Click amount to donate direct to CounterPunch
  • $25
  • $50
  • $100
  • $500
  • $other
  • use PayPal
Support Our Annual Fund Drive! We only ask one time of year, but when we do, we mean it. Without your support we can’t continue to bring you the very best material, day-in and day-out. CounterPunch is one of the last common spaces on the Internet. Help make sure it stays that way.
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Know Thy Enemy

by LINH DINH

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.

 

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.

 

 


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:

2016 Fund Drive
Smart. Fierce. Uncompromised. Support CounterPunch Now!

  • cp-store
  • donate paypal

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

September 27, 2016
Louisa Willcox
The Tribal Fight for Nature: From the Grizzly to the Black Snake of the Dakota Pipeline
Jeffrey St. Clair
Idiot Winds at Hofstra: Notes on the Not-So-Great Debate
Mark Harris
Clinton, Trump, and the Death of Idealism
Mike Whitney
Putin Ups the Ante: Ceasefire Sabotage Triggers Major Offensive in Aleppo
Anthony DiMaggio
The Debates as Democratic Façade: Voter “Rationality” in American Elections
Binoy Kampmark
Punishing the Punished: the Torments of Chelsea Manning
Paul Buhle
Why “Snowden” is Important (or How Kafka Foresaw the Juggernaut State)
Jack Rasmus
Hillary’s Ghosts
Brian Cloughley
Billions Down the Afghan Drain
Lawrence Davidson
True Believers and the U.S. Election
Matt Peppe
Taking a Knee: Resisting Enforced Patriotism
James McEnteer
Eugene, Oregon and the Rising Cost of Cool
Norman Pollack
The Great Debate: Proto-Fascism vs. the Real Thing
Michael Winship
The Tracks of John Boehner’s Tears
John Steppling
Fear Level Trump
Lawrence Wittner
Where Is That Wasteful Government Spending?
James Russell
Beyond Debate: Interview Styles of the Rich and Famous
September 26, 2016
Diana Johnstone
The Hillary Clinton Presidency has Already Begun as Lame Ducks Promote Her War
Gary Leupp
Hillary Clinton’s Campaign Against Russia
Dave Lindorff
Parking While Black: When Police Shoot as First Resort
Robert Crawford
The Political Rhetoric of Perpetual War
Howard Lisnoff
The Case of One Homeless Person
Michael Howard
The New York Times Endorses Hillary, Scorns the World
Russell Mokhiber
Wells Fargo and the Library of Congress’ National Book Festival
Chad Nelson
The Crime of Going Vegan: the Latest Attack on Angela Davis
Colin Todhunter
A System of Food Production for Human Need, Not Corporate Greed
Brian Cloughley
The United States Wants to Put Russia in a Corner
Guillermo R. Gil
The Clevenger Effect: Exposing Racism in Pro Sports
David Swanson
Turn the Pentagon into a Hospital
Ralph Nader
Are You Ready for Democracy?
Chris Martenson
Hell to Pay
Doug Johnson Hatlem
Debate Night: Undecided is Everything, Advantage Trump
Frank X Murphy
Power & Struggle: the Detroit Literacy Case
Chris Knight
The Tom and Noam Show: a Review of Tom Wolfe’s “The Kingdom of Speech”
Weekend Edition
September 23, 2016
Friday - Sunday
Andrew Levine
The Meaning of the Trump Surge
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: More Pricks Than Kicks
Mike Whitney
Oh, Say Can You See the Carnage? Why Stand for a Country That Can Gun You Down in Cold Blood?
Chris Welzenbach
The Diminution of Chris Hayes
Vincent Emanuele
The Riots Will Continue
Rob Urie
A Scam Too Far
Pepe Escobar
Les Deplorables
Patrick Cockburn
Airstrikes, Obfuscation and Propaganda in Syria
Timothy Braatz
The Quarterback and the Propaganda
Sheldon Richman
Obama Rewards Israel’s Bad Behavior
Libby Lunstrum - Patrick Bond
Militarizing Game Parks and Marketing Wildlife are Unsustainable Strategies
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail