Front Page » Monthly Archives » Archives: March 2013

Know Thine Enemy

On our Iraq War's 10th anniversary, here's James Madison:

Of all the enemies to public liberty war is, perhaps, the most to be dreaded, because it comprises and develops the germ of every other. War is the parent of armies; from these proceed debts and taxes; and armies, and debts, and taxes are the known instruments for bringing the many under the domination of the few. In war, too, the discretionary power of the Executive is extended; its influence in dealing out offices, honors, and emoluments is multiplied; and all the means of seducing the minds, are added to those of subduing the force, of the people. . . . . . . No nation [can] preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare."

And Anne Gerrels, NPR reporter on Iraq:

"It was a terrible waste of money and lives. You know, Iraqis certainly don't love us any more for what we did there. We really have gained very little. . . . . . The situation is far from resolved. . . . . .The country is sliding more and more into an authoritarian regime. It is a tinderbox waiting to explode again."

Rachel Maddow's new book Drift, cuts to the sources of war, whose billion leeches now suck our very life-blood in this National Insecurity State.

We wouldn't put up with it, except we are always fed a 'Good Enemy.' When everything is a War (on Iraq, on Afghanistan, on drugs, on terror), caution and reason fly out the window.

Maddow tells of her Massachusetts small-town pumphouse, recently enhanced by National Security Dollars. About seven homes are actually on municipal water. Yet the pumphouse's entire half-acre is now ringed by an 8-foot-tall, chain-link, barbed-wire-topped fence, complete with electronically-controlled, motorized gate.

This waste is small potatoes, however, compared with nationwide ultra-high-security office space, enough to fill twenty-two US Capitol Buildings: seventeen million square feet of offices in thirty-three handsome and generously funded new complexes powered up twenty-four hours a day, where an army of nearly a million spies on the world and our homeland. It's as if, says Maddow, "we turned [all] of Detroit and Milwaukee into high-security-clearance spooks and analysts."

Its crown jewel is Liberty Crossing, in Washington's Virginia suburbs-- an 850,000-square-foot complex housing the National Counterterrorism Center. A $30 billion annual intelligence budget boosted by 250 percent has created "a clean, well-lighted edifice, concealed by GPS jammers and reflective windows, where intelligence collected by 1,271 government agencies and 1,931 private companies under government contract is supposedly coordinated."

Will Congress cut this bloated budget? No. Our fear of The Enemy keeps it in place, while schools close, services are cut, and highways and bridges decay to dust.

It is not our enemies who have cut us off at the knees. When you hear of Salina's local economic boon from UAV's, consider that military drones were 5% of military flying vehicles in 2005, and now constitute one-third of the fleet. Consider that they are used for surveillance as well as killing. And consider that they may be tested over Salina.

Our history of bad choices goes back to Ronald Reagan and before. Reagan understood the power of The Enemy and exploited it. He lost his early primaries. No one wanted a misguided cowboy actor for President. Yet, when he proclaimed we were losing the Panama Canal (yet another misguided statement), bellowing "Uncle Sam is not going to retreat with his tail between his legs," he won every one.

Under his presidency, fact-free folk from Paul Nitze (arms control advisor) to William Casey (CIA director) kept him on a hard-right, fear-fueled track.

These ideological predecessors encouraged George W. Bush's Gang Who Couldn't Shoot Straight to limber their muscles proclaiming Saddam's "mushroom cloud" WMD.

Such baloney can cause great harm. It felled Phil Donahue, the only commercial media critic of the war, who was fired from MSNBC.

To truly know our Enemy, we must avoid deception. Anthony Dimaggio, author of Mass Media, Mass Propaganda, put it well:

"When academics, journalists, pollsters, and politicians. . . . consciously ignore moral challenges to U.S. foreign policy, then [rational dialogue is] difficult, if not impossible. Without such dialogue, it [is] difficult to . . . . challenge and reject official propaganda, misinformation, and lies. On this 10-year anniversary, that dialogue is needed more than ever if [we hope to limit] future wars of aggression." And, I might add, to limit threats to our freedom.

As Pogo said, "We have met the Enemy--and he is us."

Our sponsors help us stay online to serve you. Thank you for doing your part! By using the specific links below (clicking through from our site) to start any of your online shopping, you are making a tremendous difference. By using the shopping links provided on a Kansas Free Press page, you are directly helping to support the Kansas Free Press:

About This Page

This is an archive page containing all stories published in Kansas Free Press in March 2013. These are listed from newest to oldest.

February 2013 is the previous archive and April 2013 is the next one.

Other Archives

Interested in other topics? You may wish to dig into our Table of Contents to find other sections and archives.

Do you want to explore pieces written by specific authors? You can find archives for KFP writers by reviewing our complete Directory of Authors and Writers here.

News and Opinion

Get Connected

See our FB page!
Subscribe for free!
[Feeds & Readers...]
Follow Kansas Free Press on Twitter, too!
Make Kansas Free Press your home page!

Journalists, sign in.

We're reader supported!

Whenever you use the specific links below to begin any of your online shopping, a portion of your sale goes directly towards the support of this site.

Tech Depot - An Office Depot Co.

Our sponsors help us stay online to serve you. Thank you for doing your part! By using the specific links above (clicking through from our site) to start any of your online shopping, you are making a tremendous difference. By using the shopping links provided on a Kansas Free Press page, you are directly helping to support the Kansas Free Press.

Thank you for your help!

Visit Our Friends!

Kansas Free Press began as a wish expressed by Kansan writers, many of whom write at Everyday Citizen, the widely acclaimed national site. We hope you will continue visiting, KFP's national birthplace. Many Kansas writers write there, too!

Notices & Policies

All of our Kansas Free Press journalists are delighted that you are here. We all hope that you come here often, sign in and leave us comments, and become an active part of our community. Welcome!

Our writers are credentialed after referral to, and approval by, the editor/publisher of If you are interested in writing with us, please feel free to let us know here. We are always looking for Kansans who want to write about Kansas!

All authors here retain their own copyrights for their original written works, original photographs and art works. They welcome others to copy, reference or quote from the content of their stories, provided that the reprints include obvious author and website attribution and links to the original page, in accordance with this publication's Creative Commons License.

Our editor primarily reviews stories for spelling, grammar, punctuation and formatting and is not liable or responsible for the opinions expressed by individual authors. The opinions and accuracy of information in the individual stories on this site are the sole responsibility of each of the individual authors. For complete site policies, including privacy, see our Frequently Asked Questions. This site is designed, maintained, and owned by its publisher, Everyday Citizen Media. The Kansas Free Press,, and Kansas Free Press are trademarked names.

© Copyright, 2008-2012, all rights reserved, unless otherwise specified, first by the respective author, and then by KFP's publisher and owner for any otherwise unreserved and all other content.