by Philip A. Farruggio
November 4, 2011
Let us first define a few things:
Evil: Morally bad or wrong; harmful and injurious; something that causes misfortune, suffering or difficulty.
Empire: Imperial domination, power or authority; larger than a kingdom and often comprising a number of territories or nations, ruled by a SINGLE CENTRAL AUTHORITY (my caps).
Enable: To provide with the means; to give legal power, capacity or sanction to.
Germany, 1941. Any small town, perhaps a suburban one. Young mothers are dropping their kids off at a local gymnasium. They smile and laugh to one another, as do the happy kids. Everyone, it seems, is content. There is no mention, not even the thought, of the Wehrmacht’s deep penetration of Russia, a totally pre-emptive attack upon a sovereign nation. Nor is there the consideration of the brutality of such an invasion, with the burning of villages, summary executions of civilians etc. As to the fate of the Russian Jews, well, to these mothers on that sunny afternoon in some suburban German town… who cares? Did they care about the welfare of their neighbors; German Jews forced to wear the yellow star and forced to give up their businesses… and homes? What about the rumors of concentration camps performing such brutality on the inmate? Surely, most of these young mothers must have known something?
Port Orange, Florida, 2011. Young mothers, many in jumbo SUVS, stop to drop off or pick up their teenaged kids outside the local YMCA. It is a sunny and quite pleasant November afternoon. They laugh and smile at one another, exchanging recent gossip or news. The kids are so happy, the Moms seem so happy. Some SUVs have the yellow ribbons to ‘Support Our Troops ‘or maybe to ‘Save the Turtles ‘. Yet, never will the conversations contain dialogue about our illegal and immoral invasions of Iraq & Afghanistan. As with those German moms in 1941, Iraq and Afghanistan are filled with terrorists, similar to those sub human Slavs who were killing the brave Wehrmacht soldiers in Russia. There is no mention by the Port Orange moms about what they knew was done at Abu Ghraib , or the infamous Apache Helicopter massacre of 19 unarmed Iraqi civilians by US soldiers in 2007. Do these moms realize, or even dare to realize, that over half of the federal taxes their husbands and they send to Uncle Sam go for strictly military spending? The school system they send those happy , smiling kids to is being slowly bankrupted, as is the library that the kids go to so often, as is the police department and fire department, and most city services….
Whether some of you out there like it or not, America is an empire and has been one since the end of WW2. Sadly, as the years move onward, our empire has gotten both larger and more evil. I could ramble on as to how our Military Industrial Complex (MIC) conned us into thinking that the Russians were a threat to us. The reality is that after our U 2 surveillance flights of the 1950s, sources high up in the Pentagon and political sphere knew the opposite to be true. Matter of fact, if one reads JFK and the Unspeakable by Douglass, it was the Joint Chiefs, in collusion with Dulles and his CIA crew, who unanimously agreed in 1960 for a pre-emptive nuclear attack on the Russians in the very near future. Eisenhower, terrified by this cabal (which in his farewell address he named the Military Industrial Complex) decided to let the new president, JFK, deal with them and their plans. Readers of this column should Google Operation Northwoods and be enlightened as to what lengths our MIC can and will go to (9/11 Truth anyone?). The MIC, from the 60s on, led us into Vietnam, Chile (assassination of Allende), countless coups in a myriad of countries… and finally our two invasions/ occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan. What all these covert and overt military operations accomplished was to slowly bankrupt our economy, by transferring needed revenues for domestic stability into added funds for the War Industries.
In previous columns this writer has focused on the lack of morality by not only our leaders but by many of our citizenry. How many of us have turned a blind eye to unconstitutional and illegal acts of war by our government? The very people who get so riled up about aborting a fetus remain silent to the aborting of the lives of innocent civilians destroyed by our Shock & Awe bombings or our use of torture. Hundreds of thousands, yes, hundreds of thousands of simple and decent citizens of Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan have been killed or maimed by our military might. Sometimes it is the lack of healthy drinking water, or lack of electricity, or lack of food, all because our WMDs have taken out their vital infrastructure. Our soldiers are not fighting wars in these countries. No, they are being used as illegal occupiers and jailers in nations that the United States has transformed into prisons for their citizens. Are there terrorists? Yes, there are terrorists in these places. The English, world renowned imperialists and colonialists, labeled our Revolutionary War patriots as terrorists and guerillas. Their British descendants, who ruled Palestine, referred to the Irgun, the Zionists who blew up the King David Hotel in Jerusalem (July 22, 1946) killing 91 people, mostly women and children, as terrorists. The Nazis in occupied France and Poland called the partisans and resistance fighters terrorists. Terrorism is a broad term and is used by both the legitimate victims of it and by the evil invaders victimized by it.
