January 15th, 2010 22:59 EST
Terrorism Springs Up in Afghanistan 'Oh Yeah', and Dozens of Other Places
We`re in Afghanistan, why? Because the Afghans love us and want us to show them how to live. Yeah, show me the poll supporting that. There`s hardly a scintilla of evidence the Afghans approve our presence "and there`s mounting evidence they loathe us.
Because Al Qaeda will use the country as a training camp if we pull out. Yeah, like they can`t use Somalia or Sudan or the Sahara or Yemen or Pakistan, right?
Because it makes the bankers happy, providing them with such a huge debt against which to charge usurious interest rates? Because our presence is good for all the mercenaries we need because our army is stretched? I lean toward that view. But my point is we can`t keep marching into other countries like zombies just because someone from that country has done something bad. After all, our corporations are doing something bad in other countries every day: killing forests, polluting rivers, exploiting cheap labor, avoiding taxes, screwing American workers.
So we`re in Afghanistan because it has exhilarating air. Because we like their hats. Because we love the Afghans, even if there is a certain amount of evidence that they want us to get the hell out and may not like us any more than they did the Russians.
Oops, wait a minute. We`re there because the terrible Taliban are oppressing their own people and in our great generosity we have decided to free them of this menace. Yeah, except that it`s well established military doctrine that guerrillas like the Taliban can`t operate without indigenous support. But what the hell, we`ll just give those indigenous fools a little mind adjustment. And meanwhile we`ll make a lot of people rich "just not the Afghans.
The world won`t stop while we pursue neo-colonial wars. It will keep on having earthquakes in Haiti, typhoons, floods, fires, holes in the ozone layer, poverty, injustice, and wars we didn`t start. And there will never be enough money to address all these problems, nor will there be enough money to maintain a decent standard of living at home as long as we pour tax money into bogus wars that make the rich richer.
It used to be said that when you wind the Germans up they marched east. That was certainly a large piece of Soviet doctrine, and there was a lot of history to it. So any time the Germans started to worry about the state of their society someone wound them up and pointed them east so they wouldn`t ask too many questions at home. Sound familiar? The so-called war on terrorism has become a pretext for doing nothing about the growing chasm between the rich and the poor in the United States.
May I propose a litmus test of this thesis? Where are all the flag-wavers and Sunday patriots when it comes to taking care of our veterans? The anti-veteran Veterans Administration is a national disgrace. Where are all the support-the-troops sunshine patriots when it comes to rescuing our veterans from their horrendous physical and emotional wounds? I think these questions suggest a measure of our national hyprocisy and denial.
Since World War II Americans have been getting spun up by politicians and corporados quite a lot. That`s one reason our health care ranks only 37th in the world and our math and science performance ranks only 11th. Now, somebody is profiting from all this spin, and it`s not the average American.
Here`s another way to test this idea. Ask yourself why we aren`t wound up about the suppression of human rights in Myanmar, for example. Or Darfur. Or Belarus. Or Gaza or God knows how many other countries where our young men and women aren`t dying. You could even test the thesis by asking why we aren`t all wound up about the deplorable conditions under which our own Native Americans, the original Americans, are forced to live. Maybe it`s because all those defense contractors and banks can`t figure out how to profit from doing the right thing in those places.
There are dozens of ways we can examine the question of why we`re in Afghanistan and almost none of them are being employed, largely because the mainstream press and the politicians depend on a public trance state to wage war in behalf of their corporate patrons.
Djelloul (jeh-lool) Marbrook was born in 1934 in Algiers to a Bedouin father and an American painter. He grew up in Brooklyn, West Islip and Manhattan, New York, where he attended Dwight Preparatory School and Columbia. He then served in the U.S. Navy.
His 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. His story, Artists Hill, adapted from the second novel of an unpublished trilogy, won the Literal LattÃ© first prize in fiction in 2008. His poems have been published in The American Poetry Review, Barrow Street, poemeleon, The Same, and other journals. The pioneering e-book publisher, Online Originals (UK), published his novella, Alice MIller`s Room, in 1999.
He worked as a reporter for The Providence Journal and as an editor for The Elmira (NY) Star-Gazette, The Baltimore Sun, The Winston-Salem Journal & Sentinel and The Washington Star. Later he worked as executive editor of four small dailies in northeast Ohio and two medium-size dailies in northern New Jersey.