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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.
How Have the Mighty Fallen?

The Felling of the Goliath

by INGMAR LEE

It has become abundantly clear that the Bush-Cheney-Rumsfeld cabal is doomed. It has dug itself into a spider-hole of treachery and deceit it will never get out of. They have set the stage for their historical legacy alongside the most despicable tyrants ever to disgrace the human species. Similarly, if our species survives it, the stupendous American military will be remembered not only as the most brutal organized terror force ever, but also for being twice defeated by determined ragamuffin guerrillas using homemade improvised weaponry.There has been a sea-change during this past tumultuous ‘tipping point’ week. The tide has turned and around the world people are recognizing that the American empire itself is teetering at the brink of collapse.

The wanton attack, invasion, occupation and massacre of Iraq and Afghanistan, (what else can you call it?) and the Neocon global-domination scheme that inspired it has collapsed. Its propaganda agencies, right and left, are now reduced to a narrowing, desperate focus: how to declare victory and cut-and-run. But it’s already too late: the scale of this superpower defeat goes much, much deeper. America is paralysed by deep paradoxical ideological schism. A clear majority of Americans are opposed to Bush and his atrocious Iraq attack. Politically, America is also deeply divided along similar lines, but a clear bipartisan majority continues to support Bush’s Iraq attack. This bizarre infighting is tearing the country apart. Meanwhile, in Iraq, the coalition of Islamic guerrilla fighters are now mopping up after their brilliant campaign, having routed the most enormous and aggressive beast that ever stalked the planet. The pea-brained American dinosaur is mentally, morally and mortally crippled, and now writhes uncontrolled in a shrieking catastrophic fury, rocking the very Earth on its axis.

What else? Chinese now control the finances of this world’s largest debtor nation. A critical mass of humanity now boycotts the American product. American business and tourism is now afraid to travel in the world. Gross American consumption has altered climatic stability and damaged the environmental integrity of the planet. Every American ikon is now a potential target of seething anti-American violence. The malignant cancer of corporate collusion and corruption has metastasized at the centre of American power and its elections are bought, gerrymandered and rigged. There’s nothing left of the freedom and democracy that America so triumphantly claims to represent. As the U.S.A. Titanic tilts up its stern for the final slide into oblivion, the rats of capitalist empire are jumping ship in droves.

And how have the mighty fallen? The first stone slung to the temple of the gluttonous Goliath knocked it down senseless on 911 and exposed its primary vulnerabilities. It’s too big, fat and smug, it sucks a huge amount of oil and it’s run by a cabal of ruthless, venal Neocon oilmen. The box-cutter brigade’s stunning surgical strike to the capitalist nerve centre not only provoked the predictable Neocon reflex, but it reminded the world that a determined few on a shoe-string budget can bring the corpulent all-mighty to its knees. Falling further for Osama’s gambit, the Bushies blundered straight into Afghanistan, guns ablazing, where the Great Game of geopolitical strategy has historically played out to the defeat of every invading occidental superpower.The Great Game’s latest manifestation -to secure the shortest route to mainline central Asian oil to giant oilports on the Arabian Sea- is a losing proposition. As Osama and every Afghan knows, giant military exploits in Afghanistan have never been a match for the battle-hardened, barefoot guerrillas who will persistently wear them down until they are exhausted. Just ask the Russians. But 911 was the neanderthalic Neocon oilman’s cue, and in the name of vengeance, they fell for the mirage of easy access to this oasis of oil.

The American economy insists on unlimited cheap oil and any scarcity will precipitate its collapse. There is no alternative back-up plan. A simple doubling of oil prices will cause it to sputter, stall and stop. Meanwhile the the world’s oil supply has peaked and the reserves are drying up. Oil-fuelled growth-based economies suck oil at ever more voracious rates, but relative to supply they run on fumes. The desperate Neocons are wrenching the global jugular in their insatiable lust for oil. From ANWR to Afghanistan to Anbar, wherever there is oil, all the stops are out, no holds are barred and no punches are pulled. But four years hence, the lies are exposed, and White House criminals await their frogmarch to jail. The trans-Afghan pipeline is sidelined while Americans rampage uselessly around the country, presumably on the hunt, looking for Osama. Iraq is destroyed and has descended into outright chaos.

The pea-brained commander-in-chief calls them "terrorists" and sics his hair-trigger beast, but the impotence of his push-button, video-terminal warriors cannot be masked by sheer tonnage of weaponry and spectacular displays of technology. The American military has major vulnerabilities and its major weakness is exposed. This military expects its enemy to wear uniforms and answer to a top-down chain-of-command, just like they do. Once upon a time, perhaps, the rules of war said that one army dressed up in red, the other in blue, marched off to a field, faced each other 100 yards apart, and blew each other away. Whoever ran out of ammo first was the loser. This was the respectable way to fight a war. Enemies of America, presumably, are expected to observe rules of war, such as the Geneva Conventions. Meanwhile, "the finest fighting force in the world" massacres innocent civilians, tortures its prisoners in a secret global gulag, schemes to bomb the free and independent media, and uses chemical, thermobaric and depleted uranium weaponry.100,000 Iraqi citizens are dead, with countless maimed. Iraq’s infrastructure is destroyed. 80% of Iraqi citizens oppose the American occupation, and 60% favour attacks on American forces. As the American body count piles up, the chorus of complaint back in the USA increases in volume. The lying Bush cabal and its Neocon cronies are running out of gas. The Neocon ship is going down and its taking America with it. It might take us all down with it. The writing is on the wall for all the world to see: IT’S OVER.

INGMAR LEE writes from Pondicherry, India. He can be reached at ingmarz@gmail.com