President Bush ordered the bombing of 1,200 targets in Iran, decimating Iran's uranium enrichment facilities and crippling

its military forces. And early Christmas day, Bush's "pre-emptive strike" came screaming back home to rip out our hearts.

At 9:15 on that crystalline morning, in Washington D.C., the cherry trees 2008 By William Alan along the Tidal Basin bowing under their loads of fresh snow, three Shirley Ryder trucks had rolled unnoticed into town on three different byways, each finding their designated post and exploding within seconds of each "We will export death and violence to the four corners of the earth in other their radioactive payloads, their dirty bombs, rendering our defense of our great nation." nation's capital a cancerous death zone. A killing field so lethal it will be President George W. Bush, 2002 untold months before a battalion of HAZMAT teams can begin the trillion And here at Fortress America, with it all to rubble and hauling dollar, seven year task of implodingBush and Vice President Cheney at 26 December 2008: President-elect Barack Obama sits alone in a distant secure locations,buried. is watching the leaders in the level below Washington away to be Obama subterranean office, watching worldwide panic, shock and indignation play him on the right-most bottom screen in the wall of monitors. At last count out on a wall of television monitors, contemplating the plight of America there were thirty-three of them, while the rest of our legislature is being and the world, the interconnectedness of us all, and the crusading cartel rushed here by land and air military transports. Generals and admirals, that had sealed his windowless destiny. And in a vast concrete assembly senators and congressmen and women, members of the president's hall directly beneath him, in this Fortress America, our nation's new cabinet, all of them over-shouting one another about where and against capital, the U.S. Strategic Command Underground Command Center in Obama's campaign had vowed to restore international respect for our whom to retaliate. Iran has denied any role in the devastation of founding ideals, to revive the diplomatic, political, and struggling to Offutt, Nebraska, our political and military leaders are economic components of our global military strategy that had made us the Washington, whereas Osama bin to embrace the Baker-Hamilton morning Laden, greatest nation on earth. government. in a video delivered this maintain a semblance of Vowed Commission's recommendation of engaging Iraq and its neighbors in to Al Jazeera, has boasted of engineering it,4calmly narrating the blueprint diplomacy "without preconditions." And on November we had turned out in record numbers to vote him into office. But on 6 November our by which was thwarted when mandate his jihadists had carried it out. So bomb Pakistan! snarls a congressman. No, cries another, bomb Tehran. Hell, bomb Damascus, against us." Istanbul, Riyadh. Bomb Mecca! Blow Islam from the face of the earth. "Nuke them all!" barks a senator. "They're only Muslims. And nuke any impudent nation that dares to side with them

World War III and The Dawn of Humanity A copyrighted essay, ©

Sliding from his chair to his knees, Obama clasps his hands atop the desk and bows his head. This isn't one possible future, its stage has been set. George W. Bush, despite a recent CIA report that Iran is five years away from having nuclear capability (The New Yorker, 8 October 2007), despite the latest National Intelligence Estimate report, which declared that Iran had abandoned its covert nuclear weapons program in 2003 (New York Times, 3 December 2007), continues to insist that "Iran was dangerous, Iran is dangerous, and Iran will be dangerous." And on 20 March 2008 Bush said Iran "wants a nuclear weapon to destroy people." He has ordered the Pentagon to draw up plans for air strikes against 1,200 targets within Iran (The London Sunday Times, 2 September 2007). He's ordered a second plan from the Pentagon for "surgical" strikes against the Republican Guard facilities, in Tehran and elsewhere, to lay Iran's military capabilities to waste. And who would stand with Iran against us? Russia and China (both of them nuclear), are on record as opposing any attack on Iran, while India and Pakistan (both of them nuclear) and Israel (which refuses to confirm or deny its nuclear capability) are watching like the estranged neighbors they are. And we're being sold the bombing of Iran the same way we were World War III is upon us. Bush and Cheney are touting the fired is sold the invasion of Iraq. It's long since begun. Its first shot bombing of Iran already same brand of in our history, the mass guns, WMDs, with thea tragic chapterfear mongering, smokingmurder on 11 and September 2001, the deaths on our soil ofcheering en masse behind their sanctimonious aggression that herded us 2,974 people from seventyCheney turned their backs on Afghanistan, where we had every ethical right to be, two nations. Its first escalation came when Bush and invasion of Iraq.

