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Waiting for Gwotod Printer friendly page Print This
By Mankh (Walter E. Harris III), Axis of Logic
Axis of Logic
Friday, Jan 29, 2016

ESTRAGON: Where shall we go?

VLADIMIR: Not far.

ESTRAGON: Oh yes, let's go far away from here.

VLADIMIR: We can't.

ESTRAGON: Why not?

VLADIMIR: We have to come back tomorrow.

ESTRAGON: What for?

VLADIMIR: To wait for Godot.

ESTRAGON: Ah! (Silence.) He didn't come?


ESTRAGON: And now it's too late.

VLADIMIR: Yes, now it's night.

                                         - Samuel Beckett, from Waiting for Godot


The current USEmpire's presidential pay-to-play (s)election is playing like a revival of Samuel Beckett's absurdist play lots of talking about stuff but nothing much really happens. Beckett's English version “is subtitled 'a tragicomedy in two acts.'” [1] In modern theatrical parlance the debates are a reality TV show where, one by one, people get voted off the island.


The cast of potential POTUS characters often appear high on Global War Of Terror Of Drugs (let's acronym call it: Gwotod), and with Afghanistan being the “source of 90% of Earth’s heroin” [2] it raises the question as to why that -stan was really invaded in the first place.


First off, though: “A campaign video... features the Texas senator and GOP presidential hopeful [Ted Cruz] firing off several rounds from a bacon-wrapped AR-15 rifle, and then eating the bacon. 'Mmm, machine-gun bacon,' Cruz says after taking a bite from a plastic fork.” [3]


Then, there's The Donald whose Narcissistic personality disorder (an actual thing) is enough to make a narcissus plant wilt:

"The people, my people, are so smart. And you know what else they say about my people, the polls? They say I have the most loyal people—did you ever see that?—where I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody, and I wouldn’t lose any voters, OK? It’s like incredible." [4]

That’s not loyalty, that’s mindless blind following, aka insanity.


The venerable Gore Vidal, in an interview with Washington Monthly, 2008 [5], cited an Emperor with some sanity:

 GV: Well, after the good Emperor Tiberius climbed Palatine Hill and was hailed as Caesar, the Roman Senate proposed giving him a blanket advance endorsement of any legislation or commands he might later propose. And Tiberius sent back a note to the Senate that said: 'This is insane. What do you think you're doing? Suppose that one day the emperor has gone mad? Or, suppose the emperor is not really there—and someone has taken his place?' Tiberius thought the worst possible scenario for Rome would be if the entire Senate agreed, in advance, to any policies that might come from the emperor. He vetoed that proposal; he just tore up the message.

WM: How did the Roman Senate react?

GV: The Senate at first sent it right back to him. And Tiberius just groaned. When he was asked, 'Have you no message for the Senate?' his response was: 'Yes, I do. Tell them how eager they are to be slaves.' My point is, today in the United States, there's a lot of president worship. We love authority figures.”

Dodging the questions

Meanwhile, lest too much fixation on GOPers Trump and Cruz as the only verbal gunslingers, a look elsewhere. While admirably concerned about and taking action to help prevent gun violence (except for calling out the big guns aka USE military budget, 2015 ~$600 billion [6]), Michael Bloomberg (suddenly maybe possibly tossing his hat in the ring of fire) has also been known to make such remarks:

In 2010: “The tough-talking mayor infuriated Native Americans by urging Gov. Paterson to handle a dispute over cigarette taxes by delivering some Dodge City-style justice.

"I've said this to David Paterson, I said, 'You know, get yourself a cowboy hat and a shotgun,'" said Bloomberg, blasting from the hip on his weekly radio show.

"If there's ever a great video, it's you standing in the middle of the New York State Thruway saying, you know, 'Read my lips - the law of the land is this, and we're going to enforce the law.'" [7]

If an average citizen made such machismo remarks that citizen would probably be swooped upon and investigated. But in MainstreamMediaLand, talk has been bastardized and so it spews.


Bloomberg might actually have some business smarts to help better manage a notoriously corrupt system, yet how did the Mayor respond to the Occupy movement?  By “...calling out the NYPD thugs and loosing them on the protesting kids, ... denying them portapotties near the Zuccotti Park occupation zone, and ... finally crushing the movement with a night-time assault and police riot that featured clubs, tear gas, mace and mass arrests.” [8]


Is it hot in here or is that The Bern?

While appreciating much of what Bernie Sanders says about the home front, my suspicions of getting Berned increased with this: “There would be nothing more in this world that I would like than to take on Donald Trump. We would beat him, and we would beat him badly.” [9] (More than world peace, Bernie?) Add to that Sanders' slogan, “A Future to Believe In,” which reads like an Obama “Change We Can Believe In” fantasy remix, with a dose of dangling messiah JUST out of reach.


My response to The Bern's slogan is further summed up with lyrics from The Doobie Brothers:

But what a fool believes he sees

No wise man has the power to reason away

What seems to be

Is always better than nothing

In Sanders' favor, a website describes his reluctance to be a warmonger, including this bit: “Bernie Sanders voted against the Iraq War, and believes that while military force is sometimes needed, it should always be the absolute last resort.” [10]


Yet the following examples of his foreign affairs war stance raise questions:

“The attack on Kosovo is hardly the extent of Sanders' hawkishness. While it's true he voted against the Iraq War, he also voted in favor of authorizing funds for that war and the one in Afghanistan. More recently, he voted in favor of a $1 billion aid package for the coup government Ukraine and supported Israel's assault on Gaza. At a town hall meeting he admitted that Israel may have 'overreacted', but blamed Hamas for the entire conflict.” [11]

According to Ted Rall, from an interview with Sanders:

“I asked Sanders if he would continue President Obama’s drone program as it is now. Sanders said no. 'I don’t think I would,' Sanders said. 'I think I would limit it and be a little more selective about how it is used.'” [12]  

In the Peace Dept., all in all he seems the best of the lot... but there's that slogan, and a systemic military-industrial legacy that could easily affect his current pronouncements.


Clinton dynasty?

Hillary's a war-hawk. Laura Flanders writes: “I’ve actually read her books, both of them, and I don’t think she’s ever seen a bombing mission she didn’t approve... Clinton’s coming on strong against the gun lobby and the NRA but US arms sales never did better than when she was Secretary of State. She approved what was at the time the largest ever US arms sale to scary Saudi Arabia, even as she acknowledged in Wiki-leaked cables, that that country was world’s leading source of support for Sunni terrorist groups.” [13]


Her husband, as POTUS, was instrumental in policies that have – ironically over time – helped spawn the Black Lives Matter movement. As Michelle Alexander notes in her NYT bestseller, The New Jim Crow:

“As the Justice Policy Institute has observed, “the Clinton Administration's 'tough on crime' policies resulted in the largest increases in federal and state prison inmates of any president in American history.” [14]

Also noteworthy:

  • “In October 1982, President Reagan officially announced his administration's War on Drugs.”


  • “...the odd coincidence that an illegal drug crisis suddenly appeared in the black community after—not before—a drug war had been declared. In fact, the War on Drugs began at a time when illegal drug use was on the decline.” [15]


Thus, War Of Drugs... to control and imprison people, plus Global War Of Terror because, for examples, drones, a form of foreign terrorism (“Drone” - trailer here), and domestically a lot of people are being terrorized through economic warfare and, as The New Jim Crow reveals, through the concern of being jailed for minor, often drug related, offenses.


Meanwhile, as if on drugs, Ben Carson can barely keep his eyes open while talking.


Addictive aberrations

Underlying all the fanfare and machismo (yes, Hillary, that includes you) is a bloated military-industrial-complex and a disconnect from caring for Mother Earth and all Her children (which includes all those mentioned herein). War as a vehicle for world domination is not native to the US landmass (known as Turtle Island to the Original Inhabitants); war is a mutant aberration from lack of communing with all of Nature, the elements, and fellow human beings.


Though drugs are not necessarily part and parcel of warfare, they are often connected:

In the spring of 1971, two members of Congress (John Murphy and Robert Steele) released an alarming report alleging that 15 percent of U.S. servicemen in Vietnam were addicted to Heroin...

At the height of the use of opiates, in 1971, almost half the army's enlisted men had tried them; of those who tried them, about half used enough to develop the hallmarks of addiction.” [16]

And, corresponding with the post-9/11 escalation of global aggressions:

“According to the National Institute of Drug Abuse, 'prescription drug abuse doubled among U.S. military personnel from 2002 to 2005 and almost tripled between 2005 and 2008.' It's not just Americans either. Some estimates peg as much as 30 percent of Iraqi and police forces as prescription drug addicts. Artane is their drug of choice. Used to treat Parkinson's disease, the pills provide energy and courage.” [17]

Chalmers Johnson helped to highlight the extent of the USEmpire's global military bases (currently estimates range from about 800 to 1000). Nick Turse's book The Complex expands on the influences, and in his book Base Nation, “As David Vine demonstrates, the overseas bases raise geopolitical tensions and provoke widespread antipathy toward the United States. [18]


Whether drug related or not, war is an addictive behavior. Along with the obvious direct horrors, it fosters anxiety, paranoia, depression, and other side effects.

ESTRAGON: Oh yes, let's go far away from here.

VLADIMIR: We can't.

ESTRAGON: Why not?

VLADIMIR: We have to come back tomorrow.



1. "Waiting for Godot

2. “Heroin Dealer in Chief. Afghanistan, Source of 90% of The World’s Heroin

3. “Ted Cruz sizzles up 'machine-gun bacon'

4. "Donald Trump Boasts He Could "Shoot Somebody" and Not Lose Votes

5. "The Monthly Interview: Gore Vidal”

6. National Priorities Project

7. "Bloomberg tells Paterson to cowboy up, crack down on Senecas selling tax-free smokes on NY thruway

8. “Bloomberg: a Candidate of, By and For the 0.01%

9. “Bernie vs. Billionaires: Unafraid of Bloomberg and Would 'Beat Trump Badly'

10. See here

11. “Bernie Sanders' Troubling History of Supporting US Military Violence Abroad

12. “Ted Rall’s Bernie Sanders Interview: On Drones, Guns And War

13. “Who Cares if Hillary is Warm? I Care About Her Wars

14. The New Jim Crow, Michelle Alexander, (The New Press, 2010, 2012), p.56.

15. Ibid, pp.49 & p.6.

16. “Vietnam” Drug Use In

17. “10 Wars and the Drugs That Defined Them

18. See here



Mankh (Walter E. Harris III) is an essayist and resident poet on Axis of Logic. In addition to his work as a writer, he is a small press publisher and Turtle Islander. His recent book is “Drive-thru Theofascism & The Hero's Journey” and the newest is “Dear_______, poem-letters to friends and enemies.” He is working on a new book, “Musings With The Golden Sparrow.” You can contact him via his literary website.




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