Communism Fell, Capitalism Gained. What do we have?

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Photos of the Berlin WallThere is lots of information in the New York Times this morning that can help American veterans get informed, stay informed and act reasonably in a way that supports participative government. First up is how the changing Republican Party affects all of us and here is a piece, an editorial, that speaks to that change.

In this story we read about the "End of History" in 1989 when the existential threat to the West posed by Communism was trumped by the fall of Communism in Germany and the tearing down of the Berlin Wall. We celebrate the 20th anniversary of the fall of the wall today. The story is here.

     

In this story also commemorating the twentieth anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall in Germany we have a man who suffered under communist rule there tell us that what has filled the gap after the demise of communism leaves us wanting. The story is here.

Here is an excerpt from that piece:

"Where does this resurrection of anti-Communism draw its strength from? Why were the old ghosts resuscitated in nations where many young people don’t even remember the Communist times? The new anti-Communism provides a simple answer to the question: "If capitalism is really so much better than Socialism, why are our lives still miserable?"

It is because, many believe, we are not really in capitalism: we do not yet have true democracy but only its deceiving mask, the same dark forces still pull the threads of power, a narrow sect of former Communists disguised as new owners and managers — nothing’s really changed, so we need another purge, the revolution has to be repeated …

What these belated anti-Communists fail to realize is that the image they provide of their society comes uncannily close to the most abused traditional leftist image of capitalism: a society in which formal democracy merely conceals the reign of a wealthy minority. In other words, the newly born anti-Communists don’t get that what they are denouncing as perverted pseudo-capitalism simply is capitalism. "

I could not have said it better myself.

In the Washington Post today we read about the possible connection between an American born, Al Qaeda backing imam who at one time preached here at a mosque in Northern Virginia and the alleged Fort Hood shooter, Major Hasan. It seems Hasan was more than familiar with the imam’s radical support of militant Islam. The story is here.

Now I want to caution everyone who reads this. This involves two native born Americans, not overseas Muslims. These are native sons who may possibly be involved in this. We have to see this as crucial. And this is not unique.

This country has suffered a not-so-subtle anti-Catholicism in its past because there has always been fears from the Protestant majority that the Vatican would offer too much influence here. That anti-Catholic feeling is still here, just much more underground now.

In this case, anti-Muslim feelings against native born Muslims is following that same pattern that Catholics in America know very well. That is very clear to me.

I am very familiar with this part of our history and I see all the signs of a Nativist Movement here that the Catholics had to suffer under in the last part of the 19th Century. Catholics were killed in riots because of a fear that the "dirty Papists" would exert too much control here.

My father’s mother had a favorite uncle killed on the steps of a Catholic church in Philadelphia in the late 19th Century due to anti-Catholic riots in that city. He was going into church for Mass when he was murdered by an anti-Papist mob. Lets be careful not to repeat that here. One Nativist Movement was enough thank you. We do not need another one.

I see the same signs in our culture aimed this time at Muslims. Lets be careful where we tread here. The last thing we need is an anti-Muslim pogrom based on half-baked notions of what native born American Muslims either believe or do not believe.

I know many Muslims personally. Frankly, it is very difficult to categorize them based on ideology or amount of fervor. They run from hard right Republicans to left wing Democrats to everything in between. They run from fervent believers to mildly interested cultural Muslims whose knowledge of Islam is less than mine.

Trust me, they are not easy to pigeon hole on any particular ideological plane. Let us steer clear of sweeping generalizations while at the same time we investigate and find out the real dangers to us. Let us proceed with cool heads. No pogroms please.

In other world news, Hugo Chavez that idiot that runs Venezuela, has told his armed forces to be prepared to go to war with Colombia. That story is here. I actually used to like this guy.

He promised his people so much and then he delivered essentially nothing but fascism camouflaged as socialism camouflaged as nationalism which in turn was camouflaged as the need to throw off the bonds of "foreign oppression". (That would be us.)

This guy is President of one of the wealthiest nations in South America and he has squandered their wealth and impoverished his people for reasons that are still not clear to me. He is an idiot. I hope the Colombians ignore him into meaninglessness.

Get informed and stay informed. The more you know, the more you can contribute to our republic.

An informed veteran is a comfort to his friends and a danger to his adversaries. Help govern this country with an informed and reasoned opinion.

CWO3 Tom Barnes, USCG (Ret.)

 

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