FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Flags, Cops and F-16s

 

The Bush inauguration is designed to shock the American public into noticing the fundamental changes within the government. Like Guantanamo, it is intended to be more symbolic than substantive. The event is a means of acclimating people to the seismic shift in the basic structure of the state. The administration has taken the country from Republic to National Security State in four short years. Now, they,re determined to saturate the public consciousness with that new reality.

The presence of 4,000 fully-armed policemen, many in riot-gear, will be the first thing that most people notice. Security has never been tighter even though there’s no indication of a terrorist threat. This unnecessary show of force isn’t a sign of paranoia on the part of the administration. It’s a political calculation to discourage dissent. The excessive demonstration of power is exactly what the inauguration architects had in mind. It’s their way of saying, “Get used to it.”

The same rule applies to the 2,500 military personnel who will be deployed to the streets of Washington DC. They serve the dual purpose of intimidating the public and celebrating the further militarization of the country.

The police-state transformation of the nation’s capital is astonishing. Even the manhole covers have been welded together along the Presidential parade route. No detail, however insignificant, has been ignored in “battening-down” a major metropolitan area. The armed contingents of roaming soldiers and the familiar trappings of Martial Law should remind us of ceremonials in banana republics; the apparent model for the Bush inaugural grand-opera. According to the Associated Press, the capital has readied itself, “with rooftop snipers, missile batteries, bomb-sniffing dogs, high-tech monitors and miles of metal barricades Coast Guard cutters are on duty in the Potomac River, while customs aircraft and other surveillance flights are in the skies above the city. Sophisticated sensors to detect chemical, radiological or biological material are in place,” and, “Canine bomb-sniffing squads, bicycle patrols and crowd control units also are at the ready Hour by hour the city of grand buildings and marble statues disappears behind curtains of steel security fences and concrete barriers.”

“Disappears behind curtains of steel?” Or, was that an Iron Curtain?

No matter, the accoutrements of despotism are forever the same; the little man with grand aspirations followed by legions of armed goons. The pageantry of militarism is unalterable; men in suits or starched uniforms waving white hankies from a lofty plateau as the missile launchers and tanks trundle by below.

Who said it can’t happen here?

In the “Garrison State” the speeches reflect the values of its leaders. We should expect another dose of Messianic braying from the Bush pulpit; more incendiary taunting of imaginary enemies, more Simian chest-pounding over fabricated victories; more saccharine praise of our valiant military. And, of course, throughout the speech, the buzz-words that arouse the Christian faithful to near frenzy; knowing that one of their own occupies the thrown.

It’s all gibberish, but the underlying factoids are quite real. The State and Corporate America have linked-together in a conjugal embrace; there’s not a hairs-breadth between the two of them. While the corporate warriors are inside lining up at the public trough, the military is busy keeping the plain-folk at bay. The essential message is hard to ignore.

Still, White House press secretary, Scott McClellan reminds us that we should try, “to enjoy and celebrate this great American traditionparticularly during the time of war that we are in.”

Oh, yeah; that “great American tradition” of deploying troops on our city streets to bully and intimidate the public.

Who does McClellan think he’s kidding?

As the F-16 fighters screech overhead and the helicopters click by with there ultra-sonic sensors pointed at the people below, how many Americans will be celebrating the “Bush Mandate” with a bottle of “bubbly” and a Texas style Bar-B-Q; and how many will simply be stunned by a flag-waving spectacle reminiscent of the Munich rallies.

MIKE WHITNEY lives in Washington state. He can be reached at: fergiewhitney@msn.com

 

 

 

 

More articles by:

MIKE WHITNEY lives in Washington state. He is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion (AK Press). Hopeless is also available in a Kindle edition. He can be reached at fergiewhitney@msn.com.

Weekend Edition
August 17, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Daniel Wolff
The Aretha Dialogue
Nick Pemberton
Donald Trump and the Rise of Patriotism 
Joseph Natoli
First Amendment Rights and the Court of Popular Opinion
Andrew Levine
Midterms 2018: What’s There to Hope For?
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Running Out of Fools
Ajamu Baraka
Opposing Bipartisan Warmongering is Defending Human Rights of the Poor and Working Class
Paul Street
Corporate Media: the Enemy of the People
David Macaray
Trump and the Sex Tape
CJ Hopkins
Where Have All the Nazis Gone?
Daniel Falcone
The Future of NATO: an Interview With Richard Falk
Robert Hunziker
Hothouse Earth
Cesar Chelala
The Historic Responsibility of the Catholic Church
Ron Jacobs
The Barbarism of US Immigration Policy
Kenneth Surin
In Shanghai
William Camacaro - Frederick B. Mills
The Military Option Against Venezuela in the “Year of the Americas”
Nancy Kurshan
The Whole World Was Watching: Chicago ’68, Revisited
Robert Fantina
Yemeni and Palestinian Children
Alexandra Isfahani-Hammond
Orcas and Other-Than-Human Grief
Shoshana Fine – Thomas Lindemann
Migrants Deaths: European Democracies and the Right to Not Protect?
Paul Edwards
Totally Irrusianal
Thomas Knapp
Murphy’s Law: Big Tech Must Serve as Censorship Subcontractors
Mark Ashwill
More Demons Unleashed After Fulbright University Vietnam Official Drops Rhetorical Bombshells
Ralph Nader
Going Fundamental Eludes Congressional Progressives
Hans-Armin Ohlmann
My Longest Day: How World War II Ended for My Family
Matthew Funke
The Nordic Countries Aren’t Socialist
Daniel Warner
Tiger Woods, Donald Trump and Crime and Punishment
Dave Lindorff
Mainstream Media Hypocrisy on Display
Jeff Cohen
Democrats Gather in Chicago: Elite Party or Party of the People?
Victor Grossman
Stand Up With New Hope in Germany?
Christopher Brauchli
A Family Affair
Jill Richardson
Profiting From Poison
Patrick Bobilin
Moving the Margins
Alison Barros
Dear White American
Celia Bottger
If Ireland Can Reject Fossil Fuels, Your Town Can Too
Ian Scott Horst
Less Voting, More Revolution
Peter Certo
Trump Snubbed McCain, Then the Media Snubbed the Rest of Us
Dan Ritzman
Drilling ANWR: One of Our Last Links to the Wild World is in Danger
Brandon Do
The World and Palestine, Palestine and the World
Negin Owliaei
Toys R Us May be Gone, But Its Workers’ Struggle Continues
Chris Wright
An Updated and Improved Marxism
Daryan Rezazad
Iran and the Doomsday Machine
Patrick Bond
Africa’s Pioneering Marxist Political Economist, Samir Amin (1931-2018)
Louis Proyect
Memoir From the Underground
Binoy Kampmark
Meaningless Titles and Liveable Cities: Melbourne Loses to Vienna
Andrew Stewart
Blackkklansman: Spike Lee Delivers a Masterpiece
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail