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The Homeland of Pretense Security: the New U.S.

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Subtitle: Democracy has been bought up Decades ago, now Freedom has been put under the Counter by America’s Business Leaders Heart and brain-halting changes have taken place in the United States, apparently without much notice. A few years ago I could still take family and friends visiting me in Vancouver across the border to Seattle, proud of the ease with which we could cross the border manned by friendly and courteous personnel waving us through. We always stopped by the Peace Arch Monument, that meaningfully symbolized our long-standing, friendly relations. As a Canadian, I valued my big brother being next door. As a former Hungarian freedom fighter who had escaped Communist oppression in 1956, I felt free, safe and at home for decades in the United States, the homeland of freedom and democracy. Today I can no longer cross the border freely, and do not feel free nor safe when I am in the United States, and I would not even think of subjecting my guests to the humiliating wait, and the suspicion that awaits those that cross the border. Silently, the world’s most friendly, open border had become the world’s most suspicious one: the American border today is strongly reminiscent of the Rumanian border under the Caicauescu dictatorship, and the Peace Arch Monument reminds me of the Brandenburg Gate – when going into East Germany. Sounds incredible? Incredibly, it isn’t! What is even more unbelievable is that no one seems to have noticed, even acknowledged that this is so, let alone protested it! How is this possible? I feel like a seer of a terrible future where I had already been, who knows it is futile to warn people, futile to shout – for no one would listen. The folks here have not experienced the surreal Communist oppression that I have. What is most frightening is that that future is already here: Homeland Security can do to the American citizen what the KGB used to be able to do to the hapless proletarian in the former Soviet Union. Anyone anywhere can be made to disappear by the authorities, and even his mother won’t know where he/she is. The victim is stripped of all his rights and his helplessness is complete: his fate, even his life is at the mercy of his captors. And not a word can be heard of this terrible loss of individual freedom, that effects potentially anyone and every one. The man on the street believes that the modified provisions of the Patriot Act affect only the terrorists, and never imagines that – as a result of a bureaucratic mistake, for instance – he himself could become victimized, and have no way of defending himself. With the greatest of irony, he believes the Patriot Act’s amendments are there to defend him, when in fact they render him defenseless. It seems that just as during the last few decades the American people failed to notice that they live in an oligarchy and not in a democracy, they are failing to notice that their personal freedom has been wolfed down by this wolf in sheep’s disguise, called “security!” He is in touch only with the wool – oh how good it feels to have another strong institution with the fuzzy name of Homeland Security being there to protect him, how nice to have put more teeth into the Patriot Act to defend him from all those evil terrorists! And, should the wolf hidden under the sheep’s skin gobble up one of his fellow citizens, it is him whom he blames, not the wolf. He must have done something to anger the animal! And, at any case, why did he go near those teeth where he could be bitten? If only he were dealing with a lone wolf, but there is a whole wolf pack from the religiously sheep-clothed President to the barely disguised Wolfowitz. How can it be that the American people cannot see this? How could they reelect a President that has misled them so obviously, who has taken away their freedom? I called my childhood friend who, like I, had escaped the communists and has been living in California for decades, to share my concerns. He was a God-fearing Baptist in Hungary, and he is a God-fearing Baptist still. “Relax,” he told me, “everything is happening according to God’s plan in America. President Bush is a believer, he lives a clean life, not like some of those degenerate liberals who want to see gay marriage and abortions, and who want to use human embryos for experiments. Christians built America on the Bible and Christians are still a majority in America. They have clearly shown this. The result of the election is a triumph of Christianity over immoral liberalism. He knows that the President was an alcoholic and a drug user before he accepted Jesus Christ as his Savior, but this is how powerful Christ really is – Christ can completely change the person who accepts Him, and who believes in Him.” He let me know that he is not afraid at all, he trusts completely in his Lord. I was afraid to ask him, which Lord he had in mind, but hoped it was God. President Bush’s greatest lie was not about Iraq’s nonexistent weapons of mass destruction, not about liberating the oppressed or spreading democracy to the Middle East, nor the blowing up of the terrorist threat to a bursting point at home, but the lie about security. He created a huge secret security force between and above the FBI and the CIA, and empowered it with unlimited power. (This was achieved by avoiding enacting new legislation, which would have required debate and examination. Instead, they modified the existing Patriot Act adding small details, too numerous to reference to the original text and to follow, adding a word here, subtracting one there, muddling the meaning here, overturning the meaning