Over grown military establishments are under any form of government inauspicious to liberty, and are to be regarded as particularly hostile to republican liberty. – George Washington
They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety. – Benjamin Franklin
“The modern liberal state … often uses deception to gain its ends — not so much deception of the foreign enemy, but of its own citizens,who have been taught to trust their leaders.” – Howard Zinn
It should be noted that our recent rapid descent into Tyranny is truly predicated on our vast ‘foreign entanglements’ that George Washington famously warned us about…
…Observe good faith and justice towards all nations; cultivate peace and harmony with all. Religion and morality enjoin this conduct; and can it be, that good policy does not equally enjoin it 7 It will be worthy of a free, enlightened, and at no distant period, a great nation, to give to mankind the magnanimous and too novel example of a people always guided by an exalted justice and benevolence. Who can doubt that, in the course of time and things, the fruits of such a plan would richly repay any temporary advantages which might be lost by a steady adherence to it ? Can it be that Providence has not connected the permanent felicity of a nation with its virtue ? The experiment, at least, is recommended by every sentiment which ennobles human nature. Alas! is it rendered impossible by its vices?
In the execution of such a plan, nothing is more essential than that permanent, inveterate antipathies against particular nations, and passionate attachments for others, should be excluded; and that, in place of them, just and amicable feelings towards all should be cultivated. The nation which indulges towards another a habitual hatred or a habitual fondness is in some degree a slave. It is a slave to its animosity or to its affection, either of which is sufficient to lead it astray from its duty and its interest. Antipathy in one nation against another disposes each more readily to offer insult and injury, to lay hold of slight causes of umbrage, and to be haughty and intractable, when accidental or trifling occasions of dispute occur. Hence, frequent collisions, obstinate, envenomed, and bloody contests. The nation, prompted by ill-will and resentment, sometimes impels to war the government, contrary to the best calculations of policy. The government sometimes participates in the national propensity, and adopts through passion what reason would reject; at other times it makes the animosity of the nation subservient to projects of hostility instigated by pride, ambition, and other sinister and pernicious motives. The peace often, sometimes perhaps the liberty, of nations, has been the victim.
So likewise, a passionate attachment of one nation for another produces a variety of evils. Sympathy for the favorite nation, facilitating the illusion of an imaginary common interest in cases where no real common interest exists, and infusing into one the enmities of the other, betrays the former into a participation in the quarrels and wars of the latter without adequate inducement or justification. It leads also to concessions to the favorite nation of privileges denied to others which is apt doubly to injure the nation making the concessions; by unnecessarily parting with what ought to have been retained, and by exciting jealousy, ill-will, and a disposition to retaliate, in the parties from whom equal privileges are withheld. And it gives to ambitious, corrupted, or deluded citizens (who devote themselves to the favorite nation), facility to betray or sacrifice the interests of their own country, without odium, sometimes even with popularity; gilding, with the appearances of a virtuous sense of obligation, a commendable deference for public opinion, or a laudable zeal for public good, the base or foolish compliances of ambition, corruption, or infatuation.
As avenues to foreign influence in innumerable ways, such attachments are particularly alarming to the truly enlightened and independent patriot. How many opportunities do they afford to tamper with domestic factions, to practice the arts of seduction, to mislead public opinion, to influence or awe the public councils. Such an attachment of a small or weak towards a great and powerful nation dooms the former to be the satellite of the latter.
Against the insidious wiles of foreign influence (I conjure you to believe me, fellow-citizens) the jealousy of a free people ought to be constantly awake, since history and experience prove that foreign influence is one of the most baneful foes of republican government. But that jealousy to be useful must be impartial; else it becomes the instrument of the very influence to be avoided, instead of a defense against it. Excessive partiality for one foreign nation and excessive dislike of another cause those whom they actuate to see danger only on one side, and serve to veil and even second the arts of influence on the other. Real patriots who may resist the intrigues of the favorite are liable to become suspected and odious, while its tools and dupes usurp the applause and confidence of the people, to surrender their interests…
Now, let’s put some modern names to those nations and/or undue foreign influences, he had so clamored about, namely: our misbegotten GWOT, AIPAC, Israel, and Iran…!
Let’s first look to the homefront… America the Battlefield: The End of the Rule of Law…
America’s so-called war on terror, which it has relentlessly pursued for the past ten years, has forever altered the political and legal landscape of our country. It has chipped away at our freedoms and is unraveling our Constitution. Even now, with Osama bin Laden having been killed and al-Qaeda dismantled by a series of high-profile assassinations, the war hawks continue to rattle their sabers. Yet while more and more Americans join the call for a de-escalation of military actions abroad, those clamoring for war have turned their focus inwards. As Senator Lindsay Graham recently remarked as an explanation for his support of legislation allowing for the indefinite detention of Americans, “Is the homeland the battlefield? You better believe it is the battlefield.”…
…Taken collectively, these provisions re-orient our legal landscape in such a way as to ensure that martial law, rather than the rule of law — our U.S. Constitution, becomes the map by which we navigate life in the United States. In short, this defense bill not only decimates the due process of law and habeas corpus for anyone perceived to be an enemy of the United States, but it radically expands the definition of who may be considered the legitimate target of military action…
…Of all of the egregious actions of the United States government in the past decade, this may be the most outrageous. That our lawmakers, sworn to uphold the Constitution, would even consider voting on a provision that completely eviscerates the rule of law is appalling. Unfortunately, this is the state of our government, a government that has been allowed to run wild since 9/11.
As we ratchet down the wars abroad, we must call upon our leaders to shore up the rule of law and civil liberties at home. There is absolutely no excuse for the continued abuse of power that we as a nation have endured for so long.
As Col. Wilkerson notes in that clip above, DoD is responsible for about 2/3rds of our entire Intel Apparatchik, what he left out was the fact that DoD has already out-sourced much of that mission to Private Contractors, invariably, to the largest War Mongers/Arms Exporters/MultiNational Corporations, ad nauseum, in the World…!
How readily could the impetus shift from the pursuit of Al Qaeda and radical Muslims(here and abroad), to say, Palestinian activists, anti-war and international solidarity activists, and/or even OWS participants…?
As Kevin Gosztola noted back in August, Obummer has already laid out the basic framework…
…The White House has released its strategy for “countering violent extremism in the United States.” The strategy seeks to encourage the development and use of community approaches to addressing “all types of extremism that lead to violence, regardless of who inspires it.” It immediately makes clear that Muslim Americans have “categorically condemned terrorism” and have worked “with law enforcement to help prevent terrorists attacks” and even gone so far as to help with “programs to protect their sons and daughters from al Qaeda’s murderous ideology.”
Unequivocally made clear is the fact that the White House rejects a framework that specifically sets out a strategy, which focuses efforts and resources on Islamic extremism. It promotes the idea that all groups and individuals are susceptible to violent extremism and not all violent extremists are or have been Muslims. It concludes, “Any solution that focuses on a single, current form of violent extremism, without regard to other threats, will fail to secure” America and America’s communities. It finds government officials and the American public should not “stigmatize or blame communities because of the actions of a handful of individuals.”…
No Definition of “Extremism” or “Extremist”
The framework seems to be a reasonable and well-rounded approach to any current or future threat of violent extremism. However, the strategy does not define “extremism.” It doesn’t define what the White House considers to be an “extremist.” The strategy makes numerous statements that would essentially exclude certain individuals. It notes, “A particular ethnic, religious or national background does not necessarily equate to special knowledge of violent extremism.” It finds strong religious beliefs do not equal violent extremism. And, it makes clear “opposition to government policy is neither illegal nor unpatriotic and does not make someone a violent extremist.”
