Nation: Lies, Injustice,
And The American Empire’s Way
By Jason Miller
14 August, 2006
good patriots, we are at war with Islam, Socialism, Communism, drugs,
crime, illegal immigration, Gays, labor unions, liberal university professors,
peace activists, environmentalists, Anti-Semites, secular humanists,
and all those who pose a threat to the United States. Each of these
groups shares culpability for the terrorism which has killed several
thousand of US, British, Spanish, and Israeli citizens since 2001. They
are a cancer upon the American Way and must be excised. Freedom and
liberty will prevail despite their onslaught of evil.
Suspension of civil liberties,
concentration of power into the hands of the Executive branch, slaughtering
hundreds of thousands of innocents civilians, collective punishment
of millions through wanton destruction of infrastructure, widespread
dissemination of depleted uranium, reduction of wasteful spending on
“useless eaters” via massive cuts in entitlement spending,
ongoing ethnic cleansing in Gaza and the West Bank, torture, denial
of justice to “enemy combatants”, massive tax cuts to the
wealthy, obscene increases in defense spending, propaganda blitzes to
keep the public believing horrendous lies, preemptive war, reduced government
restriction of corporate exploitation of humans and the environment,
and continued neocolonial expansion are all essential to the United
States fulfilling its Manifest Destiny and ending the terrorist threat.
Remember, they hate our freedom.
A pleasant fiction indeed
for the United States’ ruling elite and their loyal supporters
who violently reject challenges to their hubristic and fanatical devotion
to American Exceptionalism and entitlement.
Yet for those of us who prefer
reality, the burning question arises. Who are the real terrorists?
Are they the relative handful
of militants (amongst the billions of oppressed people around the globe)
who are ready to sacrifice their lives to strike at the deeply corrupt
machinations of the socioeconomic system which supports a few wealthy
elites ruling the United States, Israel and their sycophants (i.e. Great
Britain, Saudi Arabia)? Osama bin Laden, the face of “terrorism”
in the minds of many Westerners, has repeatedly stated that Al Qaeda
will end its violent actions if the United States withdraws its military
from the Middle East and ends its support of Israel. Reasonable demands,
actually, when one considers the millions of Arabs, Persians, and others
indigenous to that region who have suffered or died as a result of Western
intervention in the Middle East.
That is not to say that the
murder of civilians by groups opposing the United States and Israel
are justified. They are heinous war crimes. The perpetrators deserve
to be punished to the extent of international law. When they target
the military of their oppressors and occupiers, these groups are waging
a just cause, but killing innocent human beings is despicable and evil.
Ideally Middle Eastern resistance would take the form of non-violence
in the tradition of Gandhi, but the “coalition of the willing”
has given their victims little choice but to fight or die.
To recognize the terror with
which the human race needs to be more concerned, we need to shed the
corporate media propaganda and look beyond the fairly small groups of
determined, enraged individuals who have only demonstrated the capacity
to kill relatively small numbers of the “good guys” in the
West. Real terror emanates from the power wielded by Western ruling
elites by virtue of their wealth, potent militaries, and indoctrinated
Can you say economic
Consider the staggering fact
that the United States its fellow Western powers represent 25% of the
world’s population yet consume 75% of the world’s resources.
Thanks to this gross disproportionality, three billion human beings
survive on less than $2 per day. And 1.3 billion subsist on less than
ONE DOLLAR. The income of the wealthiest 1% of the world’s population
equals that of the poorest 57%. 3 billion people lack access to sanitation
while 2 billion have no electricity. Free trade agreements, multinational
corporate exploitation, oppressive lending terms imposed by the World
Bank, and support of corporate friendly authoritarian leaders who defy
the interests of their own people ensure that these conditions persist.
Half of the planet exists
on $730 per year and Western economic analysts were wringing their hands
over the economic impact the recent alleged terror plot in London would
have on the airline industry.
How about nuclear
The same oligarchs, corporate
elite, dictators, and plutocrats who hoard the Earth’s bounty
(to the extreme detriment of billions of human beings) also have their
fingers poised to activate the ultimate weapons of mass destruction.
Possessing enough nuclear firepower to destroy the world thousands of
times over the “benevolent” United States is the only nation
to have deployed nuclear weapons against human beings. Nearly 200,000
Japanese died as a result of US nuclear terror. (And I personally almost
vomited when I recently visited the Truman Library and saw the marble
placard thanking Harry Truman for making the decision to drop the bombs
on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.) What more profound terror could an individual
or group have at their disposal than the power to destroy the world
And what about the
terrorism inherent in imperial expansion?
