America the Beautiful

The Pain of Patriotism

By Joel Miller

07/23/05 "ICH"
- -Patriotism is love of country. Like the pains of lost love the patriotic trauma resulting from a ravaged country dulls our senses and promotes denial. Patriot pain also warps our sense of community.

The roots of patriotism go deep into our collective consciousness. We are social creatures. We have been dependent on the activities of the group since our earliest stone-age way of life. Today's nations are extensions of those primitive groups. The patriotic love of country stems from our commitment to a communal struggle for survival. A community survives the deaths of individuals, but no individual survives the death of the community. Patriotism is an extension of the love of the community and its pride and pain should not be taken lightly.

When a community is attacked it resists ferociously. Human behavior differs little from a colony of insects. The community buzzes with intense activity to defend itself and strike at the enemy. It offers the lives of its strongest members to overcome the aggressors.

When the community is attacked from within however, confusion rather than resistance dominates and the traitors can succeed where no external force could have had a chance. The subtle attacks of the traitors eat away at the fibers of society. Ties break. Confusion, anger, frustration and rage spreads in all directions with no concentrated resistance. The people struggle against each other in order to defend the bits and pieces, the values and privileges, that they have some control over. Traditions tumble under ever greater campaigns of corruption and bombardments of lies. Propaganda covers the devastation with claims of defending the traditions. The country's vital organs, its basic premises and laws, are distorted and destroyed in the name of saving the country. Finally, rulers stand where leaders once stood and the patriots find themselves refugees in their own country.

It's terrifying and very painful for the patriots. Living in a country ruled by people who threaten rather than defend our interests leaves us vulnerable to the slings and arrows of outrageous tyranny. Our strength for survival sickens over and our patriotism pales. Denial infests the communal soul. What's the choice? Appeal for justice to those who have ravaged her?

It's difficult enough accepting the fact that Americans are enemies of America. This difficulty becomes nearly insurmountable when the enemies are the most influential of Americans who control the machinery governing and administrating the country and command the channels of information that shape our perspective and define our values.

How do we come to grips with the fact that the enemy of the American people are 100% Americans? 'Terrorists' do not threaten America. Nor does France, Bolivia, Russia, Iraq, North Korea, China, Canada or any other country. Americans threaten America. But these Americans, this gang of domestic tyrants, bombard us constantly through the media, which they own and control, with lies and diversions. On the home front, psychological operations or psyops (propaganda), constitute the major form of offensive in the war against the American people. Millions of citizens are victims of the psyops warfare, but even those without wounded vision have difficulty seeing through the smoke and fire.

Americans threaten America. Americans who:
commit the greatest of all crimes, wars of aggression.
destroy homes, cities, hospitals and schools.
burn, rip, smash, maim and kill hundreds of thousands of people.
expose civilians as well as American soldiers to the cancerous and baby-deforming radioactive dust of DU-weapons.
torture. Systematically!
tear the guts out of the Bill of Rights and deny American citizens basic freedoms and the possibility of justice. 
control what books we read, what sites we surf to, what items we buy and what calls we make, while placing themselves above accountability. 
steal elections. 
refuse to join the rest of the world in taking responsibility for the environment. 
take from the many and give to a few rich. 
throw people in jail and deny them the right to due process.
send Americans to poor distant countries to kill and get killed, to maim and get maimed.
aggravate the poverty and misery of tens of millions of Americans by using public resources in enterprises of conquest and destruction.
swell prisons with Americans.
spread fear and insecurity

America is not threatened by any external forces or fanatical groups, but by lying, cheating, stealing, killing, hypocritical, arrogant Americans whose enormous wealth is only exceeded by their insatiable greed and their indifference to the plight of the people.

This small minority of Americans are the main enemy of the great majority of the American people as well as the enemy of the traditions, laws and spirit of America, our beautiful America - and the world at large.

It's painful, terribly painful, but we must face it to get over it. Denial keeps us in a dungeon of despair and passivity. We must face it to get over it in order to start on our patriotic mission to restore the health, strength, security and dreams of the American people. We must get over it so that we can fulfill our desire and our right to make American good and beautiful 'from sea to shining sea'; to crown its good with international peace and cooperation and 'to mend its every flaw, confirm its soul in self-control and its liberty in law'.

We must get over it and get our perspective clear to shed the disgrace that our rich country contains millions of citizens living in abject poverty and desolation. We must erase the insult to the men and women who built this country that liberty fears to speak her mind and justice is forced to sell herself to the highest bidder. We must get over it so that 'liberty and justice for all' is not merely a sugared phrase coating empty demagogic rhetoric, but the very pulse driving the heartbeat of Americans.

No God will ever bless America, our beautiful America, until America is blessing the cause of liberty and justice. For all.

Part 2 - The Myth of Democracy
We all know the saying, 'All that glitters is not gold.' Hardly anyone knows that this is the second part of a popular Renaissance phrase. The first part faded away in the early 17th century with the victory of the Reformation, the Protestant revolution that cracked the hegemony of the Catholic Church. 

The entire saying went, 'The devil hides behind the cross, all that glitters is not gold.' The devil in this case referred to the Catholic clergy who dominated life in general, religious life in particular, and suppressed the people with taxes, politics and ideology to support their own decadent life style characterized by magnificent luxury, unrestrained depravity, shameless corruption and grating hypocrisy.

From the perspective of history the glaring contradictions between words and deeds seem incredible. How could church officials dance in decadence while preaching the virtues of Christianity? How could the people have put up with such dissonance, with such lies and pretenses? We need merely take a step back and view our own times to see how this was possible. 

Paraphrasing the Renaissance saying, we could say, 'The dictator hides behind democracy, all that glitters is not gold.'

Our own rulers can't speak without lacing their statements with words of freedom and democracy. They declare themselves the representatives of these values in the same way as the degenerate clergy declared themselves representatives of Jesus and Christian values.

Despite the ramblings of our rulers democracy does not characterize the politics of the countries they call the democracies. There is no democracy in the 'democracies'. It's a myth.

The rulers get away with selling the myth of democracy by constantly pouring diversions of entertainment, gossip, sensations, scandals and games into a distorted model of representative politics originally designed to capture the will of the people. The citizens are made to believe in democracy, but know only vaguely what it is about. Not one person in a thousand can explain the basics of democracy despite its simplicity. When asked for an explanation, they speak in abstractions or name parts of the democratic process. What they don't say, know or understand is:
democracy is a system of government driven by the will of the people.

Most people would nod in agreement with that definition, but would be lost to explain the nature of the system. They would be confused if asked to explain how the policies of a government can be democratic, yet go against the will of the people. When confronted with the contradiction between actual political decisions and the desires of the majority, they refer to elections as an explanation or the electoral process as a justification.

If the will of the majority is not reflected in decisions of government, that government cannot be considered democratic. Period. The Greek 'demo' means people, and 'cracy' means rule. If the people don't rule, if the majority doesn't determine decision, democracy isn't at work. A system doesn't run counter to its design.

Democratic Production
Although the democratic system embraces many variations of design and often deals with difficult and complicated problems it must include three basic components.

1. Freedom = the raw materials
Freedom constitutes the raw materials, the basic resource of the system. Without freedom, democracy cannot work; there's no input, no source of energy. The will of the people can only be determined when the people are free to gather information, express themselves and discuss with one another.

2. Organization and administration = the process
Political parties, interest organizations, debates, meetings, elections, committees, hearings, congressional proceedings, etc, gather, arrange, rework and summarize the views, ideas and desires of the people to prepare them for decisions.

3. Decisions and laws = the products
The products of the democratic process are the actual decisions, rules and laws of government.

In other words the ideas and will of the people formed in free social interaction make up the raw material to be assembled in the political process and made into decisions and laws, the products of the democratic system.

Democratic Products
The products determine the quality of the system. Products, that is to say government decisions and policy, that neglect, harm or go against the majority of the people cannot be classified as democratic regardless of the extent of freedoms or the workings of the political process. Not even prime resources (freedoms) can in itself guarantee good products (laws). Compare the decision of a 'democratic' government to a meal served in a restaurant. You receive a dish that tastes like garbage, completely uneatable. Would you accept the dish if the waiter convinced you that it was made from the finest raw products prepared by a renowned chef? Would you buy a computer designed by the finest engineers using prime components if it didn't work? Would you be satisfied with any product that did not work?

Numerous devises and methods can alter a democratic system to produce undemocratic results. The people who control such a system could easily dictate their personal politics and make it appear as general consensus. We need not discuss the methods and alterations to recognize a system doesn't work.

Why do we sustain the illusion that we live in a democracy when we the people have but a nominal to non-existent influence on the decisions of government and our so-called representatives act like our masters and treat us like trash? Why do we believe in the myth of democracy when time after time the government makes decisions directly opposed to our wishes?

