Truth and Wisdom: The Best Insurance for Protecting our Freedoms.

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UPDATE: Michael Moore

We declare a national emergency in uncovering what really happened on 9/11/2001 through an immediate call for an independent collaborative investigation worldwide. The U.S. government could help us but instead is doing everything it can to stop any investigations into 9/11.

In a Sacred Hoop of Life
Mir Tamim Ansary on Afghanistan
The End of the "End of History"
CIA Karmic Atonement BLOW BACK
Freedom, the Best Insurance Against Terrorism
Think about THIS generation

If the world continues on the course planned by the elite regime, we will be entering a new era, an era reminiscent of the medieval Dark Ages.

Politically, we are returning to absolute tyranny under an elite, centralized regime - every bit as brutal and autocratic as the monarchs and Popes of the medieval period.

Instead of a powerful Church and sacraments, we have a sophisticated media matrix - with the same ability to control people's minds and persuade them to accept their fate.

One of the major differences between the medieval period and globalization's Dark Millennium has to do with economics - the medieval period enjoyed a more or less sustainable and market-based economy, and in it there was a place for everyone.

In Memory: Forgiveness
Honor Mother Earth: Forgiveness

In a Sacred Hoop of Life, where there is no beginning and no ending!

Mitakuye (my relative), In Memory of all peoples who gave their lives, who continue to suffer and die. I, Chief Arvol Looking Horse of the Lakota, Dakota and Nakota Nation, would like to ask for this time for you to understand an Indigenous perspective in reflection of what has happened in America, what we call "Turtle Island".

For the past six years, my work has concentrated on an effort on uniting the Global community, through a message from our sacred ceremonies in recognizing a day of World Peace and Prayer on June 21st as a time to unite spiritually, each in our own ways of beliefs in the Creator. We have been warned from the messages, passed down from Ancient Prophecies of these times we live in today, but also a very important message of a solution to turn these terrible times around.

To assist you in understanding the depth of this message involves the recognition in the importance of Sacred Sites. It is important that you realize the whole interconnectedness of what is happening today, in reflection of the continued massacres that are occurring on other lands and our own Americas. I have been learning about these important issues of Sacred Sites since the age of 12, upon receiving the Sacred White Buffalo Calf Pipe Bundle and it's teachings. Our people have strived to protect Sacred Sites from the beginning of time. There needs to be an understanding in the concern of the protection of Sacred Sites that goes deeper than just the issue of Shrines built by humans. Our people have built similar objects and Shrines to identify and to remind the significance in the power of the Sacred Site. We have also witnessed them being destroyed for many decades, but we also realize it is what is underneath them that is important. These places have been violated for centuries and have brought us to this predicament that we are in concerning the unstable Global Level thus far.

Look around you, our Mother Earth is very ill from these violations and we are at a brink of destroying a healthy and nurturing survival for generations to come, our children's children.

Our ancestors have been trying to protect our Sacred Site from the continued violations called the Sacred Black Hills in SD, "Heart of Everything that is". Our ancestors never seen this site from a Satellite view, but now that those pictures are available with modern technology, we see that it is in the shape of a heart and when fast forwarded it looks like a heart pumping. The Dine have been protecting Big Mountain, calling it the liver and now that the coal is depleting, we are suffering and going to suffer more from the extraction of the coal and poison processes used in doing so.

The Aborigines has warned of the contaminating effects on the Corral Reefs from Global Warming, which they see as Mother Earth's blood purifier, our sacred water is being polluted. The Indigenous people of the Rain Forest relay that the Rain Forest are the lungs and need protection and now we see the Brazilian Government approved the depletion of 50% of this Sacred Site. The Gwich'in Nation has an issue of oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge coastal plain, also known to the Gwich'in as 'Where the life begins!' The coastal plain is also the birthplace of many other life forms of Animal Nations. The death of these Animal Nations will destroy Indigenous Nations in this territory.

As these destructive developments continue all over the world, we will witness many more extinct Animal, Plant and Human Nations, because of the misuse of power that mankind has made and their lack of understanding the "balance of life". The Indigenous people warn that these destructive developments will cause havoc globally. There are many, many more Indigenous awareness's and knowledge of Mother Earth's Sacred Sites, connections (Mother Earth's Chakras) to our spirit that will surely affect our future generations.

These people are still suffering from this contamination and their livelihood is being destroyed as I write this to you. There needs to be a fast move toward other forms of energy that are safe for all Nations upon Mother and the whole picture in the type of minds that are continuing to destroy the spirit of our whole Global Community. Unless we do this, the powers of destruction will overwhelm us. Our Ancestors foretold that water would someday be for sale.

Back then this was hard to believe, since the water was so plentiful, so pure, and so full of energy, nutrition and spirit. Today we have to buy pure water, and even then the nutritional minerals have been taken out; it's just empty liquid. Someday water will be like gold, too expensive to afford. Not everyone will have the right to drink safe water. We fail to appreciate and honor our Sacred Sites, ripping out the minerals and gifts that lay underneath them, as if Mother Earth were simply a resource, instead of the Source of Life itself.

Attacking Nations and having to utilize more resources to carry out the destruction in the name of Peace and elimination is not the answer! We need to understand how all these decisions affects the Global Nation, we will not be immune to it's repercussions. To allow continual contamination of our food and land, is now affecting the way we think. A "disease of the mind" has set in World Leaders and many members of our Global Community, with their understanding that a solution of retaliation and destruction of peoples will bring Peace.

In our Prophecies it is told that we are now at the Crossroads, either unite Spiritually as a Global Nation, or be faced with chaos, disasters, diseases and tears from our relatives eyes.

In times of disasters it is sad to say that it is the only time that we unite spiritually, but we must not taint it with anger and retaliation. We are the only species that is destroying the Source of life, meaning Mother Earth, in the name of power, mineral resources and ownership of land, using methods of chemicals and warfare that is becoming irreversible, as Mother Earth is becoming tired and can not sustain any more impacts of war.

I ask you to join me on this endeavor. Our vision is for the Peoples of all continents, regardless of their beliefs in the Creator, to come together as one at their Sacred Sites at that sacred moment of what is known as the Summer Solstice of June 21st, to pray and meditate and commune with one another, thus promoting an energy shift to heal our Mother Earth and achieve a universal consciousness toward attaining Peace. As each day passes bringing us to this day of concentration together, I ask the Global Nations to begin a Global effort, in knowing that each and every one of us are making a daily effort in waking to a gratitude of another day, that is gifted to us and begin to remember to give thanks for the Sacred Food that has been also gifted to us by our Mother Earth, so the nutritional energy of medicine can be guided to heal our minds and spirits.

Informative links:

The Shadow Dictator
The Shadow Dictator

The Enemy Within


Animation Must we invade Iraq??
9/11 Survivor Describes Multiple Explosions
9/11 World Trade Center 9/11 Updates
News They try to Hide The Memory Hole

The Dark Millennium
The War In Afghanistan 47 Questions and Answers and additional links
Book Stupid white Men
We just wanted to let you know that "Bowling for Columbine" was nominated for an Oscar for Best Documentary. Thanks for going to see the movie and helping to spread the word!
To Mike's Page: Michael Moore -- Stupid White Men

A Primer on understanding Conspiracies

Overview of THE WAR The The Truth
Attention! Right Face, March!
Who's Behind The President's Foreign Policy?
The death of The American Empire
Deconstructing the 911 Cover-up
Congresswoman McKinney Presses for Investigation of Bush Administration Links to 9-11.
The Seventh Fire
The importance and meaning of Freedom

Cannabis should be decriminalised in an Amsterdam-style revolution on the streets of Britain, an influential group of MPs will recommend in a landmark report.
Cannabis six minute Test
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Emergency Terrorism and War
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The World Trade Center Bombing
Was Senator Wellstone assassinated?
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The Value of Psychotic Experience By Alan Watts
The War on Drugs
The Death of Democracy
A Time of Reversion
A World Out of Touch

The Covert Cowboys
Can you handle the truth?
CIA Deprogram your Mind from War.
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Linda Howe Earth Files
Whitley's World
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Creativity   Wisdom
The Holographic Universe

This new millennium will usher in an age of harmony or it will bring the end of life as we know it. Starvation, war and toxic waste have been the hallmark of the Great Myth of Progress and Development that ruled the last millennium. To us, as caretakers of the heart of Mother Earth, falls the responsibility of turning back the powers of destruction. We have come to a time and place of great urgency. The fate of future generations rests in our hands. We must understand the two ways we are free to follow, as we choose-the positive way or the negative way.the spiritual way or the material way. It's our own choice--each of ours and all of ours.

You yourself are the one who must decide. You alone-and only you--can make this crucial choice. Whatever you decide is what you'll be, to walk in honor or to dishonor your relatives. You can't escape the consequences of your own decision. On your decision depends the fate of the entire World.

You must decide. You can't avoid it. Each of us is put here in this time and this place to personally decide the future of humankind. Did you think the Creator would create unnecessary people in a time of such terrible danger? Know that you yourself are essential to this World. Believe that!

Understand both the blessing and the burden of that. You yourself are desperately needed to save the soul of this World. Did you think you were put here for something less?

In a Sacred Hoop of Life, where there is no beginning and no ending!

Mitakuye Oyasin,

Chief Arvol Looking Horse
19th Generation Keeper of the Sacred White Buffalo Calf Pipe

The late Egyptian President Gamul Nasser once said of American foreign policy, "You never make straightforwardly simple stupid moves, you make complicated stupid moves that makes us think there's actually something to it."

There's probably no better characterization of American policy towards Iraq, especially that of its Republican administrations.

Ronald Reagan began with favoring Iraq as it was fighting the Iranians who'd held our embassy hostage; at war's end the first George Bush continued to arm Hussein, over the objections of the Pentagon.

The relationship was apparently so cordial that Hussein asked for our permission before invading Kuwait; permission was given, but the Saudi's hadn't been consulted, and Bush changed his mind. The Gulf War was announced, invitations sent; everybody came, and in the high excitement of mid-chase, the order came down to halt: the Republican Guard and Hussein were to go free. Hussein was needed "to insure stability in the region," and towards that end Gen.

Schwartzkopf let Hussein retain his helicopter gunships for the expressed purpose of putting down the Kurds and other Iraq opposition groups that had responded to George Bush's call to rise up in rebellion. So the world was treated to the spectacle on CNN of American troops standing by and watching the insurgents slaughtered by the tens of thousands while George Bush disclaimed any responsibility.

So now Bush the lesser has announced a new war on Iraq, but nobody's responding to the invitations. Most everyone seems to agree that Hussein's a problem, but then again they probably tried to warn us about that some years ago. Iraq seems an issue that could be fairly considered largely of our own creating, and our allies should be forgiven if they feel this George Bush is bringing to the solution of the problem about the same level of wisdom that led to its creation.

The situation in Afghanistan remains fluid, to be generous, yet Bush wants to rush off to attack Iraq because he's got the 'big mo,' the wind of victory at his back; at the very moment when Arab populations are already charged and primed against us.

After decades of 'complicated stupid moves,' maybe we're progressing to stupidity of the more straightforward variety. --Kent Southard

Mir Tamim Ansary on Afghanistan

I've been hearing a lot of talk about "bombing Afghanistan back to the Stone Age." Ronn Owens, on KGO Talk Radio today, allowed that this would mean killing innocent people, people who had nothing to do with this atrocity, but "we're at war, we have to accept collateral damage. What else can we do?" Minutes later I heard some TV pundit discussing whether we "have the belly to do what must be done."

And I thought about the issues being raised especially hard because I am from Afghanistan, and even though I've lived here for 35 years I've never lost track of what's going on there. So I want to tell anyone who will listen how it all looks from where I'm standing.

I speak as one who hates the Taliban and Osama Bin Laden. There is no doubt in my mind that these people were responsible for the atrocity in New York. I agree that something must be done about those monsters.

But the Taliban and Ben Laden are not Afghanistan. They're not even the government of Afghanistan. The Taliban are a cult of ignorant psychotics who took over Afghanistan in 1997. Bin Laden is a political criminal with a plan. When you think Taliban, think Nazis. When you think Bin Laden, think Hitler. And when you think "the people of Afghanistan" think "the Jews in the concentration camps." It's not only that the Afghan people had nothing to do with this atrocity. They were the first victims of the perpetrators. They would exult if someone would come in there, take out the Taliban and clear out the rats nest of international thugs holed up in their country.

Some say, why don't the Afghans rise up and overthrow the Taliban? The answer is, they're starved, exhausted, hurt, incapacitated, suffering. A few years ago, the United Nations estimated that there are 500,000 disabled orphans in Afghanistan , a country with no economy, no food. There are millions of widows. And the Taliban has been burying these widows alive in mass graves. The soil is littered with land mines, the farms were all destroyed by the Soviets. These are a few of the reasons why the Afghan people have not overthrown the Taliban.

We come now to the question of bombing Afghanistan back to the Stone Age. Trouble is, that's been done. The Soviets took care of it already.

Make the Afghans suffer? They're already suffering. Level their houses?

Done. Turn their schools into piles of rubble? Done. Eradicate their hospitals? Done. Destroy their infrastructure? Cut them off from medicine and health care? Too late. Someone already did all that.

New bombs would only stir the rubble of earlier bombs. Would they at least get the Taliban? Not likely. In today's Afghanistan, only the Taliban eat, only they have the means to move around. They'd slip away and hide. Maybe the bombs would get some of those disabled orphans, they don't move too fast, they don't even have wheelchairs. But flying over Kabul and dropping bombs wouldn't really be a strike against the criminals who did this horrific thing. Actually it would only be making common cause with the Taliban--by raping once again the people they've been raping all this time

So what else is there? What can be done, then? Let me now speak with true fear and trembling. The only way to get Bin Laden is to go in there with ground troops. When people speak of "having the belly to do what needs to be done" they're thinking in terms of having the belly to kill as many as needed. Having the belly to overcome any moral qualms about killing innocent people. Let's pull our heads out of the sand. What's actually on the table is Americans dying. And not just because some Americans would die fighting their way through Afghanistan to Bin Laden's hideout.

It's much bigger than that folks. Because to get any troops to Afghanistan, we'd have to go through Pakistan. Would they let us? Not likely. The conquest of Pakistan would have to be first. Will other Muslim nations just stand by? You see where I'm going. We're flirting with a world war between Islam and the West.

And guess what: that's Bin Laden's program. That's exactly what he wants.

That's why he did this. Read his speeches and statements. It'sall right there. He really believes Islam would beat the west.

It might seem ridiculous, but he figures if he can polarize the world into Islam and the West, he's got a billion soldiers. If the west wreaks a holocaust in those lands, that's a billion people with nothing left to lose, that's even better from Bin Laden's point of view. He's probably wrong, in the end the west would win, whatever that would mean, but the war would last for years and millions would die, not just theirs but ours.

Who has the belly for that?

Bin Laden does. Anyone else?

Mir Tamim Ansary

The End of the "End of History"

Jean Bricmont

Everything was going smoothly. Serbia, on its knees, had just sold Milosevic to the International Criminal Tribune for a fistful of dollars (most of which turned out to be earmarked to pay debts going back to Tito's time). NATO was expanding eastwards toward a powerless Russia. Saddam Hussein could be safely bombed whenever one felt like it. Invaded by UCK, Macedonia was obliged to accept the farce of a disarmament of that same UCK by the very ones who armed it in the first place. The Palestinian territories were under tight control while their leaders were assassinated by smart bombs. For the past few years, stockholders had been making record profits. The political left had died out and all political parties had rallied to neoliberalism and "humanitarian" interventionism. In short, as certain commentators put it, we were living in peace.

Then suddenly shock, surprise, horror: the greatest power of all times, the only truly universal empire struck in its very heart, at the center of its wealth and power. A unique and all-powerful electronic spying network, unparalleled security measures, a staggering defense budget -- none of this was of any use in preventing the catastrophe.

Let us be perfectly clear. We do not share the attitude expressed by Madeleine Albright when she was asked whether pursuing the embargo against Iraq was worth the price of half a million Iraqi children who have died: "this is a very hard choice, but we think the price is worth it", she replied. The massacre of innocent civilians is never acceptable. But this does not mean we should not try to understand the underlying meaning of that incredible attack.

The American pacifist A. J. Muste once remarked that the problem in every war was posed by the winning side: the victor had learned that violence succeeded. The whole of postwar history illustrates the pertinence of that observation.

In the United States, the War Department was renamed Defense Department, precisely when there was no direct danger threatening the country, and one government after the other launched campaigns of military intervention and political destabilisation in the guise of containing communism -- against moderately nationalist governments such as that of Goulart in Brazil, Mossadegh in Iran or Arbenz in Guatemala. To limit ourselves to the present, let us examine a few questions rarely raised concerning Western, especially American, policy.

- The Kyoto protocol: the principal United States objection is not on scientific grounds, but merely that "it is bad for our economy". What are people who work 12 hours a day for slave wages to make of such a reaction?

- The Durban conference. The West rejects the slightest thought of reparations for slavery and colonialism. But isn't it clear that the State of Israel functions as a form of reparations for anti-Semitic persecutions, except that in this case the price is paid by the Palestinian Arabs for the crimes committed by Europeans? And isn't it obvious that this shift of responsibility must be felt as a sort of racism by the victims of colonialism?

- Macedonia: here is a country that the West pushed into independence in order to weaken Serbia and whose government has always faithfully followed Western orders. As a result it has been subjected to attacks by terrorists armed by NATO and coming from territory under NATO control. How does this look to Slavic Orthodox peoples, especially after the expulsion, as NATO looks on, of the Serbian population of Kosovo and the eradication of a large part of its cultural heritage?

- Afghanistan: it is too quickly forgotten that Osama Bin Laden was trained and armed by the Americans, who openly admit that they were using Afghanistan to destabilize the USSR even before the Soviet intervention. How many people have died in the game that former President Carter's adviser, Zbigniew Brzezinski, calls "the great chessboard"? And how many terrorists, in Asia, in Central America, in the Balkans, or in the Middle East, are left to run loose after having been used by the "Free World"?

- Iraq: for ten years the population has been strangled by an embargo that has caused hundreds of thousands of deaths -- of civilian victims. All because Iraq tried to recover the oil wells that were de facto confiscated from them by the British. Let us just compare the treatment given Israel for its totally illegal occupation of territories conquered in 1967. Is it really likely that the notion, generally accepted in the West, that Saddam Hussein is to blame for everything, makes much sense in the Arab-Muslim world?

By pure coincidence, the September 11 attacks took place on the anniversary of the overthrow of Allende, which not only marked (a fact easily forgotten) the installation of the first neoliberal government, that of General Pinochet, but also the start of a broad movement against national and independent movements in the Third World which was to lead those countries to bow to the dictates of the IMF.

This is why we suspect that in Latin America, in Indonesia, in Iran, in ruined and humiliated Russia, in China where nobody is fooled by attempts to destabilize this emerging giant, as well as in the Muslim world, the September 11 tragedy will cause people to shed little more than crocodile tears.

Of course there will be shouts of indignation and messages of sympathy. There will be applause for "firm responses" when they occur (will they destroy a pharmaceutical plant in Sudan or bomb the civilian population of an Arab country?). Large numbers of intellectuals will be found to produce clever analyses full of false analogies connecting these attacks to whatever it is they are against: Saddam Hussein, Kadhafi, Western pacifists and anti-imperialists, the Palestinian liberation movement or even China, Russia or North Korea. It will be repeated that such barbarism is totally alien to us: after all, we prefer to bomb from high altitude and kill gradually by means of embargos. But none of that will solve any basic problem. There is no use attacking revolt itself.

What must be attacked is the suffering that produces revolt.

Those attacks will have at least two negative political consequences. For one, the American population, already disturbingly nationalist, will "rally round the flag", as they put it, supporting their government however barbaric its policy.

Americans will be more than ever determined to "protect our way of life" without asking the price to be paid by the rest of the planet. The timid movements of dissent that have emerged since Seattle will be marginalized if not criminalized.

On the other hand, millions of people who have been defeated, humiliated and crushed by the United States and the world it dominates will be tempted to see terrorism as the only weapon really capable of striking the Empire. This is why a truly political struggle -- not violence -- against the cultural, economic and above all military domination by a small minority over the vast majority of humanity is more necessary than ever before.


By Jeff Sommers

In CIA parlance missions that are “successful” create backlashes. The CIA aptly calls this “Blowback.”

At the end of WW II the US took empire from a weakened Britain and France. Among the first casualties was East Europe, which was sacrificed on the mantle of superpower relations. That same deal between superpowers saw Greece put down by England and the US, with Soviet compliance. The Soviets and the West also concluded that the people of both their respective spheres would be put down if necessary in the interests of “stability.” Democracy on both sides of the Cold War divide was shelved.

The US maintained order during its tenure of hegemony through use of both covert and overt operations that helped signal the very blowback we witnessed on the 11th. In 1953 Allen Dulles, brother of Secretary of State John Foster Dulles, thought it clever to maintain order in Iran by overthrowing its democratically elected leader, Mohammed Mossadegh.

The popular Mossadegh “erred” when he decided Iran’s oil belonged to Iran and not the multi-national corporations who held “rights” to it. He nationalized Iran’s oil. Allen Dulles sent in the CIA with suitcases full of money (the CIA had no oversight and so could spend liberally) to destabilize the government.

They sent their agent Kim Roosevelt to remove Mossadegh. Kim Roosevelt was the grandson of that famous defender of the Spanish American War that brought the US no end of blowback. General H. Norman Schwarzkopf accom panied him—no, not the General we all know who commanded US forces in the Persian Gulf war, but his father. Schwarzkopf trained the Shah of Iran’s secret police in all sorts and manners of techniques that brutal dictatorships employ against their citizens. This bought “stability” and the return of oil to its “rightful” owners. The US oil companies got 40%, the Brits 40%, the Dutch 14% and the French 6%. Yet, in overthrowing Mossadegh a 25-year-long period of repression was launched against dissenters in Iran with significant blowback for all parties concerned. Most significantly this created a radical Islamic fundamentalist response that led to the rise of the Ayatollah Khomeni. In part, yesterday’s tragedy is blowback from Washington policies executed 50 years back.

During the 1980s the US found another opportunity for CIA mischief in the Middle East. In 1978 the Soviet Union frowned upon the more radical Marxist government that arose on its border in Afghanistan.

