“In the past, politicians promised to create a better world. They had different ways of achieving this. But their power and authority came from the optimistic visions they offered to their people. Those dreams failed. And today, people have lost faith in ideologies. Increasingly, politicians are seen simply as managers of public life. But now, they have discovered a new role that restores their power and authority. Instead of delivering dreams, politicians now promise to protect us from nightmares. They say that they will rescue us from dreadful dangers that we cannot see and do not understand…”
Uh-oh. Seems British Broadcast Company’s Mr. Adam Curtis has just destroyed province of:
- Hate-crime laws to protect us from phantom rednecks.
- Hate-speech laws to protect us from nightmare pottie-mouth, anti-Semitism, and worst hate speech of all: Any speech I don’t like.
- Anti-racism crusades to protect us from celebrating ourselves if we’re paler than a paper sack, and to prevent us from ignoring perennially (and tiresomely) ‘oppressed’ folk constantly celebrating themselves.
- Tolerance Inc. to, of course, protect us – make sure we’re slowly made intolerant of tolerance when its formalized into idiotic dogma.
Can it possibly be true that our social hall monitors don’t know best what’s best for us? …That those bumps in the night from which we spend so much to save ourselves are as substantial as our case for making Syria a better place by bombing it to shit?
I’m sure BBC didn’t intend to impart all that corrosive “deconstruction” regarding our holy of holies – amorphous, gassy egalitarianism that’s so ambiguously defined yet rigorously enforced in our rather sick Western world. No… The ‘beeb’ references international terrorism – utility bugaboo of our leadership elite. But autopsy of power mechanics – official and media-casual – is a Pandora’s Box of sudden realization and reconsideration; once scrutiny begins, no telling what will pop out.
For instance, I’m convinced another impetus for wondrous equality and Tolerance bullshit is to comfort affluent progressives with subliminal proposal that it’s right to ship jobs out and cheap labor in if the country left destitute is filled with bigoted rednecks. You can have your rich portfolio and delusional sanctimony at the same time! Viewed through that corkscrew lens, sending off racist crackers’ two-bit jobs to sweat-shop slaves in Bangladesh is another showy if gourd-hollow blow for… freedom!
If we give the world nothing else, it’s conviction that money can buy everything – including peace of mind and certainty of one’s own moral bankability.
Speaking of overused terms, it’s amazing how few out here believe that crap about “surgical strikes” via warhead-armed drones, cruise missiles and F-18 ordnance. We know civilians are going to die. As one expert burbled during the Iraq “flowers at our feet” invasion 10 years ago, “when you fire a Hellfire missile into an apartment house containing 30 civilians and one terrorist, 31 people will die that day.”
Washington has pursued an ethos of ignoring civilian casualty counts, unless pressed by the media or international rights groups about specific incidents. In Iraq, the military made a point about not maintaining “body counts,” until WikiLeaks revealed they had, and the truth was not pretty. Estimates conclude that some 150,000 Iraqis – 80 percent of them civilians – died from violence in the U.S-led bombing and subsequent occupation and insurgencies, though some groups have counted much higher.
Was it Dresden or Hamburg? No, but civilian fatality estimates for the initial “shock and awe” phase of the March 2003 invasion, in which hundreds of missiles rained down on the capital city of Baghdad to in essence “disable Saddam Hussein’s assets,” were upwards of 4,600, according to one American think tank. [Antiwar.com]
War is hell unless you’re sitting in an air-conditioned office snug in the Beltway. Then it’s abstraction – it’s mere tool to engineer the world as you wish it. I’m convinced our “leaders” really think this way. Surely, they don’t think of us at all, since those polls showing Americans dead-set against Syrian intervention don’t seem to faze Washington worth a good goddamn.
All indications are that Obama will have an easy go for his Syrian marching orders – essentially a blank check to do anything he wants in that blood-drenched theater of war. John Boehner is pulling on board the House of Representatives. The Senate has proffered a meek “limited” warrant to enkindle Damascus, but we know that will be swept aside when the bandwagon REALLY starts rolling.
For one thing, this war has all the Right People aboard. And, yes, that would be people with money. It’s made for some strange bedfellows, including a marquee name among filthy-rich, Israel-oriented conservatives. That’s right: Should President Obama go all Baghdad on the Assad regime, a certain gambling magnate noted for his campaign spending will be in his corner.
Lobbying on Syria has inspired coalitions of the unlikely, aligning President Barack Obama with Sheldon Adelson, the Republican billionaire who spent about $70 million trying to defeat him last year, in the push for a military response to the use of chemical weapons. The support Obama is getting from pro-Israel groups in the U.S. is important because of their history of political influence. The American Israel Public Affairs Committee and other Jewish groups have long helped secure continued U.S. aid to Israel, mobilizing activists who visit or call lawmakers. The effort is supplemented by several political action committees that donate to candidates depending on their support for Israel. [Bloomberg]
The Bloomberg piece notes opposition to the strike is “led” by Occupy Wall Street and Code Pink – two groups with such little resonance on America’s Main Street, protests might as well be organized by Navy Blue Angels. This must be noted: Both these groups a led by Jews. Since Israel stands to gain so much in this fight – losing another enemy state in the region while not firing a shot – how potent would this opposition be, even if America at large didn’t see them as flower-power zombies?
Not so far in the future, any dramatized depiction of these days will have the Syrian crusade driven by Christian Zionists and Southern conservatives. Our “ally” in the Levant will barely get a mention – except noting perhaps how much Israelis suffered as their old foe toasted up.
For awhile last week, I dreamed Republicans would pop Obama’s intervention bubble just for the political payoff of doing so. But when Israel calls, Capitol Hill listens.
You try calling some time.