Is America Burning - a Forum To Discuss Issues

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Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Howard Zinn on Civil Disobedience

A 1971 speech at Boston Commons by Howard Zinn. His speech referred to the Vietnam War but is applicable today to the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars and the proposed Iran War. The fiasco of the Iraq War reflects no lessons learned by our government from the Vietnam War except for ONE . That is, the effects of civil disobedience on wrongful government policies. Bush and his masters see quite plainly the dangers of civil disobedience to tyrannical power.

Therefore Bush et al pushed a gutless Congress into allowing the Hitleresque/Stalinesque passage of laws designed to criminalize civil disobedience. The "Decider" makes the decision to deem certain actions as illegal; "if you aren't with us, you are with the terrorists". Aiding and abetting the enemy, giving aid and comfort to the enemy equals treason. Being against the government's policies equals giving aid and comfort, aiding and abetting the enemy = equals dissent=dissent equals being with the terrorists = treason. Treason is punishable by death.

In fear of an uprising of civil disobedience as the American people got wise to their illegal machinations, BushCo anticipated a possible uprising a la Vietnam War and took steps to deal with it. Building huge Concentration Camps across the nation to house potential dissidents and passing laws giving the tyrants free rein to arrest citizens (NOT to house illegal immigrants as Bush stated) provided a means to quell disobedience - not to mention it made Halliburton and associates even richer through the contracts to build them..

Brainwashing our troops to believe that Bush's wars are just and that they are "protecting our homeland and freedoms" makes them more amenable to acting against their own people whom BushCo deems traitors. In addition, Bush has his praetorian guard to call upon if necessary - the Blackwater et al mercenaries. A trial run in New Orleans proved that the American people would not protest their usage.

Demonstrations today are quite small and largely ignored - except by law enforcement agencies who deal harshly with the participants. Even the wearing of tee shirts bearing anti-war anti-Bush slogans can get a citizen arrested or removed from public view. We may still rise up in civil disobedience, ofcourse, but we also may expect to be sternly dealt with by our government - and "sternly" may be an understatement. Being forewarned, are we as brave as our forefathers were who stood against the tyranny of the British crown, or like Patrick Henry who avowed, "give me liberty or give me death"?

But listen to Zinn's speech and see if you believe his message is applicable to today, as I do.








COMMENTS:
Blogger The Future Was Yesterday said...

A person I used to march with in the 70's (and partake of other pursuits) once said to me: "This is where congressional law is made. Fighting here in the street, fighting every Pig (old hippie term for Cops) who wants to stop those laws from being made."

His prose was chemically enhanced at the moment, but he spoke the truth, even if by accident. It's also said that every great Democracy has failed after 200 years or so. That does not mean we have to follow that "rule", does it?

The fight, like all fights for freedom, will be fought (or not) in the streets. The scariest question we will ever face will not be a complicated one concerning Democracy, but rather:

"How Bad Do We Wamt It?"

Wednesday, April 09, 2008 9:35:00 PM

Anonymous David G said...

What is really sad is that, if Zinn's speech is still applicable, it shows that America learned nothing from Vietnam. How can a nation's leadership be so dumb?

Then greed does tend to blind people!

Thursday, April 10, 2008 2:54:00 AM

Labels:

3 Comments:

  • At Wednesday, April 09, 2008 9:35:00 PM , Blogger The Future Was Yesterday said...

    A person I used to march with in the 70's (and partake of other pursuits) once said to me: "This is where congressional law is made. Fighting here in the street, fighting every Pig (old hippie term for Cops) who wants to stop those laws from being made."

    His prose was chemically enhanced at the moment, but he spoke the truth, even if by accident. It's also said that every great Democracy has failed after 200 years or so. That does not mean we have to follow that "rule", does it?

    The fight, like all fights for freedom, will be fought (or not) in the streets. The scariest question we will ever face will not be a complicated one concerning Democracy, but rather:

    "How Bad Do We Wamt It?"

     
  • At Thursday, April 10, 2008 2:54:00 AM , Anonymous David G said...

    What is really sad is that, if Zinn's speech is still applicable, it shows that America learned nothing from Vietnam. How can a nation's leadership be so dumb?

    Then greed does tend to blind people!

     
  • At Thursday, April 10, 2008 11:42:00 AM , Blogger Granny said...

    So far our peaceful little weekly vigil has attracted nothing but positive attention (in a conservative city).

    Even the police smile and occasionally wave as they pass by. Of course, it's been going on since VietNam.

    I keep thinking this will be the week the storm troopers show up to haul us away.

     

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