Op Ed Commentary |
I do love my country… not its leaders or institutions. One incident that will always remain in this writer’s database of memories occurred in 1984. I had sold my small business and was wallowing in self pity at a broken love affair. So, I treated myself to a one week holiday in mid August at a Club Med in Martinique. Most, if not all, of vacationers to these places go in pairs or groups. Few, if any, go it alone. The Club Med was fine, the weather (too hot) and food not to my New Yawk liking, After two days of this, and a terrible bug bite on my leg, I just said ” Screw this ‘ and left the joint. When I got out of the car service at my apartment on Long Island, I remember vividly what I did next. At the top of the stairs of my attic apartment, I opened the door and went to my knees kissing the floor! I made the pledge to myself ( out loud for effect) ” Never to say anything bad about my country again!” Well, as they said in the great David Mamet film ” Things change!”
William Shirer was the German based correspondent for the Chicago Tribune and International News Service and author of the great book The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich. He was right there in Berlin at the beginning of Hitler’s seizure of power, and stayed on until forced out by the Gestapo after the war broke out. Shirer made an astute observation of the reaction of the majority of Berliners when Germany invaded Poland in September of 1939. He remembered the massive, almost hysterical , crowds in the streets when Hitler became Chancellor in January of 1933. Yet, when the first group of Wehrmacht troops returned home after the brief and successful invasion of Poland, most Berliners seemed oblivious to it all. No mass celebrations like in ’33.” Things Change!”
When Bush 1 did his deed in the first ‘ War on Iraq’ the propaganda machine worked overtime. Remember the countless yellow ribbons around the trees and on the bumper stickers? The media had a field day with a ‘ Righteous Kill ‘ on those dangerous Iraqis. Of course, the media did not overplay the infamous meeting between US Ambassador April Glaspie and Saddam, whereupon she more or less told him: U.S. Ambassador Glaspie – “We have no opinion on your Arab – Arab conflicts, such as your dispute with Kuwait. Secretary (of State James) Baker has directed me to emphasize the instruction, first given to Iraq in the 1960’s, that the Kuwait issue is not associated with America. “(Saddam smiles) Basically, the American public ( meaning the majority ) felt good about what transpired. It could fall under that ‘ slippery sloped ‘ category of A just war. Of course, 11 years later the spin machine again worked overtime, with help from lackeys like Judith Miller. They sold us on a need to once again go after the boogey man Saddam and his ( phony ) ties to Bin Laden and Al Qaeda. They took this all the way to the United Nations using another lackey, Colin Powell, proving ( Yeah right ) that Iraq had WMDs and would use them if necessary. Well, this time the country was divided perhaps 50-50 on that one. Never since the Vietnam disgrace has there ever been such an outpouring of dissent. Worldwide on that February day hundreds of millions of people marched against such an endeavor. One guesses that 50-50 is not enough to stop the empire.
My dear friend and peace activist Ed Dunphy made a sign up seven years ago, and held it at the campus of Princeton University each week. It read simply Bush=Obama=Bush. Ed must have been psychic. In 2011 Obama signed off on the highest % of taxpayer money going down the rabbit hole of military spending ( over 50% ). He continued the illegal and immoral occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan, and, upon the urging of war mongering neo con in Democrats clothes Ms. Killary, he signed off on the NATO ( US controlled ) attack and destruction of Libya. While this was going on, Obama once again allowed his advisors to influence him to sign off on giving weapons and support to rebels in Syria… which of course we know had ties to Al Qaeda and what is now ISIL. So, in essence Ed Dunphy’s Bush=Obama=Bush is spot on. All this mess with refugees descending upon Europe was caused by what Bush Jr. and now Obama had done in the Middle East. Meanwhile, the stooge in the White House continues to antagonize Russia by devious means ( economic sanctions along with NATO WMDs poised on its borders) so as to create the next crisis to justify our obscene military spending and empire’s footprint worldwide: A New Cold War!!
Ghandi said it best: The TRUTH is still the TRUTH even if you are a minority of ONE.