Monday, October 01, 2007

New TV Show "Aliens in America" Created to Lower our Resistance

Our modern liberals face some problems as they battle their way toward power. One of the primary ones is Islamic terrorism.

We can see how tainted America has become when we acknowledge that the vast majority of terrorists look "different" from us. But, instead of allowing bag checkers at airports to focus on middle easterners in particular and paler-skinned people in general, we (in our classic "don't sue us" mentality) have decided to simply randomly scan people, including grandmothers whose worst sin is making a burnt chocolate chip cookie.

Liberals are scurrying to re-invent the Islamic terrorist, and the only ones that will ultimately profit from this are the terrorists. But the reasons the liberals are so hell-bent on this vary. One reason is that they may not truly believe that the threat exists, despite all evidence to the contrary. It's the classic bury-your-head-in-the-sand-and-it-will-go-away mentallity.

Another reason may be that Liberals feel even if a threat does exist, it only exists with the few extreme Islamists far away overseas: Liberals don't believe that Islamists in our country could possibly agree with the extremists philosophies. Why they believe that, I don't really know, since our newsmen and politicians have been crying out for moderate muslims to show themselves and yet only a handful have appeared, glancing furtively over their shoulders.

And let us not forget that liberals want to win the White House. Until Liberals remake the threat to our country to be less than what it really is, people traditionally elect Republicans in times of war. This would ultimately doom Hillary's campaign.

Whatever the reason may be in this case, Hollywood is now producing a show for our viewing pleasure called "Aliens in America." The premise is simple: A prejudiced white family asks for an exchange student thinking that they'll get an Aryan male. Instead, they get a boy from Pakistan. He goes to school and is immediately accused of being from the same group that participated in the 9/11 attack.

It's supposed to be a real laugh riot: A "hilarious, smartly crafted comedy", according to the New York Daily News. Perhaps the liberals are hoping that this spoonful of sugar will help the medicine go down easier.

I can already hear the disclaimers: "Well not all Muslims are terrorists and not all Muslims are bad!" I'm sure this is completely true: Not all snakes are poisonous either. But frankly, I don't want to get too close to one until I can identify it, as many of them look very much alike.

However, terrorists are not visually identifiable, and the Islamic religion teaches all Muslims that it is OK to pretend to be peaceful and even lie about what religion you are until it's time to strike.* Ultimately, the goal of the Islamic faith is world-domination through whatever means necessary. There currently is no other religion that has this belief system.

Americans have grown mentally lazy: Our lowered educational standards repeatedly show this to be true. Most people would rather waste time in front of a television set, absorbing whatever is set before them, focusing on what is pleasurable even when the wolf is at the door. Do we really want to encourage a lax attitude toward Islamic terrorists? Do we really want to hasten the demise of America?

* Bukhari, vol. 4, book 56, no. 3030; Muslim, vol. 4, book 32, no. 6303; Qur'an 3:28; Ibn Kathir, vol. 2, 141-42


daveawayfromhome said...

Oh dear, Saur, this one almost makes me dispair of you. Yes, certainly, our overly PC culture has made a mockery of our screening process, but seriously,

"Do we really want to hasten the demise of America?"

The greatest danger to America is not criminals with bombs, or islamists in the U.S. Believe me, should such Muslims "rise up", they (along with non-rising muslims, unfortunately) would quickly be overwhelmed in bloodbath that will make future historians shudder. No, the danger is in our reaction to the threat, such as the erosion to our constitution and placement of security over freedom as a priority. In our fear, we are trading rights for a non-existant "safety". But as most people know, you cannot stop a truly determined and skilled criminal, and this is as true in terrorism as it is in car theft.

You talk of people thinking that the danger exists only with "the few extreme Islamists far away overseas", but who encourages this view more, liberals, or the fight-them-over-there-so-we-dont-have-to-fight-them-here Republican crowd? Perhaps people do "traditionally elect Republicans in times of war", but guess what, maybe that's because if you look back, it's generally been Democrats who were in power when the wars began, so Republicans were elected to get them out of war.
But who started the war this time?
And who originally defined the terrorist threat, which I would call criminal in nature, as a "war"? Republicans did. Could they have done so thinking, just as you have said, that "people traditionally elect Republicans in times of war"?

Absolutely, Muslims should be profiled. When a jihad is declared against you, you dont keep an eye out for Catholics. But at the same time, you must understand that not all Muslims are terrorists, just as not all "Christians" are saints. Most Muslims, like most people, just want to live their lives peacefully. Unfortunately, some of their number have chosen not to do this, and so have stained the whole community (just as people like Robert Tilton, Jim Bakker, or Jerry Falwell cast a shadow on the whole Christian community).
Is it fair? No.

Everyone just needs to get used to it, and get on with it. Muslims will be under suspicion, and need to be so. But perspective on that suspicion is desperately needed, lest we have another situation like we had with the Japanese in WWII, and that perspective is supplied by liberals. Do we want to head all the way over to that camp? No, but neither do we want to swing all the way into the Republican concentration camp, either.

The danger to America is not islamist attacks, or that a "foriegn" religion will take over a country that cant even agree on the one we've already got. The danger is in the widening disconnect between those who "lead" us, and the will of the people. The danger is in the widening gap between haves and have-nots. The danger is in a policy that claims to want an educated populace, yet makes that education increasingly difficult for most people while funneling enormous quantities of money into testing companies and raising college tuition rates to unaffordable levels. The danger is in a society which cloaks anarchy in the guise of "personal responsibility". The danger is in an economic philosophy that when you really look at it, always places money above people, as if money can buy everything.

C'mon, Saur. I know you're not really like this. Look at this statement again, only replace "Muslims" with "blacks" and "terrorists" with "criminals", and you'll maybe understand why this post set me off.

I can already hear the disclaimers: "Well not all Muslims are terrorists and not all Muslims are bad!" I'm sure this is completely true: Not all snakes are poisonous either. But frankly, I don't want to get too close to one until I can identify it, as many of them look very much alike.

Oh, and as for Hilary, she's the next John Kerry. I dont know who's picking her to run, but it's no one that I know of. She's just another four (or eight) years of bad blood between the sides. Maybe that's what the nation needs, I dont know. Eight more years of Clinton, then another eight of whatever Bush we elect that time. Maybe then we'll pull our collective heads out of our collective asses and start thinking again rather than repeating the party line.

Saur♥Kraut said...

Daveawayfromhome, you know I agree with you more than I disagree with you. And there's no doubt that preserving civil liberties is of utmost importance. AND you're right to a certain extent: A determined criminal will often overcome barriers. However, since we DO have barriers in place (literally and metaphorically), the DO deter.

BUT, I am not talking about U.S. citizens having their liberties encroached upon when I encourage a fence to be put up between us and Mexico. I'm not endangering our liberties when I suggest that we offer no amnesty to illegal aliens and we seal the porous border(s). I'm not endangering our liberties when I suggest that we carefully vet the immigrants who are over here on green cards. I am not endangering our liberties when I say that we should round up anyone who has overstayed their green cards. And THESE measures are how we combat the problems we are facing.


burrowing our heads in the sand and denying the problems exist make us just as bad as the Republicans who are doing the same thing. The only difference is motive: The Republicans are pro Big Business, and business makes a profit when they can pay illegals less than the standard American worker. THAT damages US citizens. But we moderates and liberals also can damage US citizens even if our motives are (1. more pure, 2. just different, 3. all of the above).

You asked You talk of people thinking that the danger exists only with "the few extreme Islamists far away overseas", but who encourages this view more, liberals, or the fight-them-over-there-so-we-dont-have-to-fight-them-here Republican crowd?. I think BOTH parties' politicians encourage this, again for different reasons. BOTH are wrong. We need to retreat, seal our borders, and crack down on the illegals within.

You point out that not all Muslims are terrorists, as I wrote in the article today. I think you missed that. The problem is that MOST Christians decry violence and hatred. Most Muslims DON'T. The "moderates", if they exist in any numbers, are appallingly quiet.

I most definately agree that we are in danger of complete disconnect from our so-called leaders who are becoming more dictatorial than representative.

You wrote C'mon, Saur. I know you're not really like this. Look at this statement again, only replace "Muslims" with "blacks" and "terrorists" with "criminals", and you'll maybe understand why this post set me off. Ahhh! I was waiting for someone to say that. But what is wrong with a certain degree of profiling? As you say, you KNOW I'm not like this, so think about what I'm going to say first before you snap back:

Say that you are walking down a dark alley. You have no weapons. You're a petite woman with no defense skills. Suddenly you look up, and you see 10 black youths approaching you from one side of the alley. They're wearing classic gangster clothing and talking loudly. From the other direction, 10 saffron-robed Buddhist monks are approaching. Which group do you run toward?

I rest my case. Sometimes we must use common sense, even when it's not politically correct.

I'm with you on the political analysis of Hillary.

Jamie Dawn said...

The truth is there are terrorists among us, plain and simple.
It is to the advantage of Democrats/liberals to play down the threat, and it is to the advantage of Republicans/Conservs to play up the threat.
I choose to be on the safer side of the two and vote for people who take this threat seriously. Your snake analogy is really goooood. I agree!

Saur♥Kraut said...

Jamie Dawn, a good, succinct summary. I agree. Thanks!

The Lazy Iguana said...

You have been listening to way too much foaming at the mouth right wing radio.

1. REPUBLICANS created the TSA. Bush appointees wrote the standard operating procedures. Back when all this was created, the Democrats were the minority party and Bush was in his "I get whatever I want" days. So when old ladies are given the twice over at the airport - you can thank which party for that? Who wrote the SOP? Who is the head of DHS? And who put all those people on the job? Not the Democrats!

2. How about that Jose Padilla guy with his "dirty bomb" that turned out to be "dirty socks" and his three or four year isolation and then when he does go to trial he is only charged with associating with a terrorist group. Remember all the foaming at the mouth over that guy? He was going to set off a radioactive device. He was going to take down the Brooklyn Bridge with a cutting torch (yes this was on Fox "News" for about 30 minutes before even they realized that was just too crazy). And so on. Or my personal favorite, Johnny "Taliban" Walker. Profile only Arabs and those two would slip right on by.

3. Now if the Government wants to lock you up all they have to do is utter the word "terrorist" and you are off to a secret jail on a military base without access to anything. You can be detained there for as long as the government wants. And then when you do get to a trial the Republicans TRIED THEIR BEST to make it a military tribunal, with a military appointed lawyer to represent you, no jury, no judge, and so on. All in the dark. Even if you are a citizen. Sound like America to you?

4. The world did not change on 9-11. Really. It was the same world on 9-10-01 as it is today. Nothing at all changed - EXCEPT for one thing. Well two things. Attitude and perspective.

5. During the 90s, which party was claiming that cruise missile attacks to get some goat herder who lived in a cave was just some kind of "distraction" from what was really important? And the images on Fox "News" of the "baby milk plant" or "aspirin factory" or whatever the hand painted sign in front of the bombed area said? And then the Republican scorn and laughter that it was a terrorist training camp and that very dangerous people were there? I do. It was laughed at then, and now the same people laughing are the ones "taking this all seriously".

6. None of this is going away.

7. The hundreds of billions spent in Iraq could have built 10 fences, secured all the airports and seaports, provided extra money to police agencies to go after gangs and terror cells in the USA, and so on. But as it turns out.

8. IF the war is really so important (as right wing talk radio claims) then why do they NOT want tax hikes to pay for it? They say freedom is priceless and all the people getting killed is well worth it (hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians are now dead that were alive before the war). But the mere suggestion that they pay a dime for it is just insane. Why those liberals just want to raise taxes to punish the rich! Meanwhile the war is being funded on the national credit card. Bush wants to lower taxes even more - but only for the top 5%. The middle class gets a few hundred bucks. And he wants to make this all permanent. And of course, what was the latest "emergency war spending" request? Another hundred BILLION??? Something like that.

When you take all the bullshit on one side and compare it to the bullshit on the other side, there is a clear winner here.

To end this war, and change the tone of right wing radio, it would be very easy.

1. Institute a draft. The more money your family has, the greater the chance you will be drafted. No deferrals.

2. WAR TAX! I mean this is really important right? Freedom is priceless and so on. So if you make millions a year running your mouth on TV and radio - you should have no problem with a 70% tax to support the troops, the war, and Bush. Right? NO?!!??! Why not? What about freedom being priceless? If this is so, you would not mind paying 70% of your "I work 4 hours a day talking on the radio" income to preserve that freedom now would you?

Obviously, the more you make the more you can afford to pay up to preserve freedom - so the war would be balanced on the backs of the wealthy.

Just those two things would bring the war to a halt - and bring the bullshit into the light.

daveawayfromhome said...

My bad, I thought this was an O'Riellian talking-points attack on liberals via a TV "conspiracy", and instead it was an anti-immigration post. And generally, I come down on the conservative side of that arguement (except for the part where they let Business off scott-free)(oh, and the simple fact that on a practical level, arresting 12+ million people just isnt possible - but in theory, I go along with them more than the Dems).
I like your alleyway scenario, I've made similar, even milder arguements that reach the same conclussion. But we're not talking about alleyways here, we're talking about whole societies, and such a blanket statement moves from profiling into racism.
I will agree that the low level of objection about islamist violence from middle-of-the-road muslims is disturbing, but so also is the lack of objection to some of the extreme religious stances taken in America by fundamentalists by our own middle-of-the-roaders.
Thing is, there is some objection (which doesnt seem to get a whole lot of airplay), though one of the inherent problem with expecting objections from middle-of-the-roaders is that they are generally more willing to let people go their own way than extremists are. When you get an objection from a middle-of-the-roader, you know their really disturbed (whereas extremists will complain about anything and everything that does not conform to their narrow and rigid views, which is just about anything and everything).

Lazy, there's no need to raise taxes only on the rich, or to draft more heavily from the rich into the military. Raise everyone's taxes and institute a draft for everyone, and you'll soon see the wealthy howling as their precious entitled lifestyle is treated as if they were ordinary people. Never mind that the only demographic to have profitted during the Bush years has been the very, very rich, because, by God, people should be responsible for paying their own way (even if the means with which they pay that way is on the meager salary generously afforded them by those same wealthy individuals in exchange for doing the work that made them wealthy in the first place).

Jamie, you choose to be on the safer side of the two and vote for people who take this threat seriously, but what of the internal threat of those who promise you "safety"? The loss of habeas corpus, the use of warrentless wiretapping, the ability to arrest anyone that the arrestors deem to be a "supporter" of terrorism, the use of torture (yes, torture) on suspected terrorists (again, as defined by the torturers), the collection of all kinds of personal records in a hunt for "enemies".
You're far more likely to be taken out tomorrow at a stoplight by your neighbor than you will ever be to die in a terrorist attack. Will you arrest him, too?

We're trading our soveignty (read the constitution; the people are sovereign) for gibbering fear and the protection of jackals, jackals who tell us that we can have war and safety at the same time, and that it wont cost us a thing, even as they rack up an enormous bill on our national credit card. The Republicans have pulled this con upon us, but the Democrats are just as culpable, having never once raised any serious barriers to Bush policies, even when they had the power to do so.

You want to see change? Forget national politics, that's all bought and paid for, a done deal (ask yourself, is there anybody that you particularly like?), and concentrate on local politics. That's where it all begins. Get rid of the self-serving corruption at the base, and the rest will follow.

