Exclusively in the new print issue of CounterPunch
THE DECAY OF AMERICAN MEDIA — Patrick L. Smith on the decline and fall of American journalism; Peter Lee on China and its Uyghur problem; Dave Macaray on brain trauma, profits and the NFL; Lee Ballinger on the bloody history of cotton. PLUS: “The Vindication of Love” by JoAnn Wypijewski; “The Age of SurrealPolitick” by Jeffrey St. Clair; “The Radiation Zone” by Kristin Kolb; “Washington’s Enemies List” by Mike Whitney; “The School of Moral Statecraft” by Chris Floyd and “The Surveillance Films of Laura Poitras” by Kim Nicolini.
Why Not Take the Deal!

Osama’s Offer

by RICHARD OXMAN


"The task at hand is to recapture…energy, imagination…adding to it a broadbased and unequivocal acceptance of the proposition that the dissolution of state power here can be no more ‘nonviolent’ here than it would have been –in fact, was– in nazi Germany, and that pretending otherwise simply increases the overall level of violence involved in the process."

– Ward Churchill, On the Justice of Roosting Chickens


The important thing for us all respecting the recently released video by OBL is not whether or not it’ll make voters lean toward Bush or Kerry. What it’s saying to Muslims is irrelevant.  And neither analysis regarding 9/11 speculations to date, nor what visual cues might be uncovered should garner our attention. Ditto for the state of OBL’s health, confirmation or the lack of it concerning his modus operandi, and/or who was right or wrong stateside about his whereabouts.

The only thing that’s crucial is that we take his advice to not place much significance on whether or not Bush or Kerry becomes his Official Nemesis (ON), and get down to the business of ensuring the safety of his people.

No more Beirut buildings going down, no more Twin Tower tricks.

No more Baghdad babies on a skewer, no more New York cops down the sewer.

Cease and desist with twisting their wrist, and we’ll find…they won’t resist.

In other words, "stop bothering them," as Howard Zinn has put in from the podium many times.

While Bruce The Boss strums for Kerry’s Sturm and Drang, thrilling the progressive gorillas, and the Sox’s Schilling shills for Killer Bush and cohorts, the average citizen really does have a viable option.

Here’s the real choice everyone says they wish they had in the voting booth: To undermine –at every opportunity– every aspect of this so-called civilization. Or, at the very least, to do something radical, change our momentum through new kinds of direct action.

To not put all the eggs in the baskets of our leaders/representatives.

"Your security is not in the hands of Kerry, Bush or al-Qaida. Your security is in your own hands," bin Laden said, referring to the president and his Democratic opponent. "Any state that does not mess with our security, has naturally guaranteed its own security," offers OBL.

If the challenge to undermine our American Empire’s foundations is a bit daunting at present, perhaps readers can simply start by dispensing with the delusion that the ON of OBL is important. That should clear the cobwebs, provide enough new ground. Then we can get creative.

Don’t be like Eminem (as per his most recent video), building a crescendo of complaint and anger…only to put on a monkey suit, stand in line, and play The Good Citizen, protesting within the parameters allowed. Don’t be an Eichmann.

Like Chomsky said recently, spend about five minutes deciding who you’re going to vote for, and, then, get busy with…the real work.

I may differ with Noam and Howard –which I do– respecting what that real work is, but, regardless, we all have to redefine security, and determine how to achieve it outside of the ballot box, candlelight vigils and petitions.

Admittedly, it won’t be easy what with Kerry shaking his clenched fist –jawboning it for the TV cameras…vowing to "get ‘em" given a chance– and Bush wowing his followers with promises of closing down all TV production in the Mideast…so that OBL can’t make any more viscious videos. And on and on…and on.

Fact is, though, I think we’re going to have to shake on this one with OBL. Even with as radical a change as we’re going to have to bring about on this end to do so.

My intuition tells me that unless we do take his hand, his offer…taking matters into our own hands, we’re gonna hear his version of Cole Porter’s "Manhattan" song again.

And again.

RICHARD OXMAN (who was right about the Red Sox) can be reached at rmoxman@yahoo.com.