The Encyclopedia Britannica defines Cognitive dissonance in a very complicated and wordy way HERE. I define it as a process that occurs in a person’s brain when they encounter evidence that goes against or even blows away a major foundation of their thinking, then as a defense mechanism, their brain rejects the evidence. They just ignore it, basically taking the blue pill. I will be the first to admit that at points in my life I have totally engaged in this behavior. From love of a football team to a political party, who isn’t guilty?!
In this new series of blog post and podcasts, I plan on playing with this concept by challenging one of the major foundations of many U.S. citizens beliefs’. This being the notion that we live in a free country. Yes, we as Americans enjoy some “freedoms” and definitely more than most people around the world or that have ever existed, BUT are we as free as people in our colonial times? How about before the civil war? Or what about this? As Americans are we as free as we were in the ’90s?? I would have to answer: “Not even close!!”
In this new series, I plan to lay out the reasons why I dare say this. I must warn you, that you’ll probably encounter disturbing facts that you cannot unlearn. And then as the reader and/or listener you can decide for yourself just who exactly is engaging in cognitive dissidence.
P.S. I don’t plan on getting very deep into “conspiracy theory” although it might come off that way. I plan on only presenting provable facts because trust me, it’s all I need lol.
Oh Yeah… one last little thing… In my opinion, politically both sides have a hand in diminishing our freedoms. So I do not plan on taking sides. Ben Franklin said, “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.” And I’ll add: they damn sure don’t deserve to rule us!
Although there are many topics I can choose to begin this series on, I believe that war is the most appropriate. Not only because I served in the U.S. Marine Corps, but to me, war is the worst aspect of what I could ever talk about regarding the loss of freedom. What is worse than one losing their own life? Especially if not lost in direct defense of one’s own life, liberty or happiness, but in defense of a War Lord’s poppy field in Afghanistan. War, in my opinion, is the biggest issue.
Most people I speak with are not really in support of the “wars” that the United States finds itself currently involved in. Not placing the blame on the troops but on the government themselves. Since this is the case, I will not make arguing why we should end these wars the focus of this article. Rather I will focus on just how these wars are affecting the lives of average U.S. citizens and making us less free as a result. Which in my opinion is reason enough.
There are so many ways in which war has made the U.S. less free. From the surplus military equipment, such as armored personnel carriers and tanks, that ends up on our streets to terrorist attacks and the hastily passed laws that follow. The best example that I can point to of the latter would be September 11th. Contrary to the official narrative that we were attacked because “terrorists hate our freedom,” Osama bin Laden himself listed reasons such as: The U.S. blockade of Iraq after they expelled Saddam Husien’s forces from Kuwait. Throughout the ’90s this blockade was responsible for the mass starvation of up to 500,000 children (Interview where Secretary of State Madeleine Albright says it’s worth it.) All this info and the brief history I am about to share can be found in the book “Fool’s Errand” by Scott Horton with the footnotes to point you to the original sources. Or you can just google it.
Let’s back up a bit for some context. Here goes the super condensed version of the story. During the ’80s members of the U.S. government saw an opportunity to give the Soviet Union it’s very own Vietnam Style Quagmire. Zbigniew Brzezinski the National Security Advisor actually admitted this in an interview. The Vietnam War was terrible for the United States. A giant waste of money, man power and above all human life. So there were some who had the bright idea that the U.S. could fund rebel groups in Afghanistan in order to bleed the occupying Soviet Empire dry in a similar way. I must point out how ironic that we are in a similar war in that very same region which has cost untold loss of trillions of dollars and more of that precious human life with no real goals or gains to speak of… Anyway, this is where Bin Laden enters the picture. He becomes helpful to the U.S. cause in Afghanistan against the Soviets. After a bloody conflict that lasted throughout much of the ’80s The Soviets Union began pulling out it’s troops in May 1988.
Now let’s move forward to 1990. Saddam Hussein, Leader of Iraq, invades Kuwait. Quick side bar here. Saddam Hussein had recently just got out of a war with neighboring Iran. A very nasty war including chemical weapons. In this war Kuwait was allied with Iraq and provided a bunch of loans. After the war Kuwait began to demand their money and apparently they were real dicks about it. Even insulting Saddam publicly. To make matters worse, Kuwait was also over producing from an oil well that it shared with Iraq. Violating their agreement and basically stealing oil from Iraq. Saddam met with U.S. Ambassador April Glaspie in July of 1990 and expressed his concerns and told them of his plan to invade Kuwait. After not receiving any objections to his plan by the U.S. Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait.
After the invasion neighboring Saudi Arabia put out a call for help. Looking for someone to expel Saddam’s Forces from Kuwait. They called upon the United States to take up the task. This action upset one notable Saudi, Osama Bin Laden, who volunteered his own forces for the task (Bin Laden and Saddam were NOT friends.). Bin Laden was further enraged by the expanded and indefinite presence of American troops on the “Holy Territory” of the Arabian Peninsula. Especially later on when those forces are supporting a blockade that is starving Iraqi children. Sanctions and embargo against “enemy” nations are very old tactics in warfare. These days the plan is basically to starve out the public so they eventually rise up and over throw their leaders. Think Game of Thrones. Being a terrorist, Bin Laden was very familiar with this and many other tactics. He decided to imply his own tactics which led, eventually, to the attacks on September 11th.
I am in no way apologizing for the actions of Osama Bin Laden. I believe the best way to combat any enemy is to first understand them. Why are they your enemy? If they are an enemy as a direct result of your actions, isn’t it wiser to identify those actions? Then we can at least ask ourselves questions such as: How can we create fewer enemies? Are our actions vitally necessary? Is it worth it??
So how has all of that stuff that happened way over there made us less free? Just ask William Binney, former NSA employee for over 30 Years, what he saw being implemented. In this video he describes the mass surveillance program. I’d say that is a considerable loss of freedom. How about the U.S. government engaging in a torture program, the drone bombings of U.S. citizen Anwar al-Awlak and later his son without a trial. The list goes on and on. It can’t be stated enough that every person who dies as a result of these interventions have lost the most. So while you might not really care about being spied on by your government, you should certainly care about your government’s actions at home and abroad which could enrage future terrorists. Especially when these actions kill their loved ones.