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Fascism In Defense of Freedom is a Vise

3 December 2001

OK. Let me try and understand this.

The reason terrorists hate us Americans so much is because of our Freedoms.

That's what the President says. So Attorney General John Ashcroft comes up with the only logical Christian solution: Eliminate our "Freedoms" and they won't hate us any more. Simple. Why didn't we think of this before? We might have avoided WW II! Perhaps even the American Revolution. Think of all the property, not to mention lives, that could have been saved!

Now we can see that Barry Goldwater's infamous dictum, "extremism in defense of liberty is no vice" - which by most accounts lost him the election - had more truth to it than met the eye at the time. We were so blind. But now we see. Goldwater was a prophet without honor in his own country.

Duuh! Gut the Bill of Rights and eviscerate the Constitution and presto chango oppressed peoples around the world living under despotic regimes supported and trained in domestic dissent suppression by the United States will have nothing for which to envy us. They'll look at us with pity as equals. Like the rats regarded Jud in the musical "Oklahoma!" And what's more, they'll be correct! Totalitarianism in defense of national security is all right. I can see the bumper stickers now - "Another Fascist for Freedom!" "Another Totalitarian for Liberty!" "Another Compassionate Conservative for Total Annihilation!"

Check it out, Ari, you Fleischer, you. Am I stating the argument accurately to this point? As you said recently, "People have to watch what they say ...." I wouldn't want to get it wrong.

OK. So now, if we outsource our manufacturing jobs to slave-wage Third World countries; compensate transnational corporations for "terrorist-induced" business losses with retroactive tax refunds, defense contracts and multi-million dollar bailouts; lay off millions of American workers; give tax breaks to the wealthy; privatize and loot the coffers of Social Security; and create a permanent "worldwide-war-on-terrorism" economy - why then, will we not forestall the plunge into global economic depression which was looming on the horizon even before 9/11?

Next, if we clusterbomb and bunkerbuster Afghanistan back to the Paleolithic, Vice President Dick Cheney and his buddies at Haliburton will rebuild it - adding a pipeline through it and Pakistan from the petroleum-rich Central Asian Republics (where National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice and her Exxon colleagues have business interests) - then the G-8 countries' "privileged" access to all the major sources of oil in the world will have been secured until the Final Rapture. Am I getting it right so far?

Of course, in the interest of a stable global investment climate (not to be confused with industry-produced global climate change), the unelected, anonymous trade lawyers and technocrats of the U.S.-dominated World Trade Organization (WTO), World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) must achieve and maintain the power to over-ride for trade profitability purposes the democratically established labor, environmental and human rights laws in all the world's sovereign nations. This goes without saying.

Then finally - and this is the clincher - if we follow War (excuse me, Defense) Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's scenario, which is also laid out in the Air Force's "Vision 2020" Report, and project America's nuclear-and-other-weapons-of-mass-destruction monopoly into space, why then we achieve "Full Spectrum Dominance" over the planet and become at the same time "Masters of Space." This is not my own megalomaniacal fantasy, mind you. This is the current, articulated official U.S. government policy. The world will at last be safe for American corporate investment.

So -please correct me if I'm wrong - totalitarianism in defense of liberty is a vise. It's being tightened. And we're all in it. The question is - how do we get out?

James Heddle.
(c) James Heddle.

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