The Domestic Front Part I: Numbness

Besides setting parameters and informing the public, Dum’ Dum had to calm us good people. And after some serious deliberation, he figured it out. Good people of America, you need not worry about our great nation. Concern yourself with one thing, and one thing only: Keep Shopping! [10]. Yes, it is our patriotic duty to shop, boost the economy, and spend that hundred bucks you got back in Dum’ Dum’s tax cuts. Yes, we are involved in a global war with people who want nothing more than to blow us to smithereens. And yes, we should be wetting our pants and soiling our shorts. But only a little bit, that stuff is un-American, after all. What we need to do, and what is American, is shop! Come on folks, we gotta shop. You know the deal. No shopping means no consumption, which means no profits, which means recession. That spells: U-g-l-y! This great country depends upon consumption, and lots of it. You need to spend your money if you really want to help your country; it sustains our infrastructure and puts food on the table. Ask not what you can do for your money, but what your money can do for you. Why do you think you got the tax cut? It is to put money into your pocket. But it’s a quid pro quo arrangement, of course. You have to give it back to us!

Shopping makes the world right once again. It makes us feel comfortable and at home. The terrorists may have attacked a symbol of our prosperity, but they didn’t touch its source. As we shop, buy and consume, we snub our noses at the terrorists. We prove that they did not deter us from living normal lives. We’ll continue to go about our business, attend religious services, order in-home movies, surf the “internets,” watch Dr. Phil and reality television, cook Sunday dinner, and gosh darn it, shop till we drop!

This whole “keep shopping” bit may seem out of touch. But it’s necessary for establishing Dum’ Dum’s doctrine. The “keep shopping” slogan (and its conjoining compulsive action) helps establish a social mindset of “no need to worry, question, or seriously contemplate government procedure.” This is soooo important. Think about how many nations have been ruined by too many inquisitive citizens? How many crises exasperated by over-thinking? How much melancholy caused by critical thought and deliberation? The idea of Socratic questioning is good in theory, but that’s all it is—theory. Socrates, Karl Marx, Simone de Beauvoir, Herbert Marcuse, Louis Althusser, Judith Butler, and many others, are great for academic exercises. But they have no place in the real world of geo-politics. Dum’ Dum recognizes this and courageously protects us from such useless intellectualism. Instead, shop—it numbs us from the pain of 9/11 and the thought of what our government may be doing. Thank you, Dum’ Dum.

The Domestic Front Part II: Duplicity

The Dum’ Dum doctrine, which constitutes a new era and social paradigm, is characterized by unseen, ubiquitous and omnipresent threats looming in each and every nook and cranny. No one is safe and nothing is sacred. This “everywhere and all the time threat” casts us as potential victims. You could be living your normal life and be gone in a flash. But also, and more profoundly, it casts us as potential perpetrators. You could be living your normal life and be a sleeping terrorist cell. How can we ever know for sure? The nineteen hijackers of 9/11 lived in this country, had jobs, attended schools, etc. They were everyday Americans with one exception—they were al Qaeda terrorists. And maybe you are, too.

What we have here is the institution of a duplicitous discourse. It’s not contradictory or paradoxical. It’s not false or a lie. It’s duplicitous, i.e., the simultaneous acting out of two opposing but yet coherent commands, thoughts, and/or behaviors. Dum’ Dum realizes this, how could he not? He himself is duplicitous; it’s in his “blood.” He’s imposed upon real life situations and affects our material realities. He’s a caricature running our country!

There are several predominant duplicities alive today. Be vigilant but be normal. Fear the ever-present terrorism but go to the local mall and shop. Spy on your neighbor but trust the government. Live in a pluralist society but be a religious fundamentalist. Give money back to the taxpayers so they can give it back to the government. Let’s go to war but never declare war. Let’s cast a country as terrorist today and an ally tomorrow and terrorist the day after. Everyone is a potential victim and potential perpetrator. We believe that God is on our side, but hates the terrorists. The terrorists believe that Allah is on their side, but they’re crazy. We are divinely guided and benevolent, but yet particular people of the world hate us and wish for our demise. We are the freest country in the world, but we construct security systems that read our emails, secretly film our lives, search our bags, and demand proper identification and credentials. As the saying goes, “freedom ain’t free.” Et cetera.

