Home | About | Donate

Good Afternoon, America: Machine Guns, MRAPs, Surveillance, Drones, Permanent War, and a Permanent Election Campaign


#1

Good Afternoon, America: Machine Guns, MRAPs, Surveillance, Drones, Permanent War, and a Permanent Election Campaign

Tom Engelhardt

I never fail to be amazed -- and that’s undoubtedly my failing. I mean, if you retain a capacity for wonder you can still be awed by a sunset, but should you really be shocked that the sun is once again sinking in the West? Maybe not.


#2

The world was irretrievably changed when the crossbow was invented. Then, a few fun-loving guys discovered the gunpowder in fireworks
could be weaponized. The willingness to nationalize such efforts, back in the good old days, was limited only by the ability of local warlords,
hereditary landowners, and their minions' ability to collect the kind of dough a big job required. Putting together a crusade, or a jihad, or a horde of
hot-tempered, yet dedicated maniacs left the lower classes impoverished. Fast-forward a couple thousand years, and we discover that many among us have
really sharpened their marketing skills. Even in North America, the rag-tag bunch of landowners and businessmen in the former British Colonies were
able to do some real damage - not only to the locals (still going on), but also to the unrefined farmers and yeomen, who were happy to pitch in. Keep 'em stupid, keep 'em scared, and you'll keep 'em in line. Barring a new "deus ex machina" moment, not one stinking thing will change, or be changed, as the former Republic, home of the Greatest Generation, races toward the newest version of Emperor - Pharaoh - Louis XVI - Versailles - Washington DC insider status of the newest quo. Our "betters" have picked up (insert religious token object here), wrapped themselves in flags, and are once again keeping the great unwashed deeply divided against each other. The betters will keep getting better, and the rest of us will marvel at them.


#5
Totally agree. In an otherwise clear, well-spoken, lovely if alarming controlled 'rant' on armaments and violence, we see this regrettable bit:
Congratulations, that is, are due to Osama bin Laden. Even dead and buried at sea, he deserves some credit. He proved to be midwife to the exceedingly violent birth of a new American world. Today, 13 years after the attacks he launched...

Good grief.


#7

I suppose everyone is at least partly 'right', and no-one is totally accurate and informed. But yeah, too many liberal pundits try to cover all bases and end up sounding insincere at best, unreliable at worst.

Engelhardt's 'link for burial at sea' goes to The Guardian's piece discussing 'why' a sea burial was allegedly chosen but as to whether it really happened, only says,
... if reports that he has been buried at sea prove correct.

which in turn links to Obama's statement in the NYT. If the .gov saved DNA, I missed where it was made public. Perhaps all the common knowledge re bin Laden seems plausible and credible to Engelhardt, but I found his presumptive statements jarring.


#8

The violence, the aggression, the clawing of life for an inert fetish of colonizing so deep it is not even recognized. The taking of anything and everything to the exclusion of everything that is not owned by it is a blindness reflecting the scale of what is and has been historically excluded by this model - The Take.
The simple grace and elegance of real life is utterly externalized, scorned and used at every opportunity by the maelstrom that knows only projection of its circumscribed touch points. The alienation is unspeakably sad and unnecessary.


#9

"Not so long ago, that 9/11 “changed everything” seemed like the hyperbolic cliché of a past era. From the present moment, however, it looks ever more like a sober description of what actually happened. Congratulations, that is, are due to Osama bin Laden. Even dead and buried at sea, he deserves some credit."

Ridiculous double-assertion. For any thoughtful journalist who's not embedded in mainstream media to take these two Official Stories seriously is part of the reason why and how the Posse Comitatus law came to be undone so that this nation's MIC-coup govt. would set up military-style domestic armed forces, and as Chris Hedges and Glenn Greenwald noted from the moment the NDAA passed, pivot those forces in the direction of Environmental activists or any groups that posed a threat to the increasingly martial boot bearing down on U.S.

A parallel is found in today's story about Canada using similar verbiage of the type that conflates opponents of Big Oil and the rape of ecosystems with terrorism. Of course, we're living in an era where it's those who point at war crimes (Julian Assange, Chelsea Manning), protest drone strikes (Kathy Kelly), and expose the spy state(s) passing themselves off as Democratic states (Edward Snowden) that end up incarcerated while those who DO the crimes enjoy embarrassments of riches.

Time to question the Official Narratives, Mr. Engelhardt. Mars doesn't come to rule in a vacuum. It advances when Truth is gunned down first. Official Stories cloud THAT Truth.


#10

"In sum, we, the people, are ever less in control of anything. The police are increasingly not “ours,” nor are the NSA and its colleague outfits “our” intelligence agencies, nor are the wars we are fighting “our” wars, nor the elections in which we vote “our” elections."

