Thursday, 1 September 2011

Ralph Nader - 10 painful lessons of 9/11

The commemorative ceremonies that are planned for the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 massacre are those of pathos for the victims abd their families, of praise for both the pursuit of the supporters of the attackers and the performance of first responders and our soldiers abroad.
Flag and martial music will punctuate the combined atmosphere of sorrow and aggressive defiance to those terrorists who would threaten us. These events will be moments of respectful silence and some expressions of rage and ferocity.
But many Americans might also want to pause to recognise - or  unlearn- those reactions and overreactions tp 9/11 that have harmed our country. How, in this forward-looking manner,
can we respect the day of 9/11?

Here are some suggestions

1. Do not exaggerate our adveraries' strength in order to produce a climate of hysteria that results in repression of civil liberties, wmbodied in the overwrought USA patriot Actn, and immense long-term damage to our economy. Consider the massive diversion of trillions of dollars from domestic civilian needs because of the huge expansion and misspending in military and security budgets.

2. Do not allow our leaders to lie and exaggerate as when they told us there were funded, suicidal and hateful al-Qaeda cells all over our contry. They were never here. Actually, the wholesale invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan became recruiting grounds for more al-Qaeda  branches there and in other countries - a fact acknowledged by both then Army Chief of Staff George Casey and then CIA director Porter Goss.

3. Do not create a climate of fear or monpolize a partisan definition of patriotism in order to silence dissent from other political parties, the citizenry or the unfairly arrested or harassed.

4. Do not tolerate Presidents who violate our Constitution and start wars without congressional deliberationand a declaration of war ( article 1, section 8, clause 11). Do not let them disobey federal statutes and international treaties in pusuing unlawful, misdirected quicksand wars, as in Iraq, that produce deaths, destruction and debts that ndermine our country's national interests.

5. Do not have Congress write a blanh check, outside the normal Appropriations Committee hearing process, for the huge budgetry demandsfrom the executive branch for funding of the Iraq, Afghan-Pakistan and other undeclared wars.

6. Do not allow the executive branch to engage in unconstitutional and illegal recurrent practices such as wiretrapping and other methods of surveillance of Americans without judicial approval, in addition to arrests without charges, indefininite imprisonment, torture and denial of habeas corpus and other due process rights established by our Founding Fathers. Congress has passec no reforms to check the continuing exercise of unchecked dictatorial presidential power.

7. Do not let the government hide the horrors of war from the people by prohibiting photographs of U.S casualties in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan. There is to much intimidation of returning soldiers - so many harmed for life - and think about these wars and their heavy outsourcing to profiteeering corporations.

8. Do not allow leaders to violate American principles withtorture or other war crimes prohibited by the Geneva Conventions. Nor should top military brass or members of the executive branch be above our laws and escape accountability.

9. Do not allow your Congress to abdicate or transfer its own constitutional authorities to the president. We the people have not exercised our civic duties enough to make our representatives in Congress fulfill their obligations under the Constitution to decide whether we go to war and act as a watchdog of the president's conduct. The Libyan war was decided and funded by President Obama without congressional approval.

10. Call out those in the news media who become a mouthpiece of the president and his departments involved in these hostilities. What more is the military really doing in Libya, Somalia and Yemen as compared with the official line? Under what legal authority?

In addition, demand that news media outlets seek the inconvenient facts, whatever they might lead, unlike the pre-Iraq invasion period.

The celebrated American theologician-philosopher Reinhold Nierbuhr aptly wrote decades ago that " to the end of history, social orders will probably destroy themselves in the effort to prove that they are indestructible."

All empires eventually eat way at their own and devour themselves.

Well thanks Ralph, think I'm in agreement there, had been getting bored with the U.S.A for a long time, just been given some more sober excuses. I dont see their President changing direction somehow. But hey, look who we've got leading us, the same duplicitiousness, just a different flag!

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