September 23, 2013
By Dave Lefcourt
America & Americans are not the government. The gov't has become a separate entity completely unto itself. The people are superfluous, necessary foils to that gov't providing a fig leaf of legitimacy & the impression we remain a republic, a constitutional democracy & a gov't of, by and for the people. Nothing can be further from the truth.
#SolidaritySunday 3/18/12 #OO to #OWS #OccupyOakland #Solidarity by greendoula
American flag depicted in distress, Occupy Oakland
Before anything else, let's make a clear distinction between America and its government.
America, its people, the vast continent plus Alaska and Hawaii are not the government.
The "government", and as we'll see momentarily includes its corporate/military/political abetting partners, is a separate entity and now something almost completely unto itself. The people are superfluous, necessary foils to that government to provide a fig leaf of legitimacy and the impression it's a republic, a constitutional democracy and a government of, by and for the people.
Nothing can be further from the truth. A republic may have been the original intent of the framers, but as Benjamin Franklin famously said, "A republic, if you can keep it".
To say the least that "republic" has been lost. As to the how, when and why of that loss is the focus here, although admittedly, hardly a comprehensive compilation of all government actions.
If one looks honestly at our "government's" actions particularly since the end of W.W.II, the cold war with the Soviet Union and now what has happened since 9/11 and the global war on terrorism, it is not a stretch to see the sinister nature of many government actions and realize there's been a transformation which has taken place that is anything but positive.
In the present vernacular of "connecting the dots", connecting seemingly unrelated events and concluding they are part of some intentional scheme would on the surface seem conspiracy thinking.
But in reality the real conspiracy has been the propaganda disseminated to the American people by its government and its triumphalist, sycophantic corporate media to distract from the real nature and intentions of the government by what President Eisenhower referred to in his farewell speech in 1961 as the "military/industrial complex". He saw the lurking dangers of a structure that could unravel our constitutional democracy and turn it into a state with no bounds, unrestrained and now without any adversaries capable of containing it in its single minded pursuit of exercising hegemony over the world.
And make no mistake; Ike's fears have been realized.
Yet how did this happen?
Again, if we view any single action by our "government", (i.e. the military/corporate/political complex, a more up to date version of Ike's message to the American people), in isolation as single, unrelated events and not interconnected as part of actual covert "government" policy, it could be a stretch to consider that "government" as having sinister intentions.
But if we do look closely, in reality our "governments" actions do form a recognizable pattern of malevolence, and when connected reveal the true nature and intentions of that "government".
In that regard let's take a look at some of these seemingly isolated "government" actions and we'll see a pattern.
As indicated above, at the conclusion of the 2 nd world war the U.S. was the supreme power, alone had the A-bomb and incurred no devastation from the war unlike the Europe, Japan and the Soviet Union. Of course when the latter attained its own nuclear capability in 1950 the cold war ensued and containing the spread of "Communism" became the all but consuming policy by the U.S. and was used to justify many sinister actions that could be said to begin with the CIA inspired coup of the legitimately elected Mossedeigh government in Iran in 1953 and the subsequent installation of Shah Pahlavi as the new strongman governing Iran.
With the French defeat by the Communist Viet Min at Dien Bien Phu in what was then French Indochina in 1954 the U.S. replaced the French and became entwined in the civil war in the newly independent Viet Nam and some 9 years later the CIA assassinated President Diem of then South Viet Nam and installed a puppet government that was fighting a civil war against the Communist North under Ho Chi Min. Then with the trumped up and fictitious "Gulf of Tonkin" incident in 1965, then President Lyndon Johnson used the "incident" and got Congress to authorize the escalation of what would become America's Viet Nam war.
Throw in the CIA led coup in Chile in 1968 of the popularly elected President Salvatore Allande and the installation of General Pinochet as the new military dictator and it was clear the U.S. "government" wouldn't tolerate an independent, democratic government that wouldn't cow tow to Washington's line.
When finally the trauma of America's Viet Nam war was ended in 1973 and with our non interference in the inevitable Communist takeover of South Viet Nam in 1975 it could be said there was a lull in U.S. misadventures but that all ended with the fall and overthrow of the hated Shah in Iran in that countries revolution in 1979, the hostage taking of American embassy personnel by the Ayatollah Khomeini regime; an event that could be directly traced to the American led coup in 1953.
Couple these assassinations and coups with our "government's" support of authoritarian regimes in Egypt under Mubarak, South Africa's white apartheid regime, Saudi Arabia and the other Gulf sheikdoms, then President Ronald Reagan's 1980's covert support of the Contra's in Nicaragua and the clandestine Iran/Contra affair with Israel as a secret mediator, U.S. mendacity saw no bounds in justifying its actions in the name of fighting against and containing Communism under its trumped up "Domino Theory".
Then came the unexpected demise of the Soviet Union in 1991 and the great cold war Communist bogeyman and legitimate adversary to U.S. pretentions came to a sudden end.
But then another 10 year lull came to a crashing halt with events of September 11, 2001 and a new bogeyman came into being with the global war on terrorism and the face of Osama bin Laden as the poster child of this new "enemy". Though contrived as a mortal menace it hardly measured up as a legitimate threat adversary that could challenge U.S. supremacy as our "government" made it out to be.
Nevertheless and regardless of how one depicts 9/11, the events of that day did change everything particularly our "government's" mendacious actions that continue unabated to the present day which again clearly depicts its sinister intentions.
Within days we got Bush's global war on terrorism, the invasion and occupation of Afghanistan, Guantanamo, indefinite detention of suspects, denial of habeas corpus,, extraordinary rendition, warrantless wiretapping, secret Department of Justice memos authorizing torture, secret CIA detention facilities, the lies of Iraq's Saddam Hussein having WMD, in league with al Qaeda and associated with 9/11 all used to justify the pre-emptive war and occupation of Iraq in March 2003, the infamous torture videos at Abu Ghraib prison, Bush's grandstand act aboard an aircraft carrier depicting the fictitious end of the war, along the idea of establishing a "unitary executive," essentially a power grab by the president to do anything and answerable to no one.
With the coming of Barack Obama in 2009 we got an escalation of the war in Afghanistan, increased levels of drone strikes and missile attacks now to include Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia, increasing numbers of JSOC raids and the killing of innocents, the NDAA (National Defense Authorization Act) in 2010 authorizing the president to have the military detain anyone indefinitely, including American citizens till the end of hostilities (in effect a life sentence), and the intentional assassination of American citizens in Yemen ( and of course justified and made "legal" by Justice Department memos and kept secret for reasons of national security). Let's also not forget Obama's collaboration with Israel unleashing the "Stuxnet" worm that disabled Iranian computers controlling the enrichment of uranium in 2010.
Let's not forget our "governments" collaboration with the big banks and the trillion dollar bailout of the financial industry that perpetrated the 2008 financial meltdown and subsequent great recession, rapacious "government" acts that resulted in no real accountability, and no renewed regulation or oversight of these institutions "too big to fail".
Now with the NSA revelations exposed by whistleblower Edward Snowden and the "agencies" surveillance of all electronic communications foreign and domestic and the latest revelations of the NSA's "back door" entry into American made software systems sold to foreign clients, its illegal, unconstitutional actions clearly convey our "governments" mendacity has no bounds.
Then lately the threats to bomb Syrian government installations over allegations Assad authorized chemical weapons again without the U.S. seeking U.N. Security Council legal authorization depicting it as "legal" even if the Council rejects it reveals a government ready to act in a rogue, sinister manner and answerable to nothing.
For sure the people in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia know first hand the sinister nature of the U.S. government being as they've been on the receiving end of U.S. drone attacks and missile strikes as well as nightly JSOC raids as they slept in their beds.
Intentionally not included in this piece are U.S. "government" actions that could not be classified as being sinister i.e. arming the Mujahedin and Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan after the Soviet invasion in 1980 or Obama aiding the Libyan rebels fighting against Qaddafi and preventing his tank assault and impending massacre in Benghazi in 2011. The same could be said of the "humanitarian" intervention preventing the slaughter of Muslims in Bosnia and Kosovo by Serb forces under Serbian President Milosevic in the 1990's.
Then what of the "government's" collusion and militarization of American local and state police forces along with its infiltration perpetrating violence before it encouraged the disbanding the Occupy Wall Street encampments by local authorities two years ago? Were these not sinister actions?
Here's another seeming truth; things are dire for many Americans but they are essentially forgotten. Most others in America have been "bought off", propagandized by their "government" and the corporate media, made docile and passively indifferent, mesmerized and distracted by technological gadgetry, sports mania, and excessive consumerism beyond all need. Such people do not make for radical revolutionaries ready to confront and take on its "government", regardless of that "government's" mendacity.
However, if history has taught us anything, all empires rise and eventually fall, whether overtaken or overthrown.
This too will surely happen with the American empire, though it's hard to say who of us will still be around to see it.
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Retired. The author of "DECEIT AND EXCESS IN AMERICA, HOW THE MONEYED INTERESTS HAVE STOLEN AMERICA AND HOW WE CAN GET IT BACK", Authorhouse, 2009