Imagine an occupation of the U.S.

By guest author Dr. Dahlia Wasfi

Imagine that on September 11, 2001, instead of four airplanes used as missiles, massive air strikes had targeted numerous strategic sites in the U.S.

Over 50 aerial bomb drops

Stenciling boasting over 50 aerial bomb drops. Image in public domain.

Instead of attacks over a few hours on a single morning, consider the bombardments continuing unabated for three-and-a-half weeks, for the purpose of “shocking and awing” the American people.

Instead of nearly 3,000 dead, tens of thousands of Americans are murdered in the bombings.  And in the aftermath, local police and fire departments responsible for aiding the ill and injured are rendered helpless by swarms of occupying soldiers who take control of American society.

Consider the scenario of our elected leaders then being kidnapped or simply made to disappear, and foreigners—most of whom do not speak English—declaring authority over the U.S.  Our lives become ruled by a military occupation that lasts the next decade.

The occupation force responsible for our security comprises primarily young men and women ignorant of our society. Human rights violations become the norm.

During the course of this decade of occupation, the foreign military protects Texas oil fields, while the fabric of American society is destroyed.

  • Women’s rights are set back for decades, if not centuries.
  • American infrastructure deteriorates while the healthcare and educational systems are decimated.
  • An estimated 1,000,000 – 1,500,000 American citizens die
  • Nearly 5,000,000 Americans are displaced [opens in PDF] from their homes
  • Five million children lose one or both parents
  • Between one and two million widows are made
  • Electricity, potable water, and security are scarcities.

How would we feel about the people responsible for this calamity? How would we feel about the soldiers occupying our streets?

How do Iraqis feel about us?

Dahlia Wasfi

This entry was posted in Armed conflict, Children and war, Economy and war, Human rights, Perspective-taking, September 11, 2001 and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Imagine an occupation of the U.S.

  1. Dr. Wasfi,

    This scenario is an incredible wake up call. But what can be done to prevent it from happening again? My research states that the commonality between all countries is the welfare of the children. Therefore, I would like to propose a Global Movement of Nonviolence, For the Children (GMofNV), led by women. A GMofNV is not just about women. It is about working for humanity. Men are included. There is no judgement if it will be right or wrong, better or worse. However, if women lead the way, the future will surely be different.

    A GMofNV is ready now, the mechanisms are in place, and a stimulus is prepared to set it in motion!

  2. Dr. Wasfi,

    The “extensive” research that goes with your scenario shows the incredible work that is being done around the world through the UN. A GSofNV is in direct conjunction with the United Nations Millennium Goals and Culture of Peace programs by UNESCO. A GSofNV is designed as a people movement to empower the United Nations and bring humanitarian efforts into the mainstream. (www.GSofNV.org)

  3. Dr. Wasfi, thank you for that powerful essay. I have not read anything in the last years that I so much wished EVERY AMERICAN WOULD READ.

    On Sept 11 2001 I remember discussing with a friend (Canadian) how I hoped the attacks — which had just happened that morning — would wake up Americans to how this country is hated for its imperialism and disregard for people in other countries. Of course Americans did not react that way.

    As a 12 year old girl I read a then contemporary (1960s or 70s) thriller about a Chinese military take-over of the US. The occupation lasted for years and led to white Americans being treated like (and coming to feel like) second class citizens. Whites were manual workers and were called names like ‘nose’ (derogating the large noses of those of European descent). White women hated the shapes of their eyes. Funny what images from this book stayed with a teen girl. Today we need fiction like that more than ever, just like we need your essay.

  4. The book I mentioned above is White Lotus by John Hersey, 1965, see:
    http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1495461.White_Lotus

  5. Dahlia Wasfi says:

    Thank you, Andre Sheldon and Catherine Caldwell-Harris, for reading my post and for sharing your thoughts. Please call me Dahlia. 🙂 This piece was inspired by a campaign ad for Ron Paul; I’m not endorsing any candidate (especially since the election is over), but I need to give credit where credit is due. The 3 minute segment is here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XKfuS6gfxPY

    Also, Catherine Caldwell-Harris, thank you for courageously sharing your thoughts from 9/11/01. You were not alone in wishing that our nation would make a change for the better after experiencing a tiny taste of how we terrorize families all over the world.

  6. kathiemm says:

    thank YOU, Dahlia, for sending the link to that very powerful short video–a great assignment in imagination for all Americans.

  7. Jonathan Pak says:

    This blog post reminded me of the status of which we place value in things within our society. On an international level, the United States of America is held in a position of power, influence and authority. In a traditional family system, the husband or father is held in that same regard. For this reason, the hypothetical situation that Professor Malley-Morrison discussed and the issue of husband abuse is so irregular and controversial. The United States, considered to be one of the wealthiest nations in the world, has considerable influence on the international stage. Being a citizen of this nation, I could never imagine our country and citizens experiencing the sufferings and pains that Professor Malley-Morrison discussed in this blog post. The wealth, benefits and power that are associated with our nation has made it almost impossible for me to think of the US as it is proposed in this hypothetical situation. The harsh reality is – there are multiple nations around the world whose citizens are experiencing these horrific injustices daily. Likewise, in relation to family violence, because of the authoritative nature and power associated with males in typical families, it makes it hard for me to realize the existence of husband abuse. Professor Malley-Morrison discussed in Family Violence in the United States, “because the man is supposed to be the physically dominant and aggressive partner” (Hines & Malley-Morrison, 196) it makes it difficult to comprehend that women could be abusing their husbands. Also, for that reason, there is a belief that “there is no such thing as an abused husband” (H&MM 194).
    In the film we watched in our class, some of the men in the battered husband’s group therapy session discussed the emasculating nature of being abused by their wives. For a man admitting to being a victim, especially by the hands of a woman, was described as emasculating by these men (H&MM196). The nature of our social demands from men rigidly rejects any form of weakness, emotionality, and vulnerability. In relation to the blog post, I feel that there is a stigma of the United States to fully admit that we have weaknesses as a nation. In order to keep our high international status, I feel like we rarely own up to our past mistakes or flawed systems. The impossibility of weaknesses in these things we hold in high positions makes us tolerant to some serious issues. Because we expect men to be strong, the United States to be invulnerable, we become blind when support is needed the most. I feel like this is expressed especially when we look at the current efforts in supporting battered men. “In contrast to the well-organized efforts for battered women, there is no $3.7 billion Violence Against Men Act, no battered men’s defense, and no legislation that empowers male victims of spousal abuse” (H&MM 209). Whether it’s emasculating or internationally “weak” to express the need for support, being aware of the possibility of weaknesses in the powerful figures in our society is the first step necessary to start improving and fixing real problems.
    Professor Malley-Morrison further discusses the failure of legal systems to provide support for these battered husbands because of the idea of impossibility of male weaknesses in husband abuse cases. The case studies in Family Violence in the United States showed evidence that the legal system often worked against desperate battered men (Hines & Malley-Morrison 193). I believe that another contributing factor to the lack of support for these husbands is the patriarchal influences in the structuring of our social systems. In Family Violence in a Cultural Perspective, Malley-Morrison and Hines defines it as a “system of social organization with a predominant ideology justifying and maintain male authority in all institutions” (MM&H 18). Because males are considered to be in authority and power, when placed in a position where they need help and support, our social systems fail to do so. While there is a belief that “men cannot be victimized by women in a society in which males are dominant” (H&MM 210), this way of thinking prevents men from seeking help to get out of their abusive situations and judges from addressing these cases clearly. Likewise, on an international level, I feel like the United States can never view themselves as victims or in extreme duress. We have no sense of urgency when it comes to being proactive about our problems. Overall, I believe that being open about the real pressure and problems that we have allows support to be given to us when we need it the most. Husbands and our nation alike are viewed as invulnerable in their own respects but I feel like understanding when to ask for help and realizing the possibility of weakness is true strength.

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