there… perhaps? Maybe? Who knows? There is a war going on, senators have to stand behind their President, nor can they vote against a patriot act, nay, they can’t even delay passing the amendments without sabotaging the war on terrorism, thus without becoming traitors and, as such, without their political carrier being finished. They really had no choice, they had to trust the President, the Senators had to vote as asked!) For far and away this is the greatest lie: this myth about security, this myth about “winning the war on terrorism.” Its price: the loss of individual freedom in America. Thanks to the changes in the Patriot Act thus passed, security police has unrestrained power to arrest anyone anywhere at any time on the mere suspicion that he is a terrorist, deprive him of his right to defend himself for any length of time, detain him incommunicado anywhere – for ever. No proof is ever required and no apology. In short, do exactly as the KGB operated in the former Soviet Union and the AVO in Hungary. And, as during soviet days anyone could be accused of being “a spy,” in the United States of today anyone could be accused of being a “terrorist.” For the concept of who is a terrorist is the most elastic concept in the world. One would think, for example, that those who indiscriminately explode bombs daily in Iraq, killing innocent people by the score, amply fulfill the requirement of being a terrorist. However, these people are not “terrorists,” these are only “insurgents.” But the Chechens, the Tamils, the Basks, who do the same thing, they are terrorists. The difference apparently is that those who terrorize people in Iraq can not be called terrorists, for then the President could not pose as one who is winning the war on terrorism, and the myth that he is the best man to protect us from the terrorists would be shredded. This way, however, the concept of “the terrorist” becomes so arbitrary and so vague, that it can be applied to anyone – or not applied at all. In the United States the hapless accused does not have to commit any crime – it is enough if his profile is suspect, or if he could be suspected of being “a terrorist sympathizer,” or accused of “harboring a terrorist,” and he can be carted away as a “terrorist.” The power of the newly created Homeland Security Department extends over the citizenry of every nation in the world, including the United States. In other words, anyone who steps on American soil or who lives there is subject to – if he is labeled as a terrorist or a terrorist sympathizer or of harboring of terrorists by the authorities – being arrested at any time anywhere – and he can’t hire a lawyer to protect himself, can’t let his own Embassy or family know where he is – he is completely at the mercy of his captors. This is how the President of the United States defends our security and freedom. It seems he has learned a thing or two on his Texas ranch when he hosted “his good friend,” Comrade Putin – the former head of the KGB. America is no longer the land of the free. For my part, not only do I not take visitors to the United States, I don’t go there myself if I don’t have to. Knowing what I know, and remembering what I have seen living under a communist dictatorship, I feel the same unpleasant, anxious feeling come over me at the U.S. border that I have done all I could to escape from in communist Hungary. No wonder I have no desire to visit the United States! And let us not believe for a moment that this is an unsustainable situation, which will soon change because the war against terror will be won! For even if a successful terrorist attack should be launched against any of America’s many vulnerable targets from city water supplies to atomic power plants, no one at Homeland Security is likely to admit that they had taken on a mission impossible assignment! Not then, not ever! The many-tentacled organization predictably will only seek to increase its powers, grow another tentacle, demand more resources, equipment and personnel, and demand even more funds “for national defense,” for evidently the present power and resources were proven to be not enough! This is why I am terrified that another attack should take place on the continent. For it may well be that what the terrorists can really do could hardly cause more damage to the world’s most powerful state than a flea bite could do to the human body, and that my chances of me being hit by a car are infinitely greater than my being hit by a terrorist, but what Homeland Security could do to me, based on what has happened under G. W. Bush’s presidency since 911 is truly frightening. You see, the paper dossiers the communists maintained on us is nothing compared with the computerized, video camera and distant listening devices-equipped, centralized information banks holding, multibillion-dollar budgeted, many-tentackled security forces that are up and running now in the United States. Big Brother has every means at his disposal to keep unprecedented, 24-7 surveillance on the citizenry. With this, the foundations are laid for a dictatorship the likes of which the world has never seen. And, horror of horrors, this foundation has been laid in the name of security at the very place that was once the land of freedom and democracy by the very person that claims to be the promoter of freedom and democracy all over the world, the President of the United States! And, to my greatest sorrow, another terrorist attack on the mainland United States appears to be only a matter of time because, for sure, it will be impossible to prevent. In spite of all the delays and indignities imposed on travelers and for all the surveillance put in place in the world, America’s borders are going to remain porous, period. For all