2017

Puzzling

When George “Dubya” Bush was President, his Opposition shouted that all his policies were dictated by the evil Carl Rove who sat on his shoulder – as per a Time magazine cover story at that time, as well as other sources – and whispered all those dreadful things in his ear. In the Trump administration, the culprit is now Steve Bannon. All the failings and wrong-doings of this administration are attributed to him. In either case, I, and no one else either, knows the merits of these surreptitious allegations. And when Obama became President, his Opposition vilified him in every which way: he wasn’t born in the US, he is a Muslim (as if that is a slur!), he is an African savage, he is a snob who eats arugula, he is too this and too that! Smearing and innuendos are, after all, some of Washington, DC’s favorite pastimes. And, of course, our hallowed MSM (Mainstream Media), loves this sort of “news!” They are in the business of entertainment, sensationalism, gossip and triviality. The real “news” is not their forte by any standards! Their pompous, arrogant, corrupt choices of what is important for ordinary citizens to be informed about without the filter of bias, bigotry and melodrama is pathetically lacking. Of late, this has been demonstrated on a daily and hourly basis. They should be ashamed of themselves, however, “shame,” “integrity” and “professional pride” escape their scope, while they insist that a “free press” is necessary for a democracy. Free Press? Really? Who the hell are they kidding?

A tragic event took place in Washington, DC on Wednesday, June 13. Representative Steve Scalise and three other people were shot by a white, all-American radical, extremist terrorist who later died. The despicable event stunned the capital! People who were at the baseball field where the shootings took place described the scene as a chaotic and terror-filled few minutes whence they could not even get up and run and felt that they were under siege. They said it was a killing field and that the quick response of the police averted it from becoming an outright massacre. Watching it on television, I was tearing up. It was absolutely shocking!

Simply for information, I looked up gunshot deaths in the US after this. Here is what I found as per the Everytown Research Organization and the CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention):

On average, 93 Americans die each day from gunshots in the US. There are 12,000 gun homicides (on average) per day – 62% are suicides. Seven children and teens die per day and 50 women are shot by their partners every single day – almost two an hour! These are horrifying numbers!

Keeping all these figures in mind should not take away from the tragic event that took place on June 13. These killings, as most other murders occurring on a daily basis, are appalling. “We Are United,” chorused the President and all the politicians. However: United, I thought? How? What on earth were they talking about? Was it only on this heartbreaking occasion that we are united? In passing a health care bill that is fair and compassionate – listening to the Right: it’s almost perfect, the Left says it’s a disaster. Who’s correct? In arriving to a coherent, non-partisan consensus on our chaotic, and, yes, criminal, foreign policy? In legislating for the general good and not for their corrupt pockets? It rings hollow this “United” that only appears fleetingly after a tragedy and then disappears! Paul Ryan in a rousing(?) speech said after the incident:

“We Do Not Shed Our Humanity When We Enter This Chamber.”

I listened to him and my eyes glazed over! Is it only when it is convenient to do so? And what humanity? The one in which “this chamber” supported all the military arms sales to everyone and their mother? The one in which our legislators never uttered a whimper as our drones were murdering innocent people and children on the killing fields of the Middle East? The time when the “chamber” was outraged by Assad using chemical weapons on innocent people, and then remained silent when we, the US military, used white phosphorous in Raqqa? Is that not chemical warfare? Is it humane to continue in our never-ending wars whose victims are mostly innocent, unarmed civilians? Oh, please! We shed our humanity a long time ago! Does the “chamber” not see that for us, Middle Easterners, whether living over there, or as exiles across the world, and who are educated, cosmopolitan, espouse pro-democratic values and support freedom are becoming more alienated by the hour from Western foreign policies regarding our native countries? How do we explain that to their unseeing eyes? Are their policies Inept? Stupid? Maliciously Deliberate? How do we justify the “collateral damage” of the millions of killed innocents, uprooted, immigrants flowing from the war zones, internally displaced in miserable camp conditions, the raped, the maimed, the “missing” and kidnapped, the desperation and the fury? Our perceptions, our emotions and our experiences are definitely not the same on these issues, and until we can all really empathize with the “other” then conflicts and wars will remain.

See, it is precisely this blatant hypocrisy that infuriates me, because we identify with the anguish that is being caused by US policies and the “chamber” does not. Our reaction is human, maybe even tribal, let alone one that is based on ideals, justice and “Christian?” values. That’s why these double-standards are very disconcerting to me. Moreover, with every bullet, drone raid, bomb and invasion we are creating more infuriated youngsters who, due to their despair, grief and losses, are being easily – easily! – radicalized, creating more chaos for the future. They have lost everything, therefore vengeance, based on a false religious premise – and definitely not Islam – that is used to manipulate them, seems to be totally justified in their young, angry, vulnerable minds.

The criminal peddling of more arms and weapons into an already saturated world is only an invitation for more misery, chaos, killing and vengeance. How and When does it end? Certainly not by more killing, or by supporting any macho thug, or warlord who says that he will fight those we are fighting? We do not know anymore who is with us, and who is just a mercenary profiteering! Total Ludicrous Bedlam!

The shootings on a baseball field in Virginia made me tear up. Yet, every day as I read and listen to what is going on in the Middle East, I cry some more, and wonder when Paul Ryan and the “chamber” will realize that ALL human beings suffer in the same way; that we all describe bloody scenes as chaotic and terror-filled where innocent human beings, especially children, feel that they are under a constant state of siege with nowhere to run, and that they live in killing fields where they are being daily massacred.

And that is exactly why it is very puzzling to me that no politician makes the connection between what happened in Virginia, and what is happening on an hourly basis in the Middle East where we seem to be going from one blunder into another!?! From Iraq, to Libya, going back to the Palestinian Nakba in 1948, all the in-between wars, and now on to Saudi Arabia and Qatar? Seriously? It’s not Carl Rove, or Steve Bannon whispering these evil doings. After all, our policies are the same whether it is Bush, Clinton, Obama, or Trump in the White House. We should ask ourselves: Who are the evil-doers then? And, how does it end? Or, are we all doomed forever?

Puzzling!

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1 thought on “Puzzling”

  1. Absolutely spot on. Brilliant.
    I love your blogs in general but this one says it all and very eloquently.
    Bravo. I hope someone will listen to you, Amy Goodman, Arudati Roy, Naomi Klein….

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