Jim Austin's Vermonter at Large
Jim Austin
Jim Austin
is a freelance writer from Putney, Vermont.

His previous columns are archived HERE.

Posted 12.17.02


America Ûber Alles

Citizens of Iraq, Saudi Arabia, and China live under the threat of jail or death should they choose to try and seek a change in their respective governments.

Try and introduce the idea of democracy in China and you might find yourself sewing Nikes in a slave labor camp.

Criticize the murder of minority groups in Iraq and if your family survives, they may find your carcass at the bottom of the Euphrates.

If I wrote a column like this one in Nigeria I might have to join Isioma Daniel on the run from a Fatwah issued by the state governor Alhaji Yerima.

Our government has flirted over the years with fascism. Take the McCarthy era. People lost their jobs, their reputations, and in some cases their freedom when Senator Joseph McCarthy insinuated that they might have been a member of the communist party.

Was there a single case of sabotage on American soil by a Japanese-American citizen during WWII? I don't think so. That didn't stop our government from dragging thousands into internment camps even while young Americans of Japanese descent were spilling their blood on the battlefields of Europe.

The Bush administration is authoring a sea-change in our society. We are moving steadily to the right, and nobody with any juice is doing anything about it.

The head of the Democratic Party announced recently that the way to win the hearts of the people of America was to move to the right.

What a disgrace.

There is no mention of what is just, honorable, or moral, only what is expedient and what will win power. Have the imbeciles on the Democratic side of the aisle forgotten that Bush lost the popular vote? Was Wellstone the only Democrat with cojones in Congress?

Bush has succeeded in installing one fascist element after another in positions of power. From racist judges and civil rights-hating AG John Ashcroft to the unbelievable appointment of Herr Kissinger to head an "independent" commission to investigate the attacks of Sept. 11.

When will our national anthem be replaced with "America Ûber Alles"? "Ûber Alles incidentally means "over all" which fits perfectly into the Bush concept of global intimidation and domestic tyranny.

Have you heard any member of Congress oppose the appointment of Henry Kissinger? *

This is the man who supervised the CIA-led coup that resulted in the overthrow of President Allende of Chile and the installation of the murderous General Pinochet. Kissinger is dogged to this day by people suing him for his responsibility in the murder of various Chilean citizens.

He oversaw the illegal bombing of Cambodia during the Vietnam War. He had a hand in the overthrow of the freely elected government of Bangladesh, where thousands were murdered by a rogue general, and while Secretary of State under Gerald Ford offered Indonesia pre-approval for their invasion of East Timor where tens of thousands were slaughtered.

He should be rotting in [Berlin's] Spandau prison for war crimes instead of chairing a committee to find out why our intelligence agencies failed to do their jobs. For the secretive White House, Kissinger is the perfect stooge.

Kissinger has been obsessed with secrecy since the Nixon administration where, as Secretary of State, he tapped the phones of his own staff. The conflict of interest between Kissinger's business interests and the obvious bloody involvement of countries like Saudi Arabia provide a fail-safe method of burying the truth.

Rather than refusing to serve on the commission the Democrats scurried like rats after cheese to find compliant bodies to fill the seats. And what is the message to the world? We appoint a man who has colluded in the deaths of thousands, overthrown democratic regimes and supervised secret wars.

Are we not unsheathing another sword to wave in the face of the international community?

We are watching while our society marches towards the abyss of fascism. How revealing that Trent Lott, Repubican leader of the Senate, has "again" spoken his true feelings. At Senator Strom Thurmond's 100th birthday party Lott toasted the old fossil by saying that if, "Strom had been elected President in 48' we wouldn't have the problems that exist today."

In case you didn't know, Thurmond's entire platform in 1948 was racial segregation. Lott is from Mississippi, the cradle of racism in this country. It appears you can take the redneck out of the state but you can't take the redneck out of the man. This is the type of leader the Republicans have chosen to guide them.

I wonder when we're going to invade Poland?

* [EDITOR'S NOTE: Henry Kissinger has since resigned because he was unwilling to make public the list of clients serviced by his 'consultancy.']