History will not treat us kindly

By Tim Andersen

12/11/06 "Information Clearing House" -- -- Most Americans are hiding. We are like the good Germans of 1933 who knew an authoritarian regime was consolidating its power, but thought we could avoid personal consequences if we kept quiet. We remained silent as enemies of the State were rounded up, and everyones' liberties curtailed. It did not happen all at once. It was a process of conditioning.

The TSA cops at US airports were initially intended to create the perception of eminent threat: America under attack by evildoers! That perception has largely given way to weary travelers offended by the intrusive and slow inspections. I don’t fly that often, but last weekend at the airport it was clear TSA had adopted a new tact. Now they are the authoritarians. While we were trapped in the winding queue they yelled at us to listen up and follow their precise instructions. All liquids and gels (toothpaste!) must be in quantities of 3.4 ounces, or less, grouped together in a single, clear one liter bag. The yelling cop invited us to show our displeasure to any passenger who did not follow instructions, and held up the line. As I was inspected, the TSA cop took my shaving cream from the bag. The tube read 3.6 oz. She asked me what the maximum allowable size was. I told her that’s the only size it came in. She said she would allow it through this time only.

Who could have imagined ten years ago that Congress would permit the Bush regime to eliminate habeas corpus? Our founders understood this was the bedrock fundamental principle of a free people. No political opponents could be rounded up and jailed by a tyrant. No one could presume to be above the law. Yet there was hardly a peep from blasť American consumers. The mainstream press reassured us that good Americans had nothing to worry about.

Many people refuse to recognize the corruption and evil of our government, because the thought is simply intolerable. It undermines their fundamental beliefs and trust, and makes most of what occupies their days utterly trivial. The “solution” for these people is to tune-out any potentially upsetting epiphany. They welcome reassuring propaganda that reinforces our noble purposes in the Middle East and elsewhere. They do not care to investigate personally, or even listen to, the evidence of our considerable crimes.

So, it’s strange to realize we have no real representation in Congress or control over America’s future. Millions of Americans see the ship of state headed straight for an iceberg, and despite our protests the course will not change. It’s a classic nightmare.

History will not treat us kindly. We will be remembered as the Americans who insulated themselves from reality and remained self-absorbed, concerned with their own personal comfort and privilege while our government wrecked havoc on the world and destroyed our own culture. It will not be difficult for future generations to understand what happened and the sequence of events. The evidence is abundantly clear. The only question will be why Americans didn’t rise up and save themselves.

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