“Why aren’t Americans more patriotic?” a Russian defector once asked me. “Because they are too busy shopping and having fun,” I replied.

One might ask why Americans walk so quietly, without the least resistance, toward their destruction. Do they have, in George W. Bush, a leader who understands the weapons of mass destruction revolution? Or do they have a leader who merely bleats in a plausible way, in a way comforting to fat sheep?

What has President Bush shown us to date?

He offers up a national missile defense that will not stop a Russian missile, that will not be deployed for a decade, and that will somehow be politically viable when the Democrats once again take Congress or the White House. He offers us a nuclear arsenal that is cut in half, even though our nuclear forces are the cheapest and best security against world war that we have. He also offers increased pay to our servicemen but not increased combat readiness. He brings us Cabinet officials (like Elaine Chao) with close personal ties to the Chinese dictator, Jiang Zemin. And even worse, he brings us a secretary of state who openly contradicts U.S. Army intelligence reports about communist China’s dangerous influence over the Panama Canal through front companies at the ports of entry.

Such would be oversights if they were only isolated instances. But the entire U.S. government seems to be an isolated instance, that is, isolated from reality. Why do we need to cut our nuclear arsenal by half? Is it because our brains have been rotted by television and consumerism? America has become an inverted land of Oz where Dorothy’s house always seems to land on the good witch and not the bad one. With regard to Russia, we always hear the same tired words again and again: “Do not pay any attention to that man behind the (iron) curtain!”

Do you think we could put together a protest in front of the White House and start chanting slogans at those who run this country before they run it into the ground? Or are we like the Jews entering Treblinka? “Here, take a towel,” says the camp guard, as if we’re about to take a shower.

But there are no showers. There is only a gas chamber, and everyone knows it is a gas chamber as they take their towels. Only what can they do? “We can do nothing,” say the victims. Since the poor fools did not resist in the beginning, they cannot resist in the end. That is logical enough.

The sheep press forward toward the packing house. Lamb chops every one. And there is the great leader, that sheep in sheep’s clothing, George W. Bush. As usual, one debacle follows another.

Now, the FBI is unsure it can prove its case against FBI traitor Robert Hanssen. After all, Hanssen’s conviction would require us to reveal secrets. What secrets? They are all on Vladimir Putin’s desk. They are in colored file folders at the headquarters of the Chinese intelligence service. They disappeared through the good offices of Peter and Wen Ho Lee, Aldrich Ames and Robert Hanssen — with help and assistance from a vast undiscovered horde of spies, wreckers, saboteurs and moles that sit in their Washington cubicles.

Does George W. Bush ask for the resignation of the FBI Director? Does he replace Clinton’s man at CIA? Or does the Clinton intelligence machine remain firmly in place?

One hopes for a black sheep, an animal of a different type, an animal that notices how our nation stumbles from one intelligence scandal to another, from one defense blunder to another. But there are only sheepish flashes of black, rather than black sheep.

Ann Roosevelt, writing in the March 5 issue of Defense Week, tells us that the “Army needs to buy $3 billion worth of munitions in order to close a gap between what is required to fight two major wars and what it has on hand.” In reality, she later admits in her article, the Army needs $12 billion in tank and artillery rounds, small arms and mortar ammo.

$12 billion is chump change.

Bush has inherited a hollow military, and he loves his inheritance. He wants to preserve it; so he raises the pay of the soldiers but withholds the ammunition. If the Navy is short about 2,000 Tomahawk missiles and also needs money for fuel, it is no big deal. Give them more shopping money! Let them feed the “new economy” in its ever-upward spiral toward material nirvana. (Zoom, zoom, zoom.) If the Marine Corps needs $220 million for ammunition and the Air Force needs spare parts for its aircraft, there is no problem. We are the lone superpower, and only a kook would suggest that anyone or anything can touch us.

“We are no longer divided into armed camps locked in a careful balance of terror,” said President Bush.

Meanwhile, Jane’s Defense reports that Russia will be increasing its military equipment orders by 135 percent in 2001, while China announced plans on Tuesday to raise its defense spending by 17.7 percent. (Beijing cited “drastic changes in the world military situation” as the reason.)

Of course, officially speaking, Russian and Chinese defense spending is supposedly a pittance when compared to ours. The only problem is, their methods of counting are purposely deceptive, and our desire to be deceived is very great indeed.

In the United States, we blunder from one security disaster to the next. One by one, our strengths are shown to be weaknesses and our enemies are shown to have beaten us. Our intelligence community is useless, even dangerous. First there was Aldrich Ames, who gave away all our agents in Russia. Now we are introduced to Robert Hanssen, an FBI traitor who supposedly had access to so-called “Black Programs,” which he supposedly shared with Moscow.

Now why would he need to have such access?

Hanssen also had access to MASINT information (Measurement and Signature Intelligence). In other words, he gave the Russians secrets that enable them to detect our ballistic missile submarines deep under the oceans. He has given them the keys for sneaking nuclear, biological or chemical weapons across our borders. With secrets hemorrhaging out of us like water pouring through a broken dam, Hanssen becomes an essential figure. If they had not discovered him, they would have needed to invent him.

Hanssen covers all sins. Have all our operations been compromised for half a generation? Blame it on Hanssen. Can the Russians nuke all our submarines under the oceans? Blame it on Hanssen. Analysis will show that Hanssen led the Japanese carriers to Pearl Harbor. Hanssen recruited Benedict Arnold for the British. Hanssen tempted Eve in the Garden of Eden. The root of all our intelligence evils has been located. Salvation is here. Now the bunglers in Washington can sleepwalk soundly to the very end of this Republic of the Lamb — silent before their coming doom.

The Chinese and Russians have stripped us naked in the last few years. Every nuclear secret stolen, every warhead design, every battle plan, every agent unmasked. Is this significant? Nah, go back to sleep! And we mustn’t look into political scandals X, Y and Z, even as they trace back to Russian banks or Chinese players. After all, the Russians are nice people. And if they dared to blackmail half of Congress (and every presidential candidate who ever played peek-a-boo) we’d know, ’cause Hanssen would have, er, told us.

Some ponderous media smugster, holding a pink baby rattle like a witch doctor might hold a magical amulet, is warding off these horrible truths by declaring Russia’s impotence. At the same time, every intelligence failure in the crybaby’s crib has now found a scapegoat who might — incredible as it seems — be found innocent. Could it be? Is it possible that Hanssen has been framed by that horde of moles, saboteurs and pleasure-seekers who are allegedly protecting us from a “non-existent” Cold War non-enemy?

The Russians are laughing. Their latest joke is perhaps the funniest of all. As Russia’s ancient space station — the Mir — is about to fall on us, we are told that a horrible mutant space fungi — a mystery mold — is onboard. “I cannot overstate this,” said Yuri Karash at a recent Moscow press conference. “A realistic problem exists.”

With a debris field 3,500 miles long, the crash of the Mir has given Russian biological warfare scientists the giggles. The mystery mold is said to produce corrosive and poisonous substances and lives comfortably in ventilation shafts and air conditioning units.

Not to be out-giggled by their biowar brothers, the boys in Russia’s nuclear program have their little jokes. As the United States refuses to test its nuclear weapons because of non-ratified agreements with Russia, the Russians are not so scrupulous. For half a decade, the Kremlin has conducted what it calls “non-nuclear tests” of nuclear weapons under the Arctic.

But are these tests really non-nuclear? Leading United States intelligence analysts say the Russians are violating the nuclear test ban agreement. Here at last we find a few black sheep, though they are muzzled by their security clearances and opposed by deluded liberal colleagues. The Russians are denying any deception, as always, just as they deny the existence of tactical nuclear weapons in their forward base at Kaliningrad on the Baltic Sea.

Meanwhile, Russia is rushing arms to Iraq and masking those shipments by sending them via Belarus. In a few days, President Mohammed Khatami of Iran is going to visit Moscow to sign a “pact.” Traveling with a 100-man delegation, the Iranian leader is expected to sign a mutual defense treaty.

“It cannot be just a matter of a military-technical cooperation pact,” said Russian Deputy Prime Minister Ilya Klebanov. “We have to address the entire range of bilateral relations.”

What do the sheep in America say to this? What do they say about a government that cannot keep secrets, that cannot enforce treaties, that cannot confront its enemies in a forthright way without going weak in the knees?

If the sheep in this country do not make a noise very soon, if they do not hold the corrupt political bosses responsible, if they do not put people in jail for treason and espionage and bribery — a great moonscape will occur.

Then will come the silence of the lambs. The last and final silence.

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