Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Apocalypse Diverted?

A Wounded Elaine Dang is led out of Nairobi mall (Reuters)

The Nairobi Thing seemed to come out of nowhere, and suddenly it was all over the "news" and being flogged mercilessly (in a manner of speaking) to "mean" something or another (at first, it was flogged as a "mass shooting" then as a "terrorist attack" then as "an act of war," and we'd better get ready, because just this sort of thing could happen here, right here In the Homeland, at any minute.)

Yes, it could. We're sitting ducks, every one of us, and it is a wonder it hasn't happened already. Er... maybe it already happened, it was just routine...

Why the holy hell didn't the Panopticon pick up on it -- or any of the recent mass shootings -- is one of the many wonders of the modern age.

Of course that's not what the Panopticon is for. It's never going to pick up on potential mass shootings or domestic or foreign terrorist actions against the common people for the simple reason that the Panopticon exists to surveille and assess the common herd for threats to the High and the Mighty. The rest of us are not being surveilled and categorized and classified for the purpose of preventing mass shootings and terrorist attacks against us. Our Rulers long since accepted those as useful tactics -- along with many other cruel and unusual tactics typically involving the arbitrary imposition of authority -- to keep the Rabble in line.

The Nairobi Thing is useful in much the same way. The stark horror of the attack, in a shopping mall for cripes sake, is a universal. The fact that the shopping mall was in Nairobi rather than Neosho makes it even worse. It is obvious that the Westgate Shopping Mall is essentially identical to every other consumer paradise, and it was apparently full to bursting with Kenya's Best and Brightest out for an afternoon of relaxation and shopping joy. This is what life is all about, isn't it?

I've heard tell that a famous Ghanaian poet, a British architect and his girlfriend, and the nephew of the Kenyan President and his pregnant girlfriend were among those killed in the massacre, along with many others. A teacher who was well-known and said to be beloved in New Mexico's Navajoland was wounded. Elaine Dang is also connected to UC Berkeley and , San Diego, CA. There are so many connections, some of them surprising, with so many places and people around the world, even such out of the way locations as Crownpoint. Apparently, a list of six(?) Americans involved in the attack was read off by the gunmen during the operation. Americans! Think of it! Apparently, they were Somalis from Minneapolis, the very definition of the American Heartland -- which the Somali connection makes. A British woman was also listed among the attackers. British? OMG!

What's going on?

According to official reports the attack on the Westgate Mall in Nairobi was in revenge for Kenya's crackdown on Somali militants who are active in both Kenya and Somalia, a crackdown which apparently is quite bloody and indiscriminate. I don't know much about it, except that Somalia-Kenya tensions have been running high for quite some time. Kenya is apparently becoming highly neo-liberalized (thus the Westgate Mall, fergawdsake) while neighboring Somalia is Warlord Country. The Alshabaab outfit has apparently been trying to create an Islamist Emirate amid the rubble, whereas "the world" -- as in the neo-liberals -- has been doing whatever is necessary to prevent it. Thus Kenya has taken a leading role to suppress and in some cases exterminate the Alshabaab insurrectionists wherever they are found. Thus, it's War, don't you see.

And yet it was initially reported as another "mass shooting," this time in Nairobi, but involving people from all over the western world.

All by itself, that seemed odd in the extreme. Only somewhat later did the Alshabaab connection come to the fore. And now it seems that Alshabaab has suddenly become a global terrorist threat. How these stories evolve is one of the fascinating aspects of modern propaganda media. But that's another issue for another day.

The question for the moment is how this attack will be used to impose and enforce ever more restrictive policies on the everyone, for the benefit of Our Rulers -- who never let an opportunity like this go to waste.

The Four Horsemen never rest, do they?

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