Tuesday, August 5, 2008

False flags, anyone?

Something always seemed fishy about the whole Anthrax scare in the fall of 2001, not long after the 9-11 bombings. The whole Saddam-al Qaida link was a loser to anyone who bothered to think about it for more than half a second, and the recent revelations about the Anthrax scare being an inside job, along with the lengths the White House went to in order to manufacture any reason to go to war in Iraq, killing a god-awful number of human beings in the process, go to show that skepticism was and still is definitely merited.

Chris Floyd, as always makes for must reading on the matter:
However, I do note, in just the briefest dip into the digital waters, that Cheney and the gang have been up to their old Hitlerian "let's fake a casus belli" tricks in regard to a war on Iran, while the American corporate media continues to cover up -- eagerly, slavishly -- what Glenn Greenwald rightly calls one of the most important and astounding stories of our time: how the Bush Administration completely concocted false evidence pointing to Saddam Hussein's involvement in the post-9/11 anthrax terrorism, then fed these lies to the aforementioned eager, slavish corporate media hacks at ABC. As Greenwald notes, the hacks know exactly who feed them these lies -- which were instrumental in fomenting war fever for the act of aggression against Iraq -- but they refuse to give up these conniving, traitorous wretches.

Still think you're living in a free country, with a free press? We've said it before and we'll say it again: at this point, anyone in public office who acknowledges the Bush Faction as being in any way a legitimate government -- instead of a pack of criminals in need of immediate and relentless prosecution -- is in fact complicit in the Faction's crimes.

As I wrote here awhile back:
Tomorrow is here. The game is over. The crisis has passed -- and the patient is dead. Whatever dream you had about what America is, it isn't that anymore. It's gone. And not just in some abstract sense, some metaphorical or mythological sense, but down in the nitty-gritty, in the concrete realities of institutional structures and legal frameworks, of policy and process, even down to the physical nature of the landscape and the way that people live.

The Republic you wanted -- and at one time might have had the power to take back -- is finished. You no longer have the power to keep it; it's not there. It was kidnapped in December 2000, raped by the primed and ready exploiters of 9/11, whored by the war pimps of the 2003 aggression, gut-knifed by the corrupters of the 2004 vote, and raped again by its "rescuers" after the 2006 election. Beaten, abused, diseased and abandoned, it finally died. We are living in its grave....

"How does it become a man to behave toward this American government to-day? I answer that he cannot without disgrace be associated with it." – Thoreau

.....The time has passed for ordinary political opposition, "within the system." The system itself has been perverted and converted into something else; it is now impossible to "work within the system" in the old understanding of that term, because that old system is gone. To work within the current system is to collaborate with evil, to give it legitimacy.

Thoreau's answer should be taken up by every person in public life, beginning with the Senators and Representatives in Congress, and radiating outward to all other elected officials in the 50 states, and to civil servants and other government employees, law enforcement agencies, judges, universities, contractors, banks, and on and on, throughout the vast, intricate web that binds the lives of so many people directly to the federal government. There should be non-compliance, non-recognition of this illegitimate authority, disassociation from taking part in its workings.

But we must also recognize that the kind of civil disobedience that Thoreau preached – and practiced – is immensely more difficult today, because the power of the state is so much greater, far more pervasive, more invasive…and much more implacable, more inhuman. No one would have dared put Thoreau in "indefinite detention" without charges, or torture him, or delegate some underling in intelligence apparatus (which didn't exist then) to kill him as a "suspected terrorist." Of course there were many egregious suspensions of Constitutional liberties and draconian measures during the Civil War; but these occasioned fierce fights in Congress, investigations, lawsuits, and outraged protests on the streets – the worst, by far, in American history, dwarfing the urban riots and war protests of the Sixties. But only the most ignorant fool – or devious liar – could compare these short-lived, ad hoc, inconsistently applied, frequently reversed and much-disputed depredations, carried out in the midst of a massive insurrection by fully-fledged armies on American soil, with today's thorough-going, systematic creation of an authoritarian state, on the basis of a zealous ideology of an unrestricted "unitary executive," operating in a nebulous, self-declared "state of war" that we are told will last for generations.

Neither Thoreau – nor any Northern opponent of the Civil War – confronted anything like this. (In fact, neither did the insurrectionists of the South, who were treated as lawful prisoners-of-war when captured – or often simply allowed to return to their homes on parole, in exchange for a simple statement that they would fight no more. No Southerner was ever subjected to indefinite detention, none were tortured, none were liquidated by secret agents.) The technology available to the government today amplifies the scope of repression immeasurably, both in the pinpoint, surreptitious targeting of individuals and in larger-scale operations.

In a land crawling with armed – and armored – SWAT teams, with operatives from innumerable federal agencies packing heat and happy to use it, a land where more than 2 million people languish in prison (many of them captives of an endless "war on drugs" that has done nothing to curb substance abuse but has greatly augmented the power of the state and the criminal gangs whose laundered money enriches Establishment elites), a land where almost every transaction is wired up to some national grid, where national ID cards are now being imposed – a land where you literally cannot exist without placing your liberty, your privacy, your very life at the mercy of a government apparatus besotted with violence, coercion and intrusion, there is no place left for the kind of action that Thoreau advocated. His way – and that of Gandhi and King, who took so much from him – envisions a state opponent which one could hope to shame into honorable action by the superior moral force of principled civil disobedience. But the very hallmark of the present regime is its shamelessness, its utter lack of any sense of honor or principle, its bestial addiction to raw power.

It is pointless – and counterproductive – to simply throw yourself under the wheels of such a monstrous machine in futile spasms of rage and despair. The machine doesn't care. It will gladly chew up your life and move on. For the action of the ordinary individual to have an effect, it must be amplified by a larger social movement. And it is difficult to imagine such a movement arising in America today, in a society atomized by the engines of profiteering, its communities gutted or abandoned by elites seeking greener pastures – and cheaper labor – elsewhere, its citizens isolated from one another, locked in their own bubbles of electronic diversion, and their own struggles to keep their jobs (unprotected by unions, subject to the arbitrary whim of local bosses, or faceless corporate masters, or predatory hedge funds, etc.), hang on to their health insurance (if they've got it), and stay out of the hell created by the bipartisan Bankruptcy Bill for the benefit of the credit card companies.

And despite the deep unpopularity of the regime, there is still a widespread reluctance to recognize its true nature, and what it will require to restore our constitutional republic. And truth to tell, there are a great many people uninterested in doing so. As long as the diversions keep pouring through the latest gadgetry, the monthly paycheck manages to cover the bills, and their own bodies are not subjected to the tyrant's evil, many people are happy to accept the authoritarian system. (This is not unique to Americans, of course; it is a constant in human history.) But even where there is an interest in discerning the reality of our times, and a yearning for change, again there is no broader movement to leverage an individual's dissent into a form large enough to thwart the tyrannical machine. And there is no American Sakharov on the horizon, someone to arise from the very center of the machine to denounce its workings and call for genuine liberty, genuine democracy, genuine economic and social justice.

So whatever we can do, we must do it ourselves. If we have no power or influence, if we cannot take large actions, then we must take small ones. Every word or action raised against the overthrow of the Republic will find an echo somewhere, from one person to another to another to the next -- each isolated, individual voice slowly finding its way into a swelling chorus of dissent.

It might be too late. It might not work. But failure – and much more horror -- is guaranteed if we don't even try.

As Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn once wrote – in a context that is growing less dissimilar all the time: -- it is impossible that evil should not come into the world; but take care that it does not enter through you.

"What is the price-current of an honest man and patriot today? They hesitate, and they regret, and sometimes they petition; but they do nothing in earnest and with effect. They will wait, well disposed, for others to remedy the evil, that they may no longer have it to regret." –Thoreau.
Plenty of food for thought.

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