What If?

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What if it happened here in America? This seems to be a question that begs an answer, so why is it so ignored? Why is it ignored by government? Why is it ignored by the mass media? And why is it seemingly ignored by the American people at large?

What if?

What if a small group of extremist Americans high-jacked passenger planes in another country and flew them into skyscrapers in a major foreign city killing thousands of innocent people? Would it then be proper and moral for that country, and with the full use of its military, to attack and occupy the entire United States? Would it then be right for that invading army to take over and demand that all U.S. citizens bow to their command? Would it be right for that country’s forces to kill and maim all who refused to comply with their demands? And would it be right for that foreign invading entity to destroy the entire infrastructure of America?

What if in this process any so-called American insurgents were incarcerated and held indefinitely? What if their rights were suspended or eliminated and no charges were forthcoming and no trial was allowed? What if they were held and psychologically and physically tortured without end? What if innocent Americans overseas were captured by this invading force and subjected to rendition where this same or even worse brutal torture was prosecuted against them? What if these foreign invaders promised thousands of dollars in bounty to any who would turn in their American neighbor for being a suspected terrorist?

What if this invader chose to use American resources for its own benefit? What if they captured all of our natural resource facilities and issued oil contracts to their own country’s oil industry? What if the profits from these ventures were kept by those invaders? And what if while this was happening, American families were displaced and without proper shelter and starving?

What if huge bases were built on American soil, and then these bases were manned by soldiers bent on controlling every move made by the legitimate citizens of that region? What if these bases were permanent, and all here knew that the invaders would never leave? What if entire towns were destroyed and outposts were scattered across America so that the monitoring of all could be achieved?

What if this invading force decided to hire private contractors to patrol and kill innocents? What if these same contractors took over all the military service industries here so as to gain massive profits? What if because of these massive profits, these same contractors supported monetarily the invading country’s politicians in order to help them stay in power?

What if this invader demanded that elections take place and they controlled these elections by force? What if they excluded large parts of the population so as to get the desired result? What if they put a puppet government into power that was meant to be sympathetic only to their cause?

What if they then placed brutal sanctions on our neighbors to the north and south that were meant to stop them from gaining the necessities of life? This of course would be a direct act of war, so what if our neighbors also decided to defend themselves? What if an even larger and more dangerous war was the result? What if this escalation of war caused the deaths of many more thousands of innocents?

What if things were in fact done properly and morally? What if a criminal act was treated as a criminal act instead of an act of war? What if instead of warring and occupying other countries, everyone worked together to solve the problems instead of murdering hundreds of thousands of innocents? What if the United States government minded its own business instead of attempting to control others around the globe?

In my example above, the assumption was that certain American individuals, not the country itself, committed heinous acts against another country. That scenario would dictate a criminal response but not an aggressive and violent one. In the case of Afghanistan and Iraq, the actual perpetrators blamed were not even from those countries. In addition, the countries themselves apparently had nothing to do with those acts. So given this, how can these aggressive wars prosecuted by the U.S. government be justified? I can tell you; they can’t!

What if the people of the United States simply had a reversal of circumstances? Would they be willing to bow to an aggressive invader and become serfs in the process? Of course they wouldn’t — they would rightfully fight for their freedom, their families and friends, and their property. This is no different than most of those fighting back against American forces in the Middle East.

I was taught at a very early age the Golden Rule, and I was also taught that before I passed judgment on anyone, I should walk in their shoes. I’m sure there are several reasons that Americans cannot and will not place themselves in a reversed position, but the worst reason in my opinion is the absurd attitude called American exceptionalism. This thinking is not only an extreme example of arrogance, but is unwarranted in every regard. The most aggressive and most warring nation on earth is our own country; this due to our imperialistic government and a very complacent American society. Should the people of this country choose to, they could stop this heinous and unnecessary assault by the U.S. government and its minions in the military industrial complex on others around the world. It has happened before during another war of aggression in Vietnam, so why not this time?

Obviously, there are far fewer American body bags this go around, and that is certainly a determining factor, but what a poor excuse to continue to allow the slaughter of innocents abroad; this simply to satisfy the imperialistic desires of this dictatorial and totalitarian government. We as a people can do better and have to do better if we are to survive this onslaught of tyranny and murder.

Another unconstitutional, unwarranted, aggressive, and unnecessary war is now being threatened against Iran. If we as a people allow this to happen, what will be the consequences of our unwillingness to stop it? How many more innocent Americans and Middle Easterners will have to die so that this government can gain more power and can continue to support its war-profiting cronies? How many more of your sons and daughters are you willing to sacrifice for the state apparatus? How many?

Freedom can only return when wars cease! What if we said no more war?

What if?

Gary D. Barnett [send him mail] is president of Barnett Financial Services, Inc., in Lewistown, Montana.

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