My worthless and unprofessional American opinion: Yes . . . to the point of being ridiculous . . . and to the point of being a crime.
Here’s some of my thoughts on the matter, if anyone is interested:
I have been nothing but appalled and disgusted at the Bush’s administrations response to 9-11 (September 11: the attack on the World Trade Center and Pentagon). From the day it happened my stance has not wavered once. I have always said, and maintain, that I understand that 9-11 was a terrible thing. If they want to go after the people who did it I personally don’t care. In fact, I could care less what they do to those people. I care as much as what they did to Timothy McVeigh or Ted Bundy. But IT HAS TO BE THOSE PEOPLE WHO DID IT! What I do care about is all the other overreacted nonsense this administration has done in the name of 9-11. Things like:
– The criminalization and villainizing of countries who’s committed us no harm,
– Attacking nations unprovoked because they “might” do something,
– Endlessly finding fault with governments around the world,
– The overthrow of other peoples governments without so much as asking the people if that’s what they want,
– The forcing of democracy onto a people who never asked for it,
– The overthrowing of other peoples governments to set up a ‘pro-American’ government to maintain American policy and interests,
– Occupying countries,
– Turning America into a tyrant, a country that overthrows with military force and puts in a government that, oddly enough, favors them and their views (I guess that’s just coincidence?),
– Purging the world of governments that disagree with the U.S.,
– Going around the world telling countries what to do,
– Dictating demands to other countries,
– Doing things without the world communities say,
– Policing the world,
– Trying to change the world,
– Trying to Americanize the world,
– Believing that America is the answer to the worlds problems,
– Trying to solve middle eastern problems,
– The perpetual interfering into another countries affairs,
– Needlessly threatening countries to such an extent that some were preparing to be attacked,
– Bullying countries,
– Helping to overthrow peoples governments (as in Iran),
– Becoming self-professed liberators and saviors of people,
– Being too eager to hate people,
– Being too eager to turn people into enemies,
– Having more concern for the world than their own country they represent,
– The dragging in of millions of people into this ‘war on terror’ that should never of been effected,
– Recklessly and needlessly endangering tens of thousands of people,
– The needless disrupting of other peoples land, societies, and governments,
– Bringing violence to other lands and so disrupting them so that civil war breaks out,
– Allowing our soldiers to torture people,
– Taking revenge out on people and governments that had nothing to do with 9-11,
– The existence of secret CIA prisons around the world (that couldn’t of been my government doing that!),
– The ‘purchasing’ and ‘buying’ of peoples loyalty (in the guise of charity and aid), with my tax dollar, so they’ll support the U.S. and have warm fuzzy thoughts whenever they think of us,
– Starting a ridiculous nonsensical war that will cost trillions,
– Putting the U.S. in a position where it has no choice but to rebuild and police another country costing us billions of dollars,
– Waisting billions of dollars on ridiculous anti-terror programs,
– The endless lies that this administration has repetitively told us about this matter and continue to tell us,
– Seeing threats and enemies around every corner and being paranoid beyond belief,
– Justifying the monitoring of it’s own people,
– Saying things in our name without asking us,
– Using 9-11 as a pretext for many things unrelated to it,
– Never so much as consulting us nor listening to the people,
– Doing all this with an attitude of arrogance and self-righteousness as if the U.S. is the ‘Lord of the world’ and knows what the world wants,
– Professing to know how to solve the problems of another country,
– Taking sides on disputes of another culture (that this country has a history of not understanding) as if they know what’s best for them and who’s right in the dispute,
– Making judgements on a foreign culture,
– Trying to change other countries without their consent and consultation,
And the list goes on.
This whole affair has been so overreacted and overplayed that it’s ridiculous. It’s beyond ridiculous. I can’t come up with a single word to describe it actually. I can only come up with words like ridiculous, stupid, nonsensical, humiliating, disgusting, shameful, appalling, beyond belief, etc.
I have said repetitively that IT’S NOT THAT THERE WAS A REACTION TO 9-11 THAT’S AT QUESTION HERE, BUT IT’S THE EXTENT OF THE REACTION THAT’S AT QUESTION. IT HAS GONE WAY FAR AND BEYOND WHAT IT HAD TO. I cannot blame the U.S. (or any country) for hunting down and punishing people who did it violence. But this has gone beyond those people. This has effected too many people that should not of been dragged into this. The only people that should of felt anything were the terrorists themselves. In fact, the reaction has gone so far that, as far as I’m concerned, THE U.S.’S RESPONSE IS WORSE THAN THE ORIGINAL CRIME. What I mean to say is that the U.S.’s reaction to 9-11 makes 9-11 look pale in comparison. As I always say, the real criminals of the ‘war on terror’ is the Bush Administration. Just because someone does you harm that doesn’t give you the right to take it out on everyone else and drag innocent people into it. Being wronged doesn’t give you the right to do whatever you want either. It doesn’t make you right and self-righteous in your actions. After you’ve been wronged you are still bound to act in a proper way. If you respond in a criminal way you can become as much a criminal as the people who wronged you to begin with. That’s basically what the Bush administration did. They outdid Al Quida.
9-11 was committed by a ‘gang’ (for lack of a better word) of guys. That’s all. They did sporadic violence here and there. They weren’t even a government or a country, nor were they creating a world crisis. The Bush administration has turned it into a world crisis killing tens of thousands and effecting the lives of millions. That’s not the ‘terrorists’ fault. It’s this administrations fault.
This administration has started a war against a ‘gang’ of guys that’s going to cost the U.S. several trillion dollars, at least, by the time it’s over. Think about it: Several trillion dollars to fight a gang of guys?! Unbelievable. My understanding is that this is now the second most expensive war this country fought . . . and for what? Because a handful of guys did a violent act! I wonder how many people there are in the so-called Al-Quida? How much money has been spent per person in that organization to fight this ridiculous war, I wonder? It’s probably some odd million per person. That’s ridiculous. And to think that’s my tax dollars . . .
I am a firm believer that the Bush administration should be punished. But I know nothing like that will happen. This is America.
Unfortunately, I have lived too long in the U.S. One thing this country has taught me, and it taught it good, is that opinions don’t matter. Despite what they say about democracy and that, what a person believes doesn’t mean much here. Not once has my opinion mattered. The U.S. is no different than everywhere else. You need power to do things. Most of us don’t have any power. Look at how powerless we all were with the Bush administration. How many of us opposed this, how many of us disagreed. That administration didn’t budge an inch! There’s the new American democracy for you. I get a kick how people seem to think we have some sort of control over all this. They tell us all this crap on how I can vote and change things. That’s cold war propaganda. The cold war is over. It’s not like that! I wonder if it ever was. I don’t see a lot of evidence that people can change things in America. Mr. America just sits and thinks he can and won’t see it any other way.
One of the things this affair has brought out is that the U.S. needs to grow out of the cold war delusions it has and start looking at what it is and what the world is. THE U.S. AND AMERICANS, IN GENERAL, HAVE A WARPED VIEW OF THE WORLD. I’m not the only one that has grown sick listening to how great the U.S. is and how miserable the rest of the world is. I’m tired of hearing Americans talking down to the world as if the rest of the world is nothing but of incompetent schmucks. Then they take every little problem there is out there and use it to glorify themselves and that we should be ‘thankful’ we live here. Give me a break! The next time I hear that I’m going to scream.
This country has actually fallen behind the world in regard to the concept of a ‘world community’. The U.S. has a lot to learn. Since the cold war ended the U.S. has lived in a big shell, simmering in it’s self-glorification and cold war glory. It spent too much time congratulating itself and finding all these reasons why it’s so great. It also spent too much time degrading the world. After 40-50 years in the cold war the U.S also seemed to be starved to find a new enemy.
I knew the U.S. was looking for an enemy to replace the Soviet Union by the early 1990’s. By the late 1990’s I was telling people that the only real viable ‘enemy’ seemed to be terrorists. I warned that if the U.S. was attacked by terrorists the U.S., still in the cold war mentality, may try to recreate the cold war and, subsequently, blow it out of proportion. It would all be done because our ‘freedoms were threatened’ and in the name of democracy (exactly what Bush said).
