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A recent article declares, “Tired of war, thousands of Iraqis want to go to U.S.” What it fails to mention is who triggered all the bloodshed. Who made conditions in Iraq so intolerable that these people must flee?
You know who. Over and over again, the U.S. has instigated mayhem or carnage overseas, generating thousands if not millions of refugees, many of whom longing to escape, paradoxically, it seems, to the source of their suffering. You beat and humiliate me, so can I move in?
But there is no paradox here, really. Let’s call this phenomenon the House Slave Syndrome. With its vast military, petrodollar racket and control of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, the U.S. dominates every single life on earth. It is a truly a full spectrum master. There is not a Panamanian, Nigerian, Georgian or Japanese, etc, whose life goes unmolested by American military or, more importantly, financial decisions. Each U.S. sneeze distorts the entire world. When its attention to your land includes a coup or a preemptive strike, then the plot just gets bloodier (and often oilier). No use hiding. Unless you’re Bin Laden, Uncle Sam can always reach you!
The fact that many Iraqis want to come here means that our way of life is superior to theirs, many Americans will conclude, and what we’re doing over there is entirely justified, if a bit costly on our end, but we’re such good people, we give so much. Ignored is the fact that we’ve sold their oil and gas and kept 98% of the gross receipt. Our occupation is also not called We Will Bomb You, Strip You Naked and Smear Shit On Your Face, but Operation Iraqi Freedom. We’re teaching them about civilization, even if they did start it five thousand years ago. A refresher course can’t hurt. Between waterboarding lessons, we’ll teach them about Angelina Jolie, and, for the more serious and advanced students, Megan Fox and Whoopie Goldberg. We’ll throw in easy to understand parables about Jesus. Turn the other cheek, you Satanist Terrorists!
There is nothing new here. We’ve been messing with Iraq for half a century. In 1963, we orchestrated a coup there. We supported Saddam Hussein even before he became president. Before we turned against him, Saddam was our boy, just like Ngo Dinh Diem, Ferdinand Marco, Mohammad Pahlavi, Manuel Noriega and so many others. It’s good that Uncle Sam is not a baseball executive, because his picks are always terrible, but just ask yourself, What sort of character, for cash or career advancement, collaborates with the C.I.A.?
Washington ditches foreign dictators when they no longer serve its needs, but even the most loyal servants of our ruling class are just disposable tools, if not collateral damages. It has come out that General John D. Lavelle, who died in disgrace 30 years ago, was unjustly blamed for a military decision authorized by Richard Nixon. As his career was destroyed, both White House and Pentagon said nothing. Consider also what happened to Old Blood and Guts. Sixty-three years after the death of General Patton, evidences emerged that he was killed by the O.S.S., precursors to the C.I.A., in a staged car crash.
So even the highest ranked house slaves are not safe. Still, it’s better to be inside than out. In fact, it’s best to be as close to the man as possible. Here’s a basic rule of survival: When shots ring out, run to the gang with the biggest guns, the one with the most tanks, planes and ships, and you’ll less likely to become kabob. If they’re smart bombing your neighborhood, you can save your own ass by moving into theirs, for even their least desirable real estate, even Detroit, for example, is safer than Baghdad, if not by much. In short, the closer you are to the baddest mofo, the less likely you are to be zapped by one of his drones or military contractors. If you sit next to the pilot, he’ll have a harder time bombing your ass. Sniffing the man’s deodorant, you will also have better access to his table scraps, preowned clothing and maybe even a bit of hand me down culture.
As long as we engage in wars on foreign soils, refugees will try to come here, but we simply can’t stop because war is our primary industry, what we export to the rest of the world. War is our way of life. We are a war servicing nation. War nourishes our military industrial complex, cheers up stock holders of Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon and General Electrics, etc. Without wars, our stock market would disappear. College-aged children of the investment class may hold up cute signs protesting this or that conflict, but daddies and mommies need systematic and routine mass murders to maintain healthy stock portfolios.
LINH DINH is the author of two books of stories and five of poems, with a novel, Love Like Hate, scheduled for July. He’s tracking our deteriorating socialscape through his frequently updated photo blog, State of the Union.