Why I am leaving this Country:
Daniel Pipes and the Failure of Democracy in America
by Thos. Nagy
07/30/03: It is instructive to know how the wonderful democracy that the U.S. is exporting through its own very real WMD’s actually works. There are worse governments than the US “democracy,” but surely there are better ones, and US “democracy” is not worth exporting or imposing on anyone except the most desperate.
It is necessary to give the context to my small, modest insight into the reality of American democracy.
It has to do with Dr. Daniel Pipes. Dr. Daniel Pipes is a rather belligerent fellow who has been wonderfully successful in intimidating the vast majority of US professors into near total silence despite: (1) two major wars that are getting progressively worse (from the official US viewpoint), (2) a threatened nuclear war with North Korea that has the potential of killing us all, down to the cockroaches that have amazing resilience to radiation, and (3) a domestic economic crisis spinning out of control thanks to the insane quest for world dominance and the maniacal looting of the US by the chums of Bush, the First and Bush, the Second.
The case of such a gem of free enterprise as B2's “Kenny Boy” Lay of Enron infamy comes readily to mind, but you could point to a great number of other pirates of gangster capitalism who have, quite simply, cheated the American people out of life savings or merely stolen a big chunk of their retirement money.
So one might suspect that all is not well. Indeed.
The good Dr. Pipes identified the six leading university professor villains in the US—I'm number 6—in a column in the New York Post, a newspaper that is perhaps just a few steps up from pure trash, but one which is widely read and distributed—I can get it easily here in Washington, D.C. In the column, Pipes falsely accused me, among other things, of “providing aid to the Saddam regime.”
B2's nomination of Pipes to the U.S. Institute of Peace is rivaled only by B1's naming of Clarence Thomas to the Supreme Court.
Now here comes my modest insight into how government really works in the “land of the free and the home of the brave.”
Foolishly, I thought this truly bizarre nomination would afford me a chance to clear my name and end or reduce my harassment (Pipes had called for “adult supervision” for the six evil professors). Since Pipes’ nomination by B2 required the “advice and consent” of the U.S. Senate, I asked to be a witness in a public hearing. I asked for three minutes and a chance to put documents into evidence that would restore my good name and show the greater suitability of Pipes for the CIA’s assassination bureau (I'm sure it has a more noble name) rather than the US Institute for Peace.
At first, I thought, Gosh the system of
“democracy” can work, because I thought I had an agreement with the
staff of the ranking member of the Senate
After hearing nothing further from Senator Edward Kennedy 's office for weeks, I discovered that there had been a “misunderstanding.” Goodbye to any chance of being a witness, goodbye to a chance to submit documents into evidence, goodbye to a chance to clear my name and end the harassment.
That “misunderstanding” was hard to accept, but it was nothing compared to step 2 of the workings of what baby slayer with sanctions former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright has called “the indispensable democracy.”
Committee Chairman Sen. Judd Gregg (R-NH) decided against a hearing for my accuser, but instead opted for an executive hearing on July 23rd—evidently without witnesses or documents. It’s now possible that Sen. Gregg's committee and the Senate itself could fly Pipes though to his anointment like a stealth bomber through radar—without any scrutiny. There goes any meaningful “advice and consent.” Technically, the Senate, using tricks like “executive sessions,” could give its advice and consent based on no witnesses and no evidence. How democratic! Is this a great country or what?
This is a microcosm of how the greatest and longest lasting democracy in history (etc., etc.) works. If one dare speak of even the possibility of a defect in the operation of Camp X-Ray, or putting Pipes into such a position of honor and trust, then the totally corrupt committee system of Congress that would make any tyrant blush can block criticism—total power, but with the appearance of fairness.
Members of Congress disguise this disastrous blemish by using pompous phrases like, “I'd like to thank my distinguished colleague, the Chairman and thank him for allowing me time to speak.” The committee chairman may permit other members to speak, but the chairman runs the whole shabby show: agenda, witness list—you name it.
The rest of the hypocrites properly worship the chairman in the hope that if they live long enough, they will, one day they become a god (oops, I mean committee chairman). So much for democracy—very sad, very tragic, very disastrous to the people of the US and the world.
So unlike the movies, I don't get my day in court.
Continuing to teach in the US is no longer an option for me, particularly since evidently I will have no chance to clear my name before Congress.
So I am moving to Canada in a few days where I will apply for citizenship and try to rebuild my 20-year university career in a functioning democracy.
I think Canada's secret is simple: a small, peace keeping-oriented military; a small weapons industry; no empire to rule and no countries to conquer. (Sending trigger pullers to Afghanistan was an aberration. Canadian troops die if they must but as peace keepers, not as killers of essentially defenseless people.)
I hope to die in Canada and atone for my stupidity and culpability in paying taxes to the most well-oiled killing machine in history, the United States of America, by teaching peace studies and promoting pacifism, which I think is the only force powerful enough to overcome America’s super weapons.
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