In a whirlwind of war, economic crisis, deepening pain that nurtures deepening suspicions and hatreds, some managers of crisis looked for a new means of pacification. George W. Bush was far too provocative (“Bring ’em on!” — and on they came), too confrontational, too much like the stereotype of the cowboy, destined to be reviled in every corner of the planet. Image management and damage control, two arts that American marketers, advertisers, therapists, cosmeticians, personal trainers, press spokespersons, and diplomats clearly feel that they either invented or at least perfected like no others. Image management, intellectual stabilization, and linguistic pacification have indeed been perfected in the U.S., favoured by a unique cluster of industries that have bestowed upon it a unique competitive advantage. They can rightly boast of success since, after all, the U.S. is one of the few countries that has had no major political revolution in the last century or more — whereas in so many other cases official dogmas lost their hold, heterodoxy flourished, people changed their minds, whether in Russia (twice in a century), Mexico, Cuba, China, most of Latin America, large parts of Africa and Asia. The results may not have been positive, or enduringly constructive, but a testament remained to peoples who had the basic capacity to change their minds. It is from that vantage point that we must pity the United States, and wish it the very best in one day breaking through the hard-baked glaze of ignorant self-affirmation, self-deceiving self-affirmation, and escape the cold grasp of a culture that destines them only to deeper depths of impossibility.
Some have already escaped, and they live free, as unAmericans, as post-Americans, as free thinkers, welcome in so many places they venture to beyond the walls of their former prison camp.
In the vain hope of winning hearts and minds back to America, to win support from the disenchanted and disgusted, to reclaim “American leadership” over the rest of us, to make us think “yes, this really is a change,” to make us blink, America has thus fashioned and branded its newest distraction, its newest toy: the counterinsurgency doll. Line up on January 20, 2009, and get yours before supplies never run out. The doll is totally free, its production and distribution has been paid for by banks, corporations, and the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC).
The day after the toy had succeeded in charming enough Democratic buyers away from Hillary Clinton — the very next day — the doll’s first item of business was to perform for AIPAC. And what a performance — rivaling any promises that Bush ever made to Israel, leaving some in the Bush administration dumbfounded as to the extreme extent of the doll’s programmed speech.
There are thousands of innocent people, alive right now at this very moment, who very soon will be dead, and they will be dead because of “decisions” to which this toy below will sign its name. Admire the newest, shiniest, stereophonic war criminal, speaking loftily and with the required gravitas as it renews its managers’ commitment to genocide.
Have the courage to listen. America gets a new toy, and for the rest of us this is no game. Some need to outgrow playing with dolls. Now is the time…now is the time…now is the time…now is the time…