Saturday, August 3, 2013

The New America: Shades of the Old Soviet Union?

By Eric Margolis

In the late 1980’s, an old friend of mine based in Moscow was calling her husband in the USA late one night.  She said it was a “typical dumb husband/wife call,” mostly about a broken garage door.

Around midnight, a gruff voice broke into the call. “This is your KGB listener. This is the most boring, stupid call I’ve ever listened to.  Shut up and go to bed!”

Ah, those innocent Cold War days.  Today, Big Brother listens to your calls, reads your email, and follows your internet searches on silent cat’s feet.

China’s Taoists warned, “you become what you hate.”  They are right: the September 2001 attacks on the US, as John Le CarrĂ© wrote, producing a period of temporary psychosis.  America was knocked back to the ugly days of Sen. McCarthy’s Red Scare of the 1950’s.  The big difference was that today the bogeymen of “terrorists” have replaced menacing Marxists.  And today, terrorists were everywhere.

When I enlisted in the US Army during the Vietnam War, we were taught that it was our duty as American soldiers to report all war crimes and violations of the Geneva Convention,

and to refuse to obey unlawful orders from superiors as established at post WWII  Nuremburg trials  At the time, I was proud to serve in America’s armed forces.

Today, the military trial of document leaker PFC Bradley Manning has echoes of the Soviet era: a show trial in which a lonely individual is slowly crushed by the wheels of so-called military justice, an oxymoron.

The dramatic revelations of fugitive whistleblower Edward Snowden brings back sharp memories of Soviet-era dissidents, jailed, banished, locked in foul psychiatric hospitals for daring to speak the truth.

In my day, those seeking justice and freedom used to defect from the East Bloc to the United States and Britain.  Now, ironically, we see a major defector, Ed Snowden, fleeing to Russia.

While the corporate-owned US news networks sugarcoat or obscure the NSA and Afghanistan War scandals, it’s left to Russian TV (RT) to tell Americans the facts.  Who would have thought?

Read the rest here.

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