Did Bush Know?
Watch Out For Fake Terror
by Tony Brasunas
It is a great testament to the power of global public opinion and the unified international peace marches that the Bush Administration has not yet attacked Iraq.
But as the administration's frustration has grown, they have become only more determined to take us from the brink to actual war, and it has become time to watch carefully for fake terror and fabricated events. In the lead-up to nearly all of our past wars, some type of dubious attack or falsified report has sparked the final launch of our armed forces.
We now know, for instance, that the Gulf of Tonkin incident, in which North Vietnamese ships supposedly fired upon American boats in the Gulf of Tonkin on August 4, 1964,
never happened. Nonetheless President Lyndon Johnson and his advisers, citing the dubious "unprovoked attacks," successfully urged Congress to consider and pass the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, which authorized the beginning of the Vietnam War. That war tore our nation apart for a decade.
Tonkin Gulf Reprise?
Daniel Ellsberg, who was a ranking official in the Department of Defense at the time (and who later leaked the Pentagon Papers) has written a new memoirs entitled Secrets: Memoirs of Vietnam and the Pentagon
Papers, in which he corroborates other officials' accounts of President Johnson knowingly and consciously lying to the American public to take the nation to war (read the excerpt). One of the central points of Secrets is that throughout the Vietnam War, all the presidents, from Kennedy to Nixon, knew the details and facts, yet chose to lie.
Ellsberg's book also describes Operation 34A, the covert actions the CIA undertook to provoke North Vietnam into war. And later in the book he mentions Operation Northwoods, the government deliberations about
starting a war in Cuba in the 1960's, in which CIA and Pentagon military
officials contemplated various acts of terrorism, including shooting down a real or staged planeload of American
students passing over Cuba, or downing John
Glenn as he and his crew returned from space (read the declassified dossier [PDF]). The objective of Operation Northwoods was to find a way to "justify military intervention" to overthrow Fidel Castro; as chilling as it sounds, the Bush-Rumsfeld claque are now itching to start a war very similar to the one sought then -- an unprovoked invasion to overthrow a foreign leader. We should probably assume our government today has contemplated manufacturing events or utilizing fake terrorism to "justify military intervention."
We entered World War II after the Pearl Harbor attack, which is now widely believed to have been known in advance to the administration of Franklin Roosevelt, and we started the Spanish-American War under false pretenses too (read Michael Rivero's article on these wars). History contains many examples of fabricated 'sparks' to bring on war, and the American government clearly has not been an exception. When eager for war, our government has fabricated events to scare us citizens into obedience and support.
Since 9-11 we've already witnessed several odd, terrorizing events. There was the partisan anthrax attacks on members of Congress using US army microbes; and then last October, just before the midterm elections, and as the president was seeking, and finally getting, congressional approval to attack Iraq, an amazingly talented sniper undertook a series of attacks in and around the nation's capital, which were immediately followed by Sen. Paul Wellstone's bizarre plane crash. Congress has seemingly been running scared ever since.
These events might remain controversial for some time, but we should bear in mind the original meaning of the word "terrorism." It is: the systematic use of violence by a government to scare or intimidate its own people. It was after the French Revolution, when Robespierre's "Committee for Public Safety" inflicted a "Reign of Terror" on the French people to get them to accept a new government, that the term "terrorism" came into existence.
We should be vigilant.
These are heady times, for we are also witnessing an awakening of global
consciousness. Mass marches with focused universal cries for peace are sweeping the globe, turning the Earth into a heart with a single pulse. This is something new and profound -- the beginnings of what could become a massive movement to save the planet -- and February 15, 2003 might be remembered for decades as the day the world first
stood up and spoke as one. Certainly this war would've started months ago if it weren't for the ongoing outpouring of world sentiment.
But what will happen tomorrow or next week is hard to know. We recently experienced a false, if not wholly fabricated, "Orange Alert" in mid-February. The ostensible reason for the Alert was an informant who described a possible terrorist attack, but then flunked a lie detector test he was given after the Alert was issued. We're supposed to accept that the Alert was just a "false alarm." This is ridiculous -- would it not make sense to give the lie detector test before the alert is issued? That way we might not have to panic an entire nation and inadvertently cause disasters -- like the one in the Chicago nightclub where partygoers thought a trace odor of pepper spray was a biological attack and trampled one another to death in terrified desperation. Or is fear what the administration wants? Psychologically, it is from fear that people turn to violence, and it is from fear that people finally support war. Fear shuts people up, fear makes people obey.
Homeland Security Chart.
Color coded, for kids!
The Alert may also have been issued to diminish the huge peace march in New York City on February 15. The march was unpopular with the administration, and fear keeps people home. The New York City courts also cited the Orange Alert as they refused a permit for a march to Central Park. Half a million citizens rallied before the UN instead.
Choose Mindfulness Over Fear
Be awake. Not scared, but rather aware. Act from mindfulness rather than fear. If Iraq appears to shoot down a plane, or a "dirty bomb" explodes in a shopping center, examine the facts with both eyes open.
I pray that nothing of this sort happens, that no state-sponsored violence befalls Americans or Iraqis. But if it does, read about it carefully, and not just in the mainstream media.
The Roman philosopher-king Marcus Aurelius said: "The first rule is to keep an untroubled spirit. The second is to look things in the face and know them for what they are."
Some Worthwhile Links:
A review of the false Orange Alert...
A racy, hysterically funny look at Bush's push for war, the peace marches, and the false Orange Alert....
A review of Daniel Ellsberg's trenchant book, Secrets: Memoirs of Vietnam and the Pentagon
Tony Brasunas is publisher of Garlic & Grass. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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