America's denial of the roots of 9/11 is not a unique phenomenon in U.S. history, according to Ivan Eland, director of the Independent Institute's Center on Peace & Liberty. Although Osama Bin Laden told the world why he attacked-he detested specific U.S. policies in the Middle East-Americans did not want to hear this, just as they wished not to learn about U.S. policies that precipitated other security crises.
Like the citizens of many other countries, Americans believe that their government is blameless when it comes to taking up arms against other peoples: wars are simply thrust upon their government, which they absolve of any responsibility for helping to create the conditions that precipitated the crises. The pattern, Eland argues in his latest op-ed, can be found in the popular perception of the causes of the War of 1812, the Mexican-American War, the Civil War, the Battle of Little Bighorn, the Spanish-American War, World War I, World War II, the Vietnam War, the Iran hostage crisis, and the U.S. invasion of Grenada.
Americans need to better learn their history-and to see what their government does in their name. Were they to do so, they would learn scores of unacknowledged truths, such as that the War of 1812 was instigated by congressional "war hawks" who sought to grab land from Canada, that the Mexican-American War was precipitated by President James Polk's blockade of the Rio Grande, and that the attack on Pearl Harbor resulted from the United States cutting off oil and other vital resources to Japan. "American history vindicates the old saying that ‘truth is the first casualty of war,' Eland writes, "but the passage of time should allow a republic to undertake a more honest and dispassionate examination of historical events. It rarely does, with truth being swept under the rug in favor of assuming uncaused indignities.
From the 18th century to our own time, the liberal tradition has stood firmly against war, based both on principle and on the reality of how and why wars begin, and also the wicked damage they do to society. The excuses for wars mask the underlying reason for them.
The king of Prussia, Frederick II ("the Great"), confessed that he had seized the province of Silesia from the Empress Maria Theresa in 1740 because, as a newcomer to the throne, he had to make a name for himself. This initiated a war with Austria that developed into a worldwide war (in North America, the French and Indian War), and went on to 1763. Of course, many tens of thousands died in that series of wars.
Frederick's admission is probably unique in the annals of leaders of states. In general, rulers have been much more circumspect about revealing the true reasons for their wars, as well as the methods by which they conduct them. Pretexts and evasions have proliferated. In today's democratic societies, these are endorsed - often invented - by compliant professors and other intellectuals.
For generations, the unmasking of such excuses for war and war making has been the essence of historical revisionism, or simply revisionism. Revisionism and classical liberalism, today called libertarianism, have always been closely linked.
How many lives would you be willing to sacrifice to remove a murderous dictator like Saddam Hussein? Most of the models that researchers use to study conflicts like the Iraq war assume that civilians and leaders make a rational calculation: If the total cost of the war is less than the cost of the alternatives, they will support war. But according to a new study, those models are wrong. Surveys of people in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and other violent situations suggest that participants consistently ignored quantifiable costs and benefits, relying instead on "sacred values." The finding could lead to better predictions of when conflicts will escalate to violence.
Models of rational behavior predict many of society's patterns, such as the prevalence of tax evasion and union strikes. But seemingly irrational behaviors like war—in which the measurable costs often far outweigh the measurable benefits—have stumped researchers going back to Charles Darwin. The prospect of crippling economic burdens and huge numbers of deaths doesn't necessarily sway people from their positions on whether going to war is the right or wrong choice. One possible explanation is that people are not weighing the pros and cons at all, but rather using a moral logic of "sacred values"—convictions that trump all other considerations—that cannot be quantified.
To try to capture people in the act of making such decisions, psychologist Jeremy Ginges of the New School for Social Research in New York City and anthropologist Scott Atran of École Normale Superieure in Paris challenged people around the world with a series of difficult questions. (...)
"Hedges delivered a rousing speech about the nature of hope (in contrast to what certain campaign slogans might have suggested in recent years), pointing out that 'hope has a cost, hope is not comfortable,' before joining other supporters of Veterans for Peace who chained themselves to the White House fence."
On Thursday, author, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and Truthdig columnist Chris Hedges and Pentagon Papers whistle-blower Daniel Ellsberg were among the 131 anti-war activists arrested during a nonviolent demonstration outside the White House to protest against the war in Afghanistan as well as America’s ongoing conflicts in Iraq and Pakistan.
Hedges delivered a rousing speech about the nature of hope (in contrast to what certain campaign slogans might have suggested in recent years), pointing out that “hope has a cost, hope is not comfortable,” before joining other supporters of Veterans for Peace who chained themselves to the White House fence. When asked why he chose that course of action, Hedges replied, “Because it’s all we have left at this point. ... The normal mechanisms by which democratic participation are rendered possible in this country have been closed shut, and if we don’t do this, we die. This is what’s left of hope in this country.”
Ellsberg said he was drawn to the demonstration in part because veterans were leading the action. “I know that people here understand this war is as hopeless and wrong as the war we participated in in Vietnam, and it is not going to end by a presidential initiative,” he said. “It’ll only be because the American public has awakened to their responsibilities and to the realities of this war.” The “big lie” that the American government is telling its people now, Ellsberg believes, “is that these wars are protecting us at home.” —KA
The mercenary firm formerly known as Blackwater has argued in court that the company's private contractors who killed 17 Iraqis in Baghdad in 2007 should not be held accountable. Why? It's Washington's fault, they claim, as Blackwater fighters were acting as employees of the U.S. government at the time. -JCL
The security company formerly known as Blackwater has told a US federal judge that the US government, and not the company itself, should be held accountable for a 2007 shooting by its contractors that killed 17 Iraqis in Nisour Square in Baghdad.
Lawyers for the company, now known as Xe Services, argued in court on Thursday that Blackwater contractors were essentially acting as employees of the US government because they were providing security to State Department personnel.
The North Carolina-based company and several of its contractors are seeking the dismissal of a lawsuit that was filed on behalf of three people killed in the shooting: Ali Kinani, Abrahem Abed Al Mafraje and Mahde Sahab Naser Shamake. The lawsuit accuses the parties of wrongful death and negligence, and seeks punitive damages.
"Liberal" means a lot more than anti-war. As demonstrated by history, many left-leaning, leftist, and far-left governments have adopted aggressive stands in warfare.
The splits currently emerging on both sides of the aisle in American politics are laying bare another political reality: the current two-party system is insufficient in representing the needs of the voters.
I do not believe that "liberal" can be equated with the other examples you give. Those people are not liberal, they are ideologues, just like the extremists on the right, but with different dogma. Liberals, according to Merriam-Webster: associated with ideals of individual especially economic freedom, greater individual participation in government, and constitutional, political, and administrative reforms designed to secure these objectives.
We need to start looking at right/left/liberal/conservative as terms, because there has been a definite shift in what these actually mean. imo, the terms are archaic and don't actually define political groups properly.
Come on, people! Come on, children!COme on down to the glory river.Gonna wash you up, and wash you down, gonna lay the devil down, gonna lay that devil down.I got fury in my soul,fury's gonna take me to the glory goal. In my mind I can't study war no more.Save the people! Save the children! Save the country now!Come on, people! come on, children! Come on down to the glory river. Save the Country by Laura NyroGonna wash you up and wash you down. Gonna lay the devil down, gonna lay that devil down.Come on people! Sons and mothers! Keep the dream of the two young brothers. Gonna take that dream and ride that dove. We could build the dream with love, I know, We could build the dream with love, I know, We could build a dream with love, children, We could build the dream with love, oh people,We could build the dream with love, I know,We could build the dream with love.
When are we going to stop killing each other?
When compassion overtakes greed as a virtue, and others ideas and culture are truly respected.
Come on, people! Come on, children! Come on down to the glory river. Gonna wash you up, and wash you down, gonna lay the devil down, gonna lay that devil down. I got fury in my soul,fury's gonna take me to the glory goal. In my mind I can't study war no more. Save the people! Save the children! Save the country now!
Come on, people! come on, children! Come on down to the glory river. Gonna wash you up and wash you down. Gonna lay the devil down, gonna lay that devil down. Come on people! Sons and mothers! Keep the dream of the two young brothers. Gonna take that dream and ride that dove.
We could build the dream with love, I know, We could build the dream with love, I know, We could build a dream with love, children, We could build the dream with love, oh people, We could build the dream with love, I know, We could build the dream with love.
I'd like to share this post, from a "liberal", you know, the folks who used to be anti-war?
———————- Confessions of a former Tea Party guy.
I catch hell here because I talk about the Tea Party Patriots like they are human beings. The reason is because I have been one. When the Tea Party started, it wasn't the Tea Party, it was the money bombs for Ron Paul. Why did I support Ron Paul here, when everyone else thought he was a nut (and now they think he's a dangerous nut because he has been effective). Well, at the time, he was one of the few people who was anti-war. And I was, before I was a Democrat or a liberal or a libertarian or whatever you want to call me, I was anti-war. Ron Paul was anti-war, and it was a major part of his identity, and remains a major part of his identity. He was antiwar before it was cool to be antiwar. He voted against the AUMF in Iraq.
