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by Michael C. Ruppert
Saturday, Aug. 19, 2006 at 5:55 AM
"Sometimes you get your best light from a burning bridge" - Don Henley, "My Thanksgiving"
CARACAS - It was about a week before I left the United States forever that I watched Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. tell Charlie Rose something all of us already know in our hearts. "Today," he said, "the United States is hated around the world far worse than it was at the height of the Vietnam War." I remember the Vietnam War. I will never forget it.
I opposed that war, and I still remember riots on the UCLA campus in May,1970 when four students were shot dead by National Guard troops at Kent State University in Ohio. I was a college student then, and I was 2S-deferred for the draft. A year later I would be re-classified 1A as the nation shifted to a lottery system. At least someone in my country was willing to risk his life in the face of injustice. It gave me hope. That kind of risk-taking was commonplace then, from the civil rights movement to the anti-war movement, to the American Indian Movement. American blood was shed regularly on American soil to resist American tyranny; from Watts, to Detroit, to Selma, to San Francisco to Memphis to Wounded Knee. It fertilized our lives and souls as it touched the ground. The willingness to endure physical suffering, material sacrifice, and jail for the sake of justice was a singular mark of the American character that earned respect as it infected the world.
What is the United States infecting the world with today?
Now it seems the American people won't even risk their credit ratings, student loans, the next piece of ass, or a sideways glance from people who look at them like AIDS patients for daring to deviate from the corporate, media-instilled norm. We have come a long way backward. Rodney King's "Can't we all just get along" has become the modern day theme song for the surrender of America's character, and the L.A. Rebellion of 1992 was probably the last flame of will to fight injustice in American history.
This new quiescence comes at a time when US crimes are far worse and more far-reaching than they were in 1970; certainly in the eyes of the world. In 2001 the US government both facilitated and executed the attacks of 9/11 against its own people, killing thousands of its citizens as an excuse to launch a neo-imperial conquest for energy. A few Americans held small rallies, organized some ineffective groups, bought a few hundred thousand books and DVDs, listened to a few radio programs and lectures, and then quietly lined up to have their bags, emails, credit histories, minds and bodies searched. Critical mass was never achieved as Executive Orders along with the Patriot and Homeland Security Acts shredded the 1st, 4th, 5th, 6th and 8th Amendments to our Bill of Rights.
In my book Crossing the Rubicon I wrote that events that took place in the five years following those attacks would determine the course of human history for centuries to come. We now stand at the brink of that fateful anniversary.
After the 9-11 attacks the US government lied to create a war for oil in Iraq telling us that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, almost-ready atom bombs, poison gas and deadly germs. We were told that he helped execute the 9/11 attacks. It was all lies, and no one has held the US accountable for the hundreds of thousands of deaths (murders) in Iraq and Afghanistan since then. Few have tried to hold the government accountable for 2,500 Americans who have died needlessly, and those who have, have been remarkably ineffective.
US presidential elections were stolen in 2000 and 2004 through rigged electronic voting software and intimidation. Not one drop of blood was spilled anywhere, even as the US Supreme Court rendered an illegal decision supporting the overthrow of the Constitution and trampling the rights of individual states.
I never thought I would call the 60s and 70s "the good old days". I would cry tears of joy today to see just one campus overrun by a modern equivalent of the Students for a Democratic Society. I would cheer to see a general strike paralyze a city. It would be living proof that American character had not been submerged, drugged, weakened, and rendered anemic beyond revival.
My country is dead. Its people have surrendered to tyranny, and in so doing, they have become tyranny's primary support group; its base constituency; its chief defender. Every day they offer their endorsement of tyranny by banking in its banks and spending their borrowed money with the corporations that run it. The great Neocon strategy of George H.W. Bush has triumphed. Convince the American people that they can't live without the "good things", then sit back and watch as they endorse the progressively more outrageous crimes you commit as you throw them bones with ever-less meat on them. All the while, lock them into debt. Destroy the middle class, the only political base that need be feared. Make them accept, because of their own shared guilt, ever-more repressive police state measures. Do whatever you want.
No amount of mind control spin can absolve any of us from acknowledging this ugly truth about the US and its crimes today. It lurks invisibly behind every corporate news broadcast, every commercially-made television show, every infomercial, every new magazine ad, and almost every new popular song that leads Americans deeper into ever-less-satisfying consumption, self-indulgence and debt. It stands grinning behind every report on the world's rapacious financial markets and every new automobile, shampoo, or other product that promises to give the world larger and more potent sexual organs, bigger (more ridiculous) breasts, a better love life, and peace of mind.
I left my last classes that spring day in 1970 after four students had been murdered, crying from both the emotional pain and the tear gas that wafted up the Janns Steps and onto the Quad at UCLA. I went to my job as an intern at the Los Angeles Police Department. After donning my khaki uniform without gun or badge I returned to UCLA to work at LAPD's command post, ferrying dispatches and running errands for Deputy Chiefs, Commanders, and Captains as LAPD batons shed the blood of my fellow students. My life has always been full of ironies. Then, I believed that the system could be changed from the inside. Then, I believed that the United States could be changed from the inside.
Mistrusted by both sides there was no safe place for me to cry that day.
My shame today is that it took a set of circumstances where my life was in danger to make me make the right choice, a choice I would now like to say was totally a matter of conscience, but it was not. The truth is that I was prompted to do what I should have done long ago out of a well-justified desire to save my life.
In this life I have chosen not to die a martyr's death. As I am learning every day, there are more difficult and demanding ways to write the final chapters of one's life. I left the United States with one large suitcase, my laptop, and a backpack. I left behind my precious library, most of my clothing, my personal possessions, my guns, and a house full of furniture. I brought with me less than eight thousand dollars in cash and gold to start the final segment of my life.
My permanent exodus from the US was actually ordained thirty years -- to the month -- before I left for good on July 18th, 2006. It was thirty years ago that my then-fiance, a career contract agent for the CIA, disclosed to me that "her people" were interested in giving a major boost to my career with LAPD if I would become involved with her "anti-terror" operations that involved "overlooking" (i.e. protecting) large drug shipments coming in while facilitating the movement of large quantities of firearms going out. I refused to compromise my ethics as a police officer and -- as I wrote on page 6 of Crossing the Rubicon - "that has determined the course of my life ever since."
Like all humans I want to hold on to dreams for as long as possible, even long after I know they will never come true. I have tried and sacrificed with every fiber of my being to change my country, but the plain fact is that the United States of America cannot and will never be changed from within. I recall the words spoken to me by a senior FBI agent in Los Angeles in 1986: "Mike, the world doesn't want to be saved."
Stupid me. I still believe it does -- at least the parts of it that lie outside the US, Great Britain, and Israel; the real Axis of Evil.
Today the United States is the cause of ever-expanding wars (covert and overt), carnage, suffering, and political and economic exploitation -- even within its own borders against its own people -- that fill our corporate-issued headlines and TV shows. The US economy, the privately-owned Federal Reserve system, and the government which they operate like a franchise are the greatest enemies of the entire human race and especially the rapidly- deteriorating and fragile ecosystem which supports all life. U.S. citizens are slowly discovering that they are not immune because of their nationality. On our planet today, what happens to one must inevitably happen to all. Peak Oil and global warming will spare no nationality in the end.
The US economy, driven by a fiat currency, fractional reserve banking, debt-based financing -- and "doped" with the billions of dollars of drug profits laundered through its corporations and banks -- is a superheated pyramid scheme of infinite growth wherein 5% of the world's population consumes 25% of the world's energy and a totally disproportionate share of the world's diminishing resources and commodities.
In their silence and acquiescence Americans have voted -- even if by abstention -- to stand on the shoulders of all drowning peoples in the vain hope that they will somehow be saved from a paradigm which they support and empower by obeying it; by endorsing it with their silence or knowingly impotent protests; by refusing to throw themselves against the gears of the machine. In this world, a protest which is allowed and encouraged, corralled into free-speech areas, and then policed by the ruling government only to be ignored by the media is, by definition, meaningless.
