Ahmadinejad is the Leader the World needs Now!

By Saswat Pattanayak

Obama administration has two vital interests in Iran: continuation of war and imperialistic expansion. And neither of these remotely relate to establishment of a democratic society or any other fanciful distractions that most Americans are being spoon fed to believe in through their reactionary media propaganda.

In fact, a democratic society already exists in Iran. It is more vibrant and expressive than many other nations, including that of the United States. Iran’s democracy is so vibrant and strong that it has been able to produce a visionary leader such as Dr Mahmoud Ahmadinejad – a leader who has singularly challenged the capitalistic hegemonic barbarism inflicted upon the world through Wall Street scamsters, whereas on the other hand, as a starkly unfortunate contrast, these are the conmen that President Obama has been sheltering from day one of his taking over the office at White House.

ahmadinejad

Ahmadinejad is a leader of global influence whose stands against American militarism and Israeli occupations have widest reverberation among the majority in the world. Ahmadinejad has also been a national leader of Iran who has steadfastly refused to let Iran go of its sovereignty, its self-respect and its fundamental right to develop scientific and nuclear researches. Ahmadinejad has been the leader lending a spirit of solidarity to all the oppressed nations and peoples of the world who have been either trampled upon geographically by expansionist NATO forces or held captive psychologically through the media warfare unleashed by corporate media masquerading as liberal free estates.

Ahmadinejad is a necessity for the betterment of the world at large not simply because unlike any other leader in the world today he alone has the ability to challenge the globalized yet monopolistic power corridors of capitalistic combines, but also because he has displayed acute amount of perseverance in managing a civil war at home abetted by foreign interests, deep sense of political acumen to understand international relations imbalances, profound ability to confront the reactionary interventionist assaulters with calm understanding. Western corporate media as well the so-called liberals’ constant vilification of his personality, on his political career and public honesty merely suggest a targeted attack on a sovereign country’s head – an ugly and criminally abominable tradition continued in United States and much of western Europe since several decades now. So why do the NATO block countries – including their educated youths, often think the way they do.

History of Holier-Than-Thou Democracy:

Along with racial genocides, enforced slavery, interventionist militarism, illegalization of human beings, minimum wage exploitations, and civil rights suppressions, American power structure while oppressing its own working class people at home has also pioneered one other aspect that has been demonstrated to morally overshadow everything else: “Holier-Than-Thou Democracy”.

This “Holier-Than-Thou Democracy” – a political system of democracy which constitutionally never worked for all the people residing in the country – not even in 2009 – is intrinsically flawed. A system that excludes a huge section of people based on their naturalization status (even while they enrich the country through manual labor and income taxes) is intrinsically elitist. A system that runs to the politically appointed judges to decide fates of popular electoral results is intrinsically corrupt. A system that decides its head based on how much fund-raising that person is able to evince, how much of friendly corporate class alliance can that person exhibit, how much of media propaganda can that person muster to demonstrate – is a system that is intrinsically pro-capital, anti-people.

This is the nature of American democracy – evolving since well more than two centuries and still lands up being far from a decent one, let alone being a perfect model. To call American democracy decent would be to celebrate wealth disparities. It would amount to rejoicing marginalization of the poor who never have the means to receive Ivy league education as the presidents have, or when they do, most of them do not choose to align their class affiliation with the bourgeois. To call American democracy decent would be to amplify a mockery at the largest undertrial prisoners in the world; to emulate the dumbest people on the earth who are systematically deprived of a necessary knowledge about the true history of their collective struggles. To call American democracy decent would be to cheer on the military onslaughts by the NATO forces routinely demolishing cultures to shreds, relegating heritages to rubbles, raping women to objects, killing children to the untold history and torturing prisoners to unthinkable states.

To call American democracy decent would be to convey resounding support to the war declarations of its president – one after the other – each one of them. To glorify the culture of war against innocent people in far away lands. To call American democracy decent would be to assume Obama as the voice of an exhausted nation whereas he clearly represents the interests of the bankers who have financed his party while bankrupting the country. To call American democracy decent would be the biggest hoax of this century, and the last.

A much much bigger hoax it would be than what the world media are accusing Iranian elections to be. To call American democracy decent would be to declare the United Nations dead.

And yet, this is exactly what we have been doing all these years. All these decades since the beginning of the so-called Cold War. Each American administration has worked overnight to protect the interests of the greedy corporate class that is integral to maintaining the phony democracy operated through networks of ill-gotten wealth. American political system has been a necessary tool in the hands of the capitalist class to maintain a status quo of private wealth accumulation by the historically privileged or their recent converts. American political system has been the backbone of the world capitalistic system.

And in turn, the capitalistic combines have gifted to the American political system a corporate press – one which will stand away from the dirty political diplomatic quarters and instead extend its support externally. The American media – along with the religious and educational institutions which are otherwise amply funded by the state to also support the system from the outer- carry out their daily duties to inform people of the events through such packaging that would enhance a sense of security. The American media have in the process established a sense of political knowledge hitherto unknown to the human beings. A brand of political knowledge that begins with definitions and ends with definitions. A series of definitive prepositions regarding what constitutes “democracy” , “equality” and “justice” that are void of political logic, of ethical dimensions, of moral duties and of socialistic thoughts.

America with its utterly indecent form of political manipulations – where only the wealthy participates within a two party monopolistic system which involves little to none differences in their core adherences- ends up producing a nation of blatantly ignorant citizenry that have been designed to be kept away from emancipatory knowledge – lest they challenge the consumeristic exploitations, the standards of privatized education, healthcare and employment sectors. One of the magnificent ways in which this trickery continues is in celebration of the system itself. An obviously unequal system of political governance which fosters class societies and debt-ridden passivity of the majority is bombarded every day as having the authenticity from the very people it oppresses.

Just as outlandishly unrealistic Hollywood flicks become household names owing to advertisement galore, just as a political candidate becomes legitimized simply by utilizing the sheer reach of campaign wealth, the America democracy is heralded as the greatest political process in the world magnified through the lens of the media moguls it protects. The people – the active audience starts perceiving itself as “smart” since they are told they are indeed getting to “choose”: no matter if it is only within Pepsi and Coke or New York Times and New York Post or McCain and Obama. The freedom of choice – within the choices permitted by the system to prevail in the race – is celebrated as the mark of brilliant liberty exercise.

Anything that slightly or vastly opposes this system in a level of implementation then is viewed as the “other”. This “they” can no longer be tolerated to exist, let alone prevail upon. Taking cue from the individualistic philosophy that shapes capitalistic economy, the power structure of capitalism unleashes its attack on those that differ from it, not by degree, but by type. The entire saga of Cold War was written with bloodshed caused by America’s interventions in the sovereign countries whichever among them thought of adopting a non-capitalistic system. Every time a nation freeing itself from colonialists would deliberate upon adopting a socialist economy, American political system – the very system that would on one hand sing rhetoric of self-proclaimed land of the free and on the other would be crushing its minority populations under police dog attacks at home – would send its young innocent troops to emerge as habitual war criminals in countries they had never dreamt of visiting as a tourist. From Korea, to Congo, from Vietnam to Chile, from Greece to Algeria – the United States has always invariably become the country of attackers, plunderers, rogues and intruders. Not to mention, world’s only atomic power bomber. The biggest hawkish nuclear power holder. The strongest voice against disarmament. The most immoral example in the history of civilization.

Subsequent to the cold war, it was America which funded the Islamic extremists to wipe out remaining secular people of Afghanistan. It was America which funded the Gulf War through Kuwait’s adamance to Iraq’s occupation to capture of Iraq itself. Its interventionist strategies have annihilated nations and disrupted normalcy of lives among millions of people across the world. But such strategies have succeeded not because America had one war president or the other, but because the system of American democracy is inherently militarist, which no president, no matter how well meaning the person may be, can prevent from actualizing year after year.

