That morning they lifted above their heads
what appeared to be a doll in a christening gown
and we stood in the blasted haze waiting for long white
plumes to stanch the fires quickening through
carpets and bedclothes, a tea service, a tender curtain,
and we did not turn away, nor did we photograph the child,
—except at the moment of its being raised—
but later we walked to the Place des Martyrs
where a stillness had been created entirely
by small arms-fire that had blistered walls, blackened shops
and taken from the movie-house all but its blank screen,
where once all manner of figures had shone,
wavering, composed of light through what was
now nothing: a country. Or such was the hope.
--Carolyn Forché, Place des Martyrs
Tholos now marks an anniversary of eleven years, on the 23rd of April. What counts as the result of our labor, and the labor of others like us, has to be measured in terms of awareness across the realm of readers, and among the ripples that spread from that awareness.
But the war hysteria and thunder being raised against Russia during this month has gone to the heads of liberal and conservative alike, even beyond the usual circles of corrupt media. Eleven years ago, our attention was focused with horror on George W. Bush, and his invasion of Iraq, in which he often sputtered, and struck his warlike poses, to the praises and exultation of a news media that was eager to join him and play their part. This war on Iraq was not undertaken to go after those responsible for the 9/11 attack; but went to the wild edge of the furious spectacle, whose primitive, bloody urges, and barren language, worked with its criminal abandon and profane show of force. This was the road to American war crime, to full-throttled, global war making. The empire can be defined, or described now, by the curse it leaves on the land: all the lasting bitterness, torments and hatred, scenes of murder, and poisoned land, for which it will be remembered.
Neither Americans, nor anyone else, should ever forget what that debacle was about, because it destroyed the nation that was invaded, and ruined as well, the United States, the nation that committed the crime. Iraq is in ruin, still, and is wracked by political killings, if not smoldering urban war. But the US, too, is become a lean shadow, a long spineless shadow, of what it was when we were growing up. The war of absurd rhetoric on "Terror", and the other war of "Full Spectrum Dominance" (to use the language of empire) are two different things. The first is the silly, cartoon version; and the second is the real state of affairs.
Insane and endless war will bankrupt a nation, and our country is no exception. More dangerous, more desperate and foolhardy gambles, are history's messages, scrawled on the walls by dying empires. The diplomacy of Obama and his Secretary of State, Kerry, has a most terrifying logic: the logic of unrelenting confrontation, the bankrolling of mercenaries, stooges, and extremists of various stripes, in the overthrow of elected and legitimate governments, in bribery and blackmail, and targeted assassinations. And then there is the hallmark of aggression, that leads ominously to war: bad faith in negotiations, and signatures on agreements that are soon disowned by the signers. This bad faith and deception has happened twice in a few weeks.
Coincidence? No way.
History has proceeded so madly during the Bush and Obama years, that in terms of the hell we're in, looking forward and looking back seem almost indistinguishable now. And the lies that have lodged in the mouths of corrupt leaders and news people, give consent to the architecture of military aggression, which is the central point of the empire. We live in a basically fascist oligarchy, in an airtight surveillance society; and we are practically suffocated during this Ukrainian crisis by the most childish propaganda.
Some fools, such as U.S. Senator John McCain, are saying that we should already be in military conflict with Russia.
When the United States appears with its European sidekicks, small nations start dropping like flies. And nations like Iraq and Afghanistan, in which the US exhausts itself with long military occupations, are not fixed ever, but are left in chaos, and finally just abandoned in the hands of warring militias, or in the care of armed drug cartels, or under the protection of white slavers, --or for instance-- in the case of the coup government in Kiev, under the thumb of fascist street thugs.
The Obama administration mirrors the interests of the Central Banks and the blood-sucking IMF, that methodically rapes entire nations, with its debt-schedules and predatory interest rates. But the real muscle behind the shakedown comes along later, when economic sanctions are not persuasive enough.
Of course, economic sanctions in the hands of an American president, adds up to an act of war by itself.
Nothing else is revealed by our exaggerated image of ourselves, except our moral collapse as a society, in our trance-like fingering and thumbing of the infernal cell phones, as Obama, the president, boasts that our army can lick Russia's army.
It was Robert Louis Stevenson who wrote:
"Sooner or later, everyone sits down to a banquet of consequences."
Americans and Europeans, we are still in the prison of our own device, this empire that is bankrupt now. Where is our sense of humility, in consideration of our nations' crimes? Where is our sense of history as we approach the 100th anniversary of World War One?