Wicked Leaks

A Cannibal Culture Autopsy

No matter how well you might think you know the territory, if you walk into a dark room without flipping on the light switch then you’re quite likely to bang your head against the bed post or step onto some sharp unpleasantries. Yet often we proceed to do just that: not bother to flip on the intelligence and instead resort to the use of imagination to navigate the landscape of life. Invariably this is a recipe for a rude awakening or what is more frequently the case, a reason to hit the snooze button. In our day to day encounters with the world we come into contact with people and must present ourselves, but if we don’t know who we are then who is the person we present? It’s the false ego. The false ego is doomed for constant challenges because it goes against the grain of reality. So when information contrary to the false ego clobbers us over the head, we can do two things: realize that we’re in the dark and look for the light source, or send the object linked with the pain out the window – in other words, we can try and fail to shape reality according to our whims. In such way we haphazard into great misery because what we think is merely a flung object sometimes turns out to be a person, and instead of sending him out the window the United States military puts a bullet through his head.

Consider this scenario: An email message appears in your inbox with the subject, “Steve Reynolds tagged a photo of you on Facebook.” You take a deep breath only to discover that your friends Billy and Holly commented on the tagged photos before you even had the chance to review them. You log into the Facebook, click on the crimson notification box, and follow the photo link. Slowly the image loads. Damn it! Just what you had been afraid of seeing: an amateur photographer snapping shots at the wrong moments and in an awkward lighting. I don’t really have the double chin, you think to yourself. And why do the camera flashes have the annoying habit of adding extra volume in all the wrong places? I’m only a quarter Jew, not an Orthodox. In the comment box you start writing, “Jesus… Thank GOD we are souls within a material body,” but on a second thought you place the cursor over the “remove tag” link and click, letting out a deep sigh of relief while simultaneously hoping and praying that none of your three hundred and sixty seven friends noticed the photo in their activity stream, particularly that one friend whose attention you wish to attract.

Sounds familiar? If you can’t quite relate, then perhaps you have noticed the photo fudging phenomena while browsing your friend’s Facebook profile albums. A classic sign of fudging is the raging trend among the ladies to press the lips together and then push them out, in a way reminiscent of Paris Hilton or the socio-economic elite class who can afford lip implants. The fudge is then traditionally sauced up with unusually wide eyes and a carefully angled cheekbone, positioned to present the preferred side of the face. Depending on your particular situation, fat girls shoot their photos from above and crop at the neck to avoid unsightly traces of their midnight love affairs with the refrigerator. Fat boys show their photos from five years ago or from afar, and if they’ve lost all decency then you’ll see them sitting in front of a greasy steak or gripping a pint of brewsky to illustrate a story along the lines of, “I may be fat and unwholesome, but at least I know how to have a good time. Go Cowboys!” The physically unattractive bodied people who are loaded with money will wear designer clothing while sitting in a Mercedes Benz or whichever vehicle they associate with strength, beauty, and vigor. If you doubt, just take a look and observe for yourself these strange days when breasts aren’t for feeding infants any longer. If you got ’em and you know it, all of your friends will know it too. The better friends will comment how much they’d like to have sex with you. In exchange you will thank them and out of politeness return the favor, even if their body induces you to vomit.

These observations are not meant to be out of condemnation or praise. If they seem uncharitable and cruel to the people and their struggles, it’s only due to the fact that an overwhelming majority of the people are in the dark and subscribe to a materialistic concept of life. A person who identifies with the body automatically makes the foolish choice of being judged in terms of the body. Since the body is irrevocably destined to suffer the ravages of old age and disease, it follows then that to accept oneself as the body is also to accept great misery. Clearly the body passes through the natural phase of youth, middle age, and then old age. So if a person identifies with the looks of the youthful body, then what will happen when the person transitions into middle age? Endure what’s called a midlife crisis? Therefore, the intelligent person does not identify with the body. Yet, in defiance of all logic, nearsightedness is the stuff that the American culture thrives on. The people who at first bask in the glow of adulation for their physical beauty or talents are also the ones to suffer the nightmare of turning into a boney witch stirring the cauldron of times gone by. One such example is Michael Jackson who at the peak of his career was hailed as the King of Pop but then quickly declined into the infamy as Jacko the Wacko. Despite all efforts to avert the effects of time, not even the Beverly Hills plastic surgeons could restore Jackson’s looks. Yet, like a desperate person who keeps digging his grave further, Jackson continued to thrill us until his nose was history. Now this legendary sex symbol is nothing but a sticky pool of goo which the public was all too eager to sweep six feet under.

