imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Calendar Publish RSS
Features
latest news
best of news
syndication
commentary


KILLRADIO

VozMob

ABCF LA

A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List

LAAMN List




IMC Network:

Original Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech

Surviving Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: canada: quebec east asia: japan europe: athens barcelona belgium bristol brussels cyprus germany grenoble ireland istanbul lille linksunten nantes netherlands norway portugal united kingdom latin america: argentina cmi brasil rosario oceania: aotearoa united states: austin big muddy binghamton boston chicago columbus la michigan nyc portland rochester saint louis san diego san francisco bay area santa cruz, ca tennessee urbana-champaign worcester west asia: palestine process: fbi/legal updates process & imc docs projects: radio satellite tv
printable version - js reader version - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

Why Shock and Awe should stick in our craw

by Christy Sunday, Mar. 23, 2003 at 4:39 PM

All Crust, No Pie Why Shock and Awe should stick in our craw by Jim Washburn (OCWeekly)

I had a friend in the sixth grade who could not comprehend how Hostess fruit pies could, as advertised, have more filling than crust.

"If the crust entirely surrounds the filling, it’s bigger. There has to be more crust," he maintained.

In case any of your stoner friends are wrestling with this problem, explain it to them as I did: "Look. I’m taking a pencil and drawing a circle," which you do, with a miserly little line. "That’s the crust. Now I’m adding the filling," you say, and scribble thick lines of filling inside the circle until your pencil is a nub.

Of course there’s more filling, and that is how it should be for both Hostess pies and for nations.

I mention this at a juncture when, at this writing, we are so on the cusp of war that it may have started—and even concluded—before this appears in print because our country seems to have forgotten that, as important as defense is, it is more important that we have something worth defending.

* * *

I was talking recently with a teacher at Orange Coast College, where, like other campuses across the state and nation, budget cuts have led to scores of class cancellations. He told me, "We have students literally begging—and I mean begging—to get into classes because there are so few spaces available. We canceled a lot of sections before school started; we’re canceling more this summer, probably only offering one-third the classes we did last summer. We don’t even know where the bottom will be this fall. It’s looking pretty bad."

This, on the watch of the "education president," who also promised us he’d be our environmental president, our economy president and, most of all, that our president, as he salved the nation after his dubious election by promising he’d listen to all our voices.

Instead, far fewer Americans can afford any kind of college education; hideous Gray Davis is building prisons while beggaring schools; the economy’s in the toilet; millions are out of work; crime is rising locally and nationwide; John Ashcroft plans to make criminals of more of us with a Patriot Act II that further erodes our rights; and I couldn’t even see a reputedly bitchen local band, Dengue Fever, recently because its immigrant singer was arrested and detained at the border under our spiffy new security provisions.

There is something very askew in the American psyche when we’ve let ourselves be led into a defense posture that throws tremendous resources into protecting us from chimerical threats at the expense of protecting us from very real ones. Though only one of our perceived enemies, North Korea, has a fledgling nuclear capability, as well as missiles so primitive that defense experts say one fired at us would be as likely to hit South America, we are pouring billions into a missile-defense system that most scientists deem unworkable, which is perhaps why the Bush administration exempted it from the proofs required of other weapons before they are deployed.

Meanwhile, millions of cargo containers—the cheapest, most probable means of sending a weapon of mass destruction against us—are going uninspected at our ports for lack of funding, which won’t be forthcoming from the feds.

Likewise, America is being stripped of its first responders, who have been called into the reserves to be massed on the border of Iraq, a nation that has never attacked the United States and about which our leaders have grossly misrepresented its ability to do so. George W. Bush and Dick Cheney’s energy buddies—the ones who bilked and endangered Californians in the manufactured energy crisis last summer and who now gouge us at the gas pumps—have done us far more damage.

So the administration is pursuing a bizarre notion of defense that leaves us less defended, while also using defense as the reason everything else that defines us is being cast aside. I still like to think of us as the greatest nation in the world, but by nearly every measure—education, health, standard of living, democratic institutions, compassion for others—we are slipping farther and farther from our potential. We do, however, have the largest conventional bomb ever exploded, the Massive Ordnance Air Burst, which we demonstrated last week to underscore our commitment to peaceful resolution.

* * *

Far more than our flagging wealth and infrastructure, the biggest ingredient being shorted in our new all-crust America is the nation’s soul. I have a well-off, Republican, World War II-vet friend who is dead-set against this war, on the simple argument "You don’t hit the other guy first. If you hit someone in self-defense, it’s okay with the rest of the world. Hitting them first is a different thing altogether. If you kill somebody because you think that maybe someday he’s going to hit you, that’s murder. It’s that damn simple to me, the parallel there."

Common sense and fair play used to be considered basic traits of the American way and were cherished by Americans who have been through far harder times than we. You don’t throw notions of decency and fairness out the window just because you’re facing adversity: They are the things you cling to then, the things worth defending.

Voices in the news speak in clipped abstracts: getting Saddam, destroying weapons threats, democratizing the Middle East—as if these things exist apart from the carnage we’d unleash in achieving them. Do you have a daughter or a sister? Picture her with an a leg torn off, the other trapped under the rubble of your bombed-out home, her intestines bursting out of a jagged wound in her belly, in such agony that she can’t recognize you as you clutch her hand.

With the exception of some younger brothers, that is not a thought any of us wants to entertain. Yet that is the essence of war. Maybe you get Saddam, maybe you don’t, maybe you do or don’t find weapons caches. But you do it amidst the bodies of tens of thousands of people who woke up as innocent and who died far more innocent.

They live lives like ours, only harder, and like us, they try to make it through the day sharing some love and laughter. By everything we stand for as country, they have as much right to live as we do.

