This post’s title refers to the infamous scene in The Matrix where Morpheus (Larry Fishburne) explains to Neo (Keanu Reeves) that everything he thought was reality is a computer-created and controlled dream world. In the “real” world, Morpheus explains, humans are slaves to the artificially-inteligent machines, who have them pulled into the Matrix, the “dream” world, from birth to death. Morpheus offers Neo two pills: The blue pill will put Neo back to sleep in the safe, comfortable dream-world. The red pill–well, that’s where the movie get really interesting.
I had my red pill/blue pill moment (finally) yesterday when I began reading Greg Palast’s Armed Madhouse (Dutton Books, 2006). The book is absolutely chock-full of facts, truths and events regarding G.W. Bush, Osama, 9/11, the Saudis, the Neo-Cons, the Global War on Terror, stolen Presidential elections in 2000 and 2004, and Iraq (and, actually, much more–I’m only on page 285 of 347) that went almost completely unreported by the US mainstream media.
I have disliked Bush from the first day I had the misfortune of encountering him in the nightly news circa the campaign for the 2000 Presidential Election. Like many back then, I completely dismissed Bush Jr. as a non-entity. He had so much baggage: He was a drunk; A born loser; A frat boy that never grew up; A “businessman” who managed to drive into the ground every enterprise he tried his hand at; The son of an unpopular one-term President who’s only real accomplishments during his four years in office were burying his involvement in the Iran/Contra scandal and bailing out his rich buddies (and son) in the Savings and Loan scandal; And W. was so. . .stupid. OK, maybe not stupid, but almost criminally unfit to be a Presidential candidate–let alone the President of the United States. And, naively, I thought McCain, the maverick with the lightsaber, would trounce him in the primaries and win the Republican nomination. I was looking ahead to Gore v. McCain, with my guy Gore beating Mr. McCain handily. I guess I was the stupid one. I failed to see the tremendous political machine behind the manchild Bush. I failed to see that unstoppable cabal of big business, old money, oil sheiks, dirty tricksters, and partisan hacks in the High Court that would propel W. into the Presidency.
After November 2000, I, like so many of my heartbroken, confused and disillusioned countrymen, fell asleep. I got busy with school, with beer, with TV, with DVDs and MP3s and all manner of material things. I plugged myself into the Matrix, as it were. I was horrified and outraged by 9/11, but not enough to re-enlist. I watched, mostly numb, as the invasion of Afghanistan grew into the Global War on Terror, spawning massive and grotesque tentacles such as USA Patriot Act, the Guantanamo prison, extraordinary rendition, etc. I watched as Osama bin Laden escaped and vanished. And then, one fine day, Osama bin Laden wasn’t even the real threat anymore. No, the real threat was Saddam, and Iraq. Iraq, once-proud Babylon the Great–cradle of civilization in the fertile crescent, now a 5th rate power: sanctioned, starving, under continual bombardment by anglo-american jets, dependant on its despot and the UN “Oil for Food” program for survival, defeated, disarmed–but sitting on perhaps the world’s largest remaining oil reserves.
I’ve gotten far off track. My reason for writing this was the explain my red pill/blue pill moment–the moment where I finally awoke from my slumber. My red pill was this passage from pages 10 and 11 of Armed Madhouse (by Greg Palast, Dutton books, 2006–do yourself a favor and go buy a copy):
Osama’s Mission Accomplished
On Thursday, May 1, 2003 President Bush landed on the deck of the aircraft carrier Abraham Lincoln. Forgetting to undo the parachute clips around his gonads, our President walked bowlegged on the ship’s deck in a green jumpsuit looking astonishingly like Ham, first chimp in space. the scene was so exciting that the media failed to notice that the War on Terror had ended on the previous Tuesday.
On that day, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld quietly acknowledged that he was withdrawing America’s armed forces from Saudi Arabia
I’m always surprised at the debate over “What drives Osama? What does Al-Qaeda want?” There should be no confusion: Al-Qaeda states its mission, like most enterprises, on its Web site. Osama had it written out in English, in capital letters, so it wouldn’t be difficult to miss the point.DECLARATION OF WAR AGAINST THE AMERICANS OCCUPYING THE LAND OF TWO HOLY PLACES–EXPEL THE INFIDELS FROM THE ARAB PENINSULA.The “two holy places” are Mecca and Medina, and their “land” is Saudi Arabia. That’s what Osama wanted: U.S. troops out of Saudi Arabia.
Bin Laden issued his demand on August 23, 1996; and on April 29, 2003, the Tuesday before the President was chauffeured by fighter jet onto the deck of the Abe Lincoln, Mr. Bush give bin Laden exactly what he wanted: U.S. troops sent packing from the Land of the Holy Places.
That’s astonishing. Until George W. Bush, the United States of America has never, ever, removed all our military bases from a foreign land no matter how much the locals bitched or moaned. We even keep troops in Okinawa over the island’s strong objections, and World War II ended sixty years ago.
Pardon the cliche, but my jaw dropped when I read those words. And I know the event was four years ago–ancient history to most informed people. But I couldn’t deny the power of the words. And their underlying message: Was our War President secretly advancing the agenda of the world’s most dangerous man?
Before I got too worked up, I had to check if we really did pull all our troops out of Saudi Arabia. We did. Or, Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, and the Saudis did. Critics, like Mr. Palast, who pointed out that this was acquiescing to the wishes of Al-Qaeda, were dismissed as kooks.
But is there any doubt after reading the above excerpt that their exists, at least, a connection–a multi-faceted relationship–between President Bush, the Saudi Royal family and the bin Laden’s? Simply put: Bush is in bed with these creeps. They all get richer more brazen and more corrupt while we get meeker and poorer in material wealth and liberties.
Buy Palast’s book. Go hear him talk–he’s doing a tour to promote the paperback release of Armed Madhouse. And swallow the daggone red pill–it’s bitter–but a hell of a lot better than swallowing any more of George Bush’s koolaid.