My favourite online independent investigative news site is ConsortiumNews.com.
The site is headed by investigative journalist Robert Parry, who broke many of the Iran-Contra stories in the 1980s for the Associated Press and Newsweek. All the news and commentary is hard-hitting, factual and to the point, and the site is on my daily must-read list.
While perusing the most recent articles, I also read the the latest Readers’ Comments (February 9, 2008). The comments are “… about Campaign 2008 and the likely fate of either Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama at the hands of the Right’s attack machine. Also, comments on the fifth anniversary of Colin Powell’s lies to the UN, the continued U.S. news media fictions about Iraq and the Bush administration’s latest circumlocutions about torture”. While all the comments were interesting, this one by John Merah was particularly well written and poignant in the writer’s blunt analysis of his country and its people. “It’s time to speak bluntly — the fault for our presently, persistent hegemonic behavior now lies squarely with the American people”, writes Merah.
John Merah’s comment is about halfway down the page:
Like antiphonal choirs perched in cloisters high upon the walls of a cathedral, we echo each other in harmonious support as our voices of dissent pour out in anguish laced with a trace of defiance.
Preaching to the choir(s) is now the ineffectual pattern in place for those who abhor America’s violent nature. But the voices are safely contained within plumb, square, and comfortable padded walls- or text fields like this one. Little leaks onto the streets.
After Viet Nam in the 1960’s and 1970’s; followed by Central America in the 1980’s, one might think the message was clear- America needed a moral-house cleaning throughout. Even as far back as 1975 Congress and the Frank Church-led senate investigations revealed the CIA covert operations for what they really were. There was more blood on America’s hands than could be measured. Americans of conscience were aghast- history had finally been revealed.
Anyone who cared about people beyond our borders would have seen the light at that point in time. They would have seen that atrocities had occurred in their names going back to the Monroe Doctrine. And with further study and reflection, they might even have been brave enough to understand what Malcom X meant who upon commenting on the assassination of JFK, said, “The chickens have come home to roost.”
The preaching is getting old, and the hour is indeed getting late.
It is not just America’s ruling oligarchy or multi-national corporate interests that need reform. It’s not a matter of a top-down cleansing of American mentality. It is the American grass roots that are just as culpable.
It’s time to speak bluntly- the fault for our presently, persistent hegemonic behavior now lies squarely with the American people.
The blame for America’s abusive interventionist foreign policy can no longer lie only at the feet of the current administration, a co-opted judiciary, and a wimpish congress that does not know how to uphold and effectively leverage their end of constitutional responsibility.
It is the American people who stood by like mute lambs and allowed two stolen elections by Bush to go by the boards without even a whimper. That is conclusive proof that millions don’t care- either because they support authoritarian government (as long as their guy gets in), or have become anesthetized, disenfranchised, dispossessed- or cower in the fear and futility of having to rage against the machine.
Mr. McGovern is a good guy in a white hat- and credible as he had once been a member of the CIA. He’s been reformed. That is more than most people can say of themselves. And perhaps he is a better man than me, as I am much less charitable in my assessment of the American character.
Mr. McGovern tells us, “Indeed, patriots and prophets have made it clear from our earliest days that such abuse has no place in America.” That assumes a lot- and with all great sadness, I cannot make the same assumptions as does the good Mr. McGovern.
Let us not speak delicately. America has demonstrated a genocidal streak since Jamestown. I need not broach the subject of the Native Americans- just for starters. Americans are a duplicitous fraud when it comes to meting out the goodness of their souls. There are always strings attached, and fairness usually goes to only favorite sons and daughters.
In this age of the freedom of information act and the internet, the truth about the American Empire and its long history of murderous interventionism is readily available at anyone’s fingertips. Just go to George Washington University’s National Security Archives (http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/) and do some browsing. That should make any patriot cause to stand up and cry for justice.
But who is crying in the streets now, America? Where are the Paul Revere’s and Patrick Henry’s of this generation? Still, it is only the voices of entrenched or otherwise embedded media “authorities” who can have their say and be heard. The Age of the Blog hasn’t made a dent. The action has yet to have hit the streets.
McGovern quotes another good man- Bishop Peter Storey- as appealing to our better angels most diplomatically, “You have to help good people see how they have let their institutions do their sinning for them.” That has been done, Bishop Storey- repeatedly. No good has come of it.
The American public has been seduced and reduced in main to a lowest common denominator that is basest of the base. It’s status can now be accurately referred to as that of conspicuous consumer. No other single term fitfully applies to the collective. Citizenship has gone by the boards.
If the body America does not awake soon, it is clear that the U.S.’s quasi-democracy will be further reduced to even greater authoritarian qualities over time. All Empires must fall, and America’s is on the brink. When good people stand by and watch the pillars crumble, the end is very near.
America is now as far away from “living out the meaning of its creed” than at any time in its history.