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When War Drums Roll By Hunter S. Thompson



Johnny Depp called me from France on Sunday night and asked what I knew about Osama bin Laden.
"Nothing," I said. "Nothing at all. He is a ghost, for all I know. Why do you ask?" "Because I'm terrified of him," he said. "All of France is terrified. ... I freaked out and rushed to the airport, but
when I got there my flight was canceled. All flights to the U.S. were canceled. People went crazy with fear." "Join the club," I told him, "Almost everybody went crazy over here."


"Never mind that," he said. "Who won the Jets-Colts game?"

"There was no game," I said. "All sports were canceled in this country -- even 'Monday Night Football.' "

"No!" he said, "That's impossible! I've never known a Monday night without a game on TV. What is the stock
market doing?"

"Nothing yet," I said, "It's been closed for six days."

"Ye gods," he muttered. "No stock market, no football -- this is Serious."

Just then I heard the lock on my gas tank rattling, so I rushed outside with a shotgun and fired both barrels into
the darkness. Poachers! I thought. Blow their heads off! This is War! So I fired another blast in the general
direction of the gas pump, then I went inside to reload.

"Why are you shooting?" my assistant Anita screamed at me. "What are you shooting at?"

"The enemy," I said gruffly. "He is down there stealing our gasoline."

"Nonsense," she said. "That tank has been empty since June. You probably killed a peacock."

At dawn I went down to the tank and found the gas hose shredded by birdshot and two peacocks dead.

So what? I thought. What is more important right now -- my precious gasoline or the lives of some silly birds?

Indeed, but the New York Stock Exchange opened Monday morning, so I have to get a grip on something solid. The
Other Shoe is about to drop, and it might be extremely heavy. The time has come to be strong. The fat is in the
fire. Who knows what will happen now?

Not me, buster. That's why I live out here in the mountains with a flag on my porch and loud Wagner music blaring
out of my speakers. I feel lucky, and I have plenty of ammunition. That is God's will, they say, and that is also why I
shoot into the darkness at anything that moves. Sooner or later, I will hit something Evil, and feel no Guilt. It might
be Osama Bin Laden. Who knows? And where is Adolf Hitler, now that we finally need him? It is bad business to go
into War without a target.

In times like these, when the War-drums roll and the bugles howl for blood, I think of Vince Lombardi, and I
wonder how he would handle it...Good old Vince. He was a zealot for Victory at all costs, and his hunger for it
was pure -- or that's what he said and what his legend tells us, but it is worth noting that he is not even in the top
20 in career victories.

We are At War now, according to President Bush, and I take him at his word. He also says this War might last for
"a very long time."

Generals and military scholars will tell you that eight or 10 years is actually not such a long time in the span of
human history -- which is no doubt true -- but history also tells us that 10 years of martial law and a war-time
economy are going to feel like a Lifetime to people who are in their twenties today. The poor bastards of what will
forever be known as Generation Z are doomed to be the first generation of Americans who will grow up with a
lower standard of living than their parents enjoyed.

That is extremely heavy news, and it will take a while for it to sink in. The 22 babies born in New York City while the
World Trade Center burned will never know what they missed. The last half of the 20th century will seem like a wild
party for rich kids, compared to what's coming now. The party's over, folks. The time has come for loyal Americans
to Sacrifice. ... Sacrifice. ... Sacrifice. That is the new buzz-word in Washington. But what it means is not entirely
clear.

Winston Churchill said "The first casualty of War is always Truth." Churchill also said "In wartime, the Truth is so
precious that it should always be surrounded by a bodyguard of Lies."

That wisdom will not be much comfort to babies born last week. The first news they get in this world will be News
subjected to Military Censorship. That is a given in wartime, along with massive campaigns of deliberately-planted
"Dis-information." That is routine behavior in Wartime -- for all countries and all combatants -- and it makes life
difficult for people who value real news. Count on it. That is what Churchill meant when he talked about Truth
being the first casualty of War.

In this case, however, the next casualty was Football. All games were canceled last week. And that has Never
happened to the NFL. Never. That gives us a hint about the Magnitude of this War. Terrorists don't wear uniforms,
and they play by inscrutable rules -- The Rules of World War III, which has already begun.

So get ready for it, folks. Buckle up and watch your backs at all times. That is why they call it "Terrorism."


Source: espn.com HeyRube

Posted: September 18, 2001
When War Drums Roll By Hunter S. Thompson