12 September, 2008

(Don’t Just) Follow the Worms

Hermann Göring, for those of you who don’t study history, was the creator of the Gestapo in Nazi Germany.  He was a paragon of the jack-booted thug who would likely have found a happy home in the Bush administration.  Now, I realize that comparing anyone to the Nazis is proof of Godwin’s Law, but please note that Godwin never said that the comparison would necessarily be false, only that it was likely to occur.
I lost a lot of faith in the American people when they allowed a war to be rammed down their throats.  They didn’t see how the most base of the human emotions, fear and the desire for revenge, were being manipulated.  And the few who dared protest it were ridiculed and denounced as unpatriotic cowards.   The French were derided so much that Congress felt it of the utmost importance to change the names of certain foods in the Congressional cafeteria. 
It needs to be said that they did this instead of performing their solemn duty to provide a check on Executive power.  There is a reason our founding fathers placed the burden of declaring war on Congress instead of just one man.  But Congress was afraid to say that the Emperor was naked, because they didn’t want to appear unpatriotic. 
For those of you who are not students of history, shame on you.  Because you are doomed to repeat it.  And, since this is a democracy, if enough people choose to have their heads in the sand I am forced to repeat it also.  I had been a soldier for over half my life when all of this took place, and really had no say at all.  And, sadly, I had misplaced my trust in the judgement of my countrymen.  For those of you who are not students of history, this is what Hermann had to say about war:
Naturally the common people don’t want war; neither in Russia, nor in England, nor in America, nor in Germany. That is understood. But after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.
It has been said that for evil to triumph all that it requires is for good men to do nothing.  I agree.  There is nothing patriotic about sitting by and letting your leaders do whatever the hell they want with your country.  There is nothing civil about being passive in the face of overwhelming corruption.  There is nothing noble in behaving as lambs to the slaughter.
Yes, it is difficult to get good information.  The media does not do its job.  Or, rather, they do the job they are supposed to do and not what we expect.  The news media are corporate entities.  There is an overt attempt to control the things that you know.  They want to sell you Happy Meals and Hondas as well as war and corruption.  The methods are the same.
Noam Chomsky says it far more eloquently than I shall ever be able.  But you can educate yourself.  You have to sift through a lot of statistics and raw data.  You have to apply those critical thinking skills they taught you in school.  You have to make up your own mind.
In the run up to the war, there were only a few people in Congress that had the balls to stand up and say there was not enough evidence for a preemptive strike.  (And, take heed, it was not just a bad decision based on faulty intelligence.  It was a concerted effort to sell something, that had an enormous amount of intelligence to the contrary, as if it were open-and-shut.)  There were only a few people who had the courage to shoulder the derision of the entire nation in order to speak their mind.
One of them was Joe Wilson, whose wife’s cover was blown as punishment for his speaking out.  Blowing the cover of an intelligent agent not only puts their life in danger but also every source they had cultivated.  This is a time when our HumInt resources were pitiful to begin with.  It is treasonous to do such a thing.  For years the speculation that it had come directly from the administration was called ludicrous by the talking heads.  When Scooter Libby was found guilty of all they had denied so vociferously, it should have been grounds for an impeachment.
Instead, Scooter was pardoned by the very office that promised retribution to the culprit.  No other example of corruption need be given to show how very evil I think this administration is.  Unfortunately, I have many, many examples.
One other man who had the courage to denounce a useless, illegal, and futile war was Barak Obama.  Even if he had not proven himself in so many other ways in the last 26 months he had already shown me, then, he was a man of character.  That is why I support him in this election.
But don’t take my word for it.  Do your own research.  Get your hands dirty.  Learn about the candidates.  Decide for yourself the direction you want this country to go.  Don’t be fooled to think you have no choice.  Don’t be pressured to think your only choice is either continued corruption or letting the terrorist win.  We make our fate, as people and as a nation.  Take responsibility for your future.
And when the time comes, vote.

An American will cross the ocean to fight for democracy but won’t cross the street to vote in a national election.
— Bill Vaughan
She came to me one morning
One lonely sunday morning
Her long hair flowing
In the midwinter wind
I know not how she found me
For in darkness I was walking
And destruction lay around me
From a fight I could not win
Lady in Black, Uriah Heep

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