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Chronicling the collapse of a failed society
As usual, Chomsky nails it:
We might ask ourselves how we would be reacting if Iraqi commandos landed at George W. Bush’s compound, assassinated him, and dumped his body in the Atlantic. Uncontroversially, his crimes vastly exceed bin Laden’s, and he is not a “suspect” but uncontroversially the “decider” who gave the orders to commit the “supreme international crime differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole” (quoting the Nuremberg Tribunal) for which Nazi criminals were hanged: the hundreds of thousands of deaths, millions of refugees, destruction of much of the country, the bitter sectarian conflict that has now spread to the rest of the region. …
The imperial mentality is so profound, throughout western society, that no one can perceive that they are glorifying bin Laden by identifying him with courageous resistance against genocidal invaders. It’s like naming our murder weapons after victims of our crimes: Apache, Tomahawk … It’s as if the Luftwaffe were to call its fighter planes “Jew” and “Gypsy.”
There is much more to say, but even the most obvious and elementary facts should provide us with a good deal to think about.
Rarely is Chomsky’s analysis so overtly hostile; his anger here is tangible – and rightly so. The U.S. assassination of Osama bin Laden raises countless concerns but offers nothing remotely worth celebrating. Violating basic standards of ethics and human rights, the United States has executed an individual, without trial, in an unauthorized invasion of the sovereign nation of Pakistan.
Chomsky also rightly points out that George W. Bush is by far the greater war criminal, having killed countless tens of thousands more than bin Laden was ever accused of. Bush officially started two wars of aggression, crimes for which he should, according to international legal precedent, face the gallows. Barack Obama has continued the criminal trend, with U.S. aggression now spreading to Pakistan, Yemen and Libya.
And what, by the way, has happened to Libya? We are still actively engaged in a war there, and yet the corporate media has almost entirely stopped covering it, leading one to wonder if they – and the masses – have forgotten about it. And undoubtedly that is the goal: stop covering any stories which carry any danger of inciting anger in the plebes. During such turbulent economic times – for the ordinary masses, at least – scenes of million-dollar missiles dropping by the dozen on little desert shanties thousands of miles from the shanties of impoverished modern America.
Bin Laden was – perhaps is still – a horrible person, a criminal in many ways. But George W. Bush and Barack Obama are also war criminals, by any recognizable definition of the word. Why do standards of ethics and law apply only to non-Americans? When Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait, he was immediately labeled a tyrant; why wasn’t the same said when Obama approved the latest round of U.S. military actions in Pakistan?
The majority of Americans today live in a vast fantasy-land, contrived by an elaborate corporate media scheme which seeks to lull the masses into a confused state of easily manipulated but grossly misguided emotion. One moment we’re angry, the next we’re sad, the next we’re dancing in the streets chanting USA! USA!, gloating over the assassination of a political and – let’s be honest – religious enemy. But all of this emotion is entirely misplaced, based on a distorted view of the world that bears absolutely no resemblance to actual events.
The solution is to just remove ourselves from the system entirely: Stop reading and watching the big players like the NY Times and CNN. Stop listening to the utterly vacuous utterances from Republicans and Democrats, believing that honest people exist in either of the two branches of the Corporate Party. Everything you see, hear or read, absolutely every last image, word and sound that comes from a corporate source, is either utterly false or so grossly twisted to fit the corporate agenda that it should immediately be discounted as pure fabrication.
Trust instead those whose only interest in a given matter is to see justice served, or to play their part in the betterment of the human race.