Shakespeare, Boston, Texas and a Tale of Two Tragedies

When beggars die, there are no comets seen; The heavens themselves blaze forth the death of princes“When beggars die, there are no comets seen;
The heavens themselves blaze forth the death of princes”

(Julius Caesar, act 2, scene 2)

Comment. The April 15 bombing in Boston continues to dominate the American corporate media. The blasts killed three people and injured over 170.
However, a much more deadly explosion, the West Fertilizer Company in Texas on April 17 has virtually dropped out of the news. The blast killed 14 people and wounded 200, some critically. It destroyed 50 homes, made rubble of a five-block residential area near the plant and severely damaged a school and a nursing home.
The reason for the unprecedented state of siege imposed in Boston was the supposed protection of the population. The scale of the military exercise (including troops, soldiers, police, armored cars, fighter helicopters) was enormous, and all to hunt down one 19-year-old.
The corporate media, instead of raising questions about the imposed state of siege has continued to whip up fear and to glorify what is but an exercise in police state rule.
TV anchors and commentators cheered at the house-to-house searches (incidentally warrantless and formally illegal) and joyed at the killing of one suspect and capture of the other, already savoring the prospect of a forthcoming execution.
And, as almost routine in these recurring cases, the Boston bombing is accompanied by strange and unexplainable circumstances some of which we only mention here,

–       The coincident explosion “drill” by a defence-police contractor “Craft International”, deploying an array of personnel, sniffing dogs and associated paraphernalia,

–       The first denied and then acknowledged FBI monitoring of the two Chechnyans .

–       The dramatically inconsistent performance of two young characters. They obviously had absorbed and imbued the spirit of the American dream when one of them published on the Internet social media that his goals were “career and money”. How could he then give all this up because (presumably, according to George W. Bush’ philosophy), he “envied our freedoms”?

Let a temporary veil be drawn on the unexplained.  While the corporate media cheers the bringing-to-justice of the alleged Boston bombers, there is no concern whatsoever for bringing to justice those responsible for the explosion that ripped through West, Texas.

That tragedy is already being treated as just another regrettable but inevitable industrial accident.  It may be useful to reflect that, according to statistics, over 4600 workers died from work-related injuries in 2011.

Obama will speak at a memorial service for the victims of the fertilizer plant explosion, to be held at Waco, Texas. Geographically interesting coincidence, as Waco is where the FBI, in another brilliant operation a decade and a half ago, burned 78 people alive, many children.

Media and politicians are indifferent to the killing and maiming of workers due to ignoring safety and health regulations. The regulatory agencies either lack the resources or the willingness to enforce them.

Remember the “regulators” wining and dining with the Shell people before the Gulf of Mexico deadly explosion? Therefore the supposed concern for the safety of the people of Boston smells to high heaven. The corporate media is a living monument of servile corruption.

After the memorial Obama will attend the dedication ceremony for George W. Bush’s library in Dallas on Thursday. He will honor a man, his predecessor in the White House, who gutted federal safety and health agencies and instituted an Orwellian policy of “voluntary self-compliance”. Translation, an invitation for owners to ignore regulations, whatever the cost in the lives and limbs of their employees.

There are both economic and political reasons for the vast difference between the attitude of the state and the media to the events in Boston and the events in West, Texas. Economically, the state is dedicated to protecting private ownership and control of industry and to opposing measures infringing on the “right” of owners to dictate working conditions and maximize profits.

Politically, the ruling elite is pursuing the ongoing agenda of mongering fear and anxiety so as to disorient the public, divert attention from its attack on living standards, and justify the ever increasing militarization for the endless “war on terror.”

Equally, the ruling elite is never exempt from the fear of social discontent leading to social struggle. Testing dictatorial forms of rule, such as those deployed in Boston, prepares for the future.

With reference to the Shakespeare lines, those who died in Texas were certainly not beggars, nor those who died in Boston princes, but – mutatis mutandis – the spirit of the lines accurately represents the impact and treatment of the two tragedies.

In the play. Calpurnia tells husband Caesar that extraordinary and unnatural events signify the impending doom of a VIP in Rome

Image Source: http://www.has.org.nz/AstroEvents/CometMcNaught/gallery2007/

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  • Fouzi Raffai

    Much appreciated reading the irony of the present day scenario in the United States; in your staement.