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1/17/05


 

GOOD CITIZENSHIP

By David Podvin

The government of the United States is once again considering deploying death squads, this time to pacify uncooperative Iraqis. Such moral turpitude reinforces an obvious fact that most Americans are absolutely determined to ignore: the military/industrial complex governing our nation is run by barbarians who will do anything to get their way.

In 1962, President Kennedy was horrified when the Joint Chiefs of Staff introduced a plan that involved launching a terrorist campaign designed to trick the public into supporting a war against Cuba. The much-honored warriors who crafted the scheme, led by Chairman Lyman Lemnitzer, strenuously argued that the greater good required terrorizing American civilians by hijacking domestic commercial airliners and bombing major U.S. cities.

This is publicly available, thoroughly documented information. Nevertheless, just thirty-nine years after the American military urged the president to bomb New York City and Washington D.C., anyone who questioned the Bush administration’s explanation of 9/11 was shouted down for being insanely seditious. No one in the mainstream media mentioned that our armed forces had previously advocated a strategy for terrorizing Americans that was similar to the 2001 Al Qaeda attack, and to this day most citizens find it inconceivable that their sacrosanct gladiators would ever consider harming them.

The point is not that our government was complicit in 9/11, but rather that history demonstrates the government is ethically capable of covertly attacking this country to justify international conquest. That the U.S. military has been willing (and even eager) to kill defenseless Americans is beyond dispute.

Other indications of elitist depravity are unproven yet glaring. Between November 22, 1963 and June 5, 1968, the entire liberal leadership of this country was slaughtered. In less than five years, the dominant political force in American politics had been dismembered as the only liberals feared by the right wing were eliminated. On the evening that Robert F. Kennedy joined his brother John and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in martyrdom, the Democratic Party dominated the three branches of the federal government. Since losing its giants, the liberal movement has been in headlong retreat, surrendering all power as the timid dwarves who now ostensibly oppose the Republicans opt to cower rather than fight.

Had such a sequence played out in a Third World nation – one of those pathetic little banana republics where unelected leaders rig elections and then start wars using false pretenses – it would be easy for Americans to recognize what had occurred. But when people accept the premise that “it can’t happen here”, any series of events can be blithely dismissed as coincidental, and all deviations from the party line must ridiculed as conspiracy theories.

There is no tangible evidence that the liberal leaders were killed by the domestic equivalent of death squads, but how could there be? The investigations of the murders were monitored by the F.B.I., an agency that is documented to have blackmailed all three men and to have murdered other political subversives. That fact in and of itself reveals the true nature of our democratic republic, which has been subverted by a lethal combination of corporate greed and public passivity.

Just as George W. Bush suffered no consequences for lying America into war, other malefactors of great power are rarely punished in the United States. Hypothetically, if it were proven that the Kennedys and King had been murdered by the government, what would be the consequences? A clue is provided by the late General Lemnitzer, the functionary of the ruling elite who insisted that Americans should be terrorized. He currently rests in a place of honor at Arlington National Cemetery.

Repressing cognitive dissonance has become an essential aspect of patriotism. In order to be a respected member of society, you must believe that the military that advocated bombing American cities in 1962 would never have considered bombing those same cities in 2001. You must also believe that the government that unleashes death squads abroad would never consider unleashing them at home.

And you better believe it, unquestioningly, or else you are not a good citizen. In modern America, you don’t have to be a conspiracy theorist to be marginalized as a nut. If you merely accept what has been proven (like the American military’s plot to bomb the United States) and you notice the suspicious (like the disappearance of all the leaders the F.B.I. had targeted as enemies), then you qualify as being demented. Good citizens are not even supposed to acknowledge the inarguable fact that Bush stole the 2000 presidential election because doing so makes you a nut of the partisan variety.

There are a myriad of important truths that good citizens are obligated to ignore. It is regarded as despicable to notice that for every civilian killed by Osama bin Laden, fifty have been killed by Bush. It is dismissed as subversive to observe that during the eighteen-year rein of Federal Reserve Board Chairman Alan Greenspan, every action of our national bank has been designed to transfer wealth upwards.

It is viewed as impudent to recall that the collapse of the Soviet Union was followed by the revelation that the Red Army was a hollow shell and the Cold War was a multi-trillion dollar con job. It is seen as incendiary to recall that – even during times of maximum national crisis – America’s borders are left largely unguarded so that low cost labor can enter the country for the purpose of depressing wages. It is considered demagogic when one notices that America’s “War On Drugs” has done absolutely nothing to stop the flow of narcotics, but has been extremely effective at relocating racial minorities into for-profit prisons.

These are issues of significance, and each can be verified factually, but they have been deemed unfit for substantive political debate. The standard that regulates American public discourse mandates banishing those facts incompatible with maximizing corporate profits. You can say whatever you choose, but if what you say is anathema to the corporatists or their acolytes, your viewpoint will never reach most citizens. Dissidents are exiled from the chattering class, where free speech consists of self-righteously parroting socially acceptable lies, and what is socially acceptable always coincides with what is best for the establishment.

As reporter Gary Webb learned the hard way after documenting C.I.A. complicity in the drug trade, telling the truth about power in this country is the fast track to oblivion. Ask Dan Rather. Better yet, ask Bob Woodward, who was shrewd enough to realize that lasting success comes not from confronting power, but by fellating it.

Anyone who dares discern that our national mission statement has been rewritten is eviscerated for “hating America”. Criticism of the amoral corporate agenda does not constitute hating America – it represents hatred of what conservatives are doing to America. Even so, the economic hierarchy has succeeded in convincing Joe Sixpack that mercantile interests are indistinguishable from the national interest, thereby insuring that populism and sedition are now synonymous.

Implementation of the robber baron platform has required choreographing a level of collective delusion that is breathtaking in scope. Most Americans reside in a dream world created for them by Madison Avenue. It is an alternative reality in which our benign nation is constantly being persecuted. This harrowing storyline dictates that we engage in an unending series of defensive wars by invading resource-rich countries while using extremely expensive weapons to kill unarmed but deadly peasants.

The fictional narrative casts the United States as a land where widespread economic hardship is caused by black teenage welfare mothers who abuse their food stamp privileges to dine gourmet at public expense, compelling us to retaliate by lowering the maximum marginal tax rate time and time again.

In Fantasy America, the majority religion is being viciously assailed, so our response is to elect deeply spiritual politicians who then strengthen social mores by revoking satanic health and safety regulations that have been ruthlessly imposed on wholesome multinational conglomerates.

If you are a good citizen, you do not challenge these corporate-approved scenarios, or any corporate-approved scenario. The United States has become much like the National Football League, where in 1994 Notre Dame All-American center Tim Ruddy saw his professional status plunge after a pre-draft psychological analysis revealed Ruddy was inclined to “think for himself”.

George Carlin also thinks for himself while simultaneously refusing to believe anything the military/industrial complex says, and the comedian admits that this disobedience makes him a bad American. Not coincidentally, “bad American” is also a term J. Edgar Hoover used to describe Dr. King. It is an epithet reserved for those relatively few citizens who refuse to ignore the endemic institutional corruption that is corroding our national soul. Yet in an era where good citizenship consists of repudiating truth in favor of embracing myth, bad Americanism is looking better all the time.

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