It may be encouraging that “extremism” or “extremist” is not defined. Defining extremism might portend curbs on individual’s free speech, freedom of assembly, freedom of expression and even rights to freedom of the press. However, “extremism” is relative. Not defining the terms gives just as much if not more leeway for law enforcement abuse…
So whom would the individual ‘communities’ label as potential ‘extremists’ and/or ‘terrorists’…? How ‘local’ would that actual decision be made to label someone, and/or any entity as ‘extremist’…?
Far and away, we need to be very wary of AIPAC’s insidious influence over our own elected Congress, and, it’s ungodly devotion to Israel’s every little obsession…! A true case in point…
AIPAC posterizes Obama in Senate, 100-0
If you want to understand the pressure that Obama is under from the Israel lobby, consider this greasy story: Last week three high Obama officials urged Senators not to pass an amendment to the huge Defense Authorization Act that would apply far stiffer sanctions to Iran’s central bank than the Obama administration wanted. Two of the officials went to the Hill, and said the amendment would send oil prices higher, among other damaging effects.
But the Senate rebuffed the administration and voted unanimously, 100-0, for the sanctions.
Why did the Senate put aside appeals from Treasury secretary Tim Geithner, under secretary of the Treasury David Cohen, and Wendy Sherman, #3 at the State Department, all saying that the bill would be bad for business and bad for the U.S.’s efforts to build a coalition on Iran? Why did John Kerry, chairman of Senate Foreign Relations, acknowledge Tim Geithner’s letter against the legislation, and then vote against his president?
…And AIPAC took its scalp: It promptly organized a campaign to thank the Senators for voting for the sanctions.
Then after the Senate version passed, Adam Kredo reported that Howard Berman in the House was going to “fall on his sword” for the Obama administration and “water down” the legislation in the House. Stop the presses– Berman then sent Kredo a long email saying I will do nothing of the sort. And why? Because Berman’s district is being redrawn, and he’s in competition with liberal Democrat Brad Sherman, who is even more supportive of sanctions on the Central Bank of Iran.
Jeffrey Goldberg anchors the lobby relay team with this post calling for military strikes on Iran and saying Obama fails to understand the seriousness of the Iranian threat…
…AIPAC famously can get 70 Senators’ signatures on a napkin inside of a day, as Goldberg himself reported. AIPAC got 76 Senate signatures on this letter to Obama rebuking his stance on Israel back in the spring of last year. There were 87 Senate signatures on this Senate letter of June 2010 telling Obama to back Israel’s murderous response to the flotilla. When Gerald Ford thought to “reassess” Israel policy, he got a letter with 71 Senate signatures.
This time AIPAC got 100 against Obama!
I’m truly aghast…!
To put Israel’s hasbara apparatchik into it’s proper perspective…
…The survey of over 500 college students across the United States was conducted by a research firm in conjunction with December 10’s international Human Rights Day to gauge American undergraduates’ perception of human rights issues.
“The results clearly indicate that human rights are a priority for American young people and that they consider Iran to be a serious human rights violator, but they’re not informed about the specifics of those violations,” Iran 180 director of outreach Chris DeVito said. Iran 180 is a coalition of NGOs demanding Iran reverse its human rights practices.
According to the survey, 91 percent of college students think Iran either has problems with human rights or is one of the worst violators of human rights in the world, with 34% selecting Iran as the worst offender – more than any other country…
As a Baha’i, I’m well aware of Iran’s human rights issues, but, does that validate our need to bomb them into the stone age…? Note that there’s no mention of any sort of Mushroom Cloud…!
Anyways, besides our own stellar record on ‘human rights’, what about Israel’s treatment of their own women, much less, the plight of the Palestinians…?
Now, as those War drums beat ever louder, why are we ignoring the overt warnings…
Former Mossad chief: Israeli attack on Iran must be stopped to avert catastrophe
Meir Dagan speaks out against military offensive on Iran, expresses concern that Defense Minister Barak believes Israel only has less than a year to carry out an attack.
Will sanity ever prevail…?