Anyone with a bit of media savvy or a passing familiarity with Seymour Hersh’s work in The New Yorker will know that he’s not some flaming left-wing wacko; in fact, his reporting and bona fides (he uncovered the My Lai massacre 35 years ago and won the Pulitzer) give him a gravitas that no amount of right-wing shit-shoveling can take away.
Which is why his speech now available on the Democracy Now website is particularly harrowing. If you have 20 minutes free and want your fucking socks scared off, by all means go watch the video or sample a bit of the transcript. This man is not screwing around. Here’s a bit:
It’s going to go very bad, folks. You know, if you have not sold your stocks and bought property in Italy, you better do it quick. Europe is not going to tolerate us much longer. The rage there is enormous. I’m talking about our old-fashioned allies. We could see something there, collective action against us. It’s going to be an awful lot of dancing on our graves as the dollar goes bad and everybody stops buying our bonds, our credit — we’re spending $2 billion a day to float the debt, and one of these days, the Japanese and the Russians, everybody is going to start buying oil in Euros instead of dollars. We’re going to see enormous panic here.
Naturally, the readers of this blog who lean to the right will chime in to say how this is overblown rhetoric, but suppose for a minute Hersh is right. If the last five years have proven anything to us – from the tech crash to 9/11 to anthrax to climate change to power outages to flu vaccines – is that WHEN THE GOING GETS TOUGH, YOU ARE ALONE IN THIS WORLD. Don’t expect a safety net or a superhero to swoop out of the sky and rescue you: if things go south in this country, too fucking bad for you.
As far as I can see, it’s a good season to behave like a survivalist; I don’t mean hoarding cans of Spaghetti-O’s in the larder like my Mormon cousins do, I mean just being aware that you might want to have a few things in place if something terrible happens. If there were a stock market crash in 2005, you can’t run down the street flapping your arms screaming that you weren’t warned.
But what does that really mean? I’ve got a kid on the way, and when we aren’t paying for our lives through writing and other projects, we rely on the occasional dividends from stocks invested in American companies. We could wildly diversify into international stuff, but will that really save our bacon?
And if the infrastructure goes, how the hell will we get around this city? You need electricity to power the gas pumps; even the Prius runs out of fuel eventually. Try leaving the country, but who would take us? In some daymares, I have Tessa and I hauling the kid around in a Baby Bjorn as we walk over the mountains into Canada like the Von Trapp family escaping the Anschluss.
We’re all woefully underprepared even for the most minor emergencies. And why should the neo-cons care? Half of them are too rich to see straight, and the other half believe it’s the End Times anyway. You can hope for one of two things: first, that something amazing happens that rescues us from this administration – or second, that we all live long enough to see this government vilified in textbooks as the worst thing ever to happen to the American experiment.