August 4, 2003
1. Formula for Fascism----aggrandizement of federal power + corporatism
+ mainstream media monopoly + military precedence + patriotic
nationalism + limitations of civilian liberties. We view with contempt
the weekly Executive Orders, a clandestine shadow government, and the
merger of domestic and foreign intelligence gathering agencies. We
witness with horror the inhumane and uncivil detainment, and pending
military kangaroo court of so-called enemy combatants held incommunicado
at a concentration camp in Guantánamo Bay of not only Arabs but also
David Hicks, a 27 year-old Australian who converted to Islam and trained
with al-Qaeda a year before the Patriot Act red-penned the Bill of
Rights. We groan at the classification of important historical
documentation, deregulation on oversight of corporations and an increase
in corporate contract welfare, and mergers and buyouts coupled with
unlivable wages. We empathize with a soaring prison population created
by pernicious drug laws, especially the Rockefeller Drug Laws, that target both poor communities and
minorities. We become ill when we observe the monopoly of Clear Channel
and Infinity Broadcasting (thank goodness for listener-sponsored, WBAI
and Pacifica 'Peace and Justice' Radio), and the giant beast ABCNNBCBS.
And we shake our heads at the exhibition of the corporate/state opinion,
as many window and bumper stickers advertise, the power of pride for
trillions spent on bombs that kill children with little on social
welfare or education.
2. Department of Defense----We have not defended ourselves adequately against a foreign attack since the battle at Fort McHenry in Baltimore in 1814, the fateful night when Francis Scott Key composed an anthem to the battle that glorified war and patriotic jingoism. Back then the government and people termed this division the Department of War, and we still had the American frontier with millions of AmerIndians, Mexicans, and natural resources to conquer before worrying about the Asian lands across the oceans. Now the War on Terror is an offensive war, and in war the normal rules of conduct do not apply. War is Peace, Slavery is Freedom, Ignorance is Strength, and those that think otherwise are not taken into consideration by the vicious, bicephalous, neo-imperial, ego-driven majority that dominates the Capital and directs this nation's foreign and domestic policies. If we really supported the troops, we would bring them home from a country invaded and now occupied colonially on a series of disinformation lies.
3. USA Patriot Act----This executive piece of legislation changes inalienable rights endowed by natural law from birth, into extrinsic rights granted and determined by the state. We still have our enumerated freedoms, but the Justice Department found a loose construction loophole in the Bill of Rights and can now infringe upon civilian liberties, as they always have in the past during public wars. War facilitates not only these fascist restrictions, but also distracts the public from domestic problems and scandals. Many of the public unwittingly stand united not only against violence and terrorism, but also against free thought and social justice. Congress and the semi-independent commission led by former New Jersey governor Thomas Kean recently expressed frustration at the Bush administration's refusal to release documentation crucial to the 9-11 investigation. How can a nation and the public prevent further assault if they do not understand the how and why of the September 11th incident? How despicable that thousands of innocents lie dead or severely wounded in Iraq, that more soldiers of the United States die there every week, and that not only did the Bush administration lie repeatedly about the threat, but also conceals key evidence to limit the scope of the investigation into the 9-11 tragedy!?! ----www.votetoimpeach.org.
4. Colder War----In 1917, in Saint Petersburg, the police of the tsar stopped harassing, beating, and sometimes shooting the demonstrators, protesters, and petitioners that filled the streets. The soldiers finally realized that they were just as exploited by the system as their fellow workers and peasants, and switched sides to oppose the elites in the Winter Palace who both continued a devastating war, and destroyed the economy. Other leaders soon became elites and with the help of modern technology, waged greater terrorized control over a historically brutalized populace. Revolutions do just that, they end up right back where they started, some just take more time than others.
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America the 'beautiful' on Swans
Scott Orlovsky is a World History & Cultures, and an American History teacher at Clifton High School in New Jersey. He has a BA in History from the Johns Hopkins University and a MA in History from the University of Colorado. Orlovsky's writing has appeared in the Greenwich Village Gazette and he regularly contributes his columns to Swans.
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