Can you love your country without loving your government?
The Star Spangled Banner, America’s national anthem, refers to our country as, “the land of the free and the home of the brave”. Both claims were called into question a long time ago.
The anniversary of September 11 will soon be upon us again, and as a nation, we find ourselves embroiled in continuous turmoil, ramping up the elusive War on Terror that sprang from the events that shook the country that day back in 2001. In the years since, Americans have stood by and witnessed a continual erosion of their freedoms — from the Patriot Act’s attack on our Fourth Amendment, to the militarization of our police in an ever expanding police state, to the nationwide expansion of so-called ‘free-speech zones’ under George W. Bush, to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) which can disappear and indefinitely detain American citizens suspected of terrorism without charge or public trial, to the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) massive expansion that includes unseen no-fly lists and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) irradiating and molesting people and their children at airports, to the revelations that the National Security Administration (NSA) is collecting data on every single American citizen — and all in the supposed name of our safety.
Our government has gone so far as to deem 100 miles inland from any U.S. border to be a Constitution-free zone, with dozens of internal DHS checkpoints dotting the scenery. Papers, please?
Founding father Benjamin Franklin warned us about trading our freedom for the pretense of security. We did not listen.
As September 11th approaches once again a dozen years later, where do we as Americans find ourselves now?
We’re on the brink of potential World War III, with a Nobel Peace Prize winning president waiting until the week of September 9th to have Congress debate whether or not we should preemptively attack another sovereign nation in the Middle East on what can only be considered dubious evidence at best (and nonexistent evidence at worst). Even three-time presidential advisor Pat Buchanan has gone on record to say it looks like the Assad regime’s suspected chemical weapons attack, what Obama referred to as his ‘red line’ on Syrian intervention, reeks of a false flag operation.
According to a recent Drudge Report poll, a whopping 91.5% of 685,280 people at the time of writing this article say NO to giving Obama the authority to conduct military operations (read: dropping bombs) in Syria — not that this has mattered with regard to any of the other military operations Obama already conducts in the Middle East, including the expansion of drone strikes throughout the region well beyond those of his predecessor Bush Jr. or the boots he put on the ground in Libya in 2011. Evidence to the contrary aside, Obama has already made it clear that he plans to strike Syria.
The whole situation reeks of the WMD lie (or the 935 lies) that got us into the Iraq war after 9/11 and everybody knows it. In this week’s Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey couldn’t even give Senator Bob Corker (R—Tenn.) a valid answer when asked what the U.S. is seeking in Syria; he simply responded, “I can’t answer that, what we’re seeking.”
Where is the logic in “Syria bombed Syria so we must also bomb Syria?“
Obviously this logically bankrupt plan has nothing to do with the safety of Syrians; on August 31, the president would not have said, “Our military has positioned assets in the region. The chairman of the Joint Chiefs has informed me that we are prepared to strike whenever we choose. Moreover, the chairman has indicated to me that our capacity to execute this mission is not time-sensitive; it will be effective tomorrow, or next week, or one month from now. And I’m prepared to give that order.”
If this were about protecting Syrians from more chemical weapons attacks, Obama would have declared an emergency session with Congress to discuss taking action right away instead of waiting another nine days that could give ample time for more weapons attacks to be carried out. Obviously this new proxy ploy for military action is about empire building and resource grabbing, and amounts to the same strategy that was used in Libya (which now lies in chaos and ruin), Egypt (which continues to erupt in violent chaos), Afghanistan (mired in continual chaos as we continue our drone strike campaign there) and Iraq (falling into total chaos) just to name a few. So much for our brand of democracy. The Drudge Report poll reflects that fact that the vast majority of Americans are wise to this game and are opposed to it.
In the meantime, Team America World Police continues to meddle in Syrian affairs on other fronts to effect the regime change it is so desperate for; writing from Syria, Franklin Lamb discusses how U.S.-led economic sanctions are skyrocketing the price of basic food staples in an effort to turn Syrians against Assad:
“Meanwhile, the ever-rising cost of living for Syria’s population, due in large measure to the US-led economic sanctions, continues to devastate many families here. Those sanctions are designed by the US Treasury Department’s Office of Financial Assets Control (OFAC), and they intentionally target Syria’s civilian population in an effort to get the population to break with its government, thereby facilitating the US goal of regime change in Syria and Iran…
Before the onset of the conflict now raging in Syria, the price of eggs was 125 lira (about 25 cents) for 24 in a carton. Prior to the most recent crisis, the price was 500 lira (one us dollar) for two dozen eggs, and this morning in Damascus it is 700 lira.”
How much more proof do we need that our government isn’t out for peace here? This writer sincerely hopes the people of Syria realize that what our government is doing to them does not represent the people of America.
Home of the Enslaved
If Orwellian free speech zones, a $2 billion NSA spy hub in the desert, and bombing countries because they bomb themselves are not bad enough, now the U.S. government is about to arm the TSA. These wannabe agents only get two weeks of training as it is; now they are going to be given weapons? Really?? Are they going to get an extra week of training with them?
Americans already live under a screaming cacophony of alphabet agencies that are armed to the teeth and ready to eat out our substance. As of this time last year, there were 73; even the U.S. Department of Education is armed.
Slowly Americans have grown accustomed to watching their three-year-olds and grandmothers get their private parts fondled at airports and other transportation hubs all across this nation just we can have the luxury of travel. We are all guilty until proven innocent when we fly. Don’t like it? Well, you can join the so-called “Trusted Traveler” program for the cost of feeding a little of your biometric data into a government database (“Papers please” doesn’t even begin to cover it). The TSA has moved well beyond airports to train stations, buses and major sporting events. TSA VIPR teams are free to roam the nation’s roadways. Perhaps it was even fitting that TSA felt people up and inspected their bags just so they could attend President Obama’s 2nd inauguration.
Don’t forget, the TSA has yet to catch an actual terrorist. Kinda makes it seem like there really aren’t that many terrorists at our airports if twelve years go by without a single one being caught there.
Obviously all of this security theater has done little to actually keep us safe in reality, as witnessed at April’s Boston Marathon bombing where Homeland Security just so happened to be at the finish line running a drill at the time of the attack and yet they still were not able to stop it or keep anyone safe from it.
Is it unreasonable or simply a rhetorical joke to ask whether or not this TSA expansion will ever end? Where will they show up next, shopping malls? Grocery stores? Our front porches?
The argument that if you are not doing anything wrong, then it’s okay to have your privacy brazenly violated over and over again will only hold water until this breach of privacy invades your personal comfort zone… everyone has a limit.
Will It Ever End?
The War on Terror is nebulous at best. Ultimately, it is not ever meant to end. The goal is to keep us in a permanent war economy, something military leaders and industrialists have been openly advocating since World War II. As author Brian Easlea noted, “The survival of capitalism in the United States demanded increased arms expenditure and that in turn necessitated the manufacture of a major enemy”. Guess the cold war was no longer doing it for them.
Case in point; in the hours following the announcement that Obama was considering military action in Syria last week, stocks at leading military defense contractors like Lockheed Martin shot through the roof. Raytheon stock hit an all-time high. The military industrial complex writing is all over the profitable Syrian wall.
While many believe we are on the brink of another world war, too many Americans appear complicit to sit on their couches and tune out in front of their television sets, favoring helplessness and apathy to speaking up for themselves and what’s right; while TV ‘programming’ technology advances before their eyes, the real world outside the box has gotten infinitely worse. At a recent protest against Syria intervention in Austin, Texas — a city that is home to a population of well over a million people, metro area included — only a handful of people bothered to show up. Where was everybody? Another football game? The mall?
It is time to realize the War on Terror is here to stay. Everyone has lost something to it; this military industrial complex machine and its corporatist lies have robbed the whole world and will continue to rape, pillage and plunder. There are no winners here, not even the profiteers who fill their pockets with blood-drenched Federal Reserve notes. No, there are no winners; only vast degrees of perpetual losing.
Another 9/11 anniversary will pass over a world that has lost enough to endless war.