FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Cheering On Dumb, Stupid Animals

by LINH DINH

Outrageously yet routinely, America is preparing for yet another war. Though warned by Iran not to bring an aircraft carrier into the Persian Gulf, the US now has an unprecedented three. (Gee, I wonder why they call it the Persian Gulf, but don’t be surprised if, say, 200% of our high school seniors don’t even realize that Persia is Iran.) Forget the nuclear weapon babble, America is harassing Iran because it ranks in the top five in both oil and natural gas preserves. Further, it has the chutzpah to wrest itself away from the dollar hegemony by selling oil to Russia and China for rubles and yuans. For five years, Iran also tried to operate an oil bourse where customers were asked to pay in currencies other than the greenback. This, America clearly saw as a grave threat and provocation, for if the petro dollar expires, this empire will sink with it. For showing similar insolence, Saddam Hussein and Muammar Gaddafi were barbarically and publically killed, with their final moments broadcast to the world as a warning. See, when there’s a body to be shown, America does not hesitate to display her trophy.

On land, America has surrounded Iran by having troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. At sea, she has dozens of ships, with a permanent naval base in Bahrain. Assassinations linked to Israel and America have happened inside Iran, and American drones have flown over the country, with one shot down. On the economic front, America is leading an oil sanction. So with all this intimidation and threat of violence, this is what our Peace Laureate President has to say, in his recent State of the Union, “We will stand against violence and intimidation.” Here, Obama was referring to Syria, who is yet another victim of our intimidation if not, soon enough, violence.

Without a doubt, America is the world leader in violence and intimidation, and the US, UK and Israel alliance is the true axis of evil, for these countries have been behind so much violence and turmoil for several decades now. They instigate, spearhead, package and sell violence as a normal, day to day business. First in war and looting, they are a much graver threat to world peace than Iran, Syria and North Korea ever were, or could be. Most lives worldwide are untouched and cannot be molested by what’s decided in Tehran, Damascus and Pyongyang, but a mere sneeze in DC, London or Tel Aviv can send scores to the emergency room.

When this empire is over, and it cannot end soon enough, I doubt that it will be remembered for its artistic achievements, for Americans themselves are completely indifferent to all of their artists. Even the highly educated among us would have a very hard time naming a single living American painter, sculptor, composer or poet. Practitioners of meditative forms, they cannot compete with the hyper kinetic seduction of pop music, pop dancing and sports. Americans cannot think about the arts because their minds are crammed with hundreds of athletes.

In his State of the Union, Obama started out by thanking the troops. He praised their teamwork and urged us all to emulate them. This teamwork ethos is inculcated most effectively in sports, for both participants and spectators, but also at the workplace. Now, unity and sacrifice are certainly laudable, but only when they serve honorable goals, which are clearly absent if you happen to be in the US military, occupying a Goldman Sachs cubicle or drawing a paycheck from the Carlyle Group, etc. Soldiers speak often of fighting primarily for each other, and this makes perfect sense once you’re already on the battlefield, but if they would only step back and reflect, a near impossibility in the herd culture of the military, where the highest virtue is abject obedience, they might discover that they are just dumb, stupid animals being used, to paraphrase Henry Kissinger. Hell, they might realize that they are even less than dumb, stupid animals, for an animal’s strongest instinct is safety. Beside a contemporary American GI, I can’t imagine any primate that would volunteer to be shot at just so another SUV could be sold, not even a mouse lemur with a brain weighting just two grams.

As America moves its war pieces into place, the folks back home can watch helmeted pseudo-warriors crash into each other with each play. In our culture, repeated collisions are a primary excitement. The players’ immediate aim is to gain yards, which are carefully tabulated, with the climax happening in an end zone, a goal which, unlike other sports, cannot be crossed by the ball alone, but must be accompanied by one’s own body. This hard fought, much resisted entry is called a touchdown, as if one has been airborne and homeless all this time. In the end time, the blessed among us will be allowed into that final, celestial end zone, where we can whoop it up with a real Touchdown Jesus, Vince Lombardi and Joe Pa. The Cowgirls will shake their pompoms and more, and Billy White Shoes Johnson will do his funky chicken dance.

