Thursday, January 31, 2013
FROM OUR CULTURE OF FEAR TO A NEW CLIMATE OF HYSTERIA
One of the most unsettling sights of the pre-inaugural business, was video footage of the president's carefree, delighted and docile audience, just working their way through the ramparts of the New Power, right past the bright uniforms of the TSA, consenting to be felt up, brushed with the wand, and passed through the detection equipment, on their way to the universal raising of hands, to their rendezvous with the Disney King, where the total harmonics of make believe lay within their reach.
The speech sends one hell of a signal for the Second Inauguration, after a disastrous, and decadent four years,--those years of outrageous corruption in public office,-- permissiveness on behalf of fraud, virtual surrender to the central banks, insider trading, US Federal gun running to Mexican drug lords with no subsequent prosecution or real investigation. Historians will have to pursue the meaning of Barack Obama's goo-encrusted oratory, dripping with artificial sweetener, and its nutrient-free glut of pure fantasy.
The president announced that "a decade of war is ending"; and yet it looks like Africa is going to be the next war front. The continent is wide open now. Mali, especially, has veins of gold and uranium to be tapped, and is waiting to bleed luxuriously into the vaults of the Americans and the NATO countries.
Our own fixation with terror has become a psychological trap that controls behavior; where the new normality of terror becomes the "englobing narrative" of a totalitarian state. Some Americans have been lured into the exaggerated hysteria that can be produced out of the fear of ever more ridiculous threats. Terror in the hands of the State is all about the badlands of hysteria and how to manipulate emotion: for instance, with the creation of arbitrary thresholds: the world before and after 9/11, the world before and after staged events, and in the aftermath of false flag operations.
Empires resort to the same vile practices throughout history. As Cicero said of Rome: "In the midst of arms the law falls mute". And a kind of authoritarian disease is descending on Americans from the ranks of our civilian and military control structure. Stories abound these days, concerning police and paramilitary overreaction in our neighborhoods; where SWAT teams come out just because a firearm is seen in someone's hands. It comes as hysteria and overreaching force, and people getting tasered and killed too often by tasers. Their crime is lack of quick compliance.
Now there are places in the country where people are being acclimated--sometimes through unannounced drills, to the presence of military in the streets, --which goes deeply against the grain of our traditions. The line between military maneuver and policing is being blurred here; and this is an affront to the warnings of our country's Founders. As Americans, we were not meant to be placed under the thumb of our own army.
Commenting on the legacy of torture, Glenn Greenwald writes,
Those who ordered and implemented torture were never prosecuted. They were actively shielded from all forms of legal accountability by the current president. They thus went on to write books, get even richer, and live the lives of honored American statesmen. Torture was thus transformed from what it had been - a universally recognized war crime - into just another pedestrian, partisan political debate that Americans have.
Under Barack H. Obama, a lot of law has fallen mute, while we were presumably at war with terror. Among the casualties is habeas corpus; and due process--including judicial review itself--when the object this chief executive has in mind is targeted assassination. And torture has not been ended; but it is instead turned over to proxies, or hidden from scrutiny at ghost sites. We find decency and justice are being betrayed by our president who has sworn to "faithfully execute the laws".
City blocks of computing power, ranks upon ranks of servers, trillions or even quadrillions of bytes of information storage, unimaginable data mining, and the snooping power of the NSA, which was once prohibited by law to spy on us; and there it is, turned against American themselves, obliterating any expectation of privacy--or really any moment of respite--when one is hopeful of not being watched. But you see the government insists that it is the victim; and soon it will fall prey to prying eyes, and the penetration of its secrets.
And there is the automation of killing, the soon-to-be ubiquitous range of drones, a robotic destruction, with its further remove from human agency and from contact with those who are slaughtered. Those who keep abreast of events understand that drones will be policing our own movements before long, using deadly force too, provided that Americans passively accept the presence of these things over their heads.
In an unsettling, figurative sense, Barack Obama is our teacher. Like Cicero said, "In the midst of arms the law falls mute". What better way is this to be demonstrated than through the despotic power that is rising in the US? What better rhetoric for the job than the glittering facade of progressive piety that must shield the eye from the blood that Obama tracks into the White House?