THE INFLUENCE OF THE COLD WAR
I tend to believe that ONE OF THE REASONS WHY THIS GOT OUT OF CONTROL IS THAT THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION IS MADE UP OF PEOPLE FROM THE COLD WAR ERA WITH A COLD WAR MINDSET. AS A RESULT, IT WAS ONLY NATURAL FOR THEM TO ACT TO THE CRISIS BY TURNING THE ‘TERRORISTS’ INTO A NEW ‘SOVIET UNION’ AND FIGHT THE WAR AS A NEW ‘COLD WAR’. BECAUSE OF THIS THEY USED THE SAME MENTALITY AND TECHNIQUES. JUST AS IN THE COLD WAR, THEY ARE NOW TRYING TO CONVERT THE WORLD TO AMERICAN DEMOCRACY/CAPITALISM, THEY ARE TRYING TO ‘SAVE’ THE WORLD AGAINST A MASSIVE THREAT WHICH IS THREATENING EVERYONES FREEDOM AND LIBERTY. IT’S A CONTINUATION OF THE COLD WAR CAUSE. In a way, only the names have changed. You can read the Bush administrations statement of a lot of this, in different words, in the August 2002 National Security report. I started to read it but couldn’t finish it. I was too appalled. In that National Security report he says, in so many words, that the way to make us and the world safe is to Americanize the world, change them to our government (to give ‘hope’) and economy (to give ‘security’), get rid of anyone who opposes us, among other nonsense. It’s like Christianity all over again . . . convert the world to adopt our beliefs and they will be saved! He also gave himself the right to attack anyone he deems a threat and do what he wants without any consultation with the world. In that sense it’s almost like a dictator’s declaration to the world. He also justified attacking countries before they’ve done anything (now anyone can be attacked!). In addition, this document effects the whole world and Bush didn’t so much as consult the world community about it and what they thought. The document is unacceptable and should be condemned, as far as I’m concerned.
THIS CAMPAIGN IS NOT A CAMPAIGN TO FIGHT THE ‘TERRORISTS’. I believe that if they had focused on the terrorists alone, as it should have been, this thing would of been over and done with long ago (with minimal cost, minimal interference, and minimal world tension). But they didn’t do that. THERE IS MORE ON THE AGENDA THAN THE TERRORISTS. This is part, I believe, of this countries mistake and why it spun out of control.
I always thought the cold war mindset helped start it out of control and gave it it’s ‘color’, so to speak. They looked at things through the lens of the cold war.
THE COLD WAR MINDSET HAS CREATED WHAT I’D CALL A WORLD DELUSIONAL POINT OF VIEW THAT THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION HAS BROUGHT OUT.
To begin with, the cold war mindset made the U.S. and the Soviets think that THEIR VIEWS REPRESENTED WHAT THE WORLD WANTS. IN FACT, THEY SEEM TO THINK THAT THEIR VIEWS ARE A ‘WORLD VIEW’ LIKE SOME RELIGION THAT EXPLAINS EVERYTHING FOR EVERYONE. THEIR VIEW IS THE ULTIMATE EXPLANATION. IT IS THE ANSWER TO THE WORLDS PROBLEMS. Sometimes they act like they had this notion that the world is waiting for them to come and ‘liberate’ them, so valuable and precious is their point of view. Nothing but arrogance!
There’s the idea that THEY ARE FIGHTING FOR THE WORLD AND THE WORLDS WELFARE. Frankly, most of the world doesn’t care and never did. THE COLD WAR STARTED A POLICY OF INTRUDING INTO THE WORLDS AFFAIRS THAT HAS CAUSED A LOT OF UNNECESSARY DISRUPTION. Cold war policies became world policies, trying to force the world to American democracy and capitalism (in the same way the Soviet Union was trying to change the world to Soviet Communism). Fighting communism meant converting the world to Americanism. That is the cold war mindset. As a result, when the new crisis comes the same mentality continued. Just swap ‘communists’ with ‘terrorists’ and we have the post 9-11 Bush world tragedy.
The cold war mindset also brought in all these other causes which have nothing to do with apprehending the terrorists. You’ll notice that THESE ARE THINGS NO ONE ASKED FOR AND HAVE THIS UNCANNY ‘KNACK’ OF FAVORING THE U.S’S AGENDA AND POINT OF VIEW. YOU’LL ALSO NOTICE THAT EVEN THOUGH THEY INVOLVE THE WORLD THERE’S AN ABSENCE OF PERPSECTIVES AND INPUT FROM THE WORLD COMMUNITY. IN EFFECT, IT’S THE BUSH ADMINSTRATIONS “DICTATING” TO THE WORLD, TELLING THEM HOW THEY WANT THE WORLD TO CHANGE TO THE U.S.’S POINT OF VIEW (WHEREAS THE U.S. DOES NOT CHANGE TO THE WORLD’S POINT OF VIEW). Remember when Rumsfeld went to Germany and asked for help, the German Chancellor said somewhat forcibly (if I recall right), something on these lines, “in a democracy you have to convince me. You haven’t convinced me.” He had to remind our government that their input matters too! Can you believe it? Some of the cold war causes include:
– the ‘freedom agenda’ (as Bush calls it) in the middle east,
– world democracy (to give people ‘hope’, Bush says),
– overthrowing governments to set up pro-American democracies,
– world capitalism (to give people ‘security’, Bush says),
– changing the world into one big America (after the invasion of Iraq didn’t Bush go through Africa telling everyone to take up democracy and capitalism? Didn’t Bush criticize Russia for not being democratic . . . or should I say, American . . . enough? etc.),
– destroy any opposition to our values or anyone that disagrees with us (the so called Evil Axis?),
– force our values and government onto people so they’ll be happier since the U.S. is obviously right in everything (as in Afghanistan, in Iraq, and God only knows where else),
– make the U.S. the only superpower,
– make it so no one else can have any weapons except the U.S. (so no one will threaten us cause the U.S. is right and the answer to the worlds problems),
What does any of those have to do with apprehending the terrorists? Nothing! THE ‘HIGH COLD WAR CAUSE’ BASICALLY BROUGHT IN ALL THESE OTHER CAUSES AND AGENDA’S THAT SHOULD NEVER OF BEEN BROUGHT IN. IT BEGAN TO TURN 9-11 INTO MORE THAN AN ACT OF A HANDFUL OF PEOPLE. THEY EXPANDED IT INTO A WORLD THREAT REQUIRING MASSIVE MILITARY MOBILIZATION, THE ATTACK AND THREATENING OF COUNTRIES, AND THE INTERFERENCE INTO OTHER PEOPLES AFFAIRS. It created a world tragedy.
In some sense the cold war is like Christianity: IT IS A CAMPAIGN TO CONVERT THE WORLD. For the U.S. this means TO DEMOCRATIZE OR AMERICANIZE THE WORLD. Bush hints at that in the 2002 document, by his statements, and behavior. I saw a segment of a show where Bush was at some Republican convention, I think. He stood up and said proudly that a certain percentage of the world’s governments were democratic and that they were going to make Afghanistan and Iraq democratic as well (I can’t remember but he may of said how, one day, all the world will be a democracy). He spoke like this was some sort of victory for the world. Everyone clapped. I couldn’t believe it. This sounds like the Christians saying, “most of the people in so and so country have been baptized and are no longer practicing their heathen religion. They are regularly attending church to learn the ways of the true lord Jesus Christ.” It made me sick. Just because he thinks his government is so flippin great . . . That’s not the America I believe in.
It also created, in these two countries, an attitude that THEY ARE RIGHT. As a result, anything they did for their cause was ‘right’. They can do no wrong. Because they were convinced that they were right neither country could see the wrong they were doing. THEY BECOME BLIND TO THEIR ACTIONS. In the same way, America can’t see the wrong it’s doing now. They’re right remember, the people with the ‘high cause’, liberating people from tyrants. Give me a break.
Still another trait of the cold war mindset is to be VERY PARANOID, AS IF AN ATTACK WILL HAPPEN AT ANY MOMENT. THEY USUALLY SEE IT AS A THREAT THAT THREATENS THE WHOLE WORLD AND EVERYTHING THEY BELIEVE IN. EVERYWHERE THEY TURN THERE ARE THREATS AND ENEMIES AND THEY ARE CONTINUALLY PREPARING THEMSELVES FOR WAR. This paranoia never ends. Because of this they seem to want war and ARE TOO EAGER TO JUMP IN AND MAKE AN ISSUE OUT OF SOMETHING. As a result, THEY BLOW THINGS OUT OF PROPORTION AND OFTEN MAKE ISSUES OUT OF NOTHING. THERE IS A TENDENCY TO READ THREATS AND INTENTIONS INTO ACTS AND EVENTS THAT AREN’T THERE. In effect, THEY CREATE A WORLD THAT IS THREATENING IN THEIR OWN MINDS. This is why I call it delusional.
