Does anyone (other than me) ever wonder what the USA (and the world) would be like if the 260 billion dollars given in aid to Israel over the years were spent in the USA rather than buying armaments and defense for Israel, which is in the Middle East?
News of the actuality of the USA has been totally suppressed in Western media. Fortunately, Al Jazeera”s Belen Fernandez on October 8, 2023 examined the state of affairs, opening the flood gates. What’s behind the Washington, DC murder spike? On track to clock its deadliest year in more than two decades, Washington, DC is a fitting microcosm of the general state of emergency in the US.
Fernandez begins with the frightening statistics. Then she segues into to the reality of racism.
“According to preliminary data for 2023 from Washington, DC’s Metropolitan Police Department, a total of 214 homicides had been committed in the metropolis as of September 29, constituting a 37 percent increase over last year. This is the first time in a quarter-century that Washington’s homicide count has exceeded 200 before October. As usual, the bulk of this year’s homicides have taken place in Washington’s poorer neighbourhoods, which, in keeping with the system of racist classism that passes for democracy in the US, also happen to be the city’s Blacker neighbourhoods.”
Her language is so powerful: “the system of racist classism that passes for democracy in the US, also happens to be in the City’s Blacker neighborhoods. Fernandez speaks of the multiple helpless victims of senseless violence, then begins this analysis.
“But why the spike in killings in the nation’s capital when various other major US cities are experiencing a post-pandemic decline in the homicide rate? In addition, the gentrification that has come to define the Washington, DC area is a sinister form of racism cast as development. And what do you know? As the sociologist Tanya Golash-Boza, author of, Before Gentrification: The Creation of DC’s Racial Wealth Gap, recently commented to me, “DC neighbourhoods that are undergoing gentrification and have high levels of inequality are hotspots for homicides today.”Remarking on Washington’s previous stint as the country’s murder capital in the late 1980s and early 1990s, Golash-Boza attributed the high homicide rates in those years to “disinvestment in Black communities” as well as the “availability of handguns” and the “particularities of the developing market for crack cocaine”. As any student of the crack epidemic knows, the powers that be in the US consciously utilised the drug to subjugate Black communities.
She speaks of the so-called solution, being touch-on-crime.
“The tough-on-crime approach also helpfully distracts from the fact that life for a whole lot of people in the US is about being antagonised at every turn by a government that denies them opportunities and basic rights, from healthcare and education to housing and nutrition. In the end, of course, humans can’t all be equal under capitalism – since equality would defeat the whole purpose.”
What if that 287 billion had been spent in the Black communities in Washington. Providing them with opportunities and basic rights from health care and education to housing and nutrition. But NO – the USA was handing over the money to Israel to subjugate and slaughter Muslim Palestinians. Leave us not forget, that Palestinians are Muslims.
Fernandez speaks of multiple times that the National Guard and other US militia have been called into cities, called ‘war zones’. But then deflects the convenient blaming the victim technique.
But when you’ve got a whole lot of people with nothing to lose inhabiting a landscape saturated with firearms, it should be no surprise when a “war zone” results.
Fernandez ends powerfully “As Washington, DC remains on track to clock its deadliest year in more than two decades, it is a fitting microcosm of a general state of emergency in the US, where the systemic devotion to racist capitalism trumps the professed right to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness”. And as the bodies continue to pile up, it’s time we talked more about whose war this really is.”
I shall repeat her words: This microcosm in the USA where racist capitalism traps the professed right to “life liberty and the pursuit of happiness” the bodies continue to pile up.
There is the usual disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Al Jazeera’s editorial stance. Do not forget that Al Jazeera prints this Opinion – never would it see the light of day in the Western press. This article would never see the light of day would it not be for Qatar’s contribution to free press and freely expressed Opinions.
Fernandez has also written an amazing expose of corruption in the USA, also published in Al Jazeera. .
“On September 22, influential United States Senator Bob Menendez was indicted on corruption charges along with his wife, Nadine. It is the second time Menendez, the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, has faced such charges. As per the indictment from the US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, Menendez and his wife received hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes from three New Jersey businessmen in the form of gold, cash, a luxury vehicle and assorted other goodies. In exchange, the Democrat from New Jersey allegedly used his position of power to benefit the three businessmen as well as the government of Egypt, the home country of one of the men in question. As the old saying goes, power tends to corrupt.”
“According to US mythology, of course, corruption is entirely the business of other, less civilised nations – particularly enemies of the US – that lack the proper commitment to democracy, the rule of law, and all that nice and noble stuff.But here’s a news flash for those sectors of the domestic audience scandalised by the Menendez revelations: Corruption is about as American as apple pie. (And a related newsflash: Menendez or no Menendez, the US has spent decades flinging billions of dollars at Egypt’s repressive apparatus – which should constitute a scandal in itself.)”
Fernandez has excellent command of the English language: “Corruption is about as evil as American pie.” She continues with examples of American corruption in the highest circles.
“To be sure, Menendez is hardly the only bad apple in this pie. Take Clarence Thomas, the US Supreme Court justice whose corrupt exploits have been thoroughly investigated by the New York-based nonprofit ProPublica. One recent ProPublica report notes that, “like clockwork, Thomas’ leisure activities have been underwritten by benefactors who share the ideology that drives his jurisprudence”.
“In September, ProPublica revealed that Thomas had secretly participated in donor summits for the Koch network, founded by the billionaire Koch brothers and devoted to driving US policy ever more to the right. And what do you know? The Koch strategy includes bringing cases before the very court on which Thomas sits to impact US law.” So much for that silly old concept of “conflict of interest”. At the end of the day, though, Thomas’s antics are merely of a piece with US capitalism, which is predicated on maintaining a tyranny of the elite under the guise of democracy. In other words, it’s about as corrupt a system as you can get.”
You are about to hear another example of the powerful language Fernandez evokes.
That anyone can still apply the term “democracy” to the US with a straight face is, meanwhile, a testament to the corruption of language itself. After all, you can’t very well have “rule by the people” in a country where the Supreme Court reverses campaign finance restrictions and political influence is transparently up for sale.”
Other offenders are listed: Samuel Alioto, Ken Paxton, and, of course, Trump. She ends, taking words from the dictionary (Who else does that?)
“Further down the dictionary entry is another option consisting of just two words: “decay, decomposition”. And as US officials get away with all manner of bribery scandals and the frenetic injection of right-wing money into politics sustains a brutal plutocracy, the whole scene does indeed reek of decay.
Decay and decomposition does spell out the USA. Most people in most of the countries of the world are mourning the death and destruction occurring in Palestine at this time. But of what of the victims of the death and destruction in Washington, D.C., the capital of the USA? Their sacrifices are totally and completely unrecognized.
I was educated and employed in the USA. Earned a law degree, after my retirement from the County of Marin (California) studied at Dominican University in San Rafael, earning a Masters in Humanities. Why did I leave the USA? I ‘inconveniently’ became a Muslim and was systematically discriminated against. Not some casual purveyor of hate but the Central Marin Police, and the very courts I served, was unable to find representation, moreoever, a statutory system which allowed eviction without due process of law. I am so thankful for those wrongs levied against me. Why? I am here now, in Saudi Arabia, free to mourn the atrocities and deaths in Palestine. I am also free to mourn the deaths and destruction in the USA as I have access to the truth and knowledge of the massive evil marching through the corridors of power in the USA.
I foolishly thought that my birth country, Canada offered respite. But residency there provided an opportunity to see, (up close) that ‘democracy’ was a joke there as well, corruption and ignorance reigned. Proof was revealed when Canada joined forces with the USA supporting the Israel.
Am I happy I am here in Medinah yesterday and today. I guess so! Many setbacks, a loss of power (literally and figuratively). Who came to my rescue? Saudi women!! Peace of mind and solutions provided by a Manager in this Saudi run Olerio Hotel. She has been an employee for seven years, began in Reception and climbed up the ladder. I doubt that she will face the glass ceiling that her USA counterparts find. I had awoken in despair, found myself unable to fast as intended. Prayed, asking for guidance. Slowly, step by step, peace came, knowing I was to write as a means of worship, not fast as fasting saps my energy entirely. Secluded in my room, writing. Suddenly and abruptly, there was no wifi, and absolute essential. In horror called Reception.
Me: Help!!! I have no WiFi.
She: We will send someone from I.T, Madam.
I was, at this time, WhatsApping AK. I was having huge difficulty with my phone. Me: My phone says I owe a balance, how do I pay it? He: I will charge it for you now. Me: Now I love you!! I was trying to call someone very important when it cut off. He: Oops. Me: I know it sounds weird but I think that Allah was saying not to call her. Me: But now the WiFi in the room is not working. Called and they said a IT guy is coming. Me: The IT guy was a woman. Amazing everything is going to be OK. He: Wow! Good for her. Me: Phew!! I was SO happy it was a woman. I LOVE Saudi women!!!
The Saudi IT woman and I spoke at length, learned she attended school here in Medinah. She was so competent and reassuring. We spoke of seeing one another again, after I begin living in Saudi Arabia.
I have an incredible support system in Saudi Arabia, the likes of which I have never seen in my lifetime. My vast army of supporters are so different from me in every way – but we have one thing in common – our love of Allah (SWT) and the belief that Mohammed (PBUH) is His Messenger. This sustains us in these days when destruction rains down on Gaza. Destruction and havoc also reigns down on the USA. There is no comfort to be found there.
One photo requires explanation. I cannot recall the exact year or the amount but it during WWII, King Farouk of Egypt gifted the USA with millions and millions of dollars to assist their war effort. In the foreground a high USA official is weeping in relief. This photo was given to me by a Manager in this hotel. . Knowledge of history is so fundamentally important. The irony of it all. Look to and remember Fernandez’s factual account of the situation today. ((And a related newsflash: Menendez or no Menendez, the US has spent decades flinging billions of dollars at Egypt’s repressive apparatus – which should constitute a scandal in itself.)”
The remaining photos are not historical. A page from the children’s book illustrating the right foot and the dua to be repeated on entrance. Another of me and Grandson (NIG). He approved of the nickname, our funny conversation will be revealed at a later time.