Meanwhile, on this depleted uranium, corexit, cesium, agent orange and corn syrup mess of an earth, we can look forward to this game on Sunday, where military jets will roar overhead and there will be a huge flag the size of the field itself, with soldiers standing at attention. During the broadcast, troops stationed overseas will be shown so we can all thank them in our hearts for allowing us to watch these simulated wars at home, and when an actual war starts, we can watch that too. Between real and fake wars, car commercials. It’s so exciting, all these wars all the time.

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.

 

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

More articles by:
Weekend Edition
July 22, 2016
Friday - Sunday
Jeffrey St. Clair
Good as Goldman: Hillary and Wall Street
Joseph E. Lowndes
From Silent Majority to White-Hot Rage: Observations from Cleveland
Paul Street
Political Correctness: Handle with Care
Richard Moser
Actions Express Priorities: 40 Years of Failed Lesser Evil Voting
Eric Draitser
Hillary and Tim Kaine: a Match Made on Wall Street
Conn Hallinan
The Big Boom: Nukes And NATO
Ron Jacobs
Exacerbate the Split in the Ruling Class
Jill Stein
After US Airstrikes Kill 73 in Syria, It’s Time to End Military Assaults that Breed Terrorism
Jack Rasmus
Trump, Trade and Working Class Discontent
John Feffer
Could a Military Coup Happen Here?
Jeffrey St. Clair
Late Night, Wine-Soaked Thoughts on Trump’s Jeremiad
Andrew Levine
Vice Presidents: What Are They Good For?
Michael Lukas
Law, Order, and the Disciplining of Black Bodies at the Republican National Convention
Victor Grossman
Horror News, This Time From Munich
Margaret Kimberley
Gavin Long’s Last Words
Mark Weisbrot
Confidence and the Degradation of Brazil
Brian Cloughley
Boris Johnson: Britain’s Lying Buffoon
Lawrence Reichard
A Global Crossroad
Kevin Schwartz
Beyond 28 Pages: Saudi Arabia and the West
Charles Pierson
The Courage of Kalyn Chapman James
Michael Brenner
Terrorism Redux
Bruce Lerro
Being Inconvenienced While Minding My Own Business: Liberals and the Social Contract Theory of Violence
Mark Dunbar
The Politics of Jeremy Corbyn
David Swanson
Top 10 Reasons Why It’s Just Fine for U.S. to Blow Up Children
Binoy Kampmark
Laura Ingraham and Trumpism
Uri Avnery
The Great Rift
Nicholas Buccola
What’s the Matter with What Ted Said?
Aidan O'Brien
Thank Allah for Western Democracy, Despondency and Defeat
Joseph Natoli
The Politics of Crazy and Stupid
Sher Ali Khan
Empirocracy
Nauman Sadiq
A House Divided: Turkey’s Failed Coup Plot
Franklin Lamb
A Roadmap for Lebanon to Grant Civil Rights for Palestinian Refugees in Lebanon
Colin Todhunter
Power and the Bomb: Conducting International Relations with the Threat of Mass Murder
Michael Barker
UK Labour’s Rightwing Select Corporate Lobbyist to Oppose Jeremy Corbyn
Graham Peebles
Brexit, Trump and Lots of Anger
Anhvinh Doanvo
Civilian Deaths, Iraq, Syria, ISIS and Drones
Christopher Brauchli
Kansas and the Phantom Voters
Peter Lee
Gavin Long’s Manifesto and the Politics of “Terrorism”
Missy Comley Beattie
An Alarmingly Ignorant Fuck
Robert Koehler
Volatile America
Adam Vogal
Why Black Lives Matter To Me
Raouf Halaby
It Is Not Plagiarism, Y’all
Rev. Jeff Hood
Deliver Us From Babel
Frances Madeson
Juvenile Life Without Parole, Captured in ‘Natural Life’
Charles R. Larson
Review: Han Kang’s “The Vegetarian”
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail