valis on Mon, 17 Nov 1997 14:40:13 +0100 (MET)

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<nettime> Vetting the Mighty Sixth

Thursday night the BBC's regular "Assignment" program took a half-hour's
look at the Sixth Fleet.  Wow!   I'm not sure that the average subtle-as-
a-jackhammer American reporter could have teased such damning admissions
out of the commanding officer, the aptly named Admiral Abbot.  
According to him, his vast killing machine is just a global cop on the beat, 
if not actually a toiling social worker out to pacify testy juvenile scamps.
He and the fleet are dedicated to making the world an even playing field
for free market economics; he actually said that.  With some regularity
his flagship, the Lasalle, hosts eager Calibans of the periphery;
he mentioned, for instance,  some Greek businessmen who were recently
coptered fleetside to watch a mock assault on one of their country's beaches. 
No doubt Abbot is equally passionate about liberating Turkish beaches, 
though this was left to the listener's speculation.

Abbot's irony was all the more hideous for its being, apparently, quite
unconscious; the terrorists and other malcontents who might violently
object to an imposed Maquiladoric architecture in their lands are to be
expected as a statistical fluke, but they will not prevail.
In and out of this Mad Hatter's tea party meandered Glen Miller's music
and numbers from South Pacific, played by the ship's band.
The Mighty Sixth, a floating time warp drunk on its fancied invincibility,
sports a calendar from which 50 years have been deftly subtracted, 
the better to cruise a world lately war-broken and grateful for any small
attention.  However, should the crew return from its next shore leave
liberally sprinkled with some souped-up bacillus, a poor country's nuke
concocted with the sheer desperation of the ever unheard, The Mighty Sixth
could become in a trice a hot zone sealed off by presidential order. 

Have the Iraqis managed to cook up some ghastly viral goulash?  What else
could they do?  What else could anyone do, including numbers of our 
fellow citizens.  The future, as long as it lasts, may have some
literary merit.
                                                        Occupied America  

       -- War is a public works program of ego-conservation --

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