Gassing And Government

It's A Gas...

OK, so the US Government didn't use nerve gas on its own troops in Vietnam. Or maybe they did, and maybe CNN got a visit from the Men In Black (and I don't mean the cool ones who fight aliens) who told them "If youse guys don't retract dat story, wese is gonna have to retract youse necks." Or maybe the story was really a total scam, and CNN, like most news media these days, has a "Truth? We can't handle (and don't care about!) the truth!" attitude. Whatever. There's a more important subtext here. ('subtext' is one of those words you're allowed to use when you're an English major.)

That is:Even if people doubted the story, few doubted it was at least plausible. And most people accepted it with a shrug and a yawn -- it wasn't a major scandal outside the usual right-wing black helicopter and left-wing "US Out Of North America!" crowd.

Think about that. The American public, for the most part, accepts that the government is likely to murder its own citizens.

This is good news, I suppose, if you're an anarchist. But if I wasn't, I'd be scared.

Those of you who like government (must be one or two, I guess) ought to be worried. What does it mean, do you think, when the governed are willing to believe, easily, that 'their' government is happy to kill them if they get out of line? How much support would such a populace give to that government in a crisis?

And all you alphabet soup types who have me on surveillance (Aw, let me delude myself into thinking I count, come on!) this what you wanted? I'm sure some of you are getting off on it..."It is better to be feared than to be loved", and all that...but most of you? Maybe I'm a hopeless optimist with boundless faith in human nature (cough, wheeze, choke), but I have to think that maybe, just maybe, people who run to join the CIA or FBI or No Such Agency did so out of, well, you know -- patriotism, loyalty, belief in The American Way, desire to work for The Greater Good, etc...all those emotions I am assured exist by people who experience them (I certainly don't).

Is this what you wanted? Is this the America you want to protect -- an America which views the government as a force of unrestrained malice, which can be accused of any inhumanity with at least some level of plausibility? A government which has provably committed so many atrocities that the people will consider any future atrocities to be just 'more of the same'?

I remember, after the Oklahoma City bombing, the Australian marsupial courts set up to 'investigate' the militia 'problem' -- never mind that McVeigh was a member of a militia in the same way the Unabomber was a member of the Green Party. The attitude of the government, and the lapdogmedia (yes, that's one word) was "Gee, what's wrong with these people? Why do they hate us?" Not once did anyone 'in power' ask:"Gee, what's wrong with us? What are we doing to engender such hate?"

Those who like government, and those who work for it, and those who are it -- you had better start asking that question soon, or you won't be around much longer.

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