How often do the rulers have to take our money and resources and channel it through to a wealthy minority before we realize that this is not democracy! How can the rulers commit the greatest of all crimes - a war of aggression - against our wishes and protests without us realizing that these criminals are the enemy of democracy, not its representatives? How can we watch them lie to us; break international law; flaunt the UN's charter and mandate; ignore the principles of the Nuremburg Tribunal; trample on the Geneva Conventions, spit in the face of world opinion; invade, occupy and destroy a poor and practically defenseless country, before we realize that their 'democracy' is merely as a fig leaf on their naked tyrannical dictatorship? How broad and high do they have to build their monument of hypocrisy, claiming to promote democracy in Iraq while devastating the country and killing its people, before we say, 'These monsters do not represent us.'?

Let me underline a simple and universally accepted commandment: Thou shall not start a war.

War is the greatest of all crimes and those who initiate one qualify as the greatest of all criminals. The invasion of Iraq constitutes a felony of war. If the USA is a democracy, it's citizens are complicit in the crime. They are assessories to the fact, aiding and abetting war criminals. If the USA is not a democracy, it is the duty of the citizens and patriots to stop the criminals who are warring in their name and bring them to justice.

If not a democracy, what is it? A theocracy (rule of the religious)? A plutocracy (rule of the wealthy)? A kleptocracy (rule of thieves)? It's not important how we label them. The name changes nothing. Refer to them as Neocons, Bushites or the American Taliban as long as you are aware that the rulers of the United States of America follow a path of aggression and conquest in order to enrich themselves and maintain their power, and that their greed-fueled quest for domination places them on a collision course with the needs and desires of the American people. Not to mention the people of the rest of the world.

The International Perspective
In the prelude to the war against Iraq, Romano Prodi, President of EU, was asked to comment on the split between the European nations concerning an invasion of Iraq. "Split?," replied Prodi, "At least 80% of the people of Europe are against a war. Europe has never been so united."

At least 60% of the Americans were against the war, 80% of the Europeans and 90% of the rest of the world. Obviously, democracy doesn't overflow these days. And not so obvious for the Americans, the rest of the world isn't impressed by the facade of American democracy or charmed by the freer-than-thou conceit of its rulers.

Euan Ferguson writing in The Observer about the Brits as the most arrogant, untrustworthy, loud-mouthed and unpleasant tourists in the world adds, "And we'll get away with it because no matter what we do, no matter how awful Brits are abroad, everybody everywhere now hates the Americans even more."

Bear in mind that these words appear in a mainstream newspaper of our closest ally. The people of the world are not particularly fond of war mongers, nor do they take to filthy nincompoops. Can you imagine how the citizens of the global village feel about America refusing to join the rest of the world in curbing carbon emissions to stave global warming? Can you identify with how they look upon the American rulers neglecting and rejecting scientific reports about emissions and climate change?

Does neglect of the environment reflect the democratic will of the American people? Perhaps you are not aware that global warming has already entered a negative spiral. The warming melts ice at the poles diminishing the surface area that reflects solar heat while increasing the ocean water that absorbs heat which raises the temperature which melts ice at the poles which.... This development can go into exponential acceleration at any time.

Were America a democracy, the leaders would be engaging the citizens in the issues of the air we breath and the climate that engulfs us instead of trying to hide and distort the facts for fear of diminishing corporate profits. We might learn that all the wind turbines in the world - from the very first one until today - haven't reduced carbon emissions as much as one month of warfare in Iraq increases them. The transportation of troops and equipment, the bombers, attack planes, helicopters, tanks, humvees, etc. all antagonize the ailing atmosphere with carbon emissions. Add to this the remnants of explosives - bombs, missiles and bullets - and you have the equivalent of environmental torture. Would a democracy allow this? And that's not the worst of it.

The American military employs a large number of DU-weapons, projectiles and missiles tipped with depleted uranium to provide super explosive force. These mini atomic weapons deal effectively with tanks and other hard targets such as sturdy buildings and bunkers, but they also pulverize on contact dispersing radioactive dust. This dust containing invisible but highly cancerous radioactive particles gets carried on the wind, blends into the water supply, finds its way into plants and animals and even travels on clothes. They tick out their deadly radiation for millions of years. Should any atomic energy plant anywhere in the world leak but a portion of the radioactivity distributed by the DU-weaponry of "freedom fighters", every front-page and news broadcast in the world would be screaming in alarm. Would a democracy tolerate the use of these weapons?

The sharp increase in cancer affecting both Iraqis and American veterans from the first war in Iraq (Kuwait) leave no doubt about the insidious consequences of these weapons. Parallel to the cancer cases, increased instances of babies born with serious deformities also plague Iraqis and American veterans. The rulers of America deny (surprise!) that the radioactive residue of these atomic weapons are the cause of the symptoms that are typical of radioactive exposure. 

More American soldiers have died, are dying and will die because of these weapons than have been killed or will be killed by Iraqis, Afghanis and all the world's terrorists combined. That deserves repeating. More Americans will die because of the tactical weapons approved by the American rulers than as the result of all 'enemy' and terrorist actions. Is it the will of the American citizens to kill its young people and deform their babies?

Even discarding DU-weapons, the American rulers are killing Americans and inflicting them with terrible disabilities. Who bears responsibility for the thousands of deaths and mutilated bodies of American soldiers in Iraq? If Joe is thrown into a den of lions, we don't blame the lions for Joe's death. Should we blame the people defending their homes and country for the deaths of the armed invaders or should we blame the people who cast the invaders into the den of resistance?

Bring our troops home, indeed! They are not OUR troops. If the American people had a choice, if they were living in a democracy, they would not offer the lives and limbs of their prime-aged citizens to destroy the lives and limbs and homes and livelihood of a distant people who have done them no harm nor present any threat. The American troops in Iraq are the disposable shooters and bullet-stoppers in the service of the rulers. They are our sons and daughters, sisters and brothers, who have been indoctrinated, conned, bought and forced to serve as the instruments of America's war-mongering, wealth-grabbing rulers. OUR troops defend our beautiful country. They don't go off to invade, occupy and destroy other countries.

Why are the American rulers warring in Iraq? Iraq poses no threat, yet weapons of mass (and eternal) destruction are being employed against them. They had no connection with al-Qaida or the events of 9/11, yet the occupation generates the proliferation of America-oriented terrorists throughout the world. Their terrible leader is gone, yet more victims saturate the torture chambers with their screams than ever before. What can possibly justify the tenacious resolve to continue fighting in Iraq? The pursuit of democracy?! Or...

The dictator hides behind democracy, all that glitters is not gold.
And gold need not glitter, it can flow as black as evil.

It's painful, patriots, but don't despair and don't go into denial. Get over it. We have a lot to do to get America the beautiful back into shape.

Part 3 - We is the key

The word 'we' is the key to breaking the hold the rulers have on America. As long as we buy into their fiction that they represent us, we wear their leash around our necks. "We are at war," they say. 'We' must do this and 'we' must do that. We, we, we... they speak in our name and treat us like a number. They speak in our name but act in their own interest diametrically opposed to ours. They speak in our name but take from us, suppress us, lie to us, weaken us, spy on us, cheat us, poison us, kill us, censor us, threaten us and our existence and make us objects of hate and targets of terror throughout the world. 

They war in our name! How much clearer can it get? If the American people were in possession of democracy they'd pull out of Iraq faster than a politician can pull a bribe from hand to pocket.

They, the rulers, are the enemy of we, the people. The tears caused by the pain of patriotism seem to blur the minds eye and distort this perspective. Even many patriots who have a fairly good idea of the character of the rulers and the nature of their policies can't seem to get over this. They engage themselves in the political circus of the rulers aiding the allusion of democracy and strengthening the imperial 'we'. In the last election, for instance, the opposition opposed nothing other than the fact that they weren't the leading rulers. They weren't against the war and wouldn't have stopped it. The election provided no opportunity to influence the most significant aspect of American politics. 

As I write this one of the major clowns in the political circus has been caught roving away from a crime scene. Did he commit the crime? Will he get busted? The media and the patriots can't get enough of this affair. Does it have any significance for the American people? Will the fate of this one criminal suspect have any effect on his colleagues' crime of war? Not a drop. If anything, if the rulers have no other choice but to sacrifice one of their own (He'll be forced to take his millions and resign. Boohoo, boohoo.), they'll parade it as an example of justice.

What to do
What are we (the people, citizens and patriots) to do? Obviously, violence and terrorism are out of the question. Such tactics are morally wrong and politically suicide. We can't willfully harm our own citizens.

So how do we oppose the rulers? By ignoring them. By pulling out of their game and divorcing ourselves from the illusion of 'we'. We can stop them by drawing our support from them. Strategically, they are dependent on us, not the other way around. Like the first Christians, we must develop a network to support one another because no one else will. The government, the rulers, the new emperors, do not act in our interests - on the contrary - and as soon as we are absolutely clear about this, the sooner we can do things for ourselves.

The North Atlantic Empire is in decline. Like the first Christians growing strong in the decline of the Roman Empire, we must place our faith in a higher power than the rulers. We must place our faith in the spirit of the people, in democracy. If we're lucky, we'll feel the strength embodied in the soul of humanity, the holy force, and know that we're invincible. We'll be able to envision a future where America the beautiful is but one section of the garden known as the global village.

Joel Miller - email - <> 

Copyright: Joel Miller - 

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