- The Downing
Street Memo explains in brisk understated English what I didn't fully
understand when I worked for Secretary Rumsfeld and Dough Feith in the
Pentagon in 2002 and early 2003.
- Like a morning cup of tea in a friendly chair with nothing
to do but gaze out a window at birds around a feeder, the memo is pleasantly
- I saw accurately what was happening.
- Yet, as Robert
Shetterly and others have pointed out, accountability for George W.
Bush, Dick Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz and the rest of the war gamers is
not likely. At this time, impeachment for Bush and Cheney is politically
impossible. A successful impeachment, or any accountability for the executive
branch requires a certain balance of political power. Optimistically envisioned
by the Founders, this balance was tenuous even in the early years of the
Republic. George W. Bush said it best after the 2004 elections with "[my]
accountability moment has passed."
- Today we have not even a shadow of the Nixon or Clinton
era political and media power competition. Instead, we see only unbalanced
power, unbalanced perspective, unbalanced minds. A warped political-media
borg warning us that resistance is futile.
- The mass state, while obscenely expensive, dangerous
and even ridiculous, is the present reality of the United States. Imminent
federal biometric ID cards courtesy of the REAL ID Act are just one more
symbol of this ongoing massification and American totalitarianism. The
Congress won't impeach - to impeach its heart, its hands, or its head is
to commit suicide. A pleasant fantasy for the rest of us, but that is all.
- Interestingly, the Downing Street Memo is actually being
reported by CNN and FOX News. It is being discussed in the major papers.
Congress intends to examine it.
- Hearing it mentioned on the half hour by CNN Headline
News has not dispossessed me of the belief that a state suicide is impossible.
- Thus, my gentle thoughts are increasingly turning to
murder. Murder of the state. In self-defense, of course!
- LRC's Butler Shaffer, eminently wise as always, points
out that "we would be better advised to confront our own existential
cowardice. Political leaders amass power only through our moral exhaustion;
they are strong
only because we have allowed ourselves to become weak."
- To murder the state you need strong citizens who understand
their rights, have honed their abilities and stocked their mental and physical
arsenal, and have adopted the quiet determination and moral confidence
that often appears as fearlessness, but is not.
- We might take a lesson from the growing Iraqi insurgency
and the response of that nation nearly destroyed by our pretext-laden invasion
and the American neo-Jacobin possession of that country.
- The U.S. Army wonders about the robustness and fluidity
of the hard to catch and harder to kill insurgents. Clearly, all Iraqi
insurgents do not swear allegiance to any single creed or leader. Understanding
this and dealing with Fourth Generation warfare is not Washington's forte.
- It remains wrong and immoral to demonstrate our government's
arrogance, greed and incompetence each dreadful day in Iraq. But it is
a helpful demonstration for patriotic Americans at home.
- How do the Iraqi insurgents do it? How are they defending
themselves from the oppressive U.S. managed state in Baghdad? How are they
- They know what they don't want, and have made a personal
commitment to resist it.
- They are living at reduced standards, not only within
or under their means but often proudly and creatively so, relying upon
and strengthening extended networks of family and friends as they do.
- The majority of Iraqis are angry, hurt, underemployed
and under extreme stress. Yet most have not rejected or blamed God. Most
retain a devotion to a religion, that like most, gathers its believers
together, studies great and holy men and women, and attempts to explain
human suffering while simultaneously embracing an all powerful God, whose
creatures include both beasts of the field and the American enemy.
- They don't trust the central government in Baghdad. They
judge the American state's intent solely from the American state's actions,
never its words.
- They are wary of state efforts at law enforcement, and
work hard to stay out of its dangerous and lumbering way.
- They love their country, and have no intention of permanently
leaving its future in the hands of either the Americans or beholden U.S.
allies in the region, be they of Saudi, Kuwaiti, Turkish or Israeli persuasion.
- Some resist passively, some actively. They don't understand
everything that is happening, but most Iraqis have decided to pursue one
or more of the countless paths of resistance to the state. Iraqis, like
Russians and East Europeans before them, honed these skills under Saddam
Hussein, as we hone our skills today in early totalitarian America.
- All are qualified to resist. None are excluded.
- French-born composer and musician
Nadia Boulanger, a major influence on American music in the 20th century,
- Liberty has never come from the government. Liberty has
always come from the subjects of it. The history
of liberty is a history of resistance. The history of liberty is a history
of limitations of governmental power, not the increase of it.
- "Liberty" is also a concept George W. Bush
favors. He said "liberty" fifteen times in his 2005 inaugural
speech, second only to his 25 mentions of "freedom." Bush didn't
specifically advocate the murder, or even the restraint, of the state.
On the other hand, perhaps he did.
- The way ahead is clear. We should promote our Great Leader's
love of liberty and resist, resist, resist!
- Karen Kwiatkowski, Ph.D., is a retired USAF lieutenant
colonel, who spent her final four and a half years in uniform working at
the Pentagon. She lives with her freedom-loving family in the Shenandoah
Valley, and among other things, writes a bi-weekly column on defense issues
with a libertarian perspective for militaryweek.com.
- Copyright © 2005 LewRockwell.com