The end excuses any evil. — Sophocles, Electra
Read what’s presented to you the same way you would read Iraqi Propaganda. — Noam Chomsky, Imperial Ambitions
For the liberation of a people more is needed than economic policy, more than industry: if a people is to become free, it needs pride and willpower, defiance, hate, hate and once again hate. — Adolf Hitler, Munich speech, April 10, 1923
He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you. — Friedrich Nietzsche
Why do we kill people who kill people to show people that killing people is wrong? — From a bumper sticker
Jesus Christ would slap the shit of out you. — Another bumper sticker
This week President Obama visited the World Trade Center due to the death of Osama Bin Laden. The murder of this madman has already been celebrated by volumes of children and college students — cheering like barbarian lunatics — as though having won a football game or beaten a difficult level in a video game. If when speaking, President Obama were to hoist a chest upon the podium and from it draw the decapitated head of Bin Laden, the crowd would go wild. (Were there not initial reports of Obama crowd surfing after the news broke out in front of the White House? Pictures of Obama holding the meaty head, the people drinking the blood?)
The reaction of the bread and circus throngs should not come as a surprise. In the effort to catch Bin Laden, the US military, funded by US tax payers (they couldn’t have done it without us), has killed tens of thousands of innocent civilians (were you keeping track?), and it’s not even over. Much like Goethe’s Sorcerers Apprentice (perhaps better depicted by Disney), many tiny Bin Ladens have been created in the process of destroying the original.
Americans celebrating the death of a murderer should be expected in a country that has explosive violent crime and incarceration rates (as a reminder, the US and Japan are the only countries in the “industrialized world” where governments execute their own citizens), a country steered by a trigger-happy military which accounts for 40% of the world’s military budget. As with the Iraqis who cheered as American contractors hung from a bridge in Fallujah, or as with the Somalis whom cheered as they dragged a dead US marine through the streets of Mogadishu, Americans (at least many in NYC and DC, presumably two “progressive” cosmopolitan hubs) celebrating the death of an enemy is a natural outcome of a society which views revenge as reconciliation, or at least as an excuse to party (the clear difference in these comparisons is the absence of Osama bin Laden’s slain body, which was apparently buried at sea … I have the boat they used to do this with and I can sell it to you, especially if you think we’ll be leaving Iraq or Afghanistan anytime soon. But Americans are by no means immune to glorifying murder when a physical corpse is present, one only needs to view the photographs of soldiers and kill teams smiling over the tortured and dead bodies Iraqis and Afghanis to understand this). Why is it that, chances are, you think that we should aspire to react with more civility to death of Bin Laden? I think the answer ultimately has something to do with the survival of our species.
It is noteworthy that the police broke up the party in Lafayette Park in DC. The police state that has emerged in the United States since 9/11 may have been intended to protect civilians from terrorists, but its function has extended to monitoring, controlling, and terrorizing the very people it claims to protect. Just as the decision to be mired in various was of aggression has been that of America’s choosing, the elimination of our civil liberties and constitutional rights has also been our choice — Osama Bin Laden did not enact or extend the PATRIOT ACT, he didn’t set up the TSA body scanners, he didn’t set up and then not close Guantanamo Bay and other detention centers. Yet the death of Bin Laden seems to lend legitimacy to the actions, strategies, and systems used as a means to kill him. It seems to legitimize the police state, the predator drone strikes on untried civilians, the torture and detention of innocent men, the billions of dollars exhausted by the military-industrial complex, the countless violations of law, and the idea of offensive violence as practical solution to our problems. In bringing the American public Bin Laden’s head, the power structure shall receive a stamp of approval for the countless vile steps it has taken over the past ten years, and the green light to proceed in driving down the road to hell. Don’t condone evil, don’t let them perpetuate it, don’t let them make you think that they’re okay.
History scholars are mainly attributed with sometimes pointing out that if the allied powers were to have lost WWII, then a different reversed version of the Nuremberg Trials would have taken place, and that the leaders of the US, UK, and USSR would have been the ones tried and hung for war crimes.
For the record: Questioning the government doesn’t make you a conspiracy theorist, but not questioning the government does make you an idiot.
— Aaron Dames