Clearing House" -- -- Remember, good patriots, we are at war with
Islam, Socialism, Communism, drugs, crime, illegal
immigration, Gays, labor unions, liberal university
professors, peace activists, environmentalists,
Anti-Semites, secular humanists, and all those who pose
a threat to the United States. Each of these groups
shares culpability for the terrorism which has killed
several thousand of US, British, Spanish, and Israeli
citizens since 2001. They are a cancer upon the American
Way and must be excised. Freedom and liberty will
prevail despite their onslaught of evil.
Suspension of civil liberties, concentration of power
into the hands of the Executive branch, slaughtering
hundreds of thousands of innocents civilians, collective
punishment of millions through wanton destruction of
infrastructure, widespread dissemination of depleted
uranium, reduction of wasteful spending on “useless
eaters” via massive cuts in entitlement spending,
ongoing ethnic cleansing in Gaza and the West Bank,
torture, denial of justice to “enemy combatants”,
massive tax cuts to the wealthy, obscene increases in
defense spending, propaganda blitzes to keep the public
believing horrendous lies, preemptive war, reduced
government restriction of corporate exploitation of
humans and the environment, and continued neocolonial
expansion are all essential to the United States
fulfilling its Manifest Destiny and ending the terrorist
threat. Remember, they hate our freedom.
A pleasant fiction indeed for the United States’
ruling elite and their loyal supporters who violently
reject challenges to their hubristic and fanatical
devotion to American Exceptionalism and entitlement.
Yet for those of us who prefer reality, the burning
question arises. Who are the real terrorists?
Are they the relative handful of militants (amongst the
billions of oppressed people around the globe) who are
ready to sacrifice their lives to strike at the deeply
corrupt machinations of the socioeconomic system which
supports a few wealthy elites ruling the United States,
Israel and their sycophants (i.e. Great Britain, Saudi
Arabia)? Osama bin Laden, the face of “terrorism” in the
minds of many Westerners, has repeatedly stated that Al
Qaeda will end its violent actions if the United States
withdraws its military from the Middle East and ends its
support of Israel. Reasonable demands, actually, when
one considers the millions of Arabs, Persians, and
others indigenous to that region who have suffered or
died as a result of Western intervention in the Middle
That is not to say that the murder of civilians by
groups opposing the United States and Israel are
justified. They are heinous war crimes. The perpetrators
deserve to be punished to the extent of international
law. When they target the military of their oppressors
and occupiers, these groups are waging a just cause, but
killing innocent human beings is despicable and evil.
Ideally Middle Eastern resistance would take the form of
non-violence in the tradition of Gandhi, but the
“coalition of the willing” has given their victims
little choice but to fight or die.
To recognize the terror with which the human race needs
to be more concerned, we need to shed the corporate
media propaganda and look beyond the fairly small groups
of determined, enraged individuals who have only
demonstrated the capacity to kill relatively small
numbers of the “good guys” in the West. Real terror
emanates from the power wielded by Western ruling elites
by virtue of their wealth, potent militaries, and
Can you say economic terrorism?
Consider the staggering fact that the United States its
fellow Western powers represent 25% of the world’s
population yet consume 75% of the world’s resources.
Thanks to this gross disproportionality, three billion
human beings survive on less than $2 per day. And 1.3
billion subsist on less than ONE DOLLAR.
The income of the wealthiest 1% of the world’s
population equals that of the poorest 57%. 3 billion
people lack access to sanitation while 2 billion have no
electricity. Free trade agreements, multinational
corporate exploitation, oppressive lending terms imposed
by the World Bank, and support of corporate friendly
authoritarian leaders who defy the interests of their
own people ensure that these conditions persist.
Half of the planet exists on $730 per year and
Western economic analysts were wringing their hands over
the economic impact the recent alleged terror plot in
London would have on the airline industry.
How about nuclear terrorism?
The same oligarchs, corporate elite, dictators, and
plutocrats who hoard the Earth’s bounty (to the extreme
detriment of billions of human beings) also have their
fingers poised to activate the ultimate weapons of mass
destruction. Possessing enough nuclear firepower to
destroy the world thousands of times over the
“benevolent” United States is the only nation to have
deployed nuclear weapons against human beings. Nearly
200,000 Japanese died as a result of US nuclear terror.
(And I personally almost vomited when I recently visited
the Truman Library and saw the marble placard thanking
Harry Truman for making the decision to drop the bombs
on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.) What more profound terror
could an individual or group have at their disposal than
the power to destroy the world multiple times?
And what about the terrorism
inherent in imperial expansion?
