can't happen here?
Expanded from the 10-14-2007 Daily Sparks (Nev.) Tribune
This nation of scared rabbits doesn't need any more fear, but if only fear will move us, then let's dish up a heapin' helping.
Now that the depredations of our mercenaries in Iraq have been duly recognized for both their war crimes and immunity from any laws, let's analyze the potential of this unaccountable and well-funded army to stage a military coups against the U.S.
The various scum ponds of Blackwater have spawned a privatized Pentagon on American soil.
"Founded in 1996, the company has used its steady stream of government contracts to build up a private army of 20,000 on-call mercenary soldiers and a military base in North Carolina worth between $40 million and $50 million. It reportedly has the ability to field massive humanitarian operations faster than the Red Cross and boasts a fleet of aircraft ranging from helicopter gunships to a Boeing 767," writes author Naomi Klein in the current edition of Harper's magazine. (The Harper's piece, Disaster Capitalism: The new economy of catastrophe, was adapted from her new book entitled The Shock Doctrine.)
"The reach of the disaster industry extends far beyond policing," Klein continues.
"When the contractor infrastructure built up during the Bush years is looked at as a whole, what we see is a fully articulated state-within-a-state that is as muscular and capable as the actual state is frail and feeble. This corporate shadow-state has been built almost exclusively with public resources including the training of its staff: 90 percent of Blackwater's revenues come from state contracts and the majority of its employees are former politicians, soldiers and civil servants. Yet the vast infrastructure is all privately owned and controlled. The citizens who have funded it have absolutely no claim to this parallel economy or its resources," Klein notes.
"The next phase of the disaster-capitalism capitalism complex is all too clear: with emergencies on the rise, government no longer able to foot the bill and citizens stranded by their hollow state, the parallel corporate state will rent back its disaster infrastructure to whoever (sic) can afford it, at whatever price the market will bear," Klein warns.
RENO 911. "Another potential growth area identified by the disaster capitalism complex is municipal government: the contracting out of police and fire departments to private security companies. 'What they do for the military in downtown Fallujah, they can do for the police in downtown Reno,' a spokesperson for Lockheed Martin said in November 2004."
Reno and Sparks can't afford proper police and fire protection because of three decades of Ronald Reagan's New Federalism which has starved the states and cities while building up a bloated military besotted with expensive and useless weapons systems suitable only for re-fighting World War 2 and winning congressional pork.
Klein notes another parallel. Sandy Springs, Georgia, a wealthy suburb of Atlanta, incorporated as a city because it objected to having its taxes pay for things like police in low income areas and schools for black kids. As an instant government, they hired an outfit familiar to Nevada and Iraqi construction workers: CH2M Hill. Other wealthy enclaves soon followed, bringing to life the fortress dystopia envisioned in the book and film A Clockwork Orange.
Klein says that Sandy Springs became the first "contract city."
I warned of this potential all the way back on Aug. 11, 1989. In A quick Ecorse in anarchy, I commented on the privatization of Ecorse, Michigan, a rustbelt town which was going broke so it privatized everything, the devil-child of the Reagan years.
I don't know about you, but I see a real danger in funding a mercenary army to take over government services. In civics class, such activities fell under the heading of fascism, defined as an authoritarian state where the means of production remain privatized with the private sector exercising maximum clout over a dictatorial government.
Blackwater has operated both domestically and internationally, botching both New Orleans and Baghdad.
Somewhere there sits a megalomaniac with delusions of grandeur about saving this nation for all that's right for proper people. He probably thinks he has permission from Thomas Jefferson who said that "a little rebellion now and then is a good thing."
This guy also has a large film library of every overthrow scenario ever produced, probably led by Seven Days in May, the 1964 John Frankenheimer film of the novel by Fletcher Knebel and Charles W. Bailey about a military takeover of the government of an unpopular U.S. president. It starred Burt Lancaster, Edmond O'Brien, Kirk Douglas, Martin Balsam, Ava Gardner and Fredric March.
There have been countless lesser films, the low ebb of which was probably the Reagan-era TV miniseries entitled Amerika starring Robert Urich, Sam Neill and Kris Kristofferson.
Amerika never explained how the Soviet Union managed to get us to roll over and play dead. One critic properly called it claptrap. I think Bush and Blackwater have filled in that plot hole.
So what can save us from a Seven Days of Blackwater? This nation has more privately owned guns than people and perhaps that's enough to keep the bastards at bay.
I'm a flaming liberal civil libertarian progressive Democrat and I'm scared. The nation seems well on its way to having a choice between two corporate conservatives for president. Just as the gaming party runs Nevada, the corporate party runs the nation.
Corporate America and its flack machine don't allow true liberals into the game anymore we are just not "mainstream."
The mainstream is where you drown.
It can't happen here?
It is happening here.
And the only saving grace this liberal can envision is a well-regulated militia necessary for the security of a free state.
Keep your powder dry.
Be well. Raise hell.
NAOMIKLEIN.ORG: The Shock Doctrine Short Film
A Film by Alfonso Cuarón and Naomi Klein, directed by Jonás Cuarón
An official selection of the Toronto Film Festival
An official selection of the Venice Film Festival
The Shock Doctrine short film is cleared for Internet use but not for broadcast,
so feel free to share it with your friends.
NAOMI WOLF: Fascist America in 10 Easy Steps
There are some things common to every state that's made the transition to fascism. Author Naomi Wolf argues that all of them are present in America today.
Johnson, Chalmers; REPUBLIC OR EMPIRE? A National Intelligence Estimate on the United States; Harper's magazine; January, 2007. I love it when heavy hitters validate what I've been saying for years in the tiny Sparks Tribune.
Barlett, Donald L. and Steele, James B.; America: What Went Wrong? (1992); America: Who Really Pays the Taxes? (1994); America: Who Stole the Dream? (1996) ; Andrews & McMeel/Universal Press Syndicate. For additional comments on the work of the two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning team, use the NevadaLabor.com search engine and sweep for "Barlett."
The Orwell Diversion by Alex Carey
Excerpted from the book available below
ORDER Taking the Risk Out of Democracy
Corporate Propaganda versus Freedom and Liberty
By Alex Carey
Edited by Andrew Lohrey
Foreword by Noam Chomsky
University of Illinois Press
SEE ALSO: Lapham, Lewis H.; Tentacles of Rage: The Republican Propaganda Mill, A Brief History; Harper's Magazine cover article; September, 2004, page 32.
By one conservative estimate, the corporate right has spent about $3 billion over the past three decades manufacturing public opinion to suit big business goals. Lapham's number covered the early 1970's to the present day. Alex Carey noted that by 1948, anti- New Deal corporate propaganda expenditures had already reached $100 million per year, not adjusted for inflation, for advertising alone. (Carey, ibid; page 79)
Adjusted for inflation, that 1948 $100 million becomes $801,659,751.04 in 2005 dollars.
Conservatives Help Wal-Mart, and Vice Versa
As Wal-Mart struggles to rebut growing criticism, it has discovered a reliable ally: conservative research groups.
New York Times 9-8-2006; Free registration may be required.
BARBWIRE: Labor Day '94: People vs. corporate con job, 9-4-94
Chilling forecasts from Alex Carey
BARBWIRE: The Nevada Republican Party Becomes Communist, 3-30-97
A prescient Plato on the dangers of oligarchy
The sands of time do not cloud the long memories of the sheiks of Araby
Rinfret, Pierre A.; Peace is Bullish; Look magazine, 5-31-1966
Barbwire Oilogopoly Archive
I've been telling you so for more than 10 freakin' year
Barbwire Nevada Corporate Welfare Archive
Learn about the goodies which suffering profitmongers suck from the public trough
Nevada: Right to Work for Less
Those who ignore history are condemned to repeat it
The Dean's List
The Dean of Reno Bloggers could very well be Andrew Barbano, self-described "fighter of public demons," who started putting his "Barbwire" columns online in 1996 and now runs 10 sites.
RENO NEWS & REVIEW, 11-9-2006
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Andrew Barbano is a 39-year Nevadan, editor of NevadaLabor.com and JoeNeal.org; a member of Communications Workers of America Local 9413/AFL-CIO,and the Reno-Sparks NAACP. As always, his opinions are strictly his own. Barbwire by Barbano has originated in the Daily Sparks (Nev.) Tribune since 1988.
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