America’s violence towards the world has come home
People say ‘I served in Afghanistan, I can’t believe it’s happening here’. I find this appalling. What is happening is not OK, full stop. It was not OK in Falluja, it was not OK in Kabul, and it’s not OK in Washington DC. If you were wearing boots in these imperial wars you should be ashamed of yourself, not just disappointed that it’s come home.
Americans are shocked to see guns and Humvees rolling down their streets, but this has been America’s sovereign right across the world for decades. They’re horrified when a helicopter swoops low to scare away demonstrators, but that’s a well-established tactic. Those soldiers have probably done it before. Wait till they see what murderers can do with drones.
Americans are unhappy about being arrested, zip-tied, and tear-gassed, but imagine if that happens by an occupying Army. They can keep you in a cage, rape you, set dogs on you, torture and murder you — as American troops have. They can put a bag over your head, fly you around the world to be tortured, and then throw you in a cell at Guantanamo for the rest of your life.
This is what the rest of the world just lives with, these unaccountable thugs. At least Americans can make bail. Being brown and in an American soldier’s way is an unbailable offense. Often a death sentence.
There is no awareness of this, this imperial privilege. No sense that this horror and abuse is wrong, full stop, only that it’s wrong in America.
Pentagon officials note that the military is trained in using lethal power against foreign adversaries, not in law enforcement, and what is appropriate in Falluja is not in Farragut Square. (NYTimes)
There’s no context given on this, in the propaganda paper that is the NYTimes. It’s just a given. Yes, we can do whatever we want in Falluja. We can send future political candidates there to carry a gun and bear the white man’s burden. But God forbid such brutality should ever come home.
US Senator Chris Murphy says they can’t tolerate an American secret police, but why should Iraqis have to tolerate Blackwater mercenaries killing and torturing them, not just standing around?
This guy opposes the cops and says ‘I drove that exact truck in Afghanistan’. Well, then asshole guess what? You were the cops. You were the rioters. These people proudly list combat vet on their bios and complain about troops in their streets. The gall.
As Malcolm X said, it’s chickens coming home to roost. He said JFK’s assassination was a result of the climate of hate. The hate that America spread all over the world.
Sadly, there’s no justice in it. It’s as if tear gas is only meant for dark eyes, these rubber-coated bullets only meant for dark skin. It is the oppressed minorities of America that bear the violent force of American empire, applied within.
The military equipment goes straight from the Department of Defence to local police forces, where it can oppress black people instead of brown. The AR-15s and tactical gear go straight from the manufacturers to white supremacists, where they can form militias that can occupy statehouses with impunity. It’s one unbroken line of white power, with the same weapons of war, the same training, and the same imperial cruelty and unaccountability.
America’s aggression towards the world was always mirrored by the oppression of its own minorities. People try to call on their Founding Fathers for historical defense, but they would have totally put down a slave rebellion with this violence and more.
Thomas Jefferson had quotes, but still kept and raped slaves, meaning women who could not possibly consent. Abraham Lincoln was still a racist who said that blacks should just be left alone, but never treated as equals. There is no contradiction with American ideals here. This is America. They say that the world hates America for its freedom, which doesn’t even make sense. We hate America for its violence.
You cannot see the brutality on American streets and ignore that the same people with more weapons and less accountability have been running riot across the world. And it has been happening for decades. These thugs on your streets, they have been on global streets for decades. The white nationalists in your towns, they’ve been given guns and tanks and let loose upon the world.
If you ‘served’ in these wars of occupation, please spares us your shock. You should be ashamed of yourself. Now that the boot is on your neck instead of your foot you think you understand, but you do not. The brutality of the American state is criminal wherever it is applied, inside or out. This empire of violence needs to be dismantled at home and abroad.
As Malcolm X said:
If you stick a knife in my back nine inches and pull it out six inches, there’s no progress. If you pull it all the way out that’s not progress. Progress is healing the wound that the blow made. And they haven’t even begin to pull the knife out much less heal the wound. They won’t even admit the knife is there.
Americans need to take a hard look at themselves, especially white Americans. They can’t even see the knife, the knife in the back of black people at home, Muslims abroad, the violence they have spread at home and abroad.
Black Lives Matter. These people are fighting the good fight against a violent state that has oppressed the world for too long, and they’re taking the fight to them at home. These jackbooted chickens have come home to roost. I really hope they get plucked.