You see, for many out there, if the horror and the terror do not hit you where you live, then you forget or deny it. Here we are, going on nine years after our illegal and immoral invasion of Iraq, and still many of us do not give a damn? Oh yes, now that the financial costs of it all have come home ‘to roost ‘, people begin to care. ‘Money talks and nobody walks ‘, yes? In some quarters of our nation there is finally outrage at how broke we are, both economically and spiritually. At least some of us are beginning to ‘get it ‘. What about the rest of you out there? What about those of you, who still, to this day, buy what the MIC is selling? You display the yellow ribbons and you pray each Sunday for our troops… not to get them the hell out of there, rather to allow them to ‘finish the mission ‘and bring democracy to Iraq & Afghanistan. You vote for the 2 Party con job over and over. You never question their motives or their actions when it comes to spending your hard earned money on more and more war and mayhem abroad. You will most likely allow a virtual police state to overwhelm our daily lives… at least for those of us out there who adhere to the Bill of Rights. This Occupy Wall Street grassroots movement is a good thing, if done peacefully and free from partisan political co opting. It would indeed be sad if they overlook the most vital of all issues: It’s the empire stupid! The same crooks and scoundrels that Mark Twain told us it was government’s purpose to protect us from are front and center with the MIC. Who invests in the war machinery? Who loans money to Uncle Sam to conduct phony wars and invasions? Who profits from these things? I am hoping and praying that the brave souls who belong to this new street protest movement will finally ‘ connect the dots ‘ and realize that it is all part of one big MIC scam!
Philip A. Farruggio is son and grandson of Brooklyn NYC longshoremen. He is a small businessman, activist leader and free lance columnist. Philip is an advocate for the 25% Solution to cut military spending to save our state and city budget shortfalls. Since the 2000 elections, he has written over 250 columns, many posted on various sites worldwide. Recently, he is finding a home at the fine Dandelion Salad website. Philip can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Flags, Circuses… But No Bread! by Philip A. Farruggio (dandelionsalad.wordpress.com)
- Barack, You’re Like Any Other JACKASS! by Philip A. Farruggio (dandelionsalad.wordpress.com)
- Default Through Immorality by Philip A. Farruggio (dandelionsalad.wordpress.com)
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Phillip — i motion that we keep this thing on the blog to give Jim and others a chance to respond .
since war aborts human life , and abortion is war on lives also , then i think that you and the minivan moms should be commended not condemned for raising your voices against human atrocitys .
if the minivan moms are pro life but pro war then they have a hypocritical double standard. if you are pro choice and against war then dont you have a double standard also ?
when ralph nader , jesse jackson , and nat hentoff condemned the euthanasia against her will of terry shavio they correlated it to what the nazis call ”useless eaters”. if you are pro-euthanasia , then you are you not taking the Nazi position that people are expendable ? same goes for the injustice of the death penalty , which is nothing more than revenge . from the womb to the tomb ALL taking of human life is evil . if we have to talk evil then lets talk evil …up front on the blog .
Here where we live we stand in front of an abortion clinic in the morning in silent vigil , do the same thing at an air force base in the afternoon , and stand outside the state prison on the night of an execution . this is all done in one day , in order to show the connectedness of ALL human life and that double standards dont cut it in a society that claims to be civilized .
Phillip — Nat Hentoff’s article in the New York Village Voice on the judicial murder of Terry Shavio . Now this is Nazism in America front and center… Just as bad as the Nazi influence on American wars , and the kind of Euthanasia that the Nazis practiced, being that their only crime was being disabled.
Thanks for the link, Rocket. Excellent article, highly recommend it.
To Jay Diamond:
Please try your comment again and leave out the personal attacks on other commenters. No name calling, in other words.
Its not just a problem of democracy…
“It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!”
— Upton Sinclair
“We must never forget that if we attempt to go head to head with those who are [destructive], we will always be at a severe, systemic, and functional disadvantage.
“Two people walk through a forest. One considers how extraordinarily beautiful the forest is, and how wonderful it is to be alive. The other notices how much of this forest could be turned into immediate fiscal profit, and thinks about how that could be done. Q: Which of these people will probably make more money off the forest? Q: Within this culture, which of these people is more likely to wind up in a position of power, making decisions that effect the human and nonhuman communities in and around the forest? Q: How do those of us who care stop them from destroying the forest?”
— Derrick Jensen, Endgame
We are the modern indigenous. We are the 99%
everything you stated is valid… my question to you is ‘ Why are we here in this mortality? is it by chance or is it for a purpose? what is that purpose? you see, to remain silent in the face of tyranny is to give it LICENSE. if one is already in a country similar to Orwell’s 1984, where ANY dissent is meted out with torture or death, then those who dissent there are the true ‘ spiritual heroes’ . so, why cannot we who are not ( yet, but perhaps very soon ) hostages in such a society begin to use whatever freedoms we still have and speak out? ‘
the absence ( by choice ) of dissent is what i call ‘ enabling ‘ .
Jensen goes on in his book to compare our plight against the destructive forces in civilization (which he believes are inherent in to civilization itself) to that of the original indigenous cultures in America and around the world. And throughout the book he makes reference to the plight of Jews living under the Nazis. The question he poses is whether “speaking out” is really enough.
My point in posting was to emphasize that although we may think of ourselves as, in your words, spiritual heroes, we should also realize that the game is largely rigged against us because the system itself — the one we live in and the one we depend on for sustenance — is by its nature destructive and rewards most handsomely those that value extraction, exploitation and control as opposed to conservation and preservation of a healthy environment and landbase. And those of us that act within the system to change it, however heroically, are ourselves highly disadvantaged from the gitgo because we have come to identify and depend on this destructive way of life for survival.
You said it yourself: “You see, for many out there, if the horror and the terror do not hit you where you live, then you forget or deny it.”
But the problem is that THAT is the genius of the system. We don’t find ways to maintain and indeed enhance the land and ecosystems close to home. Instead we consume all the resources that are within reach and then exploit people and resources that reside elsewhere, damn the consequences and damn all morality.
You also state in the comments: “Well, the Armenians can share with us their expereinces of a holocaust as well. you see, many Jewish folks think ( sadly ) that they ‘ OWN ‘ suffering.”
I agree with this. But I haven’t personally experienced this sentiment so much from Jewish folks as much as gentiles. Finkelstein wrote a book called The Holocaust Industry (that I have not read) that I think makes the same point. I find your examples wanting, though. Half million Iraqi kids die under US sanctions and SOS Albright responds by saying “the price was worth it.” More than a million “excess deaths” following the invasion of Iraq? How many more maimed? Displaced and homeless? Families and communities destroyed? We ought to also remember that our country was built on a foundation of indigenous blood and African slavery followed almost to the present day by apartheid Jim Crow laws — a legacy that lives on in our prisons and criminal justice system. Many more examples…
Phillip , what we have now is a good discussion . i would first like to address your response to Blackcat when you said ”the absence of dissent is what i call enabling ”. in spirit i agree with you . but the problem i see in a blanket statement as such is ”the direction of intent” is paramount in regarding the the innocence or guilt of those who lack dissent .
A great example of this is the 1965 french movie”Alphaville”. how guilty are the non dissenters who have been brainwashed?
I think you and i can find common ground in regards to Chomskys ”Manufactured consent ”. ergo , the suppression of the atrocitys that the American Empire is doing around the globe is kept from the average citizen . because of that , it is incumbent on us to tell them of it . someone is not responsible for something they dont know , and there are many sincere people who have not a clue to what is going on with their government . therefore >their enablement is not a sinful act.
the burden of dissent must be with those who are awake to the Empires atrocitys . Dissemination of information of these atrocitys must be our first priority . tHIS MEANS GOING PUBLIC ; writing songs , poems , going to ralleys , debating on the radio , writing in papers , blogs .. etc etc.
if then , and or when then ..and only then …someone sides with the Empire knowing the facts , then they are accountable with their actions , and they become much more than an enabler , they are the aggressors. they are the oppressors.
that is why i reacted the way i did to your article . we are on the same page politically . i have always sensed that . what i was and am trying to do is add nuance ( like motive and response ) to your broadbrushes of this present quandary that seeks to find parallels in world history .
i agree with you rocket on most of what you wrote. yet, even the mainstream media has expounded on the fact that the entire invasion of iraq was due to a ‘ LIE ‘ . I mean, how many facts have to be ‘ floated ‘ around before the natives get restless?
like with the german public, especially in the cities where the ‘ jew hating and jew hunting ‘ was horrific, many still supported the Nazi regime.
i can understand how the propaganda about the Poles and British and French screwing Germany after the Versailles Diktat, and taking lands away where many Germans lived for generations etc, how that could influence Germans to support the ‘ taking back ‘ of those lands by force. i really can. it was a different world, where sovereign nations changed so quickly…
but for US soccer moms who follow in lockstep to the liars, even after exposed by the mainstream media… sad indeed that they have no ‘ moral compass ‘ for the hundreds of thousands of dead iraqi and afghans, mostly little kids and the elderly, and only focus on the ‘ killing babies ‘ here through abortion.
A relevant interview talking about 38 protesters in Syracuse, NY who were arrested outside a military base protesting drone attacks:
It’s over generalization. How do you know that “US soccer moms who follow in lockstep to the liars” is accurate? The picking up of children/teens from school doesn’t mean anything about their particular politics or activism or lack of activism. It’s judging people on how they look or what cars they drive.
It may be over generalization but as someone who has stood on that street corner with Phil I know just where he’s coming from.
the reaction from many many people passing by ranges from affirmation, expressed by thumbs up to peace signs to horns, and
the opposite reaction, dumb vacant stares, from those that can’t even comprehend what you are doing, to scornful frowns from those that resent any effort to cause them to think, to downright animosity, expressed by the old finger in the air .If Farruggio is guilty of anything it’s his impatience and frustration with his fellow citizens.
But why pick on mothers picking up their kids from school? Why not fathers? Why choose that particular group of people? As most groups of people, you are going to find many different political viewpoints.
What many people forget that call themselves “peace activists” is that they don’t have inner peace themselves. We need to start with ourselves.
Phillip , i got news for you from someone who is apposed to abortion ( me ) , most of these minivan moms want Roe to stay on the books and are pro -choice. i know this from years of discussing it with them . and as far as euthanasia –many are pro euthanaisa ( there you have a Nazi comparison ) . our culture is truly the culture of death across the board . just to have the death pentaly allowed is bad enough . but i digress.
let us make this comparison : what in Amercia now have you seen that compares to Hitler’s ”Mein Kamp” and His Nurenberg ralleys as filmed by Leni Refinstall in the movie ”Triump of the Will”?
that was all out in the open . his book was a best seller . people knew what they were getting into . you brought up the mainstream media and WMD’s in Iraq. but most people want out of Iraq. and heaven knows i have over genralized in many of my articles and responses , and in life in general . but lets get some concrete proportion of the situation here. ergo , specifics are in order for this dialogue.
one more thing , the pro – euthanasia people on the right are called ”sunset republicans”. its all about money .
#2 — the Nazis got the specifics from a group in Long Island . this is all documented by progressive writer from the village voice Nat Hentoff ; who embraces a consistent life ethic. he shows the Amercian –Nazi comparison in Euthanasia as ”useless eaters”.
google Hentoff in on this comparison . i find it historically accurate.
rocket, we should continue this discourse via email to one another. maybe dandelion may not like this to overwhelm the site.
i could not disagree with you more on the soccer moms here in my town and abortion. all we see are pro life license plates on the SUVs, so that is that.
on nazi germany, of course how can we say that any current country can be as brutal and repressive as they were? yet, if you follow conspiracy history,you will know that the Gehlen org. was sucked into our NSA and CIA ( read Bamford’s Body of Secrets book ) and many former nazis and nazi sympathizers infiltrated our national security complex and helped formulate policy… as in the pre emptive invasion of iraq . at least the germans made the excuse of the phony attack they instigated at the Polish border to then go in and invade.
not buying what you are selling, dear rocket. sorry.
If these mothers have pro-life bumper stickers then maybe they are political. Have you spoken to any? They may very well be against wars, too.
Please continue the discussion here so others can have the opportunity to join in.
i have said all i wish to say on this topic. thanks
Why not answer Rocket’s questions directed to you about euthanasia and abortion?
sorry , but i completely disagree with you. who knows better about what is happening in my town, you who visit or one ( me ) who lives here for 13 years? yes, there are many good and decent folks here who ‘ see the light ‘ as to this horrific empire. yet, when one sees the vast majority of citizens who either are like those soccer moms i described, or are the many who ‘ Say nothing and do nothing ‘ for years… either way, they are ENABLING the evil empire to continue.
i stand , week in and week out, for SEVEN years straight, rocket, and i engage many in conversation etc. i think i may know the score a bit better than you on this one. sorry. not buying. thanks
Phillip , i live in Missouri and i see what you are trying to get at. but we cannot compare the people of Florida and the people of Missouri with the Nazis . do you realize what you are saying ? those are heavy accusations . you know that i have been resisting the 2 party system forever. and that i have been protesting the Empire for 40 years ( i am now 57).
but the problem with broad generalizations is that they are broad generalizations . are moms who drive minivans the same as Nazis who drive tanks ? i mean cmon !
you have live there for 7 years –name me a place there that compares to Dachuea , or any other death camp . you wont find one pal .
you want a comparison to what America has done like Nazi Germany ? the interment camps of Japanese Americans in 1942 , right here in the states. now that begins to compare. but even then as bad as that was , youtube in some footage on the camps and what the Nazis did to people . yes, America is doing that some people overseas , and it must stop . but most people not only dont approve of it , they dont know its going on because of the media cover up . this country is kept in the dark by the powers that be .
start showing it graphic on t.v. and that will put a halt to these wars quick .
since we both really do not know each other that well… the Simon Wiesenathal Holocaust Museum in LA has a wooden laser engraved plaque with my poem ‘ Never Again ‘ on it. I have been a student of the Holocaust for 40 years now . I can mail you the letter to me from the museum and the article written about me in the Jewish Press. Why do I tell you all this? Well, the Armenians can share with us their expereinces of a holocaust as well. you see, many Jewish folks think ( sadly ) that they ‘ OWN ‘ suffering. Not true! as stated in my column, the horrors done inside ABU GHRAIB; and other places to those Iraqis ( many TOTALLY INOCENT of anything ), and inside of the bases in Afghanistan to the innocent Afghans; the horror of the 2007 Apache helicopter massacre of 19 innocent Iraqi civilians ( 2 children ) … is that not as horrific as what was done inside the concentration camps? Is torture and brutality to be ‘ measured ‘ and ‘ compared ‘ when it is done? why need I ask , as you suggested, the ‘ jews in florida ‘ anything? why need I ask an Iraqi or Afghan anything?
it is those, as i correctly stated in my column, who could not care LESS about what is done IN THEIR NAME that i have , yes, contempt for… the bible teaches us about ‘ Righteous Anger ‘ yes?
Phillip , way over generalized. i know we live in an Empire , and i know what atrocitys are happening that we have caused historically , including dropping the bomb in WW2.
however , my Mom who just passed away lived in Port orange Fla , and my brother and his wife live in Port Orange too , and i can tell you from the times i visited and the people i met and the conversations i had with them that they are more aware of what is going on than meets the eye .these are sharp intelligent conservatives that are anti -interventionists. for you to compare Port Orange with Nazi Germany is crazy ! it is inaccurate , and it does a disservice not only to the people who live in Port Orange who are cognizant of the Empire’s reality , but also to the people who died at the hands of the Nazis . an apology for the people of Port Orange should be your response for such a terrible accusation .
it is very ”in” to compare certain questionable activitys that the American Empire does around the world to Nazism . but the Jewish intellectuals i know state that when one does it, if it is not right on target it dilutes the great evil that Nazi Germany really was.
Nothing will diminish the evil of the Nazi regime, but we should not be afraid to point out similar trends to the rise of Nazism and what is happening here.We are supposed to learn from history and if we refuse to sound the alarm when we are repeating it , we will end up with the same evil. Nothing is off limits when it comes to learning from the past.
Jim , agreed . trends are one thing . but wildeyed comparisons do a grave diservice and insult to those who died in the holocoaust , and their surviving familys .
i have talked to my jewish freinds about this . i knew a holocoust survivor . they are very insulted ( and should be ) at such comparisons .
what we did to the indians here was genocide . now you got a comparsion . not moms who drive minivans . they are not plotting to torture people .
i would ask phillip this : there is a big populatioon of retired jewish people in Florida . read to them what he wrote on this blog . see their reaction .
Excellent piece! Perhaps so many Amerikans refuse to talk about our empire and its ongoing wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Libya, Yemen, Somalia, and Uganda, as well as preparations for war on Iran and Syria, because they DO realize, even unconsciously, that we are all responsible, but cannot face that responsibility. As some of my supposedly liberal relatives have told me, “Why should we know about all these terrible things if we can’t do anything about them?”
One definition of Terrorism
” the use of threats or violence to intimidate or coerce, especially for political reasons ”
That would seem to be an indictment of our entire foreign policy.
Remembering G.W Bush’s reign of terror, it seemed there was an outrage against the Constitution or International law every week. all of them now are down the memory hole and Obama continues the madness. The U.S. fits the definition of a terrorist state , but if the people get too out of hand, it’s they who will be declared “Terrorists. the Dept of Homeland security and FEMA are without a doubt planning how to deal with large scale disruption.
All of us who dissent and write or comment on sites like this one could someday be seen as enemies of the state.
They would be right.
i agree with you. the father or mother who ‘ enables ‘ the alcoholic child to get drunk in their house is as responsible ( more so, perhaps ) than the child who is sick with that disease.
to me, the FIRST order of business is for we who care to STOP voting for either of these 2 corrupt political parties… totally! no exceptions! that is the only way the message will be received, even by the few ‘ good souls ‘ within both parties. they need to understand that by remaining within those parties… they ENABLE the corruption, greed and bankrupting of our culture to continue. Period!
Philip, I am in complete agreement with you. I believe that I am the only one in my family who feels this way. So I’m a very alienated American… your description fits the members of my family.
I try to remind myself that these are good people in their own lights… but I can’t help but identify with the loss of the parents who see their children die before their eyes in a bombing attack, or the mothers’ grief when their sons were mowed down from the air, 10,000 at once, in the shock and awe campaign on Baghdad, or the griever’s disbelief at a funeral in Afghanistan as a drone strifes the mourners.
Somehow I was born without the wall if indifference that separates most Americans from people who live in other countries. Why am I the only one that sees us as just one among others, not superior nor for any reason, entitled to privileges? Why am I the only one who sees that it doesn’t have to be like this, that everyone in the world could help each other and life would be better for all of us?
Our military industrial complex would collapse without the support of our citizens. So I do hold Americans responsible for what our military does to other people in the world… I hold the people in my family responsible.
Please know that there are growing numbers of us who see things and feel as you do (and have for decades). Whether we can slow down the insanity is another question, but you are certainly not alone.
Well said fellows, very well said. Nobody ever promised us that the people in the right would ever be in the majority. One of the problems with a democracy. Peace is very possible, and the good and decent people of the world in every country know this well. The naivete of our fellow citizens should bother us quite a bit , and it is our responsibility to help them learn, our responsibility to regain control of our federal government, and our responsibility to keep fussing and speaking about it. Evil flourishes when good men and women do nothing about it . Put those bumper stickers on your cars,, wear peace signs,, talk it up,, stand in front of a recruiter’s office once a month with pictures of the war dead. Every little bit helps. And thank goodness for sites like this where I can read words written by people who still speak the truth and who make sense. It is like a salve for my brain after being beaten with mass media’s lies all week long.
Thanks, Shea. It is up to us to educate others. Pass the links to any of the posts on Dandelion Salad to your friends, family, etc. Get involved in your local Occupy movements, too.