Saur♥Kraut said...

Good gravy!!! I have a lot to answer. Bear with me.

Lazy, First, who said I was a Republican or agree with the "talking heads"? As you know, I have been and always will be a moderate. There is a WORLD of difference, I am proud to say.

2. Your examples are exceptions, which can be found among any group. There are serial killers who love animals and paint daisies, I'm sure. And there are bad black, white, brown, yellow, and any other kind of colored skin and religious affiliation. As I said, not all Muslims are bad. Not all Americans are good. But... MOST Americans don't encourage serial killers. Most Muslims will not condemn them. And, most Muslims are from parts of Europe such as the Balkans, and from the middle east. Since the vast majority of terrorists come from the middle east, and THEY are the ones that are aggressive, then if I had to choose between an American businessman and a Saudi Arabian 'exchange student', my bet would be on the Saudi Arabian as a potential terrorist. Yes, there are exceptions. But, by definition, they are exceptions.

3. Yes, and that is bad. Re-read my post if you suspect that this is what I'm advocating. However, protections should only be extended to CITIZENS. I don't have any loyalty to people who are not citizes of the USA when it comes to something like this.

4. I agree. And I was worried that we were too lax THEN. Anyone who knew me knew that I predicted 9/11 a long time ago. I just didn't know to what extent, and I wasn't sure if anything else besides the towers would be involved. Any fool knew the towers were targeted, as they had been repeatedly for years.

5. I don't know whom you're speaking of, but if anyone laughed at the terrorists, I can't imagine who it would be. Tom Clancy spoke for the majority, and expressed his alarm in his many books of the time.

6. I agree

7. I certainly agree!

8. I also agree.

9. Drafts are ridiculous, when so many of us are opposed to the war. The answer is NOT more bodies. The answer is withdrawal.

10. War Tax is a WONDERFUL concept. I am ready to help you run for President.

Daveawayfromhome, it's not as easy as it once was. We can't really be so politically correct as to become blind to the reality of it. Stereotyping with no justification is wrong. But we are fools if we pretend otherwise. Am I going to think twice about a woman in a burqa or a man with a fez? You betcha. I'd be stupid not to. If they attend a mosque as opposed to a synagogue or a church? You betcha! Again, common sense.

HOWEVER... if they are middle eastern in origin but are not of the Islamic faith, and don't subjugate their women into burqas and abuse, who stand firmly against Islamic terrorists, then they can be my best friend and I'll have them over to dinner any day of the week. Please find me one.

You said but so also is the lack of objection to some of the extreme religious stances taken in America by fundamentalists by our own middle-of-the-roaders. I must say honestly that I cannot imagine what you're talking about. Abortion clinic bombings? They were roundly and loudly condemned by scads of people of the same faith as the bombers. And as a result of that and swift justice, the bombings passed out of fad quickly. Give me an example of anything else, if it comes to mind.

We DO have to raise everyone's taxes. This unrealistic lifestyle of consumption is ridiculous. If we don't address it now, our economy will be (and is) terribly endangered. Our kids' futures are being destroyed.

I doubt Jamie is willing to trade freedoms for protection. She didn't say she was... and certainly *I* am not. I just want our current laws enforced (and they make sense!)

You are absolutely correct about how some people are willing to trade freedom for protection, and it's a huge mistake. It leaves us open to the tender mercies of the NEXT government (as if the current one isn't bad enough) and it concerns me greatly. Heaven forbid we become like fascist Nazi Germany.

I wish local politics were the answer. I was involved with them for years. They are NOT. The only answer is enough people who take it seriously enough to exact change and then follow through. The voter apathy is so strong that any politician knows he doesn't need to worry about his constituency once he's elected. Some may choose to be ethical, but certainly they aren't FORCED to be. No one holds them accountable.

daveawayfromhome said...

An example of religious extremism in America? How about the gay marriage "debate". Homosexuals are not a danger to anyone on any greater level than heterosexuals are. There is no conspiracy, except maybe one to be accepted into society for what they are. Certainly there is no danger to Christians from homosexuals, and the idea that gay marriage endagers the sanctity of marriage is like saying that a Volkswagon Beetle endangers the truckness of a Ford F-10.
Yeah, yeah, I know it's not on the level of blowing up buildings for Allah. On the other hand, these are Americans who supposedly believe in the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, yet who would deny fellow Americans their freedoms based soley on their personal "choice" of sexual orientation.

"as a result of... swift justice, the bombings passed out of fad quickly"

I know, you dont support Dubya any more than I do, but how much of our current situation can be attributed to our failure to enact swift justice upon the bombers (or rather the planners) of 9-11. Despite the footage of cheering muslims, there was a lot of sympathy for the U.S. from the middle east over the bombings, but instead of taking advantage of that, we pissed it all away. Invading Afghanistan, even if they didnt like it, was perfectly understandable to the Arab world, an obvious case of an eye for an eye. Our attack on Iraq was not.
Oh, and as regards Iran, one thing you never see mentioned much is that since we occupy both Iraq and Afghanistan, we are in a classic pincher position as regards Iran. Of course they're nervous about what we're up to, of course they're covertly supplying resistance movements in Iraq and probably Afghanistan. Can you image what our response would be should there be an Islamic military presence in both Canada and Mexico?

Is there a jihad? Sure. Is America in danger of attack? On a small scale, yes. But the Islamic world is on the other side of the planet, and if there is one thing that almost everyone but George Bush can understand, it's that you're going to have one hell of a time conquering a country when you have to skip halfway around the world to do it. Start close to home, work your way out. We're not in any real danger yet, except from more sucker-punches like that of 9-11. And what's the answer to a sucker-punch? Stay alert, pay attention, but most of all dont get all paranoid and start wailing on everyone that looks at you cross-eyed, or when the next punch comes you'll be looking the wrong way.

daveawayfromhome said...

In other words, if we suffer another attack, it will not be because of liberals not seeing the danger, it will be because of neo-cons seeing danger everywhere.

Scott said...

I guess they should be should set up screening at all the mega church stadiums to catch all of those Christian terrorists that shoot Doctors and blow of Federal buildings.

just a thought

The Lazy Iguana said...

A lot of people laughed at the "threat" that some guy in a cave thousands of miles away posed. Nobody took anything seriously. Lets look at the 90s for a bit. Clinton sent troops to Somalia to stabilize the government and feed people. Warlords (terrorists) were running the place - and still are. A few Blackhawks were shot down and the Republicans in Congress, and the people, wanted out. So we "cut and ran". There was some success in the Balkans, but this was not without a political fight. Nothing was done about the USS Cole or the embassy bombings. The Republican solution was "who need an embassy in Kenya anyway" and "lets just refuel our ships at sea".

And now these same isolationists are the war hawks. Because of course, September 11 changed everything. They consider their opinion to be "everything". But what about 10 years ago? Where was the resolve then? Nowhere to be seen.

what do you think the right would have done if Clinton had said after the first Trace Center bombing that international terrorism was a huge threat and tried to institute homeland security then? Or sent troops to Afghanistan? Fox "News" spent 30 minutes on sex scandal coverage for every minute of air time spent talking about the first bombing.

Bush himself ran as an isolationist in 2000. Clinton was BLASTED by the right for all his trips to Europe as President. Nobody on the right running in 2000 said much about foreign policy. They were all isolationists.

Nobody took the threat of terror seriously.

By the way, the TV show is probably not directed by politics. The TV network is just trying to jump into a political issue for fun and profit. Think of all the free advertising they will get for the crappy show.

If ratings are low, the show will not last more than one season. This is how the television business is run. From the sound of it - the ratings will stink. The show may not even make it past the pilot episode.

Saur♥Kraut said...

Daveawayfromhome, The Gay Marriage Debate? You're really going to make that equivalent? To the best of my knowlege, no one has even stubbed a toe over the matter! No - let's talk about something seriously equivalent. And as for that subject, I have a couple very good friends who are gay who are completely opposed to gay marriage for different reasons.

I absolutely agree that Dubya has thrown away his chances repeatedly and mismanaged the war (which never should've happened in the first place - we should've done a surgical strike and left). Good point about seeing danger EVERYwhere (I hate the Chicken Littles) but there is increasing evidence that there is, indeed, danger. We sit around wayyyyy to comfy for our own good - distant from the war and making no personal sacrifices that drive it home to us. We are so far removed from the WW2 generation that it might as well never have existed to most of us.

Scott, yeah, I know what you mean: There are so many Christian terrorists that we just don't know what to do with them any more! We hear about their atrocities every day, and who can forget the St. Peter Five, whose infamous deeds were memorialized in a protest song by Boy George?


I'm assuming you're not being serious here.

Lazy, Clinton went to Somalia for completely different reasons that had nothing to do with the threat of terrorism in America. He was, essentially, choosing to be The Red Cross with a military backup. It's not comparable to the current situation. AND it was handled very sloppily... even worse than the current war. :P

As for Clinton, he certainly COULD have alerted America to the dangers and I think they would've listened to a highly popular, intelligent President. There were enough people trying to tell him of the dangers - but he just didn't see it as a true threat (or didn't want to, as I mentioned in the post).

NO one in the Republican party has been an 'isolationist' since perhaps WW2. Trust me - since *I* am one. They objected to how many trips were taken and how little time he was spending on national issues. Again - such time could've been spent on national security and dealing with the growing terrorist threat.

As for the TV show, as with most things coming out of Hollywood, there is often a hidden agenda. As we are a democracy, there is always the potential to produce anything as long as your financiers have deep enough pockets. In such cases, profits and the law of supply and demand need not apply.

The Lazy Iguana said...

I do not think there is any hidden agenda with TV shows. It is all ratings driven. "Hollywood" and TV networks are not the same. ABC is owned by Disney. Fox is owned by some crusty old codger. And what is the "hidden agenda" behind "American Idol"? There is none - unless putting out shows that people watch in order to make a buck is a hidden agenda.

Oh yea - and making America stupider. Lowering the national IQ. That is pretty much the "hidden agenda" of all TV shows.

The neo-cons ARE isolationist. Or at least they were. In 2000. Remember how it did not matter that Bush did not know where India was on a map? And what was his foreign policy platform in 2000? There was none. His platform was "we need to keep to ourselves more, and be the world crossing guard less".

But we can't really do this. I think everyone sees that now. Foreign policy in today's world is a lot more important than ever before - even more important than domestic policy. This is because foreign policy takes much longer to realize. A slight change today can have big consequences (good or bad) in the future. Domestic policy has a shorter life cycle. And it can be changed with more predictable results.

The thing about international affairs is that the goal is not always visible at first. Take Somalia again. Yes, we were there to be the Red Cross with guns, so that the people might get some of the international food shipments. And we were handing out sacks of rice and wheat in bags with the American Flag printed on them. But why? Why print Old Glory on the food shipments? And why go to that festering rat hole anyway?

The "hidden agenda" there was terrorism. I think the Government knew about the problem since the Munich Olympics - and at least since the Saudi Arabia barracks bombing. The problem was convincing we the people that the problem was real. With no bus bombs here - the people just figured that it was an "over there" problem. We were too busy watching TV programs and worrying about the Russians. This is what September 11 changed. Before the event most Americans would have scoffed at the idea of a terrorist attack here.

Traditionally, America is an isolationist nation. Hell most Americans do not even have a passport. Compare this to Europe, where it is common for people to move across borders. Summer vacation in Germany? Lets go! It is only a short train ride away. Here, I can drive for 4 or 5 hours and get to....Orlando! Still in Florida. I have to drive another 4 hours to get to....Georgia! Kind of like a foreign nation compared to Miami.

If I lived in Paris a 5 hour train ride gets me to Spain, Germany, Luxembourg, Belgium, or even London. Different nations, with different languages, different cultures, and different customs.

Anyway, back to the festering rat hole. If people are fed with food shipments from another nation - are they going to hate the nation whose flag is printed on the food? Probably not. The warlords were pretty much the same ilk as Osama, only slightly darker. They were taking all the food, and then using it as pay for their private militias. Want food? Work for a warlord - otherwise starve. By breaking up the network of warlords, Somalia would be more stable, the people better off, and in an unstable region there would be another US friendly nation. All good prospects, considering that the alternative is another nation wide open to terrorist training camps.

Same for Kosovo. Why go there? We stepped in to prevent the MUSLIMS from being wiped out by that crazy man running Yugoslavia. And I am also sure that using the Voice Of America and other outlets, news of this made it to the Arab world. So you have this guy in a turban saying "America hates Muslims" and the news is reporting that America is preventing Muslims from being wiped out. What do you believe, actions or words? Sane people believe actions.

At the same time, Clinton was really pushing for talk between Israel and the PLO. And against all odds, agreements were made. The prospects for peace in the region were pretty high for a time - and then of course it all fell apart. The crazies could not be kept in line. And Arafat kept trying to change the deal. And some Israelis were not down with the program either - so one of them shot the PM. With that - the deal died too.

Clinton did say plenty about terrorism. But it was around the time of the Starr report and the only thing the "liberal" media wanted to talk about was the scandal. The terrorism stuff was brushed off. Ignored. It was just crazy that a man in a remote cave without cable TV or high speed internet access could possibly do anything to the most powerful nation on Earth! Clearly, all that was just a feeble attempt to cover up the important news of the scandal.

The first time I heard the name Bin Laden was on a BBC World Service shortwave radio broadcast. This was around 1995. I also remember Clinton dropping the name after some cruise missile strikes around the time of the scandal. The missiles missed by a matter of 30 minutes to an hour by the way. We almost killed his ass then.

But the public was duped into some warped reality that the strikes were just a distraction.

The same people who sold that reality took all the power in 2000. I think we all remember what happened since then.

I give the public another 4 or 5 years to totally forget everything. Foreign policy will be unimportant again, and politicians will bring out that old tired "the oceans will keeps us safe" bullshit. And people will buy it.

Bryan said...

Saur, we are hated around the world not without good reason. And that is because of our Imperialistic foreign policies. The fact is there once were Muslim nations in the Middle East who actually were pro Western. Take Iran in 1953 for instance. Dr. Mohammed Mossadeq was very pro Western, and pro America in particular. But when he decided to nationalize Iran's oil industry (which he had every right to do) and give British Petroleum some competition, all hell broke loose. That was when Britain accused him of being a Communist and enlisted the aid of our C.I.A to help destabilize his government. Not long after that he was deposed and a ruthless dictator, the Shaw, was installed in his place by the C.I.A.

Yet most Americans are completely unaware of such actions taken by our government because our press is so tightly controlled (both left and right wing establishment media outlets) and so much spin has been applied over the decades that when the truth is presented, Americans scoff at it as being "leftist" propaganda.

Our government has gone from being one "Of the people, by the people, for the people", to one "Of the elite, by the elite, for the elite", and the profits of the multinational corporations.

Our nation's foreign policy makes me wonder how God actually views America as a nation? Perhaps we are, in fact, the "Mystery Babylon" written about in the book of Revelation who's judgment will come because of our actions against the people of other nations who are only trying to improve their standard of living. And maybe these are the reasons some of these nations are now starting to stand up to us and fight back. Yet our press paints it as terrorism.

I realize these words will not be popular with my countrymen, but my conscience dictates I mention them on your blog anyway. Especially since the topic you posted has to do with terrorism.

Something similar happened in Guatemala in 1954. And the list goes on and on and on.

Excerpt from

Guatemala 1954 - The story of the American-backed coup against the democratically elected President of Guatemala, Jacobo Arbenz, is one of the most shameful and disturbing accounts of CIA operations in the "Third World" War.
Guatemala achieved independence from Spain in 1821. Afterwards, Guatemala's post-colonial existence was the familiar sort where the people were ruled by the Elite, and the government took the form of a series of dictatorships. As Spanish influence waned, American influence rose. The most important American influence in Guatemala came to be the Boston-based United Fruit Company (UFCO).

In the 1930's the dictator in charge was President Jorge Ubico. He enjoyed very friendly relations with the UFCO because he gave them a huge plantation on the Pacific Coast, greatly reduced their taxes, allowed them to import duty-free goods, and also asked that they keep wages low so as not to create envy of UFCO employees within the rest of the peasant population. At the same time the UFCO took over International Railways of Central America, which then placed United Fruit in "complete authority of the nation's international commerce."

As World War II came to a close the people of Guatemala were caught up in the rising tide of freedom and democracy. They listened as FDR outlined his Four Freedoms, and they applauded at the signing of the Atlantic Charter. In 1944, at the people's encouragement, the Guatemalan military kicked out the dictator Ubico, and then it withdrew to allow the democratic process to take effect. Guatemala's first democratically-elected president was a schoolteacher named Juan Jose Arevalo. By the end of his term average wages in the country had risen by eighty percent.

In 1951 Jacobo Arbenz became Guatemala's second democratically-elected president. In his inaugural address, which can be read within Nicholas Zuiker's paper, "The Banana Coup," Arbenz outlined his plans for Guatemala to achieve economic independence, to increase his people's standard of living, and to utilize science and technology in agriculture. A key component of his plan was land reform, and because of this he faced off against Guatemala's biggest landowner, the American-owned United Fruit Company. In Killing Hope, William Blum describes the power that Arbenz was up against (excerpts),

United Fruit functioned in Guatemala as a state within a state. It owned the country's telephone and telegraph facilities, administered its only important Atlantic harbor, and monopolized its banana exports. A subsidiary of the company owned nearly every mile of railroad track in the country. The fruit company's influence amongst Washington's power elite was equally impressive. On a business and/or personal level, it had close ties to the Dulles brothers, various State Department officials, congressmen, the American Ambassador to the United Nations, and others. Anne Whitman, the wife of the company's public relations director, was President Eisenhower's personal secretary. Under-secretary of State (and formerly Director of the CIA) Walter Bedell Smith was seeking an executive position with United Fruit at the same time he was helping to plan the coup. He was later named to the company's board of directors.
Under Arbenz Guatemala constructed an Atlantic port and a highway to compete with United Fruit's holdings, and built a hydro-electric plant to offer cheaper energy than the US controlled electricity monopoly. Arbenz's strategy was to limit the power of foreign companies through direct competition rather than through nationalization, a policy not feasible of course when it came to a fixed quantity like land.

Zuiker's paper, which draws heavily on Schlesinger and Kinzer's book Bitter Fruit, explains how Arbenz's government implemented its policy of land reform in a very clever yet fair way. Those holding massive land monopolies were forced to hand over portions of their unused and uncultivated land to the government, but the government paid back to the owner the full price of the land according to its worth as stated by the owner in property tax documents. The problem for United Fruit, and the beauty of Arbenz's policy, was that in the past United Fruit had consistently undervalued its own land in an effort to defraud the Guatemalan government out of tax revenue! Zuiker writes,

In the spring of 1953, Guatemala expropriated 225,000 of United Fruit's 300,000 acres. Guatemala paid United Fruit U.S. $1,000,000 dollars in exchange for the land. United Fruit insisted the land was worth $20 million dollars...
United Fruit was enraged over the new proposal. UFCO began a huge campaign to appeal to Congressmen, State Department officials and anyone else that would listen. They stated that Guatemala was for all practical purposes stealing their land. UFCO never mentioned that they had valued their land at those prices, however, they did mention that it was all uncultivated; UFCO stated that this loss of land would ruin the company.

One of United Fruit's biggest supporters was a man by the name of John J. McCloy. In 1958 the famous Harvard economist/historian John Kenneth Galbraith singled out McCloy as the "Chairman" of the American Establishment, and thus the most powerful man in America. During his life McCloy was a partner in three powerful New York law firms; he served as assistant Secretary of War under Stimson in the FDR administration; he was appointed US High Commissioner in Germany after the war; served as the second President of the World Bank(1947-1949); served as chairman of Chase Manhattan Bank from 1953-1960; served as chairman of the Ford Foundation from 1958-1965 (see the article The Ford Foundation and the CIA); and served as chairman of the Council on Foreign Relations from 1953-1970 (prior to David Rockefeller). He simply was "The Chairman."

While serving as President of the World Bank McCloy had turned down a much-needed loan application from Guatemalan President Arevalo, and in 1953 as Arbenz battled United Fruit McCloy oversaw a CFR study group that concluded that a coup against Arbenz was necessary. McCloy later became a director of United Fruit.

