|"The Ghost of Orwell is Upon us"
"Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we." -- President George W. Bush, Aug. 5, 2004 in an apparent gaffe or a Freudian slip.
-- A rather sad state of affairs has risen out of the propaganda-laced, nationalism-spewing, draped-in-the flag-espousing and testosterone-filled Democratic National Convention that would have made Joseph Goebbels proud. The party of peace and progress has mutated into one of warmongers and military might, whoring itself to the evils of war and violence in order to regain power, forgetting principles of pacifism and humanism for those espousing death and destruction. The leaders of the Democratic Party know that to once more sit in the White House, to replace lunatics and liars, they must become George W. Bush, albeit with a brain, proclaiming the drums of war and the strength of violence. In a nation addicted to the smells of human blood and of growing hatred for the Arab and Muslim world, only mirages of warmongers and charades of military might can compete with the façade that propels Bush today.
Granted, this cynical conversion has been strategically made in order to elect John Kerry into office, knowing that the American public sits on its collective couch, as always glued to the television, furthering society’s decline as they are made ignorant, unthinking and conditioned drones, chips in one hand, beer in the other, believing the fictions being bombarded into their minds, frightened of Arab bogeymen and cowering to the insecurity and fear conditioned into daily life by a government and military-industrial complex basking in the euphoria of an easily controlled populace. Thus, needing to project strength and the ability to protect the populace in this so-called ‘war on terror’ the Democrats unleashed a wave of military symbolism, personalities and speeches, trying to recapture the ‘security’ and ‘leadership in times of war’ mantra from George W. Bush and the Republicans.
This carefully orchestrated reinventing of the Party, full of colorful signs and light choreography, jingoistic speeches, unity of personalities and hypocritical support by peacemakers of yet another warmonger has let it be known that, even if Kerry is elected, America’s foreign policy, especially that of the Middle East, will surely continue its self-destructive agenda. The Democrats know they cannot be elected without projecting a macabre fascination with the continuance of the ‘war on terror’ that has become a most omnipotent force since the devastation of 9/11. This snowball effect continues to feed a vicious cycle of death, war and destruction that, with every passing month, grows in momentum and power, thus making it virtually impossible that one day it can be halted. Spiraling into the hands of the military-industrial complex, the corporate Leviathan and the warmongers/criminals/neocons in government, the Democrats have assured the American people that the debacle in Iraq will persist, the occupation and exploitation of the Middle East will linger, and the cancer created by Israel will continue to endanger all of humanity.
For Bush and his cronies have given life to a beast that has wrapped its malicious tentacles around the American psyche, breathing not oxygen but our exhaling fear, growing more powerful every day, feeding off our insecurity and continued dumbing down, enveloping our lives with our silent passivity, becoming omnipotent and omnipresent through our acquiescent complicity. Rolling down a snow-filled mountain as it gains unstoppable momentum, growing into a giant boulder intent on destroying 200 years of progress and hope, the disease created by Bush has become an unstoppable entity spiraling out of the control of humanity.
The “War on Terror” is this malevolent demon called, a virus that is infecting America, catapulting us straight into the pages of a fiction – or a prophesy – long ago written by George Orwell. Immersed in 1984 we presently find ourselves trapped in, living the chapters of a great book that today has become our nightmarish reality. As each day passes in these days of George the Lesser we continue to turn the pages of a once-thought fantasy, traversing bound passages horrific in print that are inevitably becoming the truth of our daily existence.
The fabrication that is the ‘war on terror’ thus continues to propel itself, becoming a mechanism created by man that is slowly spiraling out of our ability to rein it in and control it. It continues to expand, corrupt and divide, free to enrapture humanity with its dark haze of violence and hatred whose ramifications we do not yet fully comprehend. The perfect enemy has been created, the perfect sheep we have become, and in the dark constructs of human power, greed and control a military/ police state begins to grow.
What is coming cannot yet be fully seen, it cannot be grasped by the human mind, for our brains work in the present, not the future, in conceptualizing small pieces, not large amalgams. We are unable to put the pieces of the puzzle together, failing in connecting the dots of a fascism rearing its ugly head over the horizon and the slowly emerging wars and battles being designed against the lands of the Middle East. Eurasia, Oceania and Eastasia have come into existence, conveniently designed to wage perpetual war against each other, propping up created enemies and hated foes that captivate our minds and souls.
