Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Mobilization Of Resentments

The email with an attachment came to me Christmas morning. The forwarded message was titled, “I am honored to do this”. It was from a well-intentioned Christian friend. Unfortunately my friend was not as well informed as he could have been.

The radical right-slanted message presented two horrible lies about the ACLU while hiding behind the sacrifices of the military. Once again we see the dishonest and cowardly treachery of hateful “conservative” Americans. Their hatred for the ACLU, and for liberalism itself, is as blind as it is intense.

The words jumped out in huge letters.

Did you know that the ACLU has filed a suit to have all military cross-shaped headstones removed and another suit to end prayer from the military completely. They're making great progress. The Navy Chaplains can no longer mention Jesus' name in prayer thanks to the wretched ACLU.

This was followed by photos of cemeteries, and photos of mourning troops at memorial services for their fellow soldiers who paid the ultimate price. The fallen were most likely victims of Cheney’s and Bush’s trumped up war in Iraq. Notice how their hatred is not directed at the politicians who sent the soldiers to their needless deaths.

They died because Bush, Cheney, the Neocon warmongers, sycophantic media, and all the other war profiteering politicians frightened the American people with lies. Those soldiers gave their lives because they were told Saddam had weapons of mass destruction. They are dead because they were told they must go to war, because Iraq had a nuclear weapons program. Remember those scary aluminum tubes?

They were slaughtered because they were told Iraq had chemical and biological weapons, and would share them with Al Qaeda. They went to war because they were told Saddam had ties with Al Qaeda. Then they were sent to die in order to kill the Iraqis that would otherwise have come to kill us in America. Remember we had to fight them over there so we wouldn’t have to fight them here.

Operation Iraqi Freedom was really for neither Iraqis nor freedom. The war in Iraq was used for political gains for the Republican Party, and profit for Bush/Cheney cronies.

Now those troops are told to fight and die over in Muslim lands to protect our freedom. To protect our freedom? What freedom is that? Our freedom to scream medical care is socialism, communism and fascism? Our freedom to say our president is a secret Muslim who wants to destroy America? Our freedom to say the president is giving aid and comfort to the enemy? Our freedom to continue the lies of those who started the war? Our freedom to advocate racial profiling? Our freedom to be under warrantless surveillance?

That’s a lot of freedom for somebody. That’s a lot of freedom to scare and blame. That’s a lot of freedom to accuse, bully and threaten. That’s a lot of freedom for powerful economic elites to facilitate Nixonian “mobilization of resentments”.

This forwarded piece of propaganda is a classic example of mobilization of resentments.

Is this the freedom our troops are fighting to protect?

Republicans mobilized the resentments of angry white voters during the civil rights struggle. Republicans are employing the same strategy today with angry white voters. Resentment is being cultivated for an African American president and his entire party. Resentment is fueled by frightening terms like fascism, communism, and death panels. Resentment is mobilized toward the removal, and destruction, of all political opposition to the radical right.

The party targeted by obstruction and mobilization of resentments is the conservative party of the American government. That party would be the Democratic Party. The Democratic Party is fairly conservative, likes the status quo and looks after many of the interests of Big Money. Democrats, as a party, didn’t want to step on the toes of the insurance and pharmaceutical industries in the health care debacle.

On the other hand, there’s the party of the radical right. The Republican Party works completely in lock step for the top one percent economic elite of the country. They always support wealthcare for billionaires, and war is often their first choice in foreign policy. The Military Industrial Complex Eisenhower cautioned against is a prime mover, beneficiary, and benefactor of the radical right Republican Party.

This is the purpose of free speech as utilized by right wing interests. It is intended for nothing short of complete nullification of the process of democracy represented by the majority of American voters. Radical right wing ideology is intolerant of any rule outside its narrow interests. It will obstruct, demonize, slander and libel any proponents of civil liberties and government service working for the public good. Education, healthcare, collective bargaining, environmental concerns, and the preservation of American jobs are all targets for the radical right. And their voices have dominated the media through the access provided by their vast wealth and economic leverage.

We have a grossly unbalanced information network dominated by indoctrination from radical right interests. A significant part of the population doubts the American birth of the president. A significant part of the population believes Obama and the Democrats are socialists, communists, and even fascists. A significant part of the population believes in death panels. A significant part of the population believes universal health care is a Nazi-inspired conspiracy.

