EvilDoers & DoGooders: An Old Polemic

The following is an old essay I got published in an Oregon alternative paper (Soapbox) just after 9-11. It’s related to the hypocrisy of the terms "good and evil" as employed by Dubya at the outset of the war on terror.

Since the paper was published out of southern oregon university, I’d always hoped it had made the list of "anti-patriotic" college and university activity compiled by Lynne Cheney’s group. I kept trying to download a pdf of their report, but it would never go through (too popular with hopeful contributors like me, I suppose) and then I stopped bothering to check. I see now, it didn’t make the cut. BTW: If it’s bad blog protocal to be lazy and just plop in old hackneyed crap like this (actually I liked what I wrote here), then I apologize. Here it is: Good and Evil Americans don’t know the enemy. They rarely do. Thanks to poor education, a biased media structure and a thoroughly corrupt political system, Americans usually have only the slightest clue as to who’s being bombed in whatever “New War” is underway. Once again, politicians and pundits – the venal puppet class of the real corporate power structure – are doing their best to keep it that way. The leader of the “Free World” expressed astonishment last week that so many of those foreign folks hate us so. After all, he said, we’re “good.” And the enemy this time isn’t just the “new Hitler,” (Milosovich, Hussein, Noriega), he’s the “evil one” aided by the “evil doers.” Earlier, Dubya had explained in similar terms how these forces of darkness had attacked us because “we’re the brightest beacon of freedom and prosperity in the world.” NOTE: I was sure he said prosperity, but all the transcripts later said "opportunity." I kept my original here, but note the error. Well, let’s deal with that: the motivation. In the official government scenario, hailed by the media as an example of Bush’s newfound mastery of oration and foreign policy subtleties, some kind of mutant Orcs licking human tibias in an obscure dank lair fumed and fumed that light, liberty and Lexus resided here in the New World. Such foul beasts could not stand our good nature and thus decided to lash out in a spectacularly nefarious manner, unlike anything our naive sweetness could fathom or imagine. Okay, let’s go with it. Our inscrutable enemy isn’t angry over the fact that we have already been at war in the Middle East for ten years straight, arguably for fifty years (not to mention the rest of the world). No, it’s our goodness that riles them. For fifty years we’ve consider it our right to meddle in their countries’ internal affairs: overthrowing elected governments and installing corrupt dictatorships, training death squads and giving them names of dissidents to be killed, forcing them to cut spending on health care and education so more money could flow to American banks, selling off the country’s resources on the cheap to American companies, keeping the oil and money flowing out and away from a largely impoverished population – and still all that our opponents can focus their hatred upon is our enlightened allegiance to personal freedom, life and liberty. In the past twenty years, our mad bombing campaigns (usually in violation of international law) have targeted the Sudan, Libya, Lebanon, Iran, Iraq, Somalia and Afghanistan (even before now), to mention just the Middle Eastern countries, with thousands of civilians killed and no signs of remorse on our part – but it is our peace-loving nature and desire for world peace that sets them off. We gave guns and money to the worst possible elements in the 1980s Afghanistan civil war, turning a blind eye (at best) to terrorism and heroin running, before our objectives were met and we broke our promises leaving the whole region to bleed and fester for a decade – yet it is our good will they would spurn. We continue to support Turkey in one of the greatest genocides of the twentieth century, even allowing American supplied aircraft to bomb Kurdish refugees in the Iraqi no-fly zones – and it is our unwavering belief in self-determination they despise. We’ve bombed Iraq ourselves almost every week since the end of an earlier bloody crusade, killing hundreds of civilians with bombs, tens of thousands with an economic blockade – but, you see, it is our generosity of spirit they seek to trample. We arm Israel to the teeth and routinely vote as the one and only country in the United Nations to support an openly racist and increasingly violent oppression of Palestinians – yet it is our noble ideals with which they cannot coexist. Our accomplished secret agents are responsible for one of the deadliest car bombings of civilians in Middle Eastern (or world) history: Beirut, 1985 – and it is our commitment of international law and order they oppose. We continue to prop up corrupt dictatorships throughout the region – but they hate democracy. We kill them and censor their views – and, for some reason, they do not love us. As Dubya says, and the media trumpet, they are evil and we are good. Double-plus good! It is a brave new world.

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