In two previous installments, this humble correspondent has provided, first of all, an overall contextualization of how to think about this tenth anniversary. Secondly, an oh-so-rudimentary–and yet lengthy and too-involved for many readers–examination has appeared here of the inception of the epoch that 9/11arguaby brought to an end. The previous post ranged back-and-forth from that sixty-six year old anniversary.
As was the case in Part Two, this humble correspondent’s lens chooses not to home-in on what members of the British general-staff first labeled the ‘Mid-East’. That John Foster Dulles, not yet head of the State Department, and his brother, Allen Dulles, not yet head of the CIA were crucial to the popularization of the term in the U.S., is useful info. But such bon mots, and the analysis which flows from them, are not present here. This does not stem from lack of capacity to tell that part of the tale, nor from a belief that such narrative is unimportant.
Others, however, have covered that ground, as has this humble correspondent in a different context. In fact, reviewing ‘leftist’ and ‘progressive’ attempts to tell the tale of 9/11, the focus is often more or less exclusively on Israel, Saudi Arabia, and so forth. This direly imperils the attempt to know what is happening in relation to 9/11; the American empire spans the globe, and ‘changing Mid-East policy,’ reducing our ‘greed for oil,’ and other laudable reforms are no more enough to forestall future carnage than cutting out a lung cancer is an adequate response to a tumorous invasion that has metastasized to brain and liver and bones.
Thus, today, readers will encounter another pair of summations. The first investigates, again with lightning speed, a significant ‘bump-in-the-road’ that followed by a few decades the ‘ides-of-September’ beginning of our age. Miraculously enough, this occurrence also took place on September eleventh, though the vast majority of Americans are as ignorant of this dual conjunction of late Summer tragedy as they are of the Federalist Papers, the history of World War One, or any other matter, no matter how crucially relevant to their lives, that is unlikely to be popular in People Magazine, Facebook, or the sports and fashion newscape.
The second element of today’s posting confronts readers with the here-and-now. As noted in Part One, Earth’s sojourners are headed toward dock at a definable bend of the river, a passage that does not have a pretty ending. This portion of the series looks at those ends, dealing with plausible, arguably likely, results that will become increasingly inevitable in the lee of 9/11–which, in turn, represents the unfolding of a new chapter in world history–results that might manifest very differently were engaged and capacitated groups of citizens to show up to contend for power.
BODY #2–Adjusting to Contrariety and Contraction, Trying to Finance Miracles on the Installment Plan, Falling Back on the Old Standard–‘Divide & Conquer’
As noted on Sunday, USA elites’ expectations of an extended reign went smoothly enough for a quarter century. As the Vietnamese intervention unraveled, however, at a cost of plus-or-minus a million butchered Asians, challenges to unilateral imposition of United States proclivities cropped up on every continent.
As one might expect in looking into any complicated phenomenon, this ‘falling-apart’ of one way of doing business had many components. One could pick and choose among dozens of eventualities, or more, that help to explicate how things worked out as they did, why certain choices seemed attractive or even inevitable. For purposes of this series, the focus falls on events in the Western hemisphere early in September, 1973.
Imperial Impunity in a State of Denial
Rebellions in Central America had long been heating up, regardless of the self-congratulation that typified U.S. agents’ beliefs about ‘successes’ in undercover operations–murder and mayhem, incorporated–in Guatemala and elsewhere over the years. At the same time, further South, Chile had evinced the temerity to elect a socialist, Salvador Allende, who preached that he needn’t overthrow capitalism since he had won an election that allowed him to establish a constitutional socialist agenda.
Financiers and industrialists found the idea nauseating that, not only could a daring and savvy revolutionary fighter, such as Fidel Castro, once in a while win a bout with the mightiest nation on earth, but that elections themselves–which were so firmly under control stateside–might soon produce similar effects as had emanated from armed conflict. In the course of 1973, these upper-crust malcontents made common cause with the higher strata of Chile’s military, which felt similar discontent at the developing radicalism of Chilean society.
In the event, roughly twenty-eight years after the conclusion of the slaughter of WWII, which in turn left the U.S. master of the whole world, the boards of directors and top bureaucrats of government secretariats–who, by the way, were almost to a man(or an occasional woman)exactly the same people–had little choice, in their view of the priorities in play, but to unleash a brutal unhinging of Salvador Allende and his companeras y companeros. Senor Allende and many others faced summary execution on that day, 9/11/1973.
This gruesome torture and homicidal mania ultimately killed in excess of ten thousand, possibly many more, solidifying the idea in popular thinking of the ‘desaparicidos,’ those who have simply vanished from the world. Alberto Bolano, the masterful Chilean novelist and poet, writes about them, pushed from planes, taken on terminal jaunts into deserts and jungles, bundled up and trundled away to eliminate messy evidence of murder. Thus, the ‘masters-of-the-universe’ in charge of America began a new chapter with thuggish killing many times greater than what took place a decade ago in New York and Washington.
The same sort of scenario, though stretched over more years, happened in relation to Iran–which rid itself of Reza Pahlavi, the storied psycho whom Dulles and Dulles and BP put into place in Persia in ’54–ten years in the aftermath of Chile’s descent into the inferno. This Southwest Asia imbroglio involved an equally obvious criminal conspiracy, in which President-elect Ronald Reagan–the ‘gipper’ himself–played a formative, “October Surprise,” role.
The Iran-Contra chicanery, a vile and vicious hoax that supplied drug-financed ordnance for the decimation of tens of thousands of Nicaraguans who had demonstrated the insolence of seeking a democracy to replace U.S. corporate henchmen and killers like Anastasio Somoza, involved the highest levels of multiple executive departments of the U.S. Government. A few, like Oliver North, were convicted of felonies–though North’s ‘sentence’ was “a fine, community service, and probation, and some spent time in prison, though they now reap thousands per appearance on a lecture circuit that celebrates criminal conspiracy in the name of anti-communism.
The invasion of Panama continued this trend, albeit in a slightly different vein. The removal of Manuel Noriega from power occurred after he threatened to unleash torrents of information about the hypocrisy, venality, and misrepresentation that underpinned both the War on Drugs and our relations with Latin America generally, without doubt clouded now by “corruptions of memory”.
While imperial servants thus throttled one monster of our own making, whose vision in some ways paralleled that of another favorite Frankenstein–Saddam Hussein–U.S. money and policy, funneled as usual through the CIA, gave birth to the slimy upper-class cabal that would inflict the poison of 9/11 twenty-two years later. Of course, anyone who looks into the matter discerns the facts, yet Americans remain almost utterly ignorant: Osama Bin Laden was a highly-paid contract employee of the U.S., to spread depredation and death against Russia.
“Charlie Wilson’s War” is farcically evil in many of its conveyances, at the same time that the film does ‘spin’ a tale that makes self-serving selections of reality a part of the narrative. Bin Laden was ‘our guy’ before he was the ‘bad guy.’ For his multi-billion dollar wages, this scion of a Bush-connected oil family saw fit to plot attacks on the house of the ‘hand that fed him.’
This quick accounting deserves a much deeper attention and a complete unveiling of the as-yet ‘classified’ materials that continue to hide big sections of what actually makes up our past. And many other cases remain to tell, so soon as citizens insist on the real story of their lives. Finding new ways to practice death-worship and new techniques for perfecting theft and corruption, however, could not forestall the economic wreckage of the 1970’s, which is another characteristic of the new phase of things, for which Salvador Allende and countless others paid with their lives.
Falling Profits, Rising Debts, Declining Fortunes, Increasing Joblessness, Oh My!
The Organization of Petroleum Exporting States, naturally, was in significant part a creature of corporate capital and imperial convenience, in which ‘developing countries’ like Kuwait and Saudi Arabia get far more credit for ‘independence’ than is their due. Its oil-shock and the fiscal precipice that loomed ahead of what Americans received due encouragement to blame OPEC for, both followed from and furthered a deconstruction of many elements of the famed, and critically important Bretton Woods agreements, among them Nixon’s ending of the gold standard.
This linking of economic decline and energy politics and massive deficit-spending has proved an unshakeable connection. M. King Hubbert, ‘Mr. Peak Oil’ himself, early on saw this, although very few commentators, this humble correspondent excepted, note that he ended his life a devoted proponent of solar-energy and other legitimately renewable technologies.
The imposition of nuclear energy–and the continued budgeting of nuclear megadeath–thus has also shown up as a never-to-end aspect of this new age, never mind popular opposition, the potential for the end of human life on Earth as a result, and the unbearable expense of atomic technologies. Anti-nuclear activists simply cannot explain such ‘nonsense’, since they eschew analyzing the historical and political-economic underpinnings of what they deplore; in similar fashion, they also fail to connect such matters with 9/11, preferring insularity and a narrow focus, no matter how impotent.
In the past forty years, every new ‘creation of wealth,’ about which stock-brokers and other financial accessories of a flailing capitalism crow constantly– the second half of the Reagan reign, under Bill Clinton until the dot.com implosion, and so on–has ineluctably caused a bursting bubble more nauseating and horrifying than the last one. ‘Tea-Partiers’ and other reactionaries, Ron Paul included, importune about debt and ‘fiat currency’ and the evils of the Federal Reserve, completely missing that their parties and policies and leadership in the past has been at least equally as responsible as any Democrat has been for all such developments.
Capital’s travails extend to every single sector of the economy, from the most stolid to the most ‘innovative’. Citizens intuit such contradictions and misrepresentation that are everywhere apparent. Yet they have yet to develop their own capacity, as the working Americans who create all the wealth of the nation, to insist that a worker-friendly policy come to the fore.
As Pete Seeger and millions of adherents have intoned, in Ralph Chaplin’s International Workers of the World song of class solidarity, “It is we who plowed the prairies, built the cities where they trade, Dug the mines and built the workshops, endless miles of railroad laid. Now we stand outcast and starving ‘mid the wonders we have made, But the union makes us strong.” In place of ‘solidarity forever,’ however, an initial chipping away at the rights of workers and the poor became an avalanche of crushing blows to workers’ perquisite. The social effects of such developments were, of course, quite predictable.
Unraveling the Social Safety Net and Promoting Internecine Uproar
The War on Drugs is arguably the most successful criminal fraud in history. Quite logically, its initiation was exactly congruent both with the open decimation of popular politics in Chile and elsewhere and with the crashing of the vaunted ‘free market’ into repeated implosions of despondency, debt, and decline.
Additionally , the creation of a ‘black market’ that overwhelmingly victimized Blacks and other poor and minority folks paralleled one case after another of attacking and beginning to dismantle FDR’s ‘New Deal’ policies. Of course, some of them, for example labor’s right to organize, had already received death sentences, during the prior decades, in the form of ‘right-to-work’ amendments and so forth.
Liberal unemployment benefits and easily obtainable workmen’s compensation became increasingly dicey for many workers in many states. America, more and more, began to resemble a debtor’s prison .
Moreover, welfare programs came under unparalleled attacks during each of the three Presidencies preceding 9/11. In many ways, Bill Clinton’s handling of ‘welfare reform’ ended up being the most draconian.
These varied assaults on the viability of working class life–what many folks wrongheadedly and erroneously label ‘middle-class’ existence, which had remained a sine qua non of U.S. politics for four decades after the bruising battles of the 1930’s had occurred–picked up steam and began to eviscerate political support for the socially vulnerable. At the same time, regulatory responses to structural problems of corporate profiteering–environmental agencies, ‘fairness’ laws of all types for ‘consumers,’ and ‘equal opportunity’ approaches to built-in inequality, became the norm. Title VI, Title IX, and so forth helped to fuel an inescapable swamp of growing resentment between men and women, White and Black, immigrant and ‘native.’
Despite this threefold ruling-class response to the crises of the 1970’s, however, a return to Kennedy’s ‘Camelot’ or Ike’s ‘good old days’ never transpired. Instead, as one crisis made way for a new inflationary miracle, each sickening pop of each new bubble led to precipices that apparently verged on unfathomable abysses. And the people, rather than regularly and compliantly either shutting up or turning on each other, looked like they might find a basis for unity in a new sort of politics –spirituality, technology, and plain old class consciousness played a role here.
As the second millennium of the ‘current era’ came to a close, prospects had rarely appeared bleaker for the captain’s of capital and their cohorts in the manipulation of mass consciousness. Of course, then the ‘unimaginable’ came to pass, just like in a movie of ‘evildoer terrorists’ who dared to assault the nicest folks on the planet.
Thus, a new groove seemed accessible to big business and its minions–the ‘homeland security’ spigot, a never-ending ‘war-on-terror,’ a blacklist flexible enough to encompass almost anybody who argued. Those who refuse to recognize these actualities will have only themselves to blame if sufficient numbers survive to the new ‘dark ages’ that could easily loom ahead. In many ways, such an imposed brutality might resemble Chile in the late 1970’s.
BODY #3–Revealing the iron Fist Inside the Velvet Glove, Preparing for a Dark Eternity
Interestingly enough, twenty-eight years to the day following one of history’s most-ignored mass-murders–carnage in the ‘Southern Cone’, American and United jets purportedly brought down the Twin Towers. This heart-stopping drama, paradoxically and yet irresistibly, laid the basis for a reassertion of the most nakedly imperialistic elements of U.S. rule.
One can “deal in conspiracy facts,” in the vein of a Michael Ruppert. His Crossing the Rubicon makes a prosecutor’s case for the notion that everything that transpired ten years ago was the result of a careful and well-thought out criminal enterprise. ‘Malice aforethought’ is everywhere, in this view.
Or one can merely note how conveniently the prod–of planes that flew into buildings–“fit to a ‘t'” the needs and plans of a ruling plutocracy steeped in blood and convinced of its own righteous omnipotence. And people shouted their demands that the government respond to the victimization of Americans with a policy of retributive vengeance. Either way, the track that ran on after 9/11 followed perfectly the course that the imperialists had long advocated.
Never mind that millions upon millions also protested the drive toward a ‘war without end.’ Corporate media, corporate government, and corporate enterprise blithely turned a mostly blind eye toward all who complained that ‘justice’ ought not to include serial killing of millions of innocents in the name of Americans who would never profit from the process like the capitalists who had designed and sought to implement such a program from the 1970’s on. The components of this programmatic state-terror are starkly easy to view.
**National Security States and the Termination of ‘Freedom’**
The so-called Patriot Act just stands out as the easiest-to-see example of fascism in America resplendent. ‘Homeland Security,’ the war on immigrants, and more have become a part of the log-rolling, money-making operations that defenestrate all pretense of ‘liberal’ bourgeois democracy.
**Instant Access to the National Treasury for Militarists, and Their Imprisonment-and-Pharmaceutical-Pacification Allies, and a Disenfranchisement of all Other Constituencies**
Operation Iraqi Liberation(O.I.L.)was too transparent even for an administration as filled with apparent morons as was that of Yale’s stupidest-ever graduate. However, as the ‘hope’ that Barack-the-Magnificent embodied has proven to be the facade that thinkers such as this humble correspondent promised, anyone who cares to contemplate the matter can see that this dual process–everything for the ‘merchants of death,’ penury for everybody else–has continued and promises to be the sine qua non for many years to come, but for the rise of America’s ‘missing’ working class.
**Endless War and Guaranteed Bad Guys**
The ‘fall’ of communism, even as Hugo and Evo and Lula and Daniel joined Fidel in this hemisphere, and the Chinese showed themselves more astute as bourgeois producers than perhaps they had ever been as ‘Red’ levelers, necessitated a new locus of ‘evil.’ That Osama was ‘our creature’ from the get-go mattered not at all. That the Iraqis were at odds with the Bin Laden racket was immaterial. The ‘fix was in,’ and only a populist uprising that seemed like a worse wager than a drunken lotto-pick could turn the tide.
That this long-odds potential is real fits with many facts. For the most part, though, all of these eventualities stand alone, alienated and isolated from each other.
Post-9/11/2001, Augusto Pinochet, another American darling mass-murderer, finally faced justice at the behest of Spain, which had undergone its own bout of bloodletting–For Whom the Bell Tolls anyone?–in a furious civil war that had at its heart the fascistic notion that pursuit of social democracy deserved a death-sentence. Pinochet died before he had to confront a final accounting for the crimes that he committed as an accessory to the USA’s empire of blood.
Many Chileans do not remember 9/11 as do a likely majority of U.S. citizens. One difference between the two groups is that the Chileanas and Chileanos are cognizant of what went down in 2001. Would that we could say that even a significant fraction of North Americans were similarly aware about the ‘terrorist’ shit-storm, which the United States of America unleashed on thousands upon untold thousands of innocents, for the ‘crime’ of believing in social democracy.
Hundreds of cases like these exist. Innumerable thousands of such stories go without adequate mediation. Literally billions of residents of our lovely planet would be on the right side of a choice, were the dialog and democratic process to make such a choice in place.
The list of hopeful signs, separate and generally unconnected, is practically infinite. Uniting them, in a mass movement for democracy and social justice, is the missing ingredient. But that’s like saying when we have the butter and eggs and sugar and fixings to create the sweetest feed ever, flour is the missing ingredient for a cake.
Can we stand up, as in the song? “They have taken untold millions that they never toiled to earn, But without our brain and muscle, not a single wheel can turn. We can break their haughty power, gain our freedom when we learn That the union makes us strong.”
An organized solidarity, based on thorough and persistent analyses of the realities of this Earth, beckons citizen-workers to save their own lives, the futures of their children, and the possibility of a human community. Truly, we have only to lose the chains of false consciousness that our ‘superiors’ yank with such legerdemain in enslaving us.