abandoning our stalwart message to al Qaeda that we would hunt them down, bring them to justice, and crush all regimes that harbor them (a genuine war on terrorism), to divert our troops into Iraq. And now a Yet we escalation, the bombing People, to end the escalations of an eversecond have it within us, We the of Iran, is mounting. expanding global war, and return to the war on terrorism. To search the very core of our hearts and ignite a national revolt of conscience, embracing what Martin Luther King Jr. once called the "fierce urgency of now," breaking through our prejudices that divide cultures, ethnicities, religions, and genders, with reverence to the ultimate reality that we are all one race. And we will ignite a revolution of consciousness, creating a momentum we will look back on as The Dawn of Humanity, a time when we soared above our vain differences, when withstanding the worst in ourselves finally brought forth our best. We have the power the right and Let's look back countless thousands do will echo throughout all billions the duty, because the good we don'tof lost lives and hundreds ofof of dollars, eternity. at the ever-changing rationalizations for what We the People have let the Bush Doctrine foment in our names, so far. Hans Blix, United Nations weapons inspector and his team told the world he couldn't find any weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. He wanted to keep looking. But Cheney told us, "Simply stated, there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein has weapons of mass destruction. He’s amassing them to use against our friends, against our allies, and against us." That was in August 2002. Four years later, after Cheney’s statement had been proven and roundly reported to be untrue, 50% of us still believed it (Harris poll, July 2006). It's no wonder we bought into everything from "smoking gun" and "mushroom

cloud," to "mobile chemical labs," and "yellowcake uranium from Niger," to "We’ll be greeted as liberators," to "Shock and Awe," and "Mission Accomplished," to "They’re in their last throes," to "a few stragglers and dead-enders," to "We’ll leave when the job is done," to "When the Iraqis stand up, we’ll stand down," to "stay the course, stay the course, stay the course," to "It was never stay the course, it’s about adapting and winning", to "not winning, but not losing," to "Never cut and run," with the degradation of prisoners in Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo and the murders in Haditha along the way.

Year after year, longer than the entirety of World War II, we have created and fostered a nation of chaos and anarchy. We failed to send enough U.S. troops to secure Iraq, and we disbanded the Iraqi Army, leaving three hundred thousand young Iraqi men unemployed and vulnerable to jihadist recruitment, all but inciting the looting of Iraqi schools, hospitals, museums, banks, and vast depots of bombs and weaponry that were then turned by insurgents against our troops and against each other. And force continued to beget force. As far back as May 2005, a CIA report (The New York Times, 22 June 2005) stated that "our presence in Iraq is creating So much for CIA Director George Tenet's predicted "slam more members of al Qaeda than we are killing in Iraq." dunk." So much for "Shock and Awe." "Bottom line is," Cheney told Wolf Blitzer on 24 January 2007, "we've had enormous successes (in Iraq) and we will continue to have What was the bottom line our vice president was congratulating? The skyrocketing price of Halliburton stock? The record breaking stock prices enormous successes." of Lockheed Martin, Boeing, ExxonMobil, Chevron, Washington Group International, the Parsons the

Bechtel and the Fluor Corporations? Those Powers That Be, the CEOs who continue to meet secretly in Cheney's office, whose profits burgeon with every deadly morning that dawns on our troops in Iraq. Those among the 1% who own over 50% of the world's wealth, and will do anything to keep it. Those Powers That Be who glower down at us, those faceless Masters of War, ushering in the New World Order, where they are the selfproclaimed lionhearts, unburdened by any need to explain themselves, hoarding Bush's tax cut for the super-rich as they expand their global empire, and we are the mice.

