Come on folks, no planes hit the World Trade Center on 9/11/01.


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Activism Needed When
Fascism Comes to Town

Dreadful news stories and bleak commentaries arrive almost daily. What is taking place in the US right now is a subject of great anxiety around the world. The Fascist America which many understand to be well on its way brings with it dark implications for the human race. As Canadian Professor Michel Chossudovsky often points out, the Bush administration is putting events in motion which are threatening to bring on mankind’s extinction.

Those who care about the direction the US is taking should become activists. There is no other way for change to take place. If you can spare fifteen minutes a week you can phone your representatives. If you can spare half an hour you can write a letter to the editor of a local newspaper.

Many of us are making painful choices about what issues to respond to and what to do. Should we plan and attend marches? Should we concentrate locally or nationally? Should we engage in civil disobedience? Should we build web-blogs? Build a third political party? Demonstrate on behalf of sustainable global economics? Work for media reform? Join the September 11 truth movement? ‘Yes’ is a sensible answer to all of them; however no one can do all of these things. There is no shortage of peace and social justice work that must be done.

One of the strongest motivations for becoming more politically active is the chilling prediction that the US may be in store for another terrorist “attack” like 911 before the next election. Recently, the Washington Post featured an extraordinary commentary from David Rothkopf in their weekend ‘Outlook’ section. (Terrorist Logic: Disrupt the 2004 Election, Washington Post, November 23, 2003). Rothkopf is a former managing director at Kissinger Associates; he is believed to still be an associate of Henry Kissinger’s. He writes that he recently co-chaired a meeting of about 200 business and governmental elites. He says the overwhelming opinion in the room was that the US will soon be subjected to another day like 9/11/01. Rothkopf speculates on a US which resembles the Middle East as the Presidential election arrives. Without using the term he is describing President-select Bush declaring martial law.

This commentary comes fast on the heels of General Tommy Franks’s equally-startling comment (given to Cigar Aficionado) that if the US is attacked with Weapons of Mass Destruction, the US Constitution will likely be shelved and a military government installed. (For comments, visit here.)

So in a very short span of time two shadowy members of the neoconservative elite have prepared widespread, mainstream audiences with the concept of a US severely attacked and under martial law—within the next year. Meanwhile, the more that is learned about 9/11/01 the more impossible the official explanations become. The story of 19 suicidal Muslim fanatics destroying the World Trade Center and damaging the Pentagon using jet planes defies the laws of physics and elementary logic. Recall that the Nazi nightmare began with the Reichstag fire. We must open our minds to the very painful possibility that 911 was a similar device for the ruling neocon elite to achieve similar foreign and domestic policy goals as what the Nazis attempted.

The Bush administration has already built a concentration camp in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. So far the Federal courts have decided that the 660 men who have been held in open-air animal cages on foreign soil for up to two years are not entitled to protections under either the Geneva Conventions or the US Constitution. (The US controls Guantanamo and forces Cuba to unwillingly lease it every year.) The last refuge of these prisoners may be the Supreme Court, which has agreed to hear their case. If the Court agrees with the Bush administration’s tortured logic that the men can be held indefinitely at Guantanamo it could seriously harm our judicial system. We could then expect summary executions to begin taking place in Guantanamo under the new rules of military tribunals. (These tribunals were created by executive order by Bush.) What is known about the rules is severe. For example, even if acquitted by the tribunal a person may still be executed. That is because the President reviews all outcomes of tribunals and can over-rule any decision.

Meanwhile, over a thousand people were rounded up and imprisoned in the immediate aftermath of 9/11/01. Most were deported. The whereabouts of the rest are unknown and the government refuses to release any information about them. They have effectively been disappeared.

A couple of US citizens (i.e., Hamdi and Padilla) are known to be incarcerated without access to the protections under the US Constitution. These men have been languishing in jails for over a year without any charges brought forward. They have been denied any legal counsel and visitation from their families and friends. Their prolonged incarcerations violate what used to be the fourth, fifth, sixth and eight amendments of the Bill of Rights.

The significance of the Hamdi and Padilla cases coincides with the leaked version of the update to the USA PATRIOT ACT sought by the Bush administration. In what has been since dubbed PATRIOT II, the Bush administration seeks the power to legally disappear US citizens solely on the word of the President they represent “enemy combatants”.

The police state that could be coming may resemble what the Miami police recently (11/20-11/22/03) implemented at the no FTAA protests. (The Free Trade Area of the Americas trade treaty is essentially an extension of NAFTA around South America. It promises to spread global poverty, degrade the environment of the south and cause manufacturing jobs to leave like gangbusters in the US.)

Flush with $8.5 million dollars from the $87 billion expenditure Congress approved to continue the barbaric occupation of Iraq, the Miami police are described by hundreds of witnesses as being completely out of control. They beat, shot with rubber bullets and pepper-sprayed nonviolent protesters and people who were doing nothing. They used agent provocateurs to dress up like anti-FTAA protesters and initiate violence and otherwise disturb the peace. The Miami cops used these pretexts for extreme, indiscriminate violence and the criminalizing of dissent. Judging by the example of the Miami police it is now extremely dangerous for a group of people to attempt to use what used to be their First Amendment rights in any city in the US. Even permitted demonstrations, like the ones in Miami, could be subject to violent attack by increasingly militarized police forces.

All is not dark, however. There are glimmers of hope seen in a variety of fronts. For example, there is strong indication that the anti-free-trade movement is achieving tangible victories in its struggle on behalf of fair trade. In addition, a media reform conference in Wisconsin surprised organizers by drawing 2,000 people, ten times as many as were expected. Locally, about 4,000 people tried to see Michael Moore when he visited Johns Hopkins University to speak out against the Bush administration while promoting his latest book. (Although Moore can be quite harmful to progressive causes the outpouring of people who came to hear him criticize the Bush administration was gratifying.)

We’re living in the most dangerous time in human history. Everyone with a social conscience should become activists in some capacity. Those who say or do nothing about the spread of Fascism in the US are contributing to it.

Scott Loughrey

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