Another trait of the cold war is to TURN SMALL EVENTS INTO A WORLD MATTER, AS IF THE FATE OF THE WORLD RESTS ON IT. A lot of the events of the cold war were not ‘world critical’. The fate of the world did not rest on the Korean or Vietnam wars, for example. And, really, isn’t 9-11 any different? It was a small event committed by just a handful of people? Is it really a world concern? Is it something the world should have been dragged into? I don’t believe so. There’s a whole lot more things in the world that no one ever knows about that are more important for the world than this. There’s also other concerns and issues that far outweigh 9-11 in importance for the world. So some people were killed on 9-11, thousands more are being killed in some wars in a country nobody even knows exist. Those tragedies are not deemed ‘world critical’. What makes 9-11 more important to the world?. I’ll tell you why: It’s because it happened to the U.S., the high and mighty bullcrap country of the world, who takes the cold war viewpoint that it is somehow the self-proclaimed ‘leader’ and ‘representative’ of the world and stands for all that is good in life. Therefore, to attack the U.S. is to attack all that is good in life (at least from the U.S.’s perspective, which is the only perspective it knows, which means it will revolve around freedom and democracy again – the same old line). Didn’t Bush say, “when they attacked America, they attacked freedom”? Yeah, right. So Al-Quida was deliberately planning to attack our freedom and, I guess, the freedom of the world. They could care less about the U.S.’s causes anymore than we care about their causes. I’m not that stupid. It’s Bush who no doubt made that interpretation. Unstead of focusing on a handful of guys they turned it into a WAR OF VALUES THAT MUST BE DEFENDED, like some crusade. But were they really threatened? I don’t think so. It’s all part of the delusion.
Also, since the U.S. “won” the cold war it has this notion that IT “WON” THE WORLD AND THAT ITS VIEWPOINTS ARE RIGHT IN THE WORLD, AND THAT IT’S VERSION OF GOVERNMENT AND ECONOMY ARE THE ANSWER TO THE WORLDS PROBLEMS. This shows how ridiculous the cold war notions are. The cold war was fought between two nations but both thought they represented the world and the “winner” thinks they now represent the world. It was a conflict between two countries for crying out loud, not a world dispute! Nor does that conflict reflect world views or concerns. They made their dispute a world dispute in their own minds (in reality, most of the world could probably care less). It’s all part of the cold war delusion. Personally, I do not believe anyone “won” the cold war. It looks more like the U.S. was left standing because of a political crisis in Russia that brought down their government. The U.S. didn’t do anything to bring this about. Therefore, it didn’t “win” it. No one won. It just ended. But it left the U.S. with this idea that it was all great and everything. I’ve heard people speak of ‘cold war triumphalism’ where the U.S. thinks it can do whatever it wants and its policies are right for the world. It’s caused a lot of outrage in the world. Bush’s behavior is part of this. I’VE HEARD, FROM SEVERAL SOURCES, THAT THERE ARE PEOPLE IN OUR GOVERNMENT WHO HAVE SAID THAT THE WHOLE WORLD SHOULD BE FORCIBLY CONVERTED TO DEMOCRACY BECAUSE WE “WON” THE COLD WAR. I hope that’s not true . . . it hadn’t better be.
If they did not have this cold war ‘world issue’ perspective this whole thing would have been looked at from another point of view, I would think. Most likely it would have been a very narrow point of view focusing on the PEOPLE and PROBLEM at hand, something more like how the British have handled their terrorist problems. The British didn’t start a world crusade, march their armies over the world, topple governments, and occupy countries because of it. They remained focused on the people and the problem.
The cold war mentality appears to of ‘colored’ a lot of the reaction but there are other things that are on the agenda that I don’t know about or don’t realize (I’m not going to pretend that I know why everything happened). I’ve heard endless speculation on that. For example, the issue of oil must certainly be there. The extent of its influence I can’t say. I don’t believe it motivated all this but it’s influence was most certainly felt in the whole affair. What other things are on the agenda I don’t know. We also can’t deny the influence that Bush may of wanted to finish his daddies war.
It will probably be another 10-20 years, probably, before we will know why things happened the way they did. After any big political event it seems to take that long, or more. It may also take another generation, as well, to fully explain it. This would be a generation that isn’t wound up with all it’s crap and emotion and looks at it from a distance. Anything we say now is really preliminary.
THE INFLUENCE OF THE ‘FREEDOM AND DEMOCRACY MOVEMENT’ OR ‘FREEDOM CULT’
Another reason, I believe, that this got out of control is what I call the ‘freedom or democracy movement’ or ‘freedom cult’. Once Bush made it a freedom issue I had a pretty good idea what was going to happen – it was going to be blown out of proportion! That’s what gave it away. The ‘freedom cult’ has a distinct way of looking at and interpreting things. The ‘freedom cult’, as I see it, began in England and is a reaction to the Reformation. In some sense Henry VIII started it when he split from the Catholic church. When this happened it created all these problems and tensions. Couple these with the rise of Neoclassicism it created a condition that slowly turned into the ‘Freedom and Democracy Movement’ over time. To me it is sort of a cult. The Reformation and the conflicts it created, in a way, killed Christianity. It left a vacuum that had to be filled. The philosophy that was prominent at the time – neoclassicism – seemed to jump in and fill the gap. Before the Reformation Christ was the savior. After the Reformation the two branches of neoclassicism seemed to become the new savior and in which all hope was placed: science and freedom/democracy. (Even during the French Revolution they were going to make a Temple of Reason.) In many ways they became the new religion. This is why I jokingly call them the ‘post Christian religion’. The ‘freedom cults’ basic premise is that there is someone in authority (the Pope, the King, the government, etc.) and they are oppressing the common people. The people need to wage a ‘crusade’ to deliver them from this horrid oppression. You can see, right there, the similarity with the Reformation and the split with the Pope. It all sounds good, but it’s never quite so simple as that. In fact, it’s so simplistic it’s almost imbecile-like. Whenever you start looking at the details of the situation all these factors come in that change things and turn it into a complicated social or political problem that this philosophy doesn’t take into account. As a result, I no longer take this philosophy seriously.
There are many traits to this philosophy, many of which go all the way to the philosophies origin. I can see these traits in the Bush administrations response and interpretation of things. They include:
- PARANOIA. The whole philosophy is based in paranoia and a fear of ‘something’. In the beginning it was usually an authority of some sort. I’ve always thought this is because it took root during the Reformation when they were going against the Pope, God’s representative on earth. Later, they would refute the King, also God’s representative on earth. To defy the Pope or the King was, in many ways, like defying God which is a big act of defiance. Because of this, it seems, there is a deep inner fear that surrounds this philosophy to this day. A lot of the philosophy begins with this fear . . . A FEAR OF AUTHORITY. Sometimes I get the impression that they are frightened of retaliation, or their conscience perhaps. Look at the U.S. constitution, for example, it’s practically based in fear of the government and protecting ourselves from this ‘menace’. That’s this government’s whole basis – paranoia. Later on down the years, this fear would turn into a paranoia of some sort of threat (when they began to force their views onto people and got opposition) or that someone was doing you some harm in some way like violating your rights (in everyday life). As a result, PEOPLE WHO TAKE THE ‘FREEDOM CULT’ POINT OF VIEW HAVE, AS PART OF THEIR WORLD VIEW, A FEAR THAT THERE IS SOMETHING PLOTTING AGAINST THEM. THAT IS, THERE IS A THREAT ALWAYS LURKING SOMEWHERE THAT THEY NEED TO DEFEND THEMSELVES AGAINST. AS A RESULT OF THIS, THEY ARE VERY QUICK TO FEAR AND BE FRIGHTENED. In a crisis they often create what I call the ‘Ghost Enemy’ or ‘Phantom Enemy’. This is basically an enemy that doesn’t exist. It’s usually based on a real enemy though. But this enemy may be, say, 1,000 people. They’ll make it out as 100,000 and the enemy can be anyone anywhere. Sometimes they’ll convict someone just because they even think he might be an enemy. They’ll also read into things all these threats that aren’t there. This paranoia also creates a tendency to believe in ‘plots’ (such as the ‘Foreign Plot’ during the French Revolution which they many believed existed at the time – and many people were arrested for it – but it turns out nothing of the sort existed) or ‘conspiracies’ (such as in the Soviet Union where they arrested thousands of people supposedly conspiring to upset the economy . . . which never happened). They’ll also create these ridiculous surveillance programs, even toward it’s own population. Always the excuse will be that it is PROTECTING THE PEOPLE AGAINST A THREAT. This paranoia can get out of control and have led to some of the biggest tragedies of the ‘Freedom and Democracy Movement’.
- Eventually, this philosophy will end up trying to DESTROY AUTHORITY. In some sense, the ‘freedom cult’ is very anti-authority. It’s origin begin with destroying authority . . . of the Pope then the King. Later it would begin a campaign to destroy people’s governments, religions, traditions, customs, ways of live, etc. first in Europe, then the world. . All this is done under the pretext of freedom and the liberation of people, as well as improving their lives. TO DESTROY ALL AUTHORITY SEEMS TO BE WHAT ‘FREEDOM’ IS FOR MANY PEOPLE WHO BELIEVE IN THE ‘FREEDOM CULT’. This is one of the reasons why this turned into a destructive and damaging philosophy both at home and abroad. It’s also one of the reasons why I no longer believe in it.
- Becoming SELF-PROCLAIMED SAVIORS AND REPRESENTATIVES OF THE PEOPLE. Beginning on January 4, 1649 when British parliament ‘voted’ that they were the representative of the people they have repetitively proclaimed themselves representatives of people without the people’s say. Since then they have done it repetitively. Because they have this idea of the ‘people’ they seem to think they automatically represent them, as if they come up with the idea. They seem to value their beliefs as if they were the hand of God. They act like they are the ‘priests’ of the people and intermediaries between them and God (or Life, if you prefer) and the dispensers of justice. In that sense, they seem to be replacing the Pope, Bishops, priests, Kings, and nobility they destroyed. In a way, it’s just a recreated version of them. This idea of the people and their exaltation seems to have origin with the Christian belief that the people are the ‘body of Christ’. To honor Christ is to honor the people. What this means is that the exaltation of the people in democracy is nothing but a continuation of Christian belief (you’ll find that the ‘Freedom Cult’ is really a modified form of Christianity and depends on it for many of the views it takes, which is why it has a religious-like quality).
- CRIMINALIZING OF PEOPLE AND GOVERNMENTS. The ‘freedom cult’ has a knack at finding fault with people and their governments and turning it into a horrible thing. They’ve spent hours finding fault with people and governments. If it wasn’t for the ‘freedom cult’s’ influence no one would of probably of cared most of the time. It’s all things THEY find fault with. What they find fault with seldom reflects what other people think. In other words, THEY OFTEN CREATE THE PROBLEMS THAT THEY END UP TRYING TO ‘CURE’. It gives them the reputation of problem causers. A lot of times it’s better if they are not there. During the Reformation the Pope, Bishops, and Priests were all criminalized for the ‘cause’. We now know that a lot of their claims are not founded. The ‘freedom cult’ has an extensive ‘campaign of criminalization’ since it’s beginning. Again I believe this is because they were trying to degrade a centuries old system that had ‘Divine’ authority. In fact, it seems to me that the whole philosophy is based in criminalizing of people. That, after all, is what started it. The whole premise of this point of view – freedom – implies that someone is a criminal or someone is trying to oppress them or do them wrong. This is where I get that saying of mine: “the freedom cult is nothing but a form of criminalizing”. Because this is the premise of this point of view, there is a tendency to take that as an attitude of life, and use it everywhere. This makes them see criminals, rights violations, oppression, etc. everywhere and in everything. A lot of it, I’ve found, is made-up or exaggerated. A lot of people have suffered as a result of this.
- They have a history of CONJURING UP ENEMIES. It’s like pulling rabbits out of a hat. It’s not that hard for them to turn people into enemies. I’ve found that if these people have the inclination they could turn the whole world into an enemy. A good example is the saying I’ve often heard them say (from the French Revolution down): “If you’re not for us then your against us.” This is an excellent example how how people are turned into enemies. What’s it saying? Basically that they are right and if you don’t believe them then you’re an enemy. It’s doesn’t give much of a choice. You can see how it ‘creates’ enemies. There’s a lot of reasons why someone would not support you but that doesn’t make them an enemy. They don’t give that allowance. You disagree, you’re an enemy, end of story.
- They have a history of a WARPED VIEW OF THE ‘ENEMY’. They seem to come up with weird ideas of who the enemy is, what they intend to do, what they are capable of, and how they’ll fight them. Typically, they are made out far bigger than they are. They also see all these sinister plots that are often not there. They also see the enemy as threatening the very foundation of life (for example, it never occurs to them that all they may be doing is disagreeing over a policy or a point but, unstead, they see them as threatening some important belief or fact about life). I OFTEN FEEL THAT THEIR WARPED VIEW OF THE ENEMY IS WHAT HAS LED TO SOME OF THE GREATEST TRAGEDIES OF THIS MOVEMENT.
- They have a history of PURGING. Beginning with ‘Prides Purge’ in the English civil war they have been doing it ever since. A ‘purge’ is an organized criminalizing of people to get rid of rivals, usually in a mass. In fact, PURGING IS USUALLY THE REASON FOR CRIMINALIZING PEOPLE. By criminalizing them they can have an excuse to get rid of them . . . and it usually sounds convincing and legal, at least to them. Look at what the Bush administration did to Iraq, North Korea, and Iran. These countries didn’t do a thing, but this administration, like good freedom fanatics, found fault with them and saw cause to try and ‘purge’ them. That’s not a whole lot of different than the ‘purges’ by the NKVD in the 30’s where they were trying to get rid of the ‘threats’ in the Soviet Union.
- SELF-RIGHTEOUSNESS, almost to the point of mania. I’ve always felt this was the way they justified going against the Pope and the King. It was how they made themselves right. They were competing with a centuries old tradition of God. They needed to have something to compete with that. The more self-righteous they believe they are the more solid their cause. Self-righteousness seems to of protected them against any ‘doubt’, so to speak.
- They have a history of BLOWING THINGS OUT OF PROPORTION. They make small things into major things. It gives them the quality of being very DELUSIONAL. I’m amazed out how many examples I’ve seen of America blowing things out of proportion in literature and the movies. Some examples include ‘1941’ and ‘The Russians are Coming The Russians are Coming’, which show American paranoia. ‘Moby Dick’ and ‘The Bedford Incident’ show America’s maniacal desire for revenge. And even ‘Mr. Neutron’ (I think it’s called), from an episode of Monty Python’s Flying Circus, is an excellent example of how America blows things out of proportion. The last two are good examples of what’s going on today. Everywhere I turn there are examples of how Americans blow things out of proportion. In reality, it’s no secret (though don’t tell an American that!).
- Thinking too much to the point of creating a MADE-UP REALITY. Since this philosophy is based in neoclassicism, which was the realm of the University and the scholars, there is a tendency for them to ‘think too much’. It was created in the ‘classroom’, so to speak, not in the real world. As a result, there is much reflection on things, of ‘thinking in the clouds’. They create things in their minds: high principles, imagined threats that aren’t there, enemies that aren’t there, and so on. It often gives this movement a ‘phantasy-land’ type quality that sounds good on reflection but is impractical or non existant in the real world. Being based in reflection on ideas and principles it tends to lack wisdom and insight from the real situations of life.
This isn’t the place for me to get into too much detail into the ‘freedom cult’ but it appears a lot of what this country has done was very predictable based on the ‘freedom cult’s’ past. I used it to predict what the U.S. would do after 9-11 and was amazingly accurate, even to the point of predicting what people would say word for word. For example, about a month after 9-11 I predicted the U.S. would find fault with a government and go in, under the pretext of freedom, and invade the country, overthrow the ‘evil’ regime professing to liberate it from it’s obviously ‘evil’ leader. They then would put the leader on trial as a ‘tyrant’ using familiar Western ‘freedom cult’ viewpoints (to judge a non-Westerner, who most likely won’t even know what these views are). They will use people from that country trained in ‘freedom cult’ points of view to try him, making it sound like his people are trying him. I knew what the charges would be and the arguments. I even knew what the ‘evil’ leader would say at his trial! And so within a month of 9-11, before this country even did anything, I knew what was going to happen years later (and that’s only the tip of the iceberg!). That still amazes me to this day. ALL THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION DID IS REPEAT HISTORY. The problem is that THEY’RE REPEATING A TRAGEDY.
I make comparisons between the U.S. and the Soviet Union for a reason . . . and it’s not just because of the cold war. There’s a greater association. A lot of people don’t know that the U.S. AND THE SOVIET UNION ARE BOTH USING THE ‘FREEDOM CULT’ PHILOSOPHY. They are different versions, really, of the same point of view. I always compare it to the Catholic/Protestant conflicts. They were the same religion worshipping the same God. but they had enough difference to war against each other. As a result, I often jokingly say the cold war is a continuation of the Catholic/Protestant wars. They both preach the destruction of authority and the nobility, they both preach the importance of the ‘people’, they both preach that the state is for the people, they both preach that ‘people’ have control of the government, etc. When you look at it they are amazingly similar. They have also both been tragic in similar ways. Historically communism is a branch off of the ‘freedom cult’ philosophy. It’s not uncommon to read statements from the communists that, if you were to change a couple of words, no one could tell if it came from the U.S. or not.
Bush has repetitively said this war is being fought for freedom. I must of misunderstood. I thought it was about getting terrorists. Again, the same American line – freedom. That’s a good example of how all these ‘additions’ to the agenda complicated it and expanded it, making it bigger and bigger dragging more and more people and issues into it. It jumped from a war on terrorists to a world war for freedom involving toppling governments, occupying countries, and setting up pro-American governments in a blink of an eye (maybe we could expand it even more and make it a war against all evil in life, then we can drag the whole world into it? Then we could claim that we are fighting to make the whole world a better place and wave our flags proudly as self-proclaimed liberators.).
Personally, I’m getting sick and tired of the ‘freedom and democracy’ line for EVERYTHING. As a historian I know damn well that there are other more important reasons why things happen in the world. Despite what the U.S. seems to think, I rank freedom and democracy as minor issues in history. THE U.S. MAKES A BIG DEAL ABOUT FREEDOM AND DEMOCRACY BECAUSE IT’S GOVERNMENT IS BASED ON THESE IDEAS. They created a whole society that revolves around it. They’re in a position where they HAVE TO believe in it. As a result, they’ve practically elevated it to a religion. Sometimes I think Mr. America should build a temple to it and start making sacrifices to it. They make it out as if it is everything, as if all life revolves around their Declaration of Independence (I’ve heard some of them say that it is the most important document in the world . . . yeah, right . . . and the rests of the world’s beliefs don’t mean crap. How American.). It’s gotten to the point that it is sickening. It always nauseated me when the U.S. claimed it was the leader of the “Free World” and was trying to make the world “safe for democracy” as if that was all there is in life and all the world wanted. Because of this over emphasis on their point of view they can see it no other way. I know that many American can see it no other way. They’re a very one sided people I’ve found. What they don’t know is that this ENDLESS SEEING THINGS FROM THE FREEDOM AND DEMOCRACY LINE IS REALLY DISTORTING THEIR VIEWPOINTS. It’s like they put blinders on (I always joke of the ‘American blinders mentality’). For some of us this is about as obvious as obvious can be. In fact, it’s because of this that I do not look highly on American points of view. Once you learn how Mr. America thinks, with his freedom and democracy mentality, you can practically predict what he’s going to say before he says it. THOUGH FREEDOM AND DEMOCRACY SOUNDS GOOD, AND HAS GOOD POINTS, IT’S VERY NARROW IN IT’S CONCEPTION OF THINGS. IT LEAVES SO MUCH OUT AND MISSES SO MUCH. BUT THIS IS TYPICAL WITH ANY POINT OF VIEW IN THE WORLD. THEY ALL HAVE GOOD POINTS AND ARE LACKING IN SOME WAY. I SEE NOTHING ‘SPECIAL’ OR PARTICULARLY ‘GREAT’ ABOUT THE U.S.’S VERSION OF THINGS COMPARED TO OTHER BELIEFS IN THE WORLD (personally, I feel there are other points of view in the world that are better). Despite how Americans have elevated it to a religion IT IS, AFTER ALL, JUST ANOTHER POINT OF VIEW IN THE WORLD. If Mr. America wants to believe in it I don’t care, BUT DON’T FORCE IT ONTO PEOPLE. KEEP YOUR BELIEFS IN YOUR OWN LAND! It’s like politics has replaced religion. The problems we had with religion we’re now having with politics. Unstead of forcing religion onto people we now force politics. Unstead of wars of religion over who is the ‘true church’, it’s now become wars over the ‘true political system’. Unstead of converting the world to a specific religion, now we try to convert the world to a specific political system. DON’T USE POLITICS TO REPEAT THE MISTAKE WE HAD WITH RELIGION. The forceful religious conversion of the world was a tragedy and, I feel, that the forceful conversion of the world to a political system is already a tragedy. We just haven’t realized it yet. Remember that the American point of view is A point of view. It is not THE point of view. THERE’S A WHOLE WORLD OUT THERE, PEOPLE, THAT HAS VIEWS THAT ARE JUST AS GOOD OR BETTER THAN ANYTHING THIS COUNTRY CAN COME UP WITH. THE U.S. ISN’T THE ONLY COUNTRY IN THE WORLD AND IT’S NOT THE ONLY POINT OF VIEW IN THE WORLD EITHER. IN REALITY, NONE IS BETTER THAN ANOTHER. The more I look at it the more the U.S. seems to be in a shell, living in its own narrow world. In fact, IT SEEMS THAT THE U.S. IS MORE NARROWER THAN MOST COUNTRIES IN THE WORLD.
And speaking of freedom, I was appalled when I heard the name ‘Operation Iraqi Freedom’. It appalls me just writing it. Freedom? When did they ask for freedom? Did I miss something? No one had to explain to me that this is going to be another American self-righteous justification for interfering in other people’s affairs and trying to change them. I knew what was coming next (and it did). I’ve always said, and maintain, that I might support a liberation IF THE PEOPLE ASKED FOR IT. But when did they ask for it and, more importantly, were they ever asked? One thing I have asked for, and never received yet, is proof of the efforts this government took to find out what the people wanted. So far I have nothing. Think about it! This government went over to several countries making decisions that were going to drastically effect and alter millions of peoples lives. In addition, it was going to alter their lives not to reflect middle eastern ways but American ways. Did they ever ask the people what they wanted? When were they consulted? Were they ever consulted? As it appears to me now, THE U.S. NEVER CONSULTED THE PEOPLE BEFORE THEY DRASTICALLY ALTERED THEIR WHOLE LIVES. The U.S. ASSUMED it was right and became SELF-PROCLAIMED LIBERATORS and SELF-PROCLAIMED SAVIORS of a people that never asked to be liberated or saved. To me that sounds like a ‘tyrant in the disguise of a liberator or savior’ (one of America’s ugliest sides). That is not the America I believe in. How would you like the Chinese coming over here and drastically effecting and altering our lives without consulting us about it, and telling us they were liberating us? What do you expect people would do? Do you think ‘get pissed off’ might be the right words? Do you think people might fight back? I can’t blame people for fighting against the U.S., I really can’t. I can’t believe this government was so arrogant and self-righteous to believe such a thing. Things like this have devastated my belief in America.
And did those people in the middle east ask for American style freedom and democracy? Or was it Bush who wanted it (because he thinks his government is so great)? Was it intended for their glory or for his and the U.S.’s glory? Was it in their interests or the U.S.’s interests? I think the evidence is that it was the Bush administration that turned this into a freedom issue, a good cold war cause to justify themselves. I guess that makes America right . . . right? I don’t think so. Too many people in the U.S. are using that lame argument to justify the U.S.’s cause. That’s like the Christians saying they are right forcing people to adopt Christianity because they are teaching them the ways of the true God, just because they believe it’s right. A lot of people died when they tried to convert the world to Christianity and a lot of people have died when they tried to convert the world to freedom and democracy (in fact, it appears to me that more people have died as a result of the freedom and democracy philosophies than religion. At this time it seems that the FREEDOM AND DEMOCRACY PHILOSOPHY IS THE MOST DEADLIEST PHILOSOPHY IN HISTORY. Millions of people have died for that cause in the past 250 years!).
What does freedom have to do with 9-11 anyways? Did Al Quida really threaten our freedoms? When were our freedoms threatened? I never felt my freedoms were threatened by anyone in the middle east. I don’t believe they ever were. 9-11 was just a violent act for crying out loud, committed by a group of guys. It was not a lot of different than in Oklahoma City. Calling this a military attack is absurd.
THE INFLUENCE OF THE IDEA WE’RE BEING ATTACKED AND TURNING IT INTO A MILITARY ISSUE
I’ve often said that WHEN THEY MADE 9-11 OUT AS A OF MILITARY ATTACK THAT’S WHEN IT BEGAN TO SPIN OUT OF CONTROL. WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO TELL ME NEXT, THAT THEY WERE GOING TO INVADE? I heard a lot of people mention that (I know people who were stockpiling food in case of invasion!). Unbelievable! Let’s be realistic here . . . a bunch of terrorists are going to invade, overthrow the government, and establish an ‘evil terrorist empire’. Is that what you’re saying? You got to be kidding me! Stupid me even knew that 9-11 was nothing but a ‘statement’, as a lot of attacks like these are (most likely saying “stay out of our business!”). If I recall right, even Bin Laden said it was that. I often thought Bush talked like Al Quida and Saddam Hussein (I wonder who’s going to be the next threat? Apparently Iran) were going to come over here, attack, and try to take over, establishing tyrannical governments I guess, and destroy our freedoms. Isn’t that what was implied? That’s ridiculous. I couldn’t believe it when I heard things like this, especially from our government (at first, I thought it was a joke – I really did – but, after some time, I realized it wasn’t. I knew then that this is now out of control.). I still have a hard time believing this government overreacted so badly to believe things like that. A part of me still has a hard time accepting it.
