Froot Loops: State And National Flavors
The March 5 edition of The Dead Pelican carried the irresistibly interesting headline "Louisiana Cops Plan for 'End of the World' Scenario." When I clicked the headline, the Pelican hooked me up with a Feb. 27 story Kurt Nimmo wrote for something called Infowars.com.
Said Nimmo, The Shreveport Times had reported on a local police exercise called “Operation Exodus.” Bossier Parish Sheriff Larry Deen said he aimed to protect Bossier Parish’s grocery stores, hospitals, gasoline stations and so forth "in the event of a catastrophic event, such as war or a terrorist attack."
Well, of course I know the terrorists are just lining up to attack Bossier Parish. So, what's Deen going to do about it? According to Infowars, the plan involves the use of "volunteers ... dispatched to vital areas to protect them." These volunteers won't just be using just riot shields and batons. Deen would have them using .50 caliber machine guns mounted on something called “the war wagon.” As of Feb. 20, reported Infowars, police in Bossier Parish were training volunteers "in hand-to-hand combat techniques."
My initial thoughts were, "OK, this will be one more chance for national media to have a hearty laugh at loopy authority figures in Louisiana." But as I read on, my bemusement turned to astonishment as I realized the reporter not only took all this stuff in Bossier Parish seriously but also thought it was a great idea.
Writer Nimmo broke out the heavy ammunition. He quoted Paul Joseph Watson as writing, "Numerous public figures, including Sen. Christopher Dodd, leading economist Nouriel Roubini, top trend researcher Gerald Celente, the head of the International Monetary Fund, the head of the World Trade Organization, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, former national security director Zbigniew Brzezinski, and Director of National Intelligence Dennis C. Blair have all warned of coming civil unrest and global instability.” (BTW, Watson writes for PrisonPlanet.com.)
Next came a link to a video of trend forecaster Celente. Under the headline "Fox Business: Gerald Celente Predicts Revolution" and over the subhead "PREDICTING OBAMA'S IMPACT" sat the image of Celente. (This isn't the only time Celente has appeared on Fox News. On Fox News Sunday, he deplored "Obamageddon," and on The Glenn Beck Show, he called the Obama stimulus package "fascism," It was for a different media venue, The Washington Post, that Celente predicted the "Panic of 2008." He may wish he could unpredict that one.)
"OK. Maybe the story's a little biased," I thought. But then Nimmo called the Bossier Parish end-of-the-world scenario inevitable, referring to "the inevitability of civil unrest as the economy continues to unravel." See, I would use the term "possibility" rather than the term "inevitability" and the term "if" instead of "as." But I'm stupid that way.
At this point in the story, I got that ecstatic feeling I always get when I realize I'm in the presence of the froot loop, the loony toon, the nut bucket. This was the real deal My ecstasy grew more intense as Nimmo ended the story with this riveting sentence: "Short of dismantling the Federal Reserve and arresting and prosecuting the bankers, there is no solution short of training police to shoot starving food rioters and declaring martial law." (Nimmo has a thing about bankers; at another point, he got behind the notion of "throwing out the banksters.")
Whew! Ahem. After I caught my breath, I clicked on the home page of Infowars. Sure enough, the first prose I saw told me "an ultra-secret global elite controls technology, finance, international law, world trade, political power and vast military capabilities." Wow! Where do I sign up?
As I investigated the page, I found ads for "the most lethal self-defense system in the world," dehydrated food sold at patriotfood.com, a "bank" that enables its clients to "Plant A Full Acre Crisis Garden," a "New Crisis Cooker," and notice that a "Millionaire Patriot Wants YOU Armed and Trained" with "a new, FREE Springfield XD HANDGUN." T-shirts proclaimed membership in the "Tyranny Response Team" and called on buyers to "Resist The New World Order." Headlines read, "Can Obama Assassinate Americans?" "MSNBC Continues Propaganda Campaign Against Patriot Groups" and, my favorite, "Hooray For Starbucks." Don't believe me? Just go to Infowars.com and look around.
I eventually realized the site was constructed by the Alex Jones radio show staff. (In fact, the thing is called "Alex Jones' Infowars.") Jones describes himself as "a prominent figure in the 9/11 Truth Movement." Even though the political personage who takes the most hits on the site is Obama, Jones is correct in saying he is not partisan. He takes pot shots at W. and the Neo-Conservatives. And his guests have included Ralph Nader and Gore Vidal. They've also included such fascinating cuckoo birds as David Icke, who believes the world is run by giant reptiles (but also makes insightful and perfectly valid observations about human behavior).
For the sake of fairness, I'll concede that Nikko's story contained some thought-provoking ideas, such as these from The Christian Science Monitor's Bill Bonner: "The establishment tells us the worst is over. The mainstream economics profession is guilty of dereliction of duty. They should be telling people that this ‘recovery’ is a scam. They should be warning investors that the markets could fall apart any day.” And then there were comments Goldman Sachs chairman John Whitehead made to Reuters: “I see nothing but large increases in the deficit. I just want to get people thinking about this, and to realize this is a road to disaster. I’ve always been a positive person and optimistic, but I don’t see a solution here.”
I don't have a problem with things like Infowars being on the Internet. In fact, I'd glad they're there. So .. let's all raise a can of Pabst Blue Ribbon to all the citizen volunteers sitting on top of the "war wagons," cradling their .50 caliber machine guns and waiting for the terrorists to arrive. I predict they'll be able to wait exactly as long as they want to.
Not So Cunning Testimony
The good news, or sort of good news, is that all the froot loops aren't in Bossier Parish. Take the case of the recent testimony of Serbian war criminal Radovan Karadzic at the Hague.
When a war criminal is on trial, he isn't just trying to avoid jail or execution; he's also trying to salvage some hint of decency, and possibly even dignity. At any rate, in a perfect world he'd be trying to do that.
No such luck with Karadzic, who has the habit of dictatorship. Like the late Slobodan Milosovic and long-time Ukrainian strong man Viktor Yanukovich, Radovic just looks like a thug. He may be 64, but every time I see a photo of him, the first thought that enters my mind is, "I don't ever want to meet this guy in a dark alley."
Karadzic isn't just a thug; he's also a goofball. True to form, he's so desperate to save his skin he's willing to tell stories he knows no one will believe. He's not sophisticated enough to come up with the kind of stuff that would make a judge pause and think, "Hmm. There could be something to that."
In his testimony, he said Bosnians were both sniping at and bombing other Bosnians — on purpose. He says notorious bombings of Sarajevo markets in 1994 and 1995 were "faked." How, exactly, is a bombing faked? Remarkable as it sounds, Karadzic had an answer for that: "Perhaps it was corpses that were planted."
And why were the Bosnians engaging in all this wanton destruction of each other? That's easy, said Karadzic. They wanted to make the Serbians look bad. He said it was all a "cunning strategy."
Do tell. Karadzic is charged with being responsible for the Srebrenica massacre, in which more than 7,000 were killed. "It is going to be easy for me to prove that I had nothing to do with it," he said. "It is a myth." Karadzic belongs to the school that believes it's beneficial to say that things that are impossible are easy. It's interesting that when Karadzic testified at the Hague, he asked for more time to prepare his defense. Sounds like this project may not be quite as easy as he thought it would be.