Know Thy Enemy
For the Phillies opening in 2010, four Navy Seals were parachuted into Citizens Bank Park. The stunt was such a success, it was rescheduled for this year, but high wind prevented it from happening. What a shame. Unconfirmed team sources whispered to me that these asskicking Seals would have handed Bin Laden’s balls to our starting pitcher, Cole Hamels, to be plunked at the ragged head of a real live terrorist. Oh well, maybe next year.
The military has encroached into all areas of our lives. Our cops are more like soldiers, and battle fatigued soldiers are routinely seen on our streets, restaurants and shopping malls. They also show up regularly on sport broadcasts, and even star in a Hollywood blockbuster. Armored vehicles menace July 4th Parades, and camouflaged trucks deliver Toys for Tots. All this has to be by design, obviously, to drum into our heads that we are a nation at war, and that we are threatened constantly by terrorists that may blow us up at any moment anywhere, but especially transport hubs, necessitating the rough caresses of your grunting TSA agents, when they not stealing from your luggage. Ah, what’s a missing iPod or a few thousand bucks compared to the increased security that we’re all enjoying?
If even preschoolers or wheelchaired farts on their last legs must be frisked for underwear bombs, box cutters and ninja stars, not to mention contraband copies of the Constitution, is it any wonder that our cops are becoming more trigger happy? Post 9/11, the United States has entered a permanent state of psychotic paranoia, all to justify our endless war (profiteering) for oil, and with a host of new laws enabling the state to harass, eavesdrop, strip search, arrest or even kill you without charge, that is, without presumption of innocence before proven guilty, supposedly a bedrock of our democracy and what separates us from all the other nightmare states we’ve always been warned about.
As we sleep, America has become one of those nightmares, I’m afraid, although all still seems relatively normal, for now. The home runs still fly, and the inane commercials still sing. All is normal until you find yourself on the wrong side of an increasingly brutal and arbitrary set of laws, or none at all, just whatever our President, local cop or security guard decides is right, for him, at that moment. You see, a nightmare is when you’re at the total mercy of another man, without recourses to remedy whatever wrong he may inflict on you, without the law or your fellow humans ever coming to your aid. Our tortured foreign detainees have long been acquainted with this evil, but we have looked the other way, because we are not them, you see, at least not yet.
It’s always The Other that is demonized and deserves to be retaliated against and punished. With the Trayvon Martin case, racism has again come to the fore, but what is racism but the most literal and narrow manifestation of self-love, in itself merely a survival instinct, and as natural as air or lust? A racist will defend and cherish only what is most like him, and nothing else, but one must mature from this, and I think many of us have, if only partially.
When one thinks in terms of blacks vs. whites, non-Muslims vs. Muslims, North vs. South or even conservatives vs. liberals, one becomes distracted from the real crisis at hand, because there is only real battle, and it is waged by the Military Banking Complex against us all. With its gargantuan corruption, systematic looting, here and abroad, and routine mass murder, this is the 1% that the Occupy Movement was trying to identify.
This Obama presidency has been a brilliant move by our ruling class, for this black, personable decoy has managed to pacify vast swaths of an otherwise restless constituency, while enraging others for the wrong reason. Although Obama’s blackness is irrelevant, it has become a fixation to both his detractors and supporters, so that it has become a point of honor to defend or depose this man for his blackness alone, when in truth his race does not factor at all in any of his decisions. One should not care that he is black, because Obama does not care that he is black, and not in a good way either. Obama is not here to rectify whatever ails the black or any other community. He is only here to facilitate the wishes of the Military Banking Complex, and he’s willing to trample on you all, black, white, brown or yellow, to achieve their goals.
In Chicago recently, I was dismayed and disgusted to see an Obama poster as I entered the Heartland Café, a bastion of progressive politics in that city, but my mood was improved, however, at a Trayvon Martin rally downtown, when I encountered a man with this sign, “OBAMA—IMPERIALIST COMMANDER IN CHIEF.” Of course he was only stating the obvious, because how can a US President be otherwise under this current setup?
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.