This is accurate. Welcome to the Inverted Totalitarian Control State.


#11

im not shocked at all. it is rather comforting to know that my government both big and small is loving, and keeping the guns warm and plentiful. linus would be a jealous fellow with the quality of these blankets. good grief!!!


#12

Goodnight America

We hardly knew ye......


#15

Just finished reading "Cognitive Infiltration" by David Ray Griffin--an Obama Appointee's plan to undermine the 9/11 conspiracy theory. Big axis of evil in charge.


#16

the attacks he launched

Then how did bin Laden rig the Twin Towers and Building 7 with explosives?

Come on, Tom, catch up.


#17

Get busy doing what? I'm being sincere, here. I've tried so many actions and groups and it's getting worse, not better. How can we get all the sane third parties together for a real run?


#19

An excellent article, Tom, but I, like so many commenters here, am surprised and saddened at your parroting the establishment meme that it was all bin Laden's fault. A controlled demolition takes much more effort and equipment than was to be had in a cave system on the other side of the world. However, thousands of engineers and technicians, physicists, etc. have already proved this beyond the shadow of a doubt so I'll not discuss it any further.
* When Bush was selected by the Supreme Court to be the appointed president, I wrote a prediction as to what would happen. It did.
* As an historian, I have looked at patterns that have been repeated over many years. What I saw, in essence, is a replay of the rise of the Third Reich in Germany in the last century. One difference is that Hitler was elected, though not as Fuehrer.
* Hitler had his Enabling Acts, written long before, then set aside until the time was ripe. The Neocons had the illegal, unconstitutional and misnamed Patriot Act waiting in the wings.
* Hitler had his rubber stamp Reichstag to approve his every command. The Executive has its rubber stamp Legislature to do the same for its demands.
* Hitler had his Reichstag fire (blamed on a Dutch Communist, but actually set by the SS) which allowed him to bring out his Enabling acts and remove the constitutional rights of the German People, for the duration of the emergency (which continued until a body was burned in the courtyard above the Fuehrer Bunker).
* The Executive had its 911, which allowed it to bring out the Patriot Act and remove many of the civil rights guaranteed by our Constitution and Bill of Rights.
* Hitler had his Junkers, the equivalent of the 0.001% who own the wealth here. He catered to their desires, cut taxes or removed them completely. They supported him with finances and power as the 0.001% do here.
* As Hitler's power grew, so did the SA, the SS, the Gestapo, the Propaganda Ministry and various intelligence groups. Here, we have our own SA, (the heavily armed and vicious police departments), which can invade homes, beat or shoot suspects with impunity and savagely suppress demonstrations against government policies, the CIA, the FBI, the NSA, Homeland Security and endless peripheral agencies, not to mention various special forces to carry out official skullduggery in an unofficial way.
* Hitler took over the German equivalent of the Supreme Court and put Nazis in charge. The German barristers who complained that the government's actions were illegal were told, "The law is what the Fuehrer says it is, Heil Hitler!" and that ended the German legal system. (Citizen's United anybody?)
* As Hitler's power grew and he saw the waffling and indecision of the rest of the world, he began taking pieces of adjoining nations, for Lebensraum, he said, and the world and League of Nations let him. Soon, it was "Today Germany, tomorrow the world!" and finally, in 1939, when Poland was blitzkrieged, the world said "Enough!" and the World War began, a war I lived through as a child.
* I believe we can see the parallels here without yet another list.
* In short, the Constitutional Republic of the United States of America no longer exists. In its place stands the Fourth Reich, a Third Reich on steroids, with the most powerful and deadly military, the most pervasive surveillance systems, the largest prison population in the world, and it is still growing, swallowing and destroying everything that disagrees with it. Disagreement or protest is defined as "terrorism or insurgency", here or abroad, to be rooted out and destroyed in the name of "Freedom and Democracy!"
* War is glorified as it means huge profits for our Junkers and more power for our Fuehrer of the moment.
* We the People no longer count except as cheap labor and consumers of cheap goods.
* Will we have the guts to turn this around, or should we just become resigned to live as landless serfs, begging for crumbs from the tables of the rich?
* You tell me.
;-})


#21

Tom, please stop repeating the govt fairy tale of 911. You simply justify the militarization of America . We were not attacked by anyone other than the operatives within this deep state. Wars forever, that was the plan.


#22

Major (P) Ralph Peters is assigned to the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Intelligence, where he is responsible for future warfare - wrote this piece in **1997 ** - after conversations with top brass US military
titles " constant conflict " see :
informationclearinghouse*info\article3011*htm