Celebrating the Rule of Force,
By William L. Anderson
Rockwell" --- One often can write news stories by
the calendar, and today is not an exception. This is Memorial
Day, and we are going to hear the rhetoric about honoring those
who "died fighting for our freedom." Indeed, Americans might be
honoring the dead from U.S. wars, but in no case did any of
those dead whom we memorialize today die for "our freedom." They
died, instead, because our political classes pointedly
understand that promoting war is good for them.
I realize this is a statement that will bring anger. Those
people who have lost loved ones in one of many U.S. conflicts
will be angry because my statement insinuates that these
mostly-young people died for a Big Lie. Others who have not been
directly touched by one of our many wars simply want to believe
that the United States of America is a shining beacon of
freedom, and we need to protect that freedom from those who
would take it away.
One wishes it were that simple. Yes, the rhetoric is powerful,
and the snapshots of Americans at the graves of the fallen
present vivid images of what it means to suffer loss, and no one
wants to believe that a loss was in vain. Humans yearn for
purpose, and it should not surprise us that people would seek
purpose in the deaths of comrades and loved ones.
No doubt, there will be speech after speech by people declaring
that these losses were tragic, but necessary, as the U.S Armed
Forces are the last line of defense against those who would take
away our beloved freedoms. That is the biggest lie of all.
Forces from outside this country do not threaten our freedom,
but forces inside do.
Let us begin with the small things and work to the larger
issues. Many of us will be traveling on the highways, and the
Memorial Day Weekend always brings out that show of force from
state troopers. We can expect to see many motorists having their
weekends ruined because they drove a few miles above the speed
limit, or state troopers or local police are looking for a "big
score" in finding drugs inside a vehicle.
I am not sure about the readers, but I cannot say I ever have
felt "protected" by the presence of state police on the highway.
They do not exist to "protect" us; they are there because
Memorial Day Weekend is a big revenue time for the various
agencies that receive money from fines. In other words, it is a
grand time for the police to be shaking down individual drivers.
In Maryland, state police are trained from the beginning to
regard motorists as scum. One friend of mine, a local police
officer, was recruited by the state police, and the recruiter
made this statement: "Why work on the farm when you can own it."
Indeed, these officers are taught that the rest of us who do not
wear the uniform of the Maryland State Police are simply
servants on their plantation, and they treat us as such.
We look next at the court systems. For the past year, I have
been part of a fight against the State of North Carolina, which
falsely accused three Duke University students of rape,
kidnapping, and sexual assault. From the beginning, everyone
knew the charges were lies, but agents representing the state
pushed forward not because they had truth on their side, but
because they could do it. Michael Nifong and the Durham police
did this because they had the power to do it.
When one realizes that Nifong really is not an outlier but
rather an integral part of the system, the entire picture is
better focused. There is a reason that the United States of
America has more than two million individuals in prison. This
country is the world leader in that department, with both the
highest number of prisoners and the highest per capita
To put it another way, those foreigners whom we so greatly fear
are not as adept at taking away the freedoms of their citizens
as the various governments in this country are at taking the
freedoms of people living here. That is a most sobering thought.
One of the fastest growth industries in the USA is prison
construction – which also is the case in American-ruled Iraq.
For travelers going through airports, one constantly is reminded
that the Transportation Security Administration inspectors are
to be obeyed absolutely, for even a disapproving glance can
result in the charge of "Interfering with the Duties of a
Federal Officer," with the penalties for such an offense being
up to 20 years in federal prison. It seems that government
officials are a greater threat to the freedom of air travelers
than anyone from al-Qaeda.
Representatives of government regularly threaten the lives and
freedoms of people whose only offense either is sitting in one’s
home (the threat of no-knock raids being quite real) or doing
one’s job. I have sitting on my desk the details of indictments
brought by federal officials against a young man with a wife and
young children for pursuing normal activities in his job as an
electricity trader. The government-inflicted electricity crisis
in California and the implosion of Enron made traders enticing
targets by ambitious federal prosecutors, so the feds seek to
destroy families and take away individual freedoms just so they
can satisfy the political classes.
Then there is the military culture itself. Many military
veterans receive preferential hiring treatment from "law
enforcement" and other government entities. The "always obey
orders" mentality means that they not trained in making moral
choices, but instead are the well-trained enforcers of the
political classes – and most of them relish being in a role in
which they can tell others to obey – or face arrest or even
There also exists this knotty problem of the U.S. Government
imposing the will of members of this country’s political classes
upon people in other countries. The people of Iraq knew full
well what that means, as do people in Serbia and elsewhere one
might see U.S. soldiers in uniform. The U.S. political classes
hold that U.S. law spans the globe, and anyone who harms or
might even seek to harm a U.S. agent – no matter where that
agent might be – is violating U.S. law and can be tried and
punished in this country. One does not have to think very hard
to realize the ramifications of that policy.
In the process of imposing the will of the U.S. political
classes around the world, individuals die. Young people have
fallen in Iraq and elsewhere, and we remember the hundreds of
thousands who have died in other conflicts. It is a sad and
solemn thing to see these dead memorialized, but it makes me
even sadder when I realize that most, if not all, of these
deaths were unnecessary to protect our own freedoms.
If anything, the aggressive U.S. foreign policy that has existed
since the end of World War II threatens our freedoms more than
any foreign government. As people around the world fight back,
our own political classes respond by taking away our rights and
freedoms one-by-one, all in the name of "protecting freedom."
I know these are harsh words, and they sting even more for the
people who have lost loved ones in wars overseas. My point is
neither to denigrate them nor to criticize those who memorialize
them. Instead, I would ask the simple question: Which American
freedoms are the soldiers protecting?
Then, I would ask one more question: What are the freedoms we
have lost? Readers of this page know the answers to both
Although I have pointed this column at the use of American
military personnel around the globe, I also need to make another
point: many of the politicians who now decry the wars in Iraq
and Afghanistan want to make war on the rest of us. Listen to
the rhetoric of people like Hillary Clinton, Dennis Kucinich,
and John Edwards as they both attack the war and attack
productive people in this country. The fervor is the same.
Productive Americans are portrayed as being as great an enemy as
Osama bin Laden.
(I add that Ron Paul is the only U.S. Presidential candidate who
is campaigning for freedom. The others just want to take the
same force this country uses against other people and use it
against Americans who do not obey every dictum of the state.)
We hear them say we must "make war on dependence upon foreign
oil," or a "war against Big Oil," or a "New War on Poverty." The
rhetoric always is the same: war on someone.
So, by all means memorialize our war dead. But while we
memorialize them, let us not glorify the wars that placed them
in those graves, and let us not glorify the rhetoric that
glories in the destruction of freedom – while at the same time
claiming to be "protecting" our liberties.
to comment on this and other articles
Send Page To a Friend
with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material
is distributed without profit to those who have
expressed a prior interest in receiving the
included information for research and educational
purposes. Information Clearing House has no
affiliation whatsoever with the originator of
this article nor is Information ClearingHouse
endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)