Shock and Awe 3.0, pre-released in Libya


Buried in the 16th paragraph of the NYT story about the Allied air assault on Libya:

The international effort, called Operation Odyssey Dawn, may also present a double standard: While the West has taken punitive action against Libya, a relatively isolated Arab state, the governments in Bahrain and Yemen have faced few penalties after cracking down on their own protest movements.

Odyssey Dawn? Sounds more like a porn star than a military action. Might as well be. If disaster porn is a fitting term for video of a tsunami leveling a Japanese town then it certainly fits video of bombs raining on Libya then filling the night with cascades of flame visible, possibly, from those safe ships on the Mediterranean. This is masturbation at its most technologically refined.

It’s war but it’s not war, because we’re here but the bombs are over there. Ooh, what a beautiful long-distance image of a Tomahawk missile being fired from an aircraft carrier. Aah, that’s a nice touch, shooting it through night-vision glasses. Who cares where it lands, it won’t land on us.

It’s Version 3.0 (updates soon to follow) of the video game introduced March 19, 2003, exactly eight years ago, when Dubya went on TV to announce the start of his crusade in Iraq that would kill tens of thousands, most of them non-combatants. All evening the networks reran the speech while showing background footage of bombs over Baghdad. It was war, but it wasn’t. It was the Fourth of July, but awesome.

I remember thinking Bush and his bozos already had pushed through major tax cuts for the rich. Now he was starting a new war while his Afghanistan folly was still in progress. Who would pay for the fireworks? Surely someone sensible would persuade our dummy-in-chief to declare victory quickly, lest we smart-bomb ourselves into permanent debt.

But there we were, still in Iraq and Afghanistan when Obama took office. And here we are, with the country still in an economic coma, watching Obama start war No. 3, or something that looks like a war.

Ooh, there goes another Tomahawk, look at the trails on it… Each one of those suckers costs more than a half-million dollars. Which means the military spent at least $100 million on only one day’s bombardment of Libya. How many teachers’ salaries would that pay for, or tuitions, or jobs to fix our rotten infrastructure?

Instead, that money and a whole lot more is paying to secure an oil source. This is how empires end.

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