Blinding War

Waking up to this barbarism every day is awful. Of course our lives are weirdly easy and separate, but it is “our” idiot political “leaders” who are sending the bombs and guns and pushing this along. It’s hard for me to imagine that Israel’s inhumane assault on Lebanon wasn’t hatched in Cheney’s office as a way of extending the war to Iran, this being the first stage.

Living in the U.S. house of mirrors means we get pro-Israel propaganda all day long from every station and news outlet. Jewish voices for peace are blacked out, dissent to this madness is hard to see or hear. But I don’t know anyone who isn’t sickened by this and really angry with the U.S. gov’t and Israel for this. In one of the only free areas of dissent, so-called “Left Blogistan”, there is a great deal of frenzy going on these days, but it’s only obliquely about the war (and then, usually only about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan). Instead places like FireDogLake and Kos and all those well-read sites are in a froth over the Connecticut primary! The disgusting Lieberman looks like he’ll lose, which is gratifying in a very minor way.

But we’ve been here SO many times before. Why do Americans who get drawn into politics keep falling for the same shit over and over, every few years, like clockwork? Like automatons? Like lemmings? I am sending big props out to Billmon for his fantastic, angry, eloquent essay about the venal stupidity of the Democrats:

What’s become clear to me is that the Democratic Party (even it’s allegedly anti-war wing) will not try to stop this insanity, and in fact will probably be led as meekly to the slaughter as it was during the runup to the Iraq invasion. Watching the Dems line up to salute the Israeli war machine, hearing the uncomfortable and awkward silence descend on most of Left Blogistan once the bombs started falling in Lebanon, seeing how easily the same Orwellian propaganda tricks worked their magic on the pseudoliberals — all this doesn’t leave too much room for doubt. As long as World War III can be sold as protecting the security and survival of the Jewish state, I suspect the overwhelming majority of Democratics will support it.

I know so many people who feel quite immobilized by current events, from war to climate change, murder epidemics in our own cities, psychologically damaged kids abandoned by dysfunctional parents as the norm of our ‘family values’ culture… and on and on. So in some kind of pathetic helplessness people think voting against the Republicans will make an important difference to the barbaric bombing campaigns, the further shredding of the already ripped-up safety net, etc. Guess again. As long as the current political class keeps running the show, whatever their corporate sponsor preference or putative party label, things are going to rapidly deteriorate. There is no humane way to stop the collapse of the U.S. position in the world, and it can’t be halted by indiscriminate mass murder either (though they’ll clearly give that a good try before giving up).

So, no, I don’t have a program, a political agenda that lays out a way to fix the mess we’re in. But I’m quite sure we will only make it worse by perpetuating our involvement with the very institutions that have shaped this catastrophe in the first place. Democratic options don’t exist through government or business, only by breaking with those social forms and finding new ones… glib and vague to be sure, but there are countless efforts going on all around us in our daily lives that are based on mutual aid and cooperation and a profoundly different engagement with planetary ecology, technology and human society. Finding a way for those initiatives to grow and make their voices heard politically is the real task before us….

p.s. a fast food chain is now making fun of Intellectual Property lawsuits as a way to sell its new sandwich, supposedly ‘stolen’ from a few ramshackle bbq houses run by blacks or southern whites (who drone on in the language of an IP lawsuit while the chain shows its plastic-looking version of the sandwich). What a bizarre, if trivial, twist in modern marketing…

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