Saturday, May 06, 2006

"Mission Akkomplished"

Ariel Dorfman reprinted on counter punch

I blinked at the words on my screen. I had been trolling the internet, looking for reasons why the US does not celebrate its workers on the same day as the rest of the world, even if the origins of that date happen to be profoundly American: 1 May 1886, when demands for an eight-hour working day by Chicago trade unions (mostly made up of European immigrants) were met by violent police repression. When my search engine turned up an unknown website,, I almost decided not to explore its contents. Of all Americans, the one least likely to be linked to May Day was George W Bush, notoriously uninterested in history or, for that matter, the working class. [...]

It is hard to believe that an incompetence so drastic and so persistent is not deliberate. It's crazy, I know, but George W Bush has acted as if he had indeed received secret instructions many years ago to ruin his land and lay low the American empire, make sure that, no matter what happened to the Soviet Union, it would not be the United States that would inherit the earth. Hard to believe and yet, I must confess . . .

I made it all up. The eccentric web- site. Its mysterious disappearance. The riotous accusations. All of it invented by me as a way of using that May Day landing on the deck of the Abraham Lincoln three years ago to ask ourselves what George W Bush has done to America, where has his mission finally landed us all?

It turns out that, despite all his efforts, the mission is far from accomplished. Just look at those millions of undocumented men and women who advanced through the avenues of Lincoln's country on this 1 May 2006, marching through its hopes and through its fears. Look at them, risking everything, crossing deserts and dodging bullets, exploited by bosses and discriminated against by vigilantes, just to be part of the American dream.

It's time to recognize that hidden truth: those illegal workers marching along the avenues and into the memory of America believe more in the promise of the United States than its president does. They are doing more, day and night, to keep their adopted country running and alive than the man who is not, of course, a KGB agent but, sadly for his fellow countrymen, continues to act more and more like one with every passing day. (read the entire article)


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