Posted June 3, 2009
This may be the shortest lived Diary on Kos history, begun only one week ago, mainly in response to the banishment of Tocque DeVille. I endeavor not to stray beyond the barricades of the Rules, but if I too face exile, all I ask of Kos and Meteor Blades before the guillotine is pulled is as much thoughtful consideration of these issues as I have given them…
In The Shock Doctrine, Naomi Klein relates how nations brutalized by the Chicago School’s savage capitalism and the Dirty War juntas enforcing it have recovered and developed a healthy immunity against more eviscerating shock therapy:
Any strategy based on exploiting the window of opportunity opened by a traumatic shock relies heavily on the element of surprise… in North America, the September 11 attacks were, at first pure event, raw reality, unprocessed by story, narrative or anything that could bridge the gap between reality and understanding. Without a story, we are, as many of us were after September 11, intensely vulnerable to those people who take advantage of chaos for their own ends. As soon as we have a new narrative that offers perspective on the shocking events, we become reoriented and the world begins to make sense again.
That psychology pertains on both the individual and societal levels: a trauma that is never dealt with openly, but suppressed in the subconscious, festers, reinforcing crippling habits and sabotaging recovery. Maybe it is our reigning paradigm of dogmatic materialism that keeps us from acknowledging afflictions of the mind and spirit; imbibe a new pill to correct the faulty chemistry, or ingest an economic stimulus package to cure our destructive addiction to greed and gluttony. Consciousness, our scientists tell us, is a mere epiphenomenon of electrical brain circuits, so there can be no such thing as a collective “national psyche” capable of being wounded (socialist psychology!).
But how do we explain the shocking backsliding of Obama and his majority party: indefinite detention, torture lite continuing in Gitmo and Bagram, virtual immunity for war criminals, acceptable collateral drone carnage of civilians in Pakistan and Afghanistan, escalation of the disingenuous War on Terror, not to mention the subsidization of our piratical financial class. We are still locked in the shock of 9/11, the sole justification for this endless train of abuses, usurpations, and crimes. To forswear waterboarding would be regression to a perilous “September 10th mentality,” Elizabeth Cheney assures us.
9/11 is the wellspring that keeps on gushing, fueling our fear, barbaric behavior, and coffers of the merchants of death. But if the officially sanctioned narrative of 9/11 is any way deficient–if it is a cover-up of some kind, as many credible Commission staffers, prominent academics, military and intelligence officers, architects and engineers have alleged–then we cannot continue tacitly endorsing it without very grave and perhaps fatal consequences to our republic. To censor all inquiry that reflects critically on that first, very panicked draft of history, and declare any revisionist narrative heresy, surrenders our minds to the perpetual War lobby still feeding on it.
The disillusioning betrayals by our Democratic majority should be sufficient evidence of that by now. The torture, renditions, bloodbaths and bankrupting imperialism could be extended for 10 more years, as a Pentagon general recently envisioned. The Constitution, and critical domestic initiatives, are indefinitely detained.