Or was Cheney congratulating The Project for the New American Century, the neoconservative think tank that had been lobbying since 1997 for the United States to invade Iraq, the foundation of its blueprint for dominating the Mideast and turning Iraq into a gas station for The Powers That Be, the think tank that gained its imperious momentum in 2000 when Bush named eighteen of its signatories (including Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Perle, Libby, Armitage, Bolton, and Cheney himself) to high posts in our government? The front men for The Powers That Be, men who themselves had never served in our armed forces, who bring our troop's coffins home from Iraq under a cloak of secrecy, no media cameras allowed, who won't institute a draft, who lowered rather than raised taxes before they went to war, all to placate us and avoid stirring up any nationwide protests, who touted 9/11 like the new Pearl Harbor, turning their four years of lobbying And now, over five years into their endless war, the price per gallon of gas has gone from White PapersJanuary 2000, Bush’s inauguration day and authoring $1.45 on 20 into a real-life invasion of Iraq, even though (national average, the Lundberg Report), to $3.26 on 28 March 2008. In that had had zero complicity with 9/11. Iraq same period, the price per barrel of

oil has risen from $27 to over $110, with ExxonMobil's $39.5 billion annual profit (as reported in February 2007), $1,300 in profits per second for every second of the year, breaking all previous record profits of any corporation in the world. . . this while the man who'd planned and ordered 9/11, the man who we were going to "smoke out. . .at a time and place of our choosing," remains at large, still taunting us with videos.

There was a time when Osama bin Laden was our enemy. "Soon," Bush told us, with the World Trade Center rubble smoldering behind him, "the people who knocked these buildings down are going to hear from all of us!" And days later he said, "We will not waver, we will not falter. We’re going to find those evildoers, those barbaric people who attacked our country, and we’re going to hold them accountable." Those first days after 9/11 were heart-wrenching. Remember looking into even a stranger's eyes as they passed you on the street and feeling such a bittersweet depth of camaraderie? The free world sent their hearts out to us. We were one fervent nation under God, and our troops went But at a White House press conference six months rock in March 2002), thundering into Afghanistan, to turn over every lastlater (13the hunt for Bush said whom Bush said he wanted "dead or alive," and him." bin Laden,of bin Laden "I truly am not that concerned aboutBush's And within months he pulled our approval rating shot to 90%. 5th Special Forces Group from Afghanistan to invade Iraq, an invasion that has squandered the goodwill from around the world, uniting much of the world against us. In the years of war that followed, as his approval rating at home spiraled down to 27%, he has shrugged off our few remaining allies: our "Coalition of the Willing." Spain, from Iraq, and Britain cut their initial troop level of 40,000 to 5,000, as a prelude Italy, Japan, Australia, Denmark, andto handful of smaller nations pulled a total their troops

withdrawal, leaving the Coalition's troop commitment in Iraq at 6.52 % as compared to America's 93.48%. Remarkably, Bush called the British withdrawal "a sign of success." In an interview with Bob Woodward, Bush said, "I will not withdraw (from Iraq) even if Laura and Barney (his dog) are the only ones supporting me." And with his loyalist base cheering, he forged ahead with "We’re fighting them over there, so we don’t have to fight them over here," and his oft repeated "I listen to my generals." But Bush doesn't listen to his generals. He's been systematically firing them in "You did one who Mr. President," said General The Project former search ofnot listen,will parrot the agenda behindJohn Batiste, for a New commander of our American Century. 1st Infantry Division in Iraq, in a commercial by votevets.org. "You continued to pursue the failed strategy that is breaking our great Army and Marine Corps. I left our Army in protest in order to speak out. You have placed our nation in peril. Our only hope is that Major General Paul Eaton, former Commander of our troops in Iraq, Congress will now act to protect our men and women." speaking on Hardball about his tenure with the White House during the weeks leading up to the war, said, "If you didn’t accept the party line that this was going to be a cakewalk, rose pedals, you were dismissed out of hand by the administration. . . they were fixed well before they decided to invade, in the face of some very fine advice by very fine leaders who'd General Eric Shinseki and General Anthony Zinni both told Bush that we wouldworking in thishundred thousandlong time." the invasion, yet Bush been need several region for a very troops for stuck to his original plan and sent 125,000 troops. General Zinni soon retired and General Shinseki was fired. And

