FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Our Country ‘Tis of Thee, Sweet Land of Hypocrisy

by RON JACOBS

 

I can’t help but laugh at their hypocrisy. Right wing bloggers and the White House alike are upset about the curtailment of human rights in China. According to these folks, there is no religious freedom in that country. Christians, who are over there proselytizing for their god and money are being denied the ability to do so–or so say the news reports on various Christian media. Those bloggers are moving there blogs to other providers because of Google’s decision to censor its Chinese search engines. Funny, I don’t remember any such uproar when right wing media mogul Rupert Murdoch (of Fox) accepted Chinese government censorship of his satellite networks for the Chinese markets.

Meanwhile, the White House continues its defense of that which is ultimately indefensible in the US of A–the violation of the the constitutional ban on unreasonable search and seizure. Admittedly, this attack has been underway for some time–at least since the 1960s, anyway–but never before in my memory has the attack been so brazen and unashamed. Bush, Gonzales, Cheney and the rest of these folks in power have no intention of stopping their surveillance or expanding it if they feel the need. The only way it will be halted is if the people doing it are removed from office and a genuine oversight framework is put back in place. Even then, it is up to the people of the United States to insist that that committee does its job and is not swayed by fantasies of fear and briberies of secrecy.

Speaking of illegal search and seizure, news items are beginning to appear in the mainstream US media (as opposed to the alternative and international media) relating instances where US troops kidnapped the spouses of Iraqis they suspected of supporting the insurgency in Iraq. After seizing these women at gunpoint, they were held as ransom in an attempt to get the wanted men to surrender and provide information. Now, I’m not going to feign surprise here that this tactic is in use by the US military. After all, it is an internationally known fact that this same military is using torture, murder, and pretty much any thing else that they can get away with in their wars. Nor am I going to pretend that this is the first war that the US military has used these tactics. Simply because it isn’t. However, that does not make it tight, nor does it make it very likely that Washington’s goals for the countries that they have invaded and occupied will succeed.

If I thought like the Pentagon, and since I don’t want Washington’s goals to succeed, it would be here where I should encourage the Pentagon and the forces that it serves to not only continue their ill-advised destruction of civil society in Iraq and Afghanistan, but to intensify their operations. After all, doing so would almost certainly guarantee the victory of the more radical elements of the insurgencies in Iraq and Afghanistan and send Washington to a crushing defeat. However, the belief that every human deserves a decent life free of violence and the knowledge that before any defeat of US forces took place overseas there would be an enormous increase in the amount of blood shed prevents me from such encouragement. After all, that’s what happened in Vietnam. This time around, the possibility of US nuclear attacks makes such a bloodletting even more ominous. Of course, Washington seems intent on just such a course anyhow, no matter what anyone says.

Speaking of nuclear, why is it that France’s leader Jacques Chirac can threaten the use of nuclear weapons and hear no rebuke from Washington or London while the government in Tehran is currently running the risk of military attack for merely stating its intention to continue its nuclear energy program? Let’s think about this for a minute. France has nuclear weapons. Iran doesn’t. France has threatened to use those weapons. Iran is incapable of using them since it doesn’t have any. The United States also has these weapons. It, too, has threatened to use them. Yet, George Bush and his administration are accusing Teheran’s government of blackmailing the world by holding the nuclear possibility over the Middle East. It’s nothing new for Washington to blackmail the world, yet its poorly-played pretense that it is somehow different when it does so is more obvious than ever. And more dangerous.

Hypocrisy. That is the key operating word for Washington. The White House talks about freedom and continues to restrict it. The so-called opposition party raises its voice in dismay and votes for another judge who clearly states that he believes that the president has the final say in all matters of policy. Furthermore, instead of removing the authoritarian PATRIOT Act from the law books entirely, that same legislature extends the law while working out ways to keep it mostly intact–ignoring the fact that fine-tuning authoritarian government is still invoking authoritarian government. The White House and Pentagon decry the tactics of those it is fighting while simultaneously utilizing and enhancing tactics very similar to those they accuse their opposition of using. The Congress and White House extol the virtues of democracy yet ignore it when the results are opposed to Washington’s interests–the vote in Palestine being but the most recent example. The harassment of Christian missionaries in China, Russia and elsewhere is decried by Congresspeople and the President alike while mosques in the US are bugged and spied upon as part of a general policy of surveillance and harassment. Not since the days of slavery in this country have the ideals of the Declaration of Independence and the dictums of the Bill of Rights been so far from the realities of the rulers. It took a radical and persistent movement to end that inhuman stain on the nation. What’s it going to take to end this one?