Given that the Soviets cynically wielded terms like “Marxism” in the same way the US has often done with “democracy,” the Soviets felt no compunction about overthrowing a radical Marxist government with democratic impulses. As a superpower it sought obedience. The Soviets installed a government in Afghanistan loyal to themselves and would suffer blowback that in part led to the very dissolution of the USSR.

Coming off its own failed decades long attempt to install and maintain unpopular governments in Vietnam, the US was bemused by the Soviets finding themselves in a similar situation in Afghanistan. Among opponents of the Soviet backed regime in Afghanistan were Islamic fundamentalists. The CIA fanned the flames of fundamentalist fervor in order to fuel the ant-Soviet Afghani movement, the Mujahadeen. Yet, here too there would be blowback.

When the Soviet Union collapsed the highly motivated fundamentalist force the US helped create and train in covert operations (the stuff of terrorism) they now turned their sights on their former benefactor. The marriage between Afghani fundamentalists and the CIA was purely one of convenience. When no longer “convenient” these highly-trained militants could now turn on that other source of misery in the Middle East: the US. Again, this was blowback.

This begs the question of why the US was perceived as a source of “evil” by Islamic extremists? We are all familiar with the reasons.

A decade of bombing and embargoes have left Iraq’s electric, water, and health infrastructure in tatters. Saddam Hussein remains in power, but millions live in abject misery, and the United Nations’ own data shows over 700,000 children having died as a consequence of these US measures against Iraq.

The Iraqi leadership has been unaffected. Hussein has punished the Kurds in the north of Iraq with impunity and the Shiite Muslims of the south treated to Hussein’s bloody fist too. Yet, Iraq did not dissolve into separate nations. This was the goal of US policy. This has been achieved at a terrible human cost and is another reason for blowback against the US.

The specter of US policy toward Israel continues to haunt America. Copious amounts of aid flows liberally to the Israeli government and spills out into Palestinian communities in the form of state violence. But, peace between Israel and Egypt is critical to Middle East stability. The US gets little of its oil from the Middle East, but US oil companies are present there and more importantly oil must flow freely and predictably for the smooth functioning of the global economy over which the US presides.

Palestinians homes are routinely bulldozed and its people live under military occupation. When the Arabic nations try and address this matter civilly in the United Nations, as they just tried last week at the Durban conference, they are rebuffed by the US. Consequently, Palestinian children greet with delight the news of thousands of innocent people dying in the US on the 11th. This is blowback.

America will make many choices in the near future regarding how to engage the US. Let’s hope it remembers that actions have consequences. Jingoistic responses can backfire. Blowback might erupt quickly, or simmer for decades. When it strikes the consequences are devastating.

We are poised to escalate the violence or begin to plumb the depths of our history in ways that might reveal how we can end these cascading series of tragedies.

Hopefully, reason will prevail.

Freedom Is the Best Insurance Against Terrorism

by Sheldon Richman, December 1996

In the wake of the possible sabotage of TWA flight 800 and the bombing at the Olympics, President Clinton did what politicians always do at times like these: he grabbed for more power.

If that has a feeling of déjà vu to it, it should. Shortly after the blast at the federal building at Oklahoma City, Clinton asked Congress to pass a so-called counterterrorism bill. Congress obliged, giving the president the power, among other things, to deport aliens with secret evidence in the tradition of the old Star Chamber. But he didn't get all the power he wanted.

What he especially wanted was expanded authority to wiretap our telephones. Considering that the administration is already increasing wiretaps on Americans by more than 30 percent a year, one shudders to think what it will do with expanded authority.

Clinton failed to get the extra power the first time around because civil-liberties organizations rallied against him. Now, following the plane crash and the bombing, he has another chance. He has milked the incidents to the limit.

"We will continue to do whatever is necessary to give law enforcement the tools they need to find terrorists before they strike and to bring them swiftly to justice when they do," says Clinton. Whatever is necessary? Really? People used to believe that the end doesn't justify the means. But isn't that what Clinton is saying?

Terrorism — the deliberate killing or injuring of innocents for political purposes — is ghastly. That is not in question. The issue is whether the national government will use terrorism as a pretext for amassing power that is repugnant to the American tradition of individual liberty and limited state power. It might be easy for people to get caught up in the fear and anxiety associated with terrorism and to acquiesce in the administration's demand for more power. But that would be a betrayal of all that America once stood for and could stand for again. The terrorists would be the winners.

Governments have always accumulated power by keeping the citizens agitated about domestic and foreign enemies, hoping they will permit any outrage in the name of saving them from one set of barbarians or another. In America it was supposed to be different. The American system was based on the idea that the key to civil peace is not power but liberty.

Nothing can absolutely rule out the possibility that someone or some group will engage in wanton violence in a large, open society. But the chances are reduced considerably when two conditions obtain: foreign noninterventionism and domestic laissez-faire.

When the government intervenes in foreign conflicts, it can create fanatical enemies bent on vengeance. And when government intervenes in the domestic economy, it can cause such hardship (for instance, unemployment and bankruptcy) that some who suffer it may turn to violence out of frustration. Harming innocent civilians is not justified by such policies. But that doesn't change the fact that those policies can create the conditions that put people in desperate situations. The corollary is that in a laissez-faire society, people tend to experience control over their lives, removing the feeling of helplessness that can drive them to violence.

Thus, a free society in which the government abstains from foreign and domestic intervention is the best insurance against terrorism.

Let's look at some examples. The unconditional support the United States has given Israel — as well as America's direct military or covert intervention in Lebanon, Libya, Iraq, Iran, and elsewhere — has prompted victims of those actions to extend their hostility to the United States. The results have included the Pan Am 103 and the World Trade Center bombings. In contrast, other nations seem untouched by terrorism — Switzerland, for example, a traditionally neutral country.

Some analysts respond that foreign terrorism against America is an ideological phenomenon stemming from the perception of the decadent West as a threat against traditional Muslim society. I am skeptical. A far-off noninterventionist America might be despised by some Muslims.

But I don't believe it would inspire large-scale terrorism. For that, you need concrete offenses, such as American warships' pounding Lebanon with shells the weight of Volkswagens in the early 1980s or the CIA's helping the brutal shah regain power in Iran in 1953. I am willing to subject my theory to empirical testing. Let's end all foreign intervention and see whether the level of terrorism against Americans falls.

On the domestic front, the government has often created hardships with its monetary, spending, and tax policies, which can cause land values and commodity prices to change abruptly. Changes induced by government policies can lead to property foreclosures, business failures, and other hardships that may prompt desperate men to consider violence. Government meddling doesn't excuse violence, but it can explain it.

The United States thus can best be kept safe by ending treaty commitments, staying out of foreign quarrels, and practicing laissez-faire at home. Intrusive powers would work in the wrong direction. Instead of making Americans safer, those powers threaten them. OFficials may say they will wiretap and spy only with court orders and only against proven criminals. But experience has long demonstrated that the government cannot be trusted to keep its word.

It will bend or break the rules because the temptation will always be strong to do so. It will spy on advocates of unpopular causes and fringe religions. It will lie to get warrants. It will ignore the requirement to get a warrant altogether. The restraints intended to protect innocent Americans will count for little or naught. The more authority the government has to spy, the more dangerous it is for us. Government bureaucracy is the devil's playground. That goes double for so-called law-enforcement agencies.

The recent pattern is disturbing. A few years ago, the Clinton administration mandated that the telephone companies use older, inferior technology simply so it could wiretap freely. The new all-digital, fiber-optic technology makes wiretapping difficult or impossible. Clinton wants to shut down the free market in computer-encryption software simply so the government will have access to everyone's electronic "papers" and e-mail. He supports government suppression of so-called indecency on the Internet.

The theme in all this is control over people — before they have committed a crime. That is the way totalitarian states have always tried to manage their populations. They not only make peaceful activities crimes; they also unleash swarms of secret police to watch for suspicious behavior and to instill fear in the populace. They seek control.

In a free society, no one is interfered with unless he violates someone's rights or is caught in the process of doing so. Citizens are regarded as innocent of wrongdoing until proven otherwise. Given the direction of things, that principle could be at risk in the United States. For one thing, it was never perfectly established.

Using the old doctrine of civil forfeiture, government today seizes property from people not charged with crimes and imposes on the owners the burden of showing that the seizure was improper. The authorities have found a powerful weapon against people engaged in crimes without victims, such as drug offenses. It is attractive to them because the standard of proof they must uphold is much weaker than the criminal standard of "beyond a reasonable doubt" and because they can sell the property for cash.

The upshot is that we are not safer when we give government the power to engage in preventive measures. We are less safe. That is as true with terrorism as with other forms of crime. We must not do what people have too often done in the past. We must not let ourselves be stampeded into urging the government to mistreat us in order to save us from some alleged greater evil. That has always been a bad bargain. It is a bad bargain today.

There is no need to give the government massive new powers to intrude on our privacy and liberty. Those powers won't thwart terrorists bent on destruction, but they will further erode our freedom and power to conduct our lives as we wish. The authorities already have intolerable powers, even as they seek more. We should repeal those powers, not grant new ones. Instead, let's establish the best insurance against terrorism: domestic and foreign noninterventionism.

