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Reading the war as a soap opera
of manifest destiny
by Norma Alarcon
Mar. 20, 2003

PfP Members:

I wrote this letter on Thursday morning after watching the TV spectacles on the start of war. The letter has resonance with Soap Opera readings since that is how they broadcast, and that's the level of reading of the white American public in general. There's no education in this nation outside of a self-righteous history of Manifest Destiny. The militarized tensions on the U.S./Mexican border and Latin America and the Caribbean (since the 19thc) have been a "training ground" for these cowboys! [By the way the talk shows are doing the job for home culture, and the wives and children of the soldiers "over there" are pushed forward to do their patriotic weeping.]

My counter soap opera read:

Dear Carlos:

I watched the officials of war on TV last night. Bush's speech is calamitous. He makes a smooth ideological flower arrangement of such egregious proportions that it will be extremely difficult to undo since the heartland of Amerika is right with him--for public opinion they consulted journalists from Orlando, San Diego and Chicago. All the generals have to do is make it a quick ordeal. The multi-corporations are in charge of putting marketable order in Iraq when The Bushes are done with their deadly work. The multis will implement freedom and democracy! They were even planning the post-war Iraq already! How clear it is that the military in U.S. has been for sale, Merchant Marines, Navies, Armies, etc. for big bucks, of course. Post-war Iraq planning is for the consumption of U.S. citizens (mostly white). "We" are such nice people after all, always worried about the misery of others. "We" want them to have as much as we do. All "we" are doing is sharing what we have with these miserable people who have been held hostage by a tyrant. The thing is that all the miserable people in the world are from U.S. point of view held hostage by tyrants, hence they are ready for the liberator! Have a Hershey bar! That's the gambit there!

Can you believe that? Such descaro, he puts the multis in charge of administrative order in a raped nation--just like they have in Central America and will be doing in Colombia which they haven't finished off yet but they are virtually finished. Then Bush has the audacity to refer to U.S. as a "her." "She" is such a savior at home and abroad. "She" means so well. I watched his face very carefully--it has become righteously impassive--it is the kind of face that looks around and would spit upon any resistor not white, and the women are out of order, as always, for him--he'll spit on them too. [If one is not a Stepford Wife, one is out of order!] It is now a very dangerous face--negotiations are over, diplomacy is over, talking even within the domain of power is over. If you look at the Bushes faces carefully you will see they barely have any lips--it is a stereotyped characteristic, but nevertheless a characteristic

This web of self mis-representation is hovering over the whole world. Did you notice the string of nations in the coalition--Salvador, Nicaragua, Eritrea, Checkoslovakia, Somalia, Phillipines, and more--all formerly raped in the same form and now controlled by them. They are isolating Western Europe, characterizing France as a traitor to the righteous war, and Spain has gone along in order to have more control over the European Union which had placed Spain in marginal position. The European Union is in tatters. They are calling for France and Germany and other Western european leadership to be now silent in the process ahead. They will be made to "heel" in the coming multi-corps administrative order in Iraq. [It may explain why Britain never adapted the coin EURO itself--a great chauvinism.] It is a Christian Crusade! They are also now talking about having Colin Powell resign, scrutinizing his fumbling at the U.N.

The Pope is saying that those who perpetrate such a war will have a grave responsibility. And Bush is saying we acknowledge our responsibility and will free the people of Iraq. It sounds as if they are working together. [More Christians for the Pope!] After listening to this unconscionable smooth talk, it does seem as if Malcolm X had it correctly: "the "Christian" civilization of America--which is propping up the white race around the world--is Christianity's remaining strongest bastion." (p. 376) The ideology of Christianity is one of rape--suffer now, we'll give you heaven later--when you are dead. The survivors of this calamity will be spiritually dead, and as such will be maneuvered into virtually anything, because all they can now say, is "please stop." The strategy of bombing is a form of psychic dis-stabilization. Like any tortured persons, they will only be able to say, "please stop."

You should hear all the "ethnic-bashing" dirty laundry they are placing at Hussain's door for publicity reasons, of course. From the bushes point of view there are no "ethnics" in U.S. They have already been bashed. When will the greater horror of all this come "home," I wonder. They are in total control. We might as well be living in Chiapas, rather than California.

I am sure that you know all this, but I guess I had to verbalize my observations from watching the controlled media and public. No one can speak to them as I verified via the selected interviews they do, i.e. on France. There are no reasonable grounds for appeal. There is only a paper trail--and so many historians just wait for the scavenger hunt--they have no memory, just methodically sift through a pile of papers truncated by their chosen period of analysis! No historian is prepared for this, as we know.

The advisors on all this are brilliant in their perpetration of obfuscation. The obfuscation that will sell to the white and pseudo white american public. Indians have no voice that can be heard, and some Blacks are in grave danger if they don't heel--like Powell. Talk of his resignation is part of the "heel" move. To them we are all stereotypes, from a perverted point of view this is good because it enables us to see how the stereotypes are "pawns" in this Chess game. What "pawn" will be played at home? If Malcolm X has them analyzed correctly, then the pawn at home will include a variety of organizations that have been already speaking via Christianity and of course the Muslim Black Church members are also in danger. There is a homemade limit belt around their control at home, this includes the internal divisions among jews which may be seen as of one piece in any case, for use only as called upon. I am sure these people are being watched carefully and like Colin Powell will be tested. The rest of us don't count, at this time, though I am sure we are also watched. As The World Order Turns (new soap opera), we will have our turn--Asians (they've already been picking on the Chinese and criminalizing other Asians), Chicanos (what hispanics will they select next), Indians are imprisoned actually or virtually, and so on et al. They are playing with Identity Politics and always have been--part of the foundations of the nation!

They are playing Chess via one world location at a time! Wonder where China is on all this? They have mistreated their "other ethnics" too and are very reluctant capitalists western style, and of course there's another women's issue--state sanctioned infanticide. Haven't heard much about India, must be in their pocket with all the "other ethnics" they have, and their cultural control of women!

Divide and conquer via ethnicities (not to speak of their religious affiliations), we should be familiar with that, don't you think? I mean the university has been playing that game for quite some time while the others watched thinking it did not mean them. It has always meant them too--it's a race game with all appropriate markers--religion, ethnicity, gender, class, sexuality, for starters. Who knows what else they have in their pockets in this version of Identity Politics.

Thanks for listening to things you already know,


Dear Colleagues: As you may know, the war against Iraq has regretfully started tonight. We have therefore run out of time and will not be able to implement our plans for a Teach Out. In lieu of the Teach Out we are requesting,if you are teaching class tomorrow, to please walk out with your students and hold your class outdoors (weather permitting) to discuss the war and its consequences. If you have a noon class, it would be good if you could accompany your class to the rally. If you don't teach tomorrow, please try to attend the rally.

We are cancelling our Faculty Peace Committee meeting scheduled for tomorrow noon since we are co-sponsoring tomorrow's rally with the student Berkeley Coalition Against the War. Our next meeting will be held after Spring break and you will be notified as to date, time, and place. Peace, Carlos


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