S. Paul Forrest
In today’s America, we are being inundated with nationalistic propaganda from both the Left and the Right. In the middle of these lines lay our military initiatives overseas and incessant anti-Islamic tones of popular media coverage to justify said initiatives. With the information highway becoming more and more controlled by legal and political language, one has to consider whether our freedom has become compromised. The answer must certainly lie within one’s personal definition of freedom and whether one believes today’s growing climate of nationalistic paranoia is quashing our freedom.
Many point to 9/11 as the quintessential milestone in American internal policy to justify the actions taken against Iraq in 2002 and now Afghanistan (Iran coming soon). I say that it also currently stands as justification for the increasingly aggressive initiatives disguised by the National Security Act, Patriot Act, and their associated actions against We the People and has redefined our dwindling rights guaranteed under the U.S. Constitution as collateral damage.
Since 9/11, law makers in Washington have flooded the Senate with “Security” policies that are disguised as actions to protect Americans against future “terrorist” attacks. These initiatives are promulgated by popular media and exacerbated by a growing sentiment of Christian isolationism and Islamophobia. How much of it is actually for our protection, or is it all simply a ploy to control the growing public dissent toward aggressive U.S. policies at home and abroad? And how is it that so many people actually believe we were attacked without reason? If Americans would take a moment to understand the context and step away from the brainwashing media coverage to understand the facts, maybe we could regain some of our freedoms.
To begin with, American aggressiveness has been a part of the global environment for quite some time. In fact, in a 2007, 14-country poll, large majorities in 12 of them said that “the US is playing the role of world policeman more than it should be.” Much of the aggression referred to U.S. aggression in asserting its policies after Desert Storm. In reaction to these policies, terrorist activities increased, and the U.S. wasted not a moment to use them to its advantage.
In 2004, the IISS reported that al-Qaeda’s recruitment and fund raising efforts had been given a major boost by the U.S. invasion of Iraq. This was in addition to the numbers recruited and efforts taken that led to the 2001 attack on New York. In fact, prior to this date, the U.S. led an invasion in reaction to Iraq’s attack on Kuwait even though U.S. Ambassador April Glaspie had all but given Iraq permission for the action.
With the assurance by U.S. politicians that the United States had no interest in the dispute with Kuwait, Iraq invaded on August 2, 1990. Some believe that the false assurance was deliberately given at the instruction of President George H.W. Bush to provoke a confrontation with Iraq. The details are revealed in Rodney Stich’s Defrauding America.
Admitting for the first time that he ordered the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, Osama bin Laden said he did so because of injustices against the Lebanese and Palestinians by Israel and the United States. Those in charge of our defense budgets will have us all blindly believe it was just “an act of evil” without provocation; and the reaction, or if you will “continued storyline,” of what was to become known as the Bush Doctrine, with policies delineated in a document, the National Security Strategy of the United States, published on September 17, 2002.
Reacting to the continued expansion of this Doctrine around the world, Iran’s top presidential advisor, Mojtaba Samareh-Hashemi, said that “The occupation of Afghanistan and then Iraq, under the pretext of fighting terrorism, was among the events that left hundreds of thousands of people dead. The infrastructure of these countries was ruined and more narcotics then ever are being produced into Afghanistan.” But here at home, we are being told a very different story, all in the name of “Patriotism” or more appropriately, Nationalism.
For the record, Nationalism and Patriotism are two, distinctly different philosophies. Sydney J. Harris has stated, “Patriotism is pride for a country’s virtues and is exemplified by a person eager to correct its deficiencies; it also acknowledges the legitimate patriotism of other countries, with their own specific virtues. The pride of nationalism however, trumpets its country’s virtues and denies its deficiencies, while it is contemptuous toward the virtues of other countries. It wants to be and proclaims itself to be, “the greatest,” but greatness is not required of a country; only goodness is.” With this distinction in mind, the constant glorification of Nationalism and its redefining of it to exemplify pseudo-Patriotism is a sure sign of the readjustment of our priorities.
Our Freedom, Redefined
Today, the Bush Doctrine, inspired and promoted in the wake of 9/11, has been enhanced with an ever evolving arm of “protection,” but like any solid defense shield, the object(s) being protected also become constricted. In the drive to secure our borders, our land, and our overseas interests, We the People have become both imprisoned and looked upon as suspects in this game of National Security to the point where our very freedom has come under scrutiny.
Growing disagreement and probes into the reality of the 9/11 “attacks” have caused a surge in public media and opinion pages. The Blogosphere has become like a roach colony to those who would deceive We the People. Bloggers are aware and tuned in to whatever seems to be misinformation or disinformation and will not rest until the truth is known. There are many who only exist to add to the Nationalist rampage of Popular or “Corporate Media,” but the the rest of us represent the People’s Media, and the powers-that-be do not like it.
The strength of this type of public outcry for justice has most recently been seen in Egypt where a revolution was planned, executed and its success broadcasted through the electronic tools of the Internet. Egypt’s then newly appointed vice president, Omar Suleiman, told Egyptian newspaper editors that “certain satellite channels” are provoking the protesters and insulting Egypt.
Suleiman has said: “I blame some friendly countries who own unfriendly channels that have fueled the youth against the country by lying and showing the situation as worse than it is.” In fact, Facebook, Twitter, and other electronic media sources fed the uprising and significantly aided in its ultimate success which has not gone unnoticed by American watchmen. It has been argued that this “success” itself was orchestrated by Globalist interests, which could very well be the case, but it is still undeniable that a broad spectrum of protest was initiated using the People’s Media.
With the awareness of public criticism toward the destructive, self-serving interests of American policy makers, there has been a flurry of new Bills and initiatives introduced to control both the Internet and public protest. The new American police state is a topic in and of itself and I will refrain from embellishing on its negative ramifications until a later time, but for now let me just bring to your attention the words of Claire Wolfe and Aaron Zelman:
A heavily watched and regulated people tends to become discontent and even more fractious. The ever greater number of watchers inevitably observes more “unacceptable” behavior – behavior that violates the ever-greater number of laws and regulations. Continued “misbehavior” necessitates more spies and regulators, which fosters more rebellion, or uncovers more infractions, which necessitates more efforts by the government to gain control, ad infinitum. Distrust increases, as does the brutality of the states attempts to exert total authority.
Some of our elected officials in Washington have been tirelessly promoting Internet restrictions through the Patriot Act (i.e. S.773 – Cybersecurity Act of 2009 ) with the guise of seeking out potential threats to democracy, but their true motives are protecting the deceit with which they propel their own xenophobic brand of leadership. The last thing these people want is an uprising against their regime to be orchestrated here in America.
The Patriot Act has been the most damaging legislation toward the freedom of expression we have ever seen in the United States. Most recently, The House of Representatives voted to removed three key sections of this Act that allowed restrictions on our Constitutional right to the freedom of speech.
The House measure, which was sponsored by Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.) and required a two-thirds majority for passage, failed on a 277-to-148 vote. Twenty-six Republicans voted with 122 Democrats to oppose the measure, while 67 Democrats voted with 210 Republicans to back it. Ten members did not vote.
The measure would have extended three key provisions of the Patriot Act that are set to expire on Monday, Feb. 28, unless Congress moves to reauthorize them. One of the provisions authorizes the FBI to continue using roving wiretaps on surveillance targets; the second allows the government to access “any tangible items,” such as library records, in the course of surveillance; and the third is a “lone wolf” provision of the Intelligence Reform and Terrorist Prevention Act that allows for the surveillance of targets who are not connected to an identified terrorist group.
Once again, our guaranteed freedoms have been protected through a system of elective representation, and the Patriot Act is on its well on its way to being acknowledged as the fascist tool that it is. This recent denial of the three most damaging components of this Act, though, does not protect us from the growing state of mass deception in popular, corporate media. In this circus of ratings races and faux-reporting, our freedom has entered into a realm of definition where some say that limited freedom is still freedom.
Many mainstream media channels have but one purpose: To promote their own political agenda. This alone is a direct affront to our freedom by its purposeful misleading of us American citizens through restrictive and manipulated information. This technique has been used in the past for militaristic purposes, but never before has such a tactic been so widely practiced for the desired outcome of American separatist ideology.
Historically, such controlled information tools were used by law enforcement agencies to help them to avoid exposing information that could harm sensitive investigations or enhance State security. The action is known as Gag Orders, and these orders have often been essential in the legal system in order not to contaminate a jury pool, and to enable them to make a decision based on facts presented by both sides of a legal proceeding. Strangely, today’s media seems to have imposed these orders upon themselves in an effort to allow the American public only a limited amount of information. One has to wonder what it is these “news” agencies have to gain through employing such a tactic. Which side is it that they represent, exactly; the Governmental agenda or the interests of We the People?
Today, the political agenda and corporatist interests have grown to the point where reality is not recognized by We the People. Much of the agenda of our modern-day system favors profit over truth. Journalism has become the voice of the corporations rather than the voice of the people. As stated by Ellen Cantarow:
Journalism in the mainstream media has changed because a handful of corporations own the mainstream press. Because of the corporate takeover of mainstream media, journalism has become corrupted.
Today, instead of information, we receive the corporate and political dissertations on what we are expected to think, as opposed to allowing us to form as opinion from presented facts.
The End Result
The awakening of the people in Egypt that is now spreading across the region heralds a time where information, or access to information, drove a people to awaken to the realities of a system that truly only served itself. Through the power of the Internet, an entire people were able to coordinate a coup d’etat that has shaken the foundation of Fascism around the world.
Some of America’s leaders are standing in fear of this result, especially given the incessant deception that has become so prevalent in mass media. The reach of this deception has become so extended that neighbor fights with neighbor using arguments saturated with regurgitated material from the previous night’s news paranoia. At the end of the day, it has become the fight between the brainwashed and the media-named radicals. No longer does our national view know of actual reality. Now, the people are marching to such a disparate beat we are no longer in step with each other.
The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines freedom as the quality or state of being free: the absence of necessity, coercion, or constraint in choice or action. The absence of coercion certainly doesn’t exist in a system that channels falsity. If choice is freedom, what is the action of being given a choice between a lie and another lie? Is it freedom, or is it merely the illusion of such? If it is an illusion, are we then truly free?
Often times, Americans purposely follow a course of ignorance in order to save themselves the trouble of deciphering a complex system where fact is fiction and truth a myth. If given the choice between ignorance and knowledge I would choose the latter, but corporate/political powered information sources will have me choosing a lie to suit my sense of protection from the “evil of the world.” In spite of this reality, I continue each day to search for truth and to fight for reason within the unreasoned environment of American pseudo-journalism in desperate need to know that my freedom still holds meaning.
One of the greatest of the modern media misdirections is the ignorance-aligned initiative against the State of Islam. The Christian Right is staging a war on Islam and stands in condemnation of anyone who is not either Christian (or their loose definition of it), or in full agreement with American aggression in the world. Is this what American Christianity and the fight against terrorism is about: condemning other religions and its people? Is this the freedom of religion we have been taught that the Constitution guarantees?
With the recent incidences of political uprising in the Middle East, those who support the evolving, modern Dark Ages have condemned the strive for Democracy for the very simple reason that freedom in an Islamic state poses a real threat to their stereotyping of all Muslims wanting Sharia Law, and their depiction of Muslims desiring to spread their “hate” across the globe. If Islam supports peace, the farce is exposed and America loses faith in the falsity of the storyline.
By choosing the path of following this deceptive tactic, one does not only deprive one’s self of truth, but deprives one’s nation of what it truly means to be American. The brainwashing of our people through current media misdirection is in and of itself, a form of terrorism. When an entire people follow the beats of deceptive drums, especially those of global condemnation and the ongoing war against our global brothers and sisters, it only heralds the fall of an empire rather than its resurrection.
The truth of the matter is quite simple: Ignorance is a poison ingested by the intellectually dead of this life. If my country is not striving to support “Democracy” in the global realm and our freedom represented by “lamp beside the golden door” has become extinguished, what am I fighting for?