Thursday, October 11, 2007

The Emerging US World Police State

The US became the evil empire when it dropped two nuclear devices on two defenseless cities in Japan in 1945. It is claimed that "nuking" Japan saved some one million American lives still at war throughout the Pacific. In fact, Japan had already begun negotiating the terms of its surrender with the US. It was not the first time nor will it be the last time that the people of the US have been lied to by its own government. Nor is the first time the US had negotiated in bad faith. Every broken treaty with native Americans are evidence of that fact.

Bush, meanwhile, makes plans to nuke Iran and when he does so, it will be, like his war of aggression against Iraq, premised upon a pack of lies. He will claim that Iran has or is building nuclear weapons though every other credible source claims Iran is years away from weapons grade production. But for "patriotism" we are expected to believe Bush when, in every other instance about every other issue, Bush has lied his sorry ass off!

The US occupation of Iraq is simply the latest in a series of warning signs that American power, best symbolized by "the" bomb, has become the bane of humankind. The US loosed upon the world an evil genie when it became the first nation to use nukes against another. That act may ultimately prove to be the end of human civilization.
I had blundered into this desolate landscape as instantly as one might wake among the craters of the moon. The moment of recognition when I realized that I was already in Nagasaki is present to me as I write, as vividly as when I lived it. I see the warm night and the meaningless shapes; I can even remember the tune that was coming from the ship. It was a dance tune which had been popular in 1945, and it was called “Is You Is Or Is You Ain’t Ma Baby…?”

The power of science for good and for evil has troubled other minds than ours…. Nothing happened in 1945 except that we changed the scale of our indifference to man; and conscience, in revenge, for an instant became immediate to us…civilization face to face with its own implications. The implications are both the industrial slum which Nagasaki was before it was bombed, and the ashy desolation which the bomb made of the slum. And civilization asks of both ruins, “Is You Is Or Is You Ain’t Ma Baby?”

-Jacob Bronowski, Science and Human Values

Bertrand Russell wrote: "Many people would sooner die than think. In fact they do." It is not only those who refuse to think who have died. It is also those who think and speak out against US imperialism who have died. I would be interested in seeing an accurate, scientific study of the many who have died suspiciously since the ascension of the CIA --JFK, RFK, Hunter Thompson, JFK Jr, Paul Wellstone, MO Gov. Mel Carnahan, Martin Luther King, Jr, et al. Of the one million plus murdered by the US in Iraq, only Saddam Hussein might have faced capital crimes charges. That Hussein died at the end of a dubious show trial by a kangaroo court underscores the illegitimacy of the US occupation. That is no defense of Saddam; but neither did Saddamn get one at his show trial. There is always the hope that statistics and computer technology will catch up with the GOP, a criminal conspiracy that has for too long hid behind the rubrics of unlikely, incredible coincidence assisted by false patriotism.
I think the subject which will be of most importance politically is mass psychology.... Its importance has been enormously increased by the growth of modern methods of propaganda. Of these the most influential is what is called 'education.' Religion plays a part, though a diminishing one; the press, the cinema, and the radio play an increasing part.

It may be hoped that in time anybody will be able to persuade anybody of anything if he can catch the patient young and is provided by the State with money and equipment.". Although this science will be diligently studied, it will be rigidly confined to the governing class. The populace will not be allowed to know how its convictions were generated. When the technique has been perfected, every government that has been in charge of education for a generation will be able to control its subjects securely without the need of armies or policemen.

--Bertrand Russell, "The Impact of Science on Society", 1953

As he wrote, Russell pointed out that "scientific societies" were still in their infancies. Russell believed, however, that advances in science, primarily physiology and psychology, would make possible the kind of control over human beings that previous totalitarian regimes had only dreamed about.

