Red, White and Bruised, America Behaving Badly

Over the last few days I have been looking into the US - Russian relations, and the strain is more than evident. Before getting into that however, it would be prudent to address the fact that there are many issues, so many issues right now that are affecting the world globally, and the US domestically that history should be looked at. If for nothing more than trying to initiate a "lesson learned" philosophy. The US's actions, policies, and subsequent global aggression has triggered world wide events, alliances and domestic outcries that can no longer be ignored.

Instead of ignoring, the US has decided to forcefully quiet the masses, using subtle techniques of fear and spying, the same as they did in the 1950s. In a related post a keen observer in the comment section noted that HR 1955/S 1959 was the spawn of HUAC, a committee abolished in 1975. The HUAC, or House Un-American Activities Counsel, was in charge of first researching, then ferreting out, and eventually fully prosecute Communists in the US, as they were deemed "A clear, present and continuing danger to National Security"[1] It should be noted here, that much like the HR 1955 and S 1959 act currently on the table, the HUAC was in charge, prior to the Communist Control Act of 1954, of studying the Communist Party and its members to determine the danger they pose, if any. (Ahem what is the "commission's" duties with regards to HR 1955?).

In the 1940's and 50's Senator McCarthy frantically hunted down Communists, and insisted that the government do the same. Many Americans, and members of the government felt that he went too far, and didn't support his actions, at first. After the "Red Tide" came sweeping through the world, and countries were taking on not only Communist governments, but uprisings, strikes, and protests world wide were occurring with a very anti-capitalistic tone (at the very least) that made the US worry about her own survival. Even in the US Communist and Socialist tendencies, organizations, and sympathizers were gaining support after the Great Depression. Citizens began to understand the inherent flaws of capitalism, and wanted something a little more secure for their children.

Enter in the Internal Securities Act of 1950, an act that brought about the HUAC, and forced Communist and Communist leaning businesses, fronts or organizations to register with the government. In 1954 came the Communist Control Act, and the hunting began in earnest. HUAC detained, questioned and held citizens in contempt if they choose not to answer their questions, or were hesitant in answering. Pamphlets were passed out nation wide explaining to the regular population why they should be anti-Communist, who Communists were, and where they could be hiding. People were expected to turn other citizens in.

The propaganda machine was running at full tilt, explaining that Communists were dangerous, violent, and spying on the government in efforts to overthrow it and turn America into the destitute tyranny of Communist oppression. Two individuals, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, were detained, and subjected to a tainted trial, and eventually executed by the electric chair. Even after Global appeals were made on their behalf, the US pulled the lever. It was, as Howard Zinn put it "a demonstration to the people of the country, though very few could identify with the Rosenbergs, of what lay at the end of the line for those the government decided were traitors." [2]

So it was.

Other categories and organizations that fell victim to the anti-Communist hysteria included; Ku Klux Klan, The Chopin Cultural Center, the Cervantes Fraternal Society, the Committee for the Negro in the Arts, the Committee for the Protection of the Bill of Rights, the League of American Writers, the Nature Friends of America, People's Drama, the Washington Bookshop Association, and the Yugoslavia Seaman's Club. [3]

Is this beginning to sound familiar?

This, at a time when the president did not suspend Habeas Corpus, this at a time when "terrorism" wasn't a household word with groups dedicated for the sole purpose of studying it, it's effects, and causes in order to prevent further attacks. This, at a time when our constitution still had at least a few teeth.

What does this have to do with our laws today?

Quite frankly, everything. The proposal shortly coming to the Senate for review and voting will create the same propaganda driven hysteria that the "Red Scare" did in the 50's. Only this time it will be the "Red and Black, Islamic, Arabic, and Single Issue Scare". This time, the net that will be cast to catch citizens who are "Un-American" will be much greater in size and strength. Communists, Socialists, Anarchists, Muslims, followers of Islam, and any other "fringe" groups are already being painted as a dangerous threat to National Security.

Only this time around, instead of having some modicum of protection or oversight, we have this blanket term "terrorism" which has become the broadly used code word for "anything goes".

Our country has done it before.

They will do it again.

In the next installment I will be focusing, not on the Thought Crime Bill, but rather on world politics, and steadily growing alliances, all of which are serious cause for concern. It does tie into all of this however, as everything in life is inherently linked. If our cries are silenced, our voices not heard, our wills imprisoned, we will be powerless to stop what lays ahead.

{Unlinked sources:

[1] Civil Liberties and the Constitution, Cases and Commentaries Barker, Lucius and Barker Jr., Twiley W. 1970, Prentice Hall, Inc., Englewood Cliffs, N.J. chapter 4, pg. 195

[2] A People's History of the United States, 1492 - Present Zinn, Howard 2003 HarperCollins Publishers, N.Y., New York. chapter 16, pg. 435

[3] A People's History of the United States, 1492 - Present Zinn, Howard 2003 HarperCollins Publishers, N.Y., New York. chapter 16, pg 432. }


an average patriot said...

Very Good Anok! Sadly as you know, Bush is not done yet and has yet to cause his greatest damage. He has expounded on the Communist damage and gains as well as the nazi's, all Fascist's before him. He allowed 9/11 so he could amasse all the power he needs to control us regardless of State Politicians, Congress or anyone so he can follow his new societal and world order forever war.
He now is searching for his excuse. Maybe it is the economic collapse that is just starting. Otherwise everything he has done around the world including the missile shield is designed to instigate Russia and others to get pissed and Bush can appear forced to have to fight this new (dis)order forever war he has instigated. It won't be long now!

Anok said...

Thanks Jim, I am getting ready to write about the debacle with US Russian relations after the kiddo goes to bed. Scary stuff...everyone is threatening to use nuclear weapons....

sageone said...

As usual, great piece. So what the heck are we going to do. I mean, those of us that are paying attention are outraged, but most people are willfully oblivious, or simply think that I am a nut. I have been writing letters and sending e-mails and making phone calls to senators, congressmen, committee members, etc. to the point that I am honestly feeling a bit discouraged. They all seem to be either willfully oblivious or totally complicit(with a very few exceptions.) Starting to think about heading south, way south. They seem to like socialists down there.
Been doing a little research on this Russia thing as well. The recent threats from Russia are both very real and very frightening. Russia and Iran are not simply allies. Keep in mind that Russia is a parent state to Iran. Russia sponsored their statehood and will continue to support them as a state.

Anok said...

Hey Sage! Thanks for stopping by....

I have been wracking my brain for answers to all of this. I've come up with great ideas, unfortunately none of them will work because our government refuses to let them work. I agree about Russia, and I'm still working on posting about that (just one more cup of coffee first.....)

For the record, We are saving up to go to Iceland. It is socialistic, Christian but totally tolerant and widely accepting of Pagans (YAY! thats more than respect than we get here, in the supposed land of free religion), It was listed as the fourth happiest country in the world, low unemployment, great programs (high taxes though...there's always a catch) and gorgeous, just gorgeous landscapes. And it's cold - which I like a lot.

I say you should come with us, you in? LOL. Seriously though, I'm thinkin we need to get our passports in order before the country buckles down McCarthy style.

Renegade Eye said...

Wikipedia about the decline of HUAC:

The committee lost considerable prestige after it subpoenaed Jerry Rubin and Abbie Hoffman of the Yippies in 1967, and again in the aftermath of the 1968 Democratic National Convention. Unlike previous subjects of the committee's investigations, the Yippies neither respected nor feared the committee, and used media attention to make a mockery of the proceedings. Rubin came to one session dressed as an American Revolutionary War soldier, and passed out copies of the United States Declaration of Independence to people in attendance. Then Rubin "blew giant gum bubbles while his co-witnesses taunted the committee with Nazi salutes."[8] Hoffman attended a session dressed as Santa Claus. On another occasion, police stopped Hoffman at the building entrance and arrested him for wearing an American flag. Hoffman quipped for the press, "I regret that I have but one shirt to give for my country," paraphrasing the last words of revolutionary patriot Nathan Hale; meanwhile Rubin, who was wearing a matching Viet Cong flag, shouted that the police were communists for not arresting him also.[9]

Anok said...

Hence the birth of modern day street player protests?

I'm aware that the counsel lost prestige and support....they even changed the name before dying a slow and painful death....

What is disturbing however, is that the main players, the key agitators, were hardly held responsible for such a devastating blow to constitutional rights. McCarthy was charged with "Behavior unbecoming of a congressman" and Nixon went on to be president......