Chris Knipp Writing: Movies, Politics, Art

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 08, 2003 2:53 pm 
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Joined: Sat Mar 08, 2003 1:50 pm
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Location: California/NYC
[Published by The Baltimore Chronicle]

A "War on Terrorism" is a cover for a multitude of sins committed in our name. There is no "War on Terrorism" and it was doubtful that there ever could be. Terror will always spring up somewhere new, no matter what steps are taken to eradicate it, and like rogue cops, some elements of any force to combat terrorism will eventually join the opposition and further the aims of those they were appointed to oppose. Who are our friends and who are our enemies? Their names are changed every day. Perpetual war and perpetual fear mongering lead to perpetual concealment of what's really going on.

We are living in an apocalyptic moment, and being daily moved inexorably further in the direction of increasingly meaningless violence and increasing damage to US polity, peace, security, liberty, equality, and shared prosperity. The current US administration, headed by George W. Bush, a leader the legitimacy of whose election is highly dubious, seizing almost dictatorial power in the face of a passive and vacuous opposition party, daily moves forward, but really backward, hell-bent on a series of increasingly destructive actions that can only be seen as furthering strictly the interests of the enormously wealthy few and their multinational corporations, especially those involved in the production of petroleum products and weaponry. The chief victims of this destructive onrush are the masses of common people everywhere, whose interests are nowhere furthered, least of all by the richest and most powerful nation in the world.

At the moment the chief target (at least of a media blitz) is North Korea, before that and still in the future Iraq, before that Afghanistan, before that al-Qa'ida, whose leader, Osama bin Laden, the chief ogre and Satan of a year ago, our protégé in the past like Saddam Hussain, is now half forgotten, and has become the One Whose Name We Dare Not Speak in the White House: he has gone from Evil One to Unmentionable One. What has happened to the War on Terrorism? What has happened to bin Laden? Isn't this more like a war on liberty, security, and the pursuit of happiness? (If you doubt this, I ask only that you consult the Patriot Act and Operation T.I.P.S., John Ashcroft's national snitch program, and look at the ACLU efforts to fight them. No sensible or consistent goal is being sought here in democratic, human terms. September 11 cannot be said to have produced any unifying national or international goals except by distorting the truth, and the Bush administration's terribly damaging economic, social, and environmental policies continue under cover of some great mission of violence and machismo that is redefined from week to week.

Massachusetts, like the whole country, had a budget surplus, and in the last year threw it all away on tax breaks to the wealthy. A once liberal state has become a microcosm of an illiberal national regime.

If this is leadership, give me anarchy!

This isn't exactly a warm and wonderful country to come to any more, if it ever was, for aspiring US citizens. See the sardonic recent column by the San Francisco Chronicle writer Jon Carroll: "Welcome to America. You've Won Jail Time." He's commenting on the big roundup of visitors to our shores in LA recently, when they ran out of plastic handcuffs. You know, the kind the Israelis use on the Palestinians?

In the US and much of the rest of the world the news isn't what's happening. It's what the media manufactures, in intentional or mindless collusion with government. This has never been more clear. Thus the biggest non-event of 2002 has been the discovery that an enormous threat is posed by Saddam Hussein and his "weapons of mass destruction." In fact nobody really believes this, or that Saddam even has such things, though we know Israel does, and the US itself has the world's largest supply of them, thus qualifying as the biggest threat to peace and security in history. "Regime change" (ugly coinage, euphemism for externally imposed coup) is supposed to be the solution. If so, what about the "regime change" in Afghanistan? Is that a success? The whole scenario is a fantasy trip nobody believes, but nobody questions. The ills ascribed to Iraq occur constantly in Israel, but are never mentioned. What should be a major news item, the fact that the US government is fostering eco-catastrophes all over the country and throughout the world, is rarely reported on. Never covered adequately: union busting and continued miserable conditions in America for the working poor. For a summary of over- and underreported stories of the year, see Geov Parrish of "Working for Change.Com."

What could be tended to are such major problems as a damaged environment, global warming, Third World poverty, famine and disease, a declining quality of life and financial worries for a majority in the US, unfair conditions for workers, inadequate health care, rising costs and declining expectations. But the focus instead is on the Axis of Evil.

Happy New Year!

©Chris Knipp. Blog:

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