Monday, June 13, 2016
Six of One and Half a Dozen of the Other
by Maniza Naqvi
Wearing white, Hillary Clinton made her speech as the presumptive Presidential nominee of the Democratic Party after the California Primary as the one who would save us from Trump. But she is the one who has been saved by Trump. Wealthy warriors, Trump and she, members of the one percent, diverting America's attention from this fact and uniting America through fear, presenting fear as their net worth and credentials to the ninety-nine percent.
The same fear, that the specter of extremism would take over, had Americans marching on into war now has them marching towards Hillary who voted for the wars. Hillary Clinton didn't stand much of a chance (given her record on supporting war and her accumulation of wealth) in today's context of a deafening roar of protest about the rising poverty and the growing gap between the rich and the middle class the 99% versus the 1%. But then miraculously that context was trumped by Trump by his rhetoric of fascism. Trump has provided the theater needed to make Hillary viable and credible. The more preposterous he gets, the lighter and more bearable becomes, her very real baggage regarding trust and bad decisions. Hillary's trump card is Trump, in the game against Bernie Sanders.
Everything sorted out for a television screen. Television loves Donald Trump—Ratings have never been better thanks to him. He is better than Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert and whoever else helped us laugh away the war and violence over the last sixteen years—helping us all turn facts of atrocities into late night comedy and entertainment. It's all been a hahaha moment hasn't it? Now they have been replaced by Donald Trump, making us continue to laugh and smirk as we watchTV and feel comforted in fear, before we sleep. The over the top rhetoric of Trump seems to ensure that nothing sticks to Hillary Clinton, except the fear of the alternative. TV's Trump will get Hillary Clinton elected. But this tactic—has unleashed a very real monster—that has roared its racism and fascism: the crowded mob like rallies that Trump has gathered around him. White hooded sheets in the dead of night are no longer required; Thanks to Trump and TV now hatred can be expressed loud and clear on prime time television and be cheered.
We are to believe that Hillary Clinton will save Americans from Trump. When, in fact, it is Trump who has saved Hillary Clinton from Americans by making them think that Hillary Clinton will save them from Donald Trump. The one who acted and voted for violence will save Americans from the one whose rhetoric is violent? The one who voted for wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and Libya—and for every military action in the mainly Muslim lands—is the one who stands between Americans and the man who says he wants to ban Muslims from America. Trump has fashioned his rhetoric to an already primed audience, the cheering crowds at his rallies are those who have literally grown up and grown old listening to the propaganda of hatred and fear and the lies which were necessary for the prosecution of the wars.
The one who has been part of and parcel of furthering the business of war is going to stop us from the rhetoric of violence spewed by Trump, the man who opposed the Iraq war? But Trump's rhetoric, far- fetched as it is may be designed for ensuring the business of war. Ensuring that the System will prevail and Hillary will win where earlier neither could have done so without just such extreme rhetoric to scare voters into acquiescence. And it has woken up the rage of the majority who are bewildered and angered by the politics of victimhood and grievances of a coalition of minorities. The tyranny of the minorities.
How long has America been on this trajectory? This trajectory of needing a victim for its monetized and profitable violence? For 16 years? Or for far more? Did it start when the atom bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki? Did those who took the decision to use the bomb, not once but twice, know how many the bombs would kill? Or were they just trying to find out how many? Hundreds of thousands or millions? Did it matter? Power had to become super power. Super power. Did the trajectory begin then? Or was it with slavery? Or before then with the Native Americans. Each time, power had to become super. Eisenhower called it the military industrial complex. The System which must be safeguarded. The logic of the business of war.
Here we are sixteen years later a population cynically and expediently marinated in fear and hate by the highbrow and low barred media, military and politicians. Here we are with fascism as the main discourse, being argued for and against and made stronger with every sound bite--playing strongly to cheering crowds. Donald Trump, the casino and real estate near bankrupt, fraud who is playing to ecstatic crowds when he screams hate against Muslims---and Mexicans. This fascist demagogue is challenged by his opponent Hillary Clinton—who voted for war in Afghanistan and Iraq and Libya and who is part and parcel of the architecture of military and covert violence and war crimes that have been unleashed against the very people that Donald Trump wants to build walls against, build surveillance against, and build prison camps for. And there is Bernie Sanders the man we all love, what's not to love? Yet, he too is running on the strength of the anger of the majority, called white, those who feel disempowered and angry about how they have been left out and for whom the system does not work. If this system worked for them---would it have been okay? All three of them Trump, Clinton and Sanders are appealing to angry white voters. And for the rest ----whoever wins in November its six of one and half a dozen of the other. Because what happens when all these supporters of these three candidates don't have their candidate win? How disgruntled will they be then?
Uncharacteristically, I've fallen silent. I have nothing to say. Sixteen years of lies about Muslims, about Islam and the spurious justifications to invade, occupy and bomb lands has brought us to this. Americans who are used to winning regardless of being doped or duped or both are now feeling unmasked, so that the doping and duping is out in the open for all to see, along with the costly investments in unwinnable wars and in little else. Of course that makes for a lot of rage. Because the entitled believe ‘When we say let's roll, you roll over and die.' And that hasn't happened. So there is this huge ball of rage ready to go to the next level of "Let Freedom and Liberty ring!" Fascism.
Those who began this new series 2000, for a new century, of wars--those war criminals have escaped forward, without a single moment of reckoning for their crimes. An odd mistress uncovered here, another pathetic peccadillo there. Or the breach of confidentiality and security. No matter. Or the confidential speeches to the wealthy Bankers assuring them full support. Given a pass. Or the ill thought through decisions of war. No matter at all. That's it. No accounting for acts of abuse of power to kill innocent people. Nothing. And who will pay the price? Not them, for they will constantly consolidate power by invoking fear. And when it isn't fear that they invoke it is the politics of gender appropriate bathrooms and other issues of equal weight. Or both.
My throat feels constricted as if I've swallowed a lump of grief that feels like a ball of bile, my neck and shoulders ache with the strain and stress of anxiety and my heart aches—I have been worried about this inevitability from the start as I've read and listened to and watched the so called free media all these years play the role of being the propaganda arms of the institutions of war and occupation. The relentless distortions, misrepresentations and outright lies steadily increased the space and permission for public demonstrations and admissions of bigotry, and the targeting and vilification of whole peoples and their religion.
Once again, those with their unending sense of privilege and an eternal carte blanche of innocence, who are singularly enraged and empowered by fear and hatred are poised to act egregiously. And I cannot even bring myself to say: I told you so. Who would I say it to? Them?
Posted by Maniza Naqvi at 12:20 AM | Permalink