A reporter once wrote:
“Almost joyfully, almost masochistically, they have turned to an authoritarianism which releases them form the strain of individual decision and choice and thought- this allows them the luxury of letting someone else make the decisions and take the risks, in return for which they gladly give their own obedience… One can be a kind and considerate person, but as part of a mass or a unit he can torture and murder his fellow men, massacre women and children by bombing and bombardment, overrun without the slightest justification the lands of other peoples, cut them down if they protest , and enslave them.”
William Shirer wrote that in 1940 about the German people ( this writer omitted the words ‘ German ‘, ‘ Nazi ‘ and ‘ Jew ‘ to better show the similarities ) yet how useful is it now in regard to this American empire? After all, our nation is rightly feared and in most cases hated by many of the world’s peoples. Do most of us really care about that? Or is it more about feeling that we are free?
So, you think we are truly free here in America? You buy a home for let us say $100,000. After the 30 year mortgage is paid off, you will have forked over around $300,000 to some bank for that home. They call it, I believe, interest. We are also free to work where we choose. So, if you are not a professional or highly skilled, you are free to work at some Boxstore job earning what in reality is considered poverty income. Take the $ 8.00 or $ 9.00 an hour, times it by 35 (if lucky enough to find a full time position) and see what that earns you. Then you are free to have some sort of private health insurance, with its high deductibles and high co pays- get yourself really sick and see how much you fork over before the insurance kicks in. Freedom! Free to pump at the gas tank and subsidize Big Oil’s mega profits. Oh yes, and free to pay the same exorbitant taxes for each gallon that the super rich pay when their chauffeurs pump. Freedom! Free to be charged at least $ 100 dollars a month for halfway decent television programming, since the 1996 Telecommunications Act gave away the store to the cable industry. Freedom! Need I go on?
Yep, we are all suckers, serfs and lollipops, in one way or another. Yet, the most heinous act of obedience and complacency concerns what the sharks running this empire label as national security. Boy of boy, they sure got the fools to buy into that one! First we had the Cold War, which history now proves was a giant ‘shell game ‘. The Russians were not going to attack us; our U2 flights during the late 1950s proved beyond a doubt that they were far weaker than we were. This was documented in two recent books, JFK and the Unspeakable and Body of Secrets. Both books mention the famous incident early on in John Kennedy’s presidency when the Joints Chiefs met with JFK. They unanimously recommended a pre-emptive NUCLEAR attack on the Soviet Union… because they knew the truth expressed above. Kennedy walked out of that meeting and was heard saying ‘Those guys are crazy!‘ You see, Kennedy finally realized (perhaps foreshadowing his demise) that the Cold War was a fantastic excuse to maintain what Eisenhower himself warned us about as the Military Industrial Complex. Think of all the money spent on WMD and bases worldwide. Then think about what General Smedley Butler wrote of in the late 1930s in his War Is a Racket essay, how wars were for the most part instigated for purposes of profit. Sadly, the same feudalistic thinking has actually brainwashed the majority of Americans for over 60 years. People too broke to get out of their ‘ underwater ‘ mortgages or out of personal debt care not that 58 cents of each dollar they send to Uncle Sam goes for military spending! Can you imagine that? Over half of our tax money goes to keep this empire operating over 800 bases in over 100 countries, including our illegal and immoral occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan.
This writer heard both Mr. Obama and Mrs. Bachmann speak late last week. Mr. Obama, while visiting Australia (for the Military Industrial Complex) made it clear to the entire world that we were going to be proactive in the Pacific Basin militarily. He minced no words in stating how our American Empire was not pushing back… rather ahead. He announced 2500 Marines will be stationed there permanently (with more to follow, believe it) to protect our interests and those of the Aussies. You see, we can allow the big bad Chinese dragon to fill our Wal-marts and the Aussie boxstores with lots of products… but they are still our common enemy… or will be. Then we come to Mrs. Bachmann, Republican candidate for President, as she appeared before the editorial board of some Iowa newspaper. She was vehement in her support for increased military spending and deployments all over the world. She was equally as vehement as to the use of torture on suspects in our custody. She argued with one or two of the news people about water boarding, or as she called it (shades of Dick Cheney and Donny boy Rumsfeld) enhanced interrogation. ‘After all, she said, you can’t DIE from it!’ When someone asked her if she would submit herself to being water boarded to see the effects of it, she got nasty and said ‘That is absurd!‘
If the Occupy movement does not succumb to a ‘co opt ‘by the Democrats before this next horserace… oh sorry, I mean election, we may have some real shifting of consciousness in America. This writer has been advocating and has been participating in street corner and town square mass protest and demonstrations on a regular (at least weekly) basis for over seven years. The Occupy movement has taken it even one step further. Now, if only those dear brave and principled souls can ‘ connect the dots ‘ and embrace the vital need to pull back this military empire, end all occupations, bring all troops home, and drastically cut the military spending to save our cities…. ‘Free at last, free at last, thank God almighty I am free at last!‘
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 email@example.com.