Jacob Bronowski did not share Russell's apprehension with regard to science. Bronowski found in logical positivism not only the philosophical basis for science, but a moral injunction, that is, the implied imperative that we ought to act in such a way that what IS true can be verified to be so. Bronowski believed that genocide and atrocities are the result of ideology and dogma --not science. The most moving moment in the Ascent of Man occurred in an episode entitled: 'Knowledge or Certainty'. In that episode, Bronowski visited Auschwitz where many members of his family had died.

We have to cure ourselves of the itch for absolute knowledge.

Russell, however, would most certainly have agreed with Bronowski with regard to dogma, against which Russell maintained an unassailable record. Likewise, in the interest of fairness to both thinkers, Bronowski did not address the horrors to which technology may be applied by those who have no interest in the conduct of real science. Science may be hijacked and distorted. Russell wrote about the evil uses of technology; Bronowski seems almost to describe a preisthood, a "keepers of scientific inquiry". Certainly --those who would drop a nuke on a country that is in no way a threat to humankind have no interest in either science or morality but in conquest. This sort will utilize the very science it hates. It is not only ironic but tragic that an increasingly rabid, conservative GOP will deny "science" even as it embraces its destructive shadow for its own nefarious purposes. Indeed, those who used the Trebouchet to raze Castles to the ground were not interested in the physics of its construction.

To that end, the Bush administration has exploited the propaganda "ministry", a role assumed so eagerly and willingly by the Fox Network. Herr Gobbels could only have dreamt about a machine so incessant, so insidious as Fox which has very nearly achieved in a TV network what Fitche had hoped to achieve with schools, that is, an "educational" system aimed " destroying free will so that, after pupils have left school, they shall be incapable, throughout the rest of their lives, of thinking or acting otherwise than as their schoolmasters would have wished." That, I submit, is a recipe for the death of the human spirit and intellect.

Because it is so difficult to imagine anyone truly desiring such an outcome, it is difficult to imagine the likes of George W. Bush, the GOP, the right wing in general. It is equally difficult to imagine any such outcome being, in any way, beneficial to society or even to the architects of such a heinous monstrosity. It is difficult to imagine any such outcome being any thing other than politico/socio masturbation designed to make an increasingly tiny elite feel good about being hideous, unfeeling monsters, sub-humans, mental cripples, psychopaths. The GOP has, in fact, become that. The desire to create totalitarian states is not a legitimate political position. It is a pathology!
One of the most interesting and harmful delusions to which men and nations can be subjected, is that of imagining themselves special instruments of the Divine Will.

—Bertrand Russell, Ideas that Have Harmed Mankind

Mike Wallace Interviews a Candid Shah of Iran

Bush intends to strike Iran. The question is when. Just recently, two credible articles --“Was That Nuclear-Armed B-52 Flight Destined for Iran?” by Dave Lindorff, and “Was a Covert Attempt to Bomb Iran with Nuclear Weapons foiled by a Military Leak?” by Dr. Michael Salla --suggested than a US attack on Iran had been thwarted by the US military itself.
On August 30, a B-52 bomber armed with five nuclear-tipped Advanced Cruise missiles traveled from Minot Air Force base, North Dakota, to Barksdale Air Force base, Louisiana. Each missile had an adjustable yield between five and 150 kilotons of TNT which is at the lower end of the destructive capacities of US nuclear weapons. For example, the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima had a yield of 13 kilotons, while the Bravo Hydrogen bomb test of 1954 had a yield of 15,000 kilotons. The B-52 story was first covered in the Army Times on September 5 after the nuclear armed aircraft was discovered by Airmen (see: US Army Times ). What made this a very significant event was that it was a violation of US Air Force regulations concerning the transportation of nuclear weapons by air. Nuclear weapons are normally transported by air in specially constructed planes designed to prevent radioactive pollution in case of a crash. Such transport planes are not equipped to launch the nuclear weapons they routinely carry around the US and the world for servicing or positioning.