I have been nothing but appalled about this idea of attacking nations unprovoked (the so-called pre-emptive strike). It is still hard for me to believe that my country attacked nations because of what they “might” do. That’s not the America I believe in! This country justified the attacking, overthrowing, and killing of people that have done no demonstratable act toward us (that’s why I call them ‘undemonstrated enemies’). It’s an attack based on speculation and conjecture, of what they “might do”, “could do”, or “maybe do”. That’s not a good enough excuse! If you attack another country based on “might’s” and “maybe’s” you better damn well have a good reason for it. So far, I haven’t seen any. ATTACKING NATIONS BEFORE THEY’VE EVEN DONE ANYTHING TO US, I FEEL, HAS SERIOUS MORAL AND ETHICAL ISSUES. This is something everyone should think about . . . and condemn. What’s next . . . attacking countries because they have a box of TNT and might use it against us? I do not believe that this government should judge, convict, and sentence nations and governments before they’ve even committed an act or at least until they have definate proof that an imminent attack is going to happen. THIS BEHAVIOR IS NO DIFFERENT THAN WHAT THE COMMITTEE OF PUBLIC SAFETY DID DURING THE FRENCH REVOLUTION AND THE NKVD, KGB, AND STASI DID BY THE COMMUNISTS. Didn’t they convict millions of people on the basis of what they ‘might of done’. Didn’t they also claim they were searching for an enemy, a threat to the state? It’s the same old song. As far as I know we still have no idea how many people have been put in prison just for standing in Red Square or standing next to a bridge in Moscow. Why would they be there? They must be studying the buildings or bridges to blow them up . . . right? That’s what the government thought. God knows how many were convicted by the courts under the 1922 Soviet Criminal Code, article 51, paragraph 10 (I think it was) . . . committing acts of terror against the state. But they had committed no act? Were they going to commit those acts? Nobody knows. But yet they were convicted. In the end, all they did is criminalize people, usually without an act being performed (or one was made up). 60 or so years later, it’s obvious that this is a paranoid delusion, but it didn’t seem like it to them at the time. They believe they had a righteous cause and were doing good for the country. It was very real to them. You must remember that THEY BELIEVED THE THREAT WAS REAL, THEY WEREN’T MAKING THIS UP OR JUST BEING STUPID. But the fact is that is that THEY PUNISHED A CRIME BEFORE IT TOOK PLACE. Just a suspicion was often good enough. And more importantly, THESE ACTS OF CRIMINALIZING PASSED THROUGH THE LEGAL SYSTEM AS ‘JUST’ SENTENCES! It’s because of all these acts of a ‘just cause’ that has made me put the very question of a ‘just cause’ under question. Just because it’s believed to be true or seems correct doesn’t make it right necessarily. Therefore, A PERSON DOES NOT LECTURE ME ON ‘JUST CAUSE’ AND USE THAT TO JUSTIFY THEMSELVES. IT DOES NOT CONVINCE ME (IN FACT, IT PUTS THEM UNDER DOUBT). WE’VE ALREADY SEEN ‘JUST CAUSE’ USED BEFORE . . . LEADING TO TRAGIC RESULTS, TO THE TUNE OF MILLIONS IMPRISONED AND EXECUTED. The fact of the matter is that ‘JUST CAUSES’ HAVE A BAD HISTORICAL RECORD. THEY’RE PRACTICALLY NOTHING BUT AN EXCUSE TO BLOW THINGS OUT OF PROPORTION. Many of these acts have been condemned before . . . and so this same behavior by the U.S. should be condemned here. Do you think the U.S. could be behaving similarly? Do you think the U.S. could also be in a paranoid delusional state? I think we might want to consider that (I know it’s true). In fact, THE UNPROVOKED ATTACK ON NATIONS IS, AS FAR AS I’M CONCERNED, A CRIME, AN ACT OF ‘WAR-MONGERING’. There just isn’t enough proof to justify all this.
I find it insulting where I’m treated like a traitor if I don’t honor soldiers that, they claim, are fighting for our freedom. From what? These countries haven’t done anything to us. You’re asking me to support the fight against an enemy before they become an enemy . . . and be proud of it? That’s absurd. I don’t believe U.S. soldiers have fought for our freedom for 50 some odd years (I don’t believe the Vietnam or Korean wars were fought for our freedom either). WHAT THE SOLDIERS FOUGHT FOR IS THE SAME THING AS WHAT THE BRITISH SOLDIERS WERE FIGHTING FOR DURING THE BRITISH EMPIRE – TO MAINTAIN THE COUNTRY’S INTERESTS. THAT’S NOT FIGHTING FOR OUR FREEDOM! Since the mid 90’s I’ve always joked that the soldiers shouldn’t wear ‘U.S. Army’ on their shirts but ‘U.S. World Police’. Isn’t that all they are? An American soldier is just a form of a policeman. I agree and respect the fact that it is tragic when soldiers die but so do policeman and fireman and we don’t cry every time they die. You got to remember that they are grown adults and know what they are getting into (or they better know!). They should be aware of the hazards before they join (I thought about it when I considered joining the army, but I decided I didn’t want to risk my life being a ‘world policeman’, a principle I’m against anyways). I can’t be expected to cry every time someone dies. I shouldn’t have to put them on a pedestal for that either. I don’t look highly on people patronizing me that they are ‘defending our freedoms’ when they’re not. I think it insults us all making these soldiers out as the “hero’s” their not and making them out as these great protectors fighting a people who has done nothing to us. I think, sometimes, that it would even be better if the soldiers would not be given this ideological nonsense and be told that all their doing is being policeman to maintain U.S.’s interests.
Personally, I still think 9-11 is an international crime. It was not a declaration of war nor an act of war. I am unaware of anything that suggests that’s what was intended (I think a lot of Americans infer that and so made it so). I’m still waiting for the tanks to roll in and airplanes to drop bombs. It seems, to me, that THE U.S. IS THE ONE RESPONSIBLE FOR TURNING THIS INTO A WAR. THE TERRORISTS WERE NOT THE ONES MOBILIZING THEIR MILITARY FORCES NOR SHIPPING THEM HALFWAY AROUND THE WORLD. THEY ALSO DIDN’T INVADE OR DO ANY OTHER SIGNIFICANT ACTION. Like I said, I believe 9-11 was a statement, a protest, and that’s all (that’s what a lot of these are for crying out loud). When it first happened I thought it would be treated like Oklahoma City – a crime – and that Interpol might be involved. I thought it would be like any other situation where police hunt down criminals, I really did. I thought the CIA, or some group, would target the ‘criminals’ and hunt them down and arrest them. They might do military action in some instances but they’d be small and localized. I thought it would be done quietly and discreetly, having little effect on anyone, except the criminals (as usually happens with police ‘hunts’). Some months later, I thought, we’d hear in the news that they caught and arrested them. I honestly thought that was what was going to happen. I still feel that’s how this should have been handled to this day (but what do I know?). I had this weird notion that it would be handled similarly to how the British handled the Thuggee cult in India in the mid 1800’s. But the Bush administration had to put on a big show. I HAVE FEELINGS, SOMETIMES, THAT THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION TURNED THIS INTO A BIG EVENT TO SHOW THE WORLD THAT ‘AMERICA WAS STRONG AND NOT GOING TO TAKE IT’. That’s why I often call it the ‘Big Show’.
THE INFLUENCE THAT WE’RE DEALING WITH A FOREIGN CULTURE
Now, I mention the Thuggee cult for a reason. In the mid 1990’s I became fascinated with a subject that, as far as I know, no one has really looked at – middle eastern brutality. Being a historian this theme kept cropping up. I had to look at it.
Let me first remark that one thing I’ve learned is that foreign cultures have a logic all their own that may seem strange to us or be difficult and even impossible for us to understand. I’m always the first person (and, as far as I know, the only person in America) to have enough humility to NEVER ACT LIKE I AM AN EXPERT ON A FOREIGN CULTURE. Hence, I do not criticize, judge, or talk down to other cultures or peoples. I do not presume nor pretend to know why they do what they do. All I can do is tell you my impressions. I DON’T KNOW ONE AMERICAN WHO HAS ANY RIGHT TO CRITICIZE, JUDGE, OR TALK DOWN TO ANOTHER CULTURE. That’s especially true where the middle east is concerned. I’ve learned to treat foreign cultures with respect and to look at them as capable adult human beings who are doing things for a reason. I never assume they are stupid or dumb. I also have learned to look at people as if they can handle their problems and are competent in life. I also do not use any problems or conflicts they may have to degrade them. People can solve their problems, if you let them (they have for centuries). I also never presume to know how to solve another people’s problems. If something seems weird or bizarre to me then it’s probably because I don’t understand them enough. Many times it’s best to have the humility to admit that you can’t understand them and leave it at that.
That said, let me go on and say that it appears to me that BRUTALITY IS OFTEN PART OF THE MIDDLE EASTERN CULTURE AND MINDSET. It’s just how they are (they’re not all like that though). Contrary to what a lot of westerners think, it has a logic to it. Not only that, there is a pattern in their brutality. They are not random acts. In addition, a lot of their brutality has existed for centuries. The west often portrays events as acts done by an individual onto a helpless people (reflecting the western democratic point of view, of tyrant and the oppressed . . . but this isn’t the west, people, don’t look at it as if it is!). I found that a lot of the brutality going on today was going on, with some variation, 1000 or more years ago. Some of the strict laws they have are similar to the old civilization in 3000 BC! In short, a lot of their brutality are repeated patterns that have lasted centuries, with some variations. Seldom is anything ‘new’ it seems. Examples of things they have done that has lasted centuries:
– Execute people for what, to us, are small infractions, like stealing a fruit or a female showing her face in public,
– Killing or punishing people for having anything to do with another man’s woman, perhaps even looking or talking to them (any affair is usually a life and death matter),
– Beating or torturing people for small things, like not being at prayer,
– Someone in power having the power of life and death over people, like having people killed because they came to close to the palace walls or because a servant spilled a drink at dinner,
– Someone in power impoverishing the population so he can afford to have something, like a palace or even a party,
– Killing or torturing people for failing, such as killing a minister for doing a poor job whether it’s his fault or not,
– Killing or punishing family members, or a village, or even a tribe for something one person may of done,
And so on.
These type of things have been going on for centuries. DON’T ACT LIKE A NAÏVE SELF-RIGHTEOUS AMERICAN AND BE ‘SHOCKED’ WHEN YOU HEAR OF THINGS LIKE THESE . . . AND DON’T START MAKING JUDGEMENTS ABOUT IT. I’ve lost a lot of respect for Americans because of their self-righteous judgements about affairs of another culture they don’t have an inkling about.
I am still waiting to be shocked by the so-called ‘crimes’ of Saddam Hussein. I don’t see anything unusual with him frankly. He didn’t do anything any more startling or new than many of his predecessors. To me, it looks like he just carried on the tradition. It was weird, while everyone was criminalizing the man, I was sitting there saying, “that’s like Sultan so and so,” “that’s like when they did this,” “that’s not that bad, several hundred years ago they used to do this,” and so on. While everyone was trying to make him look bad, like good self-righteous Americans should do, in my mind I was only seeing another middle eastern leader. Judging from their past, it appears to me that there was some sort of tension in Iraq and all he did is USE WHAT HIS CULTURE ALLOWED to get it under control. What else is new in the middle east? My gut feeling is that you’ll find he did a lot more “good” than the U.S. is prepared to admit. But it will be a middle eastern version of “good” (which means you cannot look at it from an American point of view or you’ll get it all wrong). This oftentimes means some one or some group got the ‘shaft’ somehow along the line, which is hard for a lot of Americans to understand. My advice to most of the people in America: DO NOT TRY TO UNDERSTAND ANOTHER CULTURE UNLESS YOU INTEND TO LEARN REPECT FOR THEM FIRST . . . AND DO NOT ACT LIKE YOU’RE AN EXPERT IN THEIR AFFAIRS AND KNOW WHAT THEY’RE ABOUT. It takes a good patriotic self-righteous American to have the arrogance to lay a judgement on a some odd thousand year old culture. Was Saddam Hussein a “bad” man or not? It’s not for me or any American to make that judgement. I know enough about foreign cultures to have the sense to REFUSE to make that judgement or take sides. My private viewpoint: he’s just another middle eastern leader and if he’s good or bad depends on where you stand in that society, which seems to be the normal situation in middle eastern society.
At any rate, I began to find that there appeared, to me, to be a brutal culture that went from western India all the way over to Turkey. Their brutality is strange and bizarre. It seemed to be made up of middle eastern peoples. On the eastern end it seemed tribal-like and on the western end it was more autocratic. I always called this the ‘Brutal Strip’ and the culture I called the ‘Brutal Strip Culture’ because they seem particularly brutal in this area.
In the 1800’s a religious cult was very big in India, worshipping the Hindu goddess Kali. They were the Thuggee cult. They’d go around and strangle whole groups of travelers and bury them in mass graves. My understanding is that most of the Thuggee’s were actually middle eastern people, that is, Muslims (though they were serving a Hindu goddess). I often feel that the reason why it got so bad (I heard one estimate of over 2000 people a year died to this cult) is that it was a manifestation of the ‘Brutal Strip Culture’. The Indians don’t seem to be part of this culture, but the people to the west seem to be, which are middle eastern people. They are the people that make up the ‘Brutal Strip Culture’. I used to think it was Islam that made the ‘Brutal Strip’ brutal but I found out that it predates Islam and has nothing to do with it. It’s the culture of the middle eastern people in the area. More than once have I thought that it has something to do with Alexander the Great’s empire as this strip follows the trade route, but I don’t know for sure.
Anyways, the British went in, infiltrated the group (a man actually became a member of the group), and finally eradicated the Thuggee cult. It was done rather quietly, discreetly, and with minimal effects on anyone else. There was some military action but it was minor and it was focused – on the Thuggee’s. After the behavior of the Bush administration it makes want to stand up whenever I see a British flag. I have heard that the Thuggee cult still exists in a small form and guess where – Pakistan.
I often feel, though I’m not sure, that the ‘terrorist’ stuff is really just another variation of the Thuggee cult. They are both part of the ‘Brutal Strip Culture’ mentality. The Thuggee’s used to strangle travelers indiscriminately for their goddess. The ‘terrorist’ blow people up for their cause. Same people, same behavior . . . just coincidence? Maybe . . . maybe not. But the British handled it a whole lot better than the U.S. (overall the British seem better at international relations). They didn’t turn it into a world affair, with the high cause of freedom to make it right . . . and they succeeded too. I often feel that IF THE U.S. SUCCEEDS YOU WILL FIND IT DID THINGS SIMILARLY TO HOW THE BRITISH HANDLED THE THUGGEE’S – FOCUSING ON THE PEOPLE, LEAVING EVERYONE ELSE ALONE, AND WITHOUT ALL THE HIGH CAUSE AND ‘CHANGE THE WORLD’ MENTALITY.
Like the Thuggee’s we’re dealing with a group of guys only. That was a religious cult. Perhaps Al-Quida can be considered a cult as well, as it does have religious overtones but I don’t know. That might depend on how you look at it.
THE ‘ENEMY’ AND THE ‘THREAT’
When you look at the Bush line it doesn’t fit the situation at all. They don’t seem to be focusing on a group of guys (like the British with the Thuggees’) but a bigger plan. I DO NOT BELIEVE THAT THE ‘TERRORIST THREAT’ IS BIG ENOUGH TO WARRANT ALL THE EXPENDITURE, CRIMINALIZING, AND DISRUPTING OF PEOPLES LIVES THAT THIS ADMINISTRATION HAS ALLOWED. I agree that there is ‘something of a problem’ but it’s not the pressing world issue Bush has made it out to be. IT APPEARS TO ME THAT THE BUSH ADMINSTRATION CREATED A LOT OF THIS IN IT’S OWN MIND.
