America’s conscience was shocked and awed by the trauma undergone by Ahmed Mohamed, a tinkering teenager who brought a clock he made to school, when he was arrested for the comfort of a white community who racially coded him as a terrorist due to the propaganda of perpetual war that has so blinded them. Commentators have rightly noted the irony of punishing an inquisitive and brilliant student for being an inquisitive and brilliant student, pointing out that we seem to feel threatened by the Other assimilating to the values of technical intellectualism that we herald but which in whites seem to have become surpassed by a love for consuming rather than creating.
The greater irony is that we recoil from the illusionary threat of a boy and his “bomb”, when if it were true, it would only go to show that he embraces our cultural love affair with the bomb. The love affair of course began from an arranged marriage set up by the corporate war profiteers and our political leaders in search of a grand American purpose, lest we turn inwards in the sort of Socratic questioning that would cause us to question why we should leave so many Americans to suffer in inexcusable poverty (Census data released last week shows that 46.7 million people live in poverty in the United States, wages for the bottom 90% are stagnant, while the only sign of an economic recovery since the recession is in the gains of the top 10% of earners) while the Power Elite, the oligarchs, grow filthy rich off the billions of dollars spent on bombs that murder the impoverished of other countries. “The bombs in Vietnam explode at home”, said Dr. King.
After analysts leaked that their conclusions for intelligence papers from Central Command were being altered by superiors, perhaps going as high as Major General Grove after intimidation from director of national intelligence James Clapper, which painted a more positive picture of the operation in Syria than was warranted, General Lloyd Austin admitted in front of the Senate armed services committee that despite the $500 million spent on training and arming Syrians to fight ISIS, only four or five Syrians were currently fighting. The committee roundly trounced the operation as a failure and President Obama was quick to note that he was not responsible because he had not liked the idea from the beginning, ostensibly because it was outside his war platform of blanketing the Middle East with drone strikes. Never mind that the unaltered intelligence reports suggest that the drone strike campaign has largely failed to reclaim territory taken by ISIS. The American way is to bomb.