Quote of the Day: “Courage is grace under pressure.” — Ernest Hemingway
Well, we as a nation weren't very graceful after 9-11. Our reaction led us to . . .
* Trash our Constitution and our Bill of Rights
* A bungled invasion of Afghanistan
* And a completely unnecessary war and occupation in Iraq
Sadly, this kind of thing has happened many times before. For instance . . .
Way back in 1898 the Battleship Maine exploded in Havana Harbor. Decades later the Navy determined that the explosion had been an accident, but . . .
The hysterical way Americans reacted at the time led to a pointless war with Spain, followed by an evil war of colonial conquest in the Philippines.
In other words . . .
Hysteria led to an overreaction that resulted in a disaster, just like after 9-11.
Something similar happened during World War I. Our politicians loudly claimed neutrality, but they were not neutral. Instead . . .
They submitted to a blockade erected by the imperial powers of Britain, France, and Russia. This blockade placed Germany at a severe disadvantage. Their only counter was submarine warfare. But these submarine attacks eventually led to public hysteria in America, causing the U.S. to enter the war.
A strong case can be made that this decision resulted in the greatest calamity in human history.
What we now call World War I had been a stalemate for years. The countries involved were tired, and their troops were starting to mutiny. An armistice, without victory for either side, appeared to be close at hand, but U.S. entry into the war prevented this outcome. Instead . . .
Our new allies fought on in the hope that we would tip the scales in their favor.
This was a dangerous decision for the new democratic government in Russia. Their continued participation in the war, motivated by our involvement, paved the way for the Bolshevik revolution to occur, leading to the birth of the Soviet Union.
Without our intervention in World War I it's very unlikely that there would ever have been a Soviet Union, or a communist government anywhere in the world. But this was only the start of the disaster . . .
Because of our involvement, the war ended not in stalemate, but in complete victory for the imperialist powers with which our politicians had sided, and in complete defeat for Germany. This, in turn, paved the way for Hitler and the Nazis. Thus . . .
The two most murderous regimes in history both owed their existence to our intervention in World War I.
The aftermath was . . .
* Millions of murders committed by communists during the 20th Century
* Hitler, World War II, and the Holocaust
* More than 40 years of Cold War, with the ever-present danger of nuclear annihilation
This is worth repeating . . .
Had we not intervened in Word War I it's very likely that there would have been no World War II, no Holocaust, no Communist mass murder, and no Cold War. Even Winston Churchill thought so. This is what he said in a 1936 interview with the New York Enquirer . . .
"America should have minded its own business and stayed out of the war [WWI]. If you hadn't entered the war the Allies would have made peace with Germany in the spring of 1917. Had we (Britain and its allies) made peace then there would have been no collapse in Russia followed by Communism, and Germany would not have signed the Versailles Treaty, which has enthroned Nazism in Germany. If America had stayed out of the war, all these 'isms" wouldn't today be sweeping the continent in Europe and breaking down parliamentary government . . . "
Likewise, many of the mistakes our so-called leaders made after World War II would have been avoided, because there would have been no Cold War. These mistakes include things like . . .
* The C.I.A.'s 1953 overthrow of the democratic government of Iran that led to all the problems we have with that country today
* The Gulf of Tonkin fraud that Lyndon Johnson used to entrench America in Vietnam
* Support for groups in Afghanistan who went on to become the Taliban and Al Qaeda
And these are only a few of the low-lights. The list of foreign policy disasters could go on for pages, but here's the important thing -- most of these disasters share the following things in common . . .
* A precipitating event or fear, often mythical or fraudulent, like the Battleship Maine explosion, the Gulf of Tonkin incident, or Iraq's supposed weapons of mass destruction
* Massive propaganda by politicians and the ambulance-chasing media, seeking to exploit the precipitating event
* Public hysteria as a result of the propaganda, leading to war, followed by . . .
* Disaster, disappointment, regret, and the creation of the conditions that will cause the next round of hysteria
This pattern has repeated so often that we should have learned our lesson by now, but we haven't. Instead . . .
We constantly forget history, and constantly repeat it. There are many reasons for this . . .
* Our State-run schools teach self-serving distortions of history
* Our patriotic pride leads us to convince ourselves that our government can do no wrong (even though we easily accept that our politicians do wrong constantly)
* We naively assume that this time the politicians and the media are telling us the truth, that this time the "boy who cried wolf" really does see a wolf
But whatever the reasons, we must overcome them, and chart a new course.
Only we can stop the cycle of panic and disaster.
We must refuse to feel the fear that the politicians and the media constantly try to incite. To make this happen we must focus on the following sad fact . . .
There is going to be another terrorist attack, and innocent Americans are going to die.
It probably isn't a matter of "if" this will occur, but when. But the most important thing is how we react to it when it does happen.
This time we must not over-react and run off doing stupid things, the way we did after 9-11. We must not trash our Constitution and our Bill of Rights, or start self-destructive wars, like has happened so often before.
Instead, we believe the best way to defeat the terrorists is to feel no fear. This is why we've created our "I Am Not Afraid" campaign. The campaign is simple. Just send the following message to Congress:
“I am not afraid of terrorism, and I want you to stop being afraid on my behalf. Please start scaling back the official government war on terror. Please replace it with a smaller, more focused anti-terrorist police effort in keeping with the rule of law. Please stop overreacting. I understand that it will not be possible to stop all terrorist acts. I accept that. I am not afraid.”
It doesn't matter if you've sent this message before. It's important to send the message again, on a regular basis, to remind Congress of where you stand. You can also add to this message any additional points you would like to make.
It's also important to recruit new people to the "I Am Not Afraid" campaign. You can do that by forwarding this message.
The Winston Churchill quote comes from the book "World War II" by Richard J. Maybury
For more on the manipulation of precipitating events see "The War Racket" by Downsize DC co-founder Harry Browne