Above: President George W. Bush doing some patting and approval on Turkey day 2001 while troops of the 101st Airborne Division soak it up. Disorganized, confused, and frightened people have been serving willingly as fodder for feudal barons, landlords, and manipulators for thousands of years being promised a portion of the pie if they kill and perhaps die for them. Although an old story to indigenous peoples world wide, the actual workers and soldiers see themselves with different eyes (as "good" and obedient servants and don't try to tell them different or "else"). They simply rather not hear it, hence the value of modern corporate "media" to keep them in line, happy, "adjusted", and "institutionalized".
If we really care about these people, we wouldn't send them into harm's way without a good reason. Certainly we wouldn't send them to do a warlord's work or to carry some one else's cross. Blind subservience to an external authority is not patriotism, but rather the proper definition is slavery. It should be obvious (but unfortunately it is not) that slavery is the opposite of freedom.
911 Was a Double Assault on America: An Assault on Freedom which has Already Become Far more Lethal
The first assault was of course the hijacking of the four flights on September 11, 2002 and the subsequent bombing of the WTC Center and Pentagon. Actually when put in perspective it was insignificant as compared to the amount of American lives lost in one year during the Vietnam war, Korean war, by secondary cigarette smoke, iatrogenic allopathic treatment, or traffic accidents. It's also insignificant in light of all the lives that have been lost in Afghanistan since the American invasion. What was different about 911 was that ordinary (non-combatant Americans were made to pay a price for their government's policies which obviously angered the militants who carried out the bombings. That was frightening news for Americans, but this is a fact of any democracy, i.e., the people are responsible.
Now to avoid an all too common misunderstanding the reasons why something happens (cause and effect) helps empower us -- it is not something to be feared or denied if we are to become functional and responsive creatures. To understand a fact of life, doesn't justify the fact (something that gets by most people who have been trained to not think for themselves, but rather simply see the world in simplistic terms of them and us).It should be obvious by now that many many people in the third world and especially the middle east are mad at Americans, and they have their reasons like it or not.
What also was unique in 911 was that the American people did not demand from the media any in depth reporting when the media chose not to present grievances against American policy, but rather feed the trauma, disbelief, shock, outrage, and pardon me -- denial. It's certainly not as flattering as the mainstream propaganda which tells us that America can make no mistake, i.e., America is "good", the enemy is "bad". Keeping it simple for a dumbed down populace in conjunction with inflating their ego has been working marvels for the propaganda industry. Thus the same mistake is recurring and will recur again. The 911 bombing was a message, but America is not listening, yet. Perhaps when it is bankrupt, Americans will look back upon this era and wonder how stupid, crude, shortsighted, and heartless their forebears in the early 21st century were?
The 911 bombings were well planned and long in coming. Everyone in the defense community knew about it (sure they did not know the exact dates or exact means, but they knew the target and the approximate time). However the bombings happened not because of security holes, but rather as a result of failed US foreign policy. I'll repeat this, failed US foreign policy created America's enemies.
I say failed, in the sense that it has failed the elderly, the families of the vets, the children of the future, the ecosystems, animals, watersheds, health care systems, the small farmer, the unemployed, the homeless, political prisoners, those who are striving to live in integrity, and in general the future of life on the planet, but on the other hand such policies have succeeded in catapulting the military/police state industrial complex into an unprecedented dominance and already has made billions for various energy (read petroleum based) barons. As such such failed foreign policy and diplomacy that creates war and police states actually serves the ulterior hegemonious motives of the minority whipping the majority into line -- that is if they are smart enough to get away with it.
No doubt there exists a strong predatory element in Washington today. It's being supported by its willing victims, not unlike the feudal wars and crusades of the dark ages. Much power lies in this fact -- that these power drunk would-be kings have no real power by themselves, but rather derive their power as vampires being totally dependent upon the average disorganized, confused, and self disempowered soldier/worker to do his/her bidding (and become rewarded). At this point, most Americans are not complaining, but in a comparison say to Europe, the quality of life in America has already seriously eroded and will do so at a far more paid rate than elsewhere with the widespread bankruptcy, deficit spending, deficit trade, dependence upon foreign oil, and added expenses of a police state and military empire. Economically such non-productive rapacious policies are not sustainable.
