When Georgia murdered Troy Davis, it brought condemnation from around the world. – Published on Global Research.ca, by Daniel Patrick Welch, September 2011.
… As in Georgia, there will be no remorse, no self-doubt, no awareness of what the rest of the world sees. Full steam ahead. And why should there be? The Peace Prize bestowed by the dynamite-inventing Nobel family (maybe irony died a lot longer ago than I thought) gave Obama carte blanche to pursue unfettered the dreams of empire, peddling old snake oil in new bottles to a gullible public that foolishly gave him the benefit of the doubt.
Honey, the Chinese intern hopelessly in love with Doonesbury’s Duke, once went to, of all people, Henry Kissinger for some much needed advice. How, she wondered, could she reconcile her country’s revolutionary ideals with the excesses of the Cultural Revolution? Kissinger demurs: “Mao did what he had to do in the face of the Soviet threat. To counter the same threat, I advised Nixon to *invade Cambodia,* resulting the deaths of hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians! But you don’t see *me* moping around….” “Easy for you to say, Professor,” Honey retorts. “You have your Peace Prize to fall back on.” The more things change.
And true to form, leaders given an unearned benefit of the doubt are quick and deep to disappoint by any means necessary, throwing one yet another actual body under the doubt bus whose undercarriage is now clogged with the figurative bodies of Jeremiah Wright, Jesse Jackson and so many others. Naturally, it is just this benefit of the doubt that is denied to Troy Davis and so many like him. In fact, while their oppressors kill, imprison, invade, impoverish and lay waste with impunity and moral certainty, the Troy Davises of the world are punished for not expressing enough self-doubt, lest they be tagged with the most racist of all labels, uppity.
More than anything else, Troy was killed for being uppity, for not playing the game. The system’s final victory over the soul is to force it to submit. Orwell’s Room 101 was designed to do just that, to inflict such psychic pain that Winston Smith would cry ‘Do it to Julia!’ and eventually, of course, to love Big Brother. Troy denied them this victory. The day after the Supreme Court finally decided there was absolutely nothing unsettling about the Davis case, the Georgia Board of Pardons granted clemency to a white man who actually killed someone–admittedly shot him and beat him to death with a paint can. But unlike Davis, who stubbornly held to his uppity claim of innocence, the white fella showed remorse, good Christian tear-jerking, self-reforming remorse. Nothing a parole board loves more; we are after all, aren’t we, as David Duke and Evan Mecham dreamed, a Great White Christian Nation.
Perhaps it is better to have some clarity, to have issues defined in terms so black and white (pun intended–help me out here, people! I’m trying to breathe some life back into this irony thing). A lot of the work is already done for us, as capitalism and empire creak under the enormous weight of their own internal contradictions. The House of Cards is falling, and the guilty are running for the exits, just as they did at the UN in “protest” of Ahmedinejad’s speech. Obama’s presidency is doomed, thank god, and will be little mourned. End It, Don’t Mend it, to paraphrase Senator Yoda aka The Hobbit aka the horrible little man, Joe Lieberman. Maybe we can put aside Progressive Internationalism–what those who claim to be progressives call the imperial killing of Iraqis, Pakistanis, Libyans, and soon, Syrians and Iranians if they have their way–and get back to good old Full Metal Spectrum Jacket Dominance…Syndrome…-itis…or whatever empire’s new label will be. Liberals can still be the useful idiots they are so good at being, but this time on our side instead of in service to empire and full-throttle-us capitalism.
And in the background, we can follow the advice of Troy Davis and the parting words of Joe Hill and Mother Jones–Don’t mourn, organize. Uppity is all we know, and there is no time like the present to push back against the powers who inculcate in us such paralyzing self-doubt while excercising absolutely none as they arrogantly plunder and take everthing to which they feel entitled. This is a classic tool of empire, satirized in the old irish revolutionary standard God Bless England. The kids like it for its catchy nonsense refrain, “Whack fol the diddle and the die do day,” but its true message is in the verses: “When we were savage, fierce and wild/ She came as a mother to her child/ Gently raised us from the slime/ Kept our hands from hellish crime/ And she sent us to heave in her own good time!/ Whack fol the diddle and the die do day.”
As the Third World awakens and sheds this slavelike monniker (we could never really figure out what the hell it meant anyway), it sloughs off the equally belittling skins of the undeveloped, underdeveloped, developing, emerging, and becomes the Global South. The world’s people are increasingly aware–much more so than their US counterparts for sure–of who is on their side and who is not. The Europeans shed crocodile tears over Troy Davis and tut-tut their disapproval of a violent, racist America, while their pilots continue to drop bombs on Libya and wherever the imperial agenda next dictates, bringing the New Democracy of One Person, One Bomb to an African, Arab or Muslim country near you! Who knows, in the next installment they may be as prolific as in Libya, where their 30,000 bombs killed 60,000 people, or two people per bomb. See, under capitalism, even democracy expands in each fiscal quarter. Whack fol the diddle and the die do day … (full text).
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- Writer, singer, linguist and activist Daniel Patrick Welch lives and writes in Salem, Massachusetts, with his wife, Julia Nambalirwa-Lugudde. Together they run The Greenhouse School.
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- Global Research Articles by Daniel Patrick Welch).