Paul Wolfowitz, speaking on behalf of the White House, called the generals' estimate of needed troops "wildly off the mark."

And consider the wizard-like title of War Czar, a position Bush offered to several seasoned generals who declined it before it was finally accepted by Lieutenant General Douglas Lute. One of the generals who'd turned down Bush’s offer, Marine General John Sheehan, a former top NATO Commander, explained his decision to pass this way: "The very They didn't know where the hell they were going, yet Cheney, backing his earlier claim issue is, they successes" in Iraq, told us in an interview with fundamental of "enormous don’t know where the hell they are going." Rush Limbaugh (January 2007) that, "If you look at the general overall situation they’re doing remarkably well." Remarkably well where? When? Yes, we routed Saddam's army, despite Donald Rumsfeld's insistence on armed forces-lite--inadequate manpower, inadequate armor-despite Bush having rejected former Secretary of State Colin Powell's doctrine of overwhelming force (That's General Powell, the former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, another general Bush ignored). But Bush's nothing of a plan beyond reaching and claiming Baghdad, the fact that he did not send the three times more troops that his generals had told him would be necessary, his failure to secure Iraq, or even to secure just Baghdad, opening the door to anarchy and civil war, and the fact that he launched a contrived war in the first place, are high crimes against our fallen soldiers, against our Constitution, against America and against humanity, serial treachery on a global scale for which impeachment would be but a slap on the wrist. Bush has told us that "History takes a long time," that History will judge his legacy differently than public opinion currently sees it, that we don't yet have the proper historical perspective with which to assess his

legacy. So let's look at the facts by which History will record him, the tragedies of his five year quagmire, with no end in sight:

4,007 American troops are dead, as of 29 March 2008. Sons, daughters, husbands, wives, many of them young parents whose children weren't yet old enough to meet or know them. And all but 139 of them died after "Mission Accomplished." And shouldering unprecedented repeated tours of combat, their suicide rate is the highest in our army's history. Over 30,000 more are officially counted as wounded, many of them terribly, permanently disfigured and disabled. Over 10,000 need lifelong health assistance. "There are wards that you will never hear about," wrote Seymour M. Hersh, ". . . ward after ward of vegetables because the brain injuries are so enormous." And Hersh’s statement was proven all the more telling when USAToday (23 November 2007) uncovered and reported 20,000 additional troops with traumatic brain injuries the Pentagon hadn’t classified among its 30,327 wounded. And estimates of Iraqi civilian deaths run as high as one million (Reuters), with millions more Iraqis wounded, many of them terribly, permanently disfigured and disabled, while over two million more are now refugees, among them physicians, scientists, engineers, teachers, and businessmen, the core elements that drive a society's ability to grow and prosper, having fled or been driven In an essay by seven American soldiers stationed in Iraq (The War As We Saw It, published in The New York Times,thatAugust turned them away or from their homes to neighboring nations 19 either 2007), the soldiers wrote that "engaging in the banalities of life has become (for the average Iraqi) a death-defying act. Lucky Iraqis herded them into sprawling refugee camps along their borders. Secretary Powell's warning in 2002, "If you break it you own it," now seems criminally sanitized.

