From Ferguson to Ukraine
“…in what manner does tyranny arise? –that it has a democratic origin is evident…But when [the tyrant] has disposed of foreign enemies by conquest or treaty, and there is nothing to fear from them, then he is always stirring up some war or other, in order that the people may require a leader…Has he not also another object, which is that they may be impoverished by payment of taxes, and thus compelled to devote themselves to their daily wants and therefore less likely to conspire against him?: Clearly….And if any of them are suspected by him of having notions of freedom, and of resistance to his authority, he will have a good pretext for destroying them by placing them at the mercy of the enemy; and for all these reasons the tyrant must be always getting up a war.”
— Plato, Book VIII
There is a lot of gnashing of teeth in the USA over the events taking place in Ferguson, Missouri, sparked by the shooting death of teenager Michael Brown. There is something for every interest group in this tragic event: race relations (and history); media manipulation; militarization of American civilian law enforcement by the Pentagon, US Congress and Israel; class warfare; globalization, income disparity; systemic political failure; Democratic and Republican Party hustler-ism; and so on. To be sure 100 PhD theses will be written using Ferguson as a topic, and Pulitzer Prizes will be awarded for journalists pushed around by the Ferguson police.
Then, in time, the whole matter will largely be forgotten by Americans as they move onto death and destruction in Ukraine, Gaza, South Sudan, Syria, Iraq, Detroit (Michigan), Chicago (Illinois), South China Sea, etc., etc., etc. Inevitably the Ferguson story will be the subject of, at least, a television movie, books, spoken-word music and verse. Heroes and scoundrels will be called out; the parade of individuals representing organizations who claim “I was at the front lines in Ferguson” will show up on talk shows across America and the world. Millions of dollars will be made by mainstream media outlets and the families involved. Congressional hearings will be held and legislation will be passed by the US Congress limiting funding for law enforcement’s purchase of certain classes of military grade combat gear. Membership in pro-white and black organizations will increase. Gun sales will spike.
It will all pass before the numb eyes and brains of Americans via a television or computer screen or on the paper pages of the Sunday editions of major newspapers on the Eastern/Western American seaboards. And then the great forgetting will take place, save for the trivial reminder on the first, second, third anniversary dates during which “Remember Michael Brown” moments-of-silence will occur. It is the same formula that took place for the Boston Marathon Bombing; the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings; the attacks of September 11, 2001; and commemorations to the dead and wounded of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Ferguson is to Obama as George W. Bush is to New Orleans
The political duopoly in America thrives on these horrific events. After all, they created the environment unfurling in Ferguson and likely to occur elsewhere in the USA. It is this political duopoly that has nearly squeezed Americans dry through socioeconomic policies designed to bankrupt and marginalize middle to lower classes of all races. The political duopoly would not exist were in not for those who support, and enforce, the two-party control of the executive, legislative and judicial branches of the American government: corporations (includes media and defense), US military services, academia, think tanks, interest groups (nonprofits), and foreign countries, companies and their agents.
The entire lot of them are indifferent to the fact that 13.4 percent of the American population (Black) makes up the majority of America’s prison population or that their economic woes are equal to, or worse than, the many millions of Americans of all stripes who have no prospects of life-security (food, water, clothing, shelter, safety, work ). President Barak Obama claims to be “a black man” even though he is equally “a white man”. Which one are we to believe?
Obama, like all presidents before him, is responsible for setting the tone on social, economic and national security policy in the USA. But as Ferguson exploded, Obama was playing golf on Martha’s Vineyard and continued to do so until the governor of Missouri, Jay Nixon (Democrat) activated that state’s militia, the US National Guard.
In Obama Americans are experiencing, and the world is seeing, what future presidents of the USA will be like: largely a spectator of the US political, economic and national security machinery (except for accruing power on behalf of those interests); purveyor of American myth and propaganda; culturally “cool” for the masses; and master of ceremonies like the State of the Union. The 21st Century president is Plato’s democratic man is soon to become a tyrant because his hollowness is easily filled by money and power. He is as described in the Beatles Nowhere Man.
“…he lives from day to day indulging the appetite of the hour; and sometimes he is lapped in drink and strains of the flute; then he becomes a water-drinker, and tries to get thin; then he takes a turn at gymnastics; sometimes idling and neglecting everything, then once more living the life of a philosopher; often he-is busy with politics, and starts to his feet and says and does whatever comes into his head; and, if he is emulous of any one who is a warrior, off he is in that direction, or of men of business, once more in that. His life has neither law nor order; and this distracted existence he terms joy and bliss and freedom; and so he goes on…he is all liberty and equality….his life is motley and manifold and an epitome of the lives of many; –he answers to the State which we described as fair and spangled. And many a man and many a woman will take him for their pattern, and many a constitution and many an example of manners is contained in him.”
