Cognitive Dissonance

October 10, 2011
by Bob Livingston

America’s “War on Terror” has devolved into a perpetual war in which the boundaries are not defined and the enemy is whoever a secret cabal within the Federal government decides.

Totalitarian nations throughout history have made war on their own citizens. The United States is doing the same and has in one degree or another for at least 150 years.

When Barack Hussein Obama stepped up to the podium and announced the successful assassination of two American citizens on Sept. 30 — Anwar al-Awlaki and Samir Khan — it was proof that America had finally died, Paul Craig Roberts writes. As for Americans, they have been cemented into a state of cognitive dissonance.

Cognitive dissonance is a psychological conflict resulting from incongruous beliefs and attitudes held simultaneously. Totalitarian regimes are successful when their subjects reach that state.

This is not the first time Americans have been murdered by their own government. It became common practice in the 1860s under Abraham Lincoln, a President that Obama claims to emulate. I say that was an assault on Americans because, even though most of the citizens of Southern States did not consider themselves any longer a part of America, Lincoln did not recognize their secession. Even if you find justification for the invasion and attacks on Southern soldiers and military installations, Lincoln’s sanctioning of the war crimes against the Southern civilian population — women, children, the elderly and noncombatants — cannot be justified in any civilized society. He was making war on his own people.

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Lincoln advocated “total warfare.” His officers repeatedly killed civilians, burned down entire towns and laid waste farmland and slaughtered livestock in retaliation for attacks by Confederate armies. This began as early as 1861, despite objections by General George McClellan. By 1864, total warfare on the Southern economy was the stated objective. General Ulysses S. Grant told Phillip Sheridan to take the Shenandoah Valley out of the war.

“Grant’s instructions were grimly specific,” writes Bruce Catton in The Civil War. “He wanted the rich farmlands of the Valley despoiled so thoroughly that the place could no longer support a Confederate army; he told Sheridan to devastate the whole area so thoroughly that a crow flying across over the Valley would have to carry its own rations… barns and corncribs and gristmills and herds of cattle were military objectives now, and if thousands of civilians whose property this was had to suffer heartbreaking loss as a result, that was incidental. A garden spot was to be turned into a desert in order that the Southern nation might be destroyed.”

General William T. Sherman took that policy even further. He bombarded Atlanta for days even though there was no strategic military reason for so doing. When he finally entered Atlanta he ordered all non-combatants — the few combatants left were either too injured to flee or had surrendered — to leave, making thousands of civilians homeless and destitute and leaving them in possession of only what they could carry on their backs. He then set out to lay waste to all the Confederate homeland, one-upping Sheridan in the process. Neither women nor children nor recently-freed slaves were spared abuse, torture and murder by Sherman’s troops and the unchecked rabble that followed the army.

Yet the non-education system has for years indoctrinated U.S. children with the idea that Lincoln was a saint who “saved” the Union by forcing it back together. They don’t realize that in so doing Lincoln destroyed liberty. In addition to sanctioning the murder of civilians and the destruction of private property in the South, he suspended habeas corpus, imprisoned politicians and whole State legislatures and dissenting editorialists, shut down newspapers and held citizens in prison without trial IN THE UNION STATES, often ignoring rulings of the Supreme Court in the process. Most today praise Lincoln’s actions as necessary and proper to suppress the rebellion. Our government tells us what Lincoln did was a good thing.

In Egypt this summer, protestors began standing up to the oppressive Hosni Mubarak regime. Americans were appalled when the regime violently cracked down on the protestors and the mainstream corporate media played up the carnage. Mubarak was doing what he thought necessary and proper to suppress the rebellion in his country.

But Obama ordered Mubarak out of power. Because Mubarak was a puppet of the U.S., he was forced to step down. Americans cheered that a tyrant was vanquished even though they didn’t know what was to take his place. Our government told us this was a good outcome.

In Libya’s Arab Spring, protestors stood up to the Moammar Gadhafi regime. Gadhafi cracked down on the protestors with violence, if the reports of the mainstream media are to be believed. He was simply doing what he thought necessary and proper to maintain control of his country.

