The symbolic significance of Obama Barack's nomination victory is not insubstantial. In a land where, not so long ago, having the slightest drop of "Negro blood" in your genetic inheritance was enough to bar you — legally and formally — from many jobs, educational opportunities, places of residence, medical care, full participation in society, etc. (and where these obstacles still persist, in practice if not in law, for many people), it is striking to see a man whose father was not only black but also a "full-blooded African" (cue the psychosexual "Mandingo" anxieties of generations of trembly white folk) on the doorstep of the White House.
The salient point of this truly degrading campaign has always been: what will the winner do in office? Will he (there is no need to add the "or she" now) immediately begin the process of withdrawing from Iraq and making reparations for the mass slaughter and mass destruction of our war crime there? And speaking of war crimes, will the winner instigate investigation and prosecution of Bush Administration officials for a host of high crimes, foreign and domestic? Will he begin the process of winding down America's worldwide military empire of more than 700 bases? Will he halt the militarization of space? Will he end the multi-generational boondoggle of "missile defense"? Will he call for the immediate repeal of the draconian Bankruptcy Bill, that bipartisan weapon of mass destruction in the elite's unrelenting class war against working people, artisans, small business owners and the poor?
These are just a very few of the many essential and highly urgent issues that a new president committed to genuine change in the corrupted currents of our moribund Republic would have to take on. It goes without saying that John McCain will do none of the things outlined above. He is a dedicated, unashamed errand boy of empire, and would never upset the apple cart — and long-term agenda — of the war-profiteering class and its many courtiers and dependents.
Known and very popular cialis coupon which gives all the chance to receive a discount for a preparation which has to be available and exactly cialis coupons has been found in the distant room of this big house about which wood-grouses in the houses tell.
And by every indication we have seen so far, it is increasingly obvious that Barack Obama won't do these things either. How can we know this? Because, as a member of the United States Senate, he could have already been actively addressing these burning issues — had he wanted to. He could have introduced bills of impeachment against Bush and Cheney for their high crimes. He could have already introduced bills calling for the repeal of the Military Commissions Act and the Bankruptcy Bill. He could have introduced bills outlawing rendition, closing the concentration camp on Guantanamo Bay, shutting down the worldwide gulag of "secret prisons." He could have introduced a bill calling for the full and completely withdrawal of American forces from Iraq, and reparations for the Iraqis.
And already, a rather sinister theme is being woven into the heroic narrative of his campaign triumph. I'm in the "Homeland" at the moment, with a rare full exposure to the blisteringly stupid television news. And within minutes of the first word of Hillary Clinton's suspension of her campaign, I saw talking heads reaching out and giving America a big ole hug of self-congratulation for Obama's victory.
The point of this post is not that attacking Iraq was bad (though it was); it is not that Shock-and-Awe was terrorism (though it was). It is that Bush, for once, did not lie. He asked us with utter clarity and no ambiguity whatsoever: do you want to be a terrorist? And America said yes. The question "Shall we do Shock-and-Awe?" does not mean "Do you want to avenge 9/11?" or "Do you want to liberate Iraqis?" or "Do you want to remove a WMD threat?" If it did, it would be phrased differently. There is no need to invoke terror for any of these purposes. But Shock-and-Awe explicitly appeals to the intention of terrorizing. "Do you want to do Shock-and-Awe?" means "Do you want to be a terrorist?" For this one time, the US government told the truth and called its own terrorism by its name. America understood, and America cheered....Indeed, the meaning of "Shock and Awe" has always been clear. Chazelle goes on to quote from the two military scholars who first clearly explicated the doctrine:
When you plan a bombing attack on a major city and you call it Shock-and-Awe, you quite clearly intend to cause horrendous fear in the population. That would be the standard interpretation of anyone with minimum fluency in the English language: shock, awe, bombs. What else could it mean?
One seeks to shut down, not the military infrastructure, but the adversary's society. Am I putting too much emphasis on just one unfortunate choice of words? Let's hear Ullman elaborate on the subject:Shock-and-Awe is explained in great detail in a 1996 book written by its two architects, Ullman and Wade. The authors explain in it that the goal is to control "means of communication, transportation, food production, water supply, and other aspects of infrastructure." The objective is to cause the threat and fear of action that may shut down all or part of the adversary's society.
It's unambiguous. The goal is to use violence to inspire fear in a way that will shut down all or part of society. The objective is the same as that of 9/11: bring a society to its knees by using terror. (The Ullman-Wade book even mentions Hiroshima approvingly as an example of Shock-and-Awe.)"You're sitting in Baghdad and all of a sudden you're the general and 30 of your division headquarters have been wiped out. You also take the city down. By that I mean you get rid of their power, water. In 2,3,4,5 days they are physically, emotionally and psychologically exhausted."
Shock-and-awe is factually, conceptually, and morally equivalent to or worse than 9/11. Factually: Iraq Body Count estimated the death toll [of the initial "Shock-and-Awe attack at the beginning of the war] at more than 6,000, which is twice 9/11. Conceptually: The means are terrorism, i.e., the goal is to achieve political ends through violence and fear against innocent people. Morally: this was not self-defense or even retaliation; it was premeditated murder of thousands of innocent civilians (including many more children than on 9/11).
When people tell you Americans can't understand "Islamofascist terrorists," tell them that Americans, in fact, are uniquely qualified to understand bin Laden.
Will Obama — in the White House or on the campaign trail — denounce the "War on Terror" for what it really is: a war of state terror, waged almost entirely against civilian populations? He has not done so; indeed, on his website he calls for fighting the War on Terror in a "smarter way". (There will be no inefficient, cluttery terrorism when Obama is on the job!) He wants an even bigger, more powerful, more "stealthy" military. He wants to go into Pakistan where, he says, there are "tens of thousands of terrorists" who have "made their choice to attack America." Think of that: a vast horde of terrorists just chomping at the bit to attack America. How can we, in good conscience, NOT attack those Pakistani badlands?
Here Obama indulges in the favorite Bush-McCain pastime of equating every opponent of U.S. policy with an al Qaeda terrorist longing to hit the "Homeland." There are tens of thousands of supporters of the Taliban (both the Afghan and Pakistani branches) in the region, almost none of which have remotely "made the choice to attack America." (The original Taliban was against al Qaeda plans to attack the United States, and offered to turn bin Laden over to international justice after 9/11 — but you won't hear Obama waxing lyrical on that theme.) Instead, he conjures up a whole new enemy — "tens of thousands" of America-attacking vipers nursing in Pakistan's bosom — to keep the Terror War going strong.
So here is the significance of Obama's nomination: More Terror War. More murder — directly, by proxy, by remote control. More manufactured enemies. A continued military presence in Iraq (all "combat troops" withdrawn, eventually, maybe, but other troops left there to "target al Qaeda in Iraq"). No reparations. A bigger, faster, more far-reaching military wrapping the globe. No options taken off the table — ever.
Hey, you know what? The novelty is wearing off already.
George W. Bush's innumerable sycopants like to potray him as a down-to-earth man of the people: a man's man, tough and fearless, a good-ole-boy...
“Shame on your greed, shame on your wicked schemes. I tell you this right now, I don’t give a damn about your dreams.” -- Bob Dylan,...
Bob Woodward has long been the voice of the American Establishment – or of certain quadrants of it, at any rate. When Richard Nixon's...
In February 2003, I wrote a column for the Moscow Times detailing Don Rumsfeld's personal – and profitable – connection with North Korea's...
Kissinger and The Mothers of the Disappeared in Argentina: America on the Brink of Horror. This blistering Buzzflash editorial deserves to be...
Add this page to your favorite Social Bookmarking websites