At the heart of the materialistic concept of the self is accepting the enjoyment of the bodily senses as the ultimate goal of life. Such a paradigm strips people of an intrinsic value and measures their worth in terms of the sensual excitation produced when the bodily senses come into contact with the dehumanized objects of desire. A materialistic person knows no limit for the desire to acquire the means by which they can control these objects: money! That is unlimited. He thinks only of how much assets he has now and schemes to increase that stock of wealth further and further. For that reason, he does not hesitate to act in any way and deals in the black market. He is enamored by the possessions he has already, such as land, family, house and bank balance, and he is always planning to improve them. Such a demoniac person thinks: “I am Tiger Woods, the most successful African American athlete in the world. So much wealth and fame do I have today, and I will acquire more according to my personal fitness and training regime. So many Grand Slam titles I have won, and I will increase the number, more and more. I am black, powerful, and happy. Watch me drive the golf ball 300+ yards. I am the Mac Daddy, king of the street-walkers, master of the tricks and hoes. So many porn stars I have torn to shreds and so many more of the BunnyRanch hookers I will enjoy.”

Unfortunately for Tiger and the materialistic bunch, the happiness derived from the contact of the senses with the objects is like nectar at first that turns into poison at the end. Simply put, the false ego is unsustainable and sooner or later reality will clobber the materialist over the head with the hammers of karmic reaction. The Bhagavad-gita outlines the course of events as follows: “While contemplating the objects of the senses, a person develops attachment for them, and from such attachment lust develops, and from lust anger arises. From anger, complete delusion arises, and from delusion bewilderment of memory.” After the bombshell discovery of the serial philandering, every effort was made in the Tiger’s legal camp to put a lid on the propagation of the allegations and to root them out of the public’s memory. As part of the divorce settlement deal with his former wife, Tiger paid a whopping 110 million dollars to gag the raunchy details. No book deals, no radio, no television interviews. Effectively, Elin Nordegren’s lips were bribed shut.

Monetary incentive is just one of the many ways to avert an information crisis – that is, to toss the inconvenient information out the window. In the instance of Rush Limbaugh, the radio show host who was caught doctor shopping for Oxycontin while at the same time telling his listeners “if people are violating the law by doing drugs, they ought to be accused and they ought to be convicted” – it was due to the doctor-patient confidentiality agreement that the investigators had to put a stop to shedding light on Limbaugh’s crimes. Remember Lewinsky-Gate and the moral appeal by the Bill Clinton supporters that the President of the United States receiving oral sex at the White House is a private family business that is not subject to the public’s scrutiny? Just another information dampening ploy. “Whatever happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.” Oh really? When an image of your body is tagged on Facebook and you remove the tag, you are equally guilty of manipulating information in a vain attempt to preserve the false ego. Face it, the body is nasty and the ego is a bubble waiting to burst. But just like a camel who chews on thorns and thinks himself to be enjoying what is actually the taste of his own blood, the materialist proceeds to convert this hell into paradise with the touchstone of selective hearing and seeing. Whether the reason to custom tailor the truth is on the grounds of morality, legality, or a botched photography job, just remember this: Materialism is predicated on a lie.

