Blood Wedding

2011 May 8
by Ando Arike

Hail Britannnia!

Hardly had the connubial sheets dried in the fading hours of the $70 million royal wedding, when NATO missiles struck a Tripoli residence of the embattled Muammar Gaddafi, killing his youngest son and three preteen grandchildren. The following night, U.S. Special Forces raided a suburban compound in Pakistan, executing none other than Osama bin Laden, who’s now “sleeping with the fishes,” as the saying goes in Gangland. Then today we’re told that in Yemen, Anwar al-Awlaki, the U.S.-born radical cleric, narrowly escaped a drone strike intended to assassinate him, something the Obama administration has long promised to do. It’s been a big week for the U.S. Empire and its junior partners in the U.K., and a dark prophesy of what’s to come.

Corporate Fascism Ascendant

(1) Last spring, the Obama administration made the astonishing claim that it had the prerogative to extra-judicially execute anyone it had identified as a national security threat, including American citizens, anywhere in the world–a claim that not even the Bush administration, for all its Constitution-shredding, dared to make. The outpouring of approval and triumphant chest-beating in the wake of OBL’s killing suggests that assassination will now become an officially recognized policy tool—taking its place, perhaps, alongside torture, extraordinary rendition, and indefinite detention. As Glenn Greenwald tirelessly shows us, Barack Obama has gone well beyond “continuity” with the Bush administration’s “War on Terror” into hitherto uncharted territories of lawlessness. It’s clear that the United States is no longer a constitutional republic, let alone a democracy. How quickly will the other fascist jackboot drop?

Unwitting proto-fascists gather at Ground Zero to celebrate the execution of Osama Bin Laden

(2) Consider the young proto-fascists in the photo to the left, chanting, “USA, USA, USA.” Of course, they don’t see themselves as proto-fascists—if they even have an inkling of what this word means—no, they’re just celebrating their fandom for a leader who summarily “whacked” a hated cartoon-figure enemy. Nor do they recognize the implications of such extra-judicial “targeted assassinations,” or what this might mean for international law or even for their own lives. No, what drives them emotionally is their identification with the omnipotent power of the imperial state, headed by a charismatic leader, Barack Obama, who is sort of like a rock star or sports-hero with really cool commando teams. Maybe they’ve heard of the Bill of Rights, but they don’t see how it applies. Freedom and dignity are about choices in shopping, after all–if nothing else, this generation of nincompoops knows how to behave. Ignorance is Strength.

(3) More important is how these spectacular public assassinations will play in Egypt, Tunisia, Yemen, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and so on, where the imperial stranglehold is finally reaching its limit, butting up against the growing desperation of the Arab masses. In the larger realm of geopolitical semiotics, Obama’s kill-teams were meant to convey two messages: first, to remind our client-despots that the U.S./NATO can replace them at will– so they’d better do as they’re told–and second, to cast a pall over the so-called “Arab Spring,” and let the Arab “street” know how futile is its rebellion. Remember Obama’s celebrated 2009 speech in Cairo and all that high-toned blather about forging a “new relationship” with the Arab world, the culture that “gave us algebra”? More indicative of the Obama administration’s real intentions was the scripted joke delivered at the 2010 White House Correspondents’ Dinner, where he warned the Jonas Brothers about hitting on his daughters. “I have two words for you,” said the President. “Predator drone–you’ll never see it coming.”

(4) Finally, I leave it to the New York Times’ inimitable Maureen Dowd, who in her Sunday op-ed piece, “Killing Evil Doesn’t Make Us Evil,” explains the ultimate meaning of OBL’s execution for the U.S. political/media elite. “We have nothing to apologize for,” Dowd intones sententiously at the close of her article. In other words, forget about the criminal invasion of Iraq and the hundred-thousand or more Iraqi civilians killed, forget about the equally criminal war in Afghanistan and the tens of thousand innocent civilians killed there, and while you’re at it, forget about the criminal Predator drone attacks in Pakistan and all the innocent civilians killed there… Forget about Guantanamo, Bagram, Abu Ghraib, the Patriot Act, and all that legalistic claptrap about “due process,” “habeas corpus,” “Geneva Convention,” “Bill of Rights,” blah blah blah blah– America is feeling good about itself again! Even our college students, who have no future, are feeling good about America again: “USA! USA! USA! USA!” Forget all those pantywaist spoilsports and their petty nitpicking! As Dowd writes, now it’s our moment to celebrate

one of the few clear-cut military victories we’ve had in a long time, a win that made us feel like Americans again — smart and strong and capable of finding our enemies and striking back at them without getting trapped in multitrillion-dollar Groundhog Day occupations…

Liberal guilt may have its uses, but it should not be wasted on this kill-mission.

“We have nothing to apologize for.” Indeed, this is the same ruling class crassness that Secretary of State Madeline Albright expressed when asked about the half-million Iraqi children U.S./U.N. sanctions killed during the 1990s: “We think it’s worth it.” Now for the Royal Honeymoon!

2 Responses leave one →
  1. 2011 May 9
    Roman Stoad permalink

    The New York Post is the best barometer of the current temper. Today’s issue is utterly fascinating: “Bum Laden” is accused of being vain, for apparently watching a video of himself! Wow, this really makes him majorly different than every red blooded American. The “hobo of terror”is also vain (read morally flawed) because he trims his beard before making a video of himself. My god no true American ever shaves or combs their hair before they go to work or appear in public—that would be incredible vanity and a definite sign of a “deadly sin.” Does anybody even remember the seven deadly sins.

    Another guy called bin Laden a coward cause he didn’t giht on the front lines. I didn’t see Patreus on that raid. I don’t think he is ever on the front lines.

    The AP writer BROCK VERGAKIS recently put out an article about how religious leaders are confused, how to address the celebration of death. “There is at least some dissonance between the values they preach and the triumphant response on the streets of New York and Washington to the death of a human being — even one responsible for thousands of killings in those areas and around the world.” Must be tough. One Christian has put up the marque “OSAMA BIN LADEN, SATAN AND THE FINAL VICTORY OF JESUS.”

    “But Mindy Epstein, a medical assistant also from Colonia, said she took joy in bin Laden’s death, noting that al-Qaida showed no decency when it released a video of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl being decapitated in 2002. “I don’t care if that makes me a non-Jew or not,” Epstein said. “Put it on pay for view for the (Sept. 11) victims.”

    I guess it would have been okay then for the Japanese to have assassinated the Generals that ordered that attack on Hiroshima (an attack on a civilian population in response to a military strike by the Japanese).

    The point being that there is no reality here, only rhetoric.

    By the way the post had an ad, right after the bin Laden story for a new Princess Catherine, Royal Elegance Bride Doll. Its only $149. I think we should all get one. That will defeat the terrorists, and teach the bum laden a lesson in what maters in the world.

  2. 2011 May 9
    Ando Arike permalink

    Remarkably, we get the picture of a washed-up, has-been — if indeed, OBL ever was the terrorist “kingpin” that the Bush crew wanted us to believe he was. And a penniless, washed-up has-been at that, who as the Post put it, watched his videos on a rickety old TV that couldn’t have been given away on Craigslist (that last was a quote.) No wide-screen plasma TV for this terrorist kingpin! Just goes to show what kind of low-lifes our Navy Seals had the decency to snuff out!

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