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A Fan’s Notations
To: Tom Turnipseed
From: ADAM ENGEL
CC: United States of America
Subject: "Blowback in Iraq," Counter Punch, August 14, 2003
Dear Tom Turnipseed,
Horrifying. I actually hoped, though the waving flags and media hoopla indicated otherwise, that all the marching, writing, teaching I and colleagues did from September, 2002 through March 2003 would actually prevent Gulf War II. Hell, fifteen million people across the globe screamed NO in a single February week-end. It ended in a massacre, which itself was the culmination of twelve years of slaughter, starvation, intimidation and outrages too numerous to mention against the people of Iraq (and let’s not forget about our great People’s Victory over the mighty Taliban).
Whatever happens to the U.S. now is, at the very least, justice. Still, I remember the WTC crumbling to the pavement with friends of mine dying inside. I don’t want to see Americans suffer the same punishment we inflicted on the peoples of Iraq, Afghanistan and (via our Israeli proxies) Palestine. The typical American, despite the flag-waving, jingoistic, fanaticism and indifference to human suffering, is no more deserving of the coming horrors than the Mid East citizens "our" army destroyed with cruise missiles and radioactive shells. But protesting this blowback seems even less effective than protesting the warmongers who started it all (dating back to WWII). Uncle Sam murdered in our names, with our tax money, and the support of a large segment of our population. Now we must all pay.
What were people thinking? That we could allow "our" military to step on humans as if they were insects and get away with it? Because we’re such nice people? Because even though our parents and grand-parents got suckered into a materialistic, racist, anti-social "American Dream," they basically meant well?
My wife’s best friend, a woman she met in kindergarten, who worked ten hours a day while raising two daughters, probably never made the connection between the fuel that heated her house and powered the vehicles that drove her kids to school and the liquid fire that blew her out of some shiny glass WTC office window.
From: ADAM ENGEL
To: Matt Siegfried
CC: United States of America
Subject: "Bush Administration in Context", Counter Punch, August 18, 2003
Dear Matt Siegfried,
Fabulous, terse synopsis of "some of the defining events that have set the stage for our current situation" since 1945 and inspiring call to arms against capitalism/imperialism/militarism itself rather than the ridiculous and ineffectual targeting of one member of the tag-team Republican/Democrat wrestling duo that sends in a "new" administration to fight all life on the planet in four to eight year cycles (approximately the time it takes for one or the other to exhaust its own rhetoric and tactics and take a breather while the other fights on).
The problem for me is, despite all that Greens, socialists, anarchists, progressives and anyone else on the left has done to point out that this global meltdown is the result of a highly evolved system, rather than the mere exchange of a "happy hegemon" like Clinton for a "surly hegemon" like Bush, false consciousness (or unconsciousness) wins the day here in America time and time again. It’s as if Americans still think in the binary code taught to them by FDR.
I write a weekly column in the Cultural Section of Counter Punch, and I actually receive emails/newsletters daily which invoke the horrors of corporatism, militarism, racism, corruption, exploitation and everything else that makes our "democracy" tick, only to blame it ALL on Bush and urge me to (What, rebel? organize? resist? Of course not!) VOTE Democrat (for Howard Dean or Denis Coconut or whoever else is slated to accept the torch of status quo).
Such thinking truly baffles me, and leaves me speechless. For every such e-missive I receive, I will reply with a link to your article.
ADAM ENGEL can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org.