Issue Number 33 - March 13, 2003














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Any day now, the Bush Pirates will attempt to shatter history, itself. The United States intends to demonstrate to the world that it is fatal to resist American global supremacy. The U.S. will rain thousands of rockets, tens of thousands of bombs, and millions of artillery projectiles on the people of Iraq and its Chicago-sized capital city, Baghdad. Since U.S. military supremacy is already a globally understood fact, this "Mother of All War Shows" is actually a display of will. As wrote on January 30:

The real show is in the show, itself. The people who created George Bush's ridiculous War Face are not just playing crazy to gain transient advantage over Frenchmen and Russians. They are Hell-bent on proving to the natives (all of us) that they are capable of unimaginable destruction. We must see it to believe it

The Event's choreographers conceived it as the greatest psychological warfare operation since Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and with the same purpose: to reorder the world for generations to come.

Last days

This may be the last pre-Event commentary from . Since there is no doubt that Shock and Awe will, in fact, forever alter global consciousness, it is important that we avail ourselves of these moments before the cataclysm to state a fact that is obvious to most people on Earth: Next week, or the week after, the American people as a whole will be rightfully judged guilty of premeditated crimes against human civilization.

We do not say this for rhetorical effect, nor are we referring to any religious notions of collective guilt. The criminal enterprise on which the United States is embarked - the ghastly equivalent of a live-fire, multi-megaton Fourth of July celebration of the New American Century - is the end product of a society shaped by genocide and slavery. White America sees the world through the eyes of the mass murderer and slaveholder. Were it not so, there would not exist the grotesque disconnect between white American public opinion and the opinions of mankind, shared generally by Black America. Bush would not be possible.

The Black, brown and red victims of American racism have indicted the U.S. on innumerable occasions. Frederick Douglass' 1852 Fourth of July Address is appropriate to the present twilight hour, soon to flash in flesh carbonizing horror. Douglass spoke to the criminality of American society from the perspective of the slave. Imagine the Arab and Muslim citizens of our world, as they await The Event that is designed to herald American triumphalism.

To him... your boasted liberty [is] an unholy license; your national greatness, swelling vanity; your sounds of rejoicing are empty and heartless; your shouts of liberty and equality, hollow mock; your prayers and hymns, your sermons and thanksgivings, with all your religious parade and solemnity, are to him mere bombast, fraud, deception, impiety, and hypocrisy - a thin veil to cover up crimes which would disgrace a nation of savages. There is not a nation of the earth guilty of practices more shocking and bloody than are the people of these United States at this very hour.

Note that Douglass' address was an indictment of the American people, meaning white people. His was a perfectly sane assessment of a mad, criminal minded white society, that is only episodically and cosmetically capable of recognizing the humanness of other peoples. The American legacy is revealed as monstrous.

It is also important that Douglass was addressing an anti-slavery crowd in Rochester, New York, white people who believed they were not part of the societal problem. Douglass demanded that they examine the very character of the Republic.

The white American invents savages and brutes for his own profit and pleasure. It has always been so. Native Americans could surely have destroyed the Plymouth and Jamestown settlements at first landing but, for their own reasons, made no serious attempt before it was too late. The English arrived with criminal intent - and brought wives and children to form new societies predicated on successful plunder. To justify the murderous enterprise, Indians who had initially cooperated with the squatters were transmogrified into "savages" deserving displacement and death. The relentlessly refreshed lie of Indian savagery became a truth in the minds of white Americans, a fact to be acted upon by every succeeding generation of whites. The settlers became a singular people confronting the great "frontier" - a euphemism for centuries of genocidal campaigns against a darker, "savage" people marked for extinction.

The necessity of genocide was the operative, working assumption of the expanding American nation. "Manifest Destiny" was born at Plymouth Rock and Jamestown, later to fall (to paraphrase Malcolm) like a rock on Mexico, the Philippines, Haiti, Nicaragua, etc. Little children were taught that the American project was inherently good, Godly, and that those who got in the way were "evil-doers" or just plain subhuman, to be gloriously eliminated. The lie is central to white American identity, embraced by waves of European settlers who never saw a red person.

Consider this: during the entire course of westward expansion, no white civilian caravan large enough to qualify as a "wagon train" ever fell victim to Indians. Not one. The sole wagon train massacre occurred on September 11, 1857, when Utah Mormons took captive 140 California-bound migrants from Arkansas and executed every person above the age of six. Local Indians played an auxiliary role to Brigham Young's militia, which disarmed the travelers before methodically putting all but the very youngest to death at Mountain Meadow. The seventeen orphans were then distributed among Mormon families.

Yet Mormons are not called savages.

We can say with certainty that few readers - although a remarkably well-educated assemblage - have ever heard of Mountain Meadow. The event does not serve as a useful fact in the American narrative. Yet the Indian wagon train massacres that never happened are replayed over and over again in the national consciousness because they were and remain useful to the ongoing American enterprise. The truth has no place in the national saga - not as long as there are new Indians to invent and destroy.

Invisible in plain sight

To accommodate slavery, white America constructed a domestic edifice of unreality in which it still resides. With Native Americans marked for death and removal, importation of African labor began in English-speaking America at Jamestown in 1619. Soon, Black slaves were everywhere in the colonies, including pre-Revolutionary War New York City, where Blacks at one point comprised 30 percent of the population. As late as 1820, Blacks accounted for 23 percent of the nation.

The median American slave owning household included five Blacks and a white family on relatively small acreage. Outside of the Sea Islands of Georgia and South Carolina, most slaves

had close, daily contact with their masters. This was due in no small part to racial concentrations: slave percentages ranged from an average of 50% in the Deep South to between 20% and 33% in the Upper South. Therefore, close contact was inevitable.

Slaves worked in the fields, on the roads, in white houses, in factories, on railroad and ship crews. Blacks were ubiquitous, walking, talking, singing, working, aging, growing, dancing, sulking, fighting, fleeing, playing, dying all around white people all of white people's lives.

Yet commerce, comfort and privilege dictated that Black people were not fully human, despite the living evidence to the contrary directly in front of white people's faces from cradle to grave. Whites perfected an alternative world of shared imaginings, in which each lie reinforced and confirmed the other. White people told each other the same lies and acted upon the exchanges as if each other's lies were true. Their conversations, rooted in mutual lunacy, made sense - that is, they conformed to a carefully constructed, circular logic that began and ended with white supremacy. Whatever violated this logic was non-fact.

If an individual were found to live in such a "perfect" fantasy of the mind, he would be diagnosed as deeply psychotic. But in America, the inmates run the asylum. Until very recently, high school history books taught that mental illness put John Brown on the path to Harper's Ferry, where he would be hanged for inciting insurrection among the slaves. Confederate President Jefferson Davis? Well, he was a "man of his times."

Mary Chestnut, the prominent diarist of the southern ruling class who was featured heavily in the PBS series, The Civil War, wrote, "Ours is a monstrous system. Any lady is ready to tell you who is the father of all the mulatto children in every household but her own. Those, she seems to think, dropped from the clouds."

The diarist - whose commentary is otherwise credible enough for the great American Civil War story - is telling us that white women could not see their husbands' features in their housekeepers' children's faces.

African Americans know full well that white Americans are, in the mass, crazy. The white supremacist fantasy is integral to the American identity, and remains intact.

White people hide facts like drunks conceal bottles. They are known to kill fact-bringers, while elevating racial liars to the highest offices. They want to be told that they are sane and good and kind when all the evidence proves them to be delusional and cruel and grasping - as surely most must suspect, at least every now and then, under life's ceaseless onslaught of recalcitrant facts.

When carefully hidden facts nevertheless leap out to pierce the delusion, American whites retreat temporarily into innocence. If only they had known the harm that they were doing, or was being done in their name. We are so... naïve, trusting, optimistic, innocent, they say, feigning contrition while waiting for the moment to reassume character. Trent Lott, racist? We didn't know. A million African Americans in jail? How could that have happened? Hundreds of thousands of Iraqi children dead because water systems were purposely targeted by the U.S. in the first Gulf War? We thought that was anti-American propaganda. Oh, my.

Premeditated Mass Murder

Americans know more about the crime that is about to be committed in the Middle East than Germans ever knew about the conduct of their government in World War Two. They are less innocent of what is going to be done in their name and with their consent than any population in the history of armed aggression on the planet Earth. The facts of Shock and Awe have been presented to the public in great detail, in the form of Pentagon releases regurgitated by media household names. Americans know what a city of five million looks like. They have seen what two airplanes acting as missiles can do to an urban landscape, and can imagine as well as the next human what 800 cruise missiles, thousands of dumber missiles, many thousands more smart and conventional bombs, and an unlimited number of artillery shells can do to a teeming metropolis. It does not faze them.

Polls tell us some things, and conceal others. Anti-war activists peer into the contradictory numbers - responses to prejudiced questions based on false premises - and find slim, silver linings of peace sentiment. The Bush men come to opposite conclusions, or rely on a public change of heart if American casualties are kept to a minimum.

The Pirates know their fellow Americans well. What the polling data consistently show is that white Americans are afraid of getting hurt. They would much rather have company when the time comes to wreck Iraq. They worry about being the sole targets of retaliation, and would prefer that a peanut gallery of foreigners cheer "our" guys into battle. However, white America does not give a damn for Iraqi lives.

A Zogby/Atlanta Journal-Constitution survey released in February reveals the murderous intent of most white American males and at least a third of their wives, daughters, mothers, and sisters. The pollsters asked: "Would you support or oppose a war against Iraq if it meant thousands of Iraqi civilian casualties?" A solid majority of white men answered in the affirmative, as did more than a third of white women. Only seven percent of African Americans favored a war that would kill thousands. (See "Blacks favor peace, whites opt for war, February 13.)

Hispanics, who were nearly as warlike as whites when asked the general, pro- con- question (60 percent of Hispanics and 62 percent of whites said yes to war), balked when presented with the prospect of a bloodbath. Only 16 percent of Latinos favored a war that would kill thousands of Iraqi civilians.

The best that can be said for the white American public is that it is split between those who harbor a depraved indifference to human life, and those who may be decent human beings.

However, the "decent" white cohort is likely to be half mirage, a masquerade of false innocence and feigned ignorance straining to appear to be decent. As of last week, according to Zogby, white support for the general prospect of war remained at 62 percent, while only 19 percent of African Americans said yes to the general question - down four points from February.

It is obvious that many of the "decent" people are shamming. In the interim between the February and March Zogby polls, the Bush men distributed to pliant media vivid and detailed descriptions of the full dimensions of Shock and Awe, including possible use of the 21,000-pound MOAB ("Mother of all Bombs," or "daisy-cutter") anti-personnel weapon, the biggest conventional bomb in the U.S. arsenal. MOAB's explosive force "looks and feels" like Hiroshima, said a CNN reporter invited by the Pentagon to cover the very public detonation of the device, in Florida.

The American people know that thousands of Iraqi civilians will be fried, decapitated, carbonized, smothered, and otherwise snuffed out in the first days of the war. They have been made aware that Iraqi civilian infrastructure - such as water and electricity - will be targeted. They have been informed that up to two million refugees will be forced from their homes. Shock and Awe is psychological warfare on the grandest scale. It is the purpose of the U.S. that the entire world bear witness to unimaginable destruction. "That's the whole point," wrote in January. "The War Party wants the world to know that there is no escape from the raging superpower."

"The sheer size of this has never been seen before, never been contemplated before," said an unnamed Defense Department official, describing U.S. attack plans. Shock and Awe author Harlan Ullman bragged that the effect of the strategy developed by his group for the Pentagon will be "rather like the nuclear weapons at Hiroshima."

The Bush regime spoon-feeds the entire war scenario to the corporate media, refreshing the 24-hour news cycle at regular intervals with blood curdling new angles and sidebars. Those Americans who claim not to know what is in store for Iraq, are lying. The pro-war majority is comprised mainly of (overwhelmingly white) people who are eager to kill Iraqi civilians, and a smaller group who know full well that thousands of innocents will die, pretend to wish it were not so, but give Bush their blessing, anyway.

These people are racists, pure and simple. If not, they are misanthropes, people who have a general hatred for other humans. However, we do not need to make such a leap, because white American racism fits the behavioral pattern, perfectly. Were the United States not a racist society, the impending public crucifixion of Iraq would be unthinkable.

Media and people are one

To white America, Iraqis - or Arabs in general ("Sand niggers," in redneck-speak), or Iranians (same difference), or Africans ("niggers" by a hundred names), or the Vietnamese "gooks" and the "Japs" of bygone days - are just Indians. White Americans find it easy to kill such people, a rather basic definition of racism.

We reject the argument offered by many on the white Left, now as during the Vietnam War, that the broad masses of white Americans are innocent dupes of the lying corporate media. The media certainly do lie, but the dupes are most often willing consumers. 's publishers are veterans of the corporate media, former network correspondents. The hundreds thousands of human cogs in the corporate media machine are made up of "normal," mostly white, middle class Americans. They share a common, white American worldview, shot through with native racism. (A worldview that many non-whites in corporate media attempt mightily to assimilate.)

The people who create the "news" neither need nor get top office supervision as they go about the daily business of constructing false realities. White Americans have lived in a warped and artificial bubble of their own self-serving creation since they killed their first "red savage" and whipped their first "nigger brute." On issues of race, the homogeneity of the American media predates corporate conglomerization. Mexican bus crashes are only news on the weekend. Deaths in the ghetto must come in multiples to make the cut.

With very little executive intervention, media operatives choose the truths that are comfortable to them, and discard the rest. White Americans, in and outside of media, build their peculiar discourse around facts and fantasies of convenience. They believe what they want to believe.

They want to believe that killing Iraqis will make them safe. They also must believe that they are justified in sanctioning the coming carnage - after all, are they not a kind and generous people?

As this commentary is being written, CNN reports that 72 percent of Americans believe that Saddam Hussein "had something to do with" the events of September 11. Did the corporate media drum this idea into their passive, innocent heads? If so, what mojo have Black Americans been working to immunize themselves from the corporate spellbinders? And why does the corporate magic seem to work only on white Americans, while bouncing ineffectively off the skulls of Europeans, Asians, Africans, Australians, Latin Americans, even most Canadians - in a world inundated with hard and soft American propaganda, and in which there is little advantage in opposing the United States?

In fact, the U.S. corporate media found themselves unable to vouch for the Bush-Powell linkage of Saddam Hussein and Al Qaida. The corporate press were obliged and eager to megaphone every repetition of the baseless charge by the President, the Secretary of State and the rest of the regime's newsmakers. The world's media did likewise, in covering the biggest story on the planet. But the major American media players did not build a case for this, the wildest of the Bush men's tales, if only because there was nothing to build a case around.

Bush reckoned correctly that his kind of Americans would, in the end, choose of their own volition to believe his lies, because the Bush-Powell lie is all that is available to justify the mass murder that a majority of white Americans are intent on committing. Bush knows his people. Black America knows them, too.

agrees that white Americans suffer from "false consciousness" - but of the most acute, pathological kind. Let us be clear about the roots and severity of the mental disorder. Too many white people of good will have for far too long offered mitigating explanations for mass white American outrages that would serve just as well to absolve Germans under Hitler, their (initially) elected leader: they were afraid, insecure, psychologically wounded, gullible, ignorant, provincial.

African Americans have heard all the permutations of apology for homicidal racism. The images that utterly defeat every exculpatory analysis, the scenes that are more searing to the soul than any medieval rendition of Hell, are the photos of white American families at lynchings. They laugh. They bring their children, and picnic baskets. They greet neighbors and kinfolk among the thousands who have been brought together for the festivities. Some have driven many miles to join in the camaraderie of shared experience, a bonding. The focal point of the gathering cooks on a pyre of hastily gathered planks and branches, mouth agape, eyes gouged out, extremities disintegrating like charcoal.

Was he guilty of the crime? Who? says the young woman, tipsy from the contents of her paper cup. Oh, the nigger? I guess so. What was his name? Uh, Sammy something, I heard. Did he have children? Hell, I don't know, what's the difference? Why you askin'?

The people who achieved their national identity through centuries of mass murder, the theft of a continent, and the enslavement of millions are impatient to impose their piratical diktat on the globe. Maybe next week. "The Bush cabal," we wrote back in January, "devoutly believe they are at a Hiroshima-like juncture in history - that they have at their disposal the means to start the world over in an apocalyptic spasm of swift and terrifying violence."

Black America's problem is the entire planet's affliction, now.

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