Wednesday, March 18, 2015
War on Terrorism Or War on Citizen’s Rights?
Regardless of how or why the war on terrorism began the result is that the government is using it as an excuse to spy on its citizens and shroud a lot of government activity in secrecy. This is a threat to the basic principles of democracy. In order to have a successful democracy the public has to have a good education and access to the information they need to make decisions, and they also need to know what their government is doing. The secrecy that is being used to combat the war on terror may be more dangerous than the terror itself especially since their doesn’t seem to be that much damage from the war on terror compared to many other much worse disasters even if you include 9/11. Or at least there isn’t as much damage to Americans compared to other disasters. If you count the damage that is being done to third world citizens it may be different.
The problem with terrorism should be solved the same way as any other problem, by finding the cause and preventing it. This won’t happen if everyone is driven into a panic mode. The assumption that war is the solution to all our problems is false. War is the absence of solutions where everyone is fighting each other and trying to destroy the opposition. A closer look at history and the events that led up to the war on terrorism will help do this but in order to do this successfully there needs to be a good look at all relevant aspects of the subject not just the aspects that the Mass Media and the government drill into the heads of the public.
There are many contributing causes to terrorism but most of them may fall into two categories generally speaking. The first one is that most of these terrorist come from violent communities where they have little or no opportunities to lead a pleasant life. They are often raised in countries run by tyrants that suppress their people with violence and the only way they learn to deal with problems is by fighting violence with violence. Many of these tyrannical regimes have been supported by the United States or other European governments at one time or another and in many case they are still receiving some degree of support from these governments. The most effective way of addressing this problem is to put an end to tyrannical governments in the most effective way possible and set up a rational education system so that the citizens of any given country can learn how to run their own country.
The second leading cause is that instead of receiving a rational education from birth they are often indoctrinated into one belief system or another without any rational attempt to sort out the truth. The truth is often dictated to these people and when they try to challenge false beliefs they are often intimidated or punished from birth. They learn not to challenge authority as long as that authority has sufficient power at any given time. If this starts at birth and goes on long enough they may adopt a fanatical belief system where logic doesn’t apply. Once again the most effective way to address this problem is to set up a rational education system in third world countries where different ideas can be explored and the public can be involved in sorting through the details and figuring out what is true. These are long term solutions and they aren’t the solutions the government and the Mass Media are focusing on. What the government and the Mass Media are focusing on seems to be efforts to try to stop terrorism just barely before it happens. This is having limited success and at a great cost.
A closer look at history including some reliable source that the government isn’t pointing out to the public indicates that the government is almost certainly exaggerating the threat as they did when we were in the cold war and they exaggerated the amount of missiles the USSR had. The government is also overlooking many things that may indicate that some of these terrorists may have some legitimate grievances. That doesn’t mean they are expressing their grievances well, they aren’t nor does it mean that terrorism is justified by these grievances. However they should still be taken into consideration even if they aren’t legitimate. Just because many people in the western world doesn’t understand these grievances doesn’t mean they aren’t a part of the problem that needs to be addressed. In many cases the USA has supported many tyrannical regimes and supplied them with arms in the past when it served their purposes but then when they no longer needed the people from these third world countries they abandoned them. The United States has propped up the government of the Shah on several occasions before it was overrun by religious extremists, in the eighties they supplied weapons to both sides in the Iran Iraq war at times, they supplied weapons to the Mujahedeen which later became the Taliban and Al-Qaida, they continue to support the government of Saudi Arabia even though they still support radical Islamic fundamentalists. The US isn’t operating from some sort of moral high ground nor have they earned the trust of the citizens of the USA or the world. Any trust they have obtained is a result of the control or influence they have over some of the most powerful institutions in the world including the Mass Media.
Contrary to the image they project of themselves they aren’t fighting to protect democracy around the world. In order to protect democracy they have to help preserve and expand the educational systems in the world and make sure the public has access to the moist important information they need to make rational decisions and stick up for their own rights. Not only haven’t they been doing this abroad but they are also providing the citizens of the US with an enormous amount of propaganda that ignore many of the most important facts and keep the majority of the public so that they don’t provide much resistance to the political institutions in power. The US government is dominated by two parties both of which receive the majority of their campaign finances from multinational-corporations that conduct business around the world often with some of the worst tyrants that suppress their people and provide breeding grounds for terrorism. The same multinational-corporations have excessive control over the Mass Media. This means that some of the most powerful institutions of the world are actually responsible for inciting terrorism.
The USA has also been involved in many other conflicts unrelated to Islamic extremism around the world often protecting the financial interests of major corporations even when it involved suppressing the people of those countries. Many of the countries that were influenced during the cold war based on the assumption that we had to fight the threat of communism were actually manipulated for the best interest of many of the most powerful corporations. This includes the influence in many of the countries in Central America and South America and it probably includes Viet Nam as well. A closer look at history from the right sources clearly indicates a lot of the history that is presented to the public is very selective and it ignores many inconvenient facts. One good source to check is “The Peoples History of the United States” by Howard Zinn. This is just one of many low profile books that the Mass Media has virtually ignored.
