An Editorial 02/Feb/97
In recent years this nation has been accosted by some of its own citizens whose profession is that they are loyal Americans. Accusations from all sides are common and much of our current turmoil is being blamed on various "right-wing" or "separatist" groups. Sometimes the trouble is blamed on "white supremacists" even when it is not from them. Certainly none of us like to be bombed. None of us like to have our secure places tampered with, and all sides might be doing a little tampering with the other, but, considering the troublous times we have entered, it would be well for us to take a look at some facts in regards to these times.
Not long ago, this nation was in the midst of a cold war with the Soviet Union. From time to time, news stories were published reporting how this group or that within certain "totalitarian" countries were fighting their governments. One's heart might swell with pride as one considered the heroic efforts put forth by these "freedom fighters" to try and overthrow their communist "dictators" so that they might have a nice democracy as we do.
Now that we find some of this unrest in our own country, we have renamed the "freedom fighters" domestic terrorists or criminals. This is precisely what the communist countries did when confronted with citizens who resisted their authority. One can see, if he has eyes, that something is happening in our nation and we should be at attention to what that is.
One can understand that criminals must be disciplined for the safety of a society. If this nation did not have this discipline, it would eventually be overrun with crime and corruption. There would be anarchy, and the only law would be to steal what one can and kill who one can. Considering this, it must be noted that when one fights in a war it is not considered criminal.
When one wages war it changes the context of crime. For instance, are American soldiers held accountable when they bomb a foreign target? Would that bombing be considered against that nation's laws? Surely, it would be considered a crime when someone takes what is not his. If an American soldier confiscated $1,000,000 of the enemy's money, would he be jailed for robbery? No, he would not. He might even be considered a hero.
Now we have a situation where some American citizens are considered criminals for doing exactly as an American soldier would do if he were fighting an enemy. Yet, are Americans considered outlaws when they are sent as spies and launch clandestine missions on foreign soil to cause unrest and confusion in nations who oppose us?
The fighting of war has changed through the centuries. During the American Revolution, Americans were not only considered criminals for rebellion against the crown, but their methods of waging war were considered below human dignity. The British were accustomed to facing their enemies like a man. They would stand out in the open and fight bravely. The Americans would be "cowardly", hiding behind rocks and trees. Americans were forced to use those techniques, however, because of their weaker position militarily.
These days, we accuse those who bomb us of cowardice because they sneak in and bomb innocent civilian targets. We little regard our actions in Iraq on the same level. Hundreds and thousands of civilians including children have been killed by our military or our policies in Iraq, but let an enemy of our government bomb a building and they are classed with the cowardly and terrorists. It is not considered that they must use these means because, as in the American Revolution, the citizens are so overpowered militarily.
It is well for us to think about what is happening. When citizens feel dispossessed by their own government, they lose their loyalty and essentially form their own government. This is happening with some of our citizens today. The rebellion that some are feeling, the discontent that is being expressed cannot simply be dismissed as acts of right-wing terrorism or acts of criminals. We do this to our own peril.
What we are seeing is a revolution in the making. This cannot be put down by counterrevolutionary measures. This has never worked in the past, except temporarily, and it won't work now. When a government is being attacked by its own citizens, it is time to listen to those citizens and understand what the problems are. No government has ever been attacked by its citizens while that government was serving them. Governments are only attacked by their citizens when those citizens are experiencing oppression and are being dispossessed. When citizens feel stolen from, they set out to set things right.
So, what has happened? In our nation today there has been set upon the citizenry laws, commandments and regulations that virtually enforces the way a man urinates. Money and investments are the sacred cow of this age and the many regulations supporting that sacred cow has left many of our citizens literally homeless. One example of this is when a man with small means seeks to build himself a simple home with his own hands for himself and his family, the laws concerning building sometimes shut him out. If he builds a home without the necessary papers and permits, he is considered criminal and fined hundreds of dollars if he is caught.
It may be a surprise to some in this country that there are some people who do not think money is the most important thing in their life. They value family time and the simpler things. They enjoy the freedom to build, plant and exercise their God-given rights as human beings without incurring debt and making themselves dependent on others so that they might "pay their bills". Some of these citizens are feeling that the only way to protect their freedoms is to "fight for freedom." Is not this what they were taught in school? The only way they can fight is to blow something up. Is not that what they were taught in the armed services?
Our society today little considers the solution. To allow some folks to live according to their understanding of values is anathema to many Americans if those values cause them to lose money or property value or if they cannot be considered "under control". We will allow a woman to destroy her unborn child because of so-called rights, but we will not cancel building permits for those who feel they don't want them. We will not allow them to build a shack if it does not conform to the code. After all, they must be protected; the house may fall on their head. It is little considered that the individuals themselves have the greatest investment in their own safety. We will not let them live in a shack - even if that is their choice if it makes our own house look bad. Instead, they are relegated to the ranks of the renters. While this suits the wealthy just fine, the slave is not so pleased with the situation.
I, personally, consider that taking up bombs to fight the government is unworkable. Killing people does not finally solve the problem. Equally true, the government of the United States will not forestall its demise unless it is willing to make accommodations for those who are not ready to worship money, force and make-believe. All men should be able to live out their own lives according to their consciences. If this is not permitted, our government and our nation will fall and there will be more bombs.
These problems are not concerning the "poor" only. Many Americans who are upper or middle class work hard and earn good money only to have much of it siphoned off by numerous taxes, interest and other extra expenses of life forced upon them. The taxes and interest imposed on almost every possession drains off most of their living into a very large and bottomless pit. Their success financially is only realized if they can oppress and take advantage of others as they have been oppressed.
Right now in this nation there is a vast army of "enemies." Many of them are armed. They wait for the time when they can unleash their fury against those they feel have oppressed them. Would it not be best for our leadership to come to terms with this rather than simply naming it terrorism? Would it not be best for our country to take these citizens seriously rather than simply calling them criminal? Has not history taught us these things?
The Branch Davidians may not have been all right. Perhaps their leader was somewhat immoral. We don't know this for sure. We can only make a judgment by what we have been told by government officials or the news media. But, only in the mind of a despot could there be justification for the way those people were dealt with by Americans. Attacking that little compound with military armaments, especially considering the young children inside, was only inviting the wrath of those sensitive to true human dignity.
When citizens reach out to throw off their chains, there are always some who will protest because that action may affect their property values or some other financial consideration. In Egypt, Pharaoh had these same concerns. But let us not be as stupid as Pharaoh. When men want to throw off their chains, they will throw off their chains and the best thing Pharaoh might do is to let them throw them off, otherwise, he and all his chariots will go to the bottom.
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