L. Neil Smith's
THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE
Number 139, September 17, 2001
Nine One One
It Can't Happen Here?
by Jeff Elkins
Special to TLE
Empire is expensive. We have the possibility of a civilian death toll dwarfing anything since the Civil War. We have as blood enemies, literally hundreds of millions of our fellow humans. And we have increasing calls for further reductions in personal liberty.
"But we will not allow this enemy to win the war by changing our way of life or restricting our freedoms." says President George W. Bush.
If only that were true. The next time you're forced to show your 'papers' ask yourself how credible President Bush's promise is. Read his lips. Also, remember that this is the 'leader' who scurried from airbase to airbase, waiting for an all-clear.
The disarming and feminization of America has proceeded to such an extent that a couple of Arabs with knives and box cutters can subdue a hundred US citizens and plunge them to their deaths. Have we heard calls for Americans to arm themselves? Of course not. The question now is whether all pocket knives should be banned during air travel.
Airport terminals are perhaps the most Stalinist places extant in the United States. Fat lot of good the photo IDs and x-ray scanners did against a determined enemy. In fact, the argument can easily be made that our own dictatorial security procedures doomed thousands in New York and Washington DC. Would that even one armed American have been aboard that second airliner that hit the World Trade Center. How many lives would have been saved?
Rather than take the eminently sensible action of allowing any US citizen to exercise his God-given right to bear arms anywhere, including airliners, look for airports to descend from being outposts from the old Soviet Union to being even harsher. Expect full searches of all luggage and perhaps even body searches as well, if you happen to fit a suspicious 'profile.'
Nor will this be confined to our air terminals. All public buildings will fall under a similar dictatorial regimen.
Look for increases in SWAT budgets in most US communities. Expect 'dynamic entries' by these storm troopers to increase in the name of 'combating terrorism.' This will also bleed over even more into the duties and weaponry of the 'street cop.' Don't be surprised to see Officer Friendly armed with a fully automatic MP5 and dressed in black when he asks for your papers.
How about the drug war? You'll soon be seeing reports of how profits from illegal drugs contribute to international terrorism and hear calls for the war on drugs to be heightened and expanded. An ignorant public, in a state of fear, will support this.
Posse Comitatus: Expect this venerable law to become a dead letter, even more than it has. Don't be surprised to see active duty troops and national guard units taking on a greater and greater part in formerly local law enforcement.
Despite their total failure at providing security, look for the expansion of the federal Gestapo 'alphabet agencies.' Their power over ordinary citizens will increase as they assume 'oversight' control of local law enforcement agencies during ever-increasing states of emergency.
Beware of our Congress. Expect a spate of new legislation to further increase the federal footprint in our lives. More specifically, expect further attacks on the 2nd Amendment, with the full backing of both political parties, the executive branch and the courts.
Empire is expensive, both in treasure, liberty -- and blood. The lessons of 9/11 quite clearly point out how the modern state acts to destroy our society and the aftermath of the attacks promise to bring nothing but an escalation of state power.
In prophetic and unfortunately out-of-print novel 'It Can't Happen Here', Sinclair Lewis tells a cautionary tale about the rise of fascism in the United States. During the presidential election of 1936, Doremus Jessup, a newspaper editor, sees many of the people he knows supporting the candidacy of a fascist, Berzelius Windrip. Windrip wins the election and also gains control of Congress and the Supreme Court. Then using storm troopers, he turns the United States into a totalitarian state.
Lewis painted with a very broad brush, but I'd argue that we're well on our way to achieving the totalitarian state pictured in his novel. The events of 9/11 will do nothing but hasten the day.
The Republic is dead. Prepare yourselves for Empire.