Dating back to its founding
and contradicting to its self-professed devotion to truth, justice,
democracy, and so on, the United States has followed the examples of
the Western European colonial powers from which it sprang. Eradicating
90% of the Native American population to “acquire” their
land; enslaving the Black race; annexing Hawaii; taking half of Mexico
by force; slaughtering 600,000 “heathen” Filipinos; subjugating
Cuba; killing three million Vietnamese; extinguishing the lives of hundreds
of thousands of civilians in various Latin American nations; enabling
Israel’s imperial conquest of Palestine; and annihilating millions
of Iraqis via the Gulf War, UN sanctions throughout the 90’s,
and the current illegal occupation have made the United States the empire
it is today.
Click the link below to see
examples of profound human suffering stemming from United States sponsored
In contrasting the moral
calculus of the Western ruling elite (led by the United States) with
that of the “terrorists”, it is critical to remember two
other crucial points:
1. Groups such as Hamas and
Hezbollah have successfully provided life-sustaining social services
to Palestinians and Lebanese citizens who were wallowing in the misery
of abject poverty caused by Israel and the United States. In the United
States, the Bush Regime has significantly diminished social services
in favor of increased militarization. To add a bit of perspective, the
wealthiest country in the world has the largest wealth gap amongst industrialized
nations, 13% of its population lives in poverty, and 3 million of its
people are homeless. (And that is with some of the federal safety net
2. Militants waging attacks on Western civilians emerged as reactionary
forces in the face of Western oppression and imperialism. United States
and Western military aggression existed long before the so-called “terrorists”
came to be.
Consider an excerpt from
an ABC Television interview with University of Chicago Professor Robert
Pape, who has engaged in in-depth studies of 462 separate suicide bombings
occurring around the world. Pape stated:
There's a faulty premise
in the current strategy on the war on terrorism. That faulty premise
is that suicide terrorism and al- Qaida suicide terrorism in particular
is mainly driven by an evil ideology Islamic fundamentalism independent
of other circumstances.
However, the facts are that
since 1980, suicide terrorist attacks from around the world over half
have been secular. What over 95% of suicide attacks around the world
[are about] is not religion, but a specific strategic purpose - to compel
modern democracies to withdraw military forces from the territory that
the terrorists view as their homeland or prize greatly and this is,
in fact, a centrepiece of al-Qaida's strategic logic, which is to compel
the United States and western countries to abandon military commitments
on the Arabian peninsula.
Terror nation? Here?
Yes ladies and gentlemen
of the United States, it has happened here. We live in a fascist state
that inflicts terror on billions of human beings. Terror
Nation….Notes from the Perimeter, the latest book
by Mike Palecek, offers us a glimpse of the future potentially awaiting
those of us in the United States who pose a threat to corporate and
And Mr. Palecek would know.
He experienced a first-hand blow from the velvet-gloved iron fist of
the ruling elite of the United States. As a home-grown “terrorist”,
he was remanded to the prison industrial complex for his activism against
nuclear weapons in the 1980’s.
In Terror Nation, Palecek
weaves a fascinating and frightening tale of Charles Johnson, a retired
Iowa journalist placed in a psychiatric hospital converted into a federal
holding facility for dissidents. His “crime”? Writing "seditious"
letters to the editor of the local newspaper.
Through the course of the
novel, one learns that an underground resistance called the White Sox
has emerged to engage government loyalists (called Red Sox) in civil
war. Torn between believing the lie that he is a mentally unstable psychiatric
patient and the reality that he is a political prisoner, Johnson ultimately
learns that the White Sox view him as their intellectual inspiration
and intend to rescue him.
Fraught with ironic twists,
interestingly unique characters, drama and action, Terror Nation is
both entertaining and thought-provoking. Palecek reminds us that the
United States is not the historical anomaly we US Americans have been
programmed to believe it is. Like it or not, we are an empire. Empires
are built and maintained through rape, pillage, and plunder. And those
holding the wealth, power, and prestige in our nation are as capable
of ruthless abuses against their own citizens as they have proven themselves
to be against the wretched victims of their foreign policy.
Many dismiss predictions
of concentration camps in the United States as wild conspiracy theories.
However, if the buffer of the middle class essentially disappears (as
it appears to be doing), “entitlement” programs are jettisoned,
and the “sacred” lie that US Americans live in a “classless”
society with unlimited potential for economic mobility finally falls
prey to the truth, We the People will feel enough pain that the seeds
of revolution will germinate. And when they do, the ruling elite will
protect their interests by any means necessary.
Let’s hope humanity
and reason prevail before the elite get the opportunity to employ their
ruthless means to a greater extent than they already have. Terror Nation
is an excellent tale, but would be an ugly prognostication.
Jason Miller is a 39 year
old sociopolitical essayist with a degree in liberal arts and an extensive
self-education (derived from an insatiable appetite for reading). He
is a member of Amnesty International and an avid supporter of Oxfam
International and Human Rights Watch. He welcomes responses at firstname.lastname@example.org
or comments on his blog, Thomas Paine's Corner, at http://civillibertarian.blogspot.com/.