So the question is: What right do we have to say they should die so that we might perhaps sleep a bit sounder? Is it something you could explain to the Baghdad dad as he held his daughter?

Is it their fault they have a crazy fuckhead of a leader? We’re the ones who supported Hussein when it suited us, who armed him and informed his secret police, who continued our support after he gassed Iranians and Kurds, and who then vetoed a UN resolution condemning his actions. Whatever presumed-but-not-proven threat he might pose is one of our own making, and now we want to rub out our mistake, along with a whole lot of innocent people you’d probably enjoy having for neighbors? Sure, they’d be better off without Hussein and might be willing to shed some blood to achieve it. But if it’s their blood, it should be their decision, not one we rain down on them with godlike impunity.

* * *

Military planners talk about their Shock and Awe battle plan causing the "psychological destruction of the enemy’s will to fight," like it’s just a particularly gnarly fireworks show. No, it’s two straight days of firing 300 to 400 cruise missiles into Baghdad, twice what we expended in the entire Gulf War, causing the sort of shock and awe you experience when you realize, "Well, fuck me, I’m dead! What’s up with that?"

Freedom is wasted on you if you don’t use it to be the best you can. You work on your talents so as to best share them with others. You strive to be truthful, fair and just—as you would have others treat you. When the other driver flips you off, you strive not to shoot him and his passengers. Struggling with our baser emotions—not letting fear and hatred rule you—makes you a better person.

Being a better person out loud makes you a citizen. That’s what freedom requires: citizens, not just consumers. Don’t get pissed off at Sean Penn or the French. They’re just acting like citizens, and if you don’t, too—if you don’t turn off your super-sized Fear Factor episode and pay attention to the perilous things being done in our names, weigh them in your conscience and speak out on what you find there—then you don’t deserve to call yourself an American.

Report this post as:

Local News

Change Links September 2018 posted S02 10:22PM

More Scandals Rock Southern California Nuke Plant San Onofre A30 11:09PM

Site Outage Friday A30 3:49PM

Change Links August 2018 A14 1:56AM

Setback for Developer of SC Farm Land A12 11:09PM

More problems at Shutdown San Onofre Nuke J29 10:40PM

Change Links 2018 July posted J09 8:27PM

More Pix: "Families Belong Together," Pasadena J02 7:16PM

"Families Belong Together" March, Pasadena J02 7:08PM

Short Report on the Families Belong Together Protest in Los Angeles J30 11:26PM

Summer 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert! J11 6:58AM

Watch the Debate: Excluded Candidates for Governor of California M31 5:20AM

Change Links June 2018 posted M28 7:41AM

The Montrose Peace Vigil at 12 Years M22 8:01PM

Unity Archive Project M21 9:42AM

Dianne Feinstein's Promotion of War, Secret Animal Abuse, Military Profiteering, Censorshi M17 10:22PM

CA Senate Bill 1303 would require an independent coroner rather than being part of police M10 9:08PM

Three years after OC snitch scandal, no charges filed against sheriffs deputies M10 8:57PM

California police agencies violate Brown Act (open meetings) M02 8:31PM

Insane Company Wants To Send Nuke Plant Waste To New Mexico A29 11:47PM

Change Links May 2018 A27 8:40AM

Worker-Owned Car Wash on Vermont Closed A27 5:37AM

GUIDE TO REBEL CITY LOS ANGELES AVAILABLE A13 12:39AM

lausd whistle blower A11 6:58AM

Website Upgrade A10 10:02AM

Help KCET and UCLA identify 60s-70s Chicano images A04 8:02PM

UCLA Luskin: Casting Youth Justice in a Different Light A02 6:58PM

Change Links April 2018 A01 6:27PM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

Why Choose Nut Milk Over Cows' Milk S21 1:01AM

Antrhopocène, le grand effondrement S19 9:53AM

Creative Destruction Hack Diamonds Windows/iOS/Android - Creative Destruction Generator S19 12:51AM

Abolir l'économie S18 11:18AM

The Dictatorship of Corporations S17 5:26PM

18 Lethal Consequences Of Hunting S17 3:13PM

Paraphysique de l'outplacement déontologue S15 6:51AM

Creative Destruction Hack Mod Generator S15 3:49AM

Shopping du bashing S14 8:42AM

After Lehman Brothers, Experts Say Global Financial Crisis Can Happen Again S13 8:28PM

“Animaniacs in Concert!” Starring Voice Legend Rob Paulsen S12 9:30PM

Probabilités de fin d'humanité S12 6:49AM

Florida Area of Migrant Farmworkers Denied Right to Construct Health Clinic near NaplesCIW S11 2:57AM

Propagande de virus, virus de propagande S10 7:34AM

Steer clear of work morality! S09 12:10PM

Sweatshop Lodge Ceremony Continues in US Fed Prisons Led by Inmates S08 6:17PM

Paraphysique de l'origami S08 7:11AM

The Shortwave Report 09/07/18 Listen Globally! S06 11:23PM

August 2018 Honduras Coup update S06 12:28PM

Du réussissement putréfié S06 10:55AM

Brett Kavanaugh Filled The 5th Circuit With Execution Judges S06 6:14AM

Log S06 4:25AM

Augusta Georgia Woman Gets 5 Year Prison Sentence for Writing About Russians Crime Acts S05 8:29AM

Paraphysique de contextualité S05 8:29AM

Crisis Regulation in Global Capitalism S03 3:39PM

Ex-voto de réification S03 10:24AM

Please Oppose Warmonger, Execution and Torture Supporting Bush Operative Brett Kavanaugh A31 10:45PM

Paraphysique d'exploitation occultation A31 10:24PM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2018 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy