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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 10/9/08

Onward, Christian Soldiers (Redux)

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Message Shirley Bianchi

So – what does all of this have to do with the breakdown of our current Federal Administration, or G. W. Bush, Dick Cheney, and Alberto Gonzales, Karl Rove, et al?  Simply that we have George W. Bush’s father and grandfather enamored of a fascist style of government.  As an old saying goes, “The apple does not fall far from the tree.”  Which brings us up to current times.


The night of 9/11, my husband and I were watching CNN.  We heard Wolf Blitzer state, unequivocally, that the attacks had been generated from Iraq.  We turned to ABC and Peter Jennings, who kept stating that it was unknown who was behind the attacks. 


Over time, with all of the propaganda coming from Washington and the captive media, and with the passage of the Authorization for the Use of Military Force in September, 2001 and the Patriot Act in October, 2001, I could only be reminded that Hitler came to power because of a supposed attack on the German government building, the Reichstag.  It seemed to me that these two documents had been written long before 9/11 and were simply waiting for an occasion to be rushed through.  As stated in Elliot D. Cohen’s:  This Summer, Will America Officially Become A Totalitarian State, “The September 11 attacks were foreshadowed by the Project for the New American Century (PNAC) in its report on Rebuilding American Defenses (2000) when it stated, ‘…the process of transformation, even if it brings revolutionary change, is likely to be a long one, absent some catastrophic and catalyzing event—like a new Pearl Harbor…’.  This would not be significant were it not for the fact that the Vice President, among other key members of the Bush Administration, were founding members of PNAC.”


Also, I truly wanted George W. Bush, or as I shall refer to him from this point on, W., to succeed as President.  I recognized that we were in a delicate situation after the attacks.  But as time went by and all we got were photo ops such as Mission Accomplished, I recognized that he was succeeding, but I wasn’t sure at what.


When I realized that W. had decided that he alone, without Congress, could suspend the Constitution and declare martial law, I became really concerned.  As described by Elliot D. Cohen:  “This Summer, Will America Officially Become a Totalitarian State?” 

“Clearly, the invasion of Iraq was never conceived as a means of stopping Saddam Hussein from instigating terrorism.  This was made plain in the official British document known as the Downing Street memos, which said that Bush was attempting to make the facts 'fit' the policy in order to justify invading Iraq, since Hussein’s WMD capability was in fact 'less than that of Libya, North Korea or Iran'.  …Add to these facts that the Bush administration has displayed consistent disregard for the rule of law by canceling habeas corpus, disregarding the Geneva Conventions in the torture of prisoners of war, using signing statements to override congressional lawmaking authority, eavesdropping on Americans without court warrants, summarily refusing to comply with Congressional subpoenas, firing federal prosecutors for political reasons, outing a covert CIA agent, threatening to jail journalists for disclosing leaked government documents, censoring mainstream media and infusing it with government propaganda ('prepackaged news' staged by PR firms working for the government), placing 'gatekeepers' in all federal agencies who report directly to the White House, eliminating legal protections for government whistle blowers, arresting peaceful protestors, manipulating the terror alert system to instill fear in Americans, and stacking the Supreme Court.” 


Then on July 28, 2007, Dave Lindorff posted an article on, “Martial Law Threat is Real.”  In this article Lindorff states, “The first step, or course, was the first Authorization for Use of Military Force passed in September 2001, which the president has subsequently used to claim – improperly, but so what – that the whole world, including the U.S., is a battlefield in a so-called ‘War’ on Terror, and that he has extra-Constitutional unitary executive powers to ignore laws passed by Congress.  As constitutional scholar and former Reagan-era associate deputy attorney general Bruce Fein observes, that one claim, that the U.S. is itself a battlefield, is enough to allow this or some future president to declare martial law, 'since you can always declare martial law on a battlefield.'  All he’d need would be a pretext, like another terrorist attack inside the U.S.”  The 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force was followed by the Patriot Act, passed in October, 2001, which undermined much of the Bill of Rights.


Lindorff cites some other documented actions against the citizens of this country taken by this administration, including the following, “Put together with the wholly secret construction now under way – courtesy of a $385 million grant by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to Halliburton subsidiary KBR, Inc – of detention camps reportedly capable of confining as many as 400,000 people, and a recent report that the Pentagon has a document, dated June 1, 2007, classified Top Secret, which declares there to be a developing ‘insurgency’ within the U.S. and which lays out a whole martial law counterinsurgency campaign against legal dissent, and you have all the ingredients for a military takeover of the United States.”


Lindorff concludes with the comment, “If ordered to turn their guns and bayonets on their fellow Americans, would our ‘heroes’ in uniform follow their consciences, and their oaths to ‘uphold and defend’ the Constitution of the United States?....If we are headed for martial law, better that it be with a broken military.  Maybe if it’s broken badly enough, the administration will be afraid to test the idea.”


