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Hasta la vista, Baby!
Skynet is already here
As Christians in the US and the world over flock to church to celebrate the martyrdom of their lord and savior, American predators are noiselessly cruising the skies above yet another Arab land, holding their hellfire missiles in abeyance until they are sure, damn sure, that the wedding or parade or market convoy or whatever crawls beneath their cold techno-gaze is linked to the terrorists who will destroy our way of life. Whew! That was a mouthful. But then, piss and vinegar are notoriously hard to swallow, much less hold in one’s mouth for any length of time.
And isn’t it way past time for Americans to choke on our own bloated rhetoric, the constant, nauseating peristalsis of Orwellian bullshit that flows from the agents of the Lone Superpower war machine? In one theater after another, as Americans graze blissfully unaware on our diet of hamburgers, housewives and media hash, the empire is sowing the seeds of its own destruction and hastening its own demise.
I would be tempted to say Can I get an Amen? And be done with it—it is fully justified and long overdue—if it weren’t for the fact that a dying empire, like a threatened tyrannosaur, is most dangerous on its last legs. And the lies and contradictions that are tearing the country and the global order apart always result in the greatest misery for the forlorn and forgotten, both internally and around the world.
Save the children! Bellow the righteous liberals and tools of empire, as their gadgetry murders poor black and brown kids and the Bringers of Democracy ban street protests in the streets of Baghdad. Why would the heartless air pirates of NATO and its US string pullers—as if there were any difference—why would a new assault from the air be any more precise, any less deadly to civilians than any of its predecessors, whose documented criminality looms like a radioactive cloud of depleted uranium dust over countless victims past. Does anyone seriously still believe the cant about “smart bombs” and “pinprick” strikes? It’s worse than trickle-down economics: decades of devastation later, and no one bothers to question the original premise.
We must intervene to protect human rights, scream the Progressive Internationalists, who have been chomping at the bit for The Good One they can fully support ever since their unrepentant racist hero made the world safe for democracy a century ago. Really? But there is no talk of a no-fly zone over Bahrain where the Fifth Fleet sits just offshore, or over the open air prison that is Gaza, or over the disastrous shooting gallery that is the above mentioned AfPak theater. And, naturally no such call to ban flights from the 800 or so US bases dotting the globe from whom the shooters are launched. Nobody polices the Global Police. Ever the dutiful technocrat, The Obomber epitomizes the infinitely more dangerous potential of the yes man over that of the ideologue.
Welcome to the post racial society, crow the enthusiasts of a rigged and money-drenched electoral system that feigns democracy while undermining it at every possible turn. Americans aren’t interested in genuine democracy, don’t experience it at all in virtually any aspect of our daily lives, and wouldn’t recognize it if it jumped up and bit us in our collective transfat ass.
Besides, civil rights are for silly whiners who still think "democracy" is about being able to protest in the streets. Obviously they missed the memo: It's about being able to choose your favorite brand of sneakers or your choice of which housewives to obsess over. Duh! Way to go: “we” elected a black guy! Big deal—Caligula elected a horse. Is there anything more racist than raining indiscriminate death from the skies upon brown people intent on running their own countries? Or have people actually not caught on to the dynamic George Carlin so eloquently illuminated, bless his immortal soul: “Who were the last white people—the Germans—the only white people we’ve ever bombed! And why?? Because they were trying to cut in on our action. They wanted to rule the world. Bullshit! That’s our fucking job!!” Americans can continue to ignore this at our peril, along with the sad realization that those letting loose the bombs are economic conscripts drawn in overwhelming disproportion from poor, black and brown communities at home.
Orwell and Kafka lost together in the miserable plot(s) of Inception could not have constructed such a horrific nightmare. There is no dystopia yet written that can rival the brave new world in which we are living today. The worst part is that, while drones patrol the skies, from Libya to the Mexican border to the streets of our inner cities where the two million plus inhabitants of our Prison Planet grow—the largest in the world, another American triumph—in the midst of this horror, debate rages on about how to tweak a broken system, about how best to enrich the already-haves, about the values of recycling and gluten-free beer. John Connor is not coming back, folks. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for.
© 2011 Daniel Patrick Welch. Reprint permission granted with credit and link to
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Writer, singer, linguist and activist Daniel Patrick Welch lives and writes in Salem, Massachusetts, with his wife, Julia
Nambalirwa-Lugudde. Together they run The Greenhouse School.. Translations of articles are available in over two dozen languages. Links to the website are appreciated.