Felo De Se: Fealty
To A Moral Abomination
By Jason Miller
17 October, 2006
is a superstition artificially created and maintained through a network
of lies and falsehoods; a superstition that robs man of his self-respect
and dignity, and increases his arrogance and conceit."
Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez had the sheer audacity to stand before
the United Nations and deliver an angry diatribe against the enemy of
humanity. Dispensing with mealy-mouthed pleasantries, he verbally savaged
Bush in his fiery oration. Chavez knows an abhorrent war criminal when
he sees one and he isn’t one to mince words or use polite euphemisms.
George Bush had addressed
the assembly the previous day with an incredibly disingenuous monologue
loaded with platitudes and Orwellian Doublespeak Admittedly, with his
credibility around the world and uncanny capacity to articulate in an
intelligent manner, Bush was a tough act to follow at the UN. But somehow,
He made a few choice observations:
"The devil came here
yesterday. And it smells of sulfur still today."
Bush may not actually be
the devil, but he certainly qualifies as one of his Earthly agents.
And Chavez may very well have been smelled residual sulfur fumes which
had emanated from Satan himself. It is a virtual certainty that Lucifer
was present for Bush’s virtuoso performance on 9/19. How could
he have resisted watching his favorite sociopath’s attempt to
beguile listeners into believing he is pursuing noble causes?
Chavez went on to assert:
"As the spokesman of
imperialism, he came to share his nostrums to try to preserve the current
pattern of domination, exploitation and pillage of the peoples of the
world. An Alfred Hitchcock movie could use it as a scenario. I would
even propose a title: 'The Devil's Recipe.' "
Underscoring his blasphemy
against the predatory capitalism inflicted on the world by the economic
and military titan “affectionately” known as the American
Empire, the champion of humane social democracy waved a copy of Hegemony
or Survival by Noam Chomsky, a vehement domestic critic of the United
States political and economic systems.
Chavez also noted that Bush
“stole the elections” and “is, therefore, a dictator.”
Tough point to argue given
that Bush came to power via two bloodless coups, one engineered by Katherine
Harris and the other by Diebold.
In the aftermath of Chavez’s
blistering verbal attacks on US imperialists and the miscreant conducting
their symphony of the macabre, “patriots” emerged to defend
“our president”. Given the overt fascism and aggressive
militarism emerging in the United States, it is almost inconceivable
that such a regime would continue to enjoy popular support. Yet economic
tyranny, consumerism, and relentless pressure to conform to the American
Way are so powerful that many US Americans have sold their very souls
by offering their voluntary complicity in the subjugation, exploitation,
and (in some instances) extermination of billions of human beings around
And some of these “patriots”
originate from some surprising segments of the United States’
New York Democrat Charles
Rangel, a member of the treasonous US Congress which has enabled the
Bush administration in its steady march toward becoming a tyrannical
regime, took serious umbrage to Chavez’s remarks:
"You don't come into
my country; you don't come into my congressional district and you don't
condemn my president…"
How telling that a member
of the opposition party in a self-proclaimed “democratic nation”
would publicly support a war criminal and characterize him as “my
He may be a ruthless potentate,
but he is OUR ruthless potentate. And don’t you dare criticize
George W. Bush!
Sadly, the reality in the
United States is that there is little difference between Republicans
and Democrats. While both parties give ample lip service to meeting
the needs of the working class and the poor, most of the Duopoly’s
“elected” officials zealously devote themselves to advancing
the interests of their corporate and aristocratic patrons.
Some might defend Rangel’s
remarks as evidence of his “patriotism” or allegiance to
his nation. Yet the virulent nationalism that has swept the United States
since 9/11 is not a healthy loyalty to fellow countrymen. “Patriotism”
in the United States today is a symptom of the rapidly spreading malignancy
of fascism. Sadly, being a “patriot” in the United States
requires one to support egregious crimes against humanity, domestically
Consider James Bryce’s
thoughts on patriotism:
"Our country is not
the only thing to which we owe our allegiance. It is also owed to justice
and to humanity. Patriotism consists not in waving the flag, but in
striving that our country shall be righteous as well as strong."
Given its economic might
and obsession with militarism, the United States is certainly strong.
But righteous? While she may be 305 feet of towering nobility, Lady
Liberty is up to her eyeballs in the fetid fecal matter ceaselessly
flowing from the bowels of an empire built on economic oppression, genocide,
bellicosity, racism, and the pernicious lie known as the American Dream.
Even some of the most oppressed
people in history have succumbed to this infection of pathological “patriotism”.
