We are not silent.
We have never been silent.
Our outrage, far from silent, continues.
That the corporate/warmonger media refuse to report the full extent of our protests, phone calls, Congressional visits, letters, emails, postcards, vigils, marches, demonstrations, civil disobedience, and fasts does NOT mean these acts of resistance have not taken place; only that they have been conveniently ignored by the ruling class’s main propaganda institution. If a protest takes place but is not reported, does that mean it didn’t happen?
Of course, it has always been in the best interests of the ruling class to minimize any opposition to their policies, and the corporate media, long ago abandoning its responsible, necessary role in a democracy of helping to keep citizens well-informed, are only too willing to go along with ignoring any true reporting which may present an unsettling view of reality to “consumers.” Michael Jackson’s death? A full week of coverage. The “balloon boy” hoax? Days of coverage. Casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan? A few seconds if they are U.S. or NATO; even less if they are Iraqi or Afghani civilians.
Dedicated strictly to making mega-profits using/abusing OUR public airwaves (so generously allowed by Democratic and Republican administrations, in spite of our protests), the last thing corporate media want is an accurately-informed citizenry. They fear that, if we were ever allowed to glimpse the truth about the serious, destructive, anti-democratic deceptions perpetrated upon us to keep the ruling class in power, the streets may be filled with angry citizens demanding true justice and democracy. After 45 years of activism in a culture which is nearly 100% dedicated to, as Neil Postman warned us, “amusing ourselves to death,” I’m no longer persuaded that the streets would be filled, especially if there’s a football game or “American Idol” show on TV that day. More importantly, so many of us are struggling with unemployment, under-employment, crushing mortgage payments and property taxes and health care bills and credit card payments, or even foreclosures, that we have less and less time and energy to be active citizens, all to the continued delight of, and advantage to, the ruling class and its propagandist media.
As for President Barack Obama, he has neither surprised nor disappointed many of us in the movement because, to so many of us, Obama has never been “our man”. Those of us who paid close attention to Obama’s voting record did NOT support him. Instead, many of us voted for candidates such as the Green Party’s Cynthia McKinney, who truly represented us, and still does.
Today, more and more progressives, liberals, independents, and former Obama supporters are finally waking up as the scales fall from their eyes and they finally begin to see Obama, and most Democrats, clearly for the first time. Gore Vidal told us long ago that the United States has one major political party, the property party, with two right wings. The reality is bitter, but must, finally, be faced: the warmongering ruling class will not allow anyone near such a high office who hasn’t been thoroughly vetted by them to assure their continued control of our economy, media, health care, and national “security” (a.k.a. fear-mongering, war-making) apparatus. The U.S. National Security State, firmly established by Democratic President Harry Truman in 1947, continues to grind on unrelentingly, growing more powerful and insane every day.
The last nail in the coffin of our constitutional republic, hardly ever a true democracy to begin with, was pounded in when the five Republican fascist (NOT “conservative”) Supreme Court “Justices” unconstitutionally selected George W. Bush as President in December, 2000, and Al Gore and most other Democrats meekly went along with that bloodless coup d’état .
Everything that has happened since then has been nearly inevitable, including Obama’s continuation and worsening of the Bush/Cheney unconstitutional policies and illegal wars/occupations, if not the expansion of them. His continuation of warmonger Bush’s “Defense” Secretary Robert Gates in office; increase of the War Budget (Federal welfare for war profiteers) by 4% more than Bush’s previous record high; Afghan war/occupation escalation; enlargement of the secretive “Guantanamo East” torture prison at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan; continuation of the Clinton/Bush renditions as well as the Bush/Cheney Patriot Act and Military Commissions; refusal to sign the treaty banning land mines; continued bailout of the Wall Street Banksters; more taxpayer welfare for the Health Insurance/ Big Pharma parasites under the guise of “health care reform”; and failure to do anything meaningful or significant about global warming/climate chaos are no surprise to many of us who have been clear-eyed all along. The true surprise would have been Obama challenging any of these authoritarian, predatory/corporate-capitalist policies.
Obama’s smooth, eloquent rhetoric has, thankfully, begun to wear thin even to many of his former supporters who are painfully, reluctantly learning the lesson which must always be applied to all leaders: pay close attention to what they do, not to what they say.
Obama has done very little to significantly make the U.S. into a more fair and just, law-abiding state truly carrying out policies consistent with respect for human rights and international law. Contrary to the self-deluded who still claim that he has “only” been in office 11 months, in reality, he has had more than enough time to set our nation on a truly more moral course (ask those still dying or being maimed in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Colombia, for starters). To begin with, his refusal to appoint a prosecutor for the many war crimes of the Bush/Cheney junta signaled Obama’s willingness to ignore Constitutional and international laws and be complicit in those crimes as an accessory after the fact. His continuation of the illegal wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, spreading to Pakistan, made him an active participation in those war crimes. His support for expansion of the U.S. global military empire into Honduras, Colombia, Africa, the Republic of Georgia, Bulgaria, and Romania is merely more evidence of his being well-vetted by the Imperial U.S. Ruling Class to be their latest attractive, distracting figurehead.
What can we do to change a morally corrupt political-economic system completely controlled by “lawmakers” who benefit handsomely by that corrupt status quo and who, with very few exceptions, will always fiercely resist any significant and necessary systemic changes, paying real attention to us only when they want our votes? What can rescue a culture devoted nearly mindlessly to “amusing itself to death” (or, at least, to complete ignorance and distraction)? I honestly do not know. “Hope” is nice, but is too often itself a distraction, if not a delusion.
What we do have, however, is even more valuable: determination.
We do not intend to stop our opposition to the inhumane, anti-democratic U.S. Empire for Global Domination, no matter whose face is the front man/woman for it. Obama’s arrogant, ultimately disastrous escalation of the U.S./NATO war on the people of Afghanistan, a people among the poorest on earth and who have known nothing but war and occupation for more than 30 years, ignores not only opposition to that war/occupation by a majority of Americans, but also the lessons of the history of previous empires doomed in Afghanistan, and of our own history in Vietnam.
Demonstrations and protests against Obama’s Afghan war escalation will occur Sunday, Nov. 29, Mon. Nov. 30, Tues. Dec. 1, and Wed. Dec. 2, throughout the U.S.
They will continue as long as warmongers, corporate or otherwise, run our government and rule our nation.
Regardless of being ignored by corporate media, our outrage at injustice and violence here and abroad, especially the U.S. state/corporate-inflicted violence of war (war is terrorism with a much bigger budget) and anthropogenic climate chaos, will not cease.
from the archives: