Thursday, April 19, 2018

Making Peace with Deplorables

The latest American war crime in Syria had all the predictable, deja vu makings of a cheesy cable  reboot, with all the same players playing all the same parts. We have Bashar Assad playing the pencil-mustachioed demogorgon, slaving over his bubbling cauldron of noxious chemicals. We have Vladimir Putin playing the Nosferatu-domed Sith lord puppet master who's long shadow somehow covers every grave from Douma to Salisbury, with no evidence needed to prove his inevitable guilt. We have the gallant White Helmets playing the tireless and spotless crusaders for truth with their cameras always set on the right place at the right time. And, of coarse, we have Donald Trump, Emmanuel Macron and Theresa May shedding their usual clown attire to play the part of the guardians of justice, brazenly defying the laws of man to achieve only what the gods can do and restore the precious sanctity of the global order.

Of coarse, like most cheesy cable reboots, the narrative provided by the mainstream press was roughly 80% bullshit. For the umpteenth time, the anti-Assad propagandists delivered sketchy evidence of a supposed poison gas attack that came just in time for a massive Syrian Army victory and our scatter brained president's latest empty threat to finally pull the troops out of that fucked to death hellscape we created in the Levant. Trump and his French and British counterparts wasted zero time waiting for pesky details like evidence before pronouncing Assad and his eternal partner in crime, Putin guilty as sin of committing an atrocity that they had absolutely nothing to gain from, with everything to lose. The western mass media for their part dutifully regurgitated the baseless accusations of their collective governments verbatim as if they were scientific fact. The Russians and Syrians welcomed an international investigation with open arms and the self-sainted masters of the universe (aka the First World) dropped bombs before one could take place and ruin their little war crime.

It all felt so damn normal because its all happened a million times before. Bill Clinton mastered the art of the micro-intervention back in in the nineties when he bombed some god forsaken place every time another sex scandal resurfaced. Donald seems to be a big fan of his ex-buddies playbook. Stormy who?....

Pretty much the only thing that didn't go according to plan was that Trump's seemingly indefatigable fan club didn't follow their dear leader into disaster this time. Apparently America First was more than just a nifty catch phrase for the deplorables, who nearly jammed up the White House phone lines in the days before the bombing, voicing their righteous fury over their beloved Donald's latest and most egregious act of hypocrisy.

The predator propagandists in the right wing media reacted in time with their demo audience's outrage, with former neocon saber-rattlers like Anne Coulter and Laura Ingraham following the money onto the peace train and Tucker Carlson, of all people, delivering some of the most stunningly eloquent antiwar prose heard on a major news site since Bill Donahue got shit-canned from MSDNC for the unforgivable crime of speaking out against the invasion of Iraq in 2003. It was nothing short of surreal. If you would have told me even a year ago that Fox News would become a veritable hotbed of non-interventionism, I would have called you crazy then doubled my meds.

I shouldn't have to tell you, dearest motherfuckers, how unprecedented this sea change is. I take zero pleasure in being proven right (repeatedly) about Trump anymore than I took pleasure in being proven right (repeatedly) about Obama. But I am overjoyed to be proven wrong about Trump's deplorables, at least in one respect. As an anti-imperialist trans person in Trump country, being able to find common ground with my redneck neighbors on issues of war and peace is beyond refreshing, it's goddamn empowering. For all their many, many, many flaws, the deplorables have shown a level of moral fortitude that the woke Obama progressives failed at miserably when their hero went to war. They have taken a stand against the supposed leader of their movement and I believe it may have had an impact.

In the days after the alleged gas attacks, Trump showed every sign of being primed and ready for a full blown, scorch the earth, shock and awe, bomb-a-thon. But after a couple of days of having his bridle ego raddled by his former cheerleaders' defiant disapproval he settled on just three targets in a largely symbolic and ineffectual (albeit, still grossly illegal) strike. This could be a coincidence, another sign that Trump is more bluster than bite, but I doubt it. While the "Resistance" busied themselves defending the sanctity of Bob Mueller's dead end Russiagate investigation, the deplorables were taking Trump's orange ass to the fucking woodshed over crimes he actually committed (what a concept!). I believe there is an opportunity here, if the truly radical left and the populist right can get over their respective prejudices to embrace it. Their is no reason why intersectionality can't benefit poor white trash and queer folks can't put America (or at least peace) first.

Many people forget that the original major league antiwar movement in this country wasn't the Students for a Democratic Society but the America First Committee, an organization that brought together left and right, from isolationist race-baiters like Charles Lindbergh to Christian socialist doves like Norman Thomas, and kept this country out of a brutal and senseless world war for years before being outflanked by the furor over the sanction provoked attacks on Pear Harbor. Donald Trump bastardized this dynamic movement by hijacking its name for a cheap popcorn headline. But the movement that formed around this lie has grown a mind of its own and I say we engage it.

Anti-imperialism makes for some strange bedfellows, dearest motherfuckers. But I'm open to sharing my bed with some white trash deplorables as long as they're willing to get down with a tranarchist like me and Trump isn't invited. Let the bed-in begin.

Peace, Love & Understanding- CH

Soundtrack; songs that influenced this post

* Knights In White Satin by the Moody Blues
* My War by Black Flag
* Pilot Can At the Queer of God by Flaming Lips
* Iron Man by Black Sabbath
* Pepper by Butthole Surfers
* Baby's On Fire by Brian Eno
* Crisis Fest by Sunflower Bean
* Minor Threat by Minor Threat
* E-Pro by Beck
* Wild In the Streets by Circle Jerks
* Seven Nation Army by the White Stripes
* Eat the Rich by Motorhead

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