Reverend Wright: an Orwellian Episode
By Paul Street at Apr 30, 2008
I think the Reverend Wright/Barack Obama episode has become potentially a full-blown book for some sort of left thought-control analyst. It's become a really significant Orwellian episode. I don't have the time but I'm not kidding - somebody could build a good book around this....content analysis in a Chomsky-Herman-Alex Carey sort of way (with race thrown in of course). Or at least a chapter. Remember how in Orwell's Nineteen Eighty Four they'd have the "10 Minute Hate" (or something like that...I forget the exact term ) on the state telescreens to work up the masses' loathing of Goldstein (who I think was basically Trotsky).... I think this is sort of our American "friendly fascist" or "Fascist Lite" (Charles Derber's term) version of The 10 Minutes Hate.
Here's an essay I tried to post yesterday on ZNet blogs recently (didn't work for technical reasons beyond my capacity to resolve):
My fellow Americans, you are living in a real life political science fiction dystopia.
Thanks go first and foremost to the corporate media and that shiny glowing box in your living room.
This evening on my local friendly fascist 10 O'Clock News the nice friendly anchor lady told me that Barack Obama went on television to denounce some of his former minister Jeremiah Wright's "rants."
There was nothing about the content of Wright's commentary. His thoughts were simply identified as "rants."
To further the idea that Reverend Wright is a wacky "ranter," the news show put up a picture of Wright making a funny face and doing something weird with his fingers.
"He's like some kind of devil," said Grandpa Joe.
"He's a kook," Grandma Jesse agreed.
We saw Barack Obama looking very serious and profound.
Obama was reading from a speech saying that Reverend Wright is not good.
Obama's brow was furrowed. The badness of the Reverend who baptized his children is a very serious thing.
"He's a good black man," Uncle Carl chirped. .
"I like him," said Aunt Jane.
Then the tv people showed us Wright looking mischievous and scary again. He's a bad man.
The whole "news" item took 30 seconds tops.
The news broke for some commercials. We saw some crazy actors make funny faces and jump off buildings into SUVs. They put the SUVs on top of mountains and people were happy about their shiny new climate-baking vehicles. A pretty woman drove one down a shiny street; she was checking herself out in the mirror.
The next news item went a couple of minutes. It was a touching human interest story about a couple that has been "serving our country" in Iraq. The young married couple just had a baby. The baby was conceived in the U.S. but the father wasn't in the U.S. when the baby was born. He was in Iraq, following the Bush administration's order to continue the mass-murderous and criminal occupation of that illegally invaded country. The mother also did two years in the occupation of Iraq, an action that has imposed a Holocaust on the nation: 1.3 million dead, millions injured, and millions displaced. The Dad came back to see his new baby, but now he has to go back even though his tour was up.
That's because of a policy called "stop loss," the anchor man said. The way the anchor man explained it, "stop-loss" means you keep on "serving" even after your tour is up. The baby's mother is worried that the father will die or be badly injured in Iraq.
Stop loss is like this. When you signed up two plus two equaled four. Then you "serve" and you find out that Big Brother decided two plus two equals five.
Oh, new math.
The story didn't talk about the Iraqi casualties and deaths. It was mainly about how happy the couple was to have a baby and how interesting it is that the baby was born while the dad was in Iraq.
There's wasn't anything about how the invasion is criminal and immoral - an openly imperialist occupation that is falsely sold as an effort to help and even liberate the Iraqis even though most of the Iraqis have wanted the U.S. to leave since the beginning.
The way the story was told it was like the U.S. owns Iraq...it was if we have the right to be there and run the show.... take over their country and basically kill people if that's what we "have to do."
We broke for some very colorful commercials for drugs that make people less depressed. People at the start of the commercial were listless and sad - just staring into space. One guy had his head in his hands. At the end of the commercial they were happy and ready to enjoy life. They were riding in elevators and smiling. .
I wondered if they were happy enough to invade Iraq and have babies. The drugs would be good to keep on hand when the stop-loss papers come through.
Today in the New York Times I read one column (by a black man named Bob Herbert) and one new story (by a lady named Alessandra Stanley) about how Reverend Wright is messing up Barack Obama by getting a lot of media attention lately. "Mr. Wright goes to Washington," the columnist wrote, "and the front-runner suffers."
Bad Mr. Wright is making good Barack suffer.
There was a story (by a white man named Jeff Zeleny) about how Mr. Wright has been "repeating some of his more controversial statements."
Here's one of those "controversial statements:"
"You cannot do terrorism on other people and expect it never to come back on you."
Read that again: "you cannot do terrorism on other people and expect it never to come back on you."
I guess the corporate media thinks that's controversial.
I think it is common sense.
That's why I wasn't surprised by 9/11. I knew we had practiced terrorism in the Middle East and I figured chickens come home to roost sometimes. I sat in a bar drinking with a Republican in September of 2000 and we both agreed that chickens were going to come to come home to roost in the form of a major terror attack on the U.S. (NYC and/or Washington DC) from the Middle East within the next five years.
We weren't ranting - just two historians figuring that what goes around comes around. It's what CIA people have long called "blowback." We figured there was going to be some "blowback" from U.S. troops occupying Saudi Arabia, and/or from U.S. sanctions that killed a million Iraqis, U.S. support of its client state Israel's savage and racist occupation of Palestine, the Dessert Storm butchery of George Bush the First....stuff like that.
I like how Obama can go to the General Motors plant in Janesville, Wisconsin last February and say that the U.S. has been "trying to put Iraq back together" and that's not "controversial."
"Trying to put Iraq back together"...is that what we're doing over there? Really? Is that right? I don't think so. While the media obsessed about a big racialized soap opera conflict between Hillary and Obama, Tom Engelhardt noted the following in mid January of 2008:
"Whether civilian dead between the invasion of 2003 and mid-2006 (before the worst year of civil-war level violence even hit) was in the range of 600,000 as a study in the British medical journal, The Lancet reported, or 150,000 as a recent World Health Organization study suggests, whether two million or 2.5 million Iraqis have fled the country, whether 1.1 million or more than two million have been displaced internally, whether electricity blackouts and water shortages have marginally increased or decreased, whether the country's health-care system is beyond resuscitation or could still be revived, whether Iraqi oil production has nearly crept back to the low point of the Saddam Hussein-era or not, whether fields of opium poppies are, for the first time, spreading across the country's agricultural lands or still relatively localized, Iraq is a continuing disaster zone on a catastrophic scale hard to match in recent
According to journalist Nir Rosen in the December 2007 edition of the mainstream journal Current History, "Iraq has been killed, never to rise again. The American occupation has been more disastrous than that of the Mongols who sacked Baghdad in the thirteenth century. Only fools talk of solutions now. There is no solution. The only hope is that perhaps the damage can be contained."
Rev, Wright says that what goes around comes around and that's "controversial." Obama says our Holocaust in Iraq is about putting Iraq back together and that's ...cool.
Welcome to the American Animal Farm were 2+2=5 and War is Peace and Jeremiah Wright is someone to love by hating because Big Brother says so.