“The few who are actually opposed [to war with Sicily] were afraid of being thought unpatriotic if they voted against it, and therefore remained quiet.”
Thucydides on the demise of the Athenian Empire, 415.B.C.
“Gob-smacked” is crude British slang for the jaw-dropping emotion many felt after the new Republican trifecta November 5th. The majority of voters faithfully believe the ominous words of President Bush because underneath the bulk of the bell curve is apathy towards politics.
Americans buy anything from late night television believing that pyramid schemes will get them rich quick so why should “the Arab bogeyman’s coming” be any different? Bush has sold us on an historical achievement: War is necessary for the sake of peace. For our own good.
The media also bear a heavy burden of responsibility. Aided by the anti-intellectual rants of O’Reilly, Hannity, and Limbaugh they continually stoke the collective national trauma. CNN International Executive Rena Golden admitted to a “reluctance to criticize anything in a war that was obviously supported by a vast majority of the people.”
The vote was loud and clear: We’re xenophobic and proud, don’t care to read history, can’t locate Iraq on a map, not bothered by the worst economy in 40 years, but we quiver with paranoia.
In that vein, Bush is a great PR man. Faith is borne of fear. Unlike animals, we know we will die, and thus we need the comfort of an unknown. Bush will protect you from evil no matter the cost, and the Rapture will intervene and save all who believe him. Ironic that he intends bombing the Cradle of Civilization, destroying the Garden of Eden and causing a backlash in the Holy Land.
Divinely inspired by a cruel and outmoded flavor of Christianity Bush is secure in an agenda that no mainstream European leader would dare attempt. They learnt a terrifying lesson sixty years ago; Germans still cannot voice their proud nationality.
Silence gets you what you ask for. Even Hitler had been freely elected in 1933 warning of the threat to Germany’s national security and the need to preemptively invade Europe. Nazi power was based upon national arrogance. The worst of mankind rules upon pure fear.
This country creeps ever closer to fascism. The White House made clear that “You’d better watch what you say, watch what you do”. John Ashcroft said that government criticism was akin to “aiding and abetting the enemy”. The price we pay for disagreeing with this Administration is to be labeled a traitorous anti-American. Goosestep behind and you are a patriot.
“Of course the people don’t want war. But after all, it’s the leaders of the country who determine the policy, and it’s always a simple matter to drag the people alongé the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them that they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to greater threat.” Hermann Goering, Nazi Reichmarshall, Nuremburg trials 1946.
The Administration’s interest is to deflect domestic issues and profit from weapons sales and oil, selling its soul to the devil if he contributed to the GOP. In fact, it has.
In 1996, Richard Perle, Reagan Administration Defense Department, and Feith Douglas, currently the third highest-ranking Pentagon executive, clarified their archconservative view that a mini war in the Middle East required “regime changes, destabilization, and containment”. Perle is now the current Chairman of the Pentagon’s Defense Policy Board and advises the Center for Security Policy, backed by arms manufacturer Soltan, his previous employer.
Perle and former CIA Director James Woolsey are on the board of JINSA (Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs), which shares the same agenda. Dick Cheney was also on the board before assuming the Vice Presidency and prior to liquidating $30 million of Halliburton stock.
In 1991, Cheney announced that the Gulf War had disarmed Iraq. He then went to business cleaning up the damage to Iraq with the man he now calls a “murderous dictator”, netting $24 million in 1998 violating US laws and using off shore accounts.
Donald Rumsfeld recently stated that he wouldn’t cross the street to shake hands with Saddam Hussein. On the day poison gas supplied by the US was launched upon the Kurds, however, Rumsfeld was busy turning the other cheek, shaking Saddam’s hand for a photo op.
The Administration agrees that “Iraq is a tactical pivot and Egypt a prize” should the US invade the Middle East, yet quietly the US sides with Iraq and Muslim nations against Europe in the UN on votes to control women rights via banning birth control.
America confuses freedom with entitlement. Who are we to demand that no other nation arm itself despite being attacked for decades when we are the only nation in history to have used nuclear weapons. Twice.
The US refuses to adhere to international constraints, rejecting nuclear arms agreements, environmental protectionism plans and biological weapons conventions. We have not paid UN dues for years. The United Nations was created to prevent a world monopoly, not support one.
American troops are in more countries than the British Empire at its peak. In WWII, 90% of soldiers were single; today 77% are married with children, and we’re ready to send them to die “for their country”. And we refuse to join the International Criminal Court lest US troops be subject to war crimes charges.
America executes minorities and the mentally ill; detains on suspicion denying access to legal representation; and blindfolds, binds, and renders immobile suspected terrorists. Pre-ordained punishment prior to trial has been given the DC Snipers; we champion the right to own automatic rifles and hollow point bullets.
It is the height of immorality for the President to prey upon the nations’ sorrow after September 11th to go forth with a plan implemented long ago. Manipulating a tragedy in order to gain support for his pathological quest for revenge is madness with no afterthought.
The Republicans will now win a war, rev up the economy, spin the country in to a budget surplus, return unemployment to 1.8% and guarantee the availability of social security, health care benefits and prescription drugs to the elderly. All whilst lowering taxes and bringing peace to the world.
Don’t fear the Arab or Muslim. Fear the new American direction.
Tanya C. Hsu is British, lives in the US, and is a writer of Middle Eastern politics. She is also a staff member of Palestine Media Watch. Currently she is working on two books on the people of Palestine. She contributed above article to Media Monitors Network.