Another powerful associate of United Fruit was public relations expert Edward Bernays. Zuiker notes that in 1928 Bernays wrote a book entitled Propaganda, in which he stated,

The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country... it is the intelligent minorities [the Establishment Elite] which need to make use of propaganda continuously and systematically.

The success of United Fruit's propaganda campaign across the nation, to portray democratic Guatemala as a bastion of communism that threatened the security of Central America and indeed the United States itself, is documented in Zuiker's paper. Against the hysteria Guatemala could do nothing but meekly protest, as Blum explains in Killing Hope,

In the midst of the American preparation to overthrow the governmet, the Guatemalan Foreign Minister, Guillermo Toriello, lamented that the United States was categorizing "as 'communism' every manifestation of nationalism or economic independence, any desire for social progress, any intellectual curiosity, and any interest in progressive liberal reforms."
Toriello was close to the truth, but Washington officials retained enough contact with reality and world opinion to be aware of the inappropriateness of coming out against nationalism, independence or reform. Thus it was that Secretary of State Dulles asserted that Guatemalans were living under a "Communist type of terrorism" ... President Eisenhower warned about "the Communist dictatorship" establishing "an outpost on this continent to the detriment of all the American nations" ... the US Ambassador to Guatemala, John Peurifoy, declared that "We cannot permit a Soviet Republic to be established between Texas and the Panama Canal" ... others warned that Guatemala could become a base from which the Soviet Union might actually seize the Canal ... Senator Margaret Chase Smith hinted, unmistakably, that the "unjustified increases in the price of coffee" imported from Guatemala were due to communist control of the country, and called for an investigation ... and so it went.

In the campaign against Guatemala the US found an ally in Nicaragua, home of dictator Anastasio Somoza, and in neighboring Honduras, also governed by dictatorship, which became a base for the anti-Arbenz militia. The rulers of both of these nations had an interest in stopping the spread of democracy that also threatened their own regimes.

In 1954 the CIA and United Fruit financed and armed the military coup that defeated the Arbenz government and installed dictatorship. Castillo Armas became the new President of Guatemala and United Fruit was given back the land that was taken from it, along with all of the concessions given to it by previous dictatorships.

The people of Guatemala had been betrayed by the USA and the corporate interests that ruled it. This betrayal also marked a turning point in the life of an Argentine doctor named Ernesto "Che" Guevara. As a resident of Guatemala he had observed the treacherous American action against democracy, and from that point on he became a radical convinced that armed struggle was the only way to defeat the "oligarchic system and the main enemy, Yankee imperialism."

The Lazy Iguana said...

Wow. This post has inspired a lot of very long comments. I do not think I have ever seen this many long comments on any blog.

I never knew about United Fruit. That is pretty bad. Excellent comment.

daveawayfromhome said...

Lazy, here's another one...

Saur, I'll certainly concede that compared to terrorism, suppression of gay marriage is a cake-walk. But I was thinking in more relative terms. In the instance of Americans (where all citizens are considered "equal", and society is largely lassez-faire) who are descriminating against a segment of the populace for what is, basically, nobody else's damn business, there is a huge gap between the ideal and the reality. Bin Laden and his ilk, on the other hand, come from a society where "an eye for an eye" is still accepted practice, where women are blamed for their own rapes, and where the concept of blowing up your enemies is no more unusual than the concept of lamb for dinner. So my point was, whose policy is the more radical? Our own total disregard for our ideals, or a society with conflicts that last hundreds of years wanting to kill us, also?
Remember the old saying, when in Rome, do as the Romans do? Well, there's a flip side to that coin, and it's when you piss off a Roman, dont expect him to fight by your rules.
And it's not like we're exactly innocent in the middle east, either. When Muslims come to America, they come here to (mostly) partake in the American lifestyle. But when Americans go to the middle east, do we do the same? Or are we just there to take their resources and (try to) impose our rules onto them?
(And no, I'm not justifying their attacks on America, I'm simply saying that if you walk up to a person with a history of violence, and slap his face, dont be surprised when he tries to cut your throat.)

As for our nation sitting on its fat collective ass way too comfortably, I agree absolutely.
When we started the war, we should've started the tax increases to pay for it. But Republicans have a mantra, and it serves them well, so we pulled out the old Bank Of China MasterCard instead. However, listen to Seymour Hersh talk about the possibility of our attacking Iran. Guess what one of their probable responses will be? Strikes at oil production targets, which will blow prices out of the water. You could call that a kind of war tax, I suppose, but guess who'll be collecting it? (hint: it isnt anyone who will pay for public schools or public infrastructure.) That's right, it'll be the same people who've profitted so handsomely already from BushCo policies.

This is taking way too long to write, and is increasingly irrelevant as the clock ticks by, but I've gotta say this: Saur, most of the time you and I are actually fairly close in what we think, and even in this case I dont think I'm too far off from your ideas. My real objection to the post is the blanket description of Muslims, and even though I am sometimes guilty of such lumping together myself (such as occassional descriptions of Republicans), I still dont like to see it.

Saur♥Kraut said...

Everyone, I will try to get back to these comments as soon as I possibly can. I happen to know that all of you are exceptionally intelligent and any disagreements I may have will NOT be personal ones... and there is much said that is sadly true (as Bryan's statements are). I'll be back soon.