Howdy, Fifth Estate!
There is some serious stuff happening here in Austin. A liberated Learning Collective has been established. Part of it is a how-to course to teach would-be publishers to use the L LC press to produce their own news papers.
I’m taking this class with the hope to put out my Anarchist networking newsletter for Texas and the bordering states. Hopefully, this will provide a forum for the exchange of ideas and information for Anarchists in the region.
And since there are no concrete plans being discussed about a continental or international Anarchist conference this year, I am proposing that we here in Austin host a regional conference for Anarchists in the Texas-Louisiana-Arkansas-Oklahoma-New Mexico area to get together. Heck, it’ d be great if some Anarchists from the border region of Mexico would come too!
No date has been set yet, but Thanksgiving weekend sounds good from here. Of course, this date can change, but I’d like to see this happen this year. Please help me keep corresponding costs to a minimum by enclosing a Self-Addressed-Stamped Envelope with your request for info, if you are able.
Rob Los Ricos
504 W. 24th No. 81
Austin, TX 78705
Not Our Troops 1
To the FE Collective:
I recently received the first issue of my subscription to the Fifth Estate. My only question: Where have you been all my life?
George Bradford’s “These Are Not Our Troops, This Is Not Our Country” (FE #336, Spring 1991) stands as the best single analysis of the U.S. propaganda system that I’ve ever read. I write this with some experience being a freelance journalist who’s reported extensively on the subjects of censorship, thought-control and media manipulation in the “land of the free.”
I once interviewed Noam Chomsky and asked him how he responds to mainstream journalists who say, “No one tells me what to think or what to write!” Chomsky replied, “That’s easy, because they think all the right things.”
A fellow human,
Not Our Troops 2
your last issue [FE #336, Spring, 1991] was a pure cathartic experience. especially the article ‘these are not our troops; this is not our country.’ like the wind that kicks up the coats of the politician on the podium expounding on the virtues of truth and freedom, revealing the laundered money stuffed into his zipper. EXPOSURE.
the emperor has no clothes, but he sure has a lot of smart bombs. the quote of c. wright mills in mid-article stopped me dead, thinking, ‘migod, that’s just what I’m trying to say in a poem written a couple of weeks before fifth estate arrived.’ aha! the cold-bloodedness is reduced to business.
we trade our hearts for the precision of the smart bomb winging perfect technological madness down to the human beings. that ‘loyalty to the mythical sense of the state’ what with the flag bearers stamping out the little flames of creativity across the nation. it seemed to be an excuse to roll back any bursts of creativity in our culture over the last forty years.
jacquie (the poet i live with) wrote the day after war broke out:
the men who hoot and whistle at women
from behind their car windows
so true. so true. the shadows have all come out of the closet and are free to roam, sanctioned by budweiser and the president and colgate that keeps your teeth shiny, not like those horrible dark people over there, ‘they looked like roaches scurrying around’…remember that priceless gem of heartlessness? and no one even sighs at the metallic brutality.
while there’s a uso salute to the troops on the tube every minute. frank sinatra sings about corner grocery stores and apple pie. WHAT? and on sixty minutes the ex-invader of cambodia, richard mil-house, suggests that bush put out a contract on Saddam Hussein. and mickey mouse mike wallace just nodded and smiled like he’d said, ‘i brush my teeth twice a day,’ Christ. thank you don corleone nixon for that plum of diplomatic strategy.
and so i decided to make my secession from the union formal. with a poem.
I SECEDE FROM THE UNION
I secede from the union
This body is a liberated zone
No flags No contempt
Spread my fingers and kiss the heart of my palm
The new land
No columbus slave ships
No sexdesire for GOLD
No joystick between the knees, picking off bombs
The wind can come to me anytime
The wind can sneak through the curtains and spread over my arching back
I don’t need no passport
to crazyride the back of the phoebe
over the rising raccoon river
chasing down the first chatter insects
ah yes and that reprinting of the article on the marxist leninist vampires made us all giggle here (See, “Oh, No, Here They Come Again,” FE #336, Spring 1991).
the SWP here knocks on their coffins in the early morning and goes out to collect nubile young flesh. they loved the war because it was a great way to get out there and recruit for the revolution. couldn’t believe how they feast on everyone, even those they know. they are not interested in friendship. that article was true today as it was yesteryear.
what was so funny was how relatively young folks who’ve never heard ‘vampires applied to the communist parties started using that term simply by watching their practices during the war. here in des moines, we call them the undead. as ionesco said, ‘the world should be less a world of comrades and more a world of friends.’
thanks for being there in the dark days.
des moines, Iowa
Bacchus be praised!
Up here in the Great White North we call Canada, spring has finally pushed the horror of winter aside and has again blessed our Mother Earth with a massive bouquet of new growth. Budding leaves slowly coloring the forest, new shoots breaking through the sodden earth to bask in the sun, and the first robin of the year was seen yesterday in the backyard.
Most of us simple countryfolk are thrilled with the arrival of spring, but none, I believe, more so than myself, because the glorious arrival of spring and the magic it brings means only one thing: marijuana! That’s right, cannabis sativa by the truckload will be waving in the warm summer breeze come harvest time, and this year should prove quite bountiful.
This is where you tireless combatants at Fifth Estate are helping to play a major role. Using an origami technique, I use old newspapers to create my own biodegradable planters. Having run out of the local paper I was forced to use some back issues of Fifth Estate a friend of mine got downtown. I don’t know what it’s about your publication, but out in the greenhouse where I’ve got the 2500 odd plants bursting to life, the 100 or so in the Fifth Estate planters are already 7 cm. tall, which is twice as tall as the others, and breaking all speed growing records. What’s the deal guys? Do you use special paper, or what?
Well that’s it. Just thought I’d let you know of one more great use of your paper to screw the system. Good luck with all future publications, and keep your fingers crossed my crop isn’t infested by parasites in blue.
P.S. Address withheld for obvious reasons.
Dear Fifth Estate,
The last two issues of the FE were especially interesting to me because of their coverage of the Gulf slaughter and the articles on GI resistance. As an anti-authoritarian and ex-member of the old Vietnam Veterans Against the War (VVAW), I find myself with the problem of being in a new organization, VVAW—Anti-Imperialist, which is called an RCP front.
I plan to push anti-authoritarian ideas within the organization and see what happens. In Seattle, which is the national headquarters, there are many members of the VVAW-AI, who aren’t RCP but simply agree with the five points of unity that includes opposing imperialism east and west.
Wild Wayne for Friends of Liberty
Box Number 95685
Seattle, WA 98145
Enclosed is some paper things with pictures of dead persons on them. I hear rumor that you will exchange these for larger pieces of paper with more interesting writings upon them. Some deal. If there are extra illuminati confetti units here, use them for the minds of the bodies the state(s) have captured.
Here’s an aphorism for you, swear I made it up myself, but like a lot of these things, it seems too obvious, why haven’t I heard it before?
“Of course I chose to be gay—what misery otherwise. And I constantly recruit new queer boys and girls. It must be a good thing—very nearly everyone who has become gay has stayed that way. And of course the Christians breed—they have to! No one in their right mind would otherwise join them!” You can quote me on this.
When I went to the dictionary to look up ‘aphorism’ (and decided to use the word anyways), the words ‘anarchism’ and ‘anarchist’ appeared as call-out words in the top corner of the pages where I first opened the book.
Not only that, but the definitions weren’t evil—’the theory that all forms of government are oppressive and undesirable, and should be abolished,’ plus other OK ones. I’ll not tell you the bad one. (Only one.)
Enough drivel. I love FE, even when I grumble about it to my friends. I can think of no other rag that even approaches yours in in-depth thinking, complete with context. Even if it gets too intellectual sometimes. At least you’re thinking! Things are awful out there, aren’t they?!
Support Our Dupes 1
Your paper is the only legible counterbalance to our wondrous age of cattle mentality, this shining age where all move headlong into death for the love of consumption, the constant need to feed the holy Machine of domination and destruction (an appetite never appeased).
Isn’t it glorious to see so many fine Amerikkkkanz get behind the “kinder & gentler” Plantation Boss as he wages “good” upstanding Morality across our humble globe! A revelation to see the mindless masses smother in hefty fields of yellow ribbons while denying that it is their consumptive lifestyles that play a large part in massacre by U$ troops sent to “liberate Kuwait.”
The bombing in the desert doesn’t hold a candle to the constant propagandoid bombing of tv and radio airwaves, and the hyper-simulated war brings forth a hyper-simulated grief and despair in the realm of the everyday. Yet around the flashing ions creeps the ironic truth that Greed & Gluttony are the signpost of our CiviLIEzation, carnage & crisis the true fuels of nations, and Us gives its full support to a pluralism of bombs long before a pluralism of culture or beliefs.
Only in these fine eloquent times can the people grope in their survival induced blindness while “CNN” shouts its ominous byline “the eyes…the ears…of the world!” We are electronically cooked geese hooked into our microwave media(tion) of the artifice of life.
I doubt that anyone could improve on your “Gulf War Memorial” from FE #335, Winter 1990! The soldier holding aloft a blonde in a Cadillac with an oilrig hood ornament pretty much hits it, except maybe the soldier should be black.
Keep up the incisive writing and remember…organization makes organs of us all!! Support “our” DUPES,
dr. Pazkal UNI
Support Our Dupes 2
It’s difficult to pierce the mind set of those who would reduce world affairs to a Machiavellian model of power politics. The amazing popularity of the war, especially by a generation of people who helped significantly change many of the traditions and values of cold war America, poses what would seem to be a formidable contradiction of social consciousness and activism.
The many people I spoke to, who in their own right were vital participants in the ’60s social revolution, maintained that Saddam Hussein was unarguably a certain potential threat to peace in the Middle East, a dangerous man who would have pulled the region into an apocalyptic war with Israel. Thus, they maintain U.S. action was the lesser of two evils.
Along these same lines of argument—i.e., power politics—these people maintain that to abandon the course of global capitalism is naive and self destructive. The world will continue to develop on this level and to function otherwise will only leave the U.S. at the mercy of those nations who will continue to pursue this political system.
I am sure you are familiar with these opinions. For me it is difficult to respond to the charge that I am naive. Honestly, I am beginning to feel I must be because unfortunately the world seems only to operate within the theatre of power politics and to hold the belief that such a condition necessitates an impoverished and destructive social environment is really quite meaningless.
It doesn’t matter, as they say, because in reality this system is the best that’s available under the circumstances. Yes, it makes me sick, but in reality, if one considers the politics of the world, is it so untrue?
FE response: It is untrue.
Anarchy & Crime
Dear Fifth Estate,
I often talk about anarchist ideals with friends who have much different opinions than me. When I discuss the idea of a less coercive world without government, leaders or centralist power, they always come up with the question, “How about crime?” “What would crime be like in a more anarchistic world?” “Would there be more of it?” “How would a community deal with thieves or murderers?”
Well, I think in any kind of an anarchist society there would be much less crime than there is now. You could walk around naked, not wear a seatbelt, sell, or better yet, give away drugs, and less things would be considered crime. Also wealth one way or the other would be more evenly distributed, so there would be less crimes of need.
No one would steal to survive. But even generations away I could not envision a world that was crimeless and completely free of coercion. I was wondering what ideas the people at the Fifth Estate and its readers have about crime in an anarchist society.
Love, Peace Anarchy and Other Good Stuff
FE Response: Books available on the interesting subject you raise include People Without Government: An Anthropology of Anarchy by Harold Barclay and The Struggle to Be Human: Crime, Criminology and Anarchism by L. Tifft and Dennis Sullivan, available from Left Bank Distribution, 4142 Brooklyn NE, Seattle WA 98105; phone: (206) 632-5870. Also, Bolo Bolo by P.M. presents stimulating ideas on the subject. It is available from the FE for $5.
To the FE:
George Bradford’s “Civilization in Bulk: Empire and Ecological Destruction” (FE #336, Spring 1991) is only somewhat critical of civilization, preferring, in classical anarchist fashion, to embrace all that appeared prior to political authority (e.g. symbolization. agriculture, specialists such as shamans). It rejects inquiry that tends to see alienation/domination/suffering as beginning to develop well before the state is established. In fact, even the arrival of the state is referred to as a “mystery” which “no explanation and no speculation can encompass.
But Bradford’s preferences are only preferences, and one wonders why even bother to mention origins if the possibility of understanding them—and, by implication, our present extremity—is ruled out. Bradford quotes the anarchist Clastres to the effect that ethnography is nothing but ideology, only to employ, selectively, ethnographic opinion in defense of institutions he upholds.
In the absence of grappling with what generates alienated life the article is mainly quotes and hyperbole (everything is “exploding,” “calamitous,” etc., but we can’t know why). It strikes me that by seeing, explicitly or implicitly, such virulences as domestication, division of labor, and abstract thinking as OK or natural up to a point, we are left powerless to understand their real nature and results.
George Bradford responds: John Zerzan is mistaken in accusing me of rejecting inquiry into possible antecedents of alienation (I’ll leave the origins of suffering and the implication that all suffering will someday be eliminated to Jehovah’s Witnesses and other like-minded types). In fact, if Zerzan’s own thesis on origins had been raised in a “what if” mode rather than in the linear, unitary and definitive way that it was, my reaction would have been different. Let’s be clear: it isn’t Zerzan’s critics in this paper who have refused any deviation, visionary or otherwise, from a monolithic view. It is Zerzan who has laid claim to an absolute idea and who dismisses even the slightest doubt that symbolic activity, language, and culture are unmitigated “virulences” as reformist, conservative, etc. (I’m not sure why he hasn’t focussed on fire as the First Cause of “the Fall,” but perhaps the ancient Greeks already handled that theme sufficiently.)
As I have already written, the kind of ontological oneness Zerzan posits as both our original state and the necessary precondition for future freedom harkens back to amoebic origins. For the better part of a decade, I and others attempted to open up a dialogue on his thesis, but he hasn’t even bothered to respond to criticisms. He just continues to repeat his assumptions (for example that the shaman was a specialist/proto-ruler, an idea which I discussed critically at some length in my essay; or that any domestication of plants or animals was automatically alienation; or that some pre-symbolic human life existed for thousands of years, and that there was some kind of unsubstantiated period of resistance lasting thousands of years against symbolic activity; that language is alienation, but that its degradation and corruption by power is somehow proof of this; there are others). He doesn’t take any time to answer serious objections, yet he thinks that what he once defended as only an undefinitive “conjecture/dream/hypothesis” should now be simply taken for granted as the first and last word on the origins of the state and alienation. Thus to reply to the assumptions of his letter in a coherent way to clarify the history of this dispute would necessitate reiterating all of the objections he has chosen to ignore.
Certainly Clastres recognized ethnography as ideological justification for colonialism and eurocentrism, but he wasn’t suggesting that there could be no valid evidence for analysis. Otherwise he wouldn’t have bothered to write on the subject. In fact, there is plenty of evidence for stateless, non-alienated, organically integrated, liberatory societies among original peoples on every continent practicing every sort of symbolic and subsistence activity. Furthermore, not only have symbolic activity and language coevolved with our very physiological make-up, symbolism is deeply rooted in evolution and practiced by other species. (Alienated wolves and whales, perhaps?) For his part, Zerzan has only dreamy conjecture—from which, revealingly, he has never budged even an iota. Yet the rest of the world must toe his Most Radical Line now that he has established it (and himself as Most Radical Theoretician).
Thus whatever actual knowledge we may have about societies engaged in various kinds of plant cultivation, domestication equals alienation and they are by definition alienated. He’s had the last word on agriculture and it is an Evil No-No. Not only are symbolic activity and culture the starting point for the horrors of modern industrial capitalism, no less, but whatever road history has traversed, authentic liberation can only come with their dissolution. Many who for the most part reject Zerzan’s conclusions nevertheless praise him for raising these questions; to me, it’s theoretical buffoonery. As Bob Brubaker once remarked in a critique, “his envisioned society would belong not on the earthly plane of existence but could only be situated in heaven.” (FE #313, Summer 1983) But it’s worse than that: his argument that all culture has essentially been from the start only an unambiguous, totalitarian lie is a dreadful, oppressive dualism that has become popular among certain anti-authoritarians. To function on a “reality” principle that rejects all culture as a lie rather than as contested terrain would be, as Adorno pointed out in Minima Morelia (in a fragment titled, interestingly, “Baby with the Bathwater”), “to extirpate, with the false, all that was true also…and so to bring about directly the barbarism that culture is reproached with furthering indirectly.”
While Zerzan’s remark that my essay is “mainly quotes and hyperbole” has some relation to truth—I do quote too much, because others have usually said it better already—it will likely elicit laughter from anyone familiar with his work, with its triple-digit endnotes and quotations torn out of context. I guess one theoretician’s quotes and hyperbole are another’s bread and butter.
Zerzan’s essays can be found in his book Elements of Refusal. For the many substantial responses, see Bob Brubaker’s “What Time Is It? A Response to Zerzan” (FE #313, Summer 1983); my “Confronting the Enemy: A Response on Time” (FE #314, Fall 1983); my “Some Words on the Word” [FE #315, Winter, 1984] and “Some Kind Words About Language” by Ratticus (FE #315, Winter 1984, out of print—photocopy available for $1); “3 Cases for Art” by Ratticus, E.S. and myself (Spring ’87 FE); “Comments on Zerzan’s Critique of Agriculture” by Brubaker (Winter ’88- ’89 FE); my “The Question of Agriculture” (Spring ’89 FE); and the letter exchange in the Summer 1989 issue. All back issues available from FE Books for $1.50, Zerzan’s book for $10.
Dear Fifth Estate comrades,
I’m happy that the Fifth Estate has kicked the habit of publishing pamphlets in the columns of the paper. I’m not uninterested in philosophy but the “correct” philosophical line certainly isn’t what’s important in these times.
For spreading anarchist ideas among the “uninitiated” the article “Detroit: Demolished by Design” (FE #335, Winter, 1991), is infinitely more valuable. It’s high quality journalism. The painful honesty of the ending actually validates the article.
Troy, New York
Order From Chaos
Order emerges from chaos. There seems to be a primal drive in humans for order. Left organizations exploit this, so does the ruling class in America. It cannot be ignored or denied.
If varied forms of anarchy are to emerge or even exist in revolutionary America, in particular in a post revolutionary America with Order nuts trying to restabilize and control, then it is in our interests to either be able to do this by our own choices and methods, or be able to manipulate and direct such drives and trends. I think anarchists must recognize these primal drives as well as their utilitarian function in complex industrial states.
We must look positively at the ways they can and must serve in order to make a social transition from urban industrialized ghettoization and dehumanization. People conditioned to the work ethic, uniform education, law and order, fear non-order. There has to be a transition period maybe involving decades.
I, too, have noticed the leninist character of Love & Rage. (See “On Anarchist Organization,” FE #336, Spring, 1991). They are experimenting with willful cellular power while educating about anarchist ideals. Certainly some contradictions in principle. But the real result may be beneficial to anarchists as a whole. They will garner the ones who are disillusioned with the RCP, SWP, RWL, etc. since the failures of the USSR and China and something interestingly different might emerge. They are taking a historic step. Prototypes usually don’t work the first time, but set the guidelines for models that do.
The human race has worked its way through various corruptions of power. Cave Conans, Khans, kings, emperors, dynasties, monarchs, oligarchies, military dictators, the remnants of some still lingering. We are now having to overcome the heyday of bureaucracies and technocrats. What evolutionary forms succeed them, only to be corrupted in turn? Anarchy may not come into its own for hundreds of years, or only through catastrophic global collapse. All revolutionaries and pre-revolutionary times have been filled with anarchistic fervor and mystical hope, naivete, etc. It never panned out. Failure to deal realistically with power.
Does it really matter what philosophy is empowered, Maoist? Marxist? Socialist? Anarchist? In the end isn’t it things like nuclear disarmament, environmental balance, population that will decide the future, not philosophy or ideology? The issues matter more than the philosophies.
How humans live will determine the future of the earth more than anything else. There are still only 300 intentional communities groping with this. Changing how people actually live, work. Most anarchists are overly intellectual and even the bright ones do not practice any egalitarian way of living. They must move from mind to practice and be willing and able to defend it or manipulate and leverage it politically.
The Russian and Chinese revolutions were good, were successful. They were corrupted afterwards. Yes, we can have a successful revolution and fail in the afterbirth. Whoever wins the political and military battles will get first choice to decide the future regardless of their intelligence. To fight and win those battles requires some form of organization, coordination.
Anarchists can do sabotage, fight a war of attrition anonymously and independently with major success, but somewhere it has to surface politically in organized form with a coordinated voice.
Let’s work at combining these. I credit L & R with trying to do the impossible. I credit them with trying the inconceivable. Let’s learn from their efforts and take it forward.
FE Response: To pose anarchy as merely another competing sect within the leftist alphabet soup, complete with an instrumental agenda, destroys its uniqueness as a vision seeking to restore self-organization and community.
To reproduce itself, capitalist and state society has taken best advantage of the prevailing mass character structure of submission. To suggest anarchists should tap into this impoverished humanity as it is presently constituted would do no more than to recreate the current state of affairs.
What you call “revolutions”—those seizures of the state apparatus of Russia and China—were counter-revolutionary from their origins, corrupt at the instant of their birth by virtue of the leninist/maoist project of administering the state and developing industrialism—state capitalism. Authentic thrusts at revolution were exterminated immediately by those who knew “organization” was critical to the new order in 1917 and 1949.
Co-ordinated revolutionary activity, the organization of revolutionary change, comes about in an instant when the old regime begins to totter. No revolution was defeated by state trickery or Bolshevik or fascist terror because it lacked organization, only because it lacked strength.
Make It Fun
Your Spring 1991 issue was generally excellent, but I feel you failed to tackle the major question regarding the Gulf war—why was the opposition so feeble after the first week or so?
I think the answer lies in the ongoing effort by the leadership of the anti-war movement to paint itself as a loyal opposition. People such as Chomsky and Ellsberg supported the initial troop deployment. Later, they supported the defense of Saudi Arabia, and the use of sanctions as an alternative war strategy. Never did they question the notion of “national interest,” or why it would be in the interest of American people to have a U.S. presence in the Persian Gulf.
The “national interest” is a metaphor, which treats a nation-state as an individual with identifiable interests. It is a hideous metaphor; it hides the fact that the interests actually defended are those of the ruling elite. But the anti-war movement did not want to question class society, only a particular policy. Thus, it lost the fight before it even began. It played a role in the governing show, one of demonstrating to the world how “this is a democracy, and most Americans support the government, but everyone has a right to “responsible’ dissent.”
Furthermore, opposition was portrayed as a chore, something to be joylessly done as an obligation to the world’s disadvantaged, not as a self-liberating activity. How many people would want to come back after attending a boring rally and listening to over thirty repetitive speeches, while countless sects try to recruit them? Dissent was much more fun twenty years ago. Can we make it fun again, and how?
On another point, an article in the Winter 1990-91 issue kept referring to Rumania, Rumanians, etc. Who are the Rumans? Seriously, you probably don’t know that the u-spelling came about as a result of Russian 19th-century propaganda to portray Romania as a slavic (rather than Latin) country, to justify Russian imperial designs and the (still on-going) occupation of Bessarabia (see The Hole in the Flag by Andrei Codrescu). Western culture followed the Russian example until recent years; power talks. I might not have been concerned if not for my Romanian ancestry, but I still think things like that are important.
Off With Their Heads
There is an opportunity in Kingston, Ontario this fall to have an effective political action/gathering.
On October 16th, Princess Diana and Prince Charles (of the British monarchy) are coming to Kingston to help celebrate the local university’s (Queen’s) 150th anniversary. In addition, the Princess will inspect the cadet regiment which is dedicated to her.
Obviously anarchists oppose the Monarchy and what it stands for. The opportunity exists to have a broad group of people saying no to these parasites. I am organizing a local “Off With Their Heads!” anti-monarchy group.
It would be great to have a large vocal group of anarchists doing some actions. With at least three Anarchist Youth Federation groups close at hand, the area is perfect. Princess Di’s visit should not be ignored—we should all shout out, “Fuck off and Di”/”We don’t wanna Di,” etc.
Right now this idea is only in the brainstorm phase, but over the summer it could be built into a reality. Please write to express interest, concerns, or just to acknowledge the letter!
PO Box 461
K7L 4W5, Canada
Thanks for your review of Abyss. (See “Peering Into the Abyss,” FE #336, Spring 1991.) The issue is available in New York City (M.O.M.P., 54 State Street, 5L, Brooklyn NY 11201). If you want, we can send you additional copies to be spread for more public concern…
Enclosed are two copies of our last brochure (“To the people who don’t want to manage the nuisances but want to get rid of them”); one is in French and the other one is a Spanish translation made in Barcelona. An English translation is in progress by an American living in Quebec. When ready we will send you a copy; if you are interested in and are willing to, you could reproduce and spread it.
for the encyclopedists,
Encyclopedie des Nuisances
75665 Paris CEDEX 14
FE Note: The pamphlet Abyss is available for $3.00 from the NY address. We recommend it highly to our readers.
A scattering of children stood by the sand track, one hand tapping their teeth, another their stomachs in the universal refugee sign language for “Give me food.” The desert on either side of the track was littered with scorched Iraqi tanks, crumpled cars and crushed trucks. It was impossible to tell where the border between Iraq and Kuwait was, but when it was certain that (Col. Nash) was in Kuwait, he stopped with a handful of vehicles to watch the last of his forces head south.
A tank thundered by and it was quiet. Then, announced only by the hiss of its tires, a blindingly white Mercedes-Benz shussed by, its windows tastefully curtained, its driver shrouded in his white gutra, or headdress. An American officer followed the car with his eyes, “That,” he said, “is what we fought for.”
—New York Times, May 8, 1991
Christian Space Launch Fails
Corpus Christi, Texas—The Christian fundamentalist organization Christian Advance into Space Habitat (CASH) has announced that its attempt to launch a missionary space station to outlying planets failed when the solid fuel section caught fire and exploded, burning the million pocket Bibles stored on board. The pilot of the ship, Nasal Roberts (brother of well-known evangelist Oral Roberts) escaped unharmed. Anal Roberts, another brother serving as a spokesman for the privately funded space exploration group, said that efforts would resume immediately. “We hope to find and convert life in outer space by 1992 in honor of the discovery and Christianization of America,” he said. “We want to repeat where no missionary has yet gone all of the glories of the expansion of our God-fearing, private-enterprise civilization here on earth, as well as establishing mineral rights.” No date for the next launch attempt has been set.