Desperately Seeking Emmanuel Goldstein

Fear swells across the land. Five Middle Eastern men, Pakistanis to be more precise, have crossed the US-Canada border and are on the loose and possibly predisposed to mayhem. From the pig farm in Crawford, Texas, our unelected president has promised to hunt ’em down and smoke ’em out. “We don’t have any idea of what their intentions might be, but we are mindful that there are still some out there who would try to harm America and harm Americans,” said Dubya between brush clearing bouts, “we take every threat seriously, every piece of evidence seriously.”

Meanwhile, in New York, Senator Hillary Clinton, not one to miss a politically expedient opportunity or advantageous sound bite, has called for the creation of an office dedicated to improving security on the border with Canada. We can expect more such quasi-presidential proclamations from Ms. Clinton in the months to come. Not only has Gallup found her the most admired woman in America — a title she must share with <J.Lo> nee Jennifer Lopez — but she has thrown her boater in the ring for the 2004 election.

As if to demonstrate they sincerely hate our way of life, these terrorists of a darker melanin entered our hallowed land on Christmas. Well, the word “terrorist” may be a bit premature since they have yet to do anything cloven-footed or hateful against our marvellous way of life, as our appointed president seems to think they intend. Even so, our frisky intelligence services have told Steve Emerson over at MSNBC the men are reportedly wanted in a wider smuggling ring thought to include degenerate terrorists (smugglers, along with mischievous teenage computer hackers, are now thought to be terrorists under the Bush and Ashcroft rubric). Since Pakistan is considered a virtual haven for mean-spirited evil-doers — and New Year’s Day is a holiday of symbolic significance to Islamic malcontents — the guardians of the Best Damn Country in the World are not taking any chances. Bush has personally ordered the FBI to hunt ’em down and smoke ’em out. Let’s hope he is more successful with this bunch than he was with Osama, Omar, and other medieval scoundrels.

Just to be sure, police in New York — where it is guesstimated these assumed terrorists have fled — have welded shut manholes and removed mailboxes in Times Square. Police Commissioner Ray Kelly told Fox News approximately 2,000 officers were on duty and sharpshooters stationed on roofs during the New Year festivities. The rubber-stamped Ministry of Homeland Security issued a low-level alert for New York’s ports on New Year’s Eve day (holidays, it would seem, always merit low-level terrorist alerts). Intelligence sources warned of eight “diversionary” attacks throughout the state before a possible harbor attack. “There was an uncorroborated report about New York Harbor,” Kelly explained, and then went on indicate pleasure craft had been barred from the harbor. Interestingly, since the appointment of Dubya, the word “uncorroborated” has taken on new significance.

So, this is our future? Color-coded terror warnings and self-seeking politicians clamoring to hire yet more low-paid and ill-trained ticket punchers at the gates of the Best Damn Country in the World. Bush, as the sheriff of pax Americana, has become the boy who cried wolf recast. No longer do many of us put credence into these now routine terror warnings. It is simply unrealistic to expect the nation to recoil in fear and trepidation at the prospect of gangbangers searching “dirty bomb” on Google or Muslim citizens from Lackawanna trekking to Afghanistan. A life of interminable fear is a life unlivable. Even so, more than a few of us have caught on: our overseers will dutifully yank the alarm cord, especially on Christmas and the Fourth of July, in order to keep us dizzy and distracted with fear, a required condition if numerous wars are to be fought and sacrifices to be made in the name of Lockheed Martin, General Dynamics, Boeing, Raytheon, et al, and their stockholders and directors (Lynne Cheney, main squeeze of VP Dick, is a former Lockheed Martin director with 2,512 shares).

Saddam Hussein is no Emmanuel Goldstein, Orwell’s perennial enemy of the state in his classic novel 1984. Americans generally do not fear the Iraqi dictator (although large numbers believe Saddam and the Iraqi people should be bombed for good measure). More fearsome enemies will need to be devised if Bush and his rapacious neocon chicken hawks are going to accomplish their invidious mission. Not even the little Stalinist of North Korea, Kim Jung-il, fits the bill of all-around bad guy and plenary threat to the global order of things. Osama was the closest Bush and the corporate media came to finding the embodiment of Complete Evil and Chaos, but the furtive Saudi expatriate has been far less than obliging as of late. Bush really blew it when he failed to work Osama up into sincerely Goldstein proportions (the fake Osama video and audio tapes attempted this but, due to overwhelming incompetence and ineptitude of those who produce such things, failed miserably and, besides, the attention of the average American is decidedly fickle, especially when the competition is a survival show).

Americans are more worried about their bank accounts and jobs than evil-doers slipping over the Canadian border or sleeper cells established in “seedy neighborhoods” (as the API put it) where, according to CIA and Defense Intelligence Agency officials, people “don’t care about you, they don’t want to look at you and don’t look at you.” Instead of worrying about terrorists living in such places, far too many Americans are worried that, the way the economy is spinning downward, they may themselves end up in a dilapidated tenement. The “conjectural probabilities” of terrorists in our midst bother most folks far less than a host of other problems — skyrocketing health care costs, unemployment, the raiding of pension funds by greedy and lawless corporations, and unchecked environmental degradation, none of which Bush cares about a whit.

Obviously, if Bush is going to sell his plan for endless war against a shifting array of enemies (who happen to be in countries where there is a lot of oil and other coveted natural resources) he will need to work overtime to create a Goldstein-like bogeyman. Saddam Hussein, Kim Jung-il, and the unaccounted for Osama bin Laden are no longer going to cut it. Or there will need be another September 11, this time of truly hideous magnitude — widespread small pox attacks, dirty nukes in the heartland, suicide bombings surpassing anything Israel has experienced — if the people of America are to fall in line and support the boundless wars of conquest and suppression that Bush and his demented mob of warmongers have in mind. Simply cranking up the color-coded warnings and hauling out the same shopworn “intelligence” officials with their unpersuasive speculations and “conjectural probabilities” will no longer work. Sooner or later Dubya’s going to have to play hardball for keeps.

On the other hand, Bush may limp along with his half-ass terror threats until November, 2004, when he can be safely deposed and consigned to the dustbin of history. In the meantime, there will be war in Iraq and possibly elsewhere — we can only hope these vicious and transparent adventures will sputter and flounder and not too many people will die in the process (I wouldn’t bet the farm on it, though). As well, considering how the Bushites and their co-conspirators in the so-called highest court hijacked the last election, we can’t be absolutely certain something duplicitous won’t happen again (imagine one of the aforementioned terrorist attacks going down a few weeks before the election — martial law is declared, the election “postponed” until “order is restored,” say in a generation or so).

Considering how 911 will never be truly and sincerely investigated — especially now that Bush has nominated as Chairman of the National (whitewash) Commission Thomas H. Kean, who has documented business ties with Osama’s brother-in-law (Khalid bin Mahfouz, who is named as a major financial backer of bin Laden in a lawsuit brought by families and survivors of 911) — it is not a stretch to conclude Bush believes he can get away with anything.

Consider as well the neocon document (“Rebuilding America’s Defenses: Strategies, Forces and Resources for a New Century”) drawn up by the rabid right wing Washington-based organization known as the Project for the New American Century (PNAC) for the likes of Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, Dubya’s younger brother Jeb, and Lewis “Scooter” Libby back in 2000 while Dubya was busy executing retarded defendants in Texas. The PNAC plan for world domination calls for a “catalyzing event — like a new Pearl Harbor” to motivate usually war restrained Americans into empire-lurching action. Finally, if you believe war hawks are moral and disinclined to kill their fellow citizens in the name of empire, consider Operation Northwoods, as detailed by investigative author James Bamford (Body of Secrets, Doubleday, 2001): “Operation Northwoods, the plan, which had the written approval of the Chairman and every member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, called for innocent people to be shot on American streets; for boats carrying refugees fleeing Cuba to be sunk on the high seas; for a wave of violent terrorism to be launched in Washington, D.C., Miami, and elsewhere. People would be framed for bombings they did not commit; planes would be hijacked.” Operation Northwoods was designed to create a “catalyzing event — like a new Pearl Harbor” in order to justify a war against the Saddam Hussein of the day, Castro. JFK rejected the plan — and Bush, as Arianna Huffington has noted, is no JFK.

Conspiracy theories are not strictly for the paranoid anymore.

KURT NIMMO is a photographer and multimedia developer in Las Cruces, New Mexico. Visit his excellent online gallery. He can be reached at: nimmo@zianet.com

We highly recommend regular visits to Nimmo’s website, Another Day in the Empire


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KURT NIMMO is a photographer and multimedia developer in Las Cruces, New Mexico. Visit his excellent no holds barred blog at www.kurtnimmo.com/ . Nimmo is a contributor to Cockburn and St. Clair’s, The Politics of Anti-Semitism. A collection of his essays for CounterPunch, Another Day in the Empire, is now available from Dandelion Books. He can be reached at: nimmo@zianet.com

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