Never mind who poked at the hive and stirred up an angry storm. Those are lessons of blowback for those with memory and perspective.
Right now the reactionary fervor is all that matters. Indeed, it is difficult to focus on much else.
In hindsight, the nation became sick and tired of the wars and the fear over terrorism under the reign of Bush 43. But in the moment, people embraced it – and that’s the danger again.
There is no clear or rational thought under fear of attack.
Under the auspices of retribution for 9/11, George W. Bush and his neocon advisors launched a roaming War on Terror that brought conflict to entire regions, and didn’t blink at bending the rules or trampling on constitutional rights. Spying, surveillance, intimidation, snitching, databasing, airport pat-downs, stop and frisk on the streets and more were all tolerated and even embraced. It was rule by fear.
The narrative didn’t add up, but that didn’t matter until later for most. People began to regret the powers granted via the PATRIOT Act to the NSA and to the executive branch to indefinitely detain anyone they declared an enemy combatant. The slide down the slippery slope was accelerating at a queasy pace.
Today, new threats from ISIS are dragging the United States dangerously close to this point again.
The one-man show that is Donald Trump, who quickly made a mockery of the GOP primary, is calling for databases and surveillance of all Muslim immigrants. Other GOP candidates are making similar proposals, eager to look toughest on this unfortunate issue. RT reports:
Donald Trump, running high in polls, proposes cataloging all Muslims living in the United States to ensure they are under constant surveillance.
“I would certainly implement that [keeping a register of Muslims]…absolutely,” Trump told NBC, adding that there are “a lot of systems, beyond databases” that could be implemented. “We should have a lot of systems. And today you can do it,” Trump said, clearly with nod in the direction of the National Security Agency (NSA) and its unprecedented surveillance capabilities.
And though the policies of opening the doors to these “refugees” is deeply flawed – and indeed invites attack from jihadists or foreign enemies – the destruction of civil rights for this group will soon harm those of every American.
It seems that someone, from one party or another, is eager to finish what Bush started, and Obama has quietly continued.
Hillary Clinton is now the only real nominee for the Democratic nomination; she has already sounded off on her plans for tougher policies and new strikes on ISIS and other targets overseas.
Now, one of her top donors, billionaire Haim Saban, has gone on the offensive, literally calling to curb civil liberties in order to meet the perceived threat of attack from ISIS. Mind you, this time, the country hasn’t even been attacked yet:
[B]illionaire entertainment mogul and major party donor Haim Saban, who donated a seven-digit sum to Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, telling news website The Wrap it is high time to reconsider values and put life ahead of civil liberties.
Saban referred to those members of the Hollywood community who are fervently liberal and appear to value civil freedoms more than they value life.
“I disagree with that [liberal view]. You want to be free and dead? I’d rather be not free and alive,” Saban said, adding that at ‘a time of war’, interviewing Muslim refugees and migrants in a more intense way than Christians is acceptable, as well as “listening in on anyone and everybody who looks suspicious.”
If warhawks are pouring millions (and billions) into the Clinton campaign, you can imagine that they probably want a return for their money. None of this bodes well for the next four years… or any foreseeable time afterwards.
If the ‘terrorists hated us for our freedoms’ then, they should have little reason to target us now…
It is no exaggeration to say that the response by the U.S. government to the acts of terrorism, including those on September 11, have done far more destruction to its system of freedom and prosperity than bin Laden, 19 hijackers with box cutters, or drama queens from ISIS ever could.
Brandon Smith of Alt-Market has a great perspective on this – the bait and switch to convince Americans to sell their own birthright and volunteer for their own servitude.
Today, the people of the U.S. are less prosperous in real wealth, in income and in opportunities than at any other time in history. Nearly half of the country is directly dependent on the federal government benefits for day-to-day survival, and the disaster of foreign policy continues to eviscerate the Constitution and bring decline to the American empire – all while the population lives in fear and abject terror of what may come tomorrow.
A new darkness could be closing in.
No jobs, no independence, no freedom, no future – but if the government doesn’t get more power… well, conventional wisdom says it would be better to be enslaved than dead. Others know the wisdom and the strength of Liberty or death.