The Unz Review - Mobile
A Collection of Interesting, Important, and Controversial Perspectives Largely Excluded from the American Mainstream Media
 BlogviewTom Engelhardt Archive
John Feffer: The Real Disuniting of America
🔊 Listen RSS
Email This Page to Someone

 Remember My Information



=>

Bookmark Toggle AllToCAdd to LibraryRemove from Library • BShow CommentNext New CommentNext New Reply
Search Text Case Sensitive  Exact Words  Include Comments
List of Bookmarks

Stop thinking of this country as the sole superpower or the indispensable nation on Earth and start reimagining it as the great fracturer, the exceptional smasher, the indispensable fragmenter. Its wars of the twenty-first century are starting to come home big time — home being not just this particular country (though that’s true, too) but this planet. Though hardly alone, the U.S. is, for the moment, the most exceptional home-destroyer around and its president is now not just the commander-in-chief but the home-smasher-in-chief.

Just this week, for instance, home smashing was in the headlines. After all, the Islamic State’s “capital,” the city of Raqqa, was “liberated.” We won! The U.S. and the forces it backed in Syria were finally victorious and the brutal Islamic State (a home-smashing movement that emerged from an American military prison in Iraq) was finally driven from that city (almost!). And oh yes, according to witnesses, the former city of 300,000 lies abandoned with hardly a building left undamaged, unbroken, unsmashed. Over these last months, the American bombing campaign against Raqqa and the artillery support that went with it reportedly killed more than 1,000 civilians and turned significant parts of the city into rubble — and what that didn’t do, ISIS bombs and other munitions did. (According to estimates, they could take years to find and remove.) And Raqqa is just the latest Middle Eastern city to be smashed more or less to bits.

And since the splintering of the planet is the TomDispatch subject of the day, what about the recent Austrian election, fought out and won by right-wing “populists” on the basis of anti-refugee sentiments and Islamophobia? Where exactly did such sentiments come from? You know perfectly well: from America’s war on terror and the much-vaunted “precision warfare” (smart bombs and the rest) that continues to fracture a vast swath of the planet from Afghanistan to Libya and beyond. In the Greater Middle East and Africa, people by the tens of millions, including staggering numbers of children, have been uprooted and displaced, their homes destroyed, their cities and towns devastated, sending survivors fleeing across national borders as refugees in numbers that haven’t been seen since a significant part of the planet was leveled in World War II. In this way, America’s 16-year-old war on terror has been a genuine force for terror, and so for the kind of resentment and fear that’s now helping to crack open a recently united Europe (and in the United States helped elect… well, you know just who).

And that’s only a small introduction to the largely unexplored American role in the fracturing of this planet. Don’t even get me started on our president and climate change!

ORDER IT NOW

As it happens, the fellow who brought the nature of this splintering home to me was TomDispatch regular John Feffer, who in early 2015 began writing for this website what became his remarkable dystopian novel Splinterlands. In it, he imagined our shattered planet in 2050 so vividly that it’s stayed with me ever since — and evidently with him, too, because today he considers just how quickly the splintering process he imagined has been occurring not in his fictional version of our world, but in the all-too-real one.

(Republished from TomDispatch by permission of author or representative)
 
Hide 6 CommentsLeave a Comment
Commenters to Ignore...to FollowEndorsed Only
    []
  1. Jim says:

    What utter nonsense. Throughout history rapid demographic change has always lead to conflict. Western civilization and Islam have been in frequently bloody conflict for 1400 years and “Islamophobia” has been present both in the West and in Hindu India for many, many centuries. Admitting large numbers of Moslem immigrants to Europe has been a catastrophic mistake. It is clear now that Eastern Europe will not be Islamized and to the extent that Western Europe is Islamized the result will be bloody conflict between Eastern and Western Europe. A country like Germany will be ripped apart.

    Read More
    • Replies: @RadicalCenter
    Clicking the button for "Sadly Agree."
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
    AgreeDisagreeLOLTroll
    These buttons register your public Agreement, Disagreement, Troll, or LOL with the selected comment. They are ONLY available to recent, frequent commenters who have saved their Name+Email using the 'Remember My Information' checkbox, and may also ONLY be used once per hour.
    Ignore Commenter Follow Commenter
    Sharing Comment via Twitter
    /tengelhardt/john-feffer-the-real-disuniting-of-america/#comment-2054820
    More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  2. Raqqa had to be obliterated, lest it become another Mosul, which we have heralded as ‘recaptured’ several times in the past decade or so. The point is to leave nothing for al Ciada 4.0 to take when it inevitably emerges.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  3. Don’t get squishy on us, John. We fight them there because we invite them here.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  4. If we lose the state in a fourth great shattering, we will lose an important part of ourselves as well: our very humanity.

    In many respects the “state”, USA that is, is already lost. What we had until the 1950s was an ongoing mythology known as America; an agreed upon, ongoing concern known abroad for its popular music, for Hollywood, for a thriving middle class, a healthy working-class and a supplier of goods and services to the world, envy of all. Well, we shot a few holes in Myth America!

    First to go was the music: replaced by Bubblegum; downhill from there. Tin Pan Alley is now dumpster heaven. The middle class now resides in Beijing with largess delivered to our Dollar emporiums (not seen here since the Great Depression). Noticeable gaps in the starving malls once housed record stores and book shops; remember them?

    The final blow has landed on the movie houses across the land. Near empty, struggling. Even in the depths of the 30′s, movie house were full. But then, “No myth:No nation”. No more.

    https://robertmagill.wordpress.com/2017/10/14/mankind-a-bogus-species/

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  5. vx37 says:

    Most of the people invading Europe aren’t “refugees.” A major tip-off is the fact that there are very few women and children among them. Most aren’t from war-torn countries, they’re just from ordinary third-world dung heaps. They’d come to Europe for money and pussy no matter what is going on in their sewers back home. They’re racist colonialists there to exploit the natives at the invitation of traitors and older occupiers. Ultimately they’re there because their victims won’t fight. Bottom line: they’re there because native traitors and foreign racists who have power invited them there. What’s happening back in there home toilets has little to do with it. The Soviet Union and East Germany were never under threat of third-world invasion during the decades when they stirred up crap all over the world.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  6. @Jim
    What utter nonsense. Throughout history rapid demographic change has always lead to conflict. Western civilization and Islam have been in frequently bloody conflict for 1400 years and "Islamophobia" has been present both in the West and in Hindu India for many, many centuries. Admitting large numbers of Moslem immigrants to Europe has been a catastrophic mistake. It is clear now that Eastern Europe will not be Islamized and to the extent that Western Europe is Islamized the result will be bloody conflict between Eastern and Western Europe. A country like Germany will be ripped apart.

    Clicking the button for “Sadly Agree.”

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
Current Commenter says:

Leave a Reply - Comments on articles more than two weeks old will be judged much more strictly on quality and tone


 Remember My InformationWhy?
 Email Replies to my Comment
Submitted comments become the property of The Unz Review and may be republished elsewhere at the sole discretion of the latter
Subscribe to This Comment Thread via RSS Subscribe to All Tom Engelhardt Comments via RSS
Personal Classics
Eight Exceptional(ly Dumb) American Achievements of the Twenty-First Century
How the Security State’s Mania for Secrecy Will Create You
Delusional Thinking in the Age of the Single Superpower