By Christopher Ketcham
November 25, 2016 "Information Clearing House" - "Counterpunch" - I received the following note in the wake of an op-ed I recently published at the Daily Beast called “Anarchist for Trump: Time For Liberals To See America As It Really Is.”
“As a Middle-Eastern American,” it began, “I just wanted to thank you for your [article.] I first became politically aware while I was in the army during 9/11 and our country’s response to it. I felt like a living contradiction, being one of the ‘heroes’ as a soldier and a villain as a Middle Eastern person.” The writer was an Iranian-American dual citizen named Bijan Sharifi, who was an infantryman in the U.S. Army and who now teaches art in a youth prison in Ohio. He remarked how disgusted he was “at our country’s behavior internationally” and how he had voted for Obama in 2008, partly “because I knew Clinton would continue the policies of Bush.”
But a funny thing happened in the wake of the election. First, there was his own “complete disillusionment” with the new president, as Sharifi puts it: “Obama continued the same policies in the Middle East and spying at home.” Then came a greater disappointment, one which turned out to be a common enough experience during the Obama years. “My white liberal friends were with me when it was against Bush,” said Sharifi, “but their rhetoric quickly changed with Obama. Even my black friends weren’t trying to hear any criticism of Obama’s imperialism. Now all my white liberal friends want to ‘stand in solidarity’ with me?”
“I resent the hell out of them and their protests,” continued Sharifi. “They’re partisans trying to disguise themselves as social justice warriors. Obama detained and deported Latinos in record numbers in for-profit detention centers. Spied on Muslim-Americans here and bombed innocent Muslims over there. We shame Donald Trump for saying he wants to kill terrorist’s families, but give Obama a pass when he drone strikes an entire extended family at a wedding party out of existence? Fuck that. Fuck Obama, fuck Clinton.” And, in a final parting blow before signing off: “Fuck white liberals and their meaningless protests.”
Amen. I immediately wrote Sharifi back to start a conversation. Mainly I wanted to commiserate over the moral bankruptcy of liberalism in its politically-correct identity-politics form. With liberals, we agreed, it is more acceptable to take bread from, and drop bombs on, brown children than it is to utter bigoted rhetoric. The liberal will tell you it’s more racist to make stupid proclamations about Muslims in America than it is to be a chief architect of their demise overseas (Clinton uses ‘inclusive’ language at home, which apparently is all that matters to the liberal). Trump says a racist thing at a rally during the campaign — “There’s my African American” – and the media is aghast, while Clinton supports African regimes that conscript children soldiers “no older than 16 years old” and years ago took to the stump for her husband to declare African-American children the mythic “superpredators” in support of a bill that put them into cages by the millions. Why is it that in the identity politics of the Left it’s despicable to step out of line with language but perfectly acceptable to inflict tangible, material harm to minorities on a national and international scale?
As my friend Travis Kelly tells me, “Two million Muslims/Arabs killed in the ‘War on Terror’ – two million BROWN people, not to mention all the maimed, widowed, orphaned, homeless and impoverished. These horrors don’t even register on the radar of the prissily politically correct, so obsessed with their own WESTERN WHITE privilege that transgender bathroom privileges trump [emphasis his!] 2000 children blown to bits in Gaza.”
Perhaps the PC folks will celebrate the glorious day when a transgender runs the CIA and oversees our torture programs.
“Social justice is broken in this country,” Sharifi told me. “There is no social justice without economic justice and peace. Hillary Clinton offered gay rights and pro choice platitudes” – while burning those brown kids to bones and ashes. And always she has pursued the economic interests of her masters among the 1 Percent.
When I caught up with Sharifi, he was preparing a speech for an anti-Trump rally in Columbus. It was, to put it lightly, contrarian. He sent me his notes.
“This Middle Eastern American from a Muslim family is glad trump won,” the speech opens. “Fucking rich white moderate liberal social justice warriors can throw their fucking bullshit safety pins in the trash until they are really willing to take a hard fucking look in the mirror. These motherfuckers are screaming about trigger words and safe spaces here in America while completely ignoring the literal triggers people in the Middle East have to deal with everyday and the fact that Obama’s drone strikes have erased any semblance of a safe space in the minds of little Middle Eastern boys and girls. I’ll ask any of these so-called social justice protesters this: where the fuck has your outrage been?”
His speech ends with an argument I’ve long made in support of a Trump White House: “At least Americans know who the enemy is now. Obama and Clinton had everyone hoodwinked, and that is why I’m glad Trump won. All in all, liberals sold themselves out in this election by supporting a fraud. Until liberals are willing to confront the failed policies of their candidates, they aren’t standing in solidarity with anything, and they aren’t a social justice movement. They are just crybaby partisans.”