|What are you going to do now?|
|Wednesday, 02 May 2012 00:00|
Operations Centre may monitor whether you are typing not merely “al-Qaeda”, but “exercise”, “drill”, “wave”, “initiative” and “organisation”: all proscribed words.
What are you going to do about it?
One of the men, Babar Ahmad, was awarded 63 000 pounds compensation for 73 recorded injuries he sustained in the custody of the Metropolitan Police. Sexual abuse, the signature of fascism, was high on the list. Another man is a schizophrenic who has suffered a complete mental collapse and is in Broadmoor secure hospital; another is a suicide risk. To the Land of the Free, they go — along with young Richard O’Dwyer, who faces 10 years in shackles and an orange jump suit because he allegedly infringed US copyright on the Internet.
As the law is politicised and Americanised, these travesties are not untypical. In upholding the conviction of a London university student, Mohammed Gul, for disseminating “terrorism” on the Internet, Appeal Court judges in London ruled that “acts . . . against the armed forces of a state anywhere in the world which sought to influence a government and were made for political purposes” were now crimes. Call to the dock Thomas Paine, Aung San Suu Kyi, Nelson Mandela.
The prognosis is clear now — the malignancy that Norman Mailer called “pre fascist” has metastasised. The US attorney-general, Eric Holder, defends the “right” of his government to assassinate American citizens. Israel, the protege, is allowed to aim its nukes at nukeless Iran. In this looking glass world, the lying is panoramic.
Take away the videogame technology of killing — America’s contribution to modernity — and the behaviour is traditional. Immersed in comic-book righteousness, poorly or brutally trained, frequently racist, obese and led by a corrupt officer class, American forces transfer the homicide of home to faraway places whose impoverished struggles they cannot comprehend. A nation founded on the genocide of the native population never quite kicks the habit.
village of My Lai in 1968 was also a “rogue” incident and, profanely, an “American tragedy” (the cover headline of Newsweek). Only one of 26 men prosecuted was convicted and he was let go by President Richard Nixon. My Lai is in Quang Ngai province where, as I learned as a reporter, an estimated 50 000 people were killed by American troops, mostly in what they called “free fire zones”. This was the model of modern warfare: industrial murder.
Like Iraq and Libya, Afghanistan is a theme park for the beneficiaries of America’s new permanent war: Nato, the armaments and hi-tech companies, the media and a “security’ industry whose lucrative contamination is a contagion on everyday life. The conquest or “pacification” of territory is unimportant. What matters is the pacification of you, the cultivation of your indifference. What are you going to do about it?
The descent into totalitarianism has landmarks. Any day now, the Supreme Court in London will decide whether the WikiLeaks editor, Julian Assange, is to be extradited to Sweden. Should this final appeal fail, the facilitator of truth-telling on an epic scale, who is charged with no crime, faces solitary confinement and interrogation on ludicrous sex allegations.
Thanks to a secret deal between the US and Sweden, he can be “rendered” to the American gulag at any time. In his own country, Australia, prime minister Julia Gillard has conspired with those in Washington she calls her “true mates” to ensure her innocent fellow citizen is fitted for his orange jump suit just in case he should make it home.