I disagree with Lindorff on that conclusion.  And the reason is, “Blackwater:  The Rise of The World’s Most Powerful Mercenary Army”, Jeremy Scahill.  The following quote is from the flyleaf for the book, which book I have read, and the quote is apparently accurate because all of the assertions in the book are documented.  “Meet Blackwater USA, the powerful private army that the U.S. government has quietly hired to operate in international war zones and on American soil.  Its contacts run from deep inside the military and intelligence agencies to the upper echelons of the White House.  Blackwater is the elite Praetorian Guard for the 'global war on terror,' with its own military base, a fleet of twenty aircraft, and twenty thousand troops at the ready.  Run by a multimillionaire Christian conservative who bankrolls President Bush and his allies, its forces are capable of overthrowing governments, yet most people have never heard of Blackwater.”  After reading the book, my opinion is that Erik Prince, the ‘CEO’ of Blackwater USA, a conservative Catholic, believes wholeheartedly that the capitalist system is Christ’s own.  In short, he is a ‘true believer’, and to paraphrase Hawkeye from M*A*S*H, this is NOT the ‘finest kind’.  Christian fundamentalism is no better or worse than fundamentalism of any religion, or lack thereof.  It is a blind adherence to someone else’s interpretation of that religion, and usually that someone else has something other than God in mind.  One of the most distressing points about Blackwater USA is that it does not adhere to the Uniform Code of Military Justice.  It operates under orders from Bush, Cheney, the military or whomever.  Just as the Waffen SS operated under Himmler. 


On July 17, 2007, OpEdNews posted from the Office of the President of the United States an Executive Order:  Blocking Property of Certain Persons Who Threaten Stabilization Efforts in Iraq.  This block will not be determined by the courts or law enforcement, but by the Secretaries of the Treasury, State, and Defense.  Basically what this Executive Order does is threaten the economic foundation of any individual who protests in an anti-war demonstration, or who donates to an anti-war campaign.  It is two pages in length, but well worth the reading.  Also posted on on Friday, August 3, 2007 was a report from Reuters, Matt Spetalnick, that W, “ordered on Thursday a freeze on the U.S. assets of anyone Washington deems to be undermining Lebanon’s pro-Western government.”  These two Executive Orders are in violation of the Fourth Amendment to the Bill of Rights, “Right of search and seizure regulated.  The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”  How chilling can this be on dissent?  How willing will people be to jeopardize their assets, and their children’s assets? 


Which brings me to my final conclusion.  Posted on on Friday, August 3, 2007 is “Report Details Evangelism at Highest Levels of US Military”, Jason Leopold.

“A report released publicly on Thursday by the Defense Department’s (DOD) inspector general has found high-ranking Army and Air Force personnel violated long-standing military regulations when they participated in a promotional video for an evangelical Christian organization while in uniform and on active duty."  …The 47-page report was also highly critical of Pentagon chaplain Col. Ralph G. Benson,   ….In fact, the report says, Benson was determined to use the video to ‘attract new supporters’ to the Christian Embassy, an evangelical organization that evangelizes members of the military and politicians in Washington, DC via daily Bible studies and outreach events.  The group holds prayer breakfasts on Wednesdays in the Pentagon's executive dining room, according to the organization’s web site.  Bill Bright, the founder of Campus Crusade for Christ, founded the Christian Embassy 30 years ago.”


How did I get from fascism to Christian fundamentalism?   By way of the book, “American Fascists:  The Christian Right and the War on America”, Chris Hedges.

I had come to the same conclusions in my thinking as Chris Hedges in this book, but Hedges documented all of his assertions.  The quote from the back cover of his book states very succinctly what I have been trying to put together here, “Dr. James Luther Adams, my ethics professor at Harvard Divinity School, told us that when we were his age – he was then close to 80 – we would all be fighting the ‘Christian fascists’.”


“The warning, given to me nearly 25 years ago, came at the moment Pat Robertson and other radio and televangelists began speaking about a new political religion that would direct is efforts at taking control of all institutions, including mainstream denominations and the government.  Its stated goal was to use the United States to create a global Christian empire.  It was hard, at the time, to take such fantastic rhetoric seriously, especially given the buffoonish quality of leaders in the Christian Right who expounded it.  But Adams warned us against the blindness caused by intellectual snobbery.  The Nazis, he said were not going to return with swastikas and brown shirts.  Their ideological inheritors in America had found a mask for fascism in patriotism and the pages of the Bible.”

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Shirley Bianchi Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Voluntarily retired California county elected official.
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