Mr. Richman is vice president of policy affairs at The Future of Freedom Foundation and the author of Separating School & State: How to Liberate America's Families , published by The Future of Freedom Foundation.

Think about THIS generation

Written By, Captain Stephen R. Ellison, M.D., USA

A Military Doctor Writes... Sounds real. Rings true.

I am a doctor specializing in Emergency Medicine in the Emergency Departments of the only two military Level One-traumacenters.

They are both in San Antonio, TX, and they care for civilian emergencies as well as military personnel.

San Antonio has the largest U.S.military retiree population in the world, because of the location of these two large military medical centers.

As a military doctor in training for my specialty, I work long hours and the pay is less than glamorous. One tends to become jaded by the long hours, lack of sleep, food, family contact and the endless parade of human suffering passing before you.

The arrival of another ambulance does not mean more pay, only more work. Most often, it is a victim from a motor vehicle crash. Often it is a person of dubious character who has been shot or stabbed.

With our large military retiree population, it is often a nursing home patient. Even with my enlisted service and minimal combat experience in Panama, prior to medical school, I have caught myself groaning when the ambulance brought in yet another sick, elderly person from one of the local retirement centers that cater to military retirees.

I had not stopped to think of what citizens of this age group represented.

I saw "Saving Private Ryan." I was touched deeply. Not so much by the carnage in the first 30 minutes, but by the sacrifices of so many. I was touched most by the scene of the elderly survivor at the graveside, asking his wife if he'd been a good man. I realized that I had seen these same men and women coming through my Emergency Dept and had not realized what magnificent sacrifices they had made. The things they did for me and every one else that has lived on this planet since the end of that conflict are priceless.

Situation permitting, I now try to ask my patients about their experiences. They would never bring up the subject without the inquiry.

I have been privileged to an amazing array of experiences, recounted in the brief minutes allowed in an Emergency Dept encounter. These experiences have revealed the incredible individuals I have had the honor of serving in a medical capacity, many on their last admission to the hospital.

There was a frail, elderly woman who reassured my young enlisted medic, trying to start an IV line in her arm. She remained calm and poised, despite her illness and the multiple needle-sticks into her fragile veins. She was what we call a "hard stick." As the medic made another attempt, I noticed a number tattooed across her forearm. I touched it with one finger and looked into her eyes.

She simply said "Auschwitz." Many of later generations would have loudly and openly berated the young medic in his many attempts. How different was the response from this person who'd seen unspeakable suffering.

Also, there was this long retired Colonel, who as a young officer had parachuted from his burning plane over a Pacific Island held by the Japanese. Now an octogenarian, his head cut in a fall at home where he lived alone. His CT scan and suturing had been delayed until after midnight by the usual parade of high priority ambulance patients. Still spry for his age, he asked to use the phone to call a taxi, to take him home, then he realized his ambulance had brought him without his wallet. He asked if he could use the phone to make a long distance call to his daughter who lived 7 miles away. With great pride we told him that he could not, as he'd done enough for his country and the least we could do was get him a taxi home, even if we had to payfor it ourselves. My only regret was that my shift wouldn't end for several hours, and I couldn't drive him myself.

I was there the night MSgt Roy Benavidez came through theEmergency Dept. for the last time. He was very sick. I was not the doctor taking care of him, but I walked to his bedside and took his hand. I said nothing. He was so sick, he didn't know I was there. I'd read his Congressional Medal of Honor citation and I wanted to shake his hand. He died a few days later.

The gentleman who served with Merrill's Marauders, the survivor of the Bataan Death March, the survivor of Omaha Beach, the 101 year old World War I veteran, the former POW held in frozen North Korea, the former Special forces medic-now with non-operable liver cancer, the former Viet Nam Corps Commander.

I remember these citizens.

I may still groan when yet another ambulance comes in, but now I am much more aware of what an honor it is to serve these particular men and women.

I am angered at the cut backs, implemented and proposed, that will continue to decay their meager retirement benefits. I see later generations that seem to be totally engrossed in abusing these same liberties, won with such sacrifice. It has become my personal endeavor, to make the nurses and young enlisted medics aware of these amazing individuals when I encounter them in our Emergency Dept.

Their response to these particular citizens has made me think that perhaps all is not lost in the next generation. My experiences have solidified my belief that we are losing an incredible generation, and this nation knows not what it is losing. Our uncaring government and ungrateful civilian populace should all take note.

We should all remember that we must "Earn this."

Written By, Captain Stephen R. Ellison, M.D., USA If you send this story along to friends, please include the author's name.

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