29 July 2006

Under Siege

Under Siege

When the first explosion struck the village, it was sometime after 10 at night. Most people were caught unaware. It seemed not days ago, the artillery sounds emanated from the ten o’clock news not next door. What had happened? There was nothing, not one warning from Washington or Albany that such events could or would unfold so quickly – with out warning.

Catskill was a small village, of little importance – socially or economically – there were no political unrests, uprisings or factions. Half way between NYC and Albany, hardly a ‘Mecca’ of any sorts for the “hot bed” of activity it would soon become, a village under siege – a village of victims, the first to be reported as causalities of war. A war we did welcome or want, this in the United States of America. Martial law was declared the next day, the elections were suspended and life as we once knew it to be – had changed – forever.

The date was Saturday July 29th 2006, not unlike any Saturday numerous weeks before, no special numbers for this one 9/11 – 7/7. The papers the next morning read


A headline several hundred of the townsmen would never get to read…………

Now that never happened, and sure it might make a great piece of fiction, but really, such an event when we look to the world around us...... cannot we but at least consider the ramifications of empire. These were the real events that took place in the village this evening

Amidst the thundering repeat of explosions, I couldn’t shake the thought that one day as the farmers say the “chickens will come home to roost”.


At 1:08 PM, Blogger Marci said...

You are so right. I think stories like the one you wrote above can be used like Nathan the prophet's story to David.... We ARE the man....

We sit in what we think is security, resting on our laurels. It will come home to roost. Thanks for the reminder!!

At 6:28 PM, Blogger Patti said...

Were you camparing yourfictional story to the conflict in Isreal or?

At 6:29 PM, Blogger Patti said...

OOPS..Late night dislexia..Israel:)

At 10:11 PM, Blogger Scott Holtzman said...

No I think that Israel or Lebanon are a current "Hot Button". To a greater degree the concepts of "Full Spectrum Dominance" as laid out in the blueprint of the DoD as a "key term" in Joint Vision 2020 would be my focus for such a scenario.

As quote in a AFIS news article, "Adversaries will probably not challenge U.S. strengths, but seek to attack the United States and its interests through "asymmetric means."

Excerpted speech marks follow:

Look at the recent past, by which I mean United States foreign policy since the end of the Second World War. I believe this must be addressed and that the truth has considerable bearing on where the world stands now. Although constrained, to a certain extent, by the existence of the Soviet Union, the United States' actions throughout the world made it clear that it had concluded it had carte blanche to do what it liked.

Direct invasion of a sovereign state has never in fact been America's favored method. In the main, it has preferred what it has described as 'low intensity conflict'. Low intensity conflict means that thousands of people die but slower than if you dropped a bomb on them in one fell swoop. It means that you infect the heart of the country, that you establish a malignant growth and watch the gangrene bloom. When the populace has been subdued - or beaten to death - the same thing - and your own friends, the military and the great corporations, sit comfortably in power, you go before the camera and say that democracy has prevailed. This was a commonplace in US foreign policy in the years to which I refer.

Since 9/11 the United States no longer bothers about low intensity conflict. It no longer sees any point in being reticent or even devious. It puts its cards on the table without fear or favour. It quite simply doesn't give a damn about the United Nations, international law or critical dissent, which it regards as impotent and irrelevant.

The justification for the invasion of Iraq was that Saddam Hussein possessed a highly dangerous body of weapons of mass destruction, some of which could be fired in 45 minutes, bringing about appalling devastation. We were assured that was true. It was not true. We were told that Iraq had a relationship with Al Quaeda and shared responsibility for the atrocity in New York of September 11th 2001. We were assured that this was true. It was not true.* We were told that Iraq threatened the security of the world. We were assured it was true. It was not true.

The invasion of Iraq was a bandit act, an act of blatant state terrorism, demonstrating absolute contempt for the concept of international law. The invasion was an arbitrary military action inspired by a series of lies upon lies and gross manipulation of the media and therefore of the public; an act intended to consolidate American military and economic control of the Middle East masquerading - as a last resort - all other justifications having failed to justify themselves - as liberation. A formidable assertion of military force responsible for the death and mutilation of thousands and thousands of innocent people.

At least 100,000 Iraqis were killed by American bombs and missiles before the Iraq insurgency began. These people are of no moment. Their deaths don't exist. They are blank. They are not even recorded as being dead. 'We don't do body counts,' said the American general Tommy Franks.

We have brought torture, cluster bombs, depleted uranium, innumerable acts of random murder, misery, degradation and death to the Iraqi people and call it 'bringing freedom and democracy to the Middle East'.

I have said earlier that the United States is now totally frank about putting its cards on the table. That is the case. Its official declared policy is now defined as 'full spectrum dominance'. That is not my term, it is theirs. 'Full spectrum dominance' means control of land, sea, air and space and all attendant resources.

The United States now occupies 702 military installations throughout the world in 132 countries, with the honorable exception of Sweden, of course. We don't quite know how they got there but they are there all right. If that is not a sign of empire, it sure is not a nation on holiday.

The United States possesses 8,000 active and operational nuclear warheads. Two thousand are on hair trigger alert, ready to be launched with 15 minutes warning. It is developing new systems of nuclear force, known as bunker busters. The British, ever cooperative, are intending to replace their own nuclear missile, Trident. Who, I wonder, are they aiming at? Osama bin Laden? You? Me? Joe Dokes? China? Paris? Who knows? What we do know is that this infantile insanity - the possession and threatened use of nuclear weapons - is at the heart of present American political philosophy. We must remind ourselves that the United States is on a permanent military footing and shows no sign of relaxing it.

When we look into a mirror we think the image that confronts us is accurate. But move a millimeter and the image changes. We are actually looking at a never-ending range of reflections. But sometimes a writer has to smash the mirror - for it is on the other side of that mirror that the truth stares at us.

I believe that despite the enormous odds which exist, unflinching, unswerving, fierce intellectual determination, as citizens, to define the real truth of our lives and our societies is a crucial obligation that devolves upon us all. It is in fact mandatory.

If such a determination is not embodied in our political vision we have no hope of restoring what is so nearly lost to us - the dignity of man.

* The official report issued by the 9/11 Commission in July 2004 addressed the issue of a possible conspiracy between the government of Iraq and al-Qaeda in the September 11 attacks. The report addressed specific allegations of contacts between al-Qaeda and members of Saddam Hussein's government, concluding: "to date we have seen no evidence that these or the earlier contacts ever developed into a collaborative operational relationship. Nor have we seen evidence indicating that Iraq cooperated with al Qaeda in developing or carrying out any attacks against the United States." This conclusion is consistent with the findings of various investigations into specific aspects of the Saddam Hussein/al-Qaeda relationship, including those conducted by the CIA, DIA, FBI, and NSC.

On March 21, 2006, President Bush sought to distance himself from the allegation of any link. He said: "First, just if I might correct a misperception, I don’t think we ever said — at least I know I didn’t say that there was a direct connection between September the 11th and Saddam Hussein."

At 9:18 AM, Blogger Patti said...

Praise the Lord we live in a country where we can agree to disagree agreeably eh? No one is going to come shoot us, gass us or lock us because we express our opinions. If several people express the same opinion in this country..i.e. the recent marches by undocumented workers/"visitors", they won't end up in a mass grave somewhere. We can change things with a vote!

At 5:57 AM, Blogger the Contrary Goddess said...

What gets me is how ignorant people really are. Like, how many people know bombs were dropped in the US in a war of empire? By Yankees, but not during the war of northern agression, no. During the 30s I think it was, in West Virginia, to control the miners and get the coal out.

I knew a man who was a Virginia State Trooper during those times and he was stationed on a bridge and told to shoot anyone who came across it. He quit because he wouldn't shoot his neighbors. That is why, to this day, they use troopers from other parts of the state when there is a disturbance in any part of (any) state. And what they eventually did in China during Tiennamen Square because the Chinese wouldn't shoot people they knew either.

Tiennamen Square and Ruby Ridge changed my politics FOREVER.

The current war of empire in these mountains is still being waged by yankees, this time as always, for our own good, calling themselves things like Appalachian Sustainable Development and using ARC grants and the like.

The war of resistence is the one we have to be ready and willing to fight.

At 12:24 PM, Blogger Emily said...

Scott, Psalm 147 is brought to mind. "The Lord delights in those who fear him, who put their hope in his unfailing love." Too often we put our confidence in our own capabilities and technological advances rather than in our Lord who ultimately is the one in control. There is no true security or freedom but that which is found in Him.

At 8:24 PM, Blogger Scott Holtzman said...

Yes, I can concur with the agree to disagree the latter part, "No one is going to come shoot us, gas us or lock us because we express our opinions" .............well, I like to (as it is said) 'keep my powder dry'....just for a rainy day mind you.

The event was in the 1920's, which is an oft-overlooked (as is most our history now days) tragic event in our nations history. It required the declaring of martial law and the calling up of not only the state militia, but also of federal troops, including United States Air Force reconnaissance planes, to restore order. There is a good book titled, Thunder in the Mountains by Lon Savage, detailing the account.

Amen. Though I too enjoy "The LORD lifteth up the meek: he casteth the wicked down to the ground." Sometimes people confuse meekness with weakness, the two are not synonymous. As the character Sir William Wallace in Braveheart demonstrated, one tries to live in peace and tend to there own affairs, whenever possible – Lord willing.

At 8:32 PM, Blogger Scott Holtzman said...

cg~ btw, when I say 'restore' order, I do not mean to incline that the governments actions were 'honorable'...and easy with that 'Yankee' mark there some of here don't always mold well to a label. (no offence taken) ::grin::


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