All of us will be subjected to the nauseating spectacle of the Current Occupant, fresh from the I Haven't Done A Damn Thing to Help tour of New Orleans and Mississippi, strutting in New York, In Washington DC, on a field in Pennsylvania as though he's managed to do something about the 9/11 attacks -- capture the mastermind of the murders, stop the advance of the Taliban that nurtures hatred of all things post-7th Century and not Islamic, and bring Freedom and Democracy (tm) to Iraq.
I'm not going to bite this year. This year I'd like to keep both feet in the reality of 09/11/06 where bin Ladin runs free, the Afghan poppy crop is the best in memory thanks to the Taliban, and the Grand Ayatolla Ali al-Sistani, the only man said to be capable of preventing civil war in Iraq, has just announced that he no longer has the political power to do it.
And, of course, there is our own Secretary of Defense accusing anyone who thinks the war in Iraq has been waged in error of being akin to Nazi appeasers. Only the 21st century Rumsfeld version is "fascist appeasers who suffer from a pre-9/11 mindset.
Let's think about that. First, we need a definition of Fascism. This comes from Rense.com and the work of Dr. Lawrence Britt.
Sound familiar? It should, this is your government at work.
1. Powerful and Continuing Nationalism - Fascist regimes tend to make constant use of patriotic mottos, slogans, symbols, songs, and other paraphernalia. Flags are seen everywhere, as are flag symbols on clothing and in public displays.
2. Disdain for the Recognition of Human Rights - Because of fear of enemies and the need for security, the people in fascist regimes are persuaded that human rights can be ignored in certain cases because of "need." The people tend to look the other way or even approve of torture, summary executions, assassinations, long incarcerations of prisoners, etc.
3. Identification of Enemies/Scapegoats as a Unifying Cause - The people are rallied into a unifying patriotic frenzy over the need to eliminate a perceived common threat or foe: racial , ethnic or religious minorities; liberals; communists; socialists, terrorists, etc.
4. Supremacy of the Military - Even when there are widespread
domestic problems, the military is given a disproportionate amount of government funding, and the domestic agenda is neglected. Soldiers and military service are glamorized.
5. Rampant Sexism - The governments of fascist nations tend to be almost exclusively male-dominated. Under fascist regimes, traditional gender roles are made more rigid. Divorce, abortion and homosexuality are suppressed and the state is represented as the ultimate guardian of the family institution.
6. Controlled Mass Media - Sometimes to media is directly controlled by the government, but in other cases, the media is indirectly controlled by government regulation, or sympathetic media spokespeople and executives. Censorship, especially in war time, is very common.
7. Obsession with National Security - Fear is used as a motivational tool by the government over the masses.
8. Religion and Government are Intertwined - Governments in fascist nations tend to use the most common religion in the nation as a tool to manipulate public opinion. Religious rhetoric and terminology is common from government leaders, even when the major tenets of the religion are diametrically opposed to the government's policies or actions.
9. Corporate Power is Protected - The industrial and business aristocracy of a fascist nation often are the ones who put the government leaders into power, creating a mutually beneficial business/government relationship and power elite.
10. Labor Power is Suppressed - Because the organizing power of labor is the only real threat to a fascist government, labor unions are either eliminated entirely, or are severely suppressed.
11. Disdain for Intellectuals and the Arts - Fascist nations tend to promote and tolerate open hostility to higher education, and academia. It is not uncommon for professors and other academics to be censored or even arrested. Free expression in the arts and letters is openly attacked.
12. Obsession with Crime and Punishment - Under fascist regimes, the police are given almost limitless power to enforce laws. The people are often willing to overlook police abuses and even forego civil liberties in the name of patriotism. There is often a national police force with virtually unlimited power in fascist nations.
13. Rampant Cronyism and Corruption - Fascist regimes almost always are governed by groups of friends and associates who appoint each other to government positions and use governmental power and authority to protect their friends from accountability. It is not uncommon in fascist regimes for national resources and even treasures to be appropriated or even outright stolen by government leaders.
14. Fraudulent Elections - Sometimes elections in fascist nations are a complete sham. Other times elections are manipulated by smear campaigns against or even assassination of opposition candidates, use of legislation to control voting numbers or political district boundaries, and manipulation of the media. Fascist nations also typically use their judiciaries to manipulate or control elections.
Now, another definition: What is a pre-9/11 mindset -- what is a post-9/11 mindset?
We're given to believe the the one is a way of thinking that was operative before Usama bin Laden's attacks on the Twin Towers and the Pentagon. We're told to believe that this is a feeble, dangerous, unrealistic way to think in these days after the attacks. The other, we are told, the post-9/11 mindset, is the proper way to think of the terrible world beyond our shores.
We must fear that world, and we must somehow imagine that our leaders, who are so afraid that they believe that if there is even a 1% chance that a group or nation will harm the United States, that group or nation must be destroyed, are heroes.
We must believe that these fearful men and women who have sacrificed our military to an illegal war are brilliant strategists.
They are not. Driven by fear, they have brutalized our Constitution so they can brutalize captives held with no recourse to representation, foreign nationals and American citizens. Cowering in fear, they have committed offenses against the Geneva Conventions that will be considered war crimes by anyone who can read those conventions.
But if anyone dare question this fearful, rouge administration, they face the charge of being appeasers to fascism and cowards.
By every definition of fascism, Rumsfeld and the administration he serves are fascists. Every American who loves this nation has no interest in appeasing them.
We have every interest in opposing them.
And we shall, for ours is not a pre-9/11 mindset or a post-9/11 mindset.
Ours is an American Mindset. We are not the sons and daughters of fearful people. We are the children of a nation once known as the Light of the World.
As Arriana Huffington so clearly sates when she write of Max Cleland, we know true American heroes when we see them.
This administration and all who serve it may be wise to cower in the spider hole of fear, for we shall elect leaders worthy of us. If the world beyond our shores is lucky, this administration of cowards will face the charges it has brought down on itself -- charges of treason and war crimes.
Welcome back to the American Mindset.