Government Semantics and Stupid Americans By Timothy V. Gatto

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By Timothy V. Gatto
Featured Writer
Dandelion Salad
May 15, 2010

The words bandied about by the government and the U.S. media surely must give those of us that can still think for ourselves a great deal of pause.  It appears that just about everyone that opposes U.S. intervention in any country becomes an “insurgent”. Those that actually attack our troops in foreign countries automatically become “terrorists”. It doesn’t matter what pretext we storm into a country with U.S. troops with, those that oppose us are automatically dumped in the same category.

This is a deliberate attempt by the U.S. government, with mainstream media help, to frame the conflicts we find ourselves in.  Just like in a debate we frame our ideas and opinions to score points with the judges and to back our opponents into a tightly weaved box. Our government does the same thing with describing those that differ with them.  Rome described all peoples that didn’t belong to the Roman Empire as “barbarians”. America seems to have learned this lesson well. It worked so well for Rome, many people to this day believe that these civilizations, even those that were well advanced, were barbarians. Language is that powerful.

There is another mantra that is bandied about in this country and that is the phrase that “Our soldiers are fighting overseas for our freedom”.  Unfortunately, nothing could be further from the truth. The fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq has absolutely nothing to do with our freedoms. In fact, the exact opposite is true. As we prosecute this contrived “War on terror” we see our freedoms under The Bill of Rights constantly under attack and are eroding before our very eyes.  In the name of “fighting the war on terror” we see our e-mails and telephones subject to governmental examination in violation of the First Amendment.

Americans had hoped that Obama would have rescinded many of the more oppressive laws that the Bush administration had put in place. Unfortunately this didn’t turn out to be the case. The Obama administration is in the process of reconvening the Military Commission trials and holding “enemy combatants” in violation of the Geneva Convention as “enemy combatants” even though many of these folks were sold to American forces for a bounty by their countrymen to the U.S. and have no ties to those that attack our forces.

This “War on terror” is a huge scam. It seems that when the polls start showing that the American people are beginning to tire of paying over a trillion dollars a year for defense, and while they  tire of seeing American soldiers come back in body bags, there is another “Terrorist” plot uncovered in America. I sincerely have my doubts on the veracity of these so-called “attacks”. It seems to me that they are always a fortuitous thing for the administration as to when they surface. Call me paranoid but how many times have these plots arrived right on time?

I don’t want to ring any alarm bells here, but I believe that since I saw it with my own eyes I should report it. Months ago I read an article with photographs of modular prison cells on a train somewhere in Utah. I have no idea what these prison cells are going to be used for and I don’t want to speculate. What I saw in Mauldin, South Carolina yesterday alarmed me however. There on a railroad siding was about fifty of these “modular prison cells” on flatbeds.

I’d just like to end this by saying that it is probably in your best interests to understand how the media and the government uses semantics and how they describe things. These are age old ways of influencing the population to support military adventures from time immemorial. Read between the lines and think for yourselves. There can’t be millions of “terrorists” that spawned in the last five years. “Insurgents” more than likely are people that want foreign troops out of their country. We were “insurgents” in the Revolutionary War. Many of us did not wear uniforms either. The Continental Army could barely afford uniforms. The people of Iraq and Afghanistan don’t have a “uniform” budget, so I guess this means that they are not covered by the Geneva Conventions. What  a sham! Read Tim’s book “Complicity to Contempt” and Tim’s new novel “Kimchee Days”.

10 thoughts on “Government Semantics and Stupid Americans By Timothy V. Gatto

  1. Pingback: War without Borders: Obama’s Long War « Dandelion Salad

  2. Pingback: Government Semantics and Stupid Americans « Coreys Views

  3. Hi all!

    Great stuff Tim and thank-you to everyone here who responded.

    Tim is so right on…people get it, if you put it in a frame of reference they understand, and if you infuse the Left’s position with a love of country and the Constitution.

    Look at how Naomi Wolf and her book ‘The End of America’ has been warmly received by the thinking and reasonable members of the Tea Party movement…because she explains so well that the Founding Fathers had a deep love of freedom and a first-hand knowlege of tyranny and brutality, including the excesses of capitalism and greed.

    We can build a coalition of the Left and the Libertarians not by agreeing on everything but by sharing common values that are all about LOVE of country, not endless bashing…

    If we frame ourselves as lovers of country and not bashers, if we acknowledge most of our troops are not brutal thugs or torturers but are simply placed in an impossible situation to do the best they can…people will get it!

    Our atrocities create more so-called terrorists everyday, if a foreign power used a robot airplane to kill someone you loved–even if its a mistake— you’d be a terrorist too, people get that. Horrors and atrocities and supporting dictators is awful and it CAN end!

    We only need 225 more Kucinichs and 59 more Saunders in Congress, and and a media ethical and courageous enough to pin Pres Obama on his campaign commitments, and there won’t be anymore tribunals and horrible atrocities and brutal wars of conquest…

    Clean new sources of renewable energies and technologies……a massive infusion of wealth away from the military and back to the states, the people…a rebuilding of the manufacturing base, good jobs, training….a single payer health care system…public campaign financing…people are getting it.

    Near where I live, the mayor of a small city that used to have big companies that have all moved their operations to other countries–a place that really used to be a nice place to live but is crumbling, some 60% of the city is now either retired/elderly or on public assistance, there are no jobs, neighborhoods decay, schools lose money, the state is broke..its that way everywhere near me, people see it…

    So this mayor has a sign out in front of his City Hall that tells EVERYbody passing by how much LESS Federal block grant money has made its way to his city because of these foreign wars! (it’s up to $136M over 10 yrs) He gets it!

