A recent poll by Bloomberg and the Los
Angeles Times shows that a clear majority of Americans
- 57 percent of them - would favor military action against
Iran, if that country continues to produce nuclear materials
that could be used to make weapons. Only a third
of those polled say they would oppose military force
against Iran. The poll provides no racial breakdown,
but it is safe to assume, based on past polling history,
that the percentage of white Americans who favor an
attack on Iran is substantially higher than 57 percent,
and that more than two out of three white males are
in a mood for war.
One's first reaction - if one is sane
- is: Oh no, here we go again. These Americans are psyching
themselves up for another war, right next door to the
war they are bogged down in, in Iraq. Don't they know
that an attack on Iran, the number two oil producer
in the Middle East, would send petroleum prices soaring
to the stratosphere, and possibly lead to a world-wide
depression? Polls show that majorities of Americans
want to get out of Iraq - soon. Don't they realize that
attacks on Shiite Iran would inflame the Shiite majority
in Iraq, vastly complicating the U.S. military and political
situation there, and throughout the region?
I think they do know, but that
there is a deep imperative at work, one that overrides
immediate self-interest and even common sense: an imperative
to steal other people's property, an urge that is both
animated and justified by a culture of national supremacy.
This culture, which at root is a war culture, is inseparable
from white supremacy, which is inseparable from American
Manifest Destiny, the founding, empire-building ideology
that is older than the United States, itself. (Remember,
the colonial settlers were most angry at King George,
not because of taxes, which were far lower in the colonies
than in Britain, but because the King would not let
them steal more Indian lands across the Allegheny Mountains.
So they cast out the Crown, and took what they wanted.)
This national imperative to steal is made
to seem rational to the thieves through a process that
makes the victims into villains or people otherwise
unworthy of keeping their property, or even their lives.
It is a profoundly sick psychological exercise, in which
one section of the targeted foreign population is marked
for death, while the rest are made subjects of the empire,
to be protected against themselves.
Americans pay lip service to human rights,
but there is a big catch: majorities of Americans don't
really believe that much of the world's population is
fully human, worthy of running their own lives and keeping
own property - like oil - to use as they see fit. Apologists
for their fellow Americans claim that an essentially
"good" people have simply been brainwashed
by incessant war propaganda. Well, if that is true,
it's been going on for hundreds of years. Stealing on
a global scale - not baseball - is the national pastime.
For Radio BC, I'm Glen Ford.