These seeds of self-delusion spawn on the individual level and reach all the way up to wreak havoc on the international level. A so-called American patriot thumps his swollen chest with pride and mythologizes the grandeur of the United States to cosmic proportions. He thinks, “So much wealth do we have today, and with the two-year extension of the Bush-era tax cuts we will stimulate the economy. So many countries depend on our prosperity, and the number will increase in the future, more and more. The terrorists in Iraq and Afghanistan are our enemy which we have killed, and our other enemies in Iran will also be killed. We are the most powerful nation on the face of the earth. Our military is second to none. Our democracy may not be perfect but it’s the best form of government that exists. We are the best there is and will ever be. There is no one as powerful and happy as us. We shall perform philanthropy. We shall give some charity to the United Nations to feed the African children, and thus we shall rejoice, not even asking for so much as a thank you.” In this way, the United States is deluded by the darkness of ignorance.

So, ruled by the bodily senses and attachments to false prestige, the materialist see foreign nations in terms of the economic benefits and elect a government that can pursue this agenda. This appetite for luxuries has made much headway since the simple days of “a chicken in every pot (ewww, yuck) and a car in every garage.” Now it calls for a four bedroom house at an exclusive suburb, a family minivan and a recreational vehicle for the tennis lessons on weekends; and at the peak of perfection one must have more of everything than the next door neighbor. Of course, the next door neighbor, taking note of his friend’s luxuries on Facebook, pursues the exact same plan and escalates the need for natural resources, cheap labor, and the urge to plunder abroad. So, much in the same spirit of a rapist who succumbs to the bodily temptations and molest a child claiming that the child wanted the sex and in fact seduced him, the American government succumbs to the consumerism urges and proceeds to initiate preemptive wars on the trumped up charges of weapons of mass destruction and other baseless national security nonsense.

To illustrate how far down the road of dehumanization the material concept of life can take us, let’s picture the following scenario: Through the crosshair of a helicopter video camera you see two Reuters News employees, Namir Noor-Eldeen, 22, and driver Saeed Chmagh, 40. Namir is from a family of journalists and is considered one of the best war photographers in Iraq. The reporters are carrying camera equipment and in the background you can hear a pilot say, “Hotel Two-Six; have eyes on individual with RPG. Getting ready to fire.” Then, “Light ’em all up. Come on, fire!” Clouds of dust puff up and the reporters jump aside as the bullets roar across the ground. Saeed is running towards a building while a stream of bullets follows him. Then, a direct hit. The soldiers cheer, “All right, hahaha, I hit [shot] ’em… Oh, yeah, look at these dead bastards. Nice.” They compliment each other: “Good shooting. Thank you.” But the celebration is premature. Namir isn’t dead yet; he’s crawling on the curb soaking in blood. Eager to pull the trigger, the soldiers pray: “Come on buddy. All you got to do is pick up a weapon.” The prayer is answered, a van pulls up and the driver runs out to help the wounded man. “We have a black SUV-uh Bongo truck [van] picking up the bodies. Request permission to engage.” The soldiers fire. “Oh yeah, look at that. Right through the windshield!” Inside the van are two children. Both of the children are injured and their father is shot dead. The soldiers respond, “Well it’s their fault for bringing their kids into a battle. That’s right.”

The events described are real. Thanks to Julian Assange, the person behind the whistle blowing website WikiLeaks, you can see for yourself the video that the United States government tried to hide from you. Go to www.collateralmurder.org and look at what the U.S military is doing on your behalf. On the morning of July 12, 2007, two Apache AH-64 helicopters using 30mm cannons killed about a dozen people in the Iraqi suburb of New Baghdad. As you watch the video, keep in mind that the U.S. military claims that all of the dead were “anti-Iraqi forces” or “insurgents.” What’s more, the authorities have concluded that the actions of the soldiers and pilots involved were in accordance with the law of armed conflict and the Rules of Engagement. One can only speculate how the events would have unfolded differently if the black van in Baghdad was replaced with the fortified motorcade rolling down the Pennsylvania Avenue and the names of the two girls inside were Sasha and Malia. Perhaps the soldiers behind the canons would hesitate to fire. Perhaps we wouldn’t see people run for life while the soldiers laugh. Apparently, the value of one person’s life is deemed to be greater than another. Such duplicity can only be reconciled by using an illusory set of vocabulary such as “American” vs. “Foreign” and so on. You see, there is no just reason for brute materialism – the blood of both Iraqis and Americans is equally red. If you were stranded on a desert island with Barack Obama and there was nothing left to eat, guess what? Chances are great that overcome with the urge to eat, he will look at you with that ravenous glaze in his eyes like you’re some chicken tenders and then justify reaching for the fork and knife with all the arguments befitting a Harvard Law graduate.

