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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 7/27/08

OF PATRIOTS AND PAWNS: Carolyn Baker Reviews Mary Tillman's "Boots On The Ground By Dusk"

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Mary Tillman isn't following the sales of her book on a regular basis. That isn't why she wrote it. She simply wanted to get her message out into the world-the message of a grief-stricken mother whose pain and rage drove her to relentlessly pursue the truth about her son's death. Most reviews of the book have been positive. That the New York Times review of Boots On The Ground called it "clumsily written" reveals nothing in my opinion but the reviewer's inability to grapple with the deeply disturbing realities Mary Tillman and "The Tillman Files" have uncovered.


Boots On The Ground By Dusk and the investigative reporting of Stan Goff and Mike Ruppert are the only in-depth accounts we are likely to have for a very long time, if ever, regarding the murder of Pat Tillman which was one of myriad tragic facets of the U.S. military campaigns in Afghanistan and Iraq. Both Mike and Stan in their individual writings have comprehensively documented the motivation behind these wars and the reality that both of them will be prolonged, pointless projects that will grind on for many years. Stan has written extensively about the use of asymmetric warfare by insurgents against traditional military giants like the United States, and Mike's exhaustive research regarding Peak Oil and 9/11 at From The Wilderness have illuminated the devious and demented political and economic system that has killed and wounded hundreds of thousands of human beings in the Middle East since the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan in 2001.


Unflinchingly, Mary, Mike, and Stan have revealed to the world a war machine without conscience that has devastated individuals, cultures, nations, and land with no regard for anything except the profits of war and America's insatiable thirst for oil. After reading their exposes, the mind reels with imagining how many more lies have been told to military families about the deaths of their sons and daughters. It is axiomatic that empires, without exception, decline and fall, and it is equally true that as they do so, courageous individuals who refuse to be pawned or conned come forth to expose the empire's nakedness. Mary Tillman has proven that one need not be a professional journalist or a decorated warrior in order to do so but merely a mother who will settle for nothing less than total transparency about the death of her son.


It is precisely the lack of conscience, mentioned above, which makes incidents like the Tillman murder and coverup not only possible but routine. Truth To Power has published numerous stories and articles on political ponerology, that is, rule by sociopathic individuals who possess no moral compass. It is worse than naïve to believe they can or will change. Moreover, we tragically delude ourselves if we believe that mainstream political candidates, purchased and promoted by corporations as the preferred "brand", can or will divest themselves from the sociopathic power milieu. The fate of America as empire was sealed when it became impossible for a common person of conscience to be elected president. That means that this empire cannot be "treated", "cleansed," "turned around", "reformed", or even "improved." It has already careened off the precipice. Where it will land, I know not. My work and yours, if you care about yourself, your loved ones, your land, your descendants is to prepare for where the long--or short, descent is taking us. In the meantime, the world is waiting for many more Mary Tillmans.

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Carolyn Baker, Ph.D. is author of U.S. HISTORY UNCENSORED: What Your High School Textbook Didn't Tell You. Her forthcoming book is SACRED DEMISE: Walking The Spiritual Path of Industrial Civilization's Collapse. She also (more...)
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