2nd May 2007

Imperial Fascism and the Global Ghetto

Does it diminish the suffering and the sacrifice of the Jews in the Warsaw ghetto to compare our home grown Leave it to Beaver fascism with the life and death struggles comprising their daily lives? Very well, so be it. Where to begin…

Golby pointed to the story of the Canadian shrink, an old acid-head whose children live in the USA. He was stopped by the border guards who googled his ass and found him to be “different,” persona non grata. Here was a man convicted by some combination of a brown shirt and a civil servant for writings found on the net. The gates are there to keep “different” people out. Will they keep us Americans in?

Regarding walls and gates, Phyllis Bennis reports:

…the growing ubiquity of “sectarian walls” throughout occupied Baghdad. Supposedly designed to “protect” communities, such as the largely Sunni residents of Adhamiya, at risk of attack by opposing sectarian forces, the walls actually build resentment, consolidate sectarian divisions and restrict daily life — already reduced by violence, lack of electricity, lack of security, lack of jobs — to tiny prison-like cantons. The parallel to Israel’s wall surrounding the Gaza Strip, and especially to the much better-known Apartheid Wall built inside the occupied West Bank, is unmistakable. Israeli occupation forces in the Palestinian territories, like their U.S. counterparts in Iraq, claim the walls are for security. In Israel’s case, it is the “security” of Israeli civilians that provides the pretext. But even if one believes that separation walls can bring security, the Apartheid Wall is not built on the Green Line that separates Israel from the occupied West Bank. Instead, 80% of the Wall’s 750+ kilometer length is inside occupied Palestinian land, seizing huge swathes of territory and crucially, all the major West Bank aquifers onto the “Israeli side” of the Wall. The city of Qalquilya, in the northern West Bank, is, like Adhamiya, completely surrounded by the Wall. The two gates are controlled by Israeli soldiers, who may or may not implement the three half-hour openings scheduled each day.

UK citizens have given up privacy for the illusion of security. A favorite irony involves the number of surveillance cameras surrounding George Orwell’s home. Perry deHavilland writing from London long ago said,

Surveillance increases daily at the same times as crime soars out of control, so if we are not ’secure’ from crime, then what exactly is being secured? We face many threats in the modern world but the biggest comes from the people who would watch our every action so that the State may choose to judge us when it sees fit.

There seem to be three countervailing forces in the world right now: the western corporatocracy and its client states — the fascists that promote the surveillance and ghettoization of us all; the global muslim theocracy — being gamed by the corporatocracy into sectarian strife; and the Chinese communist empire — being sniped at by the corprocrats whenever a target of opportunity appears in the public relations shooting gallery. But for all the exercise we give our mouths about not turning the Olympics into the occasion for supporting genocide, and flying the flag of Tibet when the Dalai Lama visits, underneath we all know where our sneakers are manufactured, where our corporate investment is seeking a quick return, where Walmart shops for bargains.

And while there is much hand wringing about the sectarian violence in Baghdad, the corprocrats will support their muslim friends until the last drop of oil has been extracted from Iraq.

In the ’30s, FDR had to prime the pump of American enterprise with government spending to grease the gears of commerce and help end the great depression. Besides containing the great Japanese and German imperialist ambitions, World War Two neutralized the Soviet Union and the other axis powers and provided a model for public/private partnership that we saw implemented over and over in the decades that followed, most successfully in Vietnam, modestly in Iraq One, and more successfully again in Iraq Two. What’s good for the Defense Department is good for General Motors.

Meanwhile, whether you hold stock in Berkshire Hathaway or directly in PetroChina, you’re bound to make a killing in the Sudan.

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