By J. DeVoy
With Osama Bin Laden dead for a week and the DNA tests purportedly confirming his demise, it’s morning again in America. Surely the PATRIOT Act will be repealed, and Obama will channel Ronald Reagan to bust and disband the unionized, lecherous zealots of the TSA. The NSA’s taps on AT&T’s data lines will be removed post haste, and the no-fly list will be no more.
Nevermind, I was daydreaming of living in a country where everyone’s not a huge pussy. The special forces operatives who executed this mission have a lot to be proud of, and rightfully so. Everyone else is a spectator. And while spectators can feel pride from the stands as the home team wins the game, let’s be honest with ourselves – we didn’t do shit.
Now that the bogeyman is dead, there should be riots in the street. Why, with the threat of terrorism supposedly removed, are our civil liberties still so gravely impaired? Why does a total stranger in a quasi-governmental rent-a-cop role provide such stiff (heh) competition to comely young women in the grabbing-my-crotch market? To the extent Osama was even involved with the September 11 attacks, the problem of terrorism, to the extent it affects Americans, predated and will succeed him for centuries. There was no way Osama could have been captured alive, either, for fear of what he might have revealed about the CIA, shattering the collective delusion that the government helps us and serves our best interests, rather than creating crises for it to solve – digging ditches to fill them in, creating conflicts to settle with war – merely to justify its own existence.
It’s just the damndest coincidence that these “War on Terror” operations happen in resource-rich, commodity critical nations over and over again. Afghanistan’s Taliban leadership never would have let an oil pipeline be built across the nation, and they were really screwing up opium production. Iraq has the world’s second largest proven oil reserves. Libya has oil, but more importantly wanted to start pricing it in a rival gold-backed currency it was proposing with other nations – and who can blame them – and received a no-fly zone treatment that became predator drone strikes and now full-blown regime change.
War is all about advancing national interests, and it would be absurd to deny this or argue otherwise. Most thinking people can accept this reality, and oppose or advocate war based on its relevant merits and cost-benefit analysis. If any one of our leaders from Reagan through Obama would get on television and ask the American people, just as Joseph Goebbels asked the Germans, “do you want total war?” the denuding of civil liberties we’ve experienced in our lifetimes would be understandable as a cost of war. The benefit would be a resource grab and consolidation that would elevate our standard of living at the expense of everyone else’s, just as war has always been. That’s honesty – and reality.
But instead, we fight an abstraction, terror, and continue to do so and sacrifice our conveniences for the sake of doing so. The inmates – those so addled with fear of an imaginary enemy – run the asylum and keep everyone else confined with them, condemned to a hypochondriac hell of begging an incompetent, authoritarian government to save us from things that go bump in the night. If this is freedom, a life of having white knights, manginas and other useful idiots telling me not go to through the open door, not to take the red pill, and to never question authority, I’ll gladly accept death. Make no doubt, this is because of other people’s fear and inability to think rationally or control their own lives – and to be egalitarian, we all must pay the price for their failure of autonomy.
This is the natural reaction of a cowed nation. Flouride in the drinking water makes us timid. Soy and BPA turn our boys and men – the agents of social change in every revolution, from 1776 to the recent events in the Middle East – literally into women. We receive the government we deserve, and even if only for chemical reasons, we Americans are a sad bunch. I’m no better off, due to collective action problems, and can only rant on the internet because nobody will pick up the cause with me. They’re all watching the news, singing along to “America, Fuck Yeah,” and waiting to see who becomes America’s next Emmanuel Goldstein, for without him, whether presented as Hitler, Stalin, Osama or someone else, deeper cracks rapidly appear in the already shoddy facade of national cohesion. Where there is not a Bin Laden, one will be created, and nothing will change. Too many people are incapable of living in a state other than one of being captive to fear, whatever core liberties it costs us.