September 27, 2010

Liberty on Lockdown

People in Western countries thought freedom was won forever when World War II was over, but they were wrong. More than sixty years later freedom has to be won again. Since the adversary of freedom in our age is not a mad dictator with millions of men under his step, but Western corporations, and governments who are acting unlawfully, inhumanely, and undemocratically, the methods of non-violent resistance like peaceful protests, general strikes, tax revolts, and citizen agitation have to be used instead of the methods of war. Violence won't achieve freedom in our situation, instead, it will ruin its name, and poison its appeal.

The first thing we must take back is not our liberty, but our language. We must speak out against the rebranding of political dissidents into "terrorists" and "extremists," and correct people when they ignorantly say that there is an "American Taliban" insurgency in America and that it threatens all Americans, or that radical activists in America, England, and Canada represent a greater danger to the public's security than the arrogant governments that we live under, and pay our taxes to maintain. The only extremists and radicals that keep me up at night are those individuals in our governments who start and defend illegal wars, declare and propagate lies, lock up innocent poor people in private prisons under the guise of the war on drugs, and steal the public's money to pay for secret government programs, and pay off wasteful and criminal banks.

It is a sign that freedom is under attack when governments pronounce politically engaged citizens as "terrorists" and "extremists," and put anti-war activists on government files. Last week, citizens of Minnesota and Chicago were targeted by federal officials as part of the global terrorism inquisition for their involvement in anti-war rallies. Mick Kelly, one of the activists who was searched and harassed by government officials, said: "The FBI is harassing anti-war organizers and leaders, folks who opposed U.S. intervention in the Middle East and Latin America."

That governments persecute anti-war activists, and individuals with anti-government views only seems natural, after all, doesn't the mob hunt down individuals that harm its enterprises? So I'm not shocked by any of this. But I am shocked that we as citizens in America, Canada, England, and around the world tolerate government repression, and government cruelty. We should stand for the global rule of law. America, and other nations in the West already decided in its history that individual liberty is the most important thing in this world.

But somewhere all that was forgotten. Now, America's founding fathers are openly mocked, and America's Bill of Rights is seen as an ancient document. In the last nine years the U.S. government has used its foreign wars as an excuse to justify police state policies against the American people, allowing U.S. officials in all fifty states to get away with using police troops against citizens during international summits and other civil disturbances while military troops are busy occupying other lands.

Occupation is not an alien concept to Americans. Black Americans were occupied like no other people in history, by their government and their fellow neighbors. Cornel West frequently talks about the significance of the terrorism that black Americans have experienced in American society, and how all Americans today can learn from their pain, and their resilience. West: "Jim Crow was a form of terrorism. America needs to know that. Our white brothers and sisters think 9/11 is the first time America has had experience with terrorism."

There is no color discrimination anymore. Everybody in America is under government occupation now, and targeted with government terrorism. It is the age of totalitarian terror. For the first time in history all countries in the West are cooperating together to install draconian measures which amount to the corporate occupation of their citizens.

The Western police state and the Western war on terror are interconnected policies. If one ends, then so does the other because the backside of all state warfare is state repression, which is often more ruthless because it is faceless. In a country where the people are occupied by their own government as opposed to a foreign government the foe is not marked solely by his army uniform, he could be your pastor, or she could be your neighbor. So it is today in America, and in other Western countries. Not everybody knows it, not everybody admits it, and not everybody dislikes it. But our state of affairs can't be described in any other way. We are all living under corporate/government/banking occupation. And it is a horrible thing to be enslaved by your own government, and your countrymen. Nobody benefits but plutocrats, sleazy politicians, faceless bureaucrats, and people who are either too blind to see that they are profiting off the misery of others, or could care less.

Allen Dulles, one of the early directors of the CIA, wrote about the nature of this kind of occupation in his book "Germany's Underground", saying:
"Occupation" by one's own government, however vicious that government may be, creates a very different popular reaction than that which springs from occupation by a foreign government. The victims of Nazi aggression fought the foreign invader, a clearly defined national enemy; but the German anti-Nazis were fighting against their own people. They were a minority opposed to something their compatriots either supported or tolerated. In fighting Hitler for idealistic reasons, they also had to fight some of the principles and ideas which gripped the German people--such as his social reforms and his attack on the "diktat" of Versailles. (1).
Increasingly, individuals, and groups that oppose Washington's anti-democratic and militarist policies are demonized as traitors and domestic extremists by U.S. government officials. The story mentioned above of anti-war activists getting targeted, and harassed by the FBI is a classic case of how a government justifies overstepping its legal boundaries by declaring its own citizens as "extremists." And the shameful parrots in the mainstream media follow along in the state demonization and state repression. A good example is an article that was published in April in Mother Jones Magazine with the provocative title: "Oath Keepers and the Age of Treason."

U.S. government officials use labels like "treason" and "terrorism" to isolate political dissidents from the general public, and give the federal government more room to enforce unpopular policies on the whole population. That is why it is critical that all people in America, and the West, left and right, liberal and conservative, political and apolitical, black and white, citizen and immigrant, Christian and Muslim, Jew and gentile, rich and poor, stand up for everybody's rights, and don't fall into the trap that some of us are terrorists, and some of us are not, because the truth is that none of us are terrorists.

The only terrorists that we should be worried about are the terrorists who are plotting secretly within the highest levels of the American government in the name of the American people, and civilized values. All the criminal wars that currently engulf the Middle East spring from their murderous heads; and the police state policies that is keeping liberty on lockdown in the West were produced by their blood-inked pens.

There is a reason why Western, banking-owned regimes want us to associate political dissidents and protesters with extremists and terrorists. It is because they want us to learn to subconsciously denounce political dissidents and protesters, and to be afraid to speak up in defense of them when they are charged, arrested, detained, or killed. To avert such outcomes, we must reject the redefinition of political activism into domestic terrorism. Oppressive regimes that target a group of citizens with loaded language, and then turn their might against them must be resisted by all citizens. Words that are produced by systems of repression don't deserve people's critical attention, nor do their deeds deserve people's uncritical obedience.


1. Dulles, Allen. (1947). Germany's Underground. New York: The Macmillan Company.