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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.
The Top 10

The Poor Man’s Terrorist Watch List

by DOUGLAS VALENTINE

1. Cops (especially narcs). While cops do not, strictly speaking, have a political agenda (most don’t even vote, they just linger around the booths looking mean and tough), they are, nonetheless, habitual liars who, by nature, enjoy violence and intimidation. Unless a cop is your brother or sister, or you have pictures of him or her taking bribes, automatically put them on The Watch List (especially narcs).

2. Rich People (with more than two houses). Actually, if someone has more than one house, you have to wonder who the hell they’re stealing from. (Theft is a gray area. Certain types of property theft, such as burglarizing the homes of rich people, can actually be considered counter-terrorism.)

2a. Land “lords” and “ladies”. The capitalist class is the source of all terrorism. Anyone who sits around making money off a worker goes on The Watch List. (Public housing is considered counter-terrorism, as is public transportation. We like bus drivers.) There are exceptions. If your landlord or landlady has a disability and can’t otherwise work and make an honest living, it’s ok, as long as they live downstairs, keep the thermostat up when it’s cold, and don’t make too much noise.

3. Bankers. A unit of money is not evil. Sometimes a friend needs a couple of bucks, and it is good and righteous to lend him or her the cash. But lending money for profit is terrorism. People who authorize outrageous mortgages and then foreclose on homes are terrorists. Real estate agents tread a fine line; put them on The Watch List. (Used car salesmen get a pass, because everyone knows, up front, they’re trying to cheat you. People who own car dealerships, especially if they laundering mob money, are on The List.)

4. Tax attorneys (and Congressional lobbyists). Many people work for the rich, but those who do so voluntarily, at the img-fbvalentinephoenix_163926464348expense of the working classes, occupy a special place on The List. (Certainly it’s no sin to cheat on your taxes, given that most of your tax money goes to funding Israel’s oppression of the Palestinians. IRS agents are, by definition, providing material support to terrorism.)

5. Movie producers. We all like the movies. We love music and dance. And good books. Artists should flourish. It’s tragic that artists need agents and publishers and movie producers, and that huge industries have grown around them, exploiting them and perverting our perceptions of reality. Hollywood – I’m talking about you! If a person lives in Beverly Hills, and has Hispanics cleaning his or her house, they’re on the Watch List (except for fictional characters like the Beverly Hillbillies).

6. Limousine Liberals. There is a distinction between people who are merely annoying, and those who are terrorists, if you can find it. Limousine liberals and other professional hypocrites are definitely on The List. This means you, Amy Goodman!

7. Heirs and Heiresses. George Bush, as they say, was born on home plate and thought he hit a home run. It was his sense of entitlement that made him a war criminal of the highest order. Unless an heir or heiress is spending all his or her money on drugs, and sharing the drugs with everyone else, put them on The Watch List.

8. Pulitzer Prize and Nobel Prize Winners. Admittedly this is a small group; nevertheless, no one gets a Pulitzer Prize or Nobel Prize unless he or she is protecting the CIA and/or Israel.

9. Chemists. Chemists who labor for Dow Jones and produce Agent Orange must die by the product of their labor. To bathe in DDT someone who creates herbicides and pesticides is counter-terrorism. (Ethicists debate whether the guys who cured polio and malaria should be included.) Alchemists are ok, unless they convince billions of people to worship Late Iron Age deities. Terrorists teach people to fear the Dark, and The Light.

10. Anyone who listens to Wolf Blitzer. You may think we are speaking figuratively, but no – if you listen to Wolf Blitzer, you’re on The Poor Man’s Terrorist Watch List.

As the revolution approaches, more categories are being compiled. Stay tuned to Counterpunch.

Douglas Valentine is the author of The Phoenix Program: America’s Use of Terror in Vietnam.