Day of Lamentation, thousands of images would stream through the sky, images that depicted the savagery of Bush and Sharon, of all the tribe of Neo-Cons and their lackeys, the lobbyists that promote Christian Zionism and the state of Israel in all its Zionist racist reality, and of all the evangelicals that promoted the coming of Armageddon. Perhaps the most savage of all the icons that capture the inhumanity of this swarm of satanic locusts is the Wall of Infamy erected to imprison the indigenous people of Palestine. It exemplifies the heinous mentality that can isolate people from people, a mentality that can expend billions of dollars to wall people out, alienate them from the community of their brothers and sisters, and to do this while they are alive. This even more than the white phosphorous, the depleted uranium, the cluster bombs, the dense inert metal explosives that melt and disfigure and desecrate a person, seems to bear witness to the cold, barren innards that drive these men that find their beliefs in Straussian or Zionist ideology that makes those born to follow their lead fodder for the advancement of their progress toward some imagined utopia they were born to create.
For twenty four hours the people of every country stand looking skyward as these images flow over the black sky. They see these men that sought prestige, power, and wealth, who believed that they alone were the chosen and all others but sheep to be led to do their bidding, sitting now mute before all, their faces and names clearly embossed on the globe of the sky, condemned to everlasting mockery, their identity to be forevermore the symbol of inhumanity. What more fitting retribution than the erasure of their meaning and purpose in life, than the desecration of their purported genius, the indelible stamping of their legacy with the silent, slow, sorrowful passing of all the lives cut short by their villainy, and arrogance, and inhumanity; thus shall justice be made manifest on this Day of Sorrows, this Day of Reflection, this Day of Lamentation.
-William Cook is a professor of English at the University of La Verne in southern California and author of Tracking Depception: Bush’s Mideast Policy He can be reached at: cookb@ULV.EDU.