"I cannot accept, your canon that we are to judge pope and king unlike other men, with a favorable presumption that they do no wrong. If there is any presumption, it is the other way against holders of power....Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely." ~ Lord Acton
At the End of the Day, It Is We the People Who Must Be Responsible
Exclusive to STR
During the past month I have received a lot of response from readers around the world. I am honored by all the advice and support. Among these responses were two letters that have made me think again. Those came from John McCarthy and Gary MacMahon. Both of them are Vietnam War Veterans, the former was a GI and the latter was a Digger. I visited their websites and I felt uneasy.
Both of these ex-soldiers have tried their best to tell people about the war they experienced. And they are not alone, either. I owe these gentlemen and people like them an apology. With diligence and sincerity, they have presented concrete evidence of government atrocities. How many people actually care to read them? Even if they did read them, how many of us care to act upon this evidence? Why?
I came from a country which has never had democracy or liberty. There were only two sides of politics one must choose, either VC or Anti-VC. And then, like in America now, either you are with the Party or against it. Once you chose your side, you just obey no matter what. Otherwise you would be attacked, condemned, and punished as a traitor. Civil disobedience simply does not exist in our dictionary.
Many Westerners label this the 'Asian naturally submissive culture.' Is it? Let's hear the following statement:
"At this time, the greatest threat to American liberty comes from al Qaeda and its associates who would seek to destroy this nation, not from the brave men and women who defend America and her people."
"The conservative movement has a healthy skepticism of governmental power, but at times, unfortunately, that healthy skepticism needs to yield." (Viet Dinh vs. Paul Craig Roberts)
This sentimental, emotional statement has been made by Dinh Dong Phung Viet, a Vietnamese American who came to the USA at the age of ten.
This line echoes what I heard before 1975 in Vietnam . 'At this time the greatest threat to our liberty and democracy is the VC, not from our president, our generals and our army who defend the Republic of (South) Viet Nam and her people.' (Funny thing, there was no democracy and liberty in the so-called Republic of VN to defend.) And that 'the democratic anti-war movement has healthy demands, but at times, unfortunately, that needs to yield.' So yield we did. We let the dictators and their military and the US-led allies oppress us 'to defend us and our liberty' against destruction from the Communists--that is, until the Communists took over. And now, the Communists also demand that people yield to the Party to defend liberty against foreign and domestic enemies.
However, at that time, I did not have the privilege to protest and criticize this kind of statement, as Paul Craig Roberts did to Viet Dinh:
'Destroying America does not mean blowing up buildings. It means destroying the US Constitution, the Bill of Rights, the separation of powers. Al Qaeda is powerless to bring about such destruction. Only our own government, enabled by the public's and Viet Dinh's and Attorney General Gonzales' endorsements of the F'hrer Principle can destroy America .'
This is true. A free person does not think otherwise. But it is also true that individuals like Roberts (and me), who rightly have that thought, have become a minority. With government propaganda and the public acquiescence to Government actions, it is clear that Viet Dinh and the likes are becoming the majority. By implication, temporary safeties are more important than liberty and human dignity. Have you not seen how people are behaving like sheep at the airports and interstate bus depots? I see those 'American-born' are no different from the Vietnamese at Tan Son Nhat and Noi Bai Airports in Viet Nam . Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin must have turned in their graves by now.
Yet, I acknowledge and confirm the fact that many or rather the overwhelming majority of Asians shallowly think and act this way. As long as they can make money, they bow their heads down. I myself have said to Vietnamese Americans that 'if Bush succeeded and America became a dictatorship country, then I am sure with you that other peoples, black and white, will join the revolution, but Asians and Vietnamese will join the new regime.' (Letter on People's General Knowledge) That is why I am disliked by those people like Mr. Viet Dinh in many Vietnamese exile communities abroad.
However, I disagree and dispute that it is 'Asian culture' and that this phenomenon is exclusive to Asians and to Vietnamese in particular. (At least the Koreans and the Japanese are now different.) Obeying political leaders, identifying with, and being faithful to Government, the regime, the symbol (the flag), regarded as "Patriotism," is not unique to any particular culture of any people or society. It is the problem of all of us under political Government. Because that is what Government wants people to be. How many of YOU, Americans-born, (and other non-Asians) feel 'moved' by Viet Dinh's statement?
Yes, as a matter of fact, many of YOU, American-born, gave him a standing ovation, and hailed Bush a 'God-chosen leader.' (Hitler, Ho Chi Minh, Ngo Dinh Diem, Lenin, Mao Tse Dong were sure once hailed as Saviors.)
Therefore, it is in fairness for Viet Dinh, but very unfair to me, also as a Vietnamese migrant from Vietnam , as Mr. Roberts said:
'In fairness to Viet Dinh, coming as he does as an immigrant from a country without a constitutional tradition, without a Bill of Rights, and without a judiciary empowered to enforce civil liberties, Dinh may only naturally confuse patriotism with loyalty to leader. Trust the Leader, Dinh told the conservatives. They seemed to agree. This certainly is not America 's way.'
No, it is certainly not America 's way or Vietnam 's way or German's way, either. It is absolutely not the way of a free person. It is the way of a backward mindset and that of slaves. Thus it is not a question of an American way or a Vietnamese way. It is not a question of a place where a person came from. It is simply a matter between a mind of Liberty and that of slavery. It is the question of whether individuals understand Liberty , treasure Liberty and defend Liberty --or not.
It is obvious that Dinh Dong Phung Viet and many Vietnamese have not understood and appreciated the meaning of Liberty and a true sense of People's rights versus The State. However, they are not alone. Many American-born and their current President, their congresspersons, and their senators do not understand Liberty , either.
Those who have this kind of mindset believe in Government. And that 'Our Government' cannot and will not do evil, only 'theirs' are capable of evil. They believe that Government gives them Liberty , freedoms and rights. No, these come from nature. They refuse to admit and accept the evidence of their Government's atrocities committed against not only others but also their own people themselves. There is no difference in Communist's atrocities, Nazi's atrocities, USA 's atrocities, Israel 's atrocities, Christian's atrocities, or Muslim's atrocities. Atrocity is atrocity, no matter by whom it is committed or in what and whose name.
Those people with this mindset forget the fact that our human political history has been plagued with Government oppression and coercion from the beginning; that humankind was conditioned and conned in such a way to accept the dictatorship of state authority in many forms as legitimate power over us for thousands of years with faked, narrow patriotism and nationalism. And that people not only identified themselves with the state, the flag, the Government, but also sanctified themselves with various forms of fanaticism. Thus the population at large virtually by default became the most effective Governmental volunteer agents, who would censor, deter any anti-government-to-be out of fear and hatred. Only a few hundred years ago did some 'unusual black sheep traitors' among us start to think of Liberty, and urged and convinced other people to rebel, to fight back, and force them, the Government, to give in and accept the elected form as some of them are now. (Let's pretend that elections are always clean and fair.) But the nature of Government power is still there, and the slavery mindset with fear and hatred is also still there.
Let's also not forget the fact that we, those who have 'democracy,' only exercise 'democracy' once in two, three, four, or five years, depending on each system's arrangement. Whatever happens before the next election is at Government pleasure. This current situation in the USA is a case in point, where we have more than enough evidence to impeach Bush and his administration for fraud, crimes against humanity, and treason, but the people refuse to see it; they could take civil disobedience action, but they choose not to. So Bush, Tony Blair, and Howard's Governments happily keep up their 'bad works.' As I have pointed out in 'A Plea from a simple Vietnamese,' Bush and his cabal have satisfied the dark side of the majority of the American public. The same is true in Australia , and in the UK , by John Howard and Tony Blair respectively. So please do not tell me that a judge and a Georgetown law professor are ignorant of law, and do not know what constitutes unconstitutionality, fraud, war crimes, and treason. Also do not tell me that Americans, Australians, and the Brits do not know that their leaders are crooks, liars, and criminals.
So, what does all this tell us? All this tells us that the political paradigm has never worked and that the current 'democracy' is just a fable. This fable has only caused more wars; it has controlled, manipulated and destroyed lives, and it has undermined Liberty rather than protecting it. It is up to us, individuals, to take action to change it. It's time for some new thinking about government. At the end of the day, it is we, the people who are responsible.
Edited by Robert Klassen