2.0: the upgrade

The 2002 midterm elections are over, and the American people (or, more precisely, roughly one-third of the country’s eligible voters) have spoken. We want our lifestyle back, and George W. Bush and the Republican-led House and Senate are going to deliver it to us via their freshly updated political program, New World Order 2.0.

The original software was developed by Bush the Elder in the days leading up to the first Gulf War. Casting about for a villain after the Soviet empire’s collapse, the former CIA director-cum-president found one in Saddam Hussein. The brazen, brutal dictator of Iraq had been a U.S. ally right up to the moment he attempted to seize control of approximately two-fifths of the world’s petroleum reserves, the vast pools of black crude beneath his own country and beneath neighboring Kuwait.

Being an oilman himself, Bush the Elder understood that those reserves, along with the rest of the global supply, were finite. At the current rate of consumption, most experts concede that the known reserves, along with what little oil remains to be discovered, will be exhausted well before the end of the 21st century.

That’s where the lifestyle thing comes in. Without a dependable supply of oil, the economic engine that drives the American way of life as we know it would grind to a halt. Thus Bush the Elder created New World Order 1.0, a killer app specifically designed to ensure the Western industrialized world’s access to every last drop of Middle Eastern oil.

The software’s beta test, Operation Desert Storm, was a stunning success, and Bush the Elder basked in victory. But there were a number of glitches in the program. For one, the Gulf War ended too quickly. By the time the next presidential election rolled around, the economy had wilted, Bush the Elder’s heroism long had been forgotten, and it cost him re-election.

The second glitch was more disastrous: It seems certain factions in the Middle East were not so happy with the more imperial components of NWO 1.0. How pleasing it must have been for Osama bin Laden that the son of the program’s designer was flitting about the skies like a frightened bird in Air Force One on September 11, 2001.

But then, we’ve all been frightened since September 11. There’s a whole bunch of evildoers out there threatening to do-in the American lifestyle. We know it’s all about the oil. We know it’s a lifestyle that can’t be sustained, but we don’t want it to end. We are afraid of it ending. President George W. Bush and the Republican Party have shamelessly harnessed that fear and will now turn it loose on the world.

How’d they get away with it? That’s the beauty of NWO 2.0. It was a simple upgrade, really. The drumbeat for war comes before the election. The killing comes after.