Posted 5:30 P.M. MDT 9/14/01
The body count in New York climbed toward five thousand yesterday as rescuers at the World Trade Center dig through a surreal landscape of concrete rubble, twisted steel and mountains of debris. Television and the internet abound with images of devastation never witnessed on American soil. Often comparisons are made to "the movies" as witnesses struggle to describe the events they witnessed on Tuesday morning. Truly, the carnage was more horrible than the most vivid fictional scenario and the most advanced special effects could create. Truly, America and the world has entered a new reality.
This new reality carries with it its own ironies -- like this American tourist pictured at the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace in London, weeping as the palace guard play "Star Spangled Banner" in honor of the United States. The U.S. national anthem was written during the war of 1812 when British terrorists invaded Washington, D.C. and burned the White House and the Capitol building. It is a symbol of America's early struggle to escape the controls and intrigues of the old world -- a struggle that was lost and forgotten in the last century when the U.S. entered two world wars, becoming itself the driving force in the system of international intrigue. Now, as another world war opens before us, with others fighting to escape the clutches of control and exploitation, all Americans can do is cry, parrot meaningless slogans and wave their flag. They can no longer reason from cause to effect.
Leonard Peikoff, in his book Ominous Parallels describes this as a subjective mind-set -- one based on sentiment and emotion as opposed to an objective mind-set -- one based on reason. Americans live in a land of make-believe -- willing slaves to their television and movie screens that program their thoughts and values for them. They are immersed in their subjectivity, just as the German people were when Hitler came to power. Hitler offered his people bread or guns, and they cried for guns. So it is today. Americans are being primed for their destruction by the false messiah in their government offering to avenge them of their enemies and provide them with security.
The media is performing its key role of charging the public consciousness with emotion over this event. Little or no objective coverage has been given to the possible motivations behind the attack, only that it occurred because the U.S. is "the brightest beacon for freedom and opportunity in the world." This disaster has given such propaganda a new credibility that shouts down voices of reason and dissent. Suddenly, we find ourselves in a new political climate where "hate speech" now includes those who point out that America has reaped what she has sown. Idealism, long enshrined in the conservative movement and other movements as well, has been engulfed in the prevailing sentiment like a cloud of debris covering lower Manhattan.
In his book The Devils of Loudon, Aldous Huxley made the following observation about the American media so suitable to our time. He wrote:
Assemble a mob of men and women previously conditioned by a daily reading of the newspapers; treat them to amplified band music, bright lights...and in next to no time you can reduce them to a state of almost mindless subhumanity. Never before have so few been in a position to make fools, maniacs, or criminals of so many.
"This is not a time to bring people to justice," declared Senator Rick Santorum on the Senate floor. "It is a time to wage war and win a war."
"The word 'war' was on the lips of many lawmakers, who either called the attacks an act of war on the United States or called on Congress to declare a war of its own. 'America came face to face with undisguised evil,' said Rep. Nick Smith, R-Mich. 'These acts of war may have bloodied America, but America will remain unbowed.' 'There is no such thing as a measured response to this horrific attack,' said Rep. Shelley Berkley, D-Nev. 'This act of war will be avenged.'" (AP, 9-12-01)
And, of course, we need a face to focus our hate on. We can't go to war without a villain to bomb, and the villain for this war is Osama bin Laden. He is the "mastermind", the "kingpin of terror", public enemy number one and the cause of all our sufferings, or so they say. He is the Saddam of the next war. We will retaliate against "Osama" and get "him." In the Gulf War when we went to war against "Saddam" we killed over 200,000 Iraqis in Desert Storm. Saddam is still in fine health. But Americans are simple people and need a sandbox version of foreign affairs so they will support their government's wholesale slaughter of defenseless people abroad.
The sheer horror of the New York disaster has silenced the voices of political dissent. For example, for a number of weeks water rights protesters in Oregon have held demonstrations protesting the federal government's water policies in the Klamath Basin. The words "tyranny" and "eco-terrorism" were frequently invoked against the government during their rallies, but immediately following the terrorist attack they canceled all protests so as not to "distract the government from dealing with terrorism."
Bob Shultz of We The People Foundation had gone on a hunger strike to protest the government's refusal to address discrepancies in the federal income tax code. He obtained a hearing with a congressman and Justice officials, but abruptly called it off after the terrorist attack so as not to "hinder, in any way, the government's response to the terrorist attacks or to be perceived as a source of divisiveness during this critical hour for our nation," according to his press release.
This terrorist attack destroyed more than we think it did. It collapsed the conservative, right-wing facade and revealed its hollow interior. Suddenly "tyranny" isn't so bad now. In less than a day most of these advocates of "limited government" were calling for a holy war of vengeance against Osama, his supporters -- anyone -- though they aren't sure who that will be yet. In their blind, patriotic fervor they are supporting the hands of tyrants and murderers they so recently protested against. They have joined the President in calling for a day of national unity and prayer, but not a day of repentance. God will not hear them.
Recently Rex Babin, a cartoon artist for the Sacramento Bee, incurred the wrath of the new politically correct with his poignant portrayal of the cause and effect relationship between Tuesday's terrorist attack and America's adventures abroad. The cartoon was based on a famous Vietnam-era photo of Kim Phuc -- a nine year old girl who had just been burned in a napalm attack -- with the collapsing World Trade Center in the background. The cartoonist was castigated by WorldNetDaily who published calls for his dismisal. It seems that many conservatives and Vietnam veterans were offended because Kim Phuc was burned in a South Vietnamese napalm attack -- not an American one. Never mind that South Vietnam was an American proxy, armed, financed, and supported by the United States. Never mind that Babin intended to portray the suffering of all children in U.S. sponsored terror attacks, and the ultimate price we have to pay at home for our foreign policy. No, most Americans, including conservatives and their high-minded ideals about free speech and all, have been transformed by the prevailing sentiment into a "mob of fools, maniacs, and criminals" -- as Huxley would put it.
As we all know, the news media is beating the drum for "greater security". As the dust from the twin WTC towers was settling, NBC Anchor Tom Brokaw said, "We are a free and open society and as we can see today some of those liberties will have to be revisited."
Will anyone consider that the 1990 Aviation Security Improvement Act and President Clinton's "domestic security" initiative didn't stop four airliners from being hijacked on Tuesday? Neither did mandatory photo ID before boarding and airline passenger profiling, even though the hijackers matched government profiles. On September 13 Newsweek quoted an unnamed government official as saying, "If someone really wants to kill himself in order to blow up a building here, there is no level of sustainable security in this country that could prevent it. We just aren't equipped to handle it. It is beyond us psychologically. And the citizens of this country are not willing to tolerate the lack of freedom that this level of security would mean." If more security measures won't make us safe, then why are they being proposed?
"Major internet service providers (ISPs) in the United States said Thursday they are cooperating with federal authorities in the investigation of Tuesday's terrorist attacks on New York and Washington," reads an email alert from CNN.
"As much as I don't like the intrusive nature of online surveillance technology, I really want to find the guys who did this," a security director at a mid-sized Internet access provider was quoted as saying in the Washington Post.
For years the internet has been dominated by a populist culture, suspicious of government oversight and resistant toward government surveillance. All that is changed now. This crisis has provided the golden opportunity for the governing elite to implement the changes they have been seeking to introduce "for our own good" for so long. Now the winds are favorable to their cause. Their previous opponents now come running to them for protection at the first hint of trouble.
"When the president talks about fighting back to protect our freedom, that includes freedom from intrusion into innocent people's lives," Rep. Robert Goodlatte (R-VA) said in an interview with the Washington Post. "We can't have our society go to one of Big Brother."
"But Eva Chung, a 34-year-old from Columbia, who is a mother of two young children, said that after seeing the nightmares of the past few days, Big Brother doesn't sound all that bad. She said she has been grateful for all the additional security measures she's seen introduced in the area recently. Rather than being frightened by the soldiers with machine guns in front of the White House, she said she was glad they were there.
"I am very much for what this country was founded on, freedom and the Bill of Rights and everything. But when it's a matter of people's lives and making sure we all have a nice place to live, then I would definitely give up the privacy part to ensure the other part," Chung said.
Most Americans across the political spectrum have joined together in supporting the war that seems certain to come. Christians will once again "pray for our troops" in support of the antichrist power their Bibles have warned them about. Conservatives will praise and support their government's tyranny abroad -- forgetting their protests against it at home. Suddenly most of society has become complicit in a crime about to be launched against liberties at home and innocents abroad.
This instinctive reflex of man, cultivated for years and now revealed in a crisis, is to run helter-skelter into the arms of this false messiah who proffers protection and help -- for a price. Suddenly every man, regardless of his "world view", is being faced with the reality of his spiritual condition. The world as we have known it is changed forever. The events in the days ahead will prove that. The rhetoric of the past is now revealed for the smoke that it is, and we are faced with our defining moment. The inescapable choice confronts us: will we stand alone, naked and defenseless in the full light of Messiah's coming? Or will we follow our base instinct of self-preservation and run with the others to the rocks and mountains of earthly government for safety and self-justification?
And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand? Rev. 6:15-17
When Will We Learn?
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