Continuing with the disastrous war against Iraqi people is Obama’s enthusiasm for war against people of Pakistan, Palestine and Iran. Any amount of fundamentally autonomous protest against Americanization of the world is not subject to toleration by the American president. Like the ancient Kings and Emperors, Clinton, Bush and Obama appear to be calm and ethical. They have spoken the same lines of ethical duplicity and yet the statement is abundantly clear: One is either with America or against America. And while being with America one is with justice and democracy. Or else.

Unfortunately for the American presidencies, not every leader of the world has succumbed to their implicit threats. It is true that to remain world’s sole superpower, a country’s leader must mobilize all forces, direct all provocative speeches to unite the people, and needs to expand the sphere of influence in the world. But what is also true is that this ambition to remain as global superpower, to hold the position of being the biggest militarist in the world is not necessarily acceptable to the others. At least, not any longer.

Peoples everywhere, from New York’s Harlem to corners in Tehran have exhibited deep angst and disrespect towards American imperialism. To suppress that, naturally enough, as has been done in the past and as is expected in the future, American intelligence agencies have infiltrated into progressive camps and have done everything possible to turn the tides. America has witnessed the failure of its domestic youth movements for social justice, from Weather Underground to Black Panthers – the relevance of whom are felt now than ever before especially since there is no one left today to speak on behalf of the oppressed communities following the victory of tokenism. The failure has been brought about by the system against the progressive peoples everywhere – at times through sheer force and at times through intelligence tactics involving infiltration, pamphleteering, and at most times simply through the power of money and intimidation.

History is replete with instances of FBI’s investigations against peace-loving American citizens and of CIA’s interventions in foreign countries’ affairs when the latter have fundamentally differed with America’s stands.

Iran merely happens to be the latest victim (albeit, once again).

Tomorrow: Iran: America’s Battle Playground

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Michael Jackson will forever live on!

By Saswat Pattanayak

michael-jackson

They finally killed Michael Jackson.

The music industry giants of America with their racist press collaborators took away the life of the greatest entertainer, the world has witnessed in recording history.

Michael Jackson was on a slow death since several years now. Most notably ever since he raised his voice against Sony Corporation and the exploitative music industries. Ever since he, more than anyone else as influentially, highlighted the plights of black artists as victims of racism: “The record companies really, really do conspire against the artists. They steal, they cheat, they do whatever they can. Especially against the black artists.” Unable to accept how Sony’s chairman Tommy Mottola referred to one African-American artist as a “fat black nigger”, Jackson condemned him as “mean, a racist, very, very, very devilish” person. Michael Jackson had taken a stand against racism within music industry in a manner no musician had dared to take before. Nor after.

But that was not all.

Michael Jackson had also emerged as the most widely recognized human being in the world.

Unlike anyone else in human history – way more than any icon of the western world, more than any president of modern times or emperor of the ancient age – it was Michael Jackson who was recognized and respected by people all across the globe. The most “popular” American was increasingly transcending the limits of fame set by the power structure. He was rising taller than the Washington Monument in nation’s capital, and World Trade Center in New York City. Micheal Jackson was a bigger ambassador of American love than Kennedy or Lincoln ever were. He was a bigger American poet than Walt Whitman was. A greater performer than Frank Sinatra. A better dancer than Fred Astaire. A grander legend during his lifetime than Elvis was following his death.

And yet, as his good friend Elizabeth Taylor often remarked, inside America, Michael Jackson was “treated as dirt”. Why would he be not? He had surpassed every limits ever set forth: by America for the black peoples.

Michael Jackson was the black man who steadfastly refused to walk the ropes, to plead with the press, to sell his musical soul to the corporate copyrighters. He was the black man who took over the Elvis and the Beatles and shattered every myth revolving cultural purities. He was the black man who challenged the white hegemony over recording business and historiography. The musical pundits had to be forced to rewrite the list of greatest entertainers. Through “Thriller”, he won the world and then a record number of records. From the greatest music video the world had ever witnessed, to the Moonwalking steps the world had never known so gracefully existed, to the songwriting of “Man in the Mirror” that no one knew millions would cry to – Michael Jackson redefined everything that the world of music had hitherto known and did not.

They could not categorize him. In fact, he would not allow that to happen. His creations were not merely rock or pop, soul or blues, dance or music. But they were all soul-lifting. They were breathtaking. Mesmerizing. His “Beat It” red jacket was as much revolutionary as his “Heal the World” pleas to make the children smile. Everything he did, he did with a sense of dedication that shook the foundation of the common knowledge. And this violated the principles of status quo in the western world that could “allow” him to exist, but not “emulate” him now that he had vanquished the protected heritage masters to oblivion.

Thus, Michael Jackson, the de facto cultural ambassador of the United States of America emerged more popular worldwide than he was back home. He made friends with the Islamic nations that America despised. He was crowned by the African tribes that America ignored. He befriended more people and gave rise to more dreamers than America as a nation did. The more America became isolated in the map of the world, the more acceptable became Michael Jackson to the world. Michael Jackson became the internationalist – the singer more powerful than the recording industries, the man more acceptable than the press reports, the heart more profound than all the charities. Little surprising that as Jackson went on winning hearts of the world majority, the elite press minority of America unleashed their fury back home.

How do you stifle a legend while he is alive? Especially, if the person is the greatest philanthropist – more consistent than Oprah Winfrey and Bill Gates put together. Charity in the modern age began with Michael Jackson. Whereas every billionaire would squander away token money in order to evade taxes and earn immortality, Jackson would give away the entire proceeds of his shows to cause of black children in America and for the dispossessed in Africa – without a mention in the press. If charity meant not blowing the trumpets on celebrity TV shows, if charity meant giving without expecting, perhaps charity in its grandest term has ended as well with Michael Jackson.

It is not the legend and the myths of Michael Jackson that made him. It is in fact, the plain human being which he was that was exemplary. He loved children and he made no qualms about it. He did everything in spirit to address the needs of children. Heal the World Foundation is the single largest voluntary organization sponsoring the cause of the oppressed children worldwide. Greater than any country on this earth, greater than the United Nations’ duplicitous endeavors and certainly greater than the neoliberal rhetoric by the free market champions – are the contributions of Michael Jackson to making the world a better place – “for you and for me and the entire human race”.

How do you stifle such a man when he is alive? A man who defied the media conventions of masculinity. A man who refused to carry out the gender roles of prescribed American macho cowboy image. A man who played into no racial stereotypes. No black exploitation of his racial image. A refusal to be an essentialist. How does one stifle a man who defies national boundaries? Not a national hero, Michael Jackson would be. The singer poet of the “Earth Song” was a global crusader against neocolonial expansions, who amplified the cause sung in his crying voice:

“What have we done to the world
Look what we’ve done
What about all the peace
That you pledge your only son…
What about flowering fields
Is there a time
What about all the dreams
That you said was yours and mine…
Did you ever stop to notice
All the children dead from war
Did you ever stop to notice
The crying Earth the weeping shores”

How do you stifle this environmentalist? The pacifist? Or the humanist, as exemplified by the immortal poetry of his in “Man in the Mirror”:

“I’ve Been A Victim Of A Selfish
Kind Of Love
It’s Time That I Realize
That There Are Some With No
Home, Not A Nickel To Loan
Could It Be Really Me,
Pretending That They’re Not
Alone?”

How do you stifle the political activist? The supporter of Roosevelt’s socialist policies? The fighter for social justice? In “They don’t really care about us”?

“Tell me what has become of my life
I have a wife and two children who love me
I am the victim of police brutality, now
I’m tired of being the victim of hate
You’re raping me of my pride
Oh, for God’s sake
I look to heaven to fulfill its prophecy…
Set me free

Tell me what has become of my rights
Am I invisible because you ignore me?
Your proclamation promised me free liberty, now
I’m tired of being the victim of shame
They’re throwing me in a class with a bad name
I can’t believe this is the land from which I came
You know I do really hate to say it
The government don’t wanna see
But if Roosevelt was living
He wouldn’t let this be, no, no”

They would do to Michael Jackson what they did to Paul Robeson. When Robeson had become more popular and rewarded abroad as an internationalist fighting for social justice, he was condemned back home in America. His passport was snatched away so he would not be able to perform. The only platform for an artist is an ability to express. Robeson’s expressions were taken out of contexts and the press vigorously mounted an ugly war against him, portrayed him as an enemy of freedom and democracy – the very ideals that Robeson held closest to his heart.

That is how the system kills an artist. The very core of their philosophies is scandalized. In instances of Michael Jackson, his philosophy of life did not revolve around political economy. He had no aspirations to mobilize the masses for revolutions. He was not a fighter against market capitalism. But he had a potent weapon in his hands nevertheless, to transform the world after his vision. Children. For him, children were the past, present and the future. If the world was in a mess it was because of the grown-up militarists. The children were left out of the agendas set by the men. Children were neglected world over. Their rights trampled, their dreams refused to take shape, their imaginations murdered everyday.

Children, Michael Jackson theorized, needed the love and the attention. They were the center of the universe. It was the children for whom Michael Jackson acted in movies, made the music videos, wrote innumerable songs, danced to be imitated, and built the most beloved amusement park in the world. It was not merely about Michael Jackson’s lost childhood. It was about the childhoods that were yet to shape up. It was for the future that Jackson wrote in “Heal the World”:

“We could fly so high
Let our spirits never die
In my heart I feel
You are all my brothers
Create a world with no fear
Together we’ll cry happy tears
See the nations turn
Their swords into plowshares
We could really get there
If you cared enough for the living
Make a little space to make a better place.”

And it was the children they did abuse to get back at Michael Jackson. Trial after trial after trial. Months after months, Michael Jackson defended himself. The mainstream press which he refused to cooperate with, ridiculed him through cartoons and staged demonstrations and judicial overtures. King of Scandals, they called him. Even today, as he is no more, the press headlines Michael Jackson thus.

The scandals never really left him alone. Neither did the millions of loyal fans who despised the media as much as they loved Michael. I grew up learning about Jackson through the sensational press and just like any other admirer of his, I learnt soon to disregard the press reports as fabrications and targeted accusations. It was a constant refusal to believe in the press reports over what they projected democracy and liberty as just as they projected what a monster Michael Jackson was. Like millions of his devoted fans, I have deliberately and proudly refused to go beyond what the man stood for. I have every reason to believe Michael Jackson over the mainstream press reports. Every reason to trust Michael Jackson over the racist judicial system. Every reason to celebrate Michael Jackson over the monopolist music industry whims.

Jackson did not speak much to the press. Like Bob Dylan, he too did not trust them. But unlike Dylan, Jackson did not permit himself to be isolated. Unlike everyone else, Michael Jackson was a black artist owning the license to his own music, producing his own albums, refusing the media an entry into his life, controlling his gender roles, his paternal duties, his marital status, his appearances, his sexualities, his imaginations and their cumulative expressions. Michael Jackson was the artist, everyone of us aspired to be like.

It was necessary that they had to let him die just when he was enthused over his return to the stage this summer. They could not have allowed the return of the legend in the age of the complacent. They could not have left him in peace any place in the world. The mendacious reports and mawkish bullshit manufactured by the press can continue no longer, now that Michael Jackson is no more.

What will remain now on are his immortal songs, his inspiring messages to save the trees and prevent the wars. And most of all, his immense love for the world’s children. A deeply personal love, only he could fathom in “Childhood”:

“People say I’m not okay
‘Cause I love such elementary things…
It’s been my fate to compensate,
for the Childhood
I’ve never known…

Have you seen my Childhood?
I’m searching for that wonder in my youth
Like pirates in adventurous dreams,
Of conquest and kings on the throne…

Before you judge me, try hard to love me,
Look within your heart then ask,
Have you seen my Childhood?”

I shall miss you, my beloved childhood hero. In many ways, its good that you are no more amidst us. Because rest assured, before you are judged again, you shall be only loved now on.