Global Eye -- Springtime for W

By Chris Floyd

Death and destruction in the Holy Land . War in the mountains of Afghanistan . Christian armies massing for the doomsday assault on ancient Babylon (now known as Iraq ). Anthrax killers still roaming the land. The masterminds of Sept. 11 still free to plot new strikes. Unemployment on the rise. Historic bankruptcies wiping out billions of dollars in pensions. Budget plunging deep into the red. Government teetering on the edge of financial default. Roads, schools, hospitals crumbling as coffers dry up, bled by tax cuts doled out to the rich. Millions going hungry. Millions going under. Millions working longer, earning less. Families cracking from the strain.

That's how things stand with the American Empire in this spring of 2002. A pretty full plate, you might think; more than enough to keep a government busy. But instead, what do we find preoccupying the minatory minions in King George's court? What is the most powerful regime in the history of the world spending its precious time and resources upon during this dark passage in the nation's life?

Why, the banquet behavior of a newspaper columnist, what else!

Yes, it appears that New York Times columnist Paul Krugman, the Princeton economist who has long savaged the Bush administration's pretzel logic on matters monetary, was not sufficiently enthusiastic when the Dear Leader and his warrior chieftains appeared at Washington 's annual "Gridiron Dinner" last month -- and his offense has been duly noted at the highest reaches of government.

So says the Cybernetic News Service this week, and they ought to know: the hard-right propaganda funnel heard from both a "senior White House official" and a "senior Pentagon official" lambasting Krugman for the heinous crime of -- brace yourself -- failing to applaud when the President appeared!

What's more, the outraged officials charged that Krugman disdained to rise when the rest of the assembled journalists and politicos gave the Dear Leader a standing ovation. Finally, and most treasonously, they said the evildoer did not even clap when the generals of God's avenging army flashed their brass on the podium.

"To show that kind of disrespect just floors me," said the high Pentagon source. "An awful lot of people are still talking about that." (Or did he mean "a lot of awful people" are still talking about it?) Apparently, tongues are a-wagging over the back fences in the Pentagon.

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Krugman denied denying the archons their proper tribute. "I doubt that's accurate," he said of the accusations. But the Cybernauts -- ever on the lookout for that telltale semen stain or wobbly word that might bring down a foe of God's Own Party -- were quick to pounce on this response, noting that Krugman did not "explicitly deny" the charges: ergo, he is guilty as charged.

Poor chump, he didn't realize that you must now scrupulously remember and publicly account for every twitch and mutter that might possibly be construed as an affront to the majesty of the Leader and his praetorians -- especially if you're one of the few mainstream media figures to speak plainly about the lies said Leader is shoveling down the throats of his captive people.

So look for more mud to be heaped on Krugman in days to come -- whispered calumnies, anonymous leaks, income tax audits, the whole Nixonian schmeer -- until he recants publicly with a heartfelt "Ode to the Leader" -- or else takes up residence on Guantanamo Bay.

Thinking Cap

But really now, who wouldn't want to bend the knee to an all-wise ruler like the Oval Appointee, who brought his own very special touch to the roiling rivers of blood flowing through the Holy Land this week? Hearken ye to this pearl of great price, recorded by the New York Times.

It happened during the down-home "summit" between the Dear Leader and his provincial dogsbody, Tony "Yippity-Yappity" Blair. Bush, more accustomed to the fuzzy balls of cotton wool normally tossed at him by the groveling American press, got stroppy when the less-supine British hacks kept pressing him on the complexities of the Israeli-Palestinian impasse, asking him to look beyond the brutal stupidities of those murderous old geezers, Sharon and Arafat, and encompass a broader range of voices and viewpoints on the conflict.

"Look, my job isn't to try to nuance," Bush sputtered crossly. "My job is to tell people what I think!"

Well, no nuance is good nuance, they say. And certainly, Mr. Deep Thinker betrayed no hint of nuance in his "plan" to halt the Middle East violence. (Halt it, until he launches more Middle East violence against Iraq , that is.) As the body count mounted, Thinker boldly told the warring parties that "enough is enough," and demanded that Israel immediately withdraw its troops from the West Bank. To underscore the importance of his initiative, he dispatched Secretary of State Colin Powell to the region.

Once the headlines and sound bites had duly registered the Deep One's firm command of the situation, however, the "urgency" suddenly disappeared. When the cameras were off, Bush let it be known that "immediately" didn't really mean immediately immediately, but just, you know, sometime or other. And Powell took a most leisurely approach to his "urgent" mission, ambling his way through Morocco , Spain , Egypt and Jordan before landing in Israel at week's end.

Of course, this delay only gave the murderous old geezers a chance to pile up even more bodies in the interim -- but hey, let's not bother with silly nuances like that.

Columnist's Gridiron Behavior Irks Bush Officials, April 2, 2002

Balky Players Are Defying the Bush Game Plan
New York Times, April 8, 2002

Bush's Born-Again Foreign Policy
New York Press, April 10, 2002

The Smoke Machine
Paul Krugman, NYT, March 29, 2002 (Archive fee required)

Impatient Bush Demands Immediate Israeli Withdrawal
Reuters, April 8, 2002

Bush and Powell Repeat Demand for Israeli Withdrawal
New York Times, April 8, 2002

US Vows to Veto New UN Plea for Israeli Pullout
Reuters, April 9, 2002

Attack Follows Ambush That Killed 13 Israeli Troops
New York Times, April 10, 2002

Toll of the Bloody Battle of Jenin
Guardian, April 10, 2002