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Dear "Terrorist" Child: Life Under Empire's Claws

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Imprisoned in the Vortex of the Pax Americana

Growing up, young child, as you surely are, affected in some way, shape or form by the tentacles of America's malevolent imperialism in the Middle East, whether by market colonialism, economic genocide or military occupation, surely bitterness, hatred, rage and a thirst for vengeance are slowly yet inevitably building inside your tiny body. Like a seed planted into the fertile soils of American hegemony, sprouting in anger with every downpour of American interference in your land, over time nurtured to become a tree bearing the blowback fruit America will be forced to reap, ready to ripen at maturity, your emotions against the Empire growing stronger with every year that passes, with every act of further humiliation and dehumanization, with every display of blatant hypocrisy or lost opportunity, with every new maiming and death upon your family and people.

Whether living in lands overrun by American-sponsored and supported despotic, undemocratic puppets depriving you of real "freedom and democracy," whether living under the billions-of-dollars-a-year in financial and military assistance American subsidized brutal Israeli occupation and apartheid in the world's largest concentration camps, Gaza and the West Bank, whether living in lands under constant American military threats, sanctions and embargoes imposed on their citizens, depriving you of healthcare, opportunity, full nourishment and a chance to grow up as a child should, simply because your people happen to resist the Empire's gluttonous desire for your nation's location and/or resources, or whether subjected to American styled "birth pangs" of a new Middle East, living amongst the violence-riddled, security-absent, depleted uranium-infested, radioactive-filled rubble and destroyed infrastructures of Iraq, Afghanistan and recently Lebanon, now but birth pangs of death and destruction, not life and freedom, the claws of America's appetite for the lands of the Middle East are as omnipotent as they are malfeasant, an inescapable reality for millions of Arab and Muslim children such as yourself whose only crime is being born Arab in lands deemed strategic and vital to the continued expansion of the greed-mongering American Leviathan.

Over the last several decades children just like you have had to confront the all-encompassing grip of American domination in the region, some, thankfully, less than others who have not been so lucky. Directly or indirectly, your destiny has in large part been engineered by the claws of American intervention in your country, creating, in large sectors of the population, vicious cycles of endemic poverty, uneducation, misery, bitterness, resentment and a simmering longing to release, sometimes violently, boiling emotions of pent up anger, if not at America directly then at her stooges acting as leaders. It has been you, the children of the region, who have suffered the most at the hands of the Evil Empire, millions upon millions of vibrant human energies ranging in age from the recently born to those teenagers forced by circumstance and tragedy to grow old before youth disappears.

The curse upon your lands is that which they call the devil's excrement, for millions of years sitting idly below your ground, unseen, unknown and undiscovered, enormous fields of primitive energy, remaining the untapped resource that would transform the modern world in the short term and condemn Earth, along with civilization, in the long term. For one-hundred years stolen and pillaged from where you live, it has become the energy that has created untold wealth, power, comfort and hegemony to the lands of the North, yet becoming but an oasis of misery and pain for the vast majority of those who inhabit the lands where the wells of sustenance and greed of the Pax Americana flow.

It is oil, little one, that has condemned you and your people to futures beholden to the arrogant Empire from America, for black gold has become like a heroin addiction to the world, making your lands the syringe feeding comfort and wealth and greed into the veins of billions. It is the devil's excrement that makes deaf the ears of humanity to your plight; that spawns the greed that darkens and blinds the eyes of understanding; that makes your life an expendable happenstance to the powers in pursuit of securing as much control over the fields of oil that lie below your feet.

It is your lands, sweet child, harsh environs of heat and desert, inhospitable and burdensome ecosystems to the human being, yet the birthplace of civilization, home to the Fertile Crescent and the crossroads of humanity, where history began and flourished, where so much of what made the Western world flourish was first studied and discovered, where the precursor to Judaism, Christianity and Islam rose, where yesterday was born and today began, that at present is but the pumping station for yesterday's colonizers, the present's superpower and tomorrow's rising stars, where future wars will invariably be fought, over and over, for the last remaining vestiges of the black gold that has only caused you pain and suffering.

The Proconsuls of Empire

Since your birth America's strangle on your life has been endemic, causing your family tremendous hardship as the indigence created by the stooges and despots ruling your land, all sponsored and supported by the Empire, has not been alleviated. Indeed, you have never known prosperity or a semblance of opportunity. You are but peasants in the lands of kings and princes, surviving on slave wages and slave work, having no choice but to receive the crumbs royalty throws your way. Meanwhile, lazy, corrupt and ignorant princes, born to wealth and prestige, living in gluttony and greed, are granted the spoils of your land's oil, making goat and sheep herders of yesterday the billionaires of today. Given monthly royalties for the simple fact of having been born into the royal family, being called so-called princes, these elites of your nation build palatial estates endowed with the greatest luxuries in the world. They purchase the most expensive goods, they spend without regard or care, the world becomes their playground, with no empathy to spare.

While you live in poverty, scrapping to make a living, destined to never escape the caste you were born into, the elites of your nation sell your resources to the West's energy conglomerates, selling out your future and your fate to those companies willing to exploit what rightfully belongs to you. For decades your oil has been stolen and pillaged from under your feet, with very few drops of the precious liquid allowed to trickle down to you. Meanwhile, pipelines saturated with oil are directed westward, with spigots tightly under the control of foreign multinationals. Your nation's royalty has sold you out, leaving you in poverty, a future peasant forced to work for the energy companies or for self-aggrandized princes.

The elite of your land have made a pact with the Empire, making themselves wealthy and powerful beyond their wildest dreams in exchange for very favorable oil concessions to the West's energy industrial complex, in exchange for the plundering and control of your resources. Artificially created kings, princes and emirs, mere stooges and puppets to the Empire, chosen proctors and proconsuls paid to guard Empire's lifeblood, have been put in place to prevent you from claiming your land, your resources, your future. They have been selected because of their loyalty, not to the interests benefiting you or your fellow citizens, but to Empire's wishes and goals. Every decision they make benefits the Empire; every edict they proclaim furthers the goals of America. They have been propped up by the West, protected and assisted if they obey, threatened and replaced if they deviate from script. Their role is to keep you under control, pacified and obedient, keeping you ignorant to the reality of your life and the intentions of the Empire. They are but puppets sitting on a throne of charades, kings and princes and emirs, preferring to subjugate their population, doing the bidding of the West, rather than return to days herding goats and sheep, becoming, once again, a mere peasant walking among dunes of sand.

In the inexperience and naïvete' that youth naturally affords you may believe, in your desire for a better world, the bold statements and revolutionary pronouncements coming from the bully pulpit of the president of the United States who, in the proud tradition of historical hypocrisy prevalent in Washington, has announced his intention to bring "freedom and democracy" to the Middle East. Do not be fooled, little one, for this slogan is meant more for the consumption of the tens of millions of brain dead, brainwashed and xenophobic American citizens whose ignorance is only surpassed by their gluttony than at you and your people. This slogan is but the latest fascist propaganda used to justify the continued wars and carnage America has imported into the Middle East. You are no closer to having "freedom and democracy" than you are of getting rid of American interests in the region. Indeed, it is because of America's presence in the region that you are denied the right to ever have "freedom and democracy."

It is the dictators and kings of Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, America's best friends in the region, none of which was ever democratically elected by your people, that have never and will never allow freedom and democracy to reign free in their nations. For to do so would risk their long-standing reign of power, their long-standing control over the citizenry, their long-standing penchant for accumulating wealth at the expense of the population. Without freedom and democracy they are rulers; with freedom and democracy they would be overthrown rulers. It is in America's best interests to deny you the same freedoms and democracy it claims exists for its own citizens, for to offer you a semblance of freedom and democracy would be to guarantee its expulsion from your lands.

Imagine, for one second, that authoritarian rule did not exist in your country, that democracy meant one person, one vote, that fraud was non-existent and that you were allowed to have freedom of the press and freedom of expression, without fear of retribution or of imprisonment. The current tyrants and kings would undoubtedly be defeated, thereby getting rid of America's current crop of stooges and puppets. With them on the street America's interests would be curtailed. With a press free to critique leaders, inform and report truth the population would become more educated to the reality of their lives and of the nation. If elections were fair and free the will of the people would trump the control of the Empire, giving way to positions at odds with American hegemony, possibly putting at risk the one-sided and overtly unfair petroleum contracts that ensure the complete pillage of a nation's oil wealth.

Imagine, for a minute, how different your nation would be if the will of the people triumphed, succeeding in kicking out corrupt dictators and puppet kings. America is no fool; she knows perfectly well that without her chosen proconsuls her interests in the region would be compromised, quite possibly severely. America fears "freedom and democracy" in the Middle East; she fears the voice of the people and the energy of the masses. She fears Islam, and what it stands for. She cares not one ounce for the plight of women, or for the fact that they are oppressed, subjugated and robbed of opportunity in many of her client states, or for the malnourishment of children such as you, or for the fact that less nutrition invariably leads to less intelligence over time. She could care less if you ever learn to read a book or study math or learn history, for a dumbed down populace is easier to control and manipulate, easier to transform into obedient producers and consumers.

There is a reason why millions of Arabs are cemented to the bottom of the caste system, engineered to be poor, not for one generation or two, but for perpetuity. There is a reason poverty is allowed to prosper, why education is eviscerated and gutted, why government wishes to impoverish the masses and make ignorant the minds of millions. An unthinking populace, without education, forced to survive day to day, is a population that can readily be controlled and subjugated by its masters. The poor have no time to think about changing the nation; no time to act out in defiance. They are too busy surviving day to day, finding the food, medicine, shelter and clothing to subsist twenty-four more hours.

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Manuel Valenzuela is a social critic and commentator, international affairs analyst and Internet essayist. His articles as well as his archive can be found at his blog, as well as at other alternative (more...)
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