We Fight Them Over There So We Can Fight American Citizens Here
So America has its lovable war-tyrant in Barak Obama. But it does not matter whether a Democrat or Republican tyrant is at the helm as the Oval Office can be counted on to represent the interests of the mighty who buttress the political duopoly. And they will go to any length to achieve their Kingdom on Earth whether it’s pounding protestors in Ferguson, Missouri or instigating the shoot-down of a civilian aircraft over Ukraine. They will lie, cheat and steal from the poor and give to the rich. They twist the US Constitution and Bill of Rights to suit their needs. American citizens get no special preference from the political duopoly: citizens are petty and in the way, just like any other threat from outside US borders.
The relentless American campaign against Russia and the separatist rebels in Ukraine, and US support for military operations in Gaza, Syria, Iraq, Yemen and South Sudan, for example, is overseen by the same political duopoly that governs the US homeland.
Take a look at Urban Shield 2014, for example, that tests the mettle of SWAT, EOD and Firefighters in a competition in California. US agencies and public/private partners listed as supporting Urban Shield 2014 include the FBI, DEA, DHS, FEMA, US Army, US Marine Corps, US Navy, Lockheed Martin, and International Armored Group. One of Urban Shield’s most notable sponsors is EXELIS. Its Board of Directors includes former undersecretary of defense John Hamre (Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, DC) and former US Army general Paul Kern (The Cohen Group). The CEO and President of EXELIS David Melcher, is a former US military lieutenant general and a Board of Trustee member at the National Defense Industrial Association. EXELIS has a broad array of capabilities with airborne remote sensing, command and control, and surveillance and reconnaissance among them. Its customers, naturally, are all the US military branches and the US Department of Homeland Security.
According to Forbes Magazine “a new wave of such military-to-commercial innovations is beginning to reach the marketplace as overseas wars wind down. The best known are drones originally developed to find fleeting threats, but the big opportunity for entrepreneurs may lie not so much in the aircraft as in the compact, high-resolution sensors that they carry. A case in point is CorvusEye 1500, a wide-area surveillance system developed by the geospatial technology unit of defense contractor Exelis (XLS). Corvus is the genus of birds to which crows and ravens belong, and CorvusEye 1500 was conceived to offer domestic law-enforcement agencies the kind detailed, birds-eye view of events on the ground that previously was available only to warfighters.”
Washington Encouraging Ongoing Killing: Streets of Ferguson or Donetsk, No Matter
Karel Van Wolferen’s The Ukraine, Corrupted Journalism and the Atlanticist Faith sums up the handiwork of America’s political duopoly as practiced outside its borders.
“America’s history, since the demise of the Soviet Union, of truly breathtaking lies: on Panama, Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Venezuela, Libya and North Korea; its record of overthrown governments; its black-op and false flag operations; and its stealthily garrisoning of the planet with some thousand military bases, is conveniently left out of consideration…It is unlikely that the American NGOs, which by official admission spent 5 billion dollars in political destabilization efforts prior to the February putsch in Kiev, have suddenly disappeared from the Ukraine, or that America’s military advisors and specialized troops have sat idly by as Kiev’s military and militias mapped their civil war strategy; after all, the new thugs are as a regime on financial life-support provided by Washington, the European Union and IMF. What we know is that Washington is encouraging the ongoing killing in the civil war it helped trigger…In much of the European Union the general understanding of global reality since the horrible fate of the people on board the Malaysian Airliner [MH17] comes from mainstream newspapers and TV which have copied the approach of Anglo-American mainstream media, and have presented ‘news’ in which insinuation and vilification substitute for proper reporting… Nothing that I have seen or read even intimated that the Ukraine crisis – which led to coup and civil war – was created by neoconservatives and a few R2P (“Responsibility to Protect”) fanatics in the State Department and the White House, apparently given a free hand by President Obama.”
Obviously, Plato was way ahead of his time in figuring out what follows democracy—tyranny and war. Plato also knew that no matter the form of governance—tyranny, democracy, oligarchy/duopoly, or plutonomy—slaves were a desirable necessity for those that ruled. “…nature herself intimates that it is just for the better to have more than the worse, the more powerful than the weaker; and in many ways she shows, among men as well as among animals, and indeed among whole cities and races, that justice consists in the superior ruling over and having more than the inferior.”
The citizens of Ferguson, Missouri know the score and they are not alone.
John Stanton is a Virginia based writer. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org