Saturday, March 17, 2012

The U.S. Empire’s Achilles Heel: Its Barbaric Racism

Black Agenda Report 
Glen Ford
March 17, 2012.

The American atrocities in Afghanistan roll on like a drumbeat from hell. With every affront to the human and national dignity of the Afghan people, the corporate media feign shock and quickly conclude that a few bad apples are responsible for U.S. crimes, that it’s all a mistake and misunderstanding, rather than the logical result of a larger crime: America’s attempt to dominate the world by force. But even so, with the highest paid and best trained military in the world – a force equipped with the weapons and communications gear to exercise the highest standards of control known to any military in history – one would think that commanders could keep their troops from making videos of urinating on dead men, or burning holy books, or letting loose homicidal maniacs on helpless villagers.

These three latest atrocities have brought the U.S. occupation the point of crisis – hopefully, a terminal one. But the whole war has been one atrocity after another, from the very beginning, when the high-tech superpower demonstrated the uncanny ability to track down and incinerate whole Afghan wedding parties – not just once, but repeatedly. Quite clearly, to the Americans, these people have never been more than ants on the ground, to be exterminated at will.

The Afghans, including those on the U.S. payroll, repeatedly use the word “disrespect” to describe American behavior. But honest people back here in the belly of the beast know that the more accurate term is racism. The United States cannot help but be a serial abuser of the rights of the people it occupies, especially those who are thought of as non-white, because it is a thoroughly racist nation. A superpower military allows them to act out this characteristic with impunity.

American racism allows its citizens to imagine that they are doing the people of Pakistan a favor, by sending drones to deal death without warning from the skies. The U.S. calls Pakistan an ally, when polls consistently show that its people harbor more hatred and fear of the U.S. than any other people in the world. The Pakistanis know the U.S. long propped up their military dictators, and then threatened to blow the country to Kingdom Come after 9/ll, if the U.S. military wasn’t given free rein. They know they are viewed collectively as less than human by the powers in Washington – and, if they don’t call it racism, we should, because we know our fellow Americans very well.

The U.S. lost any hope of leaving a residual military force in Iraq when it showed the utterly racist disrespect of Iraqis at Abu Ghraib prison, the savage leveling of Fallujah, the massacres in Haditha and so many other places well known to Iraqis, if not the American public, and the slaughter of 17 civilians stuck at a traffic circle in Nisour Square, Baghdad. What people would agree to allow such armed savages to remain in their country if given a choice?

The United States was conceived as an empire built on the labor of Blacks and the land of dead natives, an ever-expanding sphere of exploitation and plunder – energized by an abiding and general racism that is, itself, the main obstacle to establishing a lasting American anti-war movement. But, despite the peace movement’s weaknesses, the people of a world under siege by the Americans will in due time kick them out – because to live under barbarian racists is not a human option.

Comment: Ford is probably one of the most astute political analysts in what's left of the real left.  No friend of Uncle Tom he calls the bloody cards as he sees them.

This short article is spot on.

And though a grip of folks will disagree, especially sensitive white ones and their colorpean agents, Ford is right to say that America's wars in the so called 'middle east' is predicated on racism.

When I looked at those marine f*cks pissing on dead Afghan bodies I knew through a life of experience that the disdain shown was more about racism than an insane act of war.

I must also admit that when I heard about the massacre of 16 innocents Afghanistan I knew instinctively that the killer would be a white man.

The fact of whiteness and its historical brutality is, however, almost absent in the manner that the war 'over there' is analyzed.

The US cannot exist without an enemy - real or constructed.  More importantly though is the fact that the US cannot exist without racism.

It stands after all, as Ford points out, on the desecrated bodies of indigenous Indians and African slaves who paid the ultimate price for its arrogance.



Kweli said...

Calling it like it is, indeed. And it is racism. Only, the word "disrespect" in Afghan might also hold a lot of weight. I don't know that for sure, and I don't mean to copy and paste weight, but "disrespect" holds tons in Swahili. I wonder if it does also in Afghan. Again, this is beside the point.

I wasted time listening to a neocon the other day talking about how US military strategy is changing. Apparently, counter-insurgency and reconstruction of nations is not profitable enough. They are moving more toward drones (this much we know) and sending Special Forces to kill, after which they are pulled out quickly (kind of like the Osama assassination).

Or kind of like the Special Forces sent to Uganda a while back, hey? Maybe Kony2012 will be another phase of this change in strategy.

Ridwan said...

Boet I think you are right. Disrespect is important to figure into the reaction - and not just now, but over decades and more.

Americans also do not recognize how they are held responsible for the fallout/disrespect.

This is particularly hard when most of what is American is about the individual - a fallacy of existence.

It is all disgusting but I still think that there were more killers that night.

Something is being hidden.

Peace Kweli.