LET THEM EAT PORTABELLO QUESADILLAS! Commentary on the events commemorating the 50th anniversary of NATO.
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Dateline Washington, D.C. "Bands playing hip-hop and Latin jazz will entertain guests
[attending this week's anniversary summit marking the 50th anniversary of NATO] as they
consume horseradish-encrusted beef tenderloin and portabello quesadillas. In a nod to unfolding
events, guests will be encouraged to take part in the Kosovo relief efforts." (Dallas Morning
News, April 18, 1999)
Meanwhile back in the Balkans, the poor are dying. Catholic Relief Services says one million
people have been displaced. While the Atlantic Elite are sipping fine wines and nibbling at the
canapes and horses doovers, refugees are huddling in unheated tents, eating cold food, often
separated from their families.
I am very troubled by this picture.
Especially since it includes a plan for a new and improved "globalized" NATO. Even though it
lacks an invitation from the United Nations, NATO appears poised to take on the role of "world
policeman" to keep "rogue states" from getting biological, nuclear, or chemical warheads. The
United States government also says it should have a peacekeeping role in the Middle East and
Be the first one on your block, to have your kid come home in a box.
Maybe I was in a car wreck on my way from Kansas City to Oklahoma City and am actually in a
coma where I am experiencing some kind of alice-in-hell-alternative parallel universe. . . but
didn't we try this already? Didn't white people once upon a time set out to rule the world and
make it safe for democracy? And didn't we do a pretty miserable job of it? In fact, aren't a lot of
seemingly intractable problems worldwide the legacies of western military imperialism of one
sort or another? So of course, the solution is (tah-dah, drum roll, trumpet fanfare) -- MORE
I invite all to keep this coming Friday, the day the summit begins, as a day of strict fasting and
abstinence. Works of justice, peace, and reparation are particularly appropriate on that day,
dedicated for the conversion of the leaders of NATO and Serbia.
Here's a sad post script. Our glorious and mighty Leader, President Clinton, is bragging about the
$150 million in US aid for the refugees. Catholic Relief Services estimates that 1 million people
have been displaced thus far by the fighting. So that's about $150 per refugee, which explains a
bit about why the camps are in such miserable shape. Today's paper says that the expected
request for $6 billion for war expenditures will include "up to" $700 million for "humanitarian
assistance." Wow, I am just so IMPRESSED by the overwhelming GENEROSITY of the regime
in Washington, D.C. SEVEN HUNDRED DOLLARS PER REFUGEE! Doesn't this just make
you so terribly proud to be an American? Maybe they'll be able to install water purification
systems and get some heaters for the tents before next winter. Nah, not a chance, you know how
those poor people are. If you make them too comfortable, why, they'll just want to stay that way
all the time, and next thing you know, regime politicians in Washington will be whining about
the problems of transgenerational welfare dependency among the Albanian refugees in the
The rich play while the poor die.
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