War on Iran and Responsibilities of a People
From the Introduction to the still unpublished book “Prisoners of the Cave”
© Zahir Ebrahim
Published by Project HumanbeingsfirstTM. Permission granted to use freely as per copyright notice.
[ March 30, 2007: I wrote this as the Introduction chapter to my book in 2003 - almost exactly 4 years ago as the bombing of Iraq was underway and the American peoples were mesmerized by the "shock and awe" of a defenseless civilization on their television screens. Is another one about to commence on another defenseless nation - Iran? How relevant is this introduction today after all that has been disclosed over the past 4 years? Are the voices that are actually heard in the American mainstream only to be of those wearing the distinguished garb of "scholarship" lining the streets of Washington DC and the well walked hallways of the Ivys? When will the voices of the ordinary peoples themselves be allowed to inform the ordinary peoples? After all, it is us who are the ultimate enablers of "shock and awe", and also us who pay the heavy price. It is indeed only our profound complicity through our uncourageous silence and inaction that bestows the unspeakable power on the minority of opinion makers and the handful of hectoring hegemons which in turn enables them to send America's sons and daughters to new heights of barbarism while visiting the munificence of their high-tech "shock and awe" upon defenseless human beings. How can a civilization claiming to be a "populist democracy" permit such "imperial mobilizations"? Did "Good Germans" only live in Germany?]
What is the collective and individual responsibility of a people who live in a Democracy for the crimes of their government? Can the people morally claim the “I didn't know defense” and absolve themselves of culpability, the same defense claimed by the German citizenry for the Holocaust? Hitler had indeed come to power “legally”. He had motivated his reluctant people based on his well publicized doctrines in Mein Kampf, into the conquest of Europe. Now that he is vanquished, what does the civilized world think of him and his Nazi war machine? Or is it only the vanquished foe that we can see the faults with? Will our own faults also only come to light when we too have been vanquished? Or is there a less painful way to recognize that what we might be doing to the world has been done before, time and again? That the lessons of history might already be there as the low hanging fruits of wisdom ripe for the plucking?
In America too, the doctrines for world conquest have been outlined publicly:
I.1: Zbigniew Brzezinski's “Grand Chessboard”;
I.2: Documentation of “Project New American Century” signed by Donald Rumsfeld, Dick Cheney, Paul Wolfowitz, among others, especially the report on “Rebuilding America's Defenses” - all of these are summarized in Exhibit A;
I.3: “Nuclear Posture Review” circulated to Congress by the White House and its details revealed in the Los Angeles Times wherein preemption and nuclear first strikes are the new superpower doctrine;
I.4: National Security Council strategy documents released by the White House on its web site;
I.5: Patriot Acts hurriedly rushed into law after 9-11 by the Congress;
I.6: And the fanatically held fundamentalist Evangelical Christian beliefs of her President that allows him to easily wage an endless “crusade” of “Infinite Justice” against the “evil-doers”;
all of which clearly point to where America is heading. All of this knowledge is just as publicly available today, as Mein Kampf was in the 1920s and 1930s, when Hitler's invasion of Eastern Europe came as a surprise to Western Europe and America. The concomitant policies of appeasement, in the futile hope of placating the new ambitious Alexander of the twentieth century, and the initial acquiescence of the world to Hitler's boldness, only emboldened him further. The following remark by the Chief American prosecuting judge at Nuremberg Military Tribunal is incredibly telling as he proceeded to hang those who dared to “goosestep the Herrenvolk across international frontiers”:
“The plans of Adolf Hitler for aggression were just as secret as Mein Kampf, of which over six million copies were published in Germany.”
“But justice in this case has nothing to do with some of the arguments put forth by the defendants or their counsel. We have not previously and we need not now discuss the merits of all their obscure and tortuous philosophy. We are not trying them for the possession of obnoxious ideas. It is their right, if they choose, to renounce the Hebraic heritage in the civilization of which Germany was once a part. Nor is it our affair that they repudiated the Hellenic influence as well. The intellectual bankruptcy and moral perversion of the Nazi regime might have been no concern of international law had it not been utilized to goosestep the Herrenvolk across international frontiers. It is not their thoughts, it is their overt acts which we charge to be crimes. Their creed and teachings are important only as evidence of motive, purpose, knowledge, and intent.”
Furthermore, the history of how Hitler took power through back door deals and legal maneuverings, the Reichstag fire, and how he convinced his generally war averse German public to successively occupy the Eastern European nations with new chicaneries each time, are well known. “Everybody against the war. People talking openly. How can a country go into a major war with a population so dead against it?” noted William Shirer, a war correspondent in Berlin, in his diary on the eve of World War II. “Hitler knew the answer well. Had he not the week before on his Bavarian mountaintop promised the generals that he would 'give a propagandist reason for starting the war' and admonished them not to 'mind whether it was plausible or not'? 'The victor', he had told them, 'will not be asked afterward whether he told the truth or not. In starting and waging a war it is not the right that matters, but victory.'”
The bold highlights are Hitler's own words as noted by William Shirer, as they were disclosed in the Nuremberg trials. These ideas are well known as the Art of War making by an Aggressor around the world, and certainly are no secret to the journalism profession. Hitler was not the first to invent them, although he used them masterfully. In this instance, Hitler created the false pretext to attack Poland by synthesizing fake attacks on Germany by a handful of German soldiers disguised as Poles, the main operation being called “Canned Goods”. The personal motivations of Hitler, his belief in the “superiority” of the German race allowing him the “higher” prerogative to bomb and annihilate the “lesser” people for “protecting and perpetuating German lives”, is also known to everyone. Indeed, the role of deluded beliefs that bring suffering to other “lesser” humanity, as is “following orders” to execute heinous crimes against humanity, have been studied to “death” in America. The holocaust memories are kept constantly alive – an entire museum is dedicated to “never again” in Washington DC, directed by Holocaust survivor, Nobel Laureate Elie Wiesel.
And yet the American nation salutes “United We Stand”. How is that even possible?
The similarities with recent history of only 60 – 70 years ago are just too uncanny to escape notice, even for an isolated nation like America:
One: The coming to power of the Zionist Neo-Cons, fronted by the rather naïve and straightforward George Bush Jr., through legal maneuverings in the US supreme court and in Florida, with the active connivance of the Florida Secretary of State Kathleen Harris, the Florida Governor Jeb Bush (George Bush's real brother), the news media calling early election results that were false, and purposely not reporting the centralized voter list fraud that illegally black listed 57,700 voters in Florida who were unable to vote, almost all of them black, and majority of them Democrats, despite the fact that Greg Palast shared his investigative report of the fraud with them. All of these legal maneuverings that mesmerized and paralyzed the American nation into impotence while they waited with baited breadth for the powers to be to make the decision for them – a mouse democracy; eerily reminiscent of Hitler's own back room deals and “legal” maneuverings to come to power “legally” after his failed Putsch; demonstrate no popular mandate.
Two: America's subsequent barbaric “Shock and Awe” invasion of Iraq under the pretext of “preemptive self defense” to “save American lives” from “evil doers”, similar to Hitler's lies to attack Eastern Europe; General Colin Powell telling monumental lies in the UN with fake evidence and a straight face, following it seems, the advice of Mein Fuehrer: “The victor will not be asked afterward whether he told the truth or not. In starting and waging a war it is not the right that matters, but victory”, for victory was assured as the general knew they were going against a disarmed and non-existent threat; the “coalition of the willing” only as necessary as operation “canned goods” for domestic consumption only; the very gullible American public had to be shown that the entire world was united against the “evil doers”, it didn't matter that the world public knew this pretext to be fictitious; since the American public, unlike the German public, had already been deftly primed by the new Pearl Harbor of 9-11, it took even less convincing to attack Iraq than the German public to attack Poland; Colin Powell did not even choose to lie very cleverly - the desired impact of the hand waving with plagiarized fake evidence in the UN, in a dazzling corporate board room style slideshow prepared in Adobe Photoshop and Microsoft Presentation, had already accomplished its purpose better than Goebbels could have foreseen.
Three: Both having pre-advertised their intentions publicly for several years.
Four: Both military war machine leaders sharing the delusions of a “higher” moral prerogative – Hitler his “god given superiority of the fatherland and the Germanic race”, and George Bush Jr. his Evangelical Christian “crusade” of “Infinite Justice” to “save American lives” and bring on Jesus sooner. It is uncanny how often both have invoked divine mission in their speeches. What is the difference between them as perceived by many of their own delusional peoples during their leader's momentous rise to power?
Five: Both spinning propaganda and disinformation formally - Hitler through his Reichsminister for propaganda Dr. Joseph Goebbels, and George Bush through his coterie of seasoned mentors Paul Wolfowitz, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld and Colin Powell, artfully generating disinformation and lies from the Pentagon and the State Department, with the corporate mainstream media faithfully reporting it ad nauseum as if these public airwaves were the exclusive propaganda arm of the Bush Administration.
Six: Both coerced the world into acquiescence – Hitler through August 31, 1939; and George Bush still as of today, as he murderously bombs Iraq while the world watches on television; While Hitler remained short sighted about September 1 and the Ides of March, the seasoned warriors advising Bush have done a remarkable job in eliminating that threat from the world scene by "either you are with us or with the terrorists", and the realities of post Cold War lone superpower eminence denied Hitler. But are the Ides of March ever inescapable?
Seven: It was the Jews blood being spilled by Christian Hitler, the "scourge of the Earth" [various anti-Semitic stereotypes purposely elided to not hurt feelings of the already victimized], so it was all right; now it is the Muslim blood being spilled by Christian George Bush Jr., the "new scourge of the Earth" belonging to the "very wicked and evil religion” according to their eminent Evangelical Christian leader Pat Robertson, so it is still all right; how did our oil get underneath their sand anyway – it must have seeped through from Alaska! In both cases, only the victims clamored for succor, with the rest of the world busy with their lives. The only difference being that after the Jewish Holocaust, the world had also vociferously vowed “never again” - and that is within living memory of many an American grandparent today.
And the major similarities don't just end there. Both also introduced similar measures to curb internal dissent. Hitler consolidated all police functions for the first time in German history, in 1936, as a prelude to the Nazi police state. George Bush Jr. pushed Congress to pass the oppressive Patriot Act 1 without debate, under the shock effect of 9-11, within a month of it, arguing that it was needed to find the “terrorists”. Another Patriot Act 2 awaits in the wings for an opportune moment, having already been circulated in Congress but not yet introduced. And then Bush proceeded to found the department of “Homeland Security”, also attempting to consolidate all the police functions of the American state, led by Tom Ridge, and elevated to the post of his Cabinet team.
Indeed, if the denizens of other nations were to point out to the American public that given so many similarities with the Third Reich, that whether the American nation too, with the emerging police state atmosphere inside America, was in the process of becoming the Fourth Reich, the American public would seethe with indignation at the mere thought of being equated with the Nazis!
They would rush to offer protestations that they are not out to conquer the world. That they are only bringing “democracy”, “good will”, and a “superior Christian civilization and love of Jesus” to the “lesser” unfortunate humanity, by getting rid of the ruthless tyrants that these unfortunate people could not rid themselves. The denizens of other nations would point out that the American public's inability to see the hypocrisy of their rather disingenuous affectations, how while they rose to fight Hitler for a similar offense of a “sense of superiority”, and the privilege of a “higher purpose”, now they don't see even their own descriptions of their actions in the same vein, is unequivocal evidence of either their diabolical complicity in the crimes against humanity, or their complete indoctrination, similar to the German public in the Third Reich!
In Plato's allegory of chained prisoners dwelling in an underground cave, who are kept in perpetual ignorance through sophisticated image manipulation, the prisoners have little choice in their course of actions. They are chained by their necks at birth until they die, forced to look only straight ahead, and forced to live underground by the fascist dictatorship of their unelected and imposed controllers. If these controllers committed crimes on another people somewhere outside the cave, the chained prisoners would be powerless to stop them even if they were to become aware of those crimes by seeing them on the screens in front of them. Hence the prisoners could not be held accountable for those crimes even when they knew about them.
Based on my personal experience of living in America for almost a quarter century, and the reality of what has transpired since 9-11, it may be convincingly argued that Plato's analogy of mass ignorance is quite apropos when applied to the American public. Indeed, I would not be entirely remiss if I were to abstract the following assertions:
The vast majority of mainstream peace loving people in the United States of America are systematically deceived by their rulers. All they see and experience is the reality synthesized for them by the image makers on their television screens, much like the chained dwellers in Plato's mythical underground cave. They are kept ignorant and self absorbed to willingly submit to their rulers without the need for the cage of ruthless totalitarianism. Invisibly chained, prisoners of the cave, a perfect fraud committed to keep them happily towing their leader's line, as the State embarks on an imperial war of global conquest disguised as “war on terrorism”, and the American public oblige with “United We Stand”
But unlike Plato's chained prisoners in the underground cave, the American public lives in a democracy aboveground, and not in a cave! They enjoy considerable power over their elected government, and substantial personal freedoms and constitutionally guaranteed civil rights. If they are ignorant of the crimes of their government, either through their own inadvertence - too busy chasing their “American Dreams” - or through the Machiavellian machinations of their institutional ruling elite that indoctrinated them with false patriotism and "false flag operations", can they still morally claim the “I didn't know defense”?
If they were to discover that there might be even the slightest possibility that they are being deliberately kept ignorant of reality, then what should their responsibility be?
The author, an ordinary researcher and writer on contemporary geopolitics, a minor justice activist, grew up in Pakistan, studied EECS at MIT, engineered for a while in high-tech Silicon Valley (patents here), and retired early to pursue other responsible interests. His maiden 2003 book was rejected by six publishers and can be read on the web at http://PrisonersoftheCave.org. He may be reached at http://Humanbeingsfirst.org.
Copyright (c) Zahir Ebrahim, with full permission to copy, repost, and reprint, in its entirety, unmodified and unedited, for any purpose, granted, provided the URL sentence and this copyright notice are also reproduced verbatim as part of this license, and not doing so may be subject to copyright license violation infringement claims pursuant to remedies noted at http://www.copyright.gov/title17/92chap5.html. All quotations and excerpts are based on non-profit "fair use" in the greater public interest consistent with the understanding of laws noted at http://www4.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.html. Full copyright notice and Exclusions at http://www.humanbeingsfirst.org.
War on Iran