Yes, as extreme and delusional as this seems, the abuse of free speech has successfully sown the seeds of anger, ignorance, and hatred. We hear them tell us Obama and the Democrats are socialists.

We hear from the same voices the line that Hitler and his henchmen were socialists. Never mind that every extremist in the last century, whether communist or fascist, claimed to be socialist. This is because democratic socialism was the middle ground between fascism and communism. This was what people wanted. The Great Depression taught them the lessons of unregulated capitalism. There had to be a better way. FDR”s New Deal was attacked as socialism but it gave many people jobs, and helped turn our country back from the abyss.

Now the radical right is crowing about Hitler the socialist.

Not much has changed. The radical right wingers still believe what Hitler said. The old Nazi still dupes 'em.

Those concentration camps were filled with Jews, liberals, educators, socialists, communists, and anyone else who was not a war profiteering Nazi capitalist or enabler.

Or, maybe I'm wrong, and every government that promotes employment, education, and health care is a Nazi regime. Such is the absurdity of the radical right’s twisted logic.

But then, what would we call a regime that launched a war based on lies, without provocation, while profiting financially and politically from such action? What kind of regime would demand obedience and loyalty while imposing warrantless surveillance on dissident civilians in its Fatherland, or "Homeland"?

What kind of regime would have its chief law enforcement official warning, “Americans need to watch what they say”?

What kind of politician would accuse the other party of giving aid and comfort to the enemy? These are tough questions for anyone who can't remember anything that happened over a year ago, or didn't hear Dictator Dick recently on Fox propaganda.

Any sane, objective, or informed non-authoritarian personality will see the obvious fascism in the American radical right.

The radical right certainly reduces the freedom of speech to the level of vulgar and hateful propaganda. Where’s the counter balance to all this? Free speech cries out for the cause of equality and Constitutional liberty. But that free speech in support of democracy is in short supply in our corporate dominated media.

There are some progressive voices out in the corporate media, but they are a minority.

Who has the resources, time and access to the legal system to fight for the public’s civil liberties and right to know what the government is doing? This brings us back to the “wretched ACLU”.

Here’s what Glenn Greenwald said about the ACLU.

I can say with certainty that most of the evidence now in the public record has come from compelled disclosures by the ACLU’s FOIA litigations:

DOJ documents authorizing the “use of military force inside the U.S.”

The notorious Yoo and Bybee memos purporting to legalize torture in gruesome detail.

The CIA Inspector General’s Report describing the brutality in how those techniques were used.

The funny thing about this forward was a comment down in the chain from a guy named Mike saying, “You should check some of this stuff out. says this is false and the ACLU (as stupid as they can be at times) have never sued over this issue.”

Yet more proof the radical righties don’t care to read, as much as they don’t care about passing along falsehoods.

Knowing well enough that few would read what I wrote, I still added my two cents and hit “reply all”.

If you read below, you see Mike is right.

Anger and hatred is contagious. It is much easier for angry Right Wingers to spread lies and get other people angry, than it is to investigate the reality of an issue. This is one reason why Dick Cheney is not in prison.

Instead of blindly hating the ACLU, remember they even defended the likes of Rush Limbaugh and Ollie North when they saw their Constitutional rights threatened.

The ACLU is defending through the courts the SAME BILL OF RIGHTS and Constitution our troops defend. If you support the troops, shouldn’t you also support what they swore upon oath to defend?

We have a Constitutional Democratic Republic, not a theocracy. Wrapping oneself in the flag, in religion, and in militarism is NOT conducive to freedom and equality for all.

By the way, you can thank the ACLU for recently stopping the strip searches of your daughters in school. (One girl was accused of possessing a motrin tablet and strip searched for it.)

Please, people, join us and support the ACLU. Become a freedom fighter, because freedom can’t protect itself.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Holiday Cheer

I'd like to thank Media Matters for not only contributing to the cause of truth, but helping to bring the following statement to the light of day. I'm pleased to share, and repeat, this bit of holiday cheer.

Fox News' Bernie Goldberg said, "If they repeat this long enough and often enough -- that Fox News is not a real news organization, it's an arm of the national Republican Party, it's not to be taken seriously -- if they say that long enough, it might become part of bloodstream of the American culture."

Happy holidays to all, and please give Media Matters a generous contribution of financial support.