Banks, Pentagon and Academic Pusilanimousness


“I’m not supposed to know anything about foreign policy.”

—GOP Presidential candidate Herman Cain

Not everything, mind you, but anything, which would put him on par with the dumbest American living under the heaviest and mossiest rock. Hell, he’s running neck to neck with that boulder. Though Cain knows nothing, he has enough political sense to bluster, “If you mess with Israel you’re messing with the United States of America.”

That’s been the mantra in Washington, Wall Street and Madison Avenue. Iran knows this as well, and that’s why it is, in all likelihood, trying to develop the nuclear bomb, not to strike New York or Washington, but Tel Aviv. It only makes sense, since that’s the only deterrence it has against an American invasion.

Clueless Cain thinks the Iranians have warships off our shore, but it’s America who has Iran surrounded, with troops in Afghanistan and Iraq. The US Fifth Fleet also operates from Bahrain, a mere 120 miles from the Iranian coast. Washington has been itching for a fight with Iran ever since it had the (Muslim) balls to depose the CIA-installed Shah and kept 52 Americans hostage for 444 days. Iran is also the largest Islamic country to openly defy the United States. By the way, it also has a lot of oil and natural gas.

Threatened for three decades by the biggest empire on earth, what can Iran do but strive to aim a nuclear warhead at Israel? You mess with us, we’ll kill your daddy!

A few days ago, I was a guest on Iran’s Press TV to talk about the anti-Wall Street protest. On the same show was Joel Kovel, author of Overcoming Zionism: Creating a Single Democratic State in Israel/Palestine. A year after his book came out, Kovel was fired from Bard College. Seeing a causal effect, Kovel issued a statement charging that he was terminated because of “differences between [himself] and the Bard administration on the issue of Zionism.” At that time, I was teaching creative writing at Bard, so I tried to drag this controversy onto its listserv, but no one, absolutely no one, responded, to my astonishment. Hey, a college teaching job isn’t easy to come by, so why rock the boat? President Botstein will kick your ass. A few months earlier, the same listserv was orgasmic with cheering for Obama, but, then again, nearly all of the American left were. Ah, how idyllic and delightful it is to be a tenured liberal in the waning days of empire!

2011, at another supposedly radical bastion, Berkeley, cops wacked students with the chancellor’s approval. Protesting outrageous tuition hikes, these students correctly blamed banks for their university’s and state’s budget crises, but banks and universities have been in cahoots for a long time now. Schools jack up rates, knowing they can send students to banks for loans, but no matter what one’s major these days, the jobs are simply not there, but one’s debts are, for life!

Is it a surprise, then, that so many of the Occupy Wall Street protesters are recent college graduates? Spat out by the system, they know that they’ve been had. Like investment banks, American colleges are also purveyors of ponzi schemes. Beaten to the ground, flattened, these protesters are suspicious of all hierarchies, of all pyramids, and that’s why they’ve refused to elevate leaders or even to prioritize key issues, but these reluctances must be overcome, I think, for this movement to move forward.

Its success, so far, can be attributed to two crucial decisions, to have an open-ended occupation, not a one-day march, and to target Wall Street. This movement, then, is about the looting and corruption of the money manipulators, so it’s important that the public be educated and constantly reminded about the abuses of the Federal Reserve, Goldman Sachs, Citibank and the rest of the banking cartel.

As Americans endure actual or symbolic homelessness across this land, their government is hankering for yet another war. To distract attention from problems at home, the US wants to attack Iran and/or Syria. This is madness, certainly, but not to the war profiteers. Having bought off all of our politicians, these money masters own the Pentagon and its obscene budget that eats up half of our tax money.

When Michael Avery of Suffolk University pointed out, in a leaked email, that it was irrational to support troops sent overseas by a war-prone country to kill, he was met with considerable abuse and hostility. Unsurprisingly, his school’s president quickly distanced himself from Avery’s lucid remarks by saying that he himself was sending a care package to the troops. So, yes, if you don’t die by the time this box arrives, have a bar of chocolate on me!

How can anyone in his right mind not be against corruption, since corruption is just stealing public money, but unfortunately, many of the 99% are still misled into supporting our military. They cannot see that the Pentagon, like the banks, is also a nexus of corruption, that its main task is not to defend our republic but to funnel money from the 99% to the 1%.

Do not lose sight that our main battle is against the corrupt banking cartel and equally corrupt Pentagon. Much of our financial, political, social and ecological ills can be traced to these monsters. Winter is coming.

Time is running out.

Linh Dinh is the author of two books of stories, five of poems, and a just released novel, Love Like Hate. He’s tracking our deteriorating socialscape through his frequently updated photo blog, State of the Union.

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