RON JACOBS is author of The Way the Wind Blew: a history of the Weather Underground, which is just republished by Verso. Jacobs’ essay on Big Bill Broonzy is featured in CounterPunch’s new collection on music, art and sex, Serpents in the Garden. He can be reached at: rjacobs3625@charter.net

 

 

More articles by:

Ron Jacobs is the author of Daydream Sunset: Sixties Counterculture in the Seventies published by CounterPunch Books. His latest offering is a pamphlet titled Capitalism: Is the Problem.  He lives in Vermont. He can be reached at: ronj1955@gmail.com.

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

zen economics

June 27, 2017
Jim Kavanagh
California Scheming: Democrats Betray Single-Payer Again
Jonathan Cook
Hersh’s New Syria Revelations Buried From View
Edward Hunt
Excessive and Avoidable Harm in Yemen
Howard Lisnoff
The Death of Democracy Both Here and Abroad and All Those Colorful Sneakers
Gary Leupp
Immanuel Kant on Electoral Interference
Kenneth Surin
Theresa May and the Tories are in Freefall
Slavoj Zizek
Get the Left
Robert Fisk
Saudi Arabia Wants to Reduce Qatar to a Vassal State
Ralph Nader
Driverless Cars: Hype, Hubris and Distractions
Rima Najjar
Palestinians Are Seeking Justice in Jerusalem – Not an Abusive Life-Long Mate
Norman Solomon
Is ‘Russiagate’ Collapsing as a Political Strategy?
Binoy Kampmark
In the Twitter Building: Tech Incubators and Altering Perceptions
Dean Baker
Uber’s Repudiation is the Moment for the U.S. to Finally Start Regulating the So-called Sharing Economy
Rob Seimetz
What I Saw From The Law
George Wuerthner
The Causes of Forest Fires: Climate vs. Logging
June 26, 2017
William Hawes – Jason Holland
Lies That Capitalists Tell Us
Chairman Brandon Sazue
Out of the Shadow of Custer: Zinke Proves He’s No “Champion” of Indian Country With his Grizzly Lies
Patrick Cockburn
Grenfell Tower: the Tragic Price of the Rolled-Back Stat
Joseph Mangano
Tritium: Toxic Tip of the Nuclear Iceberg
Ray McGovern
Hersh’s Big Scoop: Bad Intel Behind Trump’s Syria Attack
Roy Eidelson
Heart of Darkness: Observations on a Torture Notebook
Geoff Beckman
Why Democrats Lose: the Case of Jon Ossoff
Matthew Stevenson
Travels Around Trump’s America
David Macaray
Law Enforcement’s Dirty Little Secret
Colin Todhunter
Future Shock: Imagining India
Yoav Litvin
Animals at the Roger Waters Concert
Binoy Kampmark
Pride in San Francisco
Stansfield Smith
North Koreans in South Korea Face Imprisonment for Wanting to Return Home
Hamid Yazdan Panah
Remembering Native American Civil Rights Pioneer, Lehman Brightman
James Porteous
Seventeen-Year-Old Nabra Hassanen Was Murdered
Weekend Edition
June 23, 2017
Friday - Sunday
Jeffrey St. Clair
Democrats in the Dead Zone
Gary Leupp
Trump, Qatar and the Danger of Total Confusion
Andrew Levine
The “Democracies” We Deserve
Jeffrey St. Clair - Joshua Frank
The FBI’s “Operation Backfire” and the Case of Briana Waters
Rob Urie
Cannibal Corpse
Joseph G. Ramsey
Savage Calculations: On the Exoneration of Philando Castile’s Killer
John Wight
Trump’s Attack on Cuba
Dave Lindorff
We Need a Mass Movement to Demand Radical Progressive Change
Brian Cloughley
Moving Closer to Doom
David Rosen
The Sex Offender: the 21st Century Witch
John Feffer
All Signs Point to Trump’s Coming War With Iran
Jennifer L. Lieberman
What’s Really New About the Gig Economy?
Pete Dolack
Analyzing the Failures of Syriza
Vijay Prashad
The Russian Nexus
Mike Whitney
Putin Tries to Avoid a Wider War With the US
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail