What’s your take on Thanksgiving, American disinfonauts? Do you love all that overeating and American Football on TV, not to mention time spent with family? Mitchel Cohen (writer, activist, poet, former chair WBAI-FM Local Board (2008-2012), Brooklyn Greens, Red Balloon Collective, rabble rouser) isn’t buying into the wholesome American holiday and he explains exactly why not at his blog:
On Thanksgiving morning 2003, George W. Bush showed up in Iraq before sunrise for a photo-op, wearing an Army workout jacket and surrounded by soldiers. He cradled a platter with what appeared to be a golden-brown turkey. Washington Post reporter Mike Allen wrote that “the bird looks perfect, with bunches of grapes and other trimmings completing a Norman Rockwell image that evokes bounty and security in one of the most dangerous parts of the world.”
As the world was soon to learn (but quickly forgot), the turkey platter was a phony, a plastic decoration that Bush posed with for the cameras. Bush shook a few hands, said a few “God Bless Americas,” and scurried back to his plane as quickly as he had arrived.
Thus, in one fell swoop, the new Conquistador had tied to history’s bloody bough the 511-year-old conquest of the “New World” — whose legions smote the indigenous population in the name of Christ — with the U.S. government’s bombardment and invasion of Iraq and the torture-detentions of prisoners of war at U.S. military bases.
Under the presidencies of Bush 1, Clinton, Bush Jr. and now Obama, U.S. policy blanketed the Iraqi and Afghan landscapes with so-called “depleted” uranium armaments and poisoned the agriculture and water supply for the next several billion years.
As I wrote in the first reprinting of this pamphlet in 2004, U.S. troops at the time were blasting their way through the town of Fallujah, and hundreds of dead civilians lay in the streets everywhere. The military called them “corpses” and “collateral damage” — and so too did the corporate media. U.S. and British journalists fled the carnage and returned only as “embeds” — reporters planted in the safety of large army squadrons. They embellished slightly on military press releases and faxed their reports to their editors as “eyewitness news”. It was mainly through the photos taken by Arab journalists and independent media that we learned of the actual horror, of the children’s bodies lying in the street alongside the tanks as American soldiers surveyed the scene.
The NY Post ran a picture of one of those soldiers and captioned him the “Marlboro Man,” the generic embodiment of what it means to be a “man,” rugged, oil-smeared face dragging on a U.S. cigarette. It’s not the individual grunt’s fault that the corporate media needs to invent its heroes in such caricatures, but forgive me if I look elsewhere — perhaps to the Zapatistas and to the huge mass-movement sweeping Mexico, to the hundreds of military resisters in Israel as well as the U.S., to the immigrants rounded up for simply existing, to the Wall Street Occupyers and to political prisoners like Mumia Abu-Jamal, Leonard Peltier and Chelsea Manning for reclaiming what it means to be human in an era of robots and banksters.
Comedian Jon Stewart put the same issue thusly:
“The danger of oppression is not just being oppressed, it’s becoming an oppressor. Because that will deteriorate a society as quickly as being oppressed. And that’s a real danger.”
But for the U.S. corporate media, the policies of Israel are sacrosanct (let alone acceptance of that country’s existence — or any country’s existence — as a religious state. It rarely questions the huge wall the Israeli colonists have built — basically, a concentration camp — around and through Palestine, paid for by U.S. tax dollars. The Palestinians are to Israel what the Pequot are to the U.S.
The mindset that created the first Thanksgiving in the 17th century on the bodies of murdered Pequot Indians runs through the same veins today four centuries later, over the corpses of murdered Vietnamese, Salvadorans, Chileans, Somalians, South Africans, Iraqis, Afghanis, and Palestinians…
[continues at Mitchel Cohen’s blog]