January 1st, 2011 10:55 EST
Osama Bin Laden is a Godsend to The People Who are Shipping Your Future to China
From what do the issues distract us?
Islamophobia fits our ruling elite like a Brioni suit, just as it fit the rulers of medieval Europe. What they needed was a good, long war, maybe even an endless war, to distract their people from misrule and injustice.
Unlike the enlightened Charlemagne or Roger of Palermo, they saw in the Saracens "the Muslim enemy of their time "a handy dark other, an enemy they could demonize and use to frighten their hapless underlings.
But trying to kick the Saracens around has always come with a big price tag because there has never been a time when the Saracens couldn`t find a way to kick back.
It was one thing to boot the Saracen remnant out of Spain, or beat up on the Incas, Mayans and Aztecs, or nearly exterminate the North American natives, but it was quite another thing to take on even the ailing Ottoman Empire, which could still deliver a murderous reprisal.
There is nothing new about War Inc. and Islamophobia. There have always been phobias for oligarchies to scapegoat.
If I were to imagine a society sophisticated enough to see through these blatant tactics I would imagine a society that had taught itself to ask this simple question of every government initiative: From what is it designed to distract us?
The Romans used the Colosseum and its profligate bloodshed and extravaganzas to distract their people from misrule. Medieval rulers used the Crusades. The Spanish, Dutch, French and English used missionaries as a cover story for economic exploitation. The United States has used democracy as its cover for economic imperialism abroad and winner-take-all policies at home.
The Muslims used evangelism as their excuse. Was there religious fervor? Yes, as indeed there was among Christians, and as there is among extremist Zionists in Israel and the United States today. But extremism played into the hands of exploiters.
America has been distracted by a new-home craze, a berserk consumerism that has cheapened its values, and the beguiling but demonstrably phony idea that by leaving the market alone everyone will prosper. Americans have failed to ask themselves from what are they being distracted. Their politicians, Democrats and Republicans, have sold them a bill of goods, the bogus idea that cutting tazes will turn the economy around "but the only people for whom the economy will turn around are the rich. All the political palaver in Washington is phony "the jobs have gone to cheap labor markets overseas, where the free-market bullshitters wanted them all along.
Is it the yawning gap between rich and poor from which we are being distracted or from our own folly in believing we can have everything we want by cutting taxes until there is no money to help each other, no money to rebuild a failing infrastructure, and no money with which to educate our kids, our future? Is it the prohibitive cost of a good education? Is it the loss of decent jobs to cheap labor markets overseas, markets that often exploit women and children? Is it all of these things? And more?
And if our much vaunted free press is so free why hasn`t it focused on these questions, why hasn`t it encouraged us to ask them?
Osama bin Laden handed the fat cats a fabulous bonanza when he attacked America on September 11, 2001. He gave them a means to scare Americans into forfeiting their liberties, their ideals, their futures to an endless war that can only benefit banks, profiteers and the politicians who serve them. Osama bin Mammon is the servant of War Inc., not a war lord, not even a religious zealot, but rather a creepy ass-licker of the ruling elite.
He is the butler of fat cats, a slave sent to us by Mammon. He gave the greedy bastards a palette with which to demonize Muslims. His fanaticism is equaled only by his stupidity.
Djelloul Marbrook is a retired newspaperman. His second book of poems, Brushstrokes and Glances, will be published by Deerbrook Editions on December 20, 2010. His first book of poems, Far From Algiers, won the Stan and Tom Wick Poetry Prize from Kent State University in 2007 and was published in 2008. It won the International Book Award in 2010. His novella, Artemisia`s Wolf, will be published by Prakash Books of India in December. His novella, Saraceno, was recently published as an e-book. His story, Artists Hill, adapted from the second novel of an unpublished trilogy, won the Literal LattÃ© first prize in fiction in 2008. The pioneering e-book publisher, Online Originals (UK), published his novella, Alice MIller`s Room, in 1999.
Del`s book, Far From Algiers: http://upress.kent.edu/books/Marbrook_D.htm
New review of Far from Algiers: http://www.rattle.com/blog/2009/05/far-from-algiers-by-djelloul-marbrook/
Artists Hill, Literal LattÃ©`s fiction first prize: http://www.literal-latte.com/author/djelloulmarbrook/
His blog: http://www.djelloulmarbrook.com
His mother`s art: http://www.juanitaguccione.com
His aunt`s art: http://www.irenericepereira.com