Dating back to its founding and contradicting to its
self-professed devotion to truth, justice, democracy,
and so on, the United States has followed the examples
of the Western European colonial powers from which it
sprang. Eradicating 90% of the Native American
population to “acquire” their land; enslaving the Black
race; annexing Hawaii; taking half of Mexico by force;
slaughtering 600,000 “heathen” Filipinos; subjugating
Cuba; killing three million Vietnamese; extinguishing
the lives of hundreds of thousands of civilians in
various Latin American nations; enabling Israel’s
imperial conquest of Palestine; and annihilating
millions of Iraqis via the Gulf War, UN sanctions
throughout the 90’s, and the current illegal occupation
have made the United States the empire it is today.
Click the link below to see examples of profound human
suffering stemming from United States sponsored
In contrasting the moral calculus of the Western ruling
elite (led by the United States) with that of the
“terrorists”, it is critical to remember two other
1. Groups such as Hamas and Hezbollah have successfully
provided life-sustaining social services to Palestinians
and Lebanese citizens who were wallowing in the misery
of abject poverty caused by Israel and the United
States. In the United States, the Bush Regime has
significantly diminished social services in favor of
increased militarization. To add a bit of perspective,
the wealthiest country in the world has the largest
wealth gap amongst industrialized nations, 13% of its
population lives in poverty, and 3 million of its people
are homeless. (And that is with some of the federal
safety net still intact).
2. Militants waging attacks on Western civilians emerged
as reactionary forces in the face of Western oppression
and imperialism. United States and Western military
aggression existed long before the so-called
“terrorists” came to be.
Consider an excerpt from an ABC Television
interview with University of Chicago Professor Robert
Pape, who has engaged in in-depth studies of 462
separate suicide bombings occurring around the world.
There's a faulty premise in the current
strategy on the war on terrorism. That faulty premise is
that suicide terrorism and al- Qaida suicide terrorism
in particular is mainly driven by an evil ideology
Islamic fundamentalism independent of other
However, the facts are that since 1980,
suicide terrorist attacks from around the world over
half have been secular. What over 95% of suicide attacks
around the world [are about] is not religion, but a
specific strategic purpose - to compel modern
democracies to withdraw military forces from the
territory that the terrorists view as their homeland or
prize greatly and this is, in fact, a centrepiece of al-Qaida's
strategic logic, which is to compel the United States
and western countries to abandon military commitments on
the Arabian peninsula.
Terror nation? Here?
Yes ladies and gentlemen of the United States, it has
happened here. We live in a fascist state that inflicts
terror on billions of human beings.
Terror Nation….Notes from the Perimeter,
the latest book by Mike Palecek, offers
us a glimpse of the future potentially awaiting those of
us in the United States who pose a threat to corporate
and plutocratic hegemony.
And Mr. Palecek would know. He experienced a first-hand
blow from the velvet-gloved iron fist of the ruling
elite of the United States. As a home-grown “terrorist”,
he was remanded to the prison industrial complex for his
activism against nuclear weapons in the 1980’s.
In Terror Nation, Palecek weaves a
fascinating and frightening tale of Charles Johnson, a
retired Iowa journalist placed in a psychiatric hospital
converted into a federal holding facility for
dissidents. His “crime”? Writing "seditious" letters to
the editor of the local newspaper.
Through the course of the novel, one learns that an
underground resistance called the White Sox has emerged
to engage government loyalists (called Red Sox) in civil
war. Torn between believing the lie that he is a
mentally unstable psychiatric patient and the reality
that he is a political prisoner, Johnson ultimately
learns that the White Sox view him as their intellectual
inspiration and intend to rescue him.
Fraught with ironic twists, interestingly unique
characters, drama and action, Terror Nation
is both entertaining and thought-provoking. Palecek
reminds us that the United States is not the historical
anomaly we US Americans have been programmed to believe
it is. Like it or not, we are an empire. Empires are
built and maintained through rape, pillage, and plunder.
And those holding the wealth, power, and prestige in our
nation are as capable of ruthless abuses against their
own citizens as they have proven themselves to be
against the wretched victims of their foreign policy.
Many dismiss predictions of concentration camps in the
United States as wild conspiracy theories. However, if
the buffer of the middle class essentially disappears
(as it appears to be doing), “entitlement” programs are
jettisoned, and the “sacred” lie that US Americans live
in a “classless” society with unlimited potential for
economic mobility finally falls prey to the truth, We
the People will feel enough pain that the seeds of
revolution will germinate. And when they do, the ruling
elite will protect their interests by any means
Let’s hope humanity and reason prevail before the elite
get the opportunity to employ their ruthless means to a
greater extent than they already have. Terror
Nation is an excellent tale, but would be an
Jason Miller is a 39 year old sociopolitical
essayist with a degree in liberal arts and an extensive
self-education (derived from an insatiable appetite for
reading). He is a member of Amnesty International and an
avid supporter of Oxfam International and Human Rights
Watch. He welcomes responses at
or comments on his blog, Thomas Paine's Corner, at