Friday, March 25, 2005

The Heretic and the Noose!

“So, you believe in American democracy eh, - the democracy of torture and fucking as we can clearly see from Abu Ghraib and Guatemala [sic]?” exclaimed the interrogator.

“Pardon me, but did you say Guatemala?” The heretic inquired ever so innocently. “I see. Can I be interrogated by someone higher up the fuck chain?” He pleaded.

The heretic got his wish, and he seems to have made the right call indeed. For the higher fuck was a bit more “sophisticated,” for the lack of a better word, and the interrogation went somewhat smoothly from then on.

This was the first round of investigation by this particular apparatus, Branch 235 as it is known, but it will not be the last, that’s for sure. I will have now to submit a report on my “dubious” activities and contacts during my fellowship at the Saban Center for Middle Eastern Study at the Brookings Institution, and then I will be interrogated again.

So be it. So be it.

After all, what did I really expect? This is the country’s first line of defense against people like me – those make a liberal use of their own intellectual faculties and moral judgment to decide on what is right or wrong. How dare we? Indeed, how dare we?

Ten years ago, when I predicted that this regime is about to collapse and take us all down with it, no one wanted to believe me, this was just a poetic exaggeration, I was told. After all, a careful reading of the facts at the time showed that peace is about to happen and that everything was about to be rather peachy. The fact that I relied on my intuition here rather than facts weakened my case even further. Intuition my ass, some exclaimed.

Still, I am not glad I was proven right. I spent the last five years of my life engaged in activities that were primarily designed and meant to prove me wrong. But I was not, was I?

This regime is so cut off from reality that it always ends up making what seems so unlikely well-nigh inevitable. That is the essence of my intuition. The withdrawal from Lebanon is not the end of the ordeal, as some want, but the real beginning of it. The wolves who are interrogating me today will once again be sent loose among the sheep to help ensure our continued patriotism.

And the leadership’s line of defense against its critics at this stage will be, as is usually the case in these circumstances, to plead ignorance, albeit it is taking place will be taking place in their name.

Indeed, they might be right. Indeed they will not know all the details.

For ours is not simply a system where the right hand does not know what the left hand is doing, it is a system where the thumb, or the middle finger if you like, does know what the other fingers of the selfsame hand are doing. And so it goes. In order to assure yourself that you have true deniability, you have to grant too much autonomy to the worst most ignorant and sadistic elements in the system.

Yes. Yes. These days are coming back, just when we thought and hoped they were gone never to come back. Few of us might end up going first to this cross, but all shall soon follow. It does not take a prophet to predict this.

No. This is not a comforting thought. Nothing about this is comforting. Comfort has no place here. But then, when the noose tightens, comfort is not exactly what’s at stake.