The discovery of the nuclear armed B-52 was, according to Hans Kristensen, a nuclear weapons expert at the Federation of American Scientists, the first time in 40 years that a nuclear armed plane had been allowed to fly in the US (see: Newswire ). Since 1968, after a SAC bomber crashed in Greenland, all nuclear armed aircraft have been grounded but were kept on a constant state of alert. After the end of the Cold War, President George H. Bush ordered in 1991 that nuclear weapons were to be removed from all aircraft and stored in nearby facilities.

--Michael Salla, Ph.D.

At a time when good news is scarce, you can at least enjoy watching Phil Donahue kick Billo Really in the ass.

Billo Loses his temper, his sanity & the debate --but still keeps his "job"

Billo's job is that of packaging Rupert Murdoch's vision, embellishing it with venom and lies. Billos job is making goppers and other extremists feel good about themselves. Billo's job is to distract decent folk with smoke and mirrors even as he winks & nods to the GOP. If he had been any good at his "job", he might have been a little less obvious. It's hard to believe that anyone --even Bush partisans --might have fallen for it.
The darker places in hell are reserved for those who maintain their neutrality in times of moral crisis.

--Dante Alghieri

The United States faces its greatest crisis since the Civil War. Should Bush get away with nuking Iran, there is no guarantee that the US will survive its enemies within: the Bush regime, the GOP, and the corporatocracy that they have forged with the Military/Industrial Complex and their enforcers, the CIA.

An update:

Why are there no war crimes trials?

October 3, 2007

I've watched two episodes of Ken Burns' "The War." I don't think I'll watch any more. It was young men of my generation who fought those battles. The kids killed on Guadalcanal or storming Monte Cassino were only a couple years older than I was. Nor will I read the late David Halberstam's book The Coldest Winter about Korea. My friends died in that winter cold. War is inherently ugly, destructive, horrible. The lives of young men are cut short. Parents, spouses, friends, children are marked for life by the losses they suffered. It is astonishing that despite the four wars of the last half century, we Americans do not remember the horror. Instead we blunder into new wars, blithely confident that it will be easy, short and almost bloodless. We are always mistaken. Perhaps we don't want to remember.

The TV critic of the Wall Street Journal (a newspaper that never saw a war that it didn't like including a possible war with Iran) says that Burns is wrong. Americans know that "The War" was horrible, she said. They've seen all about it on the History Channel. Yeah, everyone watches the History Channel, don't they? If Americans remember how horrible the "good war" was, why do they continue to continue to support nutcase conflicts into which our leaders rush?

The only ones who remember how bad the "good war" was are those who fought in it or those who lived through it. It became real for me, a clueless 15-year-old, one night when I was praying in our local church. In semi-darkness, a young woman, maybe a half decade older than I, was kneeling in front of the gold star shrine, sobbing softly. Then she cried out in anguish, "Why didn't you take me instead of him!"

Dismayed, I got out of the church as quickly as I could, leaving behind a prayer to God, "You take care of her, I can't!" Since then I've often wondered what happened to that young woman -- and to the other young women who have lost the men they loved. Were those deaths necessary?

There is no question that the war that Burns so brilliantly brings back was necessary. However, even in necessary wars, stupid and evil things happen. Not all the killing is necessary, but it is in the nature of war that evil is often done in the name of good and the innocent suffer without reason. Inept and publicity-hungry commanders like Mark Clark and Douglas MacArthur make terrible mistakes. Civilians are killed randomly and recklessly as in the RAF night raids on German cities. Individual human life is cheap. Angry soldiers kill prisoners. Pilots kill parachutists. Americans drop atomic bombs. Killing other human beings becomes routine. ...
Note: Johnny Mercer wrote a 1943 version of Is You is or is You Ain't My Baby. I am inclined to believe that the recording Brounowski heard was by Louis Jordan, an American Rhythm and Blues pioneer who was born July 08, 1908 in Brinkley, Arkansas and died Feb 04, 1975 in Los Angeles. An entry lists a "Representative Song" as Is You Is or Is You Ain't My Baby

Why Conservatives Hate America

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