By Marc Ash
t r u t h o u t | Perspective
Friday 11 August 2006
Reveling in yesterday's announcement that a plot to blow up American Airlines planes departing from British airports had been foiled by British authorities, George W. Bush leapt at the opportunity to sell his "war on terra" to whoever would listen. Using the best Madison Avenue technique money can buy, he was even ready to roll out a new slogan du jour on cue for the event. Today's phrase that pays: We are at war with "Islamic fascists."
First let me say that if British law enforcement did in fact do all of what the US mainstream press is implying they did, I thank them for finding an efficient, non-violent way to guard the public safety. "Efficient" and "non-violent" being the key words in the preceding sentence.
Efficiency and non-violence have been glaringly absent from US-British national security operations over the past five years. And that absence contributes greatly to the current atmosphere of conflict. War and a warlike mentality are espoused at every turn as the remedies of choice in dealing with all threats to Western security. As a result, Western security has suffered.
What worked in foiling the plot to destroy the airliners was good old fashioned police work and a solid investigation. Not military action. The tools used by British authorities are tools that were available on September 11th 2001. They were available the day the US invaded Iraq, and they are available today. We have always had good tools to safeguard our security. Launching massive invasions is not helping, it's adding to the rage that fuels the madness.
Fascism at Issue
Since, Mr. Bush, you have chosen to put the issue of fascism before the public, it begs a broader dialog on fascism's role in our lives today. I accept the challenge to enter that dialog. Frankly Mr. Bush, many Americans refer to you as a fascist. There really isn't any other way to state that than bluntly. Blowing up an airliner full of passengers is barbaric and completely unacceptable, regardless of the objectives of those involved, but it really doesn't fit the definition of fascism.
From Webster's New World Dictionary of the American Language:
FASCISM: A system of government characterized by rigid one party dictatorship, forcible suppression of opposition, private economic enterprise under centralized governmental control, belligerent nationalism, racism and militarism, etc.
That's really the heart of the matter now isn't it, Mr. Bush. One might wonder if you are troubled by by the specter of fascism in your inner thoughts when you cast the accusation wildly into the public discourse.
What would the people of Iraq say about fascism if asked? But then they haven't been asked, have they - they've been liberated, of course. What would our founding fathers say about detention without due process, without end? Electronic surveillance of all Americans, without regard for the law? What is democracy if the citizens have no confidence in the integrity of their elections? Our military hurls five-hundred pound bombs all day and all night. They land on whom they land on. It is not an isolated act of madness, it is a coordinated act of state. All the while private corporations profit wildly.
Fascism, Mr. Bush, is not your strongest card. You should change the subject again.