Posts Tagged ‘the war on terror’

How Dark Can It Get?

March 11, 2014

I saw this startling comment attached to an article about America’s secret courts and the “War On Terror” in today’s New York Times.

First, frighten the population into thinking that another attack is imminent.
Formalize the process, calling it The War On Terror. This ensures that it’s a never ending open ended conflict, as it’s a war not against an enemy, but against an idea. You can’t destroy an idea, and so the war can go on forever.
Then, tell the people you need more power and control to keep them safe. Reassure them with the lie that it’s temporary.
Issue secret orders allowing spy agencies specifically forbidden to operate on domestic soil to operate on domestic soil.
Sign into a law a decree allowing the leader to have citizens suspected of terrorism to be arrested and detained forever without benefit of counsel, or failing that, to be assassinated.
If they complain, point out that if they haven’t done anything wrong, they have nothing to worry about.
Set up secret courts that make secret laws that make the illegal things you’re doing legal.
Stonewall any attempts to rein in the military/spy axis. Give them all the money they want with weak or no oversight. Let them grow sufficiently powerful that they answer to no one.
I grew up under a totalitarian Eastern European regime, and can see very little difference between how that was run, and where we’re headed. Very little.
This was not the America, the beacon of freedom, I signed up for when I studied to become a citizen. As soon as I retire, I’m gone. There will be blood in the streets here in less than a decade.

The Torture Debate

May 13, 2009

The torture debate now revolves around the issue of whether or not it was effective. Some say yes, some say no, while others say that even if it was effective, it’s wrong to torture. Maybe someone else has said this, but I haven’t seen it anywhere: I don’t think it had anything to do with extracting information. It was all about inflicting pain on people they hated. It was revenge. My hunch is that one of the reasons Cheney is being so loud is to protect himself from prosecution, which he surely deserves. But he knows that if he were to be prosecuted now, many would see it as Obama punishing him for speaking out, which would not be a popular act, politically speaking.


February 23, 2009

While I’m happy that Obama is President, I think his Afghanistan policy is a big mistake—potentially a catastrophic mistake. I’ve never supported the so-called “War on Terror,” which is simplistic and deluded. It’s a cover. And when it’s not a cover, it’s just plain ignorance. We always walk into these situations certain that we can succeed where everybody else has failed. Then we pay a huge price. We never learn. We don’t understand or acknowledge the true cause and effect that’s in play. Obama is smart enough and well read-enough to know this. But I have little doubt that he feels heavy pressure from the deeply entrenched military/corporate complex, which will attempt to destroy his presidency if he does anything other than aim for “victory.” We need to support him loudly if he shows any inclination to move toward withdrawal. If it comes down to it, I’ll be out marching against this war.

Ending Torture

January 23, 2009

I’m very happy that Obama has ordered the closure of Guantanamo and denounced torture. Nevertheless, we now have a cadre of government employees who have crossed a line and are accustomed to torturing other human beings. That makes me uneasy. I have no doubt that there are politicians both in and out of government who are angry with Obama for discontinuing the practice. Any practice a government will use on its “foreign” enemies, it will eventually use on its domestic critics. Remember. Bush’s line was, “You’re either with us or against us.” If you didn’t support him, you were with the enemy. I never believed that the goal of their domestic spying was to stop terrorist attacks. It was always aimed at controlling the domestic scene. The neo-cons have shown themselves to be ruthless. I often felt over the last six years that we were just one terrorist attack away from martial law. As they mull over the election, they’re bound  to see their loss as the result of not being ruthless enough.

It’s tempting to relax now. (I’m so tired of politics.) But we really need to stay involved with what happens in the coming years. A lot could happen that would make possible the return to power of these monsters. And their methods will be much harsher if they ever do.