It is no feat of chance that Americans are the most despised people in the world. Do a poll anywhere in the world, with few exceptions it is America who comes out on top as the number one bully, polluter, colonist. militarist, aggressor, threat -- the supporter of the world's militarists, dictatorships, and totalitarian police states. America is regularly condemned in the OAS (organization of American States), the Arab League, the UN, the EU, China -- just about everywhere, but the average American listens to corporate owned (empire) news. Why are we hated, not because we are richest or most benign country in the world. Actually we are the most bankrupt and debt ridden country the world has ever seen.
We are hated because we push people around -- we like to make regime changes for people and decide their future for them. We like to invade countries or create economic havoc for our trade enemies. We have a government that says that our economic interests are dependent upon global political changes, i.e., that our economic security is at risk depending on the events in foreign countries. That may be true, but to take an aggressive role in other people's countries -- taking a lead in such changes, well then, that's not really expected to be appreciated is it?
Simply stated the USA is out to manipulate anybody and everybody that it can. That has been the stated foreign policy for over 20 years and the hidden foreign agenda for the economic elite for centuries. Foreign countries however don't like to be picked on. Be it Native American, El Salvadorian, Chilean, Columbian, Peruvian, Cuban, Guatemalan, Panamanian, Indonesian, Iranian, Vietnamese, Nicaraguan, Lebanese, Palestinian, Libyan, Congoloese, the list goes on. Children and peasants don't like to be killed by North American made weapons paid for by North American taxpayers and executed by North American trained death squads or "police actions". Europe doesn't like the acid rain either. Aussies don't like the ozone hole and Palestinians don't like the refugee camps. Iraqis don't like being starved and bombed. Nicaraguans don't like being murdered; yet what has American foreign policy got to do with that one may ask. If "one" does ask, then that speaks well to average American's naivete doesn't it. Yes the ignorance and denial is abysmal.
No, we didn't just quit the world court, we were charged by it. Then we talk about bringing Osama Bin Laden to justice. No, the world is not laughing. We refuse to sign the international biological weapons treaties, but want to invade another country suspected of violating it. We refuse to abide by the environmental protection treaties, the ozone emissions treaties, the ABM treaties, the .... and wonder why the world is aghast. Can any intelligent or sane person wonder why America is widely hated, except maybe the many hypocritical Americans who are in denial -- who have been watching too much corporate media?
Belgium was not attacked, nor France, Italy, Sweden, Brazil, Germany, or Spain. They don't do that sort of stuff to others (or at least not any more). But rather to list the crimes of American Empire is very long before Panama, before Grenada, before the Bay of pigs, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Chile, Viet Nam, Dominican Republic, Hiroshima, the shores of Tripoli, but rather the assault of the United States upon human freedom began with the genocide of the indigenous people and the rape of their native lands.
We won't go back any further, rather I want to focus on the real betrayal of America. It came on the second assault on America after 911. This was the assault on Freedom, and it was a massive assault already killing thousands more than were killed on 911 and threatening to kill millions more. It was as a betrayal of all those who died fighting wars to keep their children and grandchildren free. Soldiers died not for a flag or for a president, but they fought to preserve what they believed in, freedom. That freedom is a sacred principle;e in America and nothing has eroded it more than the police state response that came after 911 which is nothing less than an attempt to cash in the chips as a consolidation of power by the power elite.
What is important to understand in a republic that patriotism is not about following the leader, but rather in being true to sacred principle -- in this case freedom of determination and the bill of rights. If any so called leader abrogates such principles, they are traitors plain and simple. When the rights of the state claim sovereignty over that of individual freedom rather than enhancing such, just as when the federal government starts to usurp rights reserved for the states, then it is a sure sign that the roots of the democracy have been invaded by foreign elements and should be purged.
It is ludicrous to see the president and other national leaders, people of elected office representing the US talk openly about killing other people like "we have to take him out" or we have to eliminate them for good" and so forth. This sends an unmistakable message to the youth, i.e., that violence is a problem solving tool. Any teacher or youth worker knows that this is not the kind of rhetoric that leaders should use on national TV, let alone utilize unless given no other choice. Really we should be trying to to teach people the opposite, to create a non-violent world. In this topsy turvy and obscene American milieu it's patriotic to advocate violence, bloodthirsty revenge, and war, but it's unpatriotic to advocate peace. Not only is such thinking morally bankrupt and dysfunctional, but it shows no understanding of human history or psychology, rather it is something one would hear from a spoiled seven year old boy playing king of the hill. Such policy does not honor our fore bearers.
What is True Patriotism: Parroting is not Patriotism
Waving flags is not real patriotism. Anybody can do that. As a matter of fact, that's been a favorite masquerade of traitors, cowards, selfish manipulators, and thieves for millennia. Following the leader is not patriotism. That's a game children play. Saying the "right word" is not patriotism, but merely a trick learned by parrots. Conforming to other's expectations, being obsequious, and afraid to speak your own mind is not patriotism, but rather cowardice. No, waving yellow ribbons is not patriotism, nor is wearing patriotic clothing, nor is shopping. Patriotism isn't that simpleminded.
Rather patriotism is holding true to fundamental principles of freedom, held popular or not. Rather the test of the patriot comes when despite the odds, despite the pressure from the maddening crowd, despite the idiocy of the mob, one can still hold true with integrity to fundamental principles and values -- one has the courage to follow one's principles and be true to values and conscience despite mob or peer pressure. Being "able" to think for one self is a basic responsibility of democratic citizens, without such the democracy will not be able to make constructive, functional, nor expedient use of "facts" or data alas that is the problem, i.e., too many Americans no longer feel that they have the ability. In that case they can not support a democracy but rather are simply fodder for the warlords, landlords, and feudal lords -- the new aristocracy/autocracy. At best such people will play the game expected of them in order to gain a pat on the head, security, privilege, security, position, authority, fortune, or fame. Such have sold out their country and the veterans of past wars -- they are sell outs -- worse than tories.
Because many founding fathers fled a Europe that imposed the belief of the majority upon the minority, America's founders attempted to ensure not only the individual's freedom to think for oneself (against the majority if it is befitting), but also to speak up when one feels a right is abrogated, injustice committed, or a principle violated regardless if the majority view says otherwise. Especially so, this right is insured and is turned into a duty when an "authority" figure, leader, autocrat, or public servant (especially of great responsibility) appears to violate one's fundamental principles. According to fundamental American principles, this right to speak up is fundamental and its expression is defined as patriotic. Conversely it is not patriotic, but rather by definition betrays fundamental principle to go along with programs or so called authorities or leaders which betray or oppose fundamental principles just because one is afraid of rocking the boat, being labeled as a malcontent, or afraid of retribution. In a democracy silence is permission. As such, patriotism is presented as a duty and obligation, more than a right.
Now peace is a great value, held dear in all religions and spiritual cultures. War is simply organized murder, a last resort at best to be entered upon after all other means of honorable diplomacy and peace making has failed. As such war is most often the mark of failed diplomacy, but rarely is the diplomat blamed for its failure. This is so, because too many governments actually want a war -- they are controlled by their warrior cults, their military/industrial complexes, by avaricious exploitive meddlers, by soldiers of fortune, and so forth.
Bureaucrats, bankers, arms dealers, and generals rarely get killed in war -- they manage to escape. But rather it is the common man and woman who pays the price of war in terms of blood and taxes. Moreso it is the future generations who inherit the dark legacies of debt, cycles of violence, institutionalized hatred, jealousies, fear and distrust. It is the land, the animals, and life who suffers the most after the greedy (and truly petty) power mongers have long left their body. So it is in most cases more patriotic to not want war or at least grant war after all other peaceful means have been honestly and intelligently undertaken.
I remember the Vietnam war. At first in 1963-64, 99% of the American people considered the conflict justified and the protesters unpatriotic. Why because people had become accustomed to unthinkingly trust in authority, (in that case the growing, powerful, and rich military/industrial complex). It was heresy to be against war and "good" to be against the commies (the new evil scapegoat created by the rapacious international corporations). The protesters were thus deemed unpatriotic, that is until it was clear 5 long years later that over 51% of the population considered the war to not be in the best interest of the country, really. So it thus finally was deemed patriotic to get out of the war and create peace. Peace again became patriotic. War is honorable when defending self, homeland, dear and treasured principles, but most wars are fought upon the battlefield of avarice, personal advantage, fear, arrogance, pride (religious, ethnic, nationalistic. etc.), contempt, prejudice, and hatred -- war is based on what divides people while peace is based on what connects us to each and every other. Peace occurs from Integrity while war comes from fragmentation and corruption. No one apologized to the dead or their families.
As such the advocacy of peace or war by itself can not be judged to be either patriotic nor disloyal in and by themselves, but rather this determination has to be made by the individual within the context of what is best for the country overall. Since this may differ according to individual systems of thought, what may be considered patriotic duty on one hand, and disloyalty on the other is mostly subjective. This is where a free country honors dissent of the individual. Free people do not fear nor oppose the right to dissent.
One thing we can say for certain that to be loyal to a "leader" or authority who betrays fundamental principle is by definition unpatriotic. Thus it is a mistake to confuse the unquestioned following the leaders who advocate for example a police state and the taking away of individual liberties with the foundational principles of America. In other words, it is our patriotic duty to prevent such mis-leadership and also to oppose any policy be it war or peace which also betrays the fundamental good of the country. Men may debate which direction may be best, but to call the opposition unpatriotic is unjust as long as peace advocates are sincere in their beliefs. They may well feel that it is in America's best interests not to engage in war, pursue a militaristic approach to solving world problems, or create a huge police infra structure and degrade civil liberties at home. Indeed to deny another's right to speak their mind, would by itself be unpatriotic.
We have seen in the last century the war to end all wars. The war on poverty. The war on drugs. The war against poverty, pollution, and ignorance, but not yet the war against violence itself. More violence to our fellow man, does not peace beget. We witness that our fellow countrymen confuse vengeance, punishment, and violence as justice, but justice is based on fundamental values and principles, on something far greater than the knee jerk reaction of discharging our violence and pain -- our grief or anger -- upon a perpetuator (real or surrogate).
If Americans really wanted peace and justice, then they would have to demand a foreign policy that perpetuated justice, ended abuse, avarice, the crimes of arrogance, and exploitation by Americans toward others, But no such foreign policy has been demanded. American foreign policy on the contrary has been to meddle and force others to bend toward our will. It has occurred first with economic incentives (usually short term) and then later through threat, persuasion, force, and/or violence. It often utilizes the means of state terrorism in the form of military action or economic sanctions. Only an ostrich would ignore the widespread resentment toward America and Americans, not only in the Arab world, but in South East Asia, South America, Central America, Africa, and Eastern Europe, as a direct result of our foreign policies. We have invaded, killed, maimed, threatened, and exploited more people and countries than any other nation this past 50 years. Americans are not liked for many reasons, so if the root causes say of terrorism are to be addressed, one must first address the real reasons that we are not liked. So a democracy devoid of any conscious foreign or domestic policy aimed at eliminating abuse and exploitation will necessarily be resented, while moral people may find it their duty to resist such or even any lack of resistance would add to the continued perpetuation of the injustices and abuse.
Likewise American domestic terrorism against the American Indians, the former black slaves, and the poor and disenfranchised is also of long standing injustice, reflecting motives of avarice, unfair advantage, exploitation, abuse, and power -- the arrogant powerful over the weak --the exploitation and abuse of the strong forced upon people whose arms are less developed. If the bigger stick wins in a competitively motivated system while leaving in its wake losers, may be the "norm" in a materialistic society obsessed with greed and power, but it is not justice, and it is not high civilization. What such a system of abuse and exploitation generates in the "losers" is resentment -- while prisons and laws of repression do not breed domestic peace or a sense of justice. Without a sense of justice, peace is not likely without further methods of repression, force, or violence; i.e., large military and police state apparatus. Of course this lack of peace and justice spreads fear, and as such it does not spread an aura of domestic or international security. Thus one may conclude that if it is in America's best interest not to be hated or feared,, then foreign and domestic policy should change. America's grandiose investment in prisons, police, war, and other methods of institutionalized murder and repression, reflects America's spiritual malaise -- not only in terms of estrangement from peace, justice, and love in terms of fear, hatred, suspicion, exploitation, and military means of violence) but also from her her separation from its founding principles. Such change (toward justice, peace, and freedom) would be our patriotic duty to effect.
On a larger scale, we may ask who would benefit from world peace? Would not all nations. Would not that gift be our patriotic duty to bequeath future generations? Would not a fertile earth with its top soil still fertile? An ocean unpolluted. A land not raped and poisoned? World Peace is based on World Love -- Peace is thus a manifestation of mankind's spiritual evolution -- an ancient teaching.
So if patriotism is conformance to foundational principles of the land, we may ask where then is patriotism really rooted? It is rooted in the land in all of life -- in All Our Relations.
Winona LaDuke, an Anishinabeg (Chippewa) native American says; "Indigenous peoples believe fundamentally in natural law and a state of balance. We believe that all societies and cultural practices must exist in accordance with natural law in order to be sustainable We also believe that cultural diversity is as essential as biological diversity to maintaining sustainable societies. Indigenous peoples have lived on earth sustainably for thousands of years, and I suggest to you that indigenous ways of living are the only sustainable ways of living. Because of that, I believe there is something to be learned from indigenous thinking and indigenous ways. I don't think many of you would argue that industrial society is sustainable. I think that in two or three hundred years this society will be extinct because a society based on conquest cannot survive when there's nothing left to conquer. Indigenous people have taken great care to fashion their societies in accordance with natural law, which is the highest law. It is superior to the laws made by nations, states, and municipalities. It is the law to which we are all accountable". Native Americans honor their elders -- their founders and as such they are patriotic.
It is to this law, that war, oppression, violence, and aggression are banes of the planet -- they are to be found only when all other efforts have failed -- where people have failed in bringing about the fertile grounds to honor celebrate, and co-create -- to experience LOVE and healing. To that end we need to cultivate the powerful medicine -- to identify the root causes of fear, violence, terror, distrust, hatred, resentment, greed, jealousy, and war. After getting it together, WE can institute effective methods to stop creating weapons of destruction, repressive institutions, poisons, and such out of fear and hatred, but rather act from a healing place -- a place of peace, justice, love, and integrity. Spirit never dies. Love is its natural embodiment. Let us sing it, dance it, see it and hear it in All Our Relations
--Act in harmony all the time -- right now!
In the wider sense we are all relatives -- national boundaries
are artificial -- we are all citizens of the earth and the universe. This is
our more fundamental principle. Based on first principles -- as sharing this
common love and land -- this good earth what perhaps makes more sense is:
We Pledge Allegiance to the Planet on which We Stand
One Great Being
One Rich and Vast Great
Intelligent, Interconnected, and Whole
The above has been adapted from the http//:www./Rainbowbody/Ongwhehonwhe/peacepatriot.htm
Back to Current Events Page: Utilizing current events to disclose the underlying indigenous context of all our relations
Peace Pilgrim Website
Dalai Lama's Statement on Attacking the Root Causes of Terrorism
Martin Luther King: "Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence"
Fritjof Capra: A Systemic Analysis of International Terrorism
John Trudell on Terrorism:
Follow the Leader Virus Infects Washington
Institutionalized Paranoia and Guilt: Denial, Dysfunction, and Symbiotic Co-dependence between Externalized Authority and the American Media to Promote and Exploit the Afghan War
The Emperor is Wearing No Clothes Syndrome: Double Talk, Hypocrisy, and Deceit in War
The Voice of Silence and the Crime of Passivity by Leonard Pelletier
Denial, Dysfunction, Character Armoring, and Delusion in Modern America: Chronic Armoring Around Pain
Authoritarianism, Totalitarianism, Dogma, and Karma: Coming Home to Indigenous Space
American Gulag, by Jerome Miller
Ongwhehonwhe: The Real People Home Portal
Green and Indigenous Politics: The Politics and Power of Consciousness.
Rainbow's Political Link Pages
Rainbow's Indigenous/Aboriginal Link Pages
Rainbow's Ecology/Environmental Links