Thursday, October 27, 2011

Freedom Fire Zones

Oakland's finest flipped with brutal flair. To be expected. The Occupy movement tests our owners' patience. Occupiers not only dig in for a long haul, awareness and desires expanding, they're making the political system look bad.

Official tears shed for Arab demonstrators now seem cynical. Well, to those who took it seriously. Double standards are an American constant. Endorsed by God. Consecrated by the Founders.

Whichever Oakland cop shot Scott Olsen in the head with a "police projectile" didn't help matters. A 24-year-old Marine vet who served two tours in Iraq joined Occupy and got a fractured skull and swollen brain for his trouble.

Olsen lies in critical condition, courtesy of an American police officer, not an Iraqi insurgent. Bad PR for the One Percent. Not that they can't move past it. If you can beautify Pat Tillman's demise, Olsen should be a cinch. To the degree that anyone of any importance cares.

Our owners and their mouthpieces clearly want Occupy to wither and die ASAP. Fun's fun, but this democracy crap is getting dragged out. Some liberal scribes profess admiration for Occupy, explaining the kids to their peers. Yet hostility is the reigning reaction.

What happens should Occupy continue as Obama is renominated? Do the Democrats make a last-ditch effort to corral them? Or does Obama go Hubert Humphrey, lecturing protesters about civility, manners, and duty? That Obama is running as a war incumbent offers a clue, but events are in serious flux. His handlers may prove inventive, though I doubt it. Power is its own campaign pitch.

At least Humphrey had New Deal ties, regardless of his pro-war stance. Obama has zero connection to social justice. His expansion of police state surveillance puts Nixon to shame. His reliance on drone assaults and targeted assassination makes George W. Bush resemble the frat boy caricature that long nourished liberal detractors.

Still, most liberals I hear and read pledge some kind of allegiance to Obama. Many don't see the disjunction of sympathizing with Occupy while touting Obama for reelection. Obama relied on the One Percent the first time around. He's even deeper with that crowd now. The picture is plain. The rest is projection and partisan interpretation.

Some Obama supporters I've spoken to have dropped all pretense about HOPE and CHANGE. Their New Obama is an Alpha Leader, a skilled assassin, a savage mule. Don't fuck with Barack! The dissolution of progressive fantasies about Obama has been steady and in places swift. His true face revealed. Loyalists are left with either denial or embracement. This accounts for their hostile, defensive tone.

It also means that, like former lib fave John McCain, Mitt Romney will be painted as a Tea Party fascist forcing women to have unwanted babies, when not lynching Black people on weekends. That Mitt and Barack are corporatists serving the same interests confuses those who require more dramatic scenarios.

Not since the Gore/Bush -- Cheney/Lieberman "debates" has a possible pairing epitomized our fixed system. I used to think it was an elite way of saying Fuck You. But again, this assumes that elites give a shit about how we view their world.

Scott Olsen's injury shows whose interests he served in Iraq. I'm sure he once considered it a patriotic duty, a form of Homeland defense. His joining Iraq Veterans Against the War denotes a change in perspective. His joining the Occupy movement demonstrates engagement with genuine democratic forces.

Keith Shannon, a fellow Iraq vet, said, “Scott was marching with the 99% because he felt corporations and banks had too much control over our government, and that they weren’t being held accountable for their role in the economic downturn, which caused so many people to lose their jobs and their homes."

When you march with the 99%, you've tipped your hand. You are, as Chomsky once noted, the domestic enemy. Tear gas, rubber bullets, truncheons, and sonic cannons (field tested on Iraqis) are your citizen badges.

The One Percent are in it for the duration. Matching their tenacity without succumbing to their brutality remains an ongoing, vital test.