Wednesday, July 4, 2007

July 4: What do we celebrate? (a list)

The following started out as a comment in Meteor Blades's excellent posting [at Daily Kos] retailing Frederick Douglass's famous 1852 July 4 speech castigating America for slavery.

I've added some links to make what follows meatier. (And I mostly link to collections of original documents, not secondary sources). I wasn't originally going to write anything for today. But why shouldn't we know the truth? This diary is dedicated to Scooter Libby.

And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. -- John 8:32.

If, per Samuel Johnson, patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel, then July 4th is one of the most evil days on our calendar.

Of course, we remember July 4th because of the ringing declaration of human rights in Jefferson's famous document.

But the reality is so mind-numbingly depressing, that I find this is a good day to hide my head in shame, and do penance for the "greatness of America".

Not meant to be definitive, here is my July 4 List of America's "Accomplishments":

*Native American genocide

*Breaking of treaties with Native Americans


*Returning runaway in slave territories to slavery, per order of the Supreme Court (Dred Scott case)

*Legal racial segregation (Jim Crow)

*Land grabbing wars against neighboring countries

*Seizing countries overseas (Philippines, Hawaii, Cuba)

*Joining the senseless War to End All Wars, killing tens of thousands of U.S. soldier-citizens for nothing

*Fighting unionization, killing strikers

*Using the atomic bomb on civilians, killing 100,000s

*Incendiary bombing raids on civilians, killing 100,000s (Dresden, Tokyo)

*Building a giant nuclear arsenal threatening the world with total destruction

*Ordering the killing of fleeing civilians in Korean conflict

*Assassination programs during the Southeast Asian conflicts, again, killing tens of thousands

*Putting forth a war on trumpted up charges of a fake attack (Gulf of Tonkin)

*Using chemical weapons to defoliate massive amounts of countryside, and kill untold thousands, and cause untold numbers of birth defects

*Use of torture against Vietnamese

*Training of torture to be used against Latin Americans (Project X)

*Overturning the elected government of Iran

*Overturning the elected government of Guatemala

*Overturning the elected government of Chile

*Intervening covertly in the elections of France and Italy

*Importing Nazi war criminals to work on weapons programs and covert operations, such as Operation Paperclip

*Assassinations planned against foreign leaders (Castro, and likely Patrice Lumumba)

*Invasion of a sovereign nation (Bay of Pigs)

*Secret bombings of countries we were not at war with and without Congressional notification, approval or oversight, killing untold thousands and destroying the viability of the government (Cambodia)

*Making domestic political parties illegal and blacklisting thousands (McCarthy Red Scare and outlawing of the Communist Party USA)

*Domestic spying on political and church groups, by spy and military agencies
*Illegal wiretapping of U.S. citizens

*Blackmailing U.S. civil rights leaders

*Arming religious fanatics who stoned women and kill schoolteachers that try to teach girls (Afghanistan)

*Arming guerilla groups to overthrow governments the U.S. opposes (Nicaragua)

*Supporting countries that are despotic and use torture (Egypt, Morocco, the Greece of the colonels, the Argentina of the junta, etc.)

*Invasion of a sovereign nation based on lies and trumped up charges (Iraq)

*Use of torture, secret renditions, and the construction of a secret prison network (Iraq and throughout the Middle East, Asia, and East Europe)

*The use of "caging" and other techniques to illegally decertify thousands of American citizens from the voting rolls

*100,000s civilians killed in war started on false pretenses (Iraq)

*Women and children kidnapped and held hostage in secret locations, as part of so-called "war on terror"

and on and on...

(Thanks to Turkana for the graphic!)

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