by editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley
Obama is once again out-Bushing Bush on the war-worshipping front. With the president’s blessing, NCAA basketball games will now take place on the decks of warships – the Carrier Classic. There is a message in this muscular madness: “America is powerful, can kill anyone at will, glories in those facts and browbeats everyone into celebrating this horror with a combination of coercion and the façade of making evil acts seem entertaining.”
Freedom Rider: Obama’s Mission Accomplished Moment
by editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley
“Veteran’s Day has morphed from a minor holiday among public celebrations into a festival of celebration for death and destruction.”
The amount of propaganda directed towards the American people is immense and growing at a rapid pace. We face a daily onslaught of grotesque imagery, all of it meant to keep us programmed and compliant in the face of an expanding empire.
Sporting events have become the domain of worship of the military and its actions. It isn’t possible to watch a high school, college or professional sporting event without being subjected to flyovers from fighter jets, drill teams, or marching bands. Anyone who simply wants to watch their favorite football team on a Sunday afternoon cannot do so without the now required greetings from uniformed troops in Camp Liberty, or Camp Freedom, or Camp Patriot in Iraq or Afghanistan.
The apex of public ugliness for the Obama administration came last week on Veteran’s Day, which has morphed from a minor holiday among public celebrations into a festival of celebration for death and destruction. As in all other things, Barack Obama used the occasion to out shine his predecessor George W. Bush.
The aircraft carrier U.S.S. Vinson first gained attention this year as the location from which Osama bin Laden’s body was dumped into the sea. One would think that the administration wouldn’t want to bring renewed attention to this site, but a nation constantly flexing its muscles and contemplating new means of terrorizing the world is not so shy.
“It isn’t possible to watch a high school, college or professional sporting event without being subjected to flyovers from fighter jets, drill teams, or marching bands.”
On this past Veteran’s Day, the Vinson appeared in the headlines again as the venue for what will be known as the Carrier Classic, which will feature NCAA basketball games played on the decks of warships. The president did not disappoint, and just in case anyone missed the significance of the event, he cut right to the chase.
“It was from this aircraft carrier that some of the first assaults on Iraq were launched. This ship supports what’s happening in Afghanistan. I think some of you may know because it’s been reported that the men and women on the Carl Vinson were part of that critical mission to bring Osama bin Laden to justice.”
The imagery was a familiar one, strikingly similar to Bush’s 2003 speech aboard the U.S.S. Abraham Lincoln. Bush piloted a plane onto the deck, emerged in a flight suit, and under an enormous banner proclaiming “Mission Accomplished,” announced that “Major combat operations in Iraq have ended.”
Obama isn’t a pilot and the banner was missing, but the subtext was the same. America is powerful, can kill anyone at will, glories in those facts and browbeats everyone into celebrating this horror with a combination of coercion and the façade of making evil acts seem entertaining. What better way to co-opt the public than to connect warfare to their favorite pastimes. Anyone daring to question any aspect of this awful war worship had better be prepared for vilification.
Obama uses stagecraft better than any other president in recent history and certainly knows how to make the awful seem palatable. The Nobel Peace Prize laureate wasted no time in celebrating the Iraq war which he was supposedly against, and the killing of Osama bin Laden, which was a violation of American and international law.
“As the president spreads war further and further afield, will the super bowl be played on top of Gaddafi’s grave?”
These gruesome displays will not abate as long as the United States makes war on the rest of the world. Every new outrage makes the last one seem tame and easy to forget. Once bin Laden wass assassinated by navy SEALs who were constantly described as “elite,” it then became easy not only to accept that Moammar Gaddafi is dead because of the United States, but to see his murder played out on video in an endless loop.
Now that war is peace, and sports can be played literally atop bombs and munitions, the slope can only become steeper and more slippery. As the president spreads war further and further afield, will the super bowl be played on top of Gaddafi’s grave? Fortunately, that location is a secret and we can be spared watching our leader dance on top of it.
Hopefully, the resistance to Obama will continue just as it did for Bush. The mission wasn’t accomplished because Iraqis didn’t want it to be. The U.S. will be taking its combat troops out of that country because it couldn’t completely subjugate that population.
Obama will have less to celebrate as the Libyan resistance regroups and should he attack a more powerful nation like Iran, will have to eat his words entirely. In the meantime we can all resist. We don’t have to join in the bloodthirsty dance and hopefully this inaugural Carrier Classic will be the last.
Margaret Kimberley's Freedom Rider column appears weekly in BAR, and is widely reprinted elsewhere. She maintains a frequently updated blog as well as at http://freedomrider.blogspot.com. Ms. Kimberley lives in New York City, and can be reached via e-Mail at Margaret.Kimberley(at)BlackAgandaReport.com.