Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Still The Envy Of The World

Tariq Aziz's death sentence is no surprise, the imperial hypocrisy standard fare. What's interesting is his crime: persecuting and killing Shia Muslims. Y'know, that Iran/Hezbollah/Hamas gang currently holding saifs to civilized throats? Plus, Aziz is a professed Christian -- that superior faith standing between freedom and Sharia Law? So really, what's the problem here?

In a fixed system where personalities replace politics, Aziz is Saddam Lite, faded, feeble, ready for the grave. His sentencing brings with it some Bush-era nostalgia, reinforced by Condi Rice's current memoir tour. Rice expresses zero regret for helping turn Iraq into a radioactive killing field --

Nor for her hand in slaughtering Iraqi Muslims. Which makes sense. Rice is lauded while Aziz gets the noose. Why fuck with a favorable narrative?

Aziz's sentence provides the briefest distraction. Our imperial policies continue to disintegrate, our domestic politics dumber and more venal than ever. Our educated class tries to spin this positively, but they're pretty much talking to themselves. Most Americans either don't care what their betters say, or are too ravaged by reality to notice. There are those, primarily Tea Partiers and Obama liberals, accelerating the partisan two-step, but few are seriously buying it. The result is a lot of jagged noise and unfocused fear, like a bag of shrieking rats sinking in a lake.

The video of a MoveOn member assaulted by Rand Paul supporters illustrates this point.

Naturally, online libs are screaming about fascist violence, how we're in the early stages of Nazi America, and so on. I'll grant that Paul's groupies are behaving horribly, even criminally, if the activist or MoveOn decide to press charges. But the notion that we're approaching a Tea Party putsch flatters idiot reactionaries while further deluding liberals that Democrats, however "spineless" (i.e. partners with the GOP in theft and corruption), are the sole rational alternative.

That neither Tea Party nor MoveOn are any threat to our corporate owners merely deepens the absurdity, turning scuffles like the above into bad street theater. This must make any elite watching momentarily happy, for as awful as our dying empire is for them, at least the peasants are attacking each other.