The US is a nation where the "non-negotiable" and unsustainable "American" way of life is propped up by global conflict, out-of-control military spending, massive and unsustainable debt, and an increasingly-aggressive fascist police state. It is a nation where all US citizens who do not resist and disconnect from this paradigm enjoy their ever-diminishing privileges with the guilty knowledge that somewhere else, hopefully in some "other" country, others are paying the price for it.
The world is now my country.
With the passage of time, the degree of corporate oppression, the outrageousness of the cruelty, and the absurdity of the lies can only increase as dwindling resources diminish and desperation erupts. Ironically, the disappearing American middle class will still cheer at each new millionaire success story, even if they quietly understand that a hundred or a thousand of their kind had to disappear to create it. They chase illusions of hope rather than the real possibility of justice and change like lottery players with a one-in-a-billion chance of winning. They prefer that to hard work and sacrifice with much better odds where almost everybody can win something.
As the human race enters the first stages of inevitable collapse resulting from Peak Oil, it does so ass-backwards, in complete denial, and in the one way most certain to guarantee the greatest amount of suffering and death for future generations. It does so because, for a time at least, U.S. foreign, military, and economic policy holds the steering wheel of human destiny through dollar hegemony, military force, technology and globalization.
This control is inevitably weakening, and other hands in other countries are successfully struggling for an ever-increasing measure of influence. The Empire is dying from within, and like all wounded beasts, it is becoming more vicious and dangerous in the process; its lies more transparent.
A different world is possible. A better world is possible. It took the imminent threat of my own death at the hands of my government to make me fully admit to my innermost self what I have known for years. Having failed to change my country's direction after 30 years of effort, I had to stop living in the problem and start living in the solution. If I did not, my soul would have died just as surely as my body would have died after the recent burglary that savaged our offices.
I do not know where I will spend the rest of my days. Maybe in Venezuela, maybe in Mexico with the Zapatistas, maybe in Bolivia, maybe in France, Germany, or even Russia. But because Venezuela has become the singular world leader in resisting US domination under the courageous, intelligent, and inspired leadership of Hugo Chavez, I want to begin the rest of my days here.
Being freer to speak, to learn, to experience and to witness real solutions being discovered and implemented by peoples willing to take risks and who understand the challenges, I will be better able to report usefully to FTW readers and the world in future books and articles. I am currently in a country where the people have changed and are changing their government; where the elected head of state has won six elections while George W. Bush has stolen two. Is it any wonder I feel better already?
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LATEST COMMENTS ABOUT THIS ARTICLE
Listed below are the 10 latest comments of 25 posted about this article.
These comments are anonymously submitted by the website visitors.
|You got it right on all counts
||Saturday, Aug. 19, 2006 at 10:26 AM
||Right back atchya, moron
||Saturday, Aug. 19, 2006 at 1:04 PM
||Exposing shctark-raving's hypocrisy (again)
||Saturday, Aug. 19, 2006 at 1:26 PM
|Wow! Now THAT is a voice of sanity
||Saturday, Aug. 19, 2006 at 1:34 PM
|Uh, I was referring to the top article of course
||Saturday, Aug. 19, 2006 at 1:47 PM
|"Time to torment TW" -- ah yes, point taken
||Saturday, Aug. 19, 2006 at 2:02 PM
|To Tia, special words of advice
||Saturday, Aug. 19, 2006 at 2:02 PM
|Last words before leaving the playpen unattended for awhile
||Shabot Shalom Tia!
||Saturday, Aug. 19, 2006 at 2:09 PM
|"Last words before leaving the playpen unattended for awhile"
||Good riddance Tia!
||Saturday, Aug. 19, 2006 at 2:39 PM
||Saturday, Aug. 19, 2006 at 2:52 PM
|In solidarity, in resistance
||Saturday, Aug. 19, 2006 at 3:49 PM
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