    True social democracy IS possible!! People DO get it! Let’s get to work!! Let’s not shut up!!

    Maybe things have to get worse before people wake up but they CAN get better!


  4. Dear Timothy,

    My quandary isn’t going to be helped by taking part in peace rallies or writing to unresponsive legislators. I did all that rather extensively from 2000 to 2006 before I left the U.S., with abysmal results. You won’t believe where I ended up, either. China! First, I went to Europe and suffered the haughtiness of the class barrier and oppressively low wages as an English teacher, and then I came to China, which has not been an easy adjustment, but I’ll probably make this my home for the rest of my life, now that I’m in my third year of living here and my son, who followed me here, is marrying a Chinese woman.

    Surprisingly, I’ve found that the Chinese government is far more responsive to netizens than the American government is. It may shock most Americans, but I believe that China is more of a working democracy today than the U.S. And it’s not really a working democracy either, but it’s all relative.

    Back in pre911 of 2001, George Bush summed up his attitude rather neatly when he told a black man in a church he visited in D.C., “Who cares what you think?” Obama has more finesse, he actually seems to care what others think, but in reality, it’s a pose; his actions show that the only people he really cares about are the truly wealthy, who he serves with slavish idolatry.

    Martin Luther King understood that peace marches were not effective without economic boycott. What Americans don’t seem to understand is that there is economic boycott being used against the U.S. right now. Our military has been preempted to serve the interests of the world’s oligarchy. These military exercises are most definitely not winning the hearts and minds of anyone, but are seen for the heavy, forceful hand of an oil-dependent nation that is attempting to coerce and disrupt other country’s internal affairs in order to gain control of its markets or resources.

    Once the Kandahar offensive goes forward this summer, Americans will no longer have the freedom to travel the world; it won’t be safe to step outside of the U.S. My sense is that the threat of jihad that has been used to frighten us will become an actual one. U.S. militarism is acting to make the world unsafe by fomenting war, inciting fear and hatred, and causing death and destruction. Killing people will never win their hearts and minds.

    Read the Kandahar prophesy that I’ve posted on Dandelion Salad. Once the U.S. and NATO forces have slaughtered Afghanis in Kandahar, the naked aggression of the U.S. will be seen for what it truly is by people everywhere, as more and more are beginning to see beyond the hyperbole.

    I no longer believe that working within the system can make any difference at all,. Every institution we have is deeply flawed to begin with, embedded with institutionalized sexism, racism and classism; designed to divide rather than unite us, even our much vaunted Constitution. Instead I claim individual sovereignty as set forth in Triaka’s Constitution of United Diversity (you can Google it).

    And even though my identity today is forged primarily through my deep alignment with the spirit of our planet, Terra Gaia, so that I first and foremost consider myself a planetary citizen, I am still an American and take responsibility for what ails our nation. The answer for a dispirited people lies in activating the indomitable will to evolve and claim our individual sovereign rights to determine our destiny. I believe that as a visionary writer, I have a part to play in that process. So that part of your prescription, I do accept.

  5. Glad to see this spelled out in terms for the masses.

    Next proposed topic:
    I’d like to see an analysis of the term “american exceptionalism”. This is a big part of the problem, it’s a religious blind belief. Explain the flaws in this doctrine and where/when/why it happened and how it went so tragically wrong.

  6. Timothy, I’m not at all sure that all Americans are so stupid that they believe whatever doubletalk the mass media propagandists dish out. It’s probably closer to the truth that most Americans feel so enslaved that they’re afraid of the repercussions of speaking out, of the whip lash of losing a job, or of the scorn and ridicule of defenders of the status quo.

    Yes, there are many Americans whose vested interests keep them toeing the mark, even if it means demeaning their integrity and humanity to retain whatever possessions and privileges they’ve accrued. But even that’s not so simple, probably the vast majority don’t question authority because they need to work or find a job to support themselves and their families. And it’s the people with the money who provide the jobs… and the people with the money are the ones setting this highly lethal international policy. In that situation, most people choose not to think for themselves because if they just don’t go there to question what’s happening, then they won’t find themselves in the quandary of challenging the “establishment”. It’s a really uncomfortable situation.

    So most Americans skirt around the impossible dilemma posed by actually caring about people in other countries that the U.S. government has chosen to vilify as insurgents or terrorists. They wall themselves off and put on blinders so they won’t see. Too much is at stake in becoming fully aware of what is happening, or in making the connection about the blood and bones their jobs are built on. So they will blindly carry on, conformists to their doom.

    • It’s not remotely all media and government. The majority of amerigoon people truly are indefatigably selfish, fat & stupid. Amerigah is largely an idiocracy for real.

    • Your reply is the same as almost every comment I’ve ever seen regarding our lost liberties and our government’s unending wars. I do have an answer for you that may or may not make sense to you.

      First of all and most importantly, talk to your friends and family about what you perceive to be the truth. Somebody will eventually come around. Secondly, write to your local paper. You don’t need to be Shakespeare to put together your thoughts on paper. Last, but very important, write your elected officials over and over again. If enough people made their voices heard, maybe someday they will listen, even if it for their own sake politically.

      One more thing, participate in a peace demonstration near here you live. At the very least, you will connect with like-minded folks. Hope this helped you out of your quandrt,

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