Progressives Want "Direct Action" But a Disarmed Public

Progressive William Rivers Pitt has lost patience with the Obama regime and with British Petroleum (“Enough of This Crap,” June 15, Truthout). To break through the news blackout that BP maintains over the ongoing Gulf of Mexico oil spill, he wants a hundred thousand Americans to “just show the hell up down there and demand access.”

Pitt is correct that this “is the kind of direct action that has been missing from our national narrative, not just in the Gulf but all over.” Obama, he says correctly, is a “narcotic” for progressives. Apparently, for many progressives having a black man, or a 50 per cent  black man, in the White House is what is important, not the fact that he is a continuation of Bush/Cheney.

If a hundred thousand people marched on the Gulf Coast, “big things would happen.” Pitt writes that “either the people would break through those unconscionable corporate barriers and show the world what is really going on in the Gulf, or the forces BP has arrayed against the truth would react with violence, which would tell us everything we need to know about what is happening, and would be enough to break that God damned criminal corporation finally and forever.”

It was, of course, the Bush-Cheney-Obama administration that permitted the drilling. BP didn’t go about it on its own. This aside, and also putting aside my sympathy with Pitt’s outrage, here we have a progressive advocating direct action that likely would end in violence, not merely from BP mercenaries but from local, state, and federal government forces. The anomaly in the picture is that it is progressives who have been most determined to disarm the American people. What would the one hundred thousand do when withering fire is directed at them? Amerika’s forces of “law and order” and conquest enjoy killing people. It doesn’t matter if they are women and children. In fact, killing women and children is the way to win 30-year wars like the one we are one-third through in Afghanistan.

And don’t think the government wouldn’t kill Americans. Remember the 100 murdered Branch Davidians that Bill Clinton and Janet Reno dispatched? The US government has never regretted the million dead Iraqi civilians and the unknown multitude of dead Afghan civilians.  Have you forgotten Kent State where college kids were gunned down by the US National Guard? Youtube has tens of thousands of videos of cops getting their jollies by body slamming 90-year old grandmothers and tasering 10-year old kids. Just the other day Obama official Dennis Blair announced that he had a list of Americans to assassinate. In every society the worst people always get into unaccountable positions of power. It is these people who are the threat to Americans’ lives and liberty, not the Taliban and Iranians.

Ever since it became apparent to progressives, despite their faith in government, that the Bush-Cheney regime was an enormous threat to American liberty, to the environment, to truth, and to world peace, progressives have continued their campaigns to disarm the American people and to reduce them to grist for the Bush-Cheney-Obama Police State’s mill. The obvious question is: How can we trust progressives when they are such reliable agents of the Police State?

Perhaps William Rivers Pitt thinks that a massacre of a hundred thousand Americans would send a moral message that would overthrow the gestapo government in DC. The more likely effect would be to intimidate the sheeple.  Don’t confuse Americans with Afghans who, despite their disunity, have thrown off every attempted conquest. Unless the US buys them off with money, they will throw off the “superpower” as well.

Even if progressives could realize that the Bush-Cheney-Obama Police State was a far more dangerous entity than Americans permitted to own pistols and semi-automatic rifles, no American is permitted to own the weapons that the oppressive government has. Perhaps if the sheeple could become aroused, we would have a replay of Joseph Stalin’s dictum that quantity overrides quality of weapons, and the American people, by sheer numbers, would prevail.

If progressives really desire direct confrontation with the evil doers who control our country, they will have to accept that the people must be armed, trained, and have an understanding of who their enemy is. As the Founding Fathers tried to beat into our heads, the enemy is always the government.

Somehow I just can’t see progressives getting this far. They would rather Americans be slaves of the state than armed.

I am not advocating armed rebellion, just pointing out an inconsistency in the progressives’ position.

Every civil liberty is reduced to the Second Amendment. This was recognized by our Founding Fathers, especially by Thomas Jefferson, and it was completely understood by William Blackstone, England’s greatest jurist. Blackstone wrote that whenever government broke free of the constraints placed on it by civil liberty, the “last right of the subject is having arms for their defense.”

Blackstone wrote in the 18th century that when legal constraints on government fail, physical checks remain: The right to bear arms expresses the “natural right of resistance and self-preservation when the sanctions of society and laws are found insufficient to restrain the violence of oppression.”

There can be no doubt that if Thomas Jefferson and William Blackstone were alive today, they would be on the no-fly list, if not kidnapped, renditioned and tortured to death in the Amerikan puppet state of Egypt.

If progressives like William Rivers PItt want direct action from Americans, they will have to give up their agenda of disarming the citizenry. Otherwise they are going to get people killed for nothing while the rest become Big Brother’s obedient servants, accepting a bare subsistence from “a caring government” in exchange for docility.

It is the conservatives who are armed, and they think the enemies are blacks, hispanics,  pinko-liberal commies, and “terrorists.” Recently a friend told me that Obama was a marxist. Really, how did a marxist get elected with the support of the US military-security complex, the support of AIPAC, the insurance industry, Wall Street, Big Oil?  How much money do marxists have with which to make campaign contributions?  I mean, really. It is extraordinary that anyone could possibly believe that a stealth marxist could gain the White House. If he did, once he showed his colors, he would be assassinated, and Iran would be blamed, followed by an invasion.

The other day I saw a young man with a t-shirt with Obama’s image. Under it was the caption, ‘“socialist.”  The stupidity of Americans is extraordinary. Wall Street is going to put a socialist in the White House?!  If the word under Obama’s image had been “prostitute,” the message would have been on target.

PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS was an editor of the Wall Street Journal and an Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Treasury.  His latest book, HOW THE ECONOMY WAS LOST, has just been published by CounterPunch/AK Press. He can be reached at:




Paul Craig Roberts is a former Assistant Secretary of the US Treasury and Associate Editor of the Wall Street Journal. Roberts’ How the Economy Was Lost is now available from CounterPunch in electronic format. His latest book is The Neoconservative Threat to World Order.