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More and more these days, one hears that the best way to support our troops in Iraq, Afghanistan, and the hundred and umpty-odd other countries they're stationed in around the world is to bring them all home.
It's very difficult to disagree with that sentiment, or with the thinking behind it. However for me, at least, it's equally difficult to agree without some amount of trepidation. I have my reasons, as a novelist who reflexively constructs plots out of facts that may appear isolated and unrelated to other people, and as a student of classical history.
You may call them "factoids" if you prefer.
Whatever you call them, three of these things have been keeping me up at night, recently, and, I think, bear discussion and perhaps even some kind of action on the part of those who wish to avoid the kind of state slavery we have witnessed in China and elsewhere over the past century.
The first consists of stories we've all been reading for at least a decade that the federal government has been constructing enormous "relocation centers" out in the middle of nowhere for taking care of disaster refugees (they say) or the detention of dissenters as the Noose World Order grows tighter around the vulnerable throat of Lady Liberty. Recent rumors have the concentration camps being built by Halliburton, principle corporate beneficiary of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Http://www.sianews.com/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=1062 will get you started, but there is plenty of material out there that I have no certain way to evaluate. Put "concentration camp"+"american" in your Google window and then jump back out of the way to see what I mean.
I haven't written about these stories before, because I had no way of knowing whether they're true or not, and they're depressing. They seem certainly plausible, given the character of the Bush and Clinton regimes.
The second thing keeping me up is a story that an elite cabal is planning, without consulting any of us, to merge Canada, Mexico, and the USA economically and politically. Wikipedia says it isn't so <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_American_Union>. Human Events <http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=14965> says it's happening already. The merger's supposed to occur within the next couple of years.
It's also said that they're creating an enormous super highway <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_American_SuperCorridor_Coalition> (Halliburton again?) from Canada to Mexico, bisecting our own country. The strategist within me feels the hair stand up on the back of his neck, remembering that the Autobahn was built by Hitler, not as a convenience for German motorists, but as a means of getting tanks and troops around the country quickly to maintain political and military control.
This new country, goes the story -- the "North American Union" -- would not feel bounded by the U.S. Constitution or the Bill of Rights, but would govern as many another nation does, through "management" policies that look upon us, not as entities endowed with certain inalienable rights, but as cattle to be branded, tracked, and herded around.
Do I know if any of this is true? I do not. Do I worry that it might be? You bet -- it's perfectly consistent with things I do know about.
But it's the third thing that has driven me to my keyboard (after checking to make sure my powder is dry) is a slowly dawning awareness on my part of another corporation presently benefitting from the Bush Administration's illegal wars, a corporation apparently also looking forward to being of much greater use to the New Fascism right here at home.
That corporation is Blackwater USA, which, under the guise of a private security company, has become an army unto itself, rivaling the government's forces in numbers and power. Supposedly there are around 150,000 U.S. troops in Iraq. Some reports say that there are 25-40,000 Blackwater personnel over there, as well, just itching to finish establishing an overseas empire, and then to come home and start pushing us Americans around the same way they have done the Iraqis.
In a way, Iraq is just a great big rehearsal stage for them, with their house-to-house searches for "illegal" weapons and so-called "insurgents" (a fascist euphemism for individuals attempting to throw off a foreign occupying army). Blackwater personnel were also among the machinegun-toting thugs who wandered the ruined streets of New Orleans shortly after Hurricane Katrina (see the URLs above) and now they're establishing additional headquarters in Illinois and in California, creating what amounts to a string of private paramilitary bases.
You can probably see where I'm going with this. Suddenly a new government, the North American Union, is thrust upon us whether we like it or not. The United States Constitution and the Bill of Rights are hereby null and void. If anybody tries to object, there's always kidnapping and indefinite incarceration, made politically possible by the War on Terror. And if the military doesn't like it -- remember that two thirds of the Marines questioned in the 1995 "Twenty-Nine Palms" survey conducted by Lieutenant Commander Ernest Guy Cunningham said that they would not participate in any general disarmament of the American populace (see <http://jpfo.org/alert20041112.htm> and <http://www.truthorfiction.com/rumors/m/militarysurvey.htm>) -- they, exactly like the rest of us, will have to face the hired guns of Blackwater USA, mercenaries eager to do the bidding of whoever pays them.
Of course I could be wrong, but I'm afraid that the history of the last several decades in America doesn't support that kind of hope. Any country in which something like Ruby Ridge or Waco can happen -- and the perpetrators get medals and raises instead a long jump at the end of a short rope -- any country that endorses incarceration without due process, and the torture of prisoners, is ripe for this sort of coup d'etat.
Can anything be done? For the moment, it's a matter for lawyers, of which I know there are many, among the readers of this column. I'm limited in what I can say here, by the rules that govern nonprofit corporations, but I'd be interested to see what legal writers might come up with by way of federal and state prohibitions on concentration camps, on political mergers, and on maintaining private armies. I'd like to see the kind of "purely symbolic gestures" at the city and county levels that neoconservatives make fun of so nervously and unconvincingly.
I know that it isn't customary for a libertarian, especially a notoriously radical one like yours truly, to say "There ought to be a law". But when the proposed law acts to further bind the government, and only affects politicians, bureaucrats, and their hirelings, I have come to believe that it's not only permissable, it's also vitally necessary.
More than anything else, what I'd like to see is a Constitutional amendment that would make it a capital offense for any politician, bureaucrat, or other government employee to violate -- or attempt to violate through legislative activity -- anybody's liberties under the the Bill of Rights. How the Founding Fathers manged to miss that one is the great mystery -- and the continuing tragedy -- of American history.
The ancient Roman senator Cato the Elder is probably most famous for making speeches -- they may have been about the price of grain, or rebuilding some monument, or anything else -- that always ended with "Carthago delenda est": "Carthage must be destroyed". Eventually the other Romans got sick and tired of hearing it and went and destroyed Carthage.
My wife Cathy -- the fountainhead of many of "my" best ideas -- suggests that from here on, whenever any libertarian, or anybody else who wants their free country back again, makes some kind of political statement, that, no matter what that statement is about, they should always append a final paragraph demanding the swift passage of a Constitutional Penalty Clause, until such a clause becomes a political reality.
Now if I can just figure out how to say it in Latin ... --
A fifty-year veteran of the libertarian movement, L. Neil Smith is the Author of 33 books including The Probability Broach, Ceres, Sweeter Than Wine, And Down With Power: libertarian Policy In A Time Of Crisis. He is also the Publisher of The Libertarian Enterprise, now in its 17th year online.
Visit the Neil Smith archive on JPFO.
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