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"Calling All Fifty!"

     Richard Cheney, Vice-President in charge of the United
States of America, recently declared that his country is prepared
to go to war against fifty other countries.  It is not likely
that he intended to warn any or all of those countries, but
rather than he was trying to prepare the U.S. taxpayer to plan on
paying for a vastly increased war budget, beginning immediately
and continuing for fifty years to come.  
     It is quite remarkable that most American citizens took Mr.
Cheney's announcement without a blink.  What America has come to
represent in the world, even in the eyes of the Americans
themselves, is war, war machines and war toys, war plans, war
metaphors with which to deal with problems, war budgets, war
talk, war threats and war.
     What does the rest of the world think about this?  Fifty
Countries!  It seems clear that, from the point of view of all
non-Americans, the peoples of the world need to find out the
exact identities of those fifty countries, and the sooner the
better.  Every nation on earth should be asking, in the style of
an old Bible story, "Lord, is it I?"
     The best we can do here at home, with no intelligence-
gathering network that lets us know what's going on in the halls
of government and in the minds and hearts of those who govern, is
the old method of inference.  Let's begin, and keep counting all
the while.
     [1] Iraq.  Cheney and the purported Ruler of the World have
already stated publicly their intent to make war on this cradle
of human civilization which we used to call Mesopotamia.
     [2] North Korea, [3] Libya, and [4] Iran have already been
labeled "the axis of evil," by these same warriors.
     [5] Cuba is high on the list.  Cheney and the others have
been at war with Cuba, unofficially, for more than forty years.
     Who else?  Surely they're including [6] China.  They're a
bunch of Communist atheists, in spite of all that huge market
which American corporations imagine selling stuff to.  A land war
would be tricky and take centuries, probably, but Mr. Cheney
represents the home of the fearless.  We bomb Chinese embassies
from time to time, to keep the enmity alive.  We taunt China
continually with our support of Taiwan.
     [7] Afghanistan and [8] Pakistan must be on the list.  We
bomb and raid both countries indiscriminately and continually,
with little pretext, beyond the search for a criminal who may not
be there or anywhere.  War with these two countries is in
progress already.
     That's eight.  But, fifty?  Let's push ahead.  We tried a
coup in [9] Venezuela recently, but it didn't work.  An invasion
might succeed, as it did not so long ago in Panama.
     [10] Colombia and [11] Peru must be on the list.  We're
sending billions of dollars of war funding, as part of the so-
called "war on drugs."  War against these people is already well
under way.
     [12] Russian must be counted.  The diplomatic friendliness
in recent photo-ops doesn't override the fact that missiles are
still aimed at cities full of people.  Mr. Cheney is incapable of
really believing that the Cold War is over.
     Who else?  How about nations who obstruct our stated plans
and policies, nations who have declared publicly that they do not
want us to attack Iraq, for example?  Add [13] France and 
[14] Saudi Arabia.
     Not long ago the Ruler of the World threatened to invade
[15] The Netherlands, if the War Crimes Tribunal should arrest
any American war criminals like Henry Kissinger.
     The building of a new wall, not unlike the Great Wall of
China, from San Diego to Brownsville, to keep out barbarian
invaders, constitutes a form of war, surely.  The Roman Emperor
Hadrian built one across the island of Great Britain once, trying
to keep out the Scots and the Picts.  It didn't work then, and
the technique won't work now, but it's a kind of war, and we'd
better add [16] Mexico to our list.
     How about countries that make us look bad in the eyes of the
world?  [17] Canada has a working universal health care system
which makes what we have here look stupid, unkind, undemocratic,
and downright un-American.  Add our neighbor to the north to our
     We're still a long way from fifty.  But it's not my job to
do this purely by inference.  The nations of the world need to do
it for themselves, and the first thing they could do is simply
ask, openly and directly, and then watch the response.  And it
wouldn't be a bad idea for the American people themselves to
demand to know who it is that we're going to be fighting.  Who is
on that list, and who isn't?
     Then, once we know, those countries who are on the list need
to form an alliance.  It should be a military alliance, replacing
NATO and all other earlier treaties, and they should do a great
deal of sabre-rattling, to wake up the Americans.  It should also
be an economic alliance with lots of snarling, teeth-baring
     Someone could ask, "Are you preparing the enemy's plan of
     I reply, "No, I'm trying to anticipate it."  I borrow that
phrase from Steinbeck's THE MOON IS DOWN, when German officers
contemplate the next moves of the Norwegian underground in World
War Two.
     This Alliance of Fifty could prepare and then declare, "Any
attack on any one of the fifty is an attack on all, and will
trigger an immediate appropriate response."  Do we sovereign
American citizens really want to be involved in a fifty-front
     The Alliance of Fifty could resolve and then announce,
"Beginning immediately, no citizen or corporation or government
in any of these fifty countries will trade in any manner with any
entity of the U.S. of A.  All contracts with individuals,
corporations or governments in the U.S. are hereby null and
void."  It could become a very serious mess.  Maybe our own
corporations can head off our own American warmongers, before we
get into that much serious trouble.
     Fifty Countries!  We hapless private U.S. citizens are
counting on you to save the day, for all of us. 
                            *   *   *
Copyright © 2002 Harry Willson

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