Saturday, September 29, 2007

Freedom Watch - Funding Fascism in America

By now you've probably seen a number of the pro-war, pro-administration ads that are running on nationwide television. You know the ones, featuring grieving family members exhorting us all to finish the job in Iraq. Juxtaposed against Alan Greenspan's recent public admission that the war is all about oil, one wonders just what job our young and talented troops are supposed to finish?

The war, in case anyone's forgotten, was started with a lie about WMD. Then, it morphed into a war against International terrorism, after the hostilities attracted every Jihadist on the planet that wasn't already committed to the Afghan conflict. Let's be totally clear about that: terrorists and foreign fighters came to Iraq after we did, to fight the occupation of an Arab and Islamic land by a western power in league with other oil consumers and Israel.

But I digress. I'm posting today to focus attention on Freedom Watch, funding the new fascism in America. Brought to you by Dick Cheney and the very neo-cons that promoted the Iraq war and promised a quick victory, Freedom Watch is underwriting the new ads. And according to this article in the New York Times, the group is just getting going. Funded by corporate hegemonists with very deep pockets, this propaganda arm of the uber-rich is busy readying ads promoting an attack on Iran. Like we need another war. Un huh.

Don't forget it was president Eisenhower, himself a retired five-star general and war hero, who warned about the consequences of an unbridled military industrial complex. That's right, if you leave the corporate interests to their own devices they're more than happy to make a profit on the excesses of war. And the more wars the better, it seems.

So what exactly is fascism? And what do we have to fear from it? Retired Columbia University professor Robert O. Paxton describes the essence of fascism this way: "......a sense of overwhelming crisis beyond reach of traditional solutions; 2. belief one’s group is the victim, justifying any action without legal or moral limits; 3. need for authority by a natural leader above the law, relying on the superiority of his instincts; 4. right of the chosen people to dominate others without legal or moral restraint; 5. fear of foreign `contamination'." (ref)

Sound familiar? I thought so. Fascism's threat is to the individual, and to the foundations of law and democracy itself. As Fascism progresses, individual rights, personal liberty and democracy recede until finally, they are no more. A totalitarian, police state is often the result.

What a great excuse to surf right over to; True Majority or Democracy for America and make a contribution. That's the thing about the net and the power of bottom-up politics. If enough of us make $25 contributions when asked by trustworthy, progressive orgs, we can counter the influence and effect of the very rich, American fascists seeking to maintain the status quo at all costs (it preserves their authority, revenue streams and makes their actuaries happy).

No comments: