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It Can't Happen Here

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Frank Zappa first posed the question sarcastically by saying, "It can't happen here." He was arguing with the myth of American exceptionalism. In the song the line is repeated over and over,

"It can't happen here
It can't happen here
I'm telling you, my dear
That it can't happen here
Because I been checkin' it out, baby
I checked it out a couple a times"

The song is both hysterically funny and startlingly more poignant today than when it was written forty-four years ago. Americans blindly believe whatever they are told. There is a channel on Justin TV that replays old documentaries and they were airing a late 60's documentary about the Vietnam War. What was interesting was knowing what we know today versus what this TV documentary was telling us.

Man, we were kicking ass and taking names; we had Charlie on his knees begging us to let up. Details left out of the documentary were: President Diem and his brother were looting the treasury. Nothing moved in or out of the country without bribes. Supplies were looted and President Diem and his brother ended up with a bullet in their brains in a CIA-backed coup. They were replaced by generals but in South Vietnam the term general only meant people well-connected socially.

Richard Nixon promised Vietnamization, or as George W. Bush put it, "As they stand up we'll stand down." What happened in Vietnam was as we stood down they fell down. They had a corrupt government with generals resplendent in medals they earned by being the cousin or brother-in-law of some provincial leader. Promotions were based on who you know not what you know. This meant that the soldiers in the field were being led by know-nothing incompetents. As the Americans withdrew the South Vietnamese army froze.

Republicans fostered the myth that the American liberal media lost us the war. To believe that, you would have to explain why 125,000 South Vietnamese soldiers deserted the army annually. Were they watching Cronkite? The truth was that you had a corrupt government with little public support and no matter how many tanks and planes you gave them they would still lose the war.

President Karzi in Afghanistan is President Diem reincarnated. Already estimates run as high that he and his band of cronies have looted one billion dollars from the treasury. Karzai's brother is suspected of running one of the largest heroin rings in the world. That wouldn't be at all surprising as Afghanistan is a full-blown narco state.

In Vietnam the CIA was running opium out of the Golden Triangle and General Richard Secord was delivering suitcases filled with money to Australian banks. In the 80s when Ronald Reagan wanted to help the freedom fighters defeat the Russians, Afghan opium was the Muhajadeen treasury. When funding for Reagan's freedom fighters in Nicaragua was cut off by the US Congress, it was Richard Secord who raised his hand to say, "You know what we did in Vietnam?"

Studio 54 was awash in cocaine and Donna Summer and the money was being laundered through Panamanian banks. Ollie North asked Manuel Noriega if he could help us defeat the Sandanistas. Noriega says, "Anything for you, Ollie," and Ollie pays Noriega one million dollars cash. When the Iran Contra scandal broke guess where the money was being laundered? Noriega had the goods on them; Noriega knew where the bodies were buried. Noriega knew too much.

In February of 1988 two indictments for drug smuggling against Noriega were unsealed in Florida. Three weeks later Panama's civilian president, Eric Arturo Delvalle announced the dismissal of Gen. Manuel Noriega as commander of the country's defense forces. The next day, Panama's National Assembly voted to oust Delvalle.

In March Reagan moves to suspend trade preferences with Panama and a week later announces and executive order to immediately block of all property and interests in property of the Government of Panama. Why? Noriega had closed the bank! The bank where the CIA had funneled all that drug money and it's Iran Contra money and who knows what else. To the American public Noriega was a drug smuggler and he worked all by himself, even though it was the CIA who put Noriega in power in the first place.

"But I'm telling you
It can't happen here
Oh darling, it's important that you believe me
(Bop bop bop bop)
That it can't happen here"

When America drops bombs on civilians, they deserve it. When America goes to war it's because the other guy asked for it. In 2000 the CIA said that Al Queada had 3,000 members worldwide. Yet we bomb and we kill and we kill and we bomb and yet they pop up like gorgon's teeth. It's the perfect scam. If we want to bomb, say, Sweden we claim that an Al Queada training base is operating there and the American public believes.

We first attacked Afghanistan because the Taliban government wouldn't turn over Osama Bin Laden. You remember him, don't you? Seven years on and he doesn't get mentioned much anymore, but the war goes on just the same. Seven years on and what have we gained? How do we know that we are winning besides being the good guys? The Russian public thought that they were the good guys; even the German public during WWII thought that they were the good guys. The German media showed houses shelled by Polish guns and dead Polish soldiers killed in an attack on a German radio station. Of course the German's fabricated the attack and the damage. The dead Poles were actually German prisoners in Polish uniforms. The German public believed the stories whole-heartedly.

"But I'm telling you
It can't happen here
Oh darling, it's important that you believe me
(Bop bop bop bop)
That it can't happen here"

Remember all the outrage over George W. Bush's foisted wars? Remember how they said that Afghanistan was the good war? Anyone remember why that was? Is the war in Pakistan, attacks in Yemen, and support for Somali rebels good wars too? Are they good wars on their own merits or are they good as an expansion of the Afghan struggle. We traded an inarticulate, ersatz cowboy for an articulate, constitutional law professor.

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I who am I? Born at the pinnacle of American prosperity to parents raised during the last great depression. I was the youngest child of the youngest children born almost between the generations and that in fact clouds and obscures who it is that (more...)

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