Sunday, April 10, 2011

The Arabs and the Imperialist Manifesto

Since every scribe is telling it,
it is best that we tell the truth ourselves.
So here is how it is:

Saudi Arabia

You know that we know that you
bankroll terrorism, that fifteen of the nineteen
who knocked down our towers
were Saudis, all Sunnis to boot,
that you run torture chambers
to which our own Guantanamo
is no more than a wimp,
that your women exist only in name,
that nothing is further from your
political kitty than democracy,
that dissent in your country is a one-way
ticket to disappearance and mortality,
that you run Mecca in Spartan white
of simplicity and renunciation,
but serve in gold plates the least oblation—
all that and more we know,
but we also know that you have oil
more than any;
and that our need for guzzling the same
gives America its name.

Be thou secure then from what rhetoric
we unleash about terrorism, democracy,
human rights upon imbecile nations
whose ripostes may be rational and kosher
but, being non-oilsome, live out
of god’s and Imperialisms’ favour.
Then it is no small thing that on your
sacred soil you let our jackboots
perform their ordained toil.


You stood by us, and kept both
Hamas and democracy at bay,
protecting the Zionists and the promised land,
but, having no oil, it was best
that we notched a favour with
the millions who screamed ‘down
with dictatorship; give us democracy.’

Thus we prove that given the circumstance
we may have the cake and eat it too.


Is it a small matter that our fifth fleet
finds such welcome digs
in your waters and on your land?
Or that your Sunni despotism
keeps the Shia hordes of your populace
in their proper place?

That being the case, what is their revolt
for democracy and freedom
but sheer anarchism,
threatening to widen its insane dance
in an embrace with the Shia recalcitrant Iran?

Thus Hamas and Ahmedinijad
may be their people’s choice,
but what is there to rejoice
in electoral mandates
if they do not favour the United States?

So, O the bulldozer of Bahrain,
bolstered by conscientious Saudi tanks,
you belong to our puissant ranks.


Same goes for thee;
poor, mangled, and miserable
your people may be,
any despotism is better
than a people’s outcry if an Al Qaeda
is waiting by.


You may be secular to the bone,
O Baathist modernists,
your women may breathe freedom,
you may have, like the old Saddam,
held your country together
against schism and sectarian mayhem,
we know how you remain suspicious
both of Israel and of us.

We know how you dare to keep alive
your links with Hezbollah and Iran.
We know how you aspire to take back
Your own lost Golan.

Such sentiments despoil your modernity,
and justify the unleashing of democracy
within your climes.

Thus for thee the bell chimes.


So what if you had no hand in 9/11?
So what if our own Saudis
spawned those men?

Your crimes are beyond the pale—
you are Shia, and you fear not
the Imperialist dragon’s tail.

The Saudi’s may be the Wahabis
who feed a Pakistan, an Afghanistan,
who banish music, merriment, books,
who torch mosques, churches, temples,
schools, and relegate to the farthest nooks
laughter and women, who contravene
every article of faith on which
the Americas began,
they are not the fundamentalists whom
we fear; indeed, we hold them dear.

It is you, who may have a Persain history
replete with poetry, philosophy, speculation,
and other gems of humanist creation,
who are the fundamentalists of menace extreme,
because you have the cheek to pursue that dream
of independent existence and national culture,
who call the vulture what it is—vulture.

You we will pursue and hunt
till the Saudis are fully content
that Fukuyama will never knock at
their door; that history may end
elsewhere, but not where our own
Sheikhs and Mullahs contend.


Gaddafi, O Gadaffi, we know you
did many good things by your people;
we also know that for four long
years you stood by us, in nuclear
dismemberment and in oil,
but, alas, we had to do what we did
for two reasons: one, to take
the world’s mind away from Arab
troubles, and to win some battle
while Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan
we fail to settle, however we may
bomb and blast, however our generals
yap yap and dress in fine fettle.

We knew that Idris, whom you dethroned
in 1969, had his loyal tribes in the east
of your realm; thus it was proper that
we sold tribal mayhem as call
for democracy, so that once dethroned,
the Russians and others no longer got to see
a drop of your oil which should all ours be.


Thus, O beloved Arabs, understand
once and for all:
dictatorship, monarchy, or democracy,
these are handmaidens that remain on call.
It all depends on how our cookie crumbles;
We do not give a shit
who speaks reason, or justice, rights
or reformations, who approves or grumbles.

We will decry fundamentalism when it
makes of us an enemy;
and we will call it democracy
if it says “let that be which suits
Wall Street, Pentagon, and the GOP.

Badri Raina

1 comment:

വര്‍ക്കേഴ്സ് ഫോറം said...

Since every scribe is telling it,
it is best that we tell the truth ourselves.
So here is how it is: