liberal ["liberalis" L - suitable for a freeman, generous; "eleutheros" Gk - free] (adj) generous, open-minded, not subjugated to authoritarian domination; (n) one who believes in liberty, universal suffrage and the free exchange of ideas. elite ["eslire" Fr -- to choose fr.L "eligere" -- choose] (n) the choice part; best of a class; the socially superior part of society.

Monday, July 25, 2005

On "Freedom"

Chalmers Johnson writes, in Blowback,
The American military at the end of the century is becoming an autonomous system.... Although the military still tries to invoke the public's support for a force made up of fellow citizens, this force is increasingly separated from civilian interests and devoted to military ones....

As their size and prominence grow over time, the armed forces of an empire tend to displace other instruments of foreign policy implementation. What also grows is militarism, "a vast array of customs, interests, prestige, actions and thought associated with armies and wars and yet transcending true military purpose"--and certainly a reasonable description of the American military ethos today.* [Calleo, David, P. Beyond American Hegemony: The Future of the Western Alliance, (New York: Basic Books, 1987), p. 142.]

I remember during the early seventies when the Vietnam War ended and the debate about whether or not to discontinue the draft played across the Sunday morning talkshows and the editorial pages of newspapers. Warnings were sounded, but not heeded. The Pentagon wanted a smaller army. It was the wiser, older, WWII and Korea crowd of veterans and brass who cautioned that a volunteer army would give rise to a "military caste" with separate interests from the rest of the civilian population.

As the brewing conflict between Congress and the Administration shows, the Pentagon is controlling --not only foreign policy, which it has driven since World War II-- but domestic policy and economic policy, as well.

The United States is now a platform for the United States military. Like Mr. Hyde, the Pentagon has "usurped the very offices of life" in the American body politic.

The gathering of intelligence forces within Homeland Security and the military branches to the demise of the CIA is only one loathsome expression of this painful reality. And, with the terrorist bombings in London 2 weeks ago, Egypt over the weekend, and, above all 9/11, there is the persistent fear -- not of terrorists, but of our own Special Forces carrying out acts of terror against the free peoples of the world and disguising them as acts of agression by foreigners or extremists.

I suspect, too, that the military intelligence forces are even now preparing for the eventuality of popular dicontent with the Pentagon and devising events, actions, or disasters that will so shape public opinion as to shield the Pentagon's multifaceted designs from clear public scrutiny and comprehension, like a giant parasite that threatens to consume our very life, identity and existence as a culture, as a free country.


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