Thursday, September 4, 2008

When I Heard...

When I heard that police were raiding – with guns drawn – the homes and offices of prospective protesters in St. Paul in anticipation of the RNC, because protesters were concealing weapons - weapons the police didn’t find because they don’t exist - my first thought was how very deep into a police state we now are.

Then I thought, how akin this excuse is to the WMD hoax justifying the Iraq invasion. “They’re hoarding weapons of mass destruction! Oh my god! We must crush them before they get us!”

After which I thought, which part of this is the bigger story?

Is it the fact that gendarmes of the city, state and nation are behaving worse than those nasty Chinese police during the Olympics who don’t appreciate the cardinal right to demonstrate that we in America understand so well?

Is it the fact that the Democratic Party set up “Freedom cages” in Denver to shield the Democratic Party and its “Champions of the People” from protestors demanding real change?

Or is it the fact that these police state tactics are not deemed worthy of mainstream media attention from the same media that lauded Bush’s complaints about Russia’s actions towards Georgia and China’s “human rights” record?

Is it that the pre-emptive criminalization of protest and of speech, the use of percussive grenades on peaceful demonstrators, the tearing of peace activists out of their cars, the arrests of journalists and charges of “conspiracy to riot in furtherance of terrorism” and so on, are only bad when they’re done outside the U.S., but they’re democracy in action when they’re done inside the U.S.?

I honestly don’t know which is worse: the fascist actions or the deafening silence and the myopic national chauvinism of the corporate media about any of this.

* * *

At the DNC our-man-of-change Obama chooses as his running mate a senator who was even more hawkish on Iraq than were Bush and Cheney – if that is possible – and at the RNC the maverick McCain chooses a Dominionist who reminds me of an even more malevolent version of Nixon’s Veep Spiro Agnew - if that is possible - a lipstick wearing, lying, mean-spirited, Hockey Mom/pit bull, who mocks the need to give some smidgen of due process to those being held at Gitmo since they’re all “terrorists” after all. And the crowd goes wild from her words, gesticulating with signs that say “Country First,” all the while looking to my eyes like Über alles all over again.

From the German national anthem during the Nazi years:

“Deutschland, Deutschland über alles,
Über alles in der Welt,
Wenn es stets zu Schutz und Trutze
Brüderlich zusammenhält.”

English translation:

“Germany, Germany above everything,
Above everything in the world,
When it always for protection and defense,
Brotherly sticks together.”

* * *

Welcome to the free, fair and glorious celebration of democracy we call elections in America, version 2008.

Like Vista, we need to reboot because it seems to freeze all of the time when we try to write the words: End the War. Stop the Torture. Impeach the War Criminals.


Laughtech said...

Whew, I was scared for a minute there...I thought you weren't going to compare Republicans to Nazis. I'm glad you did. It wouldn't be good analysis of a Republican Convention if you didn't.

What is with the police? How dare they go after the fine upstanding citizens that are simply expressing their right to freedom of speech. You will see some fine examples of free expression below.

Of course, you know the old joke, "Flag burning as freedom of speech: That's how pyromaniacs interpret the Constitution."

Deputies seized a variety of items that they believed were tools of civil disobedience: a gas mask, bolt cutters, axes, slingshots, homemade "caltrops" for disabling buses, even buckets of urine.

"The protesters sat down in the street and were physically blocking our way into the center. Several of our delegates were being physically jostled. The police moved in and positioned themselves between the protesters and the delegation and made a wall for us to walk behind as we entered the arena. Then the protesters spat at us. Chairman Healy's 80-year old mother was spat upon by the protesters.
Fahle said that the protesters were carrying homemade signs against the war. He said at least one hand written Obama sign was seen in the crowd. But the protesters were not finished harassing the Connecticut delegates. Mr. Fahle said that after the spiting incident, an unknown liquid was thrown over the line of police and onto the delegation. Eight delegates were hit with the liquid, including an 83-year old woman. Former Congressman Rob Simmons, who had stepped forward to try and protect the delegation, was also hit. Mr. Fahle said the emergency medical personnel later determined that the liquid was a mixture of bleach and water.

"This group had been planning for over a year the destruction that they were going to place on the city during the RNC," Drinkwine said.

Among the acts of terror the group allegedly planned, according to court documents, were kidnapping delegates, sabotaging a local airport, damaging bridges and taking over federal buildings.

Dennis Loo said...


This is your third comment on my blog and you continue to lob one way commentary without actually engaging and responding in a dialogue, especially to the points that I have raised to your comments.

This is an unfortunate and extremely common practice on the part of the radical right, purveyed by such "luminaries" of the right as O'Reilly, Limbaugh and Coulter.

I asked you, for instance, in response to your last post to comment about the agenda of the dominionists, which you won't do. While I'm at it, you might want to comment on the related and concrete manifestation of that group evident in Palin's declaration that the US invasion and occupation of Iraq is a mission from God.

In response to your "criticism" that the left isn't as critical of the groups like al-Qaeda I pointed out that al-Qaeda and Christian fascists share a similar highly simplistic and polarized worldview in which they are the angels and the other is the devil. You won't comment on that either.

Now you repeat the allegations of the police and some delegates in St. Paul as justification for among other things, pre-emptive raids on protesters, BEFORE they did anything at all in the streets, an attempt to take out the 10% leadership, as the police spokesman admitted openly.

Even if what these allegations of bleach and water being thrown on the delegates were true, which I don't believe, but even if it were 100% accurate, how would this justify BEFORE the convention even happened, raiding people's homes and offices and arresting people and seizing their stuff?

Do any of these assertions (come on, urine as a weapon?!) not remind you of all of the falsehoods perpetrated about Iraq before our invasion?

You claim to be, I would assume, a good American and upholder, I would further assume, of the founding principles. Among these is the right to free speech and free assembly, rights which were blatantly abridged at the RNC. How can you as a "good American" not see this and not condemn it?

This is one of the problems with trying to have a dialogue with people of your ilk: your worldview is so twisted that you think mass murder (i.e., the US invasion and occupation) is harmless and decent.

I'd like to know, if you won't respond to anything else, how you can justify the policy of torture being carried out by the Bush White House?

P.S. Even the Nazis never dared legalized torture, which is what our government has done - see the Military Commissions Act of 2006.

P.P.S. You mock my comparison to the Nazis. Why? The point I was making was that putting "Country First" is the very essence of the Nazis' stance which allowed them to persuade all too many Germans that atrocities committed in the name of Germany over everyone else was ok. By what right do Americans get to assert that our national interests are better than anyone else's on this planet that we share? Are Iraqi or Iranian children any less human than American children? Is it ok to rain death upon those children from the air or on the ground as long as American children are safe? Is it ok to have 18 American GI's committing suicide PER DAY, as the head of the VA has admitted is going on, as one of the prices for this "mission of God" that Bush, McCain, Palin, Cheney, et al so adore?

Arthur84 said...

Yes, I totally agree with you Dr. Loo. Until people start seeing other people as human beings and not black, white, christian, muslim, American, Middle Eastern, people will continue to be oppressed and discriminated against. I do not think that religion, or belief, is an inherit bad thing, but obviously taking any belief to an extreme can lead to tragedy. I myself do not believe in an afterlife, or supernatural, but some of their teachings cannot be ignored.

I myself have lived my life by the golden rule: "Treat others as you would have others treat yourself." I have lived my life by this rule, and I belive that is why I have been so succesful in dealing with people of differnt cultures. Basically, I do not think that we should take religion literally, but I do not think that we should ignore it, and just blindly throw it out the window. Do you understand what I am trying to say?