L. Neil Smith's
Number 295, October 31, 2004

The Nightmare After Halloween

The Only Way to Make Your Vote Count
by L. Reichard White

Special to TLE

Reality check:

Hanging chads and SUCUS aside, your vote is irrelevant. Major elections that were decided by exactly one popular vote (yours?) are simply non-existent.
When I hear, "I'd vote (Libertarian, Independent American, Populist, etc.) but I don't want to waste my vote," I often make the following proposition:
"If you come to me after you vote and tell me you voted for the Libertarian candidate for president and your (Democratic or Republican) candidate loses the presidency by one popular vote, I'll give you $10,000 dollars."
You have a significantly better chance of winning most lotteries. -journeyman

But there is one way you may be able to make your vote count in the upcoming presidential election—- -

Are you responsible for what your government does?

If you vote?

If you don't?

O.K. Here's the good news—large numbers of people in the rest of the world don't automatically associate the people who live in a particular country with the government of that country and don't blame them for what that government does—- -

In India, the word public is now a Hindi word. It means people. In Hindi, we have sarkar and public, the government and the people. Inherent in this use is the underlying assumption that the government is quite separate from "the people." Arundhati Roy, Public Power in the Age of Empire

Do you suppose the Iraqi people felt "as one" with Saddam's Government? This government-is-not-the-people outlook is more common than you might think—which may explain why:

The Saudi billionaire, Osama bin Laden, declares Jihad against the US Military and the US Government. [1] He's rich, has thousands of supporters, and their numbers are growing. -CNN Impact, 10 Aug, 1997
Originally bin Laden was only going after the US Government and the US Military, not "we the people." Originally he made the distinction Hindus and others make but we apparently don't. [2] It may be that all these folks are a little old fashioned. Until WWII with the German "blitz" against London, the firebombing of Dresden [3] and Tokyo etc., just like bin Laden, the world largely left the civilian population out of the attack picture unless they specifically contained military targets or were unavoidably in the way. In the indiscriminately violent post-WWII world however, it's hard for us to imagine the complete revulsion pre-WWII folks felt at anyone purposely attacking population centers and involving civilians. [4]

But here's the bad news: Those "large numbers of people in the rest of the world" are beginning to think "we the people" do associate ourselves with what the U.S. Government does—and are therefore responsible for it—-—

In the United States, on the other hand, the blurring of the distinction between sarkar and public has penetrated far deeper into society. ... Among other things, it has to do with the elaborate web of paranoia generated by the U.S. sarkar and spun out by the corporate media and Hollywood. Arundhati Roy, ibid

Ms. Roy goes on to point out some of the consequences: "To outside observers, this merging of sarkar and public in the United States sometimes makes it hard to separate the actions of the U.S. government from the American people. It is this confusion that fuels anti-Americanism in the world."

Which may help explain why

"It's not only our U.S. troops who will be put in mortal danger; bin Laden has stated unequivocally that all Americans, including 'those who pay taxes,' are targets." -CIA Director George Tenet quoted in Troops to Kosovo; Terror for Americans? February 24, 1999 by: Phyllis Schlafly


In 1998 in an interview in the mountains of Afghanistan overlooking Kabul, bin Laden told me, "We can no longer differentiate between civilians and those wearing military uniforms." -John Miller, ABC NEWS, NY on ABC THIS WEEK, September 16, 2001

In case you're just tuning in, it's currently the so-called "War [5] on Iraq" that large numbers of people don't like. Former presidential candidate and Regan speech writer Patrick Buchanan nutshells it nicely in his book, "Where The Right Went Wrong": "the U.S. invaded a country that did not threaten us, had not attacked us and did not want war with us, to disarm it of weapons we have since discovered it did not have."

As respected former White House terrorism adviser Richard Clark pointed out, "Attacking Iraq because of 9-11 would be like the U.S. attacking Mexico because of Pearl Harbor."

And it doesn't help much that all the excuses Mr. Bush gave for attacking the people of Iraq were either wrong or lies. Many folks—in addition to Americans who still believe in the U.S. Constitution—regard the "war" on Iraq as illegal, [6] and U.S. tactics in the "war on terror" as terrorism.

By the way, I'm definitely not pitching the Kerry—Edwards ticket here.

We'll only mention in passing that the domestic price for "our" sarkar attacking Iraq, a country with no WMD, [7] no al'Qaeda links, and no connections to 9-11 [8] so-far has been $87 billion, a good chunk of our civil liberties—and 1,239 or so American soldier's lives, not to mention a minimum of approximately 8,000 more wounded and/or maimed. [9]

And, in the process of being al'Qaeda's chief recruiting tool [10], "our" sarkar is responsible so far for the deaths of at least the following number of Iraqi civilians:

An awful lot of "collateral damage" mistakes don't you think?

And do the mothers, fathers, sisters brothers, friends, etc. of those "collaterally damaged" Iraqi "mistakes"—and those "large numbers of people in the rest of the world" who are observing new collateral damage "mistakes" on a daily basis—forgive "we the people" for what "our" sarkar is still doing?

And as even Bush knows, whatever the price, the so-called "war on terror" can't be won , at least not his way—- -

US President George W. Bush admitted last night he didn't think the war on terror could be won. ... NBC's Matt Lauer asked: "Can we win it?"
"I don't think you can win it," Mr Bush replied. War on terror a losing battle, www.heraldsun.news.com.au, 31aug04

Why not? Afterall, it's clear neither Iraq nor any other nation-state in the entire world poses a credible conventional military threat to the territorial U.S.. One good reason is that the U.S. Sarkar spends more on it's military than most of the rest of the world combined spends on theirs.

But there's a problem: As world class Prussian strategist Carl von Clausewitz observed, "If you entrench yourself behind strong fortifications, you compel the enemy to seek a solution elsewhere."

And they have—-—

[Homeland Security Tsar Tom] Ridge, who spoke to the BBC earlier in the week, said it was "correct" to suggest that al-Qaeda sleeper cells were operating in America. "We believe they are there and not only sympathisers but operatives ..." Only matter of time before US hit by terrorists: Homeland Security Tsar Ridge, smh.com.au, November 11 2002
CARROLL, Ohio—Vice President Dick Cheney on Tuesday raised the possibility of terrorists bombing U.S. cities with nuclear weapons ... "The biggest threat we face now as a nation is the possibility of terrorists ending up in the middle of one of our cities with deadlier weapons than have ever before been used against us—biological agents or a nuclear weapon or a chemical weapon of some kind ...," Cheney said. Cheney: Terrorists May Bomb U.S. Cities, ANDREW WELSH-HUGGINS, Associated Press Writer, Tue Oct 19, 2004 6:03 PM ET
As Russian President Putin says, there will be nukes. All they have to do is smuggle something the size of a briefcase [11] into the U.S. That will be as powerful as 1/5 the size of Hiroshima. The Russians have 148 and can't account for even 100 of them. -Rep. Christopher Shays (R-CT), Chairman House National Security Subcommittee, Geraldo, CNBC, October 3, 2001, 22:00:01

So, here we sit behind The Last Maginot Line . The notion the U.S. Sarkar, especially forces deployed overseas (let alone Bush or Kerry), can protect us is a fairy tale for frightened children—-—Still skeptical? I don't blame you, but you can see the disquieting but irrefutable proof here and here.

Which brings us to your vote.

So are you responsible for what the U.S. Sarkar does? If you vote? Even if you don't? Responsible or not, what can you do?

First of all and most clearly, don't vote for Bush. But don't vote for fellow bonesman [12] Kerry either—on his best day, he offers an echo not a choice. [13] As Arundhati Roy put it, "Bush without Bush."

I know what you're thinking: "If I don't vote for ______ (fill in the blank) the worse guy will win." But the lesser of two evils is still evil—and remember, major elections that were decided by exactly one popular vote (yours?) are simply non- existent. If you vote for Bush or Kerry, will your single lonely vote cause him to win and the other guy to lose? Make any difference at all—except possibly, to you?

But, if you vote for a third party candidate [14], it just could make a difference in this election—at least, possibly, to those waiting to see what "we the people" do. That's the only way to make your vote count.

Now, not voting for Bush or Kerry, that's the least you can do. We may still have the sarker-is-not-the-people perception working for us.

For awhile.

So perhaps if we demand Bush and most of his administration be tried, first here at home, and those not convicted or executed then be shipped to The Hague and lined up behind Milosevic in the Court Docket for war crimes, perhaps then the rest of the world won't hold us complicit in their crimes.

Remember, the alternatives aren't pretty. As suggested by Condoleeza and Dubya (and verified by Cheney), ~"We can't afford to wait: The first warning we get could be a mushroom cloud over an American city."


[1] It wasn't until the advent of World War II's "total war" philosophy that "we the people," in addition to the military, became wholesale targets—that's what "total" meant. Previously, population centers such as Dresden, London, Hiroshima, etc. were not normally considered military targets. return

[2] "If [Yugoslav] civilians are worried about military action [bombing] in Yugoslavia, they should tell their president that he can stop this by withdrawing his troops from Kosovo, by stopping the killing and by agreeing to the conditions in the Ramboullier agreement that would bring peace and autonomy to Kosovo." -Pentagon spokesman Ken Bacon, 31 March 1999 return

[3] For what concerns me in this inquiry is not the public image of Anglo-American idealism that was shattered by the Dresden raid, but the crime against humanity which was perpetrated. That it was decided to bomb a city of no military value simply in order to impress Stalin. That a fire storm was deliberately created in order to kill as many people as possible, and that the survivors were machine-gunned as they lay helpless in the open—all this has been established without a shadow of a doubt. What remains is to ask how decent, civilized politicians enthusiastically approved such mass murder and decent, civilized servicemen conscientiously carried it out. -R.H.S. Crossman, Apocalpse at Dresden, Esquire, November 1963 return

[4] Official American propaganda likewise used the Japanese bombing of Chinese cities as a justification for fighting Japan, until the United States itself adopted the policy of bombing Japanese and German cities. Since this policy was accepted as legitimate when employed against diabolical enemies, it's now difficult for most people to recall the nauseous horror that bombing cities used to inspire. As Veale [*] says, we have all become inured not only to atrocities in a holy cause but to the sort of "doublethink' that reasons: "We must be willing to slaughter innocent people in order to defeat our monstrous enemies, who slaughter innocent people." The Friends of Uncle Joe, Syndicated columnist Joseph