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Real Scenes from American Lives

Robin Alexander

Posted on November 20, 2018 12:53

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Western aggression whereby soldiers are broken, maimed and killed, millions of civilians die, and societies are destroyed so that the 1% can profit – that’s the real incivility. Pacts between American politicians, predatory capitalists, the intelligence community and the mainstream media – that’s the real collusion. Eisenhower’s warning against the military-industrial complex – that’s a rare but real moment of conscience, and maybe just a hint of vengeance.

Scene 1 – Trendy cafe, 11/2018: She sits on the patio and, closing the book by Chomsky and Vltchek, her head drops. She’s been lied to. We all have.

Her country’s recent history involves reconstituting the Mafia, using them to smash labor parties, paying them with a heroin trade, and re-establishing fascist dictators world-wide through coups and conflicts in return for military outposts and profits for corporate captains, while the workers go to war. How, she wonders, has this unknowingly benefited her?

Her mind drifts to a podcast interview with General Wesley Clark: 1966 valedictorian of West Point, Rhodes Scholar, Supreme Allied Commander Europe of NATO.


Scene 2 – Pentagon, 9/20/2001: General Clark speaks incredulously about a visit with a Joint Staff General:

Unknown General: Sir, you gotta come in and talk. We made the decision; we’re going to war with Iraq!

General Clark: We’re going to war with Iraq!?! Why? Did they find information connecting Saddam to Al Qaeda?

Unknown General (Shrugging his shoulders): No . . .  I don’t know why. I guess because they don’t know what else to do. We can take down governments, and, I guess if what we’ve got is a hammer, every problem has to look like a nail.

Several weeks later, returning to that General’s office; the bombing in Afghanistan has begun:

General Clark: Are we still invading Iraq?

Unknown General: (Handing Clark a memo.) Oh, it’s worse than that. I just got this from upstairs (referring to the Secretary of Defense’s office). We’re going to take out seven countries in five years, starting with Iraq, then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and finishing with Iran.

General Clark: The truth about the Middle East is . . . the presence of petroleum has sparked great power involvement . . . there’s always been this attitude that we could intervene and use force in the region.


Scene 3 – Philadelphia, Sunday before Veteran’s Day, 2018: Joseph Biden presents the Liberty Medal to George and Laura Bush in honor of their “commitment to veterans,” while Stacy Bannerman and other veterans and their families protest. She is removed by a large cop for over-exercising first amendment rights.

Biden: (Playing to the current mania for “unity” and re-affirming his past support for an illegal war). President Bush was my opposition; he was never my enemy.

The Bushes: (Smiling humbly, conveniently forgetting the torture programs GW established).

Biden: (Parroting the usual script). It’s about who we are. It’s about standing up for men and women who put their lives on the line to defend us.

Stacy Bannerman: (Returning the medal given to the families of soldiers sent to Iraq). You’ve destroyed millions of lives in a war based on lies, including mine. I have nothing left to lose.

Like a sorrowful father, Eisenhower’s ghost hovers over each scene:

Doomed to walk the night

And for the day confined to fast in fires

‘Til the foul crimes done in his days of nature

Are burnt and purged away.


Robin Alexander

Posted on November 20, 2018 12:53


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