Bush worshippers are the real un-Americans

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Bush worshippers are the real un-Americans
by Charles Ashley

I get more than a little pissed off when some yahoo Bush worshipper calls me un-American because I don’t support the Bush administration or the one-party Republican government now in power. I find it bitterly ironic that such folks hear the march of freedom where I hear the strident goose-stepping of a fascism that has already caused untold destruction and threatens to be a great deal more destructive than Nazi Germany or Imperial Japan. Who in hell do these numbskulls think they’re kidding?

The yahoo Bush worshippers (YBWs) are the real un-Americans. Although they heavily lard their speech with the words democracy, liberty, and freedom; the YBWs do not understand the meaning of these words.

After they utter them (usually accompanied, a la Sinclair Lewis, with the Stars and Stripes (or maybe the Stars and Bars) waving in one hand and a prominently displayed gilt Bible in the other), in the very next breath, they support the Bush administration’s domestic spying program, arguing — if one can call such parrot-screed an argument — that they have nothing to hide and so it’s quite all right with them if the government listens in on them…

     

These people call themselves patriots. They need to do some historical research. At the time of the American Revolution, people with ideas like those of the YBWs were called Tories, not Patriots. The Patriots fought against King George, not for him.

I’ve got a little secret for these halfwits. The terms democracy, liberty and freedom have a great deal to do with another little concept called privacy. Without privacy, it is simply impossible to have democracy. In the nosey, back-biting atmosphere of incipient fascism, where neighbors keep up with the Joneses by informing on neighbors, where an alphabet soup of NSAs, DIAs, CIAs, FBIs, and OSPs permeates every supermarket and coffee shop, one cannot have the kind of independent thought necessary for healthy democracy. With Bush’s thought police listening to our calls and peeking at our email, one must be quite courageous to think for oneself and actually put one’s thoughts into words that others can read or hear. This sort of courage should not be necessary in a democracy, where free and open discussion and criticism of government must be considered indispensable. In a real democracy one doesn’t have to be afraid to speak one’s mind.

Consider the following example. Say someone wants to research al Qaeda and goes online to research, or maybe to the public library to check out some books. Of course one’s intentions are entirely innocent; one merely wants to learn about al Qaeda and maybe help the government work toward a solution to the terrorist problem. But in the course of one’s research one stumbles on a website where the snoops at NSA are keeping tabs. The CIA might even have set up the site as bait in a sting. Next thing one knows, the G-men are at the door acting more than just a little belligerent and asking all kinds of nasty questions. One didn’t believe one had anything to hide. But guess what — the NSA and the FBI got the wrong idea about one’s research project, and one gets a mind-ripping ride through the governmental soul-grinder. One probably won’t wind up in the secret gulags in Serbia — give that a few more years — but it’s nonetheless a mess. The experience immensely screws up one’s life. The process is of course time-consuming, nerve-wracking, and expensive. So we all have to ask ourselves at the outset of such a venture, is it worth the risk? Similar episodes have happened in real life more than a few times in the last five years.

So what’s the result? We stop discussing certain topics. Soon we stop thinking about them. This stifling of free speech and thought is adverse to democracy, which depends on new and creative ideas. It is, furthermore, adverse to worthwhile human life.

I had an experience which, if fate had not intervened, might have turned our like the hypothetical example above. Just before the beginning of the war in Iraq, in February 2003, I felt I needed to join others in the fight against the bellicose Bush administration and decided to join Peace Fresno. So I drove down from my place in the Sierra foothills to PF’s Van Ness address near downtown Fresno, California, and waited outside. I got there quite early, and just a little after I arrived, another member pulled up to the curb and got out of his car. He was a large, well built man in his mid to late twenties, and he introduced himself to me as Aaron Stokes. Aaron and I had quite a long conversation about Peace Fresno and the rallies and actions the group sponsored. As I look back on it with 20-20 hindsight, it occurs to me Aaron had a rather pat story to explain his background, and he didn’t seem very emotionally involved. But I’m a trusting person and did not become suspicious. I was quite angry about the imminent war, and I vented quite a bit. A few months later, I saw Aaron’s photo in the Fresno Bee. He had been killed in a motorcycle accident. Of course, Aaron’s untimely death was quite unfortunate. But the upshot is that the story in the Bee revealed that his name was not Aaron Stokes, but Aaron Kilner, and he was an officer with the Fresno County Sheriff’s Department. Peace Fresno did some investigating and discovered that Kilner had been planted in our group as an undercover agent with the local anti-terrorism unit.