A group of indigenous people in Alaska recently refused Chavez’s
offer of free heating oil.(1) Facing 25% unemployment rates, winter
temperatures as low as minus 15 Fahrenheit, and heating bills of $300.00
per month, these psychologically enslaved individuals rejected Venezuela’s
assistance because Chavez insulted George Bush.
Bear in mind that these are
people descended from victims of genocide waged by the predecessors
of Bush and the members of his regime. Despite surviving the attempted
extermination, these Native Americans face significant structural barriers
to overcoming perpetual poverty, including years of under-education
Yet Justine Gunderson of
the tribal council for the Aleuts in Nelson Lagoon is convinced that
they “did the right thing” by choosing to suffer to defend
a war criminal’s “honor”:
"As a citizen of this
country, you can have your own opinion of our president and our country.
But I don't want a foreigner coming in here and bashing us. Even though
we're in economically dire straits, it was the right choice to make."
Dimitri Philemonof, another
leader in the Aleutian community, further exhibited the efficacy of
the US corporate propaganda mill when he opined:
"I think we have some
duty to our country, and I think it's loyalty."
Many of those Justine and
Dimitri represent have been doomed to the misery of chronic poverty
by years of institutionalized racism. Yet they live in a state inundated
with the oil for which they pay such an outrageous price. And they have
chosen to forsake their own well-being out of loyalty to the guardians
of a rapacious economic system principally dominated by wealthy White
elites. The same elites who tenaciously strive to ensure that the poor
and minorities continue to wallow in wretchedness. At least they can
still wave the Stars and Stripes with pride.
Hugo Chavez embodies nearly
everything the working class and poor in the United States have been
indoctrinated to fear, hate and ridicule. Like Evo Morales in Bolivia,
he champions indigenous poverty-stricken people and their long unfulfilled
needs. Both men are on the cutting edge of a South American political
revolution in which the people are wresting power and resources away
from corporations and the minority wealthy elite. Morales’ administration
is in its infancy, but Chavez has had time to deliver free health care,
free education, and food at subsidized prices to many of the staggering
numbers of Venezuelans who had been living in abject poverty in a nation
flush with huge reserves of precious petroleum (2).
Meanwhile, in the United
States, Bush and his accomplices have persistently striven to replace
a constitutional republic with a fascist regime. Invading and occupying
a nation that posed no viable threat the United States and had no connection
with 9/11, exterminating an estimated 655,000 innocent Iraqis (3), legalizing
torture, staging fraudulent elections, jettisoning the Constitution
and legal principles from the Magna Carta, and consistently advancing
the interests of the super rich at the expense of the working class
and vulnerable members of society (4,5,6,7) qualify the US government
as a fascist regime.
In Bush’s “ownership
society”, a relatively tiny slice of the population does most
of the owning (8). Lulled into a dogmatic slumber, many US Americans
are content to fulfill the roles of obedient workers and consumers.
Bread and circuses, the idealization of “go it alone, rugged individualism”
personified by cultural icons like the Marlboro Man, and the perpetuation
of the delusion that their nation is a meritocracy serve to cripple
the minds and consciences of many citizens of the United States.
Thus those leaders (like
Chavez) who fight for the poor and oppressed are treated as threats
and pariahs, champions of the privileged elite like Reagan are enshrined
in the pantheon of American politics, and malefactors in the Bush Regime
garner enough support to continue perpetrating their heinous crimes.
Thomas Paine penned these
words in The American Crisis:
"These are times that
try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will,
in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country…Tyranny,
like hell, is not easily conquered…”
Today’s American Crisis?
These are the times that enslave men’s souls. And the hell of
the Bush Regime will not be easily conquered.
Tragically, many spiritually
shackled US Americans remain blissfully ignorant of their bondage. And
a myriad of myths and distractions shield them from awareness of (or
concern for) their complicity in the United States’ over-consumption
that threatens the perpetuation of life on Earth (9), genocide (10,11),
and campaigns of mass murder like the one in Vietnam.
manipulation has armed the US ruling elite with a vast army of “patriots”
eagerly submitting to the yoke of economic subjugation and enabling
governments like the Bush Regime to inflict abject misery upon hundreds
of millions of human beings.
The staggering 43% of US
Americans who still embrace a tyrant who has unleashed hell upon the
world with impunity (12) are a testament to the power of the siren call
to be a “patriot” in the United States.
If the melodious strains
of Orpheus’ lyre don’t captivate more listeners soon, the
ship of humanity may be doomed to share a watery grave with mythological
is a wage slave of the American Empire who has freed himself intellectually
and spiritually. He writes prolifically, his essays have appeared widely
on the Internet, and he volunteers at a homeless shelter. He welcomes
constructive correspondence at firstname.lastname@example.org
or via his blog, Thomas Paine's Corner, at http://civillibertarian.blogspot.com/.
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