Tag Archives: War on Terror

War on Terror-The Real Villain

Author:

Shahid Ali Abbasi

War on Terror—the Real Villain!

Opium Mafia! Let me have my say!

(By Shahid Ali Abbasi)

A bird loves the dry, thorny tree having its nest more than a green and fragrant one which is not its home. You can’t resist the impulse of patriotism when your country’s prestige is at stake, but, despite a strong urge of nationalism, I’ll not fall a prey to the arch villain, and will be as objective in my approach as possible because I know the people around the world are currently being hypnotized by that global villain who promotes evil thinking in us in order to achieve his devilish objective. It’s a global conspiracy that outweighs by far the combined gravity of all the global problems including terrorism and global warming. The real enemy is the one that is splitting apart us the humans, causing a fission of hatred, selfishness and prejudice in our hearts and minds; it’s worse than the nuclear fission that only destroys physically. Who that enemy is I don’t know, but I’m sure he’s strong enough to hijack our leaders in minutes—the same leaders who belong to us but the moment they reach higher authority, they cannot stand what Bacon calls ‘greater pains’, and thus are enslaved by that hatred-spreading devil. The point I hold is that the enemy has split us all into two classes: To one belong the politicians, armies and even governments that serve the evil around the globe, regardless of their nationality; and to the other belong all of us—innocent and gullible. This article endeavours to bring into light some crude realities about the present life on earth, trying at the same time to drag the evil monster out of the den. So, naturally, the tone of this article is ‘furious’ I know, but it can’t be written more politely than this, because it aims to awaken the human race to see what\’s usually hidden. I must also say that the publishing of this article will show how independent and daring media is, and to what extent the freedom of expression is allowed.

When I came to London, I realized how superb the British people are (sorry to exclude politicians here). They are immensely humane, and the way they accommodate and respect us (foreigners), I doubt if we could do the same if they (the British) were in our countries. In fact, whatever nationality we as humans have, our hearts do possess a celestial affection for each other. Ask a common Indian or Pakistani citizen if he/she wants a war. Both will say ‘NO!’ We’ve been living together for centuries and despite physical boundaries, we still share a tremendous culture (remember that when you have a common culture, you do have a strong feeling of love towards each other). Ask a common British or American if he/she hates Pakistanis, or if he/she loves war. I’m sure the answer will again be a blatant ‘NO!’ That’s good; that’s what makes us all essentially humans—’paragon of animals’ (Shakespeare). The people around the world are the same: they think and feel alike. Then who is the real villain? I’ll again say ‘I don’t know’ but definitely our politicians and other men of authority know him/her/them. This I guess because they are serving that villain of hatred more than they do us. Let’s have a recent review. The British Prime Minister Mr David Cameron went to India on ‘a trade mission’ and delivered his much-debated speech in Bangalore, India, on 28th July 2010. The speech does prove one thing that in order to be a Prime Minister you must have a certain level of maturity of thought and insight. As a teacher of language and literature, I must appreciate the flowery language that Mr Cameron used to magnetize the Indian trade. He glorified India with many metaphors like calling the country a ‘tiger’ that has been ‘uncaged and its power can be felt around the world’. Then he announced that he’d talk to the Indian Prime Minister about Indian and British cultures. I wish Mr Cameron had studied the cultural connotations associated with ‘tiger’, so had the Indians listening to him: where as a tiger is the symbol of beauty in the west; it’s a symbol of bloodthirstiness and brutality in the east. He also glorified India saying that she is ‘a leading provider of peacekeeping troops to the United Nations’ (I do remember I’d heard the same thing about Pakistan too, a couple of years back). I like it because when you praise the efforts of Indian people, every Pakistani (again I apologize for excluding politicians from both sides of the border), feels proud because despite so many tragic incidents, the people still love each other. Unfortunately, Mr Cameron forgot that Indian and Pakistani people are the masters of splitting the hair, and, I’m sure, even a teen ager would easily declare the speech to be just a ‘flattery’ to attract the Indian business tycoons. Then, finally, Mr Cameron hit the final nail in the coffin by exploiting the nationalistic, patriotic feelings of the Indians. The politician straightaway attacked Pakistan saying, ‘we cannot tolerate in any sense the idea that this country is allowed to look both ways and is able in any way to promote the export of terror’. I’ve quoted two lines so that you as a reader could see the authoritative arrogance in the very selection of words he used. It was Cameron’s attempt to arouse and exploit the same hatred that we call a legacy of colonization—divide and rule.

Before commenting further, let’s view the latest ‘food cut’ to Afghanistan by Pakistan as a result of Nato’s increasing gruesome liberties inside the Pakistani territory which resulted in our soldiers being killed and the border post destroyed, despite being retaliated politically in past. As a response to this tragedy, General Petraeus says they’d ‘warned’ Pakistan (I must thank Pakistani foreign minister Mr Rehman Malik’s ‘shaking’ reply this time, probably under huge pressure. I don’t say army pressure). In reply to the comments made by Cameron in Bangalore and by Gen. Petraeus, a patriotic Pakistani citizen will not have words more polite than ‘WHO THE HELL ARE YOU TO TALK TO A SOVEREIGN, NUCLEAR STATE LIKE THAT!?’ If your wits have betrayed you, read the following paragraphs which will sprinkle some cold water on your sleeping face:

Don’t you ever threaten us of war; don’t you ever try to ‘test’ our potential to defend! We ARE under war-like conditions since we got independence in 1947. We fought so many wars, including the one that shattered RUSSIA! Yes, our history is blotched with natural catastrophes as well, and you’ve seen we can stand the worst. So much so that even Nature has to reinvent some more brutal weapons to be used against us. Or maybe she’s training us for the worst. Nuclear weapons? We’ve fought and defeated the enemy with sticks in our short history. Ask those coward disciples of devil on both sides of the border who whisper nasty things in your ears. Don’t you underestimate the Pakistani people!!! We don’t say we can only kill for our country (like you); WE CAN DIE for our motherland too! Remember whole world, if you can’t help us, just leave us alone: we can, as we do, fight the bloody terrorists alone because we’ve got the soldiers that can fight even empty-handed, without fluffy blankets, juices and metals around. Just compare your progress in Afghanistan in 10 years with ours in two three years in the tribal belt. We’ve literally uprooted the terrorists, not for you or anyone else but primarily for our own safety.

I think what some of the renowned defence analysts call the hidden motifs of America are being exposed now—’red in tooth and claw’ (Tennyson). How can you think about stopping the so called ‘energy corridor’ between China and Iran, when you yourself are dependent on a ‘thin’ and ‘fragile’ food root to your troops in Afghanistan? (Rachel Maddow: U.S. testing war against Pakistan on http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/26315908//vp/39450283#39450283). How dare you think about ‘testing’ Pakistan’s self-defence and self-esteem!!?? When you ‘failed’ against disorderly, weak opponent like Taliban even after a ten-year strife, how can you think about ‘extending’ war to Pakistan, a nuclear power!? I know this doesn’t represent American people. I doubt your leaders have been hijacked by what I call potentially the worst enemy of human race on earth. I ask where the peace-loving American public is now. Isn’t your America gradually turning ‘RussericA’? I know the people outside America, primarily Pakistanis, love American and British people (politicians excluded). And all the tolerance that we show in response to the ‘liberties’ of your so called ‘war on terror’ owes greatly to this love and sense of friendship that we possess in our hearts for the common public of these countries. Please let us live peacefully because once this flood bulges out of its banks, it’ll sweep away everything! When you ‘ironically’ kill one terrorist (in this case anti-American), just think how many more you give birth to. I know once you decide ‘extending war’ into Pakistan, you’ll declare us all a ‘terrorist nation’ including many other names like Alquida, etc. coined by you, and this will quite convincingly be ‘propagated’ by your media which is the only ‘telescope’ the people of America and Britain have to zoom in to the war-hit countries like Afghanistan and Pakistan.

I know since your food line was intercepted, you’ve increased the propaganda against Pakistan. One example is a news published in daily METRO here in London on October 19, 2010. Before the ‘food cut’, they said Alquida leader is hiding in ‘underground bunkers to avoid being targeted by CIA drones’. But now ‘TERROR leader Osama bin Laden is alive and well and living a comfortable life in a house in Pakistan, according to a senior Nato official. The most wanted man in the world is allegedly being protected by local people and members of Pakistan’s intelligence services’. Believe me when I was reading this news in train, I couldn’t help smiling. Then I saw the working British people and the feeling drastically changed. Do these people work day and night to listen to such ever-twisting stories? Reading the above statement by a so-called Nato official makes one feel as if Osama bin Laden has written him a letter asking his assistance in looking for another more ‘comfortable’ house because the existing house has an electric load shedding problem, or maybe the bus stop is away from the house and Mr Osama has to walk every morning to his office, or maybe the house is away from hospital from where Osama has to take medicine because he’s grown too old in this whole enterprise, or may be his kids have to change two/three buses to reach school, blah, blah, blah. Please, for God’s sake stop this now! If you are absolutely sure, why don’t you contact the target killers in Karachi who are shedding the streams of blood every day, instead of spending so much in Afghanistan, Iraq, etc? Pakistan is a country where dozens of high-rank individuals have been killed, e.g. Liaqat Ali Khan (Pakistan’s first prime minister), Ziaulhaq (Army Chief), Benezir Bhutto, and many others. If you’re so sure, why don’t you contact those who killed these senior leaders? Don’t worry, if some innocent people die in this hunt (after all ‘end justifies means’), we’ll bear this because we ARE bearing much more every day. You say Pakistani people protect Osama? Believe me, whatever knowledge I, as an educated Pakistani, have about Osama bin Laden or Alquida is all that I got from either BBC, CNN or any other western media. An ordinary Pakistani has many other, more testing challenges which hardly let him/her think about this ‘Power Game’. Once I asked a Pakistani, who works as labour in Afghanistan, about Alquida. He giggled and said, ‘I don’t know; no one knows what Alquida is, who this Ussama Bin Ladin is; not even in Afghanistan; even the Afghanis don’t know.’ If you think, once you attack Pakistan, the people will surrender passively like homeless Afghans, THAT’S ABSOLUTELY FALSE, because the Pakistani people can’t cultivate opium which would make them rich. Neither our land nor our conscience can ever support this poison. War on Pakistan will never end till the end of a single Pakistani. If you think you can justify to your conscience the killing of more than 170 million Pakistanis, then WE ARE READY TO DIE! Come on, kill us all, and then you’ll have a huge novel of your exploits against the innocent, which you’ll be able to proudly present to your next generations to read.

You call us ‘a terrorist nation’ or whatever, but believe me it’s the Pakistani soldier and intelligence that stays awake so that we all, including you, sleep peacefully in our cosy beds; it’s Pakistan that is the last obstacle between the terrorists and rest of the world, and when you try to weaken Pakistan, you’re actually cutting the very branch you’re standing on. And more, let me bring into your information some of the feathers to the crown we call Pakistan: It’s the country that became a world champion in four sports almost simultaneously, a country that is the seventh biggest hub of scientists and doctors, a country that can win the war fought at the highest peaks of the world, a country that has fought five other major wars, a country with nuclear power, a country with one of the best missile technologies, and, above all, a country with a population of more than 170 million—each one of which is a born soldier. To me, it seems some of the leaders have become the mouthpieces of the same bloody villain who’s the focal point in this article.

The article has been repeatedly mentioning the ‘enemy’, ‘villain’, etc. but without identifying it. One side of the picture that is often overlooked is the dramatic increase in the cultivation of opium in Afghanistan since the American invasion in the country. Elizabeth Rubin, in her article ‘An Afghan drug-smuggler: ‘The whole country is in our service”, published in New York, October 22, 2006 presented an eye-opening account of face behind the case but her cry drowned into the widespread hum that only Taliban or Alquida are the most potential threats to the world peace. Presenting the comparison between Taliban and Post-Taliban (American) era in Afghanistan, she writes:

Opium cultivation was outlawed during Taliban rule in the late 1990s and was nearly eliminated by 2001. After the overthrow of the Taliban government by U.S. forces in the fall of that year, the Bush administration said that keeping a lid on production was among its highest priorities. But corruption and alliances formed by Washington and the Afghan government with anti-Taliban tribal chieftains, some of whom are believed to be deeply involved in the trade, undercut the effort’. She also quotes Afghan president Hamid Karzai who said, ‘once we thought terrorism was Afghanistan’s biggest enemy [but now] poppy, its cultivation and drugs are Afghanistan’s major enemy.’

Elizabeth further quotes the Afghan Deputy Ministry of Women’s Affairs who had ‘just wrapped up the case of a girl who had been kidnapped and raped by Kandahari police officers, something that would not have happened under the Taliban’ because, according to the deputy, ‘Their security was outstanding.’ The lady further said that Taliban had strictly enforced the ban on poppy but ‘Now the governors tell the people, ‘Just cultivate a little bit”. So people take this opportunity and grow a lot,’ and the farmers lease the fields from big landlords and when a farmer can’t pay back the landowner, ‘instead of paying, he gives the landowner his daughter,’ the deputy added.

On asking Manan Farahi, the director of counterterrorism efforts for Karzai’s government, why the Taliban were so strong in Helmand, Elizabeth was told that Helmandis had hated the Taliban because of Mullah Omar’s ban on poppy cultivation. ‘The elders were happy this government was coming and they could plant again,….But then the warlords came back and let their militias roam freely. They were settling old scores – killing people, stealing their opium. And because they belonged to the government, the people couldn’t look to the government for protection. And because they had the ear of the Americans, the people couldn’t look to the Americans. Into this need stepped the Taliban.’

Now some information about opium smuggling which Elizabeth unveiled. She interviewed Razzaq, an opium smuggler in his late 20’s. She writes:

He moved and spoke with the confident ease of a well-protected man.’The whole country is in our services,’ he told me, ‘all the way to Turkey.’ This wasn’t bravado. From Mazar-i-Sharif, in northern Afghanistan, he brings opium in the form of a gooey paste, packaged in bricks. From Badakhshan in the northeast, he brings crystal – a sugary substance made from heroin. And from Jalalabad, in the east on the road to Peshawar, he brings pure heroin. All of this goes through Baramcha, an unmanned border town in Helmand near Pakistan. Sometimes he pays off the national soldiers to use their vehicles, he said. Sometimes the national policemen. Or he hides it well, and if there is a tough checkpoint, he calls ahead and pays them off. ‘The soldiers get 2,000 afghanis a month, and I give them 100,000,’ he explained with an angelic smile. ‘So even if I had a human head in my car, they’d let me go.’ Should he ever run into a problem in Afghanistan, he told me, ‘I simply make a phone call. And my voice is known to ministers, of course. They are in my network. Every network has a big man supporting them in the government.’ The Interior Ministry’s director of counternarcotics in Kabul had told me the same thing. Anyway, if the smugglers have problems on the ground, they say, they just pay the Taliban to destroy the enemy commanders.

I have extensively quoted Elizabeth’s daring task because it’s our ignorance towards the people like her that our focus from the actual problem shifts to what actually isn’t. I wish I, or someone else, had added up to her efforts in 2006. Any way, it’s still not too late. The real enemy is the opium underworld mafia. Just think, HOW CAN THE TERRORISTS AFFORD TO HAVE LATEST, EXPENSIVE WEAPONS WHEN THEY COULDN’T AFFORD PROPER DRESSING AND FOOD A DECADE BACK? WHO’S FUNDING THEM? ISN’T IT THE OPIUM MAFIA THAT’S SPONSORING THE TERRORISTS because ‘Afghanistan now produces 92 per cent (6,100 tons) of the world’s supply of opium used to make heroin’? (The Financial Times, September 4, 2006). The opium mafia is working without any potential hindrance because all of us are fighting each other. That’s the CRUX OF THE MATTER! This mafia is so strong that it can control big groups, armies, even governments. Just imagine what our future will be when our generations will be enslaved by the drug mafia, both in the production and consumption of heroine! When a predator attacks a flock, it splits the victims so that they start running for their own lives, then singles one and kills it easily. The opium mafia is doing the same. I don’t say who of us belong to that mafia, however, what we have to seriously and meticulously see is who among us are fulfilling the mafia’s objectives. It can be me, you, the politician, armies, governments, etc.

The humane feeling in me and you do want more on this topic, but let me end this ‘eye-opener’ with a salute to the odd thinkers like Elizabeth Rubin and Rachel Maddow, to name two only, who’ve been gifted with a potential to see the things from an unusual perspective. I restate that the human race on the face of earth is at such a tricky stage where it’s never been in past. Our enemy is common, and we have to identify and fight it together, paying each other the RESPECT one deserves. But for that, we have to transcend all what is personally so cherished to us. No one knows our enemy except its disciples—the politician INCLUDED. I again strongly hold that we have been split into two groups: the devils party (POLITICIAN INCLUDED) and the common, innocent people like us. The others can never be us, and I earnestly request the people of the whole world to wake up and come out of this bloodthirsty exorcism.

 

Shahid Ali Abbasi

shahidaliabbasi@yahoo.com

Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/politics-articles/war-on-terror-the-real-villain-3484326.html

About the Author

Shahid Ali Abbasi

shahidaliabbasi@yahoo.com

Pakistan (Birote/Murree/Abtd.)

MA English Literature

MA ELT & Applied Linguistics

Teacher English Language/Literature

Presently living in London

Interests: Contributing towards World peace, Critical Reading and writing, analysing, discussing the global issues especially peace, politics and economy, friendship……..

_______________________________________________________________

I’ll just add my two cents and say that it is well-known that a majority of the drug trade in the world is run by the CIA. Ever since the 80’s when their funding was reduced and oversight increased they have used drug money to finance their Black-ops. The Drug mafia is the intelligence organizations that I would suspect are all interconnected. And if you believe that DEA or FBI are any better you need a slap in the face or a cold bucket of water to wake you up.

People who think that the US government is noble or righteous in any sense of those words are brain-dead. Most of those in government, US or otherwise, are evil to the deepest degree. Are there some who still care? I am sure there are but their influence is minuscule. The pawns in the game may be decent but they are not the ones moving the pieces on the board.

We as human beings must protest with our ambivalence to them. Peaceful non-cooperation is the thing that might win the day. Remember that any violence will be met with overwhelming force since the governments of this world control the bullets and bombs. However, if enough of us just stop doing what they tell us to, there is little they can do in the long run.

True, some will pay the ultimate price for this. Remember though, they need us. We do not need them. Quit going along to get along. I do not say rise up. Instead I say…sit down. Active peaceful non-resistance is uncontrollable.

Yes protest verbally and in letters and in any other peaceful way you can come up with, but do not yield to the temptation to fight back with violence. Those who rule would love for us to resist with violence as it would justify whatever force they may use against that violence. (E)




Wikimania and the First Amendment

by Ralph Nader

Thomas Blanton, the esteemed director of the National Security Archive at George Washington University described Washington’s hyper-reaction to WikiLeaks‘ transmission of information to some major media in various countries as “Wikimania.”

In testimony before the House Judiciary Committee last Thursday, Blanton urged the Justice Department to cool it. WikiLeaks and newspapers like The New York Timesand London’s Guardian, he said, are publishers protected by the First Amendment. The disclosures are the first small installment of a predicted much larger forthcoming trove of non-public information from both governments and global corporations.

The leakers inside these organizations come under different legal restrictions than those who use their freedom of speech rights to publish the leaked information.

The mad dog, homicidal demands to destroy the leaders of WikiLeaks by self-styled liberal Democrat and Fox commentator, Bob Beckel, the radio and cable howlers and some members of Congress, may be creating an atmosphere of panic at the politically sensitive Justice Department. Attorney General Eric Holder has made very prejudicial comments pursuant to his assertion that his lawyers considering how they may prosecute Julian Assange, the WikiLeaks leader.

Mr. Holder declared that both “the national security of the United States” and “the American people have been put at risk.” This level of alarm was not shared by the public statements of defense Secretary Robert Gates and Secretary of States Hillary Clinton who downplayed the impact of these disclosures.

The Attorney General, who should be directing more of his resources to the corporate crime wave in all its financial, economic and hazardous manifestations, is putting himself in a bind.

If he goes after WikiLeaks too broadly using the notorious Espionage Act of 1917 and other vague laws, how is he going to deal with The New York Times and other mass media that reported the disclosures?

Consider what Harvard Law Professor Jack Goldsmith, who was head of the Office of Legal Counsel in George W. Bush’s Justice Department just wrote:

“In Obama’s Wars, Bob Woodward, with the obvious assistance of many top Obama administration officials, disclosed many details about top secret programs, code names, documents, meetings, and the like. I have a hard time squaring the anger the government is directing towards WikiLeaks with its top officials openly violating classification rules and opportunistically revealing without authorization top secret information.”

On the other hand, if Mr. Holder goes the narrow route to obtain an indictment of Mr. Assange, he will risk a public relations debacle by vindictively displaying prosecutorial abuse (i.e. fixing the law around the enforcement bias.) Double standards have no place in the Justice Department.

WikiLeaks is also creating anxiety in the corporate suites. A cover story in the December 20, 2010 issue of Forbes magazine reports that early next year a large amount of embarrassing material will be sent to the media by WikiLeaks about a major U.S. bank, followed by masses of exposé material on other global corporations.

Will these releases inform the people about very bad activities by drug, oil, financial and other companies along with corruption in various countries? If so, people may find this information useful. We can only imagine what sleazy or illegal things our government has been up to that have been covered up. Soon, people may reject those who would censor WikiLeaks. Many people do want to size up what’s going on inside their government in their name and with their tax dollars.

Wasn’t it Jefferson who said that “information is the currency of democracy” and that, given a choice between government and a free press, he’ll take the latter? Secrecy-keeping the people and Congress in the dark-is the cancer eating at the vitals of democracy.

What is remarkable about all the official hullabaloo by government officials,who leak plenty themselves, is that there never is any indictment or prosecution of government big wigs who continually suppress facts and knowledge in order to carry out very devastating actions like invading Iraq under false pretenses and covering up corporate contractors abuses. The morbid and corporate-indentured secrecy of government over the years has cost many American lives, sent Americans to illegal wars, bilked consumers of billions of dollars and harmed the safety and economic well-being of workers.

As Cong. Ron Paul said on the House floor, why is the hostility directed at Assange, the publisher, and not at our government’s failure to protect classified information? He asked his colleagues which events caused more deaths, “Lying us into war, or the release of the WikiLeaks papers?”

Over-reaction by the Obama administration could lead to censoring the Internet, undermining Secretary Clinton’s Internet Freedom initiative, which criticized China’s controls and lauded hacktivism in that country, and divert attention from the massive over classification of documents by the Executive Branch.

A full throttle attack on WikiLeaks is what the government distracters want in order to take away the spotlight of the disclosures on their misdeeds, their waste and their construction of an authoritarian corporate state.

Professor and ex-Bushite Jack Goldsmith summed up his thoughts this way: “The best thing to do….would be to ignore Assange and fix the secrecy system so this does not happen again.”

That presumably is some of what Peter Zatko and his crew are now trying to do at the Pentagon’s famed DARPA unit. That secret initiative may ironically undermine the First Amendment should they succeed too much in hamstringing the Internet earlier advanced by that same Pentagon unit.

December 24, 2010

Ralph Nader is a consumer advocate, lawyer, and author. Visit his website.

Copyright © 2010 Ralph Nader

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The Truth About Terrorism, and the U.S. Government

by Scott Lazarowitz

Recently by Scott Lazarowitz: The Choice Between Two Americas

My writing this was inspired by Paul Craig Roberts’s great article The War on Terror, in which he tells the truth about what’s really going on, and I wanted to expand more on this terrorism subject.

There are many reasons why the U.S. government needs to place itself on the Terrorist Watch List, but since there isn’t enough space to include all that here, I’ll just touch on the most important points.

To begin, millions of Americans report their income and employment status to the U.S. government out of fear, and for no other reason. It certainly isn’t out of the goodness of their hearts (except for the most naïve amongst us). Most Americans who are required to pay a certain percentage of their income to the feds aren’t really paying – it is being taken from them under the threat of various intrusions, such as garnishing their wages or putting a lien on their homes (like a lien on one’s home really matters anymore now in the time of ForeclosureGate). For many Americans, the taking is automatic, directly from their paychecks. So employers as well as workers must submit to the threat of brute force if they don’t comply with the demand for information on employment status and payment. Millions of Americans are terrorized by the federal government, not only for what might happen to them if they don’t comply with the demands, but if a mistake is made. There have been horror stories told by many Americans of what happened to them because a mistake was made – including mistakes made by the government.

And many owners of businesses, especially of small businesses, are terrified that they will be persecuted by some government bureaucrat for not following one of the many thousands of regulations that businesses must obey, regulations that exist for no good reason – only to protect larger businesses’ profits. (Thanks, Herr Lincoln.) And especially because of the unstable economic environment now, millions of businesses are afraid to take risks, make any new investments, or hire new workers because they don’t know what the situation will be for them even months from now, let alone years. And Congress won’t even let people know whether or not the Bush tax cuts will be extended or allowed to expire after January 1st, 2011. No one knows what to do. (I’m sure businesses and workers all across America would prosper, if we could only abolish Congress.)

Regarding the War on Terrorism and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), I am now terrified of flying. This is not because a terrorist might hijack the plane, but because of the intrusiveness of what people now have to endure when going through security checkpoints: the pornographic X-rays, the frisking and groping, the searching of my clothing and belongings, the harsh interrogations. Out of their blind faith in the State, the American sheeple have assumed that there should be no alternative to the State’s monopoly in territorial protection, and have passively accepted the constantly growing intrusions by the State against the people and their Liberty. As an experienced pilot has suggested, the airlines should be responsible for their security, not the government. And arm the pilots as well. And arm the passengers as well. In the meantime, I won’t fly.

And then there are the anti-civil liberties, anti-Due Process presidential powers that the Bush Administration had usurped, and that the Obama Administration seems to enjoy having, of apprehending and detaining individuals without actual suspicion, of extraordinary rendition, torture, even presidentially-directed assassinations of individuals deemed by the president and his agents to be “terrorists” without due process or trial. And, given that the whole world, including U.S. territory, is considered to be part of the Global Battlefield in the Global War on Terror, and given that Homeland Security secretary Janet Napolitano has issued warnings against “right-wing extremists,” essentially those who disagree with Obama’s policies, and given that I happen to be one who disagrees with just about all of Obama’s policies from his war crimes to his communist social policies, then obviously no place in America is safe, and it really is terrifying now.

And regarding the federal government’s intrusions into Americans’ private health matters, I know someone who has said that, because of the new ObamaCare medical intrusions, he will not have his follow-up medical procedures as long as ObamaCare is in place. He just doesn’t want his medical details being scrutinized by government officials. And I also have some health situations for which I rely very much on OTC vitamins and supplements. But, because the Obama FDA wants to crack down on OTC supplement makers, that really is a direct threat to me. I am literally terrified that these bureaucratic misfits in Washington want to take away my only real means of keeping me in (somewhat) good health, and all on behalf of Big Pharma. It’s disgusting how so many people in various federal agencies are on the boards of large pharmaceutical industries, and the cahoots between Big Pharma and Big Government, with lobbyists and campaign donations to legislators to vote Big Pharma’s way, is downright scary.

Also, because the U.S. government has done nothing but provoke Muslims in Middle Eastern countries to act against Americans, I am terrified of another major terrorist attack in the U.S. It would be solely because of what the U.S. government has been doing, especially since 1990. The U.S. government’s actions of terrorism against innocents in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and other parts of the Middle East, and its intrusions into just about every aspect of daily life, have been making me less safe, as well as all other Americans.

Presidents George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, Barack Obama and Bush’s father George H.W. Bush actually should all be tried for war crimes and terrorism, especially against Muslims in the Middle East. The IRS, the FDA, the TSA, and other extensions of the federal Leviathan also need to be held accountable for their actions. If we can’t have that, then at the very least, the U.S. government must place itself on the Terror Watch List, as it is the one organization that has been most responsible for terrorizing the most people, ever.

October 20, 2010

Scott Lazarowitz [send him mail] is a commentator and cartoonist at Reasonandjest.com.

Copyright © 2010 by LewRockwell.com. Permission to reprint in whole or in part is gladly granted, provided full credit is given.

The Best of Scott Lazarowitz


One Nation, Under God, and Its Child Soldiers

by C.J. Maloney
Recently by CJ Maloney: Good Luck and Good Hunting

Whoever receives one such child in My name receives Me, but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.
~ Matthew 18:2–6

My brain did not begin the day thinking about war, the base activity which Lew Rockwell once termed “the murder end of the state.” (Rockwell, Jr, Llewellyn H. Speaking of Liberty. Auburn, AL, Ludwig Von Mises Institute, 2003, p.139) It was thinking about the beach, a far more pleasant activity. This being modern America, though, it wasn’t long, not even five minutes after our arrival, when my wife exclaimed an “Oh…my…God.” That’s when I noticed she’d bought along The New York Times and the war crawled onto the beach with us.

She handed the paper to me in disgust, as if it were covered in filth. Shielding my eyes from the sun to read the article I see we’ve been arming and training Somalia’s army, at least the one we favor, and they in turn are using that money to arm children (some as young as nine) to fight our War of Terror. As I read further into it I am, needless to say, dripping in proud patriotism. What fresh hell is this? We’re back in Somalia?

I have vague memories of Mark Bowden’s Black Hawk Down, a nice tale of our last disastrous fool’s errand into Somalia. Granted, we left once but an empire never truly leaves anywhere forever. Now, not wanting to put our own soldiers at risk this go round we are instead using locals as armed proxies to do our bidding. In this case, that means fighting whomever we’ve designated as the enemy for this month and, to make the American flag unfurl even more proudly in the sun, we’re arming and training child soldiers to do it.

All these little boy soldiers are funded and armed by a tentacle of the Pentagon called AFRICON, which was created in 2008 to make certain that no matter where in Africa mayhem may erupt an American weapons dealer will be there to cash in. Some of the latest entries onto the list of our “allies in the War of Terror” include Nigeria, Ethiopia, Liberia, Uganda, and now Somalia’s “Transitional Government.” To the informed, that reads as if the local police department has been funding and arming the local pimps, drug dealers, Mafia dons, and cutthroats, but our War of Terror requires these types of compromises, so I am told.

The more historical minded could sit back and wonder what all the (little bit of an) uproar was about, and would point to the ubiquitous drummer boys used by both sides during America’s Civil War. The American use of children in battle is nothing new; it merely faded as we climbed up the ladder of civilization. Over the past decades we’ve come tumbling back down that ladder and here we are, 2010, knowingly arming children to fight on the empire’s behalf. What we are seeing is what one always sees in a militarized society – the slow devolution away from civilized behavior and towards what the soldier-scholars call “total war,” sparing no woman or child. It is the American Way.

Of course, all the guilty parties are just shocked to the very core of their shrunken, shriveled souls that American taxpayers have been (and are) arming children. “Now, now,” the U.S. State Department says to the Somalia faction that we back, “Don’t you go using children as soldiers, you hear?” The head master of our Somalia proxy, a Fagin-like thug named Sheik Sharif Sheik Ahmed, has ordered his army chief to conduct a “full review” to get to the bottom of things. The United Nations estimates that up to 25% of our allied army in Somalia consists of child soldiers, so it shouldn’t be too tough a task for him to find one of our little armed urchins.

While our political masters are upset, no doubt, over the embarrassment this caused them (for a few moments, until the story quickly faded) don’t think for a moment that this has made them cut off the flow of money, weapons, and ammo to these child soldiers. Our army of little African boys is “a critical piece” of our War of Terror in the Horn of Africa, say the experts. Plus, consider the cost savings, as doubtless Secretary of Defense Robert Gates has. Not too long ago he whined that an all-volunteer force was getting awful expensive, and according to The New York Times our little boy soldiers are getting paid, if at all, only $1.50 per day, and that’s quite a bargain by any measure.

So as not to appear too one-sided, it must be admitted that AFRICON has provided (and is providing) these children with certain job skills that they can fall back on until the end of their days. For instance little Ahmed, all of 15-years-old, was sent to Uganda at the age of 12 and taught by American trainers “how to kill with a knife.” His fellow soldier Awil, now 12-years-old, says he “loves the gun.”

And to be fair, while the political grandees around the globe have laws (specifically the Convention on the Rights of the Child) that prohibit the use of children in combat, neither the United States or Somalia ever signed it, so it’s a bit of a stretch to expect us to adhere to something we are not signatories on.

Enough. I stop reading the paper and watch my son running the length of the shoreline with the ocean waves his backdrop, and I think of all the children, barely older than he, that part of my every workday is spent to supply with weapons. I gag on a surge of patriotism.

There are many predictions on this site for the coming demise of the American empire, and with God’s mercy that blessed day can’t come soon enough.

October 18, 2010

CJ Maloney [send him mail] lives and works in New York City. He blogs for Liberty & Power on the History News Network website and the DailyKos. His first book (on Arthurdale, West Virginia during the New Deal) is to be released by John Wiley and Sons in February 2011.

Copyright © 2010 by LewRockwell.com. Permission to reprint in whole or in part is gladly granted, provided full credit is given.

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