Reading Arthur Silber's take on the Newt Gingrich free speech fiasco...
Silber points out that we've been told that "they hate us because of our freedoms." Silber correctly points out that this is utter nonsense and that "they hate us because we kill them."
I have long argued that we need to bring the frightened sheep in this country to the realization of the true cause of terrorism, which is simply other nations' or peoples' grievances against us, whether real or perceived. The cause of terrorism is not jealousy or hatred of our "freedom."
But when the popular perception is that we must give up our freedoms so that terrorism will stop, we have people like Newt Gingrich and George Bush who will gladly sacrifice those freedoms. And they have done and will do so in vain, because their terrorizing of us won't stop until we stop our terrorizing of them.
Gingrich's remarks remind us that we have to make sure our fellow citizens understand why people would want to hurt us. Instead of trying to score political points with Christofascists and their sympathizers by expressing a desire to end free speech as we know it, Gingrich should be advocating the end of imperialistic impulses and our attempts to control the rest of the world to our benefit and the world's detriment.
If You Think About It
Because if you think about it, from the very beginning, the history of the United States is the history of oppression and overthrow, naked agression and plundering. All of which is cleverly done under the guise of being dedicated to freedom and equality.
Howard Zinn does a good rundown of this history in an interview with (shudder) Dennis Prager:
HZ: Well, probably more bad than good. We’ve done some good, of course; there’s no doubt about that. But we have done too many bad things in the world. You know, if you look at the way we have used our armed force throughout our history: first destroying the Indian communities of this continent and annihilating Indian tribes, then going into the Caribbean in the Spanish-American War, going to the Philippines, taking over other countries, not establishing democracy but in many cases establishing dictatorship, holding up dictatorships in Latin America and giving them arms, and you know, Vietnam, killing several million people for no good reason at all, certainly not for democracy or liberty, and continuing down to the present day with the War in Iraq—we’re not bringing democracy to Iraq, we’re not bringing security to Iraq, and we’re responsible for the deaths of very large numbers of people, I mean, 2500 Americans, tens of thousands of Iraqis....