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post #1 of 26 (permalink) Old 12-07-2007, 03:15 PM Thread Starter
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The Nazification of Ameria: Perpetual War


Fear Trumps Freedom In A Perpetual War
by Harley Sorensen

Common Dreams | News & Views

As World War II ground to a halt, the United States set out to obliterate Japan. Our B-29s rained terror on Japan's major cities. Tens of thousands of civilians were blown apart or burned to death in the summer of 1945.

Then, on Aug. 6, came the coup de grace, the atomic bomb ("Little Boy," they called it) dropped on Hiroshima. Three days later, before the Japanese had a chance to holler "Uncle!" we followed up with a second A-bomb ("Fat Man") on Nagasaki.

Thus did the war end. Our troop ships, ferrying GIs from Europe to Japan, did U-turns in the middle of the Pacific and headed for home. The Japanese, on Sept. 2, in a ceremony aboard the battleship USS Missouri, agreed to an unconditional surrender.

It was a glorious time for the United States. To get a hint of our involvement, turn to the paid death notices in your local newspaper. Nearly every obituary for a man in his 80s lists his service in World War II. We were all involved, one way or another.

We Americans, never known for our humility, were pumped with our success. We had finally emerged as a world power to be taken seriously. We were not kings of the world, as we imagine ourselves now, but we certainly were crown princes.

It didn't take us long to flex our newly discovered muscle. When North Korea invaded South Korea in July 1950, we came dashing to the rescue of the South Koreans, overlooking the fact that North Korea was friendly with China. When China sent massive numbers of troops in to reinforce the North Koreans, we were almost blown off the peninsula. We survived, and prevailed, but the experience made us a little more cautious.

Our mentality became that of a barroom brawler or schoolyard bully. Ask any bully why he fights so often, and he'll tell you he never looks for trouble. Then he'll add, "But I never back down from a fight, either."

Here's a list of 23 nations we didn't back down from since 1945: Japan (1945), China (1945 and 1950), Korea (1950), Guatemala (1954 and 1960), Indonesia (1958), Cuba (1959), Vietnam (1961), Congo (1964), Laos (1964), Peru (1965), Cambodia (1969), Lebanon (1983), Grenada (1983), Libya (1986), El Salvador (1980s), Nicaragua (1980s), Panama (1989), Iraq (1991), Somalia (1993), Bosnia (1995), Sudan (1998), Yugoslavia (1999v, Afghanistan (2001) and of course Iraq(?).

Looking at that list, it would be fair to conclude that we've become a warlike nation. Rather than printing "E pluribus unum" on the Great Seal of the United States and on coins, we should consider "Have bombs, will travel."

Fighting limited wars has replaced baseball as our national sport. And we love it. We love the parades, the flag waving, the patriotic songs, the flyovers, the funerals, the memorial services, the "defense" contracts.

Most of us consider ourselves "Christian soldiers, marching as to war," so we've declared war on crime, poverty, drugs -- just about anything we consider undesirable.

Now, thanks to the events of Sept. 11, 2001, we've talked ourselves into a state of perpetual war, probably the most accurate definition of our culture ever. But, in true 1984 newspeak, we don't call it that. We call it a war on terrorism. We admit it'll be a long war, but we're not yet ready to admit it will never end.

As the Soviets learned during their long period of oppression against organized religion in the U.S.S.R., you cannot defeat an "ism." Isms, like religion, know no boundaries. Trying to defeat an ism is like trying to defeat crime or bad manners or the hiccups. No matter how hard you try, they'll still pop up in the most unexpected places.

Vice President Dick Cheney was in Los Angeles last week drumming up support for the never-ending war on terrorism. Before the Los Angeles World Affairs Council, Cheney reassured a hushed audience, "The use of military force is, for the United States, always the last option in defending ourselves and our interests."

Even on C-SPAN, one could almost hear the united hearts of his listeners thumping in pride at America's nobility and restraint.

Why, oh, why, one wonders, do the nations of the world so often force us to reluctantly use our last option?

As with all his speeches, Cheney's talk last week was liberally sprinkled with flattering references to his boss, President George W. Bush. At one point in his speech, he outlined the dangers of terrorism:

"We know, ... from the training manuals we found in Afghanistan and from the interrogations of terrorists we have captured, that they are doing everything they can to gain the ultimate weapon: chemical, biological, radiological and even nuclear weapons.

"Should they ever acquire such weapons, they would use them without any constraint of reason or morality. Instead of losing thousands of lives, we might lose tens or even hundreds of thousands of lives as the result of a single attack, or a set coordinated of attacks."

That danger, he said, requires "a shift in America's national-security strategy. There are certain moments in history when the gravest threats reveal themselves. And in those moments, the response of our government must be swift, and it must be right."

Cheney, who missed his calling as an undertaker, had his audience exactly where he wanted them: in terror.

The American people, who certainly must love wars, considering how often we fight them, seem also to love fear. The enemy is everywhere and knows no constraints. So we, you and I, look for strong leadership and assurance that everything possible is being done to protect us.

It would be terrible, would it not, if other nations some day did to us what we've been doing to them over the years?

So we have agreed to airport searches, and, soon, to government-issued travel documents. We have agreed to let our federal law-enforcement agents scour the world for would-be terrorists and bring them to the Guantánamo U.S. Naval Base, our foothold on Cuba, for indefinite "investigation." We have agreed to secret trials and even to no trials for people Mr. Bush decides are "enemy combatants."

We are now, like Nazi Germany before us, like the old Soviet Union, like Iran in the days of our good buddy, the shah, content to have people "disappear," as long as they have Arabic-sounding names.

Torture has become an acceptable tool of interrogation for us. When we use it ourselves, it's usually "mere" mental torture, primarily sleep deprivation. If we feel more intensely physical methods are called for, we farm out our interrogations to governments less squeamish than ours.

So, while we're protecting American lives, we are destroying American values.

This is what Dick Cheney brings us. This is what the boss he slobbers over, George W. Bush, brings us. This is what our cowardly Congress brings us, with its "Patriot" acts. And this is what we bring upon ourselves, by supporting senators and representatives who are willing to sell out our freedoms in the hope of buying a little security.

Our collective cowardice virtually assured George W. Bush a second term.

In 1945, as World War II wound down, we were a beacon of liberty to the rest of the world.

That was then. What are we now?

Recall that earlier generations faced down fascism and communism not just with missiles and tanks, but with sturdy alliances and enduring convictions. They understood that our power alone cannot protect us, nor does it entitle us to do as we please. Instead, they knew that our power grows through its prudent use; our security emanates from the justness of our cause, the force of our example, the tempering qualities of humility and restraint.

-President Barack Obama, 1st Inaugural address

Last edited by FeelTheLove; 12-07-2007 at 03:22 PM. Reason: The Nazification of Ameria: Perpetual War
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post #2 of 26 (permalink) Old 12-07-2007, 03:31 PM
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Oh come on, why spoil the party for the guys that love wearing brown shirts.
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post #3 of 26 (permalink) Old 12-07-2007, 04:22 PM
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Might makes right!!

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post #4 of 26 (permalink) Old 12-08-2007, 08:07 AM
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How is this for impersonating der Fuehrer?

Here is an article about how under his thumb Bush kept his flunky AG - apparently Bush made it clear he is the ultimate judge of whether what he does is or is not Constitutional:
Think Progress » Sen. Whitehouse Reveals Secret DoJ Legal Memos: Bush Determines What Is Constitutional

Yes, we are quite a ways down the path of Nazification. Jim
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post #5 of 26 (permalink) Old 12-08-2007, 09:05 AM
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^ All I can say is Wow!

"If spending money you don't have is the height of stupidity, borrowing money to give it away is the height of insanity." -- anon
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post #6 of 26 (permalink) Old 12-08-2007, 09:08 AM
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All I can say is I am not surprised!
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post #7 of 26 (permalink) Old 12-08-2007, 09:11 AM
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Sieg heil Bushmerica!

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post #8 of 26 (permalink) Old 12-08-2007, 12:21 PM
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Streamlined chain of command is essential when we’re at war. That’s what the President and DoJ are doing.

“Dark times”? How many of your precious rights have you lost to this “dictator” and how has it affected you directly and in a concrete way?

Comment by Frank M — December 7, 2007

Jayhawk, is that you...?
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post #9 of 26 (permalink) Old 12-08-2007, 07:39 PM
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I am ashamed but not surprised by the adolescent responses to the Sorenson column. Instead of some rational dialogue, you all came up with equivalent of a bunch of kids farting and burping around the camp fire. Harley Sorenson is a columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle, a recognized liberal iconoclast and by his own admission, a "liberal with an attitude". So now we know where he sits. Some of the points in his column tell where he stands--way outside the bounds of truth. He's entitled to his own conclusions, but not his own facts. If folks like Sorenson would focus their vituperation upon our enemies instead of us, the wars would be shorter and the peace better.
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post #10 of 26 (permalink) Old 12-08-2007, 09:11 PM
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Originally Posted by bottomline1 View Post
I am ashamed but not surprised by the adolescent responses to the Sorenson column. Instead of some rational dialogue, you all came up with equivalent of a bunch of kids farting and burping around the camp fire. Harley Sorenson is a columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle, a recognized liberal iconoclast and by his own admission, a "liberal with an attitude". So now we know where he sits. Some of the points in his column tell where he stands--way outside the bounds of truth. He's entitled to his own conclusions, but not his own facts. If folks like Sorenson would focus their vituperation upon our enemies instead of us, the wars would be shorter and the peace better.

So? Are we not free to interpret things as we see them? Do we need oversight to tell us what is right and wrong? Where does this type of thinking lead?
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