Newspoem 31 October 2007

The Rise and Fallacies of the American Empire

Nothing is knowable. With aphoristic sentences we connect data points into triangulated constellations. The trick they use is to announce, in mass media headlines, that "there is a debate." This is the year-long drumbeat that introduced the 2003 invasion of Iraq. There is, it is now said, "a debate"  about the use of nuclear weapons in a preemptive first strike against Iran.

There was never such a debate—the idea has always been unanimously considered horrific. By staging the existence of a "debate" about using nuclear weapons, torture, or invading yet another country, they subtly introduce the falsity that there is a serious school of thought that advocates such atrocities, a school of thought equipped with logical arguments. Then they continue to insinuate the existence of a "debate" for months until people gradually begin to explicitly and consciously reject these amoral idiocies, thereby legitimizing them.

Look, if you heard that there was debate about whether the Earth was shaped like a cube, you might laugh. But if you saw news of this "debate" in the Washington Post every week and let it get to you, you might, by angrily, stubbornly asserting that the Earth was of course very nearly spherical, in no way cube-like—as has been known for centuries, as asserted by photographic evidence from space—start to lend a backhanded credibility to the cubists. You feel and look a little desperate, sputtering about your round Earth.

The idea of a nuclear first strike against a non-nuclear nation with no means nor threats to launch any sort of effective military attack against the US is absurd, abhorrent, overthrows six decades of common sense and credible science, undermines two millennia of moral thought, serves no coherent geopolitical, diplomatic, or economic goal, NOT EVEN PURE SELF-INTEREST, and can only fuck the world for everybody including the rich and powerful who support the idea. But every day I seem to read a little more about this "debate."

Our grandparents complained about how soft and easy our life is. So too may our grandchildren, living in a world without trees after the last fiery nuclear fall.

In this autumnal light, nothing can make sense. Nuclear weapons destroy all life. Nuclear weapons destroy meaning. Bush and Cheney destroy meaning. Unelected ideas have come to power in a once democratically-controlled language.

Newspoetry at Spineless Books