War On Terror is precisely what we need.
By Mickey Z.
“Everyone’s worried about stopping terrorism. Well, there’s really an easy way: Stop participating in it.” -- Noam Chomsky
After 9/11, the 1% launched a perpetual "war on terror"... and you know what? Maybe a war on terror is precisely what we need.
No, I'm not declaring public allegiance to the current jihad against a tactic (which is really a war against terror not perpetrated by the United States or its allies). Instead, I'm thinking of another meaning entirely. Author Don Lutz has written that terror is "what one feels when being kidnapped or raped." He goes on to list other terrifying examples:
"Terror is what poor people worldwide feel when approached by uniformed, armed men; what animals feel in research laboratories; what people feel when their families are faced with starvation; what a child feels when an adult starts to hit; what millions of families feel when they hear planes overhead; what fish feel when hooked in the mouth; what people feel under threat of having loved ones tortured or killed; what forest dwellers feel when the loggers come in to clear-cut; what people feel when they are threatened with invasion; and what animals feel at slaughterhouses."
This variety of terror is genuine and endemic -- and serves as the hidden foundation of our dominant culture. We don't need shady law enforcement stings, unconstitutional wire tapping, or panic-inducing color-coded warnings that conveniently pop up at the most politically expedient intervals to stop this terror.
As a result of deeply conditioned denial, many Americans reflexively defend their country's rampant illegalities because they are taught to perceive these actions as falling under the seductive justification of “defending our way of life.”
However, if our way of life is so sacred, so ideal, so worthy of being defended by any means necessary, why do we need so many homeless shelters, alcohol and drug rehab centers, rape crisis hotlines, battered women's shelters, and suicide hotlines? Why does a sexual assault occur every 2 1/2 minutes?
Why can't we drink the water or breathe the air without the risk of becoming ill from corporate-produced toxins?
If America is the world's shining light, why are its citizens left with no choice but to organize in a desperate attempt to protect human, environmental, civil, and animal rights?
If America is the zenith of human social order, why does our vaunted way of life provoke terror as a tactic and an emotion?
Mic Check: "Our way of life" makes us the real terrorists.
Whether we want to admit it or not, our beloved way of life was built on a nearly exterminated indigenous population, the African slave trade, and all those killed in places like Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Southeast Asia, Central America, the Middle East, etc. etc. etc.
Our way of life was built on stolen land with stolen oil.
Our way of life was built on terror and is maintained by terror, e.g. cops, prisons, military, and corporate propaganda.
For an example of such "invisible" terror, look back to the "good (sic) war":
In early 1945, U.S. General Curtis LeMay and his 21st Bomber Command laid siege on the poorer areas of Japan’s large cities. On Mar. 9-10, the target was Tokyo, where tightly packed wooden buildings took the brunt of 1665 tons of incendiary bombs. By design, the attack area was 87 percent residential. By May 1945, LeMay’s campaign had killed an estimated 672,000 Japanese civilians.
An aide to MacArthur called the raids “one of the most ruthless and barbaric killings of non-combatants in all history.” Secretary of War Henry Stimson worried that the United States would “get the reputation for outdoing Hitler in atrocities.”
LeMay himself said: “I suppose if I had lost the war, I would have been tried as a war criminal. Fortunately, I was on the winning side.”
The men that devised and carried out this attack are generally considered to be part of this country’s "greatest generation" yet, by any sane definition, what I just detailed is terrorism.
Mic Check: There is an alternative to terrorism. It’s called justice. But to seek justice, we must first recognize injustice -- even if we play a direct or indirect role.
To do that, we have to open our eyes and then take action.
To do that, we have to maintain what Gramsci called the pessimism of the intellect and optimism of the will.
To do that, we have to become aware of ourselves as potential agents of collective social change.
To do that, we have to remember that the few successful movements in this country’s history prevailed in part because they utilized tactics that were outside of what was permitted at the time.
To do that, we must do away with bullshit like the "greatest generation" and get busy being the latest generation.
To do that, we must stop acting like we're the last generation.
To do that, we must heed these simple words from Kathy Kelly: "Most of the time, if you treat people right, you don't have to be afraid of them."
To do that, we must Occupy...
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