This is an example of what I call ‘forcing the interpretation’. This means that there is an existing made-up interpretation to explain why things happen (it could be centuries old). What they do is force the current situation into the existing interpretation. It’s like forcing a square peg into a round hole. The existing made-up interpretation usually is an explanation from a previous generation and era about a situation that usually no longer applies to the current times. BECAUSE OF THIS ‘FORCING OF THE INTERPRETATION’ THERE BECOMES A TENDENCY TO MISINTERPRET THINGS. Many times the whole main point is missed and replaced by another point originating from the era of the original interpretation. Oftentimes, an alternate point is emphasized which has nothing to do with the current problem. It’s like transplanting a previous era’s problem into the current times where it doesn’t belong. IT APPEARS, TO ME, THAT THERE WAS A LOT OF ‘FORCING THE INERPRETATION’ WITH 9-11. The Bush administration used past American history, especially during the cold war, to ‘force the interpretation’ about the terrorists threat and in doing so distorted it. I sometimes think that THE TERRORIST THREAT HAS BEEN SO CORRUPTED BY DISTORTIONS THAT NO ONE CAN UNDERSTAND IT NOW OR PUT IT INTO A REALISTIC PERSPECTIVE. In effect, the whole American perspective is warped. It’s for this reason I look at foreign points of view more seriously than American viewpoints.
All the ‘enemy’ consists of is a group of guys (like a gang, mafia, or cult. I don’t know what to call them.) that do sporadic attacks here and there for their cause. It’s not a country or state, nor do they have this massive military arsenal or economy behind them. They are not this massive huge enemy threatening the world. THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION HAS CREATED A THREAT AND AN ENEMY FAR BIGGER THAN IT IS. To me, this ‘threat’ and ‘enemy’ and it’s size has qualities suspiciously similar to the Soviet Union. I agree that there are people out there willing to do violent things but it’s not like what they say it is. This whole thing is like some big delusion. It’s unbelievable.
I also don’t believe Al Quida is this big massive ultra-organized group either (though I am not going to claim to be an expert on it). I don’t know for sure but from what I’ve heard so far it reminds me of a situation sort of like the French Resistance in WWII. These cases are more of a social mood over a population than anything else that was created as a reaction to a situation. They can range from very organized to no organization at all but are usually both, leaning to one side or the other. There might be one or several ‘representative leaders’, but seldom does he have complete command over everyone. There are often very organized groups (which could be like small armies) which will have leaders. It also consists of people who do things without any leaders command or knowledge but are motivated by the ‘cause’. Many people may be part of the social movement in mind but only do one small thing (like hide someone) or nothing at all. I’m more inclined to call these types of situations a ‘reactive social movement’, as they are usually reacting to a situation and are united by a similarity in thought. They also tend to disappear after the situation that causes it disappears. It seems, to me, that Al Quida is a more organized version of this type of movement as it has groups that almost appear like armies. I can’t say as to how organized it is though. I get mixed viewpoints.
As it appears to me, IT LOOKS LIKE WE’RE DEALING WITH PEOPLE WHO ARE, IN EFFECT, FIGHTING FOR THEIR ‘FREEDOM’, ODDLY ENOUGH. I SPEAK OF A FREEDOM FEW PEOPLE IN THE U.S. REALIZE – FREEDOM FROM AMERICAN AND EUROPEAN INFLUENCE. Not a lot of people realize that millions of people have died for that freedom.
I have this notion, I don’t know if it’s true or not, that IF THE U.S. WOULD GIVE THESE PEOPLE THEIR SPACE AND ‘FREEDOM FROM THEIR INFLUENCE’ THEN A LOT OF THESE PROBLEMS WOULD DISAPPEAR. If the U.S. would:
1. Let these people run their country and land the way they want to and be their own people,
2. Let these people have their conflicts and civil wars and quit trying to ‘save’ them from it,
3. Let them have and solve their problems,
4. Quit trying to change these people or influence or modernize them,
maybe then there’d be no reason for them to hate us. As much as I hate to say it but IT SEEMS THE U.S. IS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE WORLD HATING THE U.S. The world (and some of us Americans) have grown to hate the U.S. because of what it does. If the U.S. wouldn’t behave the way it does then no one would hate it. Norway doesn’t go romping around the world . . . no one hates them. When the British Empire was big it was hated by much of the world. I wonder why? It couldn’t be a result of it’s behavior, could it? But a lot of the British couldn’t see that. They were too busy praising themselves to see the effects of what they were doing. Since the British Empire has fallen down you don’t hear a lot of hatred against the British. Now the U.S. is behaving the same way and now the U.S. has become a hated nation in the world. But you can’t expect a high and mighty patriotic American to see that. They’re too great remember. I’M NOT THE ONLY ONE WHO SAYS THAT THE WORLD NEEDS TO BE FREE FROM THE COUNTRY THAT PREACHES FREEDOM. American freedom . . . that’s their version. It’s not the only version out there. There are other versions you know.
We have here a point that few Americans realize – THAT THERE ARE DIFFERENT VERSIONS OF FREEDOM AND WHAT IT MEANS. Freedom is like religion, there are many interpretations of it. What may be freedom for one is not to another. And so, WHEN THE U.S. PROFESSES TO REPRESENT FREEDOM IN THE WORLD THAT IS NO DIFFERENT TO ME THAN THE CATHOLIC CHURCH PROFESSING THEY ARE THE ONLY TRUE CHURCH IN THE WORLD OR THE BRITISH EMPIRE SAYING THEY ARE THE ONLY REPRESENTATIVE OF CIVILIZATION. That is nothing but arrogant and self-righteous to me. It’s also wrong, and that’s part of why the U.S. is wrong here. That claim also destroys the U.S.’s believability.
9-11 doesn’t justify all this crap.
SOME AFTER THOUGHTS
I repeat: I’ll support the apprehending of the people who committed the act. I refuse to support all this other nonsense. That is not the America I believe in!
I think I feel the way a lot of people do in the world – I’d have more respect for the U.S. if it showed more respect for the world. Having respect for Americans is no longer an easy thing. At this point I have lost respect for the U.S. I sometimes feel that the reaction to 9-11 has irreversibly damaged the U.S. for me. I don’t know if I’ll ever regain any respect for the U.S. I can no longer respect a country that behaves like the U.S. does. Respect is NOT telling the world what to do, it is NOT trying to ‘save’ the world, it is NOT trying to force views onto people, it is NOT trying to change people, it is NOT altering peoples lives to favor U.S. policy, it is NOT acting like their the ‘greatest people on earth’, it is NOT treating people like they are idiots, it is NOT making judgements on people and governments, it is NOT flashing money around, it is NOT parading your military over the world, and it is NOT trying to buy people off with ‘aid’ and ‘charity’. Respect means letting people be their own people and letting them solve their own problems without your interference or intrusion. Respect means leaving people be. It also means having a trust of people as well, which means you can’t go around monitoring everything like some police force. I no longer believe in what American has become.
I agree that the Bush administration should be made an example of because of it. I also feel that it would also be great if we could find some way to prevent it’s happening again. It seems to me that Bush has turned the U.S. into a ‘rogue’ country doing whatever it wants. He gave himself that right remember! It also seems to me that the world needs to be more concerned with what the U.S. is going to do than what other countries are going to do. The U.S. is the only one marching it’s armies all over the world and conducting a 10 billion dollar plus a week war campaign (using my tax dollars, of which I had no say in how it was going to be used). I am under the impression that, if it wasn’t for the U.S., these past 50 years would have been rather peaceful. In effect, the U.S. seems responsible for a lot of the violence in the world . . . and it was usually said in the pretext of freedom and democracy. Again that philosophy shows how violent it is.
As I always say: 9-11 has been overreacted, overplayed, and basically overdone.
That is how it appears to me. Is it true or not? I don’t know. I do know this: This is America, the land of endless points of view, refuting, contradicting, squabbling, and debate. All this is done to such an extent that it’s pointless to even have an opinion anymore. Sometimes I think we should advise the youth in America that it’s best to not have an opinion. I also think we should cease telling kids that their opinions matter and that they don’t have all that much influence in things. Just tell them the truth! What point is there in continuing these beliefs? An opinion here is almost a waste of time. For me this has become a serious problem and has destroyed the believability of America. How can anything become right or agreed upon here? In America, no one ever seems to know. One person says this, another that. It’s a land where people think-they-know-but-no-one-does-know. There’s no authority here to make something right or wrong. These people have destroyed all authority in the name of freedom and democracy. All that’s left is the mob, a mindless mass of blah, blah, blah. Not for nothing do I think we should change the saying, “America, the beautiful” to “America, your-guess-is-as-good-as-mine”. I always joke (for about 15 years now) how we should have a quiz show after “the Price is Right” called “the American Guessing Game” where contestants have to guess what’s right or wrong in America. I never submitted the idea to a TV station because I can’t see how anyone could possibly win. Not even the producers will know the answer. Knowing this country, any decision will probably lead to a lawsuit anyways.
In America, only God knows . . . as the ‘people’ sure don’t seem to know.
(I wrote this about 2007 or 2008 to describe my feelings about the situation)