We are told that new bogeymen now breathe away our air of freedom. Blindly we believe that these evildoers hate our democracy, liberties and ways of living, and so we must wage war, destroying countries, cities, buildings, families and innocents, sacrificing our children and husbands, our wallets and wages, our own freedoms and liberties. In order to battle that dark-skinned phantom which has been conditioned into our frightful minds we are willing to contribute to the erosion both to our way of living and the future freedom of our progeny. The Red and Communist Russian has given way to the Turban and Muslim Arab, and so we must obey our government, as criminal and corrupt as it may be, like sheep blindly following the shepherd to slaughter.
The fear of our conscious and the silence of our being are robbing us of more than Arab bogeymen ever could. Our own government is terrorizing more than Osama ever imagined. Our own government has us capitulating to fear, using the psychology of the weak-minded human brain to ensnarl us in terror, insecurity and the acquiescence of its criminal actions. It is using human fear to erode our freedoms and rights, turning a once grand beacon of hope into a Soviet Russia-style police state. In order to feel secure, in order to have a sense of safety our fellow citizens are gladly eviscerating their rights and freedoms, granting their evil government unprecedented levels of power over us. We are blindly giving up the beauty of America and the future of our children for the perceived security provided by government. The mechanisms of fear are working their black magic yet again, condemning the masses to their own ruination.
As can be expected, humanity creates without understanding the implications of what it helps unleash. Our still primitive brains cannot fathom the ramifications our actions have into a future we are incapable of grasping. We create only to see what we birth spiral beyond our ability to control and understand it. To humans, forethought is but an afterthought, and, as our history eerily reminds us, what we spawn in the present comes back to haunt us in our future. Creating without thinking, forcing actions without planning, implementing policies without visionary imagination, the human mind cannot fully envisage more than a few years into the unseen future. The examples of this are littered throughout the pages of history. But, as is usually the case with mankind, we fail to learn from our tumultuous past, and so we repeat the mistakes of our ancestors through the folly of our mammalian passions and instincts.
Already, the stage has been set for the further implementation of a police state in America, now seen in New York and Washington, that is changing the very fabric of what America once was and stood for. Those in power, a small cabal of immoral and elite miscreants, are spreading the virus of fear for their own sinister motives, entrenching in the populace a continuous flow of scare tactics designed to manipulate human emotions. The cover of threat is spreading beyond the Northeast to other large cities and regions. Under cover of fear and terror, Bush and company are altering the very fabric of the Bill of Rights and the Constitution. They are forcing us to voluntarily give up our freedoms and rights for the sake of protection and safety from the same state engulfing us with those same elements of fear mongering we now confront on a daily basis. The disease is being spread nationally; the cloud of fear is enveloping America from sea to shining sea.
These mechanisms of fear are inundating our daily lives, from local to national news, we are being conditioned to the new economy of fear, a new society based on terror that, since 9/11, has and will only continue to increase. Human emotions are being meddled with, our insecurities are being manipulated, and soon, whether in one year or five, a police state existing and thriving on fear will arise out of the blazing bonfires of all our burning rights and freedoms. The stage is being set, this path we are now on, and if we decide to put the jigsaw puzzle together a police state is what America is to become.
The parameters of time and space will dictate its speed and severity, yet if the pieces of this most ominous puzzle are put together, the inevitability of this reality will become manifest. We must look to the totality of the circumstances, both the short and long term, to the present and future, to momentum and current events, to the direction the nation is taking and the increased fear mongering by our government. The winds of fear are giving way to the resounding army of despotic boots marching toward the coming police state.
Incessant fear-mongering has begun to control the populace into both submission and complicity through acquiescence. Weekly terror alerts are conditioning us to an insecurity that, we are told, can only be alleviated by self-erasing our rights and freedoms, granting our government unlimited powers to “protect” us, and believing the plethora of lies and propaganda our “cherished” government tells us. Slowly, 290 million Americans are helping to seal their own fates, destined to live in perpetual fear and in the hands of a fascist form of governance.
The Department of Homeland Insecurity is doing a masterful job of scaring the populace into giving up its rights. It is transforming the land of the free into a nation bordering tyranny. It is making the home of the brave a country gripped by fear. In truth, Tom Ridge is doing exactly as told, hitting the airwaves, reading the script, scaring millions, helping to re-elect a fear-mongering, warmongering, unpatriotic and treasonous administration that has exploited all Americans, using us as pawns in the greatest transformation of American society and governance in our brief history.
The expansion of the police state can today be seen on the streets of New York and Washington, D.C., with a constant police presence roaming streets and important buildings. Armed to the teeth, donning the intimidating attire of riot police, black in color, armor protected, machine gun in hand, thousands of officers now patrol the sidewalks you and I walk, observing, surveilling, spying and helping to keep us quiet and obedient worker bees. Roadblocks, evasive personal inspections of self and possessions, security checkpoints, racial profiling, illegal stops and questioning, demands to see ID’s and a police presence on every corner are the hallmark and the beginning stages of a police state. In sectors of New York and Washington the future of America can today be seen.
The threats of terror spewing like a hot geyser keep coming out of the Department of Homeland Insecurity, adding more cities and buildings scheduled for “government protection.” Today New York and Washington, tomorrow Chicago and San Francisco. The fear hovering throughout the land continues to emanate from the “War” President’s White House, as always erupting lie after continuous lie. The destruction of the Bill of Rights and the Constitution perseveres in the hallways of the Injustice Department, its shredders hard at work eliminating the last vestiges of American freedoms and rights. Meanwhile, the Department of War has once more turned on the conveyor belts of death and destruction, getting ready for yet another invasion and subsequent occupation where the poor castes of America kill and get killed by the poor classes of Iran and/or Syria.
With each new terror warning, with each new city listed as a “potential target” the police state will increase. Soon police and the military will guard us side by side, in every street corner and every subway station, every airport and every mall, M-16 or M-4 Carbines at the ready, intimidating our every move and glance. The days of military checkpoints, army Hummers lining the streets, police dogs at the ready and an aura of military rule are not far off.
Already America’s truckers have been recruited to spy on their fellow Americans, told to be vigilant on the nation’s highways and rest stops. Fear is gripping millions who live in cities, and, whether we see it or not, are being transformed into tools of the state, spies ever vigilant to whatever captures their eyes. Tourists with video equipment and photographers with cameras are now seen with suspicion. Anyone of Arab ethnicity, Middle East name or Muslim faith is now a suspect, guilty first, innocent only after investigation. The inevitability that is the emerging police state dictates that one day soon our own children will be brainwashed to spy on us and our friends, to report anything that might constitute danger to the state. Entire neighborhoods now maintain watchful eyes, becoming ever-suspicious of one another. The day is fast approaching when co-workers and one’s boss will report the activities of those they see as different or as suspicious. Conditioning of our children in schools might one day transform them through programming into conduits and defenders of the powerful who control the state, becoming robots unaware of the splendors their parents were once free to live under and enjoy.
With further evisceration of our rights and the increased powers spawned by technology, it is not hard to conceive of a state aware of every movement and activity. Our government already has, through the mechanisms of Project Echelon, the capacity to record every email, fax, phone call and text message we receive and/or send. Every form of communication can be traced and inspected. Every financial transaction can be tracked, pinpointing our movements. Library books checked out are monitored, internet surfing surveilled. More and more cameras line the streets and buildings, no doubt to continue their exponential growth in the years to come. Satellites in space can read license plates, thermal imaging can see inside our homes. Eye scanning technology is upon us, as is instant fingerprint analysis and public DNA identification. Advancements in technology will undoubtedly assist the coming police state to suppress crime and potential terror, yet it will also act to find and halt dissent, suppress freedoms and rights and transform the citizenry into a collection of scared humans afraid to question authority and exhibit an ounce of individual thought.
The road America has embarked on has no end in sight. Up ahead, only the entrance to a most ominous tunnel can be seen, dark and dangerous, pulling us towards it, sucking the last pebbles of light from the once-great beacon of hope and freedom. The future under this reality does not look bright as a once progressive light of human existence is extinguished under the rubric of fear, terror and security. With each new terror warning the beacon shining high and proud for the world to see is made dimmer, now unable to inspire or embolden. Instead, under the Bush administration, a thick and black cloth now covers what once gave us daylight, transforming day into night, courage into fear and security into terror.
In these days of fear we now live, being driven to re-elect a cabal of madmen intent on destroying an America our Founding Fathers created and believed in. In these times we are made to exist, with fear being politicized, dissent being marginalized and patriotism being questioned. Our emotions are being manipulated by those in power. We are being used and exploited into sacrificing the future of our progeny. We are being made to self-cannibalize our remaining rights and freedoms under the name of security and the lies of the “war on terror.” Yet the day is fast approaching when we will wake from this state of hypnosis, spawned by the fake fear being conditioned into us on a daily basis, only to see society transformed into a nation of spies whose eyes, ears and mouths have become the tools of the same system subjugating them.
Today New York, militarized and under a police state, tomorrow your city and neighborhood. Think it unlikely? Look around, it is already happening. Pay close attention to New York City in late August and early September to see the police state in action, protecting Republican elite from dissenters, protesters and average citizens. Silencing free speech and squashing rights to protest, coralling citizens into free-speech zones, macing innocent and peaceful protesters, arresting and intimidating hundreds, this will be the reality of New York City under partial military rule, all under the lie of security and under the rubric of terror. The stage has been set to halt the expected half a million to a million protesters. With little less than a month to go before the Republican Convention is to begin terror warnings have been put in motion, allowing the police and military to be introduced into the City, allowing the government to impose a police state during the Convention that will have the effect of shutting down protests, dissent and the unity of a million people. Through fear the government can do as it pleases. Through terror it controls the populace and its behaviors.
Under a crimson sky of fear human psychology becomes a dangerous amalgam of animal passions and human evil. Survival becomes a carnal principle; rational thought becomes blurred. The instinct for safety and security places unlimited trust in governance, to the point that humankind willingly cedes freedoms and rights in order to be protected by that which is most feared. Those in power use this truth to increase control over the masses, using us as the means to an end. Through our fear and insecurity their power grows. They are able to unleash war upon the lands of Eurasia and Eastasia, create bogeymen and enemies, encourage retaliation, which in effect acts to grant them still more power over their populace, and foster an era of intertwined interdependence between two competing ideologies whose vicious cycle of terror and violence billions of innocents find themselves immersed in.
To live in 2004 is to live in Orwell’s 1984, and, if the same road continues to be taken, the America of tomorrow will cease to parallel the one of yesterday. At the crossroads we stand, and the failure to act will no doubt condemn our future generations to the mistakes of their forefathers. The America they will inhabit will be a vastly different land than the one enjoying its last remaining days. They will never miss what they never had, and they will never fight for what they always deserved. Our actions, our fear and our complicity are helping to seal the fate of those millions that will come after us. History is being repeated, but not learned; it is being forgotten, and once more a collection of humans is committing the mistakes that have condemned millions before.
Humanity seems never to learn. The fear will continue to increase, the insecurity will not cease. Warnings will only grow louder; attacks will eventually come to our shores, adding to the vicious circle that cannot be stopped. A police state is upon us, yet hundreds of millions seem oblivious to the coming chasm that will affect their lives forever. The mechanism spawned by humanity has taken a life of its own, possessing unstoppable momentum, breathing and living through the fear-laced air we exhale, enveloping our energies and our daily lives as it continues to grow and expand, sending us spiraling out of control.
Whether you wish to live in fear is up to you because it will not stop. On the contrary, incessantly it will grow, spreading like the virus it is throughout the lands of the United States, gripping millions in fright and insecurity. From frightened mind to frightened mind the virus will proliferate, creating a pandemic of human emotions captured by fear and terror, capitalized by a government exploiting its citizens, empowering a few at the top and placing in destiny’s hands the future course of humanity.
The virus is upon us, and it is spreading rapidly. Like a giant wild fire in times of drought, it has become uncontainable, burning everything in its path. Only the powerful monsoons of the Other Superpower can save America now. Will the rains come, or will the drought continue?
Writer's Note: I urge everyone who reads this article to pick up a copy of George Orwell’s “1984” and read or re-read it. Its relevance to today’s America will awaken and scare you. If you want to understand America in 2004, and the direction it is embarking on, this work of art becomes of vital significance.
Manuel Valenzuela is author of Echoes in the Wind, a novel to be published in September of 2004. Email firstname.lastname@example.org
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