In one old Buster Keaton flick, a Confederate Keaton has stolen a train and is trying to escape a pursuing engine filled with angry Union soldiers. To slow their pursuit, he keeps tossing barrels and boxes out onto the track. In the past 10 days, Bush and his operatives have been doing much the same thing, with Trent Lott, Henry Kissinger, the missile defense network, and the roundup of Muslims their "barrels." "These "crises" are very likely all designed to keep America's attention riveted on one Bush hand while the other picks the world's proverbial pocket unnoticed," writes Cheryl Seal.

Roll Out the Barrel - But Never, Ever, Tell the Truth: The Self-Preservation Schemes of G.W. Bush

By Cheryl Seal

Ever since his initial effort to plunge right into war with Iraq was thwarted, Bush has reminded me of a dark version of a Buster Keaton character I saw in a silent film last summer. In this film (can't recall the name), Keaton plays a hapless Confederate railroad man trapped behind enemy lines in the civil war who tries to make good his getaway by stealing a train. He is pursued by an enemy engine, which starts to gain on him. To slow the enemy down, Keaton starts shoving barrels, boxes and logs out onto the tracks, forcing the other train to slow down while the soldiers run out and push the roadblocks out of the way.

Bush, on the other hand, has hijacked America and turned it into a runaway train, barreling down a narrow one-way track, rolling over civil rights, the environment, and the economy. But activists around the world have hopped into their own train and are in hot pursuit. To slow them, Bush is throwing his own "boxes and barrels" out onto the track, as presented by a series of stall ploys.

In the past 10 days, Bush and his operatives have tossed several boxes and barrels out: Trent Lott, Henry Kissinger, announcing the go ahead on the ridiculous missile defense network, and rounding up Muslims like Hitler rounding up the first batches of Jews circa 1934. These "crises" are very likely all designed to keep America's attention riveted on one Bush hand while the other picks the world's proverbial pocket unnoticed.

In fact, it wouldn't come as a huge surprise if we learned that Lott's suicidal racist statements were preplanned, not merely exploited after the fact. What better way to divert the Democrats' attention away from stuff like the massing of U.S. troops on Iraq's northern border, leaks of mounting deaths of Americans in Afghanistan, and plans to launch a major subversion/propaganda assault on U.S. allies (that's right - allies)? And, damn, if it isn't working. All Democrat activists seem able to focus on the past few days is LOTT LOTT LOTT LOTT. It's as if war and an impending police state were but mosquito bites now compared to the LOTT issue. I myself made a statement on the issue, but then moved quickly on, careful not be caught in the quicksand trap. Alas, too many people have failed to learn the modus operandi of the corporate regime, which draws on decades of advertising/brainwashing schemes and flimflam techniques.

What makes the Kissinger flap a "barrel?" Bush does NOT want a 9/11 investigation, not a real one anyway. But in recent months, questions were being asked with greater frequency...the pursuing train of angry 9/11 victim's families was pressing too close for comfort. So what does Bush do? He names Kissinger to head the committee. The original plan, I'm sure, was to cause an impassioned but dragged out debate and hearing process over the appointment that would last for weeks. But even Bush didn't count on how wimpy and compliant the Democrats had become and that the appointment would be approved with hardly a wink. The backlash from the appointment was enormous - but did not achieve the tie up of the investigation Bush had no doubt banked on. Kissinger himself, clad in layers upon layers of dirty linen, obviously hadn't counted on being subjected to the kind of scrutiny he was being forced to undergo and opted to quit. Now Bush has to think up another "box or barrel" to throw before the 9/11 investigation "train." But then, Christmas and Congressional recess ought to stall the investigation for another few months - enough time to get a war going and declare all investigations and dissent illegal "due to wartime."

Another "barrel" tossed on the tracks this week was the announcement that the Pentagon (as in Bushfeld) plans to press ahead with the missile defense program. Bush KNOWS that most Americans will be infuriated by this scheme, as they have already made it amply clear they do not want to spend billions on a program that will only work maybe once in a while...and then only if the enemy nation firing a missle at us is kind enough to call ahead of time and give us the time and space coordinates involved. But the outcry and wrangling over this week's announcement re: the hopeless boondoggle will tie up the press, some pesky activists, and lots of Congressfolk for at least a little while. This strategy is what I'd describe as a political "bait and switch": Throw out the bait - an outrageous appointment, legislative proposal, or executive order - let everyone get all worked up, then, before the dust can settle, slip quietly off in another direction or offer up a "compromise" that, after your outrageous "barrel," suddenly seems reasonable by comparison (Ex: threaten to drill in ANWR so you can offer the "compromise" of turning the Gulf of Mexico into a giant oil field).

But the barrels now rolling around on the track have created the diversion Bush needed to keep the truth about his far more conventional ground wars in Afghanistan and, soon, Iraq, away from scrutiny. Afterall, it must get awfully hard to hide the body count when it has, by many foreign accounts, pushed well past 1,000 in Afghanistan SEE (it was over 900 as of June 2002) and perhaps even harder to hide the fact that you have massed troops (many trained in brutal Israeli urban warefare techniques) SEE,11827,38495,00.html on Iraq's northern border, poised to attack, even before the ink has dried on the Iraq weapon's report.

This week's round up of Muslims is is an outrage that makes a mockery of America, but I think it too must be a "barrel" designed to hide something. Could it be that, hidden beneath the media smokescreen of detained Muslims, Bush and Co are targeting non-Muslim American dissidents - activists, journalists, human rights workers, etc., conducting systemmatic raids of their homes and offices? One story has already surfaced that suggests this could be the case: SEE's_E-Mail.htm I also suspect the Muslim arrests was designed to intimidate the Arabs from several countries who are scheduled to register by Jan 10. If Bushcroft succeeds in scaring them away from registering, he can declare them "terrorists" and revoke God knows what additional civil liberties or declare the failure to register a pretext for war, should he fail to get his invasion off the ground by then.

The Muslim round up, btw, was accompanied by a major "bait and switch" ploy. The SAME week, the Bush- Goebbels (Boebbels?) brigade launched a slick propaganda series in Indonesia designed to show how wonderful life is for Muslims in Bush Land.,7792,863039,00.html

Alas, such is the convoluted scheming of our "leaders." But, what can one expect? It's an administration that has made dishonesty, intrigue, smokescreens and subterfuges (we'll call it DISS) its PRIMARY strategy. I think these folks would try to find a way to spin the weather report - anything but make an honest, guile-free statement. This week, the news broke that the Bush administration is planning to take its show on the road. SEE The Pentagon now wants to launch a massive campaign of lies and deceptions targeting not just "enemies" but allies as well. One of the schemes is to pay off journalists to plant slanted or bogus stories in media outlets abroad. Another is to open phony Muslim religious schools where Muslim children will be indoctrinated in the "American way. " SEE Combine these facts with the fact that one of Bush's top advisors is Charlotte Beers, a Madison Avenue advertising mogul hired to promote both Bush and his war. Beers wants to launch a high-profile pro-American propaganda campaign similar to those pushed in the Cold War.

The only way Independents, Greens, and Democrats are going to be able to avoid becoming trapped by the Bush strategy of DISS and bait and switch is to keep their attention focused on the REAL issues immediately before them. These are Bush's lack of fitness to govern (which a true 9/11 AND Enron investigation will prove), the WAR, and Cheney's energy list (which helps also prove lack of fitness to govern). Prove Bush's lack of fitness (through criminal activity) to hold office, you get rid of Bush. The rest of America's problems will immediately become solvable.

Meanwhile, as the Bush train continues roaring down the track, keep your eye on those barrels!

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