If you’re a gun dealer, all shootings are good for business. Drive by, clan, gang, post layoff, adultery in flagrant, Russian roulette, Batman’s suburban theater premier, urban flash mob, gas station sniper, accidental, incidental, mercy, ruthless, righteous retaliation against unbearable diss, premeditated since infancy, Satan driven, God sanctioned, whatever, it’s all good, as long as your hardware was in use and in demand.
If you make bombs, then, no bombs are dropped in vain, whether on Serbian, Iraqi, Afghan or Libyan heads. If you make drones, the world shall be swarmed with drones, God willing. The US now accounts for 53% of arms sales worldwide. It has conceded much of its manufacturing edge to other countries, most notably China and Japan, but when it comes to weapons, Uncle Sam still kicks ass, and is proud of it.
To keep this edge, now tied to its very economic survival, Uncle Sam must stoke tension worldwide. The Pentagon has just deployed Osprey aircrafts in Okinawa, thus antagonizing both the locals and China. Over a hundred thousand Okinawans have protested and clashed with police, though you wouldn’t know it from the US media. This move came just as the brouhaha between China and Japan over disputed islands was dying down. Three weeks ago, the US also provided Japan with a new missile defense system. We’ve seen this many times before from the two-faced Uncle Sam. Even as he postured for peace and asked for cooler heads, he poured gasoline.
Uncle Sam dumps gas on countless fires because he pushes guns and, well, needs lots of gasoline to keep his death and comeon machinery humming. As Daddy Yankee raps, “Dame más gasolina!” But it’s never enough. Fearing China, many East Asian nations are leaning on the US as a counterbalance, but Uncle Sam will lead them all down that brown creek, then leave them swirling. He himself risks being flushed down the old plumbing.
Meanwhile, halfway across the globe, Turkey has just intercepted a Syrian plane flying from Moscow to Damascus, thus provoking Putin into postponing a trip to Istanbul. There’s no way Turkey would jeopardize its relationship with Russia if it hasn’t been prodded by Uncle Sam. American-backed foreign terrorists can’t bring down the Syrian government, you see, so Turkey is being enlisted to ratchet up that war. It must keep the fire burning until after the US election, at least, when America and her European Union fighting poodles, Nobel Peace Laureates all, can themselves blunder into the carnage.
As NATO becomes Blackwater writ large, Europe declares itself a continent of Gandhis. This bizarre act of self-congratulation conjures up John Sayle’s middle-aged barfly, “White folks get stranger all the time.” Well, not all white folks, obviously, but surely the transnational white leadership, although it’s fronted, for now, by one black face. He’s so suave, he’s my prez!
US sham elections always usher in the same mass murdering gang whose members are divided roughly 50/50 among Pubs and Crats. No other hand signs allowed! Working together to wreck the common man, their supposed constituency, they’ll blame each other for their joint disaster. Renewed every four years, this charade is absorbed with a straight face by “experts” in our corporate media. Meanwhile, our mostly irrelevant American intellectual wrings his hands, wheezes, burps most postmodernly and eyes yet another refreshingly fresh freshman class.
The only positive of any US election is that it can postpone, for a few months, the empire’s worst excesses. We’re scaling back our war crimes to allow the president and his handpicked opponent to huff hot air rhythmically up our collective muffler. Enjoy it while it lasts, citizens. Soon after our votes are cast and miscounted, however, campaign promises will be broken and war escalated without much fuss, since we will be preoccupied with studying, on an endless bank of televisions, a leather ball sailing through the upright or slammed through an iron hoop. That, or reality barfing.
As Americans are shoved from this speeding death train, however, many will come to regret their compliance with this fraudulent system, and realize, finally, that their very survival hinges on its collapse. Others will still blame their misfortunes on their government-sanctioned bogeyman, be him Muslim, Chinese, Mexican, ghetto black or rural white. Already there’s a buzz about possible rioting should either Obama or Romney lose. Too many Americans are too loyal to either establishment party to admit that they must say no to both.
When the Occupy protest was in full swing, the word “revolution” was bandied about quite a bit, especially in situ, but to occupy city parks don’t make a revolution, obviously. Far from it. Occupy was a step up from the one-afternoon-march, weather permitting, but real change can only come about with much more aggressive resistance, starting with an election boycott to delegitimize this government, then a general strike to shut it down until clearly stated demands are met.
Instead of fighting our policemen and soldiers, we must enlist them. Chinese civilians attempted the same during the Tiananmen Square Protest, and were initially successful. Miscalculating, they also appealed for outside help. Erecting their own statue of liberty, many Chinese even thought Uncle Sam would somehow intervene, but then as now, the US wanted a weakened China, not a democratic one. The American ruling class is dismantling democracy even here, in the homeland. In any case, had democracy arrived in China, US corporations would now be bereft of a huge pool of dirt cheap labor. Uncle Sam paid close attention to that protest, all right, but the lessons he learnt was not how to help protesters, but how to squash them.
Occupy fizzled out because it could neither articulate its aims nor move beyond the sign-waving stage. Had Washington, Jefferson and Franklin contented themselves with squatting on a grassy patch while flashing signs at passing horsemen, you and I would be wolfing baked beans and bangers for breakfast, pasties for lunch, then howling God Save the Queen before kick off on the telly. Instead, we get to vote for our own insufferable deadweight. Hurrah!
Suffocated by unpayable debts, unemployed, underemployed and/or reduced to dwelling in a foreclosed home, tent, car, garage, tool shed or dead mall entrance, will we wise up soon enough to unite and fight back against this military banking complex that’s ruining us all?
Linh Dinh is the author of two books of stories, five of poems, and a novel, Love Like Hate. He’s tracking our deteriorating socialscape through his frequently updated photo blog, State of the Union.