live in gated communities barricaded with concrete blast walls that provide them with a sense of communal claustrophobia rather than any sense of security we would consider normal." To even begin to imagine the horror of an Iraqis' daily life, think Oklahoma City and recall its staggering carnage. Every week. Deafening explosions, another masque or funeral or wedding or marketplace or police recruitment center blown half to rubble, their perimeters scattered with smoldering body parts. Every week. And imagine that countless Timothy McVeighs aren't caught, aren't executed, but are out looking for you, to drill holes in your knees, to put a bullet in your head, or they've found some other innocent target and you're caught in their crossfire or disemboweled by their bomb, or they're raping your daughter or they've abducted your son, whose head is roasting on a stake in your front yard. And the U.S. Army and Marines, liberators now occupiers, can't find them, much less stop them. Every week. "Nowhere is safe," said an Iraqi quoted by The New York Times, "and you don’t know who anyone is."

And then there's the cost in American dollars. Lawrence Lindsey, Chief Economic Advisor to President Bush, predicted that the war would cost over $200,000,000,000. He was fired. The estimated cost then shrank, courtesy of Bush's crony Paul Wolfowitz, to $40,000,000,000. A more palatable sum, especially since we were told that it would all be paid back with Iraqi oil. But Wolfowitz's pandering estimate was woefully low. The cost so far, five years later? $510,000,000,000. And climbing, according to The Three Trillion Dollar War, by Joseph E. Stiglitz, Nobel Prize winning economist, and Linda J. Bilmes, at over $411,000,000 a day. Over $12,000,000,000 a month, with Bush asking for nearly $200,000,000,000 for 2008 alone. And when we factor in $280,000,000,000 to return our military to its pre-war strength, $590,000,000,000 in ongoing medical costs for

tens of thousands of our troops and some 100,000 troops diagnosed with mental-health conditions, veterans for whom Bush has already cut benefits by some $10,000,000,000 over the next ten years, and some $615,000,000,000 in interest over the next ten years, indebting our children and our children's children, the current reassessment then comes in at $3,000,000,000,000. And no, it is not being paid back with Iraqi oil. In addition to Iraq’s struggling oil production, recent reports cite up to $15,000,000 worth of oil per day that's being siphoned off by. . . someone, while our national debt continues to grow at $1,470,000,000 per day and has now passed $9,000,000,000,000. Meanwhile, 726,000 pounds of mostly $100 bills for greasing the war machine that had been sent to Iraq by the CIA during Paul Bremer's watch disappeared, never to be accounted for.

Yet Bush forged ahead with The Surge, or the "Augmentation," as Secretary Rice so academically put it. Bush forged ahead, staying the course, the same course that General Zinni told us, in February 2006, was "heading over Niagara Falls." Bush forged ahead with The Surge even though the Baker-Hamilton Commission opposed it, with its bipartisan elders, men who know both war and statesmanship, warning that the state of war in Iraq was "grave and deteriorating." Speaking for the White House, Richard Perle (one of those eighteen signatories of The Project for the New American Century) dismissed the commission’s call to engage diplomacy with Iraq’s neighbors Syria and Iran as "Total illusion." Bush forged ahead even though General John Abizaid told him that he and every commander on the ground in Iraq opposes The Surge (General Abizaid was soon shown the door). Bush forged ahead even though General George W. Casey Jr., General Anthony Zinni, and General Eric K. Shinseki all opposed it (they were all soon shown the door). Even Henry Kissinger, the architect of Viet Nam, said we can’t win the

Iraq war. And General Merrill A. Mc Peak, former Joint Chiefs of Staff member, stated in his essay titled Victory Is Not an Option (February 2007) that "Even if we had a million men to go in, it’s too late now."

In the summer of 2007, though, Bush marginalized yet another general. With his approval ratings continuing to tumble, he assured us repeatedly that the much-touted September Assessment of The Surge's effectuality was being written by General David Petraeus, Commander of the Multinational Forces in Iraq, and by Ryan Crocker, the U.S. ambassador to Iraq. But a month later, administration officials announced that the assessment would be written instead by the White House, "with inputs from officials throughout the government." And on 10 September, in his face-to-face report to Congress, General Petraeus read us the same cherry-picked statistics we'd been hearing from Bush for six months. When Senator John Warner (R-Virginia) asked Petraeus if our war in Iraq was making us safer at home, Petraeus testified that he didn't know. The Powers That Be must have been chortling into their bourbons. And so too the CEOs of Blackwater, Brown and Root, Kellogg, Parsons, L-3 Communications, Titan, DynCorp, Transatlantic Traders, and others, corporations whose 163,000 contractors are immune and impervious to not only Iraqi and American law but to our own military law, while employed throughout Iraq as So did The Surge work, is The Surge working? Its expressed purpose was to bring stability to Iran, and police trainers,Baghdad (where most of the mercenaries, armed guards, particularly to helicopter pilots, and Surge's 30,000 troops were deployed), and to provide a level, nonthreatening playing making up to $30,000 a month, versus the $30,000 a interrogators, each field where Iraqi leaders year for each of our troops.

could finally undertake the business of resolving their sectarian differences, addressing the inequities in oil revenue sharing and the balance of power among Shiites, Sunnis, and Kurds, and building a truly representational government. Yet the violence and mistrust among Iraq's leaders continues. They have yet to address their differences. And The Surge hasn't quashed the violence or driven it out, it's merely suppressed the carnage, the death count of troops and Iraqi citizens, to the unacceptable levels of 2006. And while the White House boasts that some Iraqis have been returning to their homes, those returnees are "mostly from Syria," according to Time magazine (24 December 2007), "which has introduced tough new visa regulations designed to send back Iraqis and turn away new waves at the border." Nine months into The Surge, The Surge that Bush said would be a sixty to ninety day operation, Lieutenant General Ricardo Sanchez, former commander of American troops in Iraq, said (The New York Times, 13 October 2007), "After more than four years of fighting, America continues in its desperate struggle without any concerted effort to devise a strategy that will achieve victory in that wartorn country or in the greater conflict against extremism." And he called our continued involvement in Iraq "a nightmare with no end in sight."

Our invasion of Iraq was never about inspiring democracy or spreading freedom. Nor was it about al Qaeda, which had no presence in Iraq before we invaded and has never since then represented more than 2% of the combatant forces in Iraq. And there is no Bush strategy for victory in Iraq because his intention from the beginning was to occupy and hold. The Bush Doctrine is about advancing capitalism, with The Powers That Be holding all the cards, fueled by religious and cultural sanctimony, an insistent socio-political sense of superiority, and greed. We invaded Iraq for its oil. With America

holding 3% of the world's oil reserves, we burn 20% of the world's black gold. And with the emergence of China and India as this century's new economic and potentially military superpowers, and all of us competing for dominance over the world's resources and markets, it is the nation that has the oil that will not only compete but control. Bush has already abandoned the Iraq War to our next president. The question is not about winning or losing in Iraq. The bottom line is we can't win or lose their civil war. There is no triumphant solution. Countless more will die if we withdraw our troops; countless more will die if we stay. The question is Who has more oil and who is in our way of getting it.

Enter Iran. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who hosted an Arabic conference celebrating his claim that the Holocaust was a fiction, has threatened to "halt oil supply to the last drop from the shores of the Persian Gulf via the Straits of Hormuz," the straits through which pass some 17,000,000 barrels of oil per day, 85% of the supply from the gulf region. Reliable evidence says he's sending weapons and combatants in support of factions in Iraq, a ploy that demands from us a measured response. And he's continuing to develop Iran's uranium enrichment program. This last, Iran's growing potential for developing nuclear weapons, is a global concern, one that could rally powerful nations to our side, a coalition that would surpass in breadth and might even the allied nations of World War II. Nations that recognize Iran as a worldwide threat that requires a worldwide solution. A real coalition, one that would offer Iran genuine diplomacy, offer Iran what General Wesley Clark, former Supreme Allied Commander of NATO Europe, refers to as "the carrot and the stick," the choice between international cooperation or the most stringent sanctions against them.

Would it only be so. But early on, Cheney informed us how The Powers That Be roll: "We don't negotiate. We dominate." And the Bush administration continues to scoff the Baker-Hamilton Commission's advice of diplomacy "without preconditions," demanding instead that Iran meet our goals of diplomacy as a precondition to any diplomacy. This is the mindset that never doubts or questions itself. The mindset that pits them against anyone who just doesn't see the world the way they do. The arrogant inflexibility that pits us against each other. That accuses us of being unpatriotic if we are not proud of their war. That spies on us. That flouts international law, the Geneva Conventions, and our own Constitution, keeping prisoners in Guantanamo indefinitely without legal representation or due process. The mindset that Ann Coulter brandished to a roomful of cheering fans when she suggested we should march into the Mideast and "convert who we can and kill the rest." The mindset of absolute brute force that Cheney stated so clearly when he explained to us, "We're going to have to spend some time on The Dark Side, if you will," And upping the ante from a mushroom cloud to Armageddon, on 17 October 2007, Bush declared, "Iran would be committing extraordinary exploiting our fears and degrading our ideals,raising the risk of a World War III, if it came to possess nuclear weapons." At his behest our congress has classified Iran's army, the Republicanin the night to foreign lands rendition, the ferreting away of suspects Guard, a terrorist organization, handing Bush the carte-blanche dominion to bomb Iran without any furtherothers do our torturing for us. Forward" is clear: Bush and Cheney where authorization. And "The Way continue to reject the European Union's urging of direct talks with Iran, Syria,

Turkey, and Russia, Iran's largest and most powerful trading partner, going it virtually alone. Again. When we shouldn't be going at all.

Bush has deployed a carrier strike force in the Persian Gulf, equipped with Patriot missiles, to "send a message to Tehran." In May 2007, Cheney delivered a speech from the deck of one of those carriers, the U.S.S. John C. Stennis, ramping up the case for war with Iran: "With two carrier strike groups in the gulf, we’re sending a message to friends and adversaries alike. We’ll keep the sea lanes open… we’ll stand with others to prevent Iran from gaining nuclear weapons and dominating the region." (We'll keep the sea lanes open and yet the only one who's threatened to restrict them, the only one in the region with more than a token navy, is Cheney). And there would be three carriers in the Gulf, right now, if Admiral William J. Fallon had not stood up against Bush's order to send a third one. Fallon told the Defense Department, in February 2007, that he opposed as unwarranted any further buildup in the Gulf, demonstrating what CommonDreams.org, on 15 May 2007, called "an apparent readiness to put his career on the line to prevent it." And Fallon vowed privately, as reported by CommonDreams.org, that there would be no war with Iran as Crazies. According to The Man Between War and Peace, an article in Esquire he was chief of CENTCOM, that M. Barnett, a respected military long as (February 2008) by Thomas P. an attack on Iran "will not happen analyst, Admiral Fallon was the lone man, apparently, standing against themy watch." Asked how he could"strategically unsound war" with Iran. on president's contemplation of a be so sure, Admiral Fallon replied, And Fallon stated in an interview with al Jazeera, in the autumn of 2007, that "This constant of us trying to put the .crazies back into the box." "There are several drumbeat of conflict. . is not helpful and not

useful." The lone man standing up to Bush. But then Admiral Fallon took early retirement on 11 March 2008.

