FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Autumn in America

 

Let’s see. Two thousand plus US dead. Tens of thousands of Iraqis dead. one hundred and sixty-one thousand troops now in Iraq–more than ever. Troops continue to kick in doors of civilian homes. US troops taking over civilian homes in Iraq much like the British did to the colonists in the original thirteen colonies. A constitution written by US policy makers passes muster in Iraq after some very curious manipulation of polling places and vote counts. Lawyers for Saddam Hussein fear for their lives after a member of the defense team is murdered. Government death squads composed of Shia and Kurdish militia men who have thrown their lot in with the US fight with Sunni insurgents and murder them in their sleep. In Syria and Lebanon, questionable witnesses known for their Chalabi-like conniving provide the bulk of the evidence in the United Nation’s investigation of the murder of Lebanese businessman al-Hariri. The charges against Damascus lead to calls for regime change. Of course, the fact that Washington routinely murders foreign leaders and their constituents without answering to anyone goes unmentioned. Underlying the whole drama is the reality of that oil and who will control it in the coming decades.

The US press pretends that the involvement of some Sunni insurgent groups and the al-Sadr rebel movement in the upcoming election is an indication that the resistance is putting down its arms, when any student of guerrilla war knows very well that a political front is just another aspect of guerrilla strategy. Afghanistan continues to be a problem for Washington, with more US dead there this year than any other year since the troops went in back in 2001. Civil liberties attorney Lynne Stewart’s appeal to get her conviction thrown out in part because jurors were threatened by the government fails, despite the fact that the charges were the result of her doing her job. The appeals judge disagreed with that contention, stating that her conversations with her client were not covered by the First Amendment. Big energy corporations release their 2005 fall quarter earnings, revealing that they are the biggest ever in their history. Yet, victims of the hurricanes in Louisiana and Texas are kicked out of their temporary homes because the government hasn’t released any funds to help pay the transient housing costs. Of course, the energy companies have already begun their rebuilding efforts–efforts funded by US taxpayers. Oh yeah, here’s a little more on those rebuilding funds–the House Republicans (probably with some unspoken Democratic support) voted to obtain the emergency funds by cutting student loan subsidies and child support enforcement funds, and intend to cut food stamps, Medicare and Medicaid before they are through. Like Representative Obey of Wisconsin said: “They are targeting programs for poor people to pay for tax cuts for rich people.” (CNN 10/28/2005)

In Iran, the new president calls for Israel to be wiped off the map and the west cries foul. While this statement is given more importance than it deserves, Israel continues its military campaign to wipe the nation of Palestine off the map and out of the world’s consciousness. Rosa Parks, one of the heroes in the struggle against US apartheid, is lying in state in the Capitol rotunda–a place she was never very welcome when she was alive. The fight against institutional racism that she helped spark finds its target ever more obscured while at the same time more insidious. Witness the response to the destruction of people’s lives in Louisiana and Mississippi from the hurricanes for confirmation. When the president finally set his feet on the ground in the stricken area, the first destroyed house he talked about was the mansion owned by that proud Son of the Confederacy, Trent Lott. You know the guy–he’s the one who said out loud what many crackers just think: that the US would be a better place if overt racists had won the elections back in the middle part of the last century. Then Rosa Parks wouldn’t be lying in state in the white man’s capitol building. Speaking of protesters; there’s some veteran of the Iraq and Afghanistan adventures who attends Kent State University. Yeah, that Kent State–the one where four students were killed for protesting the US invasion of Cambodia back in 1970. That was a watershed–white college kids getting killed by the troops. Anyhow, this veteran got busted at a protest against military recruiters on the Kent State campus and now the university administration wants to expel him from the school. His offense? Climbing the rock wall that the military recruiters brought to campus in an attempt to lure young men and women into joining the army of one. Honor the veterans unless they tell the truth about the war? Long may it wave.

Oh yeah, there’s also this guy named Jose Padilla who’s been in solitary confinement for three years in a federal prison. That in itself isn’t too unusual in this prison nation, but the fact that he has never been charged with anything is. He’s joined, of course, by several hundred (if not thousand) non-US citizens in other jails maintained by Washington around the world. These prisoners don’t even begin to match the numbers stuck inside of prisons in the US. Some are in for violent crimes, some are in for money crimes, and some are in for using drugs. Then there are those who are being detained merely because their papers are not in order or because they don’t have any papers that “allow” them to be in the US legally. Yet, somehow you get the feeling that these aforementioned prisoners have already done more time than any crook with friends in the White House will ever do. Yeah, I’m talking about DeLay and Scooter Libby, just for starters. I won’t even go into the possibility of the war criminals in Washington getting their day in the world court.

Like the hiphop poet KRS-One once said: “What the fuck am I supposed to do?”

RON JACOBS is author of The Way the Wind Blew: a history of the Weather Underground, which is just republished by Verso. Jacobs’ essay on Big Bill Broonzy is featured in CounterPunch’s new collection on music, art and sex, Serpents in the Garden. He can be reached at: rjacobs3625@charter.net

 

 

 

More articles by:

Ron Jacobs is the author of Daydream Sunset: Sixties Counterculture in the Seventies published by CounterPunch Books. His latest offering is a pamphlet titled Capitalism: Is the Problem.  He lives in Vermont. He can be reached at: ronj1955@gmail.com.

September 26, 2018
Jonathan Cook
Time to Wake Up: the Neoliberal Order is Dying 
David J. Detmer
History Distorted: Sam Wineberg’s Critique of Howard Zinn
Robert Hunziker
An Unforeseen Climate Beast Awakens!
Barbara Nimri Aziz
How Many More Women Are There?
Jörg Wiegratz
The Age of Fraud: the Link Between Capitalism and Profiteering by Deception
John Kendall Hawkins
Now There’s a Wall Between Us, Something There’s Been Lost…
William Kaufman
Brett Kavanaugh’s Wayward Penis: A New Twist
Michael Welton
A Wake-Up Call to the Canadian Left
Patrick Irelan
Brett Goes to School 
Kevin Zeese - Margaret Flowers
All Wars Are Illegal, Let’s Act!
Dean Baker
Robots, China and the Failure of Economics Reporters
Matthew Johnson
Cancel Kavanaugh
Rohullah Naderi – Rustam Ali Seerat
The Option of Self-Defense for Hazaras
September 25, 2018
Kenneth Surin
Fact-Finding Labour’s “Anti-Semitism” Crisis
Charles Pierson
Destroying Yemen as Humanely as Possible
James Rothenberg
Why Not Socialism?
Patrick Cockburn
How Putin Came Out on Top in Syria
John Grant
“Awesome Uncontrollable Male Passion” Meets Its Match
Guy Horton
Burma: Complicity With Evil?
Steve Stallone
Jujitsu Comms
William Blum
Bombing Libya: the Origins of Europe’s Immigration Crisis
John Feffer
There’s a New Crash Coming
Martha Pskowski
“The Emergency Isn’t Over”: the Homeless Commemorate a Year Since the Mexico City Earthquake
Fred Baumgarten
Ten Ways of Looking at Civility
Dean Baker
The Great Financial Crisis: Bernanke and the Bubble
Binoy Kampmark
Parasitic and Irrelevant: The University Vice Chancellor
September 24, 2018
Jonathan Cook
Hiding in Plain Sight: Why We Cannot See the System Destroying Us
Gary Leupp
All the Good News (Ignored by the Trump-Obsessed Media)
Robert Fisk
I Don’t See How a Palestinian State Can Ever Happen
Barry Brown
Pot as Political Speech
Lara Merling
Puerto Rico’s Colonial Legacy and Its Continuing Economic Troubles
Patrick Cockburn
Iraq’s Prime Ministers Come and Go, But the Stalemate Remains
William Blum
The New Iraq WMD: Russian Interference in US Elections
Julian Vigo
The UK’s Snoopers’ Charter Has Been Dealt a Serious Blow
Joseph Matten
Why Did Global Economic Performance Deteriorate in the 1970s?
Zhivko Illeieff
The Millennial Label: Distinguishing Facts from Fiction
Thomas Hon Wing Polin – Gerry Brown
Xinjiang : The New Great Game
Binoy Kampmark
Casting Kavanaugh: The Trump Supreme Court Drama
Max Wilbert
Blue Angels: the Naked Face of Empire
Weekend Edition
September 21, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Alexandra Isfahani-Hammond
Hurricane Florence and 9.7 Million Pigs
Andrew Levine
Israel’s Anti-Semitism Smear Campaign
Paul Street
Laquan McDonald is Being Tried for His Own Racist Murder
Brad Evans
What Does It Mean to Celebrate International Peace Day?
Nick Pemberton
With or Without Kavanaugh, The United States Is Anti-Choice
Jim Kavanagh
“Taxpayer Money” Threatens Medicare-for-All (And Every Other Social Program)
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail