Tunnel at the End of the Light

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FORECAST: BLEAK AND BLOODY (ROCK BOTTOM)
by Jack Random
In the summer of 2007, I have reached the winter of my discontent. Like the Diaspora of New Orleans, I have walked a long, hard road to reach the light at the end of the tunnel only to find there is no light.
 
I am a solitary thinker. I move to the offbeat. I was born on a left curve and raised with a paradoxical attraction and aversion to the political process. I was the kid at the back of the class who questioned authority and explored uninhabited avenues of thought.
 
For as long as I can recall, I have held out hope that democracy, the will of the people and the cause of justice could triumph over the forces of corruption.
 
I have fought against myself so long, believing that a dissenting point of view could become mainstream if only we spoke loud enough, long enough, if only we were persuasive enough, if only our message could beat to the rhythm of the masses, we could prevail.
 

 
JAZZMAN CHRONICLES: DISSEMINATE FREELY 
 
 
I believed the body politic was like a giant roulette wheel and the finger of fortune would inevitably land on our number if only we could stay in the game.
 
I predicted the 2004 election fix before it happened. I called for civil divide in Iraq long before Senator Joe Biden proposed partitioning. I foresaw the neocon nightmare of invading and occupying a Middle Eastern nation. I condemned the war on terrorism, the doctrine of aggressive war, the invasion of Afghanistan, the conquest of Iraq, the erosion of civil liberties, the danger of an imperial White House, the betrayal of the working class and the degradation of our environment long before it was popular or even acceptable to do so.
 
I warned America that the Enron scandal was a microcosm of the national economy and the housing boom was the second coming of the technology bust of 2002. I warned that the west coast energy crisis was a symptom of a corrupt government in collusion with powerful corporate interests and that nothing had been done to treat the underlying disease.
 
I predicted the ever expanding definition of terrorists and the necessity of reinstating a military draft to forward the neocon war plan, a reality that is currently being aired.
 
Above all, I warned America that the major political parties were two sides of the same coin, financed by the same corporate interests and corrupt to the core.
 
I can attest that there is little consolation is being proven right.
 
On Monday, August 13, 2007, the New York Times published an editorial that effectively defines the bipartisan mainstream position on the war in Iraq. While acknowledging that our ill-conceived and morally bankrupt invasion created the crisis we now face (an invasion the Times promoted as a fence for the White House), it argues that we can neither withdraw nor reduce our forces in the foreseeable future.
 
The Times should be ashamed but an institution that has systematically purged integrity is not capable of such an emotion. The Times is no longer an independent voice but the leading member of the third branch of the corporate propaganda machine.
 
This is exactly what the neocons had in mind. They knew the probability of immediate success was a pipe dream fed to a gullible public. They knew that once they committed us to war, the prize -- a stronghold in the Arabian oil fields and practical control of a plentiful supply of oil -- would be too enticing for the opposition party to turn away.
 
The Democrats will not end the war. Neither party will end the occupation.
 
The leading Democratic candidates for president have positioned themselves for all contingencies. Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and John Edwards have appeased the antiwar camp with vague promises of a draw down in troop levels while simultaneously appeasing the corporate warlords with assurances that we will maintain a military presence in occupied Iraq. None has questioned the Iraqi oil agreement that effectively hands control to international corporations. None has pledged to dismantle our multi-billion dollar fortresses or even hinted that we should.
 
That is all our enemies in the Middle East need to know. Even our allies in the Arab world will secretly oppose us, just as we would any foreign power that attempted to take control of our resources.
 
It is all Al Qaeda needs to keep its once marginal movement alive. As long as America remains on Iraqi soil, usurping Iraqi oil, the war will go on.
 
That is exactly what the neocons had in mind.
 
I have not always been right in my political machinations. I supported the Democratic presidential nominee in 2004 (though I voted for Leonard Peltier). I withheld my strongest criticism of the Democrats in 2006.
 
What have I gained for my pragmatism? A hopelessly incomprehensible John Kerry lost to electoral fraud and failed to issue a protest. The Democrats took control of congress and immediately discarded their only means of ending the war: appropriations and impeachment.
 
Soon the presidential field will be narrowed by eliminating the truth tellers: Congressman Dennis Kucinich, former Senator Mike Gravel and Republican Congressman Ron Paul. In a practical sense, they have already been so marginalized they are all but invisible. They speak but no one hears. They tell hard truths that are instantly dismissed. They represent the views of a swelling mass of Americans yet they are regarded as naïve little children who have yet to learn their manners in the company of adults.
 
A thousand clichés land at my fingertips: end of the line, the last straw, the final betrayal, rock bottom.
 
There is a certain contentment that visits ones soul after surrender. I have discovered something uplifting in accepting the immortal sadness of the human experience. I am liberated from the twisted, confining, suffocating madness of moral dilemma, a madness that has poisoned my vision and held me in its paralyzing grip for all these many years.
 
I have discovered the sweetness of irony, the joy of giving in, giving up and accepting the eternal struggle.
I am free at last to support Ron Paul, Mike Gravel, Dennis Kucinich, Ralph Nader or Leonard Peltier without apology or remorse.
 
I am free at last to speak the truths that flow from my heart. I am free to admit that I do not have all the answers but I am certain of this much: Until a plurality of Americans reject the fallacy of the two party system, our democracy will remain profoundly flawed and our government will fail to represent either the interests or the will of the people.
 
Come November 2008, millions of Americans will not vote. Millions more will vote for a candidate they do not believe in. I will vote my conscience.
 
While others are watching the returns of the presidential contest, perhaps to see where the next fraud will turn, I will be examining state and local elections for promising independent candidates.
 
In them lies the hope of American democracy.
 
Jazz.
JACK RANDOM IS THE AUTHOR OF THE JAZZMAN CHRONICLES (CROW DOG PRESS) AND GHOST DANCE INSURRECTION (DRY BONES PRESS). HIS COMMENTARIES HAVE BEEN POSTED ON THE ALBION MONITOR, COUNTERPUNCH, DISSIDENT VOICE AND PACIFIC FREE PRESS. SEE HIS BLOG: WWW.JAZZMANCHRONICLES.BLOGSPOT.COM
 

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