It’s no coincidence that Dum’ Dum’s platform runs on “compassionate conservativism.” It goes something like this: Love thy neighbor but thy neighbor must fend for him and herself. That does make sense, in a Dum’ Dum kind of way. It’s duplicitous, and Dum’ Dum loves that type of discourse. He wants us to understand ourselves, each other, and our world through a duplicitous thought pattern. Be split, be crazy, be insane, and be so preoccupied that you don’t realize it. Such a mindset helps with the Terror Wiggle!

On a somewhat more serious note, the duplicity of Dum’ Dum has a fatal flaw: It can’t work! Well, the duplicity of his expansionist doctrine can’t work. Take, for instance, the slogan “you’re either with us or against us.” This sets up a situation for us to potentially do anything we want. We, as the most powerful country in the world, have set the stakes. Who’s to argue? The French, the Germans? Please, “old Europe” is on its way out. Plus, we have empathy on our side. No person, family, or country wants to be subjected to terrorism. That’s a real and deadly threat and no joke. As such, people want to be on the side of good; they want to be on the side of anti-terrorism. But here’s the kicker: We have pitted the world against itself, which is the ULTIMATE DUPLICITY. You either side with us or perish. Or, in different words, become part of the Pax Americana or fall to the wayside [11].

There have been similar situations before, like that of Pax Romana and Pax Britannica. But those existed in different time periods with different conditions. Our world is globalized and we are a unilateral power. Such conditions, coupled with Dum’ Dum’s doctrine, spell trouble. Logically extending Dum’ Dum’s duplicitous expansionism reveals its fundamental flaw: inversion and implosion. It’s not possible for everyone to become part of the Pax Americana because it’s built on perpetual extension, development, and/or expansion. This process necessitates opposition and resistance. Yeah, we know—why would anyone want to resist? It doesn’t make sense. But that’s part of “Dum’ Dum logic.” People, groups, countries, and/or nations must resist the expansionism. There can be no expansionism if they don’t. If everyone and everything became “America,” then America could no longer expand; it would be a finished product. A Pax Americana reaching its final conclusion would dissolve any and all opposition, thus nullifying the project itself. This would lead to an internal collapse and the system would implode. It would be the ultimate end in a Nietzsche-ian will-to-power: blackout, the end, goodbye. Dum’ Dum’s Doctrine of expansion can’t work.† But Dum’ Dum need not worry. His doctrine is working for now, and kudos to him. Besides, if it ever comes to a point of implosion and collapse, Dum’ Dum will be long out of office and some other sorry sap will deal with the clean up. But we don’t have to worry about that right now, so in the mean time, enjoy the ride. Kick ‘em back and put ‘em back, cowboy style. Yee-haw!

The Domestic Front Part III: Obey and Defend

The war on terror, more than a response to the 9/11 atrocities, is also the manifestation of a new opportunistic America. It’s a new historical epoch of grand proportions. Times are changing and new possibilities are coming to the forefront. It is our destiny to firmly sit at the center of global power. 9/11, while awfully unfortunate, creates the conditions for us to fulfill our “historical duty.” But such historical shifts and social periodizations necessitate preparation. Certain things must occur and certain modes of social order must be rerouted for this fine new era to take root.

Within approximately one year after 9/11, the following occurred:

• Congress granted Dum’ Dum the sole ability to use military force with any nation, organization, or person involved directly or indirectly with the 9/11 attacks.
• Congress unanimously passed the U.S.A. P.A.T.R.I.O.T. Act, granting policing authorities domestic surveillance capabilities not seen since the days of J. Edger Hoover’s illegal COINTELPRO operations.
• Approximately five thousand men of Middle-Eastern descent and/or Muslim faith were cited for mandatory interviewing.
• Well over one thousand people were taken into police custody.
• The Justice Department ordered mandatory registering for all men of Arab and Muslim descent living in the USA.
• Racial profiling of Middle-Eastern men became common practice and was accepted by large portions of the U.S. population.
• Six hundred racially motivated crimes against Arabs were reported by the American Arab Anti-Discrimination committee.
• The Department of Homeland Security was instituted, establishing a centralized bureaucracy for preventing and protecting Americans from terrorism.
• Tom Ridge, the original head of DHS, and all heads to come, report directly to Dum’ Dum.
• A color coded system for broadcasting “Threat Conditions” was installed by DHS—green for low risk, blue for general risk, yellow for significant risk, orange for high risk, and red for sever risk (.... don’t worry, Dum’ Dum’s not color blind.... his logic is black and white but his eyes see rainbow colors and pots of gold).
• TIPS hotlines, originally proposed by the federal government but voluntarily instituted by local governments across the country, encourage citizens to report suspicious activities.
• TIA—the Total Information Awareness System that would centralize and store the minutest details of every American citizen—was introduced by the Administration, but rejected by Congress (.... those damn traitors, must have been that Kennedy).
• Government “suggestions” on how to properly air comments by Osama bin Laden were given to network heads of ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, and Fox, and they all complied (.... finally, the liberal media is getting the bigger picture).
• A temporary blacklist of songs and musical groups was composed by Clear Channel, a corporation that just happens to be the largest communications company in the world and has fairly strong ties to the Dum’ Dum Administration (.... yeah, songs like John Lennon’s “Imagine” could be just the thing to stir up terrorist sympathy).
• Highly secretive military tribunals and commissions to detain and try suspected terrorists were established through military order.
• From January 2002-on, over seven hundred people had been sent to Guantánamo Bay, Cuba—the holding base for captured terrorists and terrorist sympathizers.
• Legal experts refer to Guantánamo as a legal black hole, sitting outside the contours of any and all domestic and international laws.
• Between 9/11 and January of 2003, the U.S. made billions of dollars worth of arms deals to strategic countries in the fight against terrorism, involving approximately fifty-seven countries (.... nothing like a little worldly militarization).
• The United States government began a bombing campaign upon Afghanistan.
• Approximately 4,000 civilian deaths resulted from the bombing (.... hey, not bad, a little collateral damage is always expected).
• Possible links between Saddam Hussein and 9/11 began popping up in the media.
• Pre-emptive military policy became official U.S. doctrine with the release of Dum’ Dum’s “National Security Strategy”.
• Iraq war drums began sounding off like springtime bears waking from warm winter naps: Hear our roar!

Wow, now that’s progress! In just about one year, Dum’ Dum established key ingredients for his doctrine of expansionism: a more defensive culture and a more bureaucratic social structure. Obey the powers that be and defend the homeland! People are now properly threatened if they do not publicly display and proudly defend the United States government and its military actions. Local, state, and federal governments now have the proper far-reaching and much needed intrusive powers to carry out their functions. And music fans now realize that the band, Rage Against the Machine, is a terrorist organization! This type of social environment is ideal for erecting a new historical epoch. Forget the Cold War and forget Bill Clinton’s fluff decade of economic prosperity and humanitarian wars. The real geniuses are now in town, giving us The Global War on Terror!

Ari Fleisher, former White House Press Secretary, really sums up the “obey and defend” sentiment. Mr. Fleisher, commenting upon the forced resignation of Bill Maher, the former host of the television show “Politically Incorrect,” said: “. . . it’s a terrible thing to say, and it’s unfortunate. And that’s why . . . all Americans . . . need to watch what they say, watch what they do. This is not a time for remarks like that; there never is” [12]. Bill Maher was fired for questioning the courage of U.S. military procedure that launches cruise missiles from thousands of feet away. For the love of God, such a comment could weaken the war effort! How dare he! That’s citizen insubordination! Hang the bastard!

This section and the previous two examined the post-9/11 domestic home front. But to better understand our current situation, we should probably go back and review some history. Obviously time and space are limited here, so an in-depth discussion is not possible. But let us go back to the time period mentioned by Mushroom Cloud Condi, and then run forward through some important events and social mindsets. We’ll begin with the end of World War II, move through the Cold War and its decline in the 1980’s, discuss the globalization of the 1990’s, and then land back in the twenty-first century and the global war on terrorism.

« previous   |   next »

Creative Commons License
text and illustrations licensed as
Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5.