30 mm bullet. Reuters News employers, Namir Noor-Eldeen, 22, and Saeed Chmagh, 40, were shot with such bullets. Look how big that is.

In response to WikiLeaks release of information, the Secretary of State Hilary Clinton said, “There is nothing laudable about endangering innocent people and there is nothing brave about sabotaging the peaceful relations between nations on which our common security depends.” The people Hillary was referring to are not the murdered Iraqis but the American soldiers who committed the crimes of war. Clearly, the disinformation covers have been lifted and the people in charge are furious. They don’t have the Facebook delete tag button to press, no one to bribe shut, no patient-doctor confidentiality agreement to hide under, no way to suppress the release of this damning information – at least not for the time being, but they’re feverishly working towards that end. According to Robert Gibbs, the White House Press Secretary, “We are looking at a whole host of things and I would not rule anything out.” This means they’re planning to play dirty. Already caving in under the pressure, companies like Amazon, Paypal, Visa, and Mastercard pulled out services and shut down accounts used by WikiLeaks. Web companies that direct traffic to WikiLeaks are shaking at the knees and are being subjected to constant denial of service attacks. Getting right to the point, Democrat Bob Beckel said, “A dead man can’t leak stuff… there’s only one way to do it: illegally shoot the son of a bitch.”

Though still alive, Assange is now being charged on allegations of sex abuse, a move closely resembling a smear campaign tactic. What’s more, the U.S. House of Representatives has passed a bill that proposes to block FCC’s net neutrality plan, meaning they want to tie a noose around the people’s ability to freely disseminate information on the internet. Seeing this turn of events, an intelligent person must seriously consider whether U.S. government is taking advice from Joseph Goebbels, Hitler’s Master of Propaganda, who said: “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.” What is the U.S government trying to hide from you? If the people elect the government to act as their representatives then shouldn’t the government activities be transparent? Who were the American soldiers representing when they murdered the Reuters reports? How can anyone accept Espionage charges against WikiLeaks when the American government broke the espionage laws themselves by spying on the UN figures so as to collect information such as DNA, fingerprints, credit card numbers, and iris scans? We’ve been deceived. Our democracy is hypocrisy. We’re being force-fed a lie. America, Wake up!

How can Americans murder the innocent? Assange gives two reason, “One, because it’s fun to kill people. If you are in that environment, removed from all the effects of killing people all the time, it’s like a video game in high school. The other [reason] is that they brag after a killing streak about the number of people they’ve killed. They go back to the base and say, hey, I’ve killed thirteen today.” Stop and consider. Log into Facebook and to see for yourself the bragging. In a friend’s profile picture a piece of a breast fills the bottom half and at the top her tongue curls up. The status update reads, “is thankful for boys’ linuses.” Another one says, “This is me, thinking of smug things to say at you.” A girl posts some carefully selected images and impatiently waits for the compliments. Score! Someone comments, “bump, bump, bump.” And a second later she replies with a smile: 😉 What is this nonsense if not an overt display of a person being judged in terms of their ability to stimulate the senses? Is it really surprising that after having extinguished the person, the American soldiers see the Iraqis non-different from an enemy character on Call of Duty? We are but a shadow of ourselves, walking in the dark. The injustice committed abroad begins with injustice on you. You, who are you? How many people have you killed today? Walking in the dark, you slip on a puddle and fall flat on your back. Streams of blood cover your face while the world appears as if viewed through some rose colored glasses. A pattern of galaxies swarm the sky, and you think, “Gee, I want to be a star too, one day.” America, wake up. Suicide is on your hands. Enough with the snooze button.


Alexander Shenkar

Alexander is a photographer, artist, graphic designer, and much more. He has studied philosophy at The University of Texas at Austin.

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