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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 4/24/17

A WWII Veteran Observes: The Choice Is Ours

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Message Hal O'Leary
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For a long time, I have been sorely troubled in my attempts to understand how it can be that basically good people can be manipulated into supporting evil. 'Tis a dichotomy, indeed. As a pragmatic atheist, I interpret "good" simply as that behavior which increases man's chances for survival and "evil" as that behavior which puts his survival at risk. Dictionary definitions that I favor are:

good: Adjective. Having or showing or arising from a desire to promote the welfare or happiness of others.
evil: Adjective. Having or exerting a malignant influence.

In accordance with the above definitions of good and evil, there is a multitude of people whom I know to be good at heart, and yet they, at least passively, support the malignant evil of war and its perpetrators. I say "passively" in the sense of their reluctance to actively oppose the evil. Edmund Burke said it best: "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing."

Although neither the goodness of these people's hearts nor the evil of war can be questioned, I will suggest in due course a rationale for what otherwise becomes a Kafkaesque conundrum, but first, a bit of preparation:

I do believe in the basic goodness of the great majority of my fellow citizens. I also unashamedly believe that the most heinous crime of 9/11 was a "false flag," designed by an evil oligarchy to induce an insouciant public to unwittingly endorse its hidden plan for military and economic hegemony. The evils such a scheme has provoked are too numerous to mention. Why is it that so many good Americans refuse even to consider the possibility that they have been deceived by a government that has knowingly lied to them repeatedly? Our illegitimate entry into the four most recent wars--Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya--were all based on falsehoods.

With the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, a lie, we were drawn into Vietnam, culminating with the loss of more than 58,000 lives. Then, with no independent criminal investigation of 9/11, Americans bought, without question, the admittedly seriously flawed "9-11 Commission" report. The Commission was described by one of its members as one "designed to fail," with the two co-chairmen of the commission confessing that they were lied to by the CIA and the FAA. This, of course, was followed by what was known to be a false claim of Iraq's possession of WMDs (Weapons of Mass Destruction). Not to be overlooked was also Clinton's big lie of "humanitarian intervention" as an excuse to bomb and invade Libya. There is little doubt that there is more to come with Syria, Yemen, Somalia and, of course, Iran to complete the destabilization of the entire Middle East.

Now, to the question of how good Americans could support such heinous crimes: nothing like the loss of innocent lives, particularly those of women and children, can more quickly incite a citizenry to accept war as retaliation. Americans were strongly opposed to an entrance into WWII, but, with the attack on Pearl Harbor and the loss of more than 2,000 lives, they rose in solemn agreement with FDR's call to arms.

This lesson was not lost on the PNAC (Project for the new American Century), the recently resurrected neoconservative movement whose original think tank, Statement of Principles, called for the United States to be the "world's pre-eminent power." It goes on to note that the challenge would be to "shape a new century favorable to American principles and interests." The statement goes on to say that the "transformation, even if it brings revolutionary change, is likely to be a long one, absent some catalyzing event -- like a new Pearl Harbor." Such an event did occur on 9/11/2001, with the loss of more than 3,000 lives, thus triggering the bombing and invasion of Afghanistan, and eventually Iraq and Syria, during which millions of innocents have been killed.

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Hal O'Leary is an 88 year old veteran of WWII who, having spent his life in theatre, and as a Secular Humanist, believes that it is only through the arts that we are afforded an occasional glimpse into the otherwise incomprehensible. As an 'atheist (more...)
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