And what of the Iranian people, the citizenry. They have their own delusional president, but what are they like? In a recent poll, 73% of them oppose the Iranian system of government, at the risk of imprisonment, torture, and death, and 80% of them want to normalize relations with the United States. They’re raising their voices, they’re marching in the streets, in direct opposition to their leaders. They like us better than the majority of Europeans do, less than 10% of whom rate Bush favorably. Would God have us blow them all to kingdom come for their valor in defying their mullahs? Or would God have us join with other free nations to bring global The best prognosticator of the future being the its citizens’ coming revolt pressure on Iran while aggressively supporting past, do we have any reason to and freedom? for justice believe or hope that Bush will behave any differently toward Iran than he has toward Iraq? "The President," Bob Woodward wrote in Bush at War, based on his face-to-face interviews with Bush, is "casting his mission and that of the country in the grand vision of God's Master Plan." And Zbigniew Brzezinski, former National Security Advisor to President Carter, (speaking on The Daily Show, 14 March 2007) said that "He (Bush) has a vision. . . the notion that somehow or other he is leading the forces of good against the empire of evil. The notion that somehow or We have arrived at a moment in history, We the People, where the evolutionthat setting, the fact that we are morally superior justifies us other, in of our technological ability to destroy all life on earth has surpassed our spiritual evolution, our sense of humanity. "If we do not learn to live immoral acts." committing together as friends" said Martin Luther

King Jr., "we will die apart as fools." America, as our founding fathers envisioned and built it, as generations of our ancestors fought and died to preserve it, the right of a free people to create their own destiny, was until the last five years the beacon of hope for downtrodden peoples across the globe. And with the 2008 election mere months away, we are under a sacred conviction to reclaim that heritage, to rise up as an informed and inspired electorate, to be shaken by a religious awe in the face of eternity, and choose a leader who stands for the most profound truth that God Bless America also means God Bless the World. That our vital interests are the world's vital interests. A leader who will engage all nations who would join us in conquering the real enemies of freedom, in Afghanistan and Waziristan (where bin Laden is purported to be) and around the world. A leader of enlightened judgment who will uplift all of humanity to a true revolution of awareness, to the divine law that all men are our brothers and all women are our sisters. And yet electing a visionary president will not suffice. Polls show that Americans are most concerned about the economy, health care, immigration, and the Iraq War. In that order. The war takes up just 4% of our daily news cycle. We don't consider that it is the war and its egregiously escalating cost that makes it impossible to solve all the rest. There must be an essential sea change in the American consciousness. The dialogue among us, among We the People, everyday Americans, has to change.

We must distribute the cure, the alms of truth to the misinformed, to our families, our friends, our colleagues, the stranger beside us. We must break through the fear and divisiveness this administration has sown among us, and enlighten those who scorn and smear all Democrats or all Republicans, all liberals or all conservatives, who think only in terms of either/or, with us or against us. We must search within ourselves, past of our

narrow perceptions, finding not the god we use to rationalize our selfrighteous arrogance and lust for vindication but the God who knows our bigotry the instant we think it. For there is one God, of a thousand names, perceived by us from 6.6 billion points of view, just as there is only one family of man. We must enliven the spirit that alone has the power to change the world, raising our voices, overwhelming every think tank and political action committee, every newspaper, magazine, and blog, every television and radio station, every congressional office, the White House, and The Powers That Be, driving an irresistible avalanche of passion, overcoming those who confuse conviction of principle with their own relentless delusions, who are chronically driven by self-preservation and rule, who are on a mission to wage war not for peace and freedom but for power, privilege and profit. And we will show the White House, the Congress, the presidential candidates and the world just which way the winds of change are truly blowing.

Imagine us coming together as all the scriptures exhort, each of us all of us the Everyman, rising above the challenges of the world. Imagine an America that would never rush into further escalating World War III, but would return to the genuine war on terrorism, inspiring a truly global coalition, a global offensive, an America that combines our military might with wisdom, diplomacy, dignity, and humanity. Imagine handing a more glowing legacy to our children than our parents handed to us. Imagine if we tuned our daily lives to the virtues that await our notice within every heart, drawing from the endless wellspring of goodness within our collective soul, the one soul that will save us from ourselves, that binds us together as one people. A fellowship that spans every sea and border, that respects our differences yet bridges the dogmas that set us apart. Imagine