Never Forget

…that 9/11 was successfully carried out because American government agencies with very large budgets, and with more than sufficient spying authority, ignored multiple reports that had been spoon-fed them by their own agents:

In a memo from the Phoenix FBI to headquarters, the agents recommended an urgent nationwide review of flight schools “for any information that supports Phoenix’s suspicions” of a terrorist connection. The memo reportedly cited Osama bin Laden by name.

…that the attacks of 9/11 were followed by an avalanche of lies from the U.S. government, foisted upon the American public in support of unleashing invasive, “pre-emptive” wars and fueling the greatest growth of U.S. government power in history. Increased federal spending by more than 50% under President Bush ranged from pure pork—a farm bill larded bigger and better and an 80% increase in spending on education—to spy agencies that capture and indefinitely store every detail of every American’s life (including every nude selfie or other salacious tidbit from your phone or email now providing amusement for the otherwise bored boys at the NSA).

…that the U.S. government has propped up brutal dictator after brutal dictator in the name of fighting an “even worse evil:” Do Americans have no memories, or study no history? Can we not remember Stalin, Vietnam, the Shah of Iran, Saddam Hussein, and others petty and great? Backed by millions and billions of dollars of U.S. spending providing arms and training that have subsequently fueled the power behind the Taliban, al-Qaida, and others.

If not history, what about current affairs: Col. Gadhafi, rehabilitated by George W. Bush and Condeleezza Rice as “a model” for others to follow, killed under the Obama administration, and succeeded, with “our” arms, by the Islamic State.

“The enemy of my enemy is my friend” is not a Judeo-Christian value. It is reportedly taken from the Arthashastra—something of a 4th century precursor to Machiavelli:

a book that frequently discloses to a king what calculating and sometimes brutal measures he must carry out to preserve the state and the common good.

The U.S. government has failed, and badly, its established role of either providing our own security, or that of peoples around the world. It is time to say, “Enough” and insist upon a restoration of our Founding principles.

We can then concentrate on serving as “the shining city on a hill,” providing inspiration to the masses yearning to be free globally.

As President Reagan put it:

“[N]o arsenal or no weapon in the arsenals of the world is so formidable as the will and moral courage of free men and women.”

The Soviet Union fell in a “velvet revolution,” as the Poles and other enslaved peoples threw off their captors through such will and courage, inspired especially by Pope John Paul II.

China began its continuing, long journey from brutal repression to liberty by the opening of trade with the U.S., not economic sanctions or the dropping of bombs.

Homegrown opposition in Nepal has turned back the murderous Maoists threatening its people.

In Tunisia, birthplace of the Arab Spring, a new Constitution:

As he was signing the new constitution, Tunisia’s President Moncef Marzouki observed that “With the birth of this text, we confirm our victory over dictatorship.” It was not about trading in a “better” dictator for a “worse” one.

These are the pockets of hope that individual Americans and its politicians ought to hold up, and encourage their emulation.

Meanwhile, we the American people need to hold our own governments accountable to us and quit permitting their reckless endangerment of our lives, liberty, prosperity, and the future of our country and our children.

Mary L. G. Theroux is Senior Vice President of the Independent Institute. Having received her A.B. in economics from Stanford University, she is Managing Director of Lightning Ventures, L.P., a San Francisco Bay Area investment firm, former Chairman of the Board of Advisors for the Salvation Army of both San Francisco and Alameda County, and Vice President of the C.S. Lewis Society of California.
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