Much as in Orwell’s 1984 we’ve reached a place where it would seem an endless war, “over there” in some confusing and inexact disputed areas between the super-State’s of Eurasia and Eastasia, is upon us. Is the “war on terrorism” being fought in Iraq? Afghanistan? Did I miss the declaration of war against Pakistan that seems to be in effect? The U.S. bombs, moves troops around, and weekly and sometimes daily declares new advances and momentary victories, none of which matter the slightest days later. In our popular politics the starting-point has even jumbled itself nearly beyond recognition: we went to Iraq illegally, for falsified reasons, yet no one is accountable or responsible for such. Hell, the most obvious individuals holding the reins of guilt for Iraq (whatever happened or is still happening there) aren’t denounced or brought to justice, but instead continue to enjoy some unimaginable legitimacy in the realm of politics and the news media; how does that work? Untold hundreds of thousands dead (sorry, I don’t see the value of “our” dead as greater than that of “their” dead), not to mention unimaginable and un-repairable destruction to a culture, history, and ecosystem and these are the people that continue to lead the direction of the conversations we have? Gimme a fucking break.
One writer over at GMD has a pretty good post up recently: How exactly did the war in Afghanistan become “the good, just war”? For those of us still able to remember, the U.S. went there seeking justice for the attacks on New York and Washington on September 11; yet as we knew then we know even better now that those attacks- those crimes- were largely perpetrated by men from Saudi Arabia. And to reiterate and expand upon the point of the writer of that piece on GMD: wars are fought either for liberation by oppressed against oppressor (in which we can call them revolution or rebellion as much as ‘war’) or they are fought between nations or tribes or clans. The attacks of 9/11 were a crime, one that I’m expecting may soon pop-up on one of these “cold case” crime shows my girlfriend is obsessed with. Crimes can and should be handled cooly, rationally, and be bent on bringing about justice. War, by definition, can never accomplish any of these things. In the rush to justify our continued efforts there (efforts, it may be assumed, which aren’t about justice or 9/11 but about securing resources- a pipeline from the Caspian Sea around Iran- and the re-distribution of wealth a la Reaganomics from the common working people into the hands of the military industrial complex shareholders- you know, the guys who started this whole thing) we get any number of momentary distractions; about women being liberated from religious doctrine we’ve outgrown, about eradicating drugs we can’t seem to make a tax off, about moving forward a civilization that has been the slowest runner in the race for nearly as long as time is recorded.
Yet, if one looks hard enough, even at the mainstream press, and if one reads the news often and closely enough, we find the B.S. of all this and even something very near the truth is well-known, public, and no secret at all. The circular lies and illogic of all the Eastasian wars which the U.S. is mired in is plain as day and very much understood; between a million and two million people watch Jon Stewart and/or Steven Colbert every night and just one week of watching one of those shows is enough to point-out the obvious to anyone smart enough to turn on a TV. In the past the problem may have been that Americans actually thought Saddam Hussein was involved in 9/11, but currently the problem doesn’t seem to be that Americans are that stupid or mis-informed- it’s that they don’t know what to do about it. Our entire society and our very humanity has been finally and ultimately corrupted by our trust in “democracy” as a vote rather than a way of life; our ability to influence the world around us and even our own lives is being held captive by our faith in “leaders” who “represent” us. And still we have no idea how to hold them accountable between elections or how to enact anything save for that voting booth; just as unfortunately, far too many of us fail to remember everything that bothered us between those elections.