NATO member nations and finally Obama ordered Gadhafi to step down. Gadhafi, not a puppet of the U.S., refused. NATO forces began bombing and killing Libyans to force Gadhafi’s capitulation.

In Syria’s Arab Spring, troops of Bashir al-Assad began killing protestors by the dozens. Al-Assad is doing what he thinks is necessary and proper to maintain control of his country. So far, the Obama Administration is standing idly by, paying only lip service to a protest.

In some cases the majority of Americans accept that it’s okay for the government to do whatever it says is necessary to suppress rebellion. See Abraham Lincoln and Obama’s ordered killing of al-Awlaki.

In other cases — Libya and Egypt, for example — the government is wrong for doing what is necessary to suppress rebellion. Cognitive dissonance.

For the most part, Americans have accepted the non-war NATO intervention in Libya as necessary to stop the killing that Gadhafi started. But stopping the killing requires more killing. More innocents are dead, whether from Gadhafi forces suppressing rebellion or NATO forces bombing Gadhafi forces. Cognitive dissonance.

We are fighting a war on terror in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan and Yemen. Our government tells us the enemy is al-Qaida. Yet, in supporting the rebellion in Libya, U.S. and NATO gave power and aid and comfort to a rebellion that is made up of al-Qaida terrorists that have fought against and killed U.S. soldiers on other battlefields. Cognitive dissonance.

George W. Bush suspended habeas corpus. The USA Patriot Act, passed within days of 9/11 and subsequently renewed under Obama, gives the government carte blanch to spy on Americans. Government snoops can now rifle through bank records, eavesdrop on communications and can even enter the homes of Americans without warrants. Militarized police SWAT teams are knocking down doors and shooting people in their homes — whether they are armed or not. The Federal Reserve is monitoring online communications for signs of dissent.

Americans know in their hearts that something about this is not right. Yet they say to themselves, “I haven’t done anything wrong. I have nothing to fear from my government.”

But in a distant land, two American citizens criticized the actions of our government and told Muslims to oppose it. Our government tells us this is so. Our government tells us that al-Awlaki promoted jihad and the killing of Americans. Our government tells us that al-Awlaki spurred the underwear bomber to try and blow up a jet liner over America.

But the underwear bomber, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, was assisted onto the plane without proper identification by a CIA asset, as we told you here.

Our government tells us that al-Awlaki spurred Nidal Malik Hasan, a U.S. Army major, to kill American soldiers at Ft. Hood. Our government tells us that al-Awlaki was the inspiration for Faisal Shahzad to attempt to car bomb Times Square.

Our government tells us these things but withholds the evidence. Too many take what the government says at face value.

Our government told us the Civil War was about freeing the slaves. Our government told us a central bank would stabilize the economy. Our government told us that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone. Our government told us U.S. gunboats were attacked in the Gulf of Tonkin. Our government told us we were winning the war in Vietnam. Our government told us that Randy Weaver was a criminal. Our government told us that David Koresh was abusing children. Our government told us that it didn’t fail us on 9/11. Our government told us that 9/11 was masterminded from a cave in a third-world country. Our government told us the economy was fine. Our government told us a bailout would save the economy. Our government told us that Pakistan was our friend in the war on terror. Our government told us we are not fighting a war in Libya. Our government told us that al-Awlaki deserved to die without due process.

Our government tells us that the FBI is looking out for us, finding home-grown jihadists and stopping them in their tracks. It does not tell us what the FBI does to encourage, equip and enable those potential jihadists to do something they might have thought about doing, but might not have actually done without the persuasion of their FBI enablers.

Our government tells us we must give up our 4th Amendment rights in order to travel on airplanes and trains.

Our government tells us — through the Department of Homeland Security — that Tea Party members, 2nd Amendment supporters, people with Ron Paul bumper stickers, people who waive Gadsden flags, people who oppose the Federal Reserve, and former military members are potential domestic terrorists. Our government tells us that anti-government thoughts equate to a crime.

What will the government tell us when it decides that it is no longer convenient to have some of these people around?  Are we a nation of laws? Or are we a nation in which the government — or a secret cabal — can just decide to murder whomever it wishes?

The U.S. Constitution is only a piece of paper.

Our government, by its actions, has told us this is so.

© 2011 Personal Liberty Digest

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