War is the most destructive force a government can unleash. It is obviously destructive to its victims, the Afghan weddings interrupted by Predator drone strikes, the Iraqi babies with their heads blown off by indiscriminate American gunfire, the prisoners raped and tortured to death while our soldiers looked on and did nothing... These things accompany EVERY WAR. I said so in 2005, and everyone thought, well, Americans don't fight that way, but they do, and Wikileaks proved it recently to the sound of crickets.
War destroys the soldiers, too. Not just the 4,000 plus who have died, and not just the 100,000 more who have been greviously wounded, but also probably half a million young men with PTSD and other psychological disorders that the military refuses to admit exist, and the thousands more exposed to toxic chemicals. War is an obscenity. It is a vile filth in the world.
War destroys our economy. We print money and fake money to hide the true cost, so it looks like we pay nothing -our taxes, after all, don't go up. But the money comes from somewhere. It comes down the line as a bill to our kids and grandkids who don't get to see American moonbases and don't get to go to Mars and still have to face cancer and things that the money could have cured, but it's all gone because we spewed it out as liquid fire upon the children of other souls. So we are sliding into a massive economic depression, the same slide that accompanies all wars, and all the nice social programs we need to keep our seniors healthy and our poor housed all go on the altar of Mars. And we squabble about them now as if we can ever, ever afford them again.
It destroys our moral compass. It destroys our moral compass in that generals become like kings. When war is going on they have the power of life and death in their dominions. Does it surprise us that they don't want to give this up? The profits from war are measured in the trillions to defense contractors and weapons makers and weapon system designers. Nobody is happy when a helicopter crashes except the seller of helicopters. He measures his profits in the millions, and the price is paid in blood, terror and death.
The Tea Party started with Ron Paul. It started with people like me who were willing to put this principle, that war was the enemy, above party loyalty and above the so-called liberal/conservative divide, and we Tea Party founders desperately wanted to find a home and forge an alliance with the anti war liberals, thinking we could unite on this one principle, and put it above other principles. Oh, sure, economics was part of it. Constitutionalism was part of it. The assault on our freedoms was part of it. It was what united us in the beginning, our principled opposition to the welfare/warfare state. So the economics were "conservative" and the anti-war position was "liberal" in the parlance of the day, but in those days the Republicans were running everything, and it seemed like driving an antiwar splinter into the middle of them might end the wars.
What happened when I talked about Ron Paul here? The threads got locked, that's what. And that's what happened to the energy of anti-war conservatives. We were told to fuck off at Free Republic, where every war is a good one. We were told to fuck off here at DU, where every Republican is a bad one. And at Kos, and basically everywhere major except for a few small, little read blogs.
So we started to organize, and run candidates, and we paid a lot of money to get Ron Paul's message out there. 20 million bucks, back when that was a lot of money, and it wasn't corporate cash, it was $50 here, $10 there, paypal, mastercard, whatever it took, because we WANTED TO END THE WAR. Whose attention did we get? We got the damn attention of the damn Republicans, of course, who, licking their wounds after the well-deserved thrashing they got in 2008 saw the energy in the Ron Paul campaign, saw the energy in the Tea Party frustration, and they infiltrated it, co-opted it, took it over and ended it as an expression of anti-war libertarianism, and turned it into Sara Palin central.
It's not the Tea Party anymore, it's the GOP Party now. So that's what happened to the anti-war libertarian right, following in Hayek's footsteps and Mises' footsteps into the wilderness once again.
But seriously, though.
What the fuck happened to the anti war left? Obama got elected and you just fucking disappeared.
You know, the Tea Party energy could have been here. There could have been a bipartisan grass-roots movement that would have really shaken D.C. up, and we really would be bringing our soldiers home, and we really could have saved a lot of people from being blown to smithereens by our soldiers, who are our sons and brothers and fathers, who are coming home scarred for life.
I come here and I post and I have been doing it for a long time. I have gone from hard left (when I started, hence the name) to a general disgust for all government when I saw how corrupt everyone in DC seemed to be, and when I saw how the corporations just OWN everyone. But I have always been against the murders that are being committed in our name in the Middle East. There has always been a strong anti war contingent here, but not anymore.
It's all about us vs. them. "All Republicans eat babies". "All Teabaggers (I know that means sucking balls in a bar, but it's funny because they are all so stupid they don't get the joke, haw haw, but we are clever and we get it, nevermind that it insults every gay person we know, so long as we can insult THEM) are face stomping stupid trailer dwelling white trash who vote against their own interests because they are so dumb, haw haw!
Well, okay, DU. You got Obama in office. Gratz.
The killing goes on and on and on, but let's don't talk about it, let's remain FOCUSED on us versus those stupid ass redneck Tea Party guys.
I'm so goddamn disappointed I have tears in my eyes writing this, you miserable, short-sighted accomplices. ————————- credit http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=389x9484081