We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The FBI successfully thwarts its own Terrorist plot

by Glenn Greenwald from Salon

In this piece the author builds a good case for suspecting that the Portland, Oregon incident was brought about by the FBI's use of entrapment. And, to be sure, this enforcing arm of the ruling class certainly has the motivation to do this--spreading more fear among citizens to distract from the social spending cutbacks, to justify the "full-spectrum" surveillance of Americans, and more spending on "security services" that will inevitably lead us down the path to a police state.

As Greenwald points out, the real mystery is why the American people wonder why some people from the Middle East hate Americans and easily succumb to such terrorist fantasies.
We hear the same exact thing over and over and over from accused Terrorists -- that they are attempting to carry out plots in retaliation for past and ongoing American violence against Muslim civilians and to deter such future acts.  Here we find one of the great mysteries in American political culture:  that the U.S. Government dispatches its military all over the world -- invading, occupying, and bombing multiple Muslim countries -- torturing them, imprisoning them without charges, shooting them up at checkpoints, sending remote-controlled drones to explode their homes, imposing sanctions that starve hundreds of thousands of children to death  -- and Americans are then baffled when some Muslims -- an amazingly small percentage -- harbor anger and vengeance toward them and want to return the violence.   And here we also find the greatest myth in American political discourse:  that engaging in all of that military aggression somehow constitutes Staying Safe and combating Terrorism -- rather than doing more than any single other cause to provoke, sustain and fuel Terrorism.