Like a De Beers' diamond, Bush's "war on terror" is forever

One of the seven wonders of the ancient world, the Colossus of Rhodes, lasted almost a millennium. But the colossus of the other [Cecil] Rhodes, De Beers, reached beyond the millennium when it created a marketing campaign which extended the desirability of its product to everlasting time, whether in reference to the lifespan of the diamond’s owner or in the durability of the diamond itself – which, we know not, or could care less.

“A diamond is forever,” is this monopolistic firm’s self-promoting slogan. In an industry that depends almost exclusively on perception; this PT Barnum logic seems to work quite well in an era of supine, gluttonous consumerism.

It’s the natural reproductive function of success to breed imitation and plagiarization… which of the two being only a matter of context and circumstance. And guess what! Washington’s political establishment – and I don’t mean just neo-cons, but lesser-cons and demo-cons as well – has already adopted the idea of fighting terrorism “forever”… which I take to mean an indefinite, but definitely large, number of generations. Ouch! That’s quite a legacy we are leaving for our children, grandchildren… and lineages to follow; a gift of “love” for our descendants: straps for compulsory self-flagellation.

Indifference and repetition can allow some lies to take the shape of myths in a short span of time, and stay as a dark cloud over us for a very long time, if not in perpetuity. The Bush administration has been very successful in the creation of a myth that may stay with us regardless who is elected to Congress or who occupies the White House. It will make little difference whether the reins are in the hands of Republicans or Democrats… and those are the only two blood types acceptable to the United States’ political circulatory system.

And what is the myth? Simply that the nation is under siege, surrounded by the forces of terror and evil, and that to stay safe we must have total faith in a government that keeps watch over our interests… both our lives and our economic well-being. And that we must be ready to pay whatever price is necessary for that, in economic sacrifice or even in the surrender of our cherished freedoms.

It’s not a new concept. For sometime now the word is out that wars can be good for us, for our economy, and even to keep the population in check… as if a dietary supplement to natural disasters where nations sacrifice their young, dressing them in colorful team uniforms, giving them weapons to fight with while citizens cheerlead and waive flags. We are told that without World War II our nation would not have exited from thirteen years of depression… the axis of fascism notwithstanding. And the beat goes on!

But as insane and immoral as weighing war is, at least in the past it was exercised against specific nations(s) for specific, even if illegitimate, reasons. Now the war is quixotic, but in a malefic way. The war that Bush personally has declared against terror is a catch-all war… an abstract war to be interpreted solely by those who govern from the White House and the Pentagon. It is a war that can have an unlimited number of fronts… against nations… against ideologies… even against basic human rights. It is a war where the end (victory) justifies any and all means to obtain it.

This “war on terror” is the perfect war for a government that has little need for transparency for a citizenry that adheres to all or nothing choices (usually religious or social causes… plus the sempiternal pro-Israel stand) each becoming politically a force majeure. And it’s perfect for the United States because, at least for now, it can exact its desires with a destructive werhmacht (defense force?!) sans pareil.

If we want to abide by the truth, let’s not globalize the war on terror as an excuse. It’s solely America’s “war on terror” for it is basically the germination of the US’ ill-conceived foreign policy. We are not fooling the world, only ourselves, when just as we did with the American Indian; we continuously speak with a forked tongue. Our approach to the world is certainly not one of ambivalence, and has been best expressed by a California legislator in Congress (Duncan Hunter) who said what many legislators vehemently believe in but are embarrassed to say out loud: “If we [the US] don’t change the world, the world is going to change us.” That, in a nutshell, is what our current government is all about… anything else is pure, unadulterated nonsense.

De Beers may have come down from an 80 percent to a 60 percent control of the world’s diamond supplies, but even the “hot diamond” (or conflict diamond) trading has not gravely affected its monopolistic ways. And, in like manner, the same applies politically and diplomatically to the United States. At least for now the US seems to be telling the world, “we speak, you listen.”

“A diamond is forever” and “the war on terror” play on the same perception of deceit and manipulation… the type of perception that has nothing to do with reality, in terms of economic value in the case of diamonds, and of peace for humankind in Bush’s strategically-dabbed “war on terror.”