Cole also touches on a larger point. The relentless and savage class war waged by the American elite against the nation's poor (and, increasingly, the middle class) during the past 30 years is creating the kind of societal rot that breeds ignorance, extremism and violence. As Cole notes, the same resentments, the same oppression and hopelessness is beginning to link the slums of Cairo, Nairobi, Manila, Rio, Mexico City and elsewhere around the world to the ghettos of Miami and Los Angeles and the ruins of New Orleans. The fire building under these ash-heaps -- seething and subterranean for now -- is like the lava that swelled for years beneath Pompeii before it blew. When the inevitable explosion comes, it's not going to be pretty, or neatly contained; it's going to be a hard rain that falls on the just and unjust alike.
The tiny sliver of wealthy elites who control the majority of America's wealth (and all of its government, corporate and Establishment institutions), an elite now personified by the junta triumvirate that rules the country -- Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld -- have never had to face the consequences of their actions. There has always been someone else to pay the bill, take the fall, someone else to fight and die to keep the Sliverites in clover. Thus the American elite have come to believe that there are no real consequences for their actions; they believe they can continue to rip American society and American democracy to shreds but that everything will go on as before. They believe -- like all the over-gorged, dull-witted elites in all the now-vanished empires before them -- that they can disembowel the golden goose and keep on collecting the eggs. Like the extinct Easter Islanders, they are devouring the source of their own sustenance -- but they are too stupid and too greedy to see it.
And anyway, the crack-up is not likely to come while the aging triumvirate is still alive to see it, so what do they care? "Apres moi, le deluge." Or as Bush once famously shrugged to Bob Woodward, when the latter asked him how history might judge his Iraq war: "History? Who knows? We'll all be dead."
Yes, but some of us -- a lot of us -- millions of us -- are going to die before our time, thanks to the ignorant and callous predations of our well-protected elites.
*For more on the Bush Regime tactic of infiltrating and manipulating terrorist groups, see Into the Dark: The Pentagon Plan to Foment Terrorism and Darkness Visible: The Pentagon Plan to Foment Terrorism is Now Operative.*