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An Editorial: by Michael Simone

From REG issue #32


Mother should I trust the government...

I've not published an editorial in REG in many years. However, after of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, the wave of unquestioning sheep like mentality which followed, propelled me to attempt to append to the public discourse and contribute to the readers awareness with a warning in regard to blindly waving the flag in nationalistic fervor.

I was raised in a generation in which we rebelled against the status quo... the "Establishment," and made it a point to consistently QUESTION AUTHORITY!!! There is a huge difference between patriotism and nationalism. The love and devotion towards ones country, or what we call "Patriotism," tends to be an end result of pride and appreciation for the land in which one lives, and for one's culture, lifestyle and freedom.

But "Nationalism" is an ideology based on the premise that the individual's loyalty and devotion to the 'Nation-State,' surpasses other individual or group interests. This relatively modern concept becomes almost religious when people attach their native soil to the traditions of their parents, or established territorial borders with current political authorities or governments. When the love of country and pride in it's people become synonymous with, or take precedence over, love of family and the preservation of individual freedoms, when exercising freedom of dissent becomes unpatriotic, then Nationalism becomes a cancer which erodes patriotism itself.

Unquestioning submission to policies which erode civil liberties or can lead to war is not patriotism but a nationalistic attitude which pervades my homeland today. It is an attitude of blind loyalty, of "my country do or die" or "love it or leave it." An attitude of "my country above all." The Nazi slogan 'Deutchland uber alles' comes to mind. And as we learned from the Nazi's, nationalism and fascism can easily become one and the same.

I am proud to live in a country where I can enjoy such a high standard of living and benefit from so many individual freedoms. One crucial individual freedom is the freedom of dissent. To disagree with, and oppose political authority and government. This is likely the most important of all civil liberties, for without it we would not be free. Without the freedom of dissent we would live under tyranny and totalitarianism. But as with any liberty or freedom, if you don't use it, you loose it.

I am a patriot because I actively exercise my freedom of dissent and question authority. Though I'm proud of my country, and loyal to a democratic system of government, I am not loyal to those within the government. My patriotism allows me to appreciate the freedom of my country, but also to comment upon it's faults with a desire to make it better. I have a healthy distrust of the US government, as well as the almost propaganda like news media it controls or influences. A news media which continually attempts to propagate and promote fear.

War on Terrorism
After the Sept. 11th terrorist attack, the US military, which is set up to fight, attack, and invade other nations, seemed completely helpless. However, the American people demanded retaliation. So, an incompetent, almost retarded president, following the advice of the military's need for something to attack used the propaganda machine of the US media to create a new enemy, the Taliban. The media made the Taliban synonymous with the Al Qieda terrorists.

Although Afghanistan harbored Muslim extremists of all sorts, including sects of the Al Qieda terrorist network, so did many Arab nations whom we call friends, such as Saudi Arabia, U.A.E., Jordan, and Egypt. In fact ALL the Al Qieda terrorists who attacked the US were members of an Al Qieda sect based in Egypt, and All were Saudi Arabian nationals. But did we attack Egypt or Saudi Arabia? The Taliban government who controlled Afghanistan were indeed a contemptible totalitarian regime, however the Taliban were never our enemy. But because we could place no national face on the terrorists with whom we could fight, George W, with the might and power of the US media, MADE Afghanistan THE ENEMY. And Americans wanted vengeance at any cost, it didn't matter who the enemy was, as long as we no longer felt impotent, as long as we could lash out and attack, as long as we could retaliate and kill!

I was the first in my neighborhood to put out my flag the day America was attacked. But the subsequent collective unthinking and unquestioning flag waving of lemming like sheep literally turned my stomach. Fighting against terrorism is far different than fighting against a country or nation. The US "war on terrorism," is tantamount to fighting a Guerilla war, and history has taught us that a Guerilla war can NOT be won! In a Guerilla war, vengeance begets only more vengeance, violence begets only more violence, and killing begets only more killing. Retaliation against terrorism with violence and death will always only perpetrate more of the same.

The US government wants the American people to believe that there are terrorists lurking behind every corner. George Bush wanted the US congress to pass "The American Patriot Act," which would have prompted neighbor to spy against neighbor, and children to spy against their parents. Is this not exactly what occurred in NAZI Germany? Bush wants us to believe that Arabs hate us because we are free, and are jealous of our freedom. But nothing is further from the truth. To fight terrorism we must first understand why terrorists are attacking us. In truth, Arab terrorists hate the US as a consequence of generations of failed, blundering, ineffectual and debilitating US / Middle-East foreign policy, whose meddling in the region has forced the entire Arab world to grovel at the feet of the might of the United States. The CIA led takeover in Iran and the installation of the Shah into power as a puppet government, the complete arming of Israel and our support of that government's fascist policies against the entire Arab world, not only supporting Sadam Hussain but supplying him with weapons and training in his military in his war with Iran, and the US Corporate control of oil production in the region are only a few of the reasons which have lead to extreme hatred of the United States throughout the region. Instead of attacking the nations of the Middle East it would behoove us to attempt to repair our self-centered policies of corporate and military greed.

The terrorists fight for an idea not a nation and you can't fight an idea. The only retaliation which can be wrought against terrorism is with other ideas. Squash the idea in the minds of many Arabs that the United States is the enemy. Instead of sending plane loads of bombs to disseminate death and destruction, we should send planeloads of relief aid, food, medical supplies, and building materials to those who are oppressed and impoverished. Show the Arab world that the real face of America is compassion, kindness and brotherhood. Launching a humanitarian campaign on the same scale as our huge military offensives, would show the world what Americans are really about! We need to stop the cycle of Hate and Violence NOW! No more bombing! No more killing! PEACE NOW, or, we will end up paying the same price of continual bloodshed, violence and terrorism that Israel has experienced for half a century. Violence only always begets more violence! If we do not learn from history, we are doomed to repeat it.

War on Iraq
Now, in his maniacal quest for WAR and an invasion of Iraq, George Bush disregards all reason or logic. He not only wants war, he lusts for it!!! He needs a war to distract the American people from the downward spiraling economy brought on by his failed economic policies. He needs a war to end his declining popularity in the polls to enable his re-election. He needs a war immediately to distract the voters from the economic recession before the November Congressional election so his Republican party can keep their seats in Congress. He lusts for war because Iraq has the second largest oil reserves in the world. And US oil corporations want that oil at any and all costs. As in the extremely oil rich Tonkin Gulf in Vietnam... again the US wants to go to war to get it, all the while disseminating political rhetoric and disinformation like pabulum to the unthinking sheep like masses. Doesn't anybody question Bush's ludicrous rhetoric when he espouses that "We must keep the peace" by going to war? Or when he says that "We all long for peace and we will do everything necessary to get it?" Can someone tell this guy we are not at war!? This is exactly the same type of insane backward logic of "NewSpeak" from George Orwell's book 1984: "War is Peace - Freedom is Slavery - Ignorance is Strength!

At first Bush said we had to go to war because Iraq was developing "Weapons of Mass Destruction". Then he backtracked when many in the US suggested we send weapons inspectors in to verify these weapons are being developed. In fact he stated publicly that he didn't care whether or not Iraq has weapons of Mass destruction!!! He said that the main goal of US policy was "Regime Change." Because the US views Sadam Hussain as an "evil" tyrant and dictator.

How ironic, in that the US is responsible for putting Sadam into power, supplying him with arms, and training his military in their war with Iran. The US has not only consistently supported and supplied military dictatorships around the world, the US has actually put them into power, i.e. Iran, Vietnam, Cambodia, Argentina, Chile, Columbia, Honduras, Guatemala, Panama, Nicaragua and on and on. Many of these US supported tyrants have been more "evil" than Sadam.

So when people began criticizing Bush in regard to his regime change policy, stating that the US could not just invade and take over any sovereign country it wanted just because it doesn't like the leader, again Bush backtracked, falling back on his Weapons of Mass Destruction ruse.

Though Iraq does not pose a threat to the US now, George Bush says we must preemptively go to war so that Iraq can not pose a threat to us in the future. The Bush policy of pre-emptive war is insanity! With the same reasoning we might logically take over any and every country around the world one after the other. But maybe that's what we covertly want to do. As the only superpower in the world, there is no power to keep us in check from becoming power crazed imperialists.

It is obvious to many in the US and around the world, that George Bush's desire for WAR and an immediate invasion of Iraq has absolutely nothing whatever to do with either "Weapons of Mass Destruction" or "Regime Change." Weapons inspections in Iraq is the last thing that George Bush wants... he wants WAR! He is determined to go to war, invade Iraq, and take over the oil fields at ANY cost, for any excuse, no matter what the consequences or to what end!

Now that the Iraqi government has agreed to weapons inspections to prove US deception, Bush wants the UN to pass a resolution so extreme that it would be impossible for Iraq to comply. At the same time Bush is trying to get the American people and the Congress to rubber stamp unlimited military power for him, and an immediate ALL out War for completely unproved and fallacious reasons.

The consequences of a US invasion in the Middle East will be catastrophic. It will completely de stabilize an already explosive region of the world, which will lead to decades of chaos. A war in the Middle East, will ensure and promote decades of hatred for the US and breed still more terrorists and may spur a century long Jihad of terrorism against us. A war will not only kill hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians and military personal, but the street to street guerrilla warfare that will surely ensue within cities such as Baghdad, will kill and maim thousands upon thousands of US soldiers.

We have no right to invade any other country that poses NO threat to us. The US constitution states that "Only congress shall have the power to declare war!" No president should have the right to send troops where ever he wants, for what ever reasons. When a president can do this - the US is no longer a constitutional government by the people and governed by law! We become a tyranny! Bush swore to uphold the constitution, and now he shits upon it. He has revealed himself to be a fascist in sheep's clothing, and a complete madman! The only "regime change" we need is one in the United States!

Stop Bush's Planned War Against Iraq! Call, mail and email US Congressional representatives to vote against pre-authorization of the use of military force in Iraq! Time is short, we all must act now, and demand that Congress not give George Bush the power to act unilaterally against Iraq.

War is Peace - Freedom is Slavery - Ignorance is Strength
For decades the American people have been secure in the knowledge that NO outside force has had the power to take away our freedom. Yes, terrorists can kill us, we have learned this all too well. But what we must learn equally well is that the ONLY real threat to our freedom is one which can come from within. The only power that can take away our liberty is that of our own government! The US government is the most powerful entity in the world. And not only does power corrupt absolutely, but it feeds upon itself. It is the power of our own government therefore which we must be vigilant and guard our freedom against.

Franklin Roosevelt said; "The only thing we have to fear, is fear itself." If you make ANY people afraid enough, and they will be willing to give up their individual liberties in exchange for safety. The government /corporate controlled media have been broadcasting their biased propaganda, passing it off as news, all the while proselytizing and promoting FEAR to affect public acquiescence for the restriction of civil liberties. Because of the FEAR of terrorism, new laws have already recently been enacted which give the government new powers that extremely diminish our freedom and privacy. Allow any individual liberty to be eroded, and the essence of freedom itself teeters in the balance toward tyranny and totalitarianism. Take heed and question what you are told!


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