It is time to laugh. I am not bluffing. I am neither cold nor heartless. After the terrorists attack on Parisians, it is clearly not a tragedy that we’re witnessing but an absolute farce. It is time to laugh at the U.S. government. It is time to laugh at the leaders of Europe. It is time to laugh at the global order that has concocted this enemy in our image.
Is anyone at all surprised at what occurred? Since the end of World War II, no region on Earth, besides Latin America, has been more thoroughly plundered, exploited, ravaged than the Middle East. The post-9/11 U.S. has not learned one lesson from the terrorist attacks fourteen years ago.
How many thinkers and writers and activists from Noam Chomsky, Edward Said, Howard Zinn, Slavoj Zizek, Naomi Klein, and countless others have as thoroughly demonstrated how the foreign policy of the U.S. and other Western powers have so thoroughly bungled and botched the populations of the Middle East? So destructive and broken is the region, men and women are driven into a fundamentalist ideology in the absence of justice and order.
It is time to laugh at the xenophobes blaming the attacks on Syrian refugees. It is time to laugh at the monstrosity of our drone programs. It is time to laugh at the cheap nationalism of flag-waving. It is time to laugh at the pomposity of peace symbols.
This is not a beginning or an ending. This is repetition, a refrain, an event that has become so common it is now a spectacle for media and viewers to bathe in the shallow sentiment of people singing national anthems, of someone playing “Imagine” on piano.
The blood of the dead will not wash off with the cheap solidarity that springs from the day after, nor will it wash off with the death or apprehension of the cowards who committed these crimes. Those innocent men and women died in Paris because of the decisions our elected officials have, and continue to make—in our name.
This terrorist attack has only deepened the spiral of violence further, and will only embolden the hegemony in power to attack more viciously than before, to wage more violence in the name of peace and justice—as if there was any justice to be found in the muzzle of a rifle or in the warhead of a missile?
It is time to laugh because we can no longer pretend to be naive.
If what happened in Paris is a beginning, it should begin with the reckoning of our past in the violent events of the present.
It is time to laugh at the fear that keeps us quiet.