“And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but perceivest not the beam that is in thine own eye?”
Do you know what an antonym is? An antonym is a word that has the exact opposite meaning of another word, such as hot and cold, or strong and weak. In today’s vernacular we might call an antonym, polar opposites. Do you know what an oxymoron is? An oxymoron is a word or phrase that is self-contradicting, such as military intelligence, or one of my favorites, only choice. Finally, do you know what hypocrisy is? Hypocrisy is claiming to have certain standards that your own behavior does not support.
I wonder how many of those words apply to politics in America today, especially to those who actively support and participate in choosing people to fill the various elective offices within our government. Do any of them apply to YOU?
Let us take a moment and discuss what happens in America every November, free elections. Sure, you do not have to pay to vote, so in that regard elections are free. Also, you cannot be denied the right to vote based upon race, gender, sexual preference, or age; so in that regard they are free as well. BUT, when people do vote, are they voting for freedom or are they voting to elect someone to a SYSTEM that controls and restricts freedom?
I have often told people I work with that we’d be better off in this country if our government were to suddenly burn to the ground, or sink into the depths like the lost continent of Atlantis. You should see the looks I get from some people; they range from slack jawed disbelief to their questioning my sanity. Yet honestly, what is government if it is not a system of control over the governed?
Sure, we may elect people to office within our government, but when all those elected, and non elected people, (such as Supreme Court Justices, Cabinet Members, and heads of all the government agencies) get together they comprise a system; and that system serves but one purpose – to control and exploit the governed – whether that be en masse or by groups, (political party affiliation) is of little concern. The concern is that the SYSTEM exercises control over those upon whose consent, (supposedly), the system derives its authority.
Therefore, if freedom, or to use another word, liberty is the ability of each and every one of us to do as we please, so long as we do not violate the rights of others, how can we have free elections when we are voting for people who then become part of a SYSTEM that denies us our freedom? It makes absolutely no sense to me.
Thomas Paine once said, “Government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil; in its worst state an intolerable one…” I suppose the only question we should be asking ourselves is, which end of that spectrum is our government at, its best state or an intolerable one. I suppose that is a matter of opinion, but as far as I’m concerned, our government, and the many restrictions it has imposed upon our liberty, is intolerable.
Paine was not alone in having those kind of sentiments, in his book Civil Disobedience Henry David Thoreau writes, “I HEARTILY accept the motto, ―That government is best which governs least; and I should like to see it acted up to more rapidly and systematically. Carried out, it finally amounts to this, which also I believe, ―That government is best which governs not at all; and when men are prepared for it, that will be the kind of government which they will have.”
Well, using Thoreau’s viewpoint, we’re moving ass backwards, because instead of governing less at time progresses, government governs more with each passing year. Yet people say that they are free; with all these laws, rules and regulations telling them what they can and cannot do? How they justify that belief is beyond me.
Now this may anger a lot of people, but I feel it has to be said. I have nothing but respect for those who raise their hands and swear an oath to defend this country; those serving in our armed forces – for I was once among their ranks. However, that is ALL they should be doing; defending this country I mean. When people tell me that our military is off in some foreign land defending freedom, I have to ask; whose freedom? Certainly not ours back home; otherwise they would be amassed in our nation’s capital fighting their own government, not off in some foreign land dropping bombs on people who have never attacked the United States.
But Neal, we have to go over there and defeat those evil terrorists before they come over here and do us harm. Well if that’s the case, let’s look at that belief under a microscope for a minute. We send our troops over THERE to fight the big bad terrorists, right? In the meantime we’re all over HERE supporting our troops and proclaiming our own freedom. Don’t you think the simple solution to fighting terrorism is to NOT ALLOW THEM TO COME HERE IN THE FIRST PLACE? If they really are that much of a threat to us, then don’t let them enter into the United States. Viola, problem solved!
Think about it, Afghanistan is 6,728 miles from New York, do you think they are gonna throw an IED or blow up a building from that distance? No, they can only hurt us if we allow them to come here. So don’t let them come and the threat of terrorism on U.S. soil will end…right? But they’re killing our troops Neal. Well, they couldn’t kill them if our troops weren’t over THERE fighting them.
But I suppose we have got to keep the military busy doing something, and the military industrial complex needs a steady stream of new enemies so they can sell our government their bombs and their bullets to be used in killing them. War is big business, and business is GOOD!
I know that history probably bores the hell out of some of you, but it is through knowing our history as a country that we can see whether we have adhered to the principles upon which this country was established, or if we have strayed from them. So, with that thought in mind, let me share a bit of history with you.
In 1961, when I was but a wee lad, Dwight David Eisenhower was the outgoing President, while John F. Kennedy was taking his place. As is the custom, Eisenhower gave a Farewell Address to the people of America. In that address Eisenhower gave us a cautionary warning, one which we, as a people, have failed to heed. Here is what Eisenhower said about the growth and influence of a mighty military industrial complex:
Until the latest of our world conflicts, the United States had no armaments industry. American makers of plowshares could, with time and as required, make swords as well. But now we can no longer risk emergency improvisation of national defense; we have been compelled to create a permanent armaments industry of vast proportions. Added to this, three and a half million men and women are directly engaged in the defense establishment. We annually spend on military security more than the net income of all United State corporations.
This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence-economic, political, even spiritual-is felt in every city, every state house, every office of the Federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources and livelihood are all involved; so is the very structure of our society.
In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.
We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together. (Jan 17, 1961)
Sorry for the length, but I felt you had to read it all, not just bits and pieces of it. Taking you back further in time, we travel to July 4, 1821 when the acting Secretary of State, and soon to be President, John Quincy Adams delivered an Independence Day speech in which he said:
America, in the assembly of nations, since her admission among them, has invariably, though often fruitlessly, held forth to them the hand of honest friendship, of equal freedom, of generous reciprocity. She has uniformly spoken among them, though often to heedless and often to disdainful ears, the language of equal liberty, equal justice, and equal rights. She has, in the lapse of nearly half a century, without a single exception, respected the independence of other nations, while asserting and maintaining her own. She has abstained from interference in the concerns of others, even when the conflict has been for principles to which she clings, as to the last vital drop that visits the heart. She has seen that probably for centuries to come, all the contests of that Aceldama, the European World, will be contests between inveterate power, and emerging right.
Wherever the standard of freedom and independence has been or shall be unfurled, there will her heart, her benedictions and her prayers be. But she goes not abroad in search of monsters to destroy. She is the well-wisher to the freedom and independence of all. She is the champion and vindicator only of her own. (My emphasis)
Does that even remotely sound like current U.S. foreign policy, or how our military is being used? But by golly we gotta support our troops, they are defending our freedom. Really, is that what they are defending? Is that why U.S. soldiers are guarding oil wells and opium fields, for freedom? You can spin that any way you want, wrap it up in an American flag and hurl all kinds of patriotic phrases at it, but I don’t see our freedom at home being defended very well by them being over there fighting the monsters J.Q. Adams spoke of.
Ever hear of Smedley Butler? If you’ve read my articles you have, but otherwise I’d venture to guess that the answer is no. Smedley Butler was a major general in the United States Marine Corps, and at the time of his death in 1940 he was the most decorated soldier alive. Butler was the recipient of 16 medals, five of which were for heroism and he was among a small handful of soldiers and fighting men to have won the Congressional Medal of Honor twice. Butler was what one might call a true American hero; a patriot.
So why is it that a man who had served his country with such honor and distinction say the following:
I spent 33 years and four months in active military service and during that period I spent most of my time as a high class muscle man for Big Business, for Wall Street and the bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism. I helped make Mexico and especially Tampico safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefit of Wall Street. I helped purify Nicaragua for the International Banking House of Brown Brothers in 1902-1912. I brought light to the Dominican Republic for the American sugar interests in 1916. I helped make Honduras right for the American fruit companies in 1903. In China in 1927 I helped see to it that Standard Oil went on its way unmolested. Looking back on it, I might have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was to operate his racket in three districts. I operated on three continents.
Boy, it sure sounds like our troops have been defending freedom to me; freedom for big business to make profits maybe, but not our freedom back home.
You sure aren’t patriotic Neal. Well, if patriotism if blindly following and supporting things based upon lies and propaganda, well then no, I’m NOT patriotic. I go where the truth takes me, and if the truth takes me to places you prefer not to look at, then I question YOUR patriotism. Call me a radical, an extremist if you will, but H.L. Mencken once said this about radicals, “The notion that a radical is one who hates his country is naïve and usually idiotic. He is, more likely, one who likes his country more than the rest of us, and is thus more disturbed than the rest of us when he sees it debauched. He is not a bad citizen turning to crime; he is a good citizen driven to despair.”
So our troops are off fighting terrorists and defending our freedom are they? Well where did these terrorist groups come from, and is terrorism something new? I’ve got some breaking news for you, terrorism isn’t something that has just sprung up, it’s been around for awhile and it isn’t going away just because we send a few thousand troops off to fight it in some Third World shithole; which we only send our troops to because they produce opium or oil.
Ever hear of the IRA, and I’m not talking about retirement accounts. The IRA, or Irish Republican Army, was a quasi terrorist group in Ireland fighting against British rule; you know, kind of like the Son’s of Liberty in 1775 and 76. But they were called terrorists for their methods, proving that there is truth to the saying, “One man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter.”
The IRA, along with other groups, such as the Baader-Meinhof Group of Germany and the Red Brigades in Italy were all classified at terrorist groups by our government. But those are only those groups that used terrorism as a means to an end abroad; what about here in the land of the free, where there any terrorists here? Of course there were.
Remember Patty Hearst and the Symbionese Liberation Army? Well they were considered to be terrorists by our government, as were the Underground Army, the Weathermen, and even the Jewish Defense League used terrorism in the 1970’s. So terrorism isn’t something new in America; it’s been around and us off fighting these wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, and maybe in the future Syria and Iran, isn’t going to stop terrorism. What it will do is create more people who hate and despise America after we bomb their country back into the Stone Ages; killing untold thousands of innocent people. And then, after we’ve bombed their country to hell and back, we’ll open our arms to those whose homes we have destroyed, falsely believing that they hold no lingering resentment towards the country that bombed theirs; possibly killing people they loved.
What fools we must be to believe that!!!
So what about these groups were sending our young men and women to go fight; where did they come from? This could just be my own thoughts on the matter, but I think that if the military doesn’t have people for our military to drop its bombs upon, or shoot their bullets at, then they, along with their pals at the CIA, will create enemies for us to go fight – just to keep the profits rolling into their coffers. That, right there is the very thing Eisenhower tried to warn us about, and it is something I think has basis in what can be proven by fact.
Ever hear of Operation Cyclone? Of course you haven’t. Well Operation Cyclone was a CIA operation to fund and train jihadists in Afghanistan which began in 1979 after the Soviets invaded that country. The first thing wrong with this is that it goes against the quote I provided earlier from J.Q. Adams where he said, “She is the well-wisher to the freedom and independence of all. She is the champion and vindicator only of her own.” Secondly, Operation Cyclone is what gave birth to Al Qaeda. So essentially, the CIA created a monster that we were then forced to go off and fight, (read, destroy).
Ever hear of Operation Timber Sycamore? I didn’t think so. It was a CIA run op that funded, trained and equipped freedom fighters in Syria; which then lead to the formation of ISIS; another group we are now sending our military off to fight against.
How many monsters are we going to allow our government to create, which we must then go and destroy, before we wake up to the game they are playing? Bin Laden, Saddam Hussein, Manuel Noriega, and a long list of others have all, at one time or another, been allies, or supported, trained or funded, by the CIA. Yet every time we build up one of these monsters, we later are forced to go in and deal with the stupidity of our own foreign policy.
But by golly we’re fighting the bogeymen terrorists, and as George Bush said, if you’re not with us, you’re with THEM. Well who and what are us? Could we, as a people or as a country, be terrorists ourselves? God forbid Neal, of course not.
Well, how many times have we meddled in the internal affairs of other countries; stirring up strife or toppling dictators we don’t like, all to serve a political goal…OUR political goal. Isn’t that the very definition of terrorism?
What about the fact that we, as a country, supply, fund and train those who participate in revolution in their own countries; could that not be defined as exporting terrorism? What about the fact that we funnel vast sums of money and weapons into both Saudi Arabia and Israel, who then turn around and use that money to fund terrorism or use it against others; committing acts of terrorism themselves; could that not be defined as supporting and funding terrorism?
Am I taking you to a place you don’t like, where the truth makes you feel very uncomfortable? Am I causing you to question your faith and trust in your government yet? If so, good, then I am accomplishing the intended goal! I want you to question your government; to stop believing that it is defending your freedom, that it is doing things that it was established to do. If I can do that with enough people, then maybe there is hope for this country.
One final thing and then I’ll let you return to your fictional world where government is good and deserves your loyalty and support. You may be saying to yourselves, Neal has gone off the deep end; he’s lost his mind saying all this nonsense about our government being a terrorist organization. Well not so fast there, let’s see whether I’m crazy or if my beliefs can be supported by fact.
God this makes me feel old, but 30 years ago Ronald Reagan was serving as our 40th President. At the time there was this guy, General William Odom who was head of the NSA, National Security Agency, (or No Such Agency as it is jokingly called), was quoted as saying, ” [B]y any measure the U.S. has long used terrorism. In 1978-79 the Senate was trying to pass a law against international terrorism – in every version they produced, the lawyers said the U.S. would be in violation.”
Boy that’s something, the head of the largest spy organization in the U.S. saying that the United States is guilty of terrorism. Maybe ole Neal’s not so crazy after all; maybe we better re-evaluate our position and stop supporting the biggest exporters and practitioners of terrorism on the planet – the United States government.
In your dreams Neal, as soon as people finish reading this they are gonna go back to their Facebook, their football, and whatever else they do to seek an escape from the truth; because the truth scares them, and they don’t like being scared. Which is why we have no freedom in this country; because we have sacrificed it for promises of safety and security from things, or people, that scare us.
What a bunch of pussies we’ve become!