I can tell you confidently there were not and are not any terrorists in Peace Fresno. The notion is ridiculous, which is the way Michael Moore portrays it in the episode about PF in Fahrenheit 9/11. We are now and were then just a group of people very concerned about our government’s militaristic foreign policy. One can imagine the chilling effect discovering this illegal surveillance had on us. We believed we had nothing to hide. We were simply exercising our constitutional rights, and I do not believe that the government had any reason to believe we had anything to do with terrorism. We are and were as opposed to terrorism as the government, if not more so. (Indeed one has to question how opposed to terrorism the Bush administration truly is. They have after all greatly benefited from it.) Nonetheless, our organization was apparently considered a threat, and we were infiltrated. I can tell you that I spent more than a little time trying to recall just what I had said to Aaron and wondering whether he might have written some of it down in some file at the Sheriff’s Department with my name on it. There was no warrant for this infiltration, and the sheriff at first lied and said it never happened. They admitted the truth only when they were finally cornered. This example shows quite clearly how irrational and, yes, even paranoid government can be.

The Constitution, with its first and fourth amendments, supposedly protects our right to assemble and redress our grievances against the government and to do so with a reasonable expectation of privacy. If the Fresno County Sheriff’s Department had a decent respect for true democracy, they probably never would have suspected Peace Fresno of being capable of somehow supporting terrorism; and even if they had reason to suspect us, they would have presented just cause to a judge in order to obtain a warrant.

Democracy is about being who one wants to be, living life as one wants to live it, without governmental interference, as long as one causes no harm to others. Democratic government must be about nurturing and protecting this natural human spirit of freedom. Our government is doing just the opposite.

Oh, I almost forgot: we’re in a war now. That’s the big excuse for the snooping, the torture, the secret prisons, and the secrecy of our government. The world is different now after 9-11. Well, what in hell are we fighting for if not to protect our way of life and the freedoms supposedly guaranteed to us in the Constitution? If not to keep our way of life the way it was before 9-11? Just to protect our sorry carcasses? Apparently so, since we’ve become about as bad as the alleged terrorists we’re fighting. After all, in our name our government has killed and maimed a hell of a lot more innocent people than the alleged terrorists have done.

It seems to me we have pretty much abrogated our freedoms and acquiesced to dictatorship. While retaining the empty symbolism of democracy, the YBWs have given up on democracy; they have given up on freedom; they have given up on liberty; they have turned these concepts into pretty but empty words, which might as well be from some ancient runic language, and exchanged their substance for what Gore Vidal calls a national security state, which is merely another name for fascism. The YBWs have exchanged our liberty, as Franklin put it, for mere security; and soon all of us — because of the pusillanimous YBWs — shall enjoy neither freedom nor security.

And make no mistake: President Bush sees himself as a dictator. Moreover, he thinks it is just and right that he is a dictator. He certainly doesn’t use the label fascism, but his nearly every action screams FASCISM. The president has no qualms about it. He is not a reflective man. I very much doubt that — even though he possesses degrees from Yale and Harvard — that he has ever read Orwell’s Animal Farm or 1984 or that, even if he had read them, he has the capacity to see himself in them. He has after all placed himself above the law, and he is perfectly sanguine about doing so. He has appended a signing statement to nearly every bill he has signed into law — about 750 laws so far — which states quite simply that he — King George the Unread — will not be subject to said law if he — in all his great wisdom — sees a good reason not to be subject to it. This gives the president great freedom, great liberty — freedom and liberty which he has stolen from us. He is the unitary executive. And quite a little unit he is indeed. He is king, dictator, emperor, judge, jury, and executioner. The YBWs have made him so.

There is no more democracy. We still vote but it is palpably obvious that the vote is all but openly manipulated. Anyone who cares to investigate knows pretty well how the manipulation can be done. A detailed analysis was recently published by the Government Accounting Office. Moreover, there is plenty of evidence that it has been done and continues to be done. Unfortunately the corporate press will not investigate and analyze the question.

I am convinced, as are many others, that the vote has been hacked in the last three national elections. Nevertheless, there are apparently enough YBWs around to confuse the issue and keep it in doubt, providing camouflage to these criminals who have hamstrung our nation and now feed upon its supine but living corpse like a flock of dusky knobby-headed vultures.

I’ve got a little suggestion for George and his YBWs. They are the un-Americans. They have often called people like me un-American and suggested we should emigrate. They are the ones that need to pack it in and move it on out. The YBWs and their beloved W need to get their sorry loser asses outta here. We need to have a massive immigration problem (legal or illegal — I don’t care which) of YBWs boarding cruise liners and yachts and sailing away forever. I’m sure Rush Limbaugh or Anne Coulter or Sean Hannity would be quite willing to part with a few of their many millions and pay the fares of hundreds of dumb-as-dirt flag-swisher YBWs who believe in the neocon myth even though they couldn’t pay for the chicken a la King George at any of Dubya’s high priced campaign dinners.

Good riddance to these hominids who hijacked Old Glory and painted a big black swastika on her. They condemn flag-burning, but by waving our flag in their cause, they destroy her more completely than any fire could do. With these sleazy carpetbaggers and their enablers gone, this nation can finally go about its natural business of realizing the dream of democracy.


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