the strengthening of the borders, Mexican immigrants continue pouring into the United States as marihuana continues pouring in from Canada – Caucaescu border and Brandenburg Gate be damned. The container traffic entering legally through the ports of the United States are inspected at the rate of a handful per the thousand. If much more were to be inspected, commerce would grind to a halt. The American businessman’s willingness to make sacrifices for the war on terror does not extend this far. The loss of personal freedom is one thing, the loss of serious money is quite another. Their job is to make profits. Thus the borders and the ports are going to remain porous for traffickers and terrorists alike. So I am pulling my head back between my shoulders two times over, and again, even here in Canada. For let not the innocent Canadian be lulled by the protection offered Canadians by their Charter of Rights and Freedoms! It may have been designed and created as a mighty wall for the purpose of enshrining and protecting the rights of the individual, but our own fighters against terrorism had seen to it that the Charter now has a little gate right through it that enables our security people to do the same job that heir colleagues are doing in the united States. Of course our security forces can’t just arrest anyone willy-nilly, based on his “profile” or on mere suspicion, nor can they ignore his rights, his citizenship, and deport him against his will to another country! Not, that is, unless they have been issued a special “ticket” by the government first. A limited (but always sufficient) number of these are now made available to our security forces and, provided that they have the ticket, they can cheerfully ignore the Charter of Rights, individual freedoms, Canadian law, whatever – and carry on! “The war against terror” had become the most important thing in Canada also, and it overrides everything. Considering the real – relatively small – threat posed to the state by real terrorists, this is really scary. So what is the reality today in yesterday’s home of democracy and freedom? There is no democracy there and there is no freedom. True, any millionaire may become the next President of the United States, more or less democratically – also. Otherwise it is enough to be appointed by the appointees of the Supreme Court of the United States. (This is how George Bush came to power with the help of the Supreme Court judges his father had appointed.) Everywhere money is the boss, Big Money is the Big Boss. The will of the big money holders is the determinant political force, and has been for decades, whether through bought up politicians or through its own representatives in power, which is the case now. Where a handful of rich and powerful people rule the state, that state the Greeks called an oligarchy. The United States has been for many years, as it is now, an oligarchy. The personnel changes – big money remains. Big Money, we have seen, has no responsibility and knows no scruples. Incorporated big money knows even less. Politically, big money’s rule is inspired by the interests of big money, and big money feels free to pursue whatever policies it pleases to stuff his proverbial pockets with money until they split and beyond, including policies that are decidedly anti-American and destructive to American society at large. Witness “free trade” (they are free to pursue what is in their interests, others are not), witness “globalization” which has gutted America’s manufacturing sector, indebted population and state alike, and is threatening to destroy the middle class. (Perhaps, just perhaps, Homeland Security is not needed for fighting al Kaida at all. Indeed it is hard to imagine the need for all this security and draconian power in the United States against a few thousand terrorists by the Pakistani border, who are being hunted and, as the President boasted, who are on the run. But it may well be needed domestically, to keep in check the millions of displaced workers whose jobs big money just outsourced to Asia, and who may become very upset with big money’s rule.) For sure, a war mentality has been very useful to keep people in line and to silence opposition at home, and war itself is always very good business indeed. There is double profiteering through war, any war, justified or otherwise. The most preferred kind of war of course is the current perpetual war on terrorism (whatever that is), so long as we can continue dropping bombs and creating a market for munitions on the one hand, and obtain rich rebuilding contracts on the other. If the cost of pursuing our business agenda of globalization and the carrying on of this perpetual war is the loss of individual rights and freedoms, so be it! We shall write it off as the cost of doing business. Businessmen are investors. For big moneyed investors, Homeland Security is a very smart investment. It only needed seed money during the elections: the cost of building and maintaining Homeland security is borne by the taxpayer. Let him think that it is for him, this will explain to him why he is paying for it – we know that it is an investment for us: it would come in handy for us against anyone who may rebel against us, or should threaten our rule in the future. After all, everything is set up now – we can put away anyone who causes a fuss. Remember, anyone could be labeled a terrorist. Soon new labels may be added, or no label will be needed at all, just point a finger! So perhaps my Californian friend is right, after all: security is being looked after all right – only not his – and everything is taking place in accordance with the plan of our lord – he just got the lords mixed up.

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