Wednesday, August 23, 2006

The Anti-Empire Report: William Blum also expresses scepticism about the London 'terror bomb plot' and discusses some other, similar incidents.

HL Mencken made the memorable remark: "The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed--and hence clamorous to be led to safety--by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary."

When first encountered, this remark might be regarded as a witty quip with a grain of truth, but of course not to be taken literally. However, with a bit more experience, one begins to wonder. Look at the scares of our times: the Great Red scare, the McCarthyite witchhunt, the Vietnam domino madness, the phony 'war on terra' - not to mention the drug war, the 'rising tide of crime', the threat of the boat people etc. We are looking at a regular method of government, systematically pursued again and again.

When Bush, Blair and Howard launched their 'war on terror' following 9/11 (enthusiastically embraced by all the usual culprits such as Peter Costello as a 'long war' or '50 year war') they were not breaking new ground or acting unusually. The invasion of Iraq (which had nothing to do with 9/11); the attack on civil liberties; the frightening of the population; the big lies about 'why they hate us'; the attack on Islamic civilisation; the denial that Western interest in the Gulf had anything to do with oil: - all simply part of a systematic method of governance. Perhaps its been an unpleasant surprise what a disaster the invasion of Iraq has proved to be (a bit like Crassus invading Mesopotamia?) but otherwise the whole thing is nothing but business-as-usual from a well-tested playbook.

"Every decent man is ashamed of the government he lives under." - HL Mencken

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