The multinational corporations use a very sophisticated system to influence the public which most people don’t understand but they often do understand that something is wrong and they are getting the short end of the stick while those with political power lead much better lives. If this was simpler it would be much easier to understand. Consider what would happen if a high school bully beats someone up every day and that person starts to hate him and seeks revenge. In this simple instance it is easy to understand why the victim hates the bully. This would be similar to what is happening on a global scale but it is done by huge institutions controlled by a small percentage of the public. They control the Mass Media and they understand how to manipulate a larger percentage of the public and use divide and rule tactics to maintain their power. They are doing the same thing in a more complicated way so they can maintain plausible deniability. As Robert Bowman says “We are not hated because we practice democracy, freedom, and human rights. We are hated because we deny these things to people in third world countries whose resources are coveted by our multinational corporations.” The multinational corporations are working with countries around the world that deprive their citizens of basic rights and they are supported by the USA. Instead of educating the public in these countries and allowing them to learn how to run their own governments the USA is supplying arms and money to the tyrants running many countries in return for their natural resources and cheap virtual slave labor. This creates a breeding ground where fanatics can recruit uneducated people for their cause who are smart enough to know that they are not having the freedom that US propaganda claims they are. The US Media pays little or no attention to what they often call collateral damage. This means that there are hundreds of thousands being killed and tortured around the world. In addition to that they have very little benefit if any from the natural resources of their own countries. The environment is being destroyed and many people have to fight for clean water or their basic needs.
The following is a quote from the declaration of Independence. "....all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed." The majority of the public hasn’t fully comprehended what this means but many of the people who have been manipulating the public have. They have set the stage so that there is a fairly large middle class in the USA and other western countries with a reasonable education and a reasonably good life style or at least one that is good enough to forestall major protests from these people. These people are often a fairly strong voting block perhaps second only to the richest people. They have some say in the way the country is run as long as they pay enough attention. This is usually limited to a few issues and even they don’t have as much influence as they think. Then there are the lower classes in the USA who have less education and don’t know how to stand up for their rights as well as many others. When they do they often do so based on information given to them from a demagogue. In many cases the various demagogues cancel each others influence and while they are arguing amongst themselves and paying attention to the scandal of the day usually about sex or some other issue that doesn’t influence policy the upper classes pretty much do what they want. While this is happening in the USA there are many people in other countries who have to suffer evils that are insufferable and they strike out in the only way they know how. Since they usually have even less education then the lower classes in the USA and because they are usually being suppressed with violence they usually strike out with violence.
H.L. Mencken once said “The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed by menacing it with a series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.” He wasn’t quite right but he was close. If they were all imaginary it would be tough to convince the public they were real; if they picked a real “hobgoblin” or some one that most didn’t understand so they seemed like a hobgoblin and incited them so they would strike out in a violent way then exaggerated the threat the public would be much more likely to believe it. This is exactly what is happening now. The war on terror is just another divide and rule tactic.
The government is also much less inclined to protect security when it comes to infringing on the rights of those with political power. Most of the 9/11 bombers were Saudi’s yet they gave the Saudi royal family a free pass out of the country without much if any investigation. They haven’t done much if anything to real the Saudis in despite the fact that they still infringing on the rights of many of their people and support radical Islam. Nor do they do much if anything to slow down the massive amount of goods crossing the border due to the NAFTA agreement yet the majority of the public is expected to undergo embarrassing pat down searches and or body scans even little children and old ladies. The USA has also been responsible for providing many of the arms that have often been turned against us. In many cases the weapons sent to tyrannical regimes that suppressed their own people have come from the USA including the arms sold to the Shah before the radicals took over as well as the arms supplied to the Mujahedin and the USA continues to make it easier to get weapons in the USA than many if any other country in the world. When the US invaded Afghanistan the CIA found a manual that taught their people to take advantage of the loop holes in gun control laws like lack of background checks at gun shows. Many terrorist groups including the IRA have obtained guns for export in the USA so they could use them for terrorism in other counties.
Part of the reason many of these people resort to violence is because it is the only thing they know how to do. They didn’t receive the education necessary to get ahead in the current complex system and they weren’t taught non violent ways to protest besides many of the people that do use nonviolent ways to protest are virtually ignored. If some of these people did have a better education they might participate in the nonviolent protests and they might be too big to ignore or even better they might find a better way to reform the system that is more efficient and educates the public in a more efficient manner.
Many people that are consulting with the government or other institutions that influence the government already understand this. The FBI has a Behavioral Science Unit that studies this on a domestic level, The political campaigners study different ways to manipulate the public, and the CIA has been consulting with Psychologists, sociologist and other academics for at least forty or fifty years. Some of these former members of the FBI’s BSU have written several books about profiling and Victor Marchetti and John Marks came forward over thirty years ago to report on many of the tactics the CIA have been using and this was endorsed by former CIA director William Colby endorsed it. This indicates that many of the people conducting the war on terror have a much better understanding of how flawed it is than the majority of the public. There needs to be a much better effort to educate the public.
The USA is ignoring the root causes of terrorism and scapegoating those that are least able to stand up for themselves in a rational manner. They are instigating hatred in sophisticated manners and then when people strike out they call them a terrorist and follow this up with an enormous amount of propaganda that is designed to convince the public these people are guilty until proven innocent and they don’t even deserve the right to a defense. King George tried similar things over 200 years ago when he labeled the rebels rabble. How the terrorist are portrayed in the future depends on who “wins” the war and writes the history. The truth may not be taken into consideration if the most powerful people have their say.
First posted on tripod on 1/22/10
Declaration of Independence:
For report on “Guns and Terror: How the terrorist exploit our weak gun laws”
To read Robert Bowman’s comments see:
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