| The New Ugly Americans by: George Ochenski|
|23 Sep 2002 @ 19:23, by John Finn|
The new ugly Americans by George Ochenski ; 9/19/2002
It'll only get harder to quell our rising discontent
Secretary of State Colin Powell was jeered, booed, and heckled when, as America’s top official at the United Nations World Summit on Sustainable Development, he attempted to defend the unconscionable Bush energy development and consumption agenda and explain away the environmental consequences. Hate to say it, but he got what he deserved. Global protests are increasing over the perceived use of America’s superpower military to bully other nations on trade, politics, and the environment. Both at home and abroad, a tide of resentment against the new “ugly Americans” is rising — and this tide shows no signs of ebbing any time soon.
Deafened by war drums and isolated by handlers, President Bush seems unaware of the broad opposition to his current policies.
During what has been called “The Battle of Portland,” aggressive phalanxes of cops in full body armor and riot gear descended on thousands of protesting citizens during Bush’s last visit. Pictures of grandmothers being choked by nightsticks and accounts of young mothers with babies on their backs being covered in blinding sheets of pepper spray filled the media. Bush, however, saw none of this as he was carefully sequestered from those protesting his administration’s policies ranging from the new logging offensive to the looming Iraq attack.
When Bush blew Portland for sunny Stockton, Calif., the same thing happened. Citizens turned out in what has been called Stockton’s single largest demonstration to display their displeasure. Once again, however, he was carefully isolated from those he claims to lead. Protestors were herded and kept behind a line of semi-trucks by riot police, totally screened from the president. Meanwhile, those with signs supporting Bush were allowed to line his route to provide a cheering background for the media coverage.
| Obviously, the White House will go to any lengths to manufacture | a positive image for Bush, including limiting our basic rights | to peaceably assemble and petition our own government. If you’re | for the Bush policies, step right up here in front of the cameras. | If you’re against the Bush policies, step over here | behind these trucks, where the dogs and cops are waiting for you.
The problem, however, is that the protests are waiting everywhere Bush goes these days—even at his ranch in Crawford, Texas. Simply put, it’s getting harder and harder to maintain the façade of broad public support for the Bush agenda in the face of mounting resistance. Ironically, while President Bush unleashes much of his harshest criticism at leaders like Fidel Castro or Saddam Hussein, whom he says disdain the wishes of their people, he is hypocritically isolating himself behind a barrier of agents, soldiers, and cops from any contact with those critical of his own policies.
Isolating decision-makers from citizen dissatisfaction is one way of running a country – but it is far from the best way, as the Vietnam War so painfully proved. During that long ago time in which the Baby Boomers came of age, America’s young men were again rounded up, trained, and sent off to armed conflict on foreign soil. Truth be told, no one seemed certain why it was America’s job to step into Southeast Asia after the French colonials and their soldiers were unceremoniously kicked out. Then, as now, White House spin doctors and military advisors pumped up the nation with hysteria that we had to prevent what they called “the communist takeover of South Vietnam” or face a disastrous “Domino Effect” whereby communism would sweep through the region, toppling one regime after another.
The world looked on in wonder and horror as America went to war. What started with the insertion of thousands of “advisors” soon ballooned to one of the largest infusions of men and war materiel in modern times. While our politicians played “rally ’round the flag,” our bombers stripped the jungles with Agent Orange, dousing our own soldiers in the defoliant and planting the seeds for future disease and debility in those who least deserved it. While military bands marched and tooted beneath fluttering flags, napalm fell from the sky on combatants and civilians alike. The horror and propaganda grew on parallel courses, as a chain of presidents took increasingly desperate steps to justify what seemed to have become a pointless and endless war.
But nothing they did, including gassing, clubbing, and even killing student and citizen protestors, infiltrating protest organizations, or throwing their leaders in jail was enough to offset the rising howl of indignation from home and abroad. Fed by a steady stream of television coverage and increasing numbers of body bags filled with young Americans, the protests grew larger and louder as the toll of dead and injured mounted.
As history sadly records, America made its exit from Vietnam as overloaded helicopters plucked our last soldiers and allies from the roof of the Saigon embassy while the victorious Viet Cong completed their takeover in the streets below. The world’s mightiest military had been defeated and kicked out of this tiny country, just like the French before them, and no amount of White House propaganda would ever whitewash this harsh reality.
The question now, nearly 30 years later, is what happened to this nation’s collective memory of those events? Some believe we been so dumbed down by the media, so shocked by a vicious attack on our own shores, that the citizenry is ready to swallow whatever egregious constructs emanate from the White House.
But I don’t think so.
As the protests build, as the soldiers and cops club and gas our own citizens, as the parallels between this latest aggression and the Vietnam War become more painfully obvious every day, the streets worldwide are again filling with protestors. Soon, not even President Bush will be able to ignore their message. The United States, with all our wealth and power, can and should be a beacon of peace and freedom to the world—and not the personification of the new “Ugly Americans.”
When not lobbying the Montana Legislature, George Ochenski is rattling the cage of the political establishment as a political analyst for the Missoula Intependant.
As Montana's largest weekly newspaper, the Missoula Independent provides a popular antidote to the more conventional local media. Published on Thursdays and distributed free at more than 550 locations across western Montana, the Independent has a weekly circulation of 20,000 ...
23 Sep 2002 @ 19:55 by : Americans
Just like the Soviet Union couldn't keep it up, just because enough people had fax machines, the Internet might allow enough real communication to get through the Propaganda Wall around the United States, so that Americans might gradually learn what people in other parts of the world think.
My teenage kids play online games and hang out in chat rooms. Several times they have been chased out of the places they wanted to hang out in ... because they are Americans. Teenagers have less of an inclination to believe government propaganda, and many teenagers in other parts of the world thinks the U.S. sucks and that the american population sucks for supporting the imperialist war agenda, and they don't hesitate to express it.
23 Sep 2002 @ 20:01 by : Thanks Finny...
Very good to read this. It would be great if W's nannies would let him read this kind of thing before bed. Maybe a thought would pass through his head that was actually related to reality... can you tell that I didn't vote for him?
Ming, that's something I'd like to know more about... what the people of the world really think. The news is sooooooo full of crazy "patriots". It gives one a very scary impression of people in general, and one that's not at all true, I hope.
This seems like a good place to post this article from truthout.com. It really freaked the hell out of me, to be quite honest.
23 Sep 2002 @ 20:28 by : Not Anti-American!
Whilst I'm very concerned about the current US adminstration I not anti American. I know that your political process has been bought, as propably do the nearly 60% of Americans that don't bother to vote. There are many other undemocratic, despotic or corrupt governments, it just seems to me that the US is capable of the most damage. Our news media did not cover the Portland protests either. As for George W Bush there are many prominent Europeans currently comparing him to Hilter and his administration to the development of the Third Riech, seriously!
23 Sep 2002 @ 22:57 by : Hi finney...
You must be aware, I hope, that 'Prescott Bush' supported the NAZI's as did the Rockefellers, the Ford's and, I dare say, many of Americas,' so called, 'Elite.' The 'plan' unfolds. The article, referred to by invictus, mentions lots more than just the reinstatement of 'the draft.' What they do want, New World Order, is the militarisation, under martial law, of this country. No body believes it but that is already the case.
Over ten years ago, in Atlanta, members of the police tried to 'bust' me for a dope operation. Well, I had a bunch of guns, streetsweeprs and the like, a few favorite pistols, and my miltary 'flack jacket' from clandestine ops I'd been involved in. All this was taking place at my place of business called 'Synchronicity' in the 'black' section of town known as 'Buttermilk bottom.'
One of the 'arresting' officers asked me for my 'guns.' Well, most of my cache was hidden where noone could find them. I did, however, have my favorite pistols wrapped up in my 'flack' jacket. So, I got my flack jacket and brought it to the officer and let him unwrap the guns. He did a double take when he saw my patches. A nice big red 1, upper left, and below that a 3rd seal team patch.
He showed it around to all of his group, about seven or so officers, they were all from the 82nd airborne! This I learned because my 'Master Seargent had sown my patches on for me. He was from the 82nd Airborne. They sow their patches on in a particular manner recognizable only to them.
They took my handcuffs off and allowed me to walk to their car unescorted. Then they followed after me, after I'd gotten into the backseat by myself, and we drove to the jailhouse. Later on, of course, I was released...but that's another story which is relevent but too long. ;)
Check out Waco, Ruby Ridge, other 'busts,' and you'll find SOG teams Operating there...for the fun of it read Jack Londons' 'The Iron Heel' oneday. We are still under Martial law from World War II! Never was it rescinded! Most people do'nt know this and even if they did are too 'dumbed down' to care! That's just how it is. America died with Andrew Jackson its' last 'real' president.
.."That we live in interesting times perhaps understates the present state of affairs. However, what will wake up the US. Hollywood is refusing to do it and it could have that sort of power. Mainstream media is totally freaked out and acting like sheep. Perhaps obvious martial law will make the difference; politicise the masses, get them off their couches and onto the streets or into the hills"...Finny
24 Sep 2002 @ 02:30 by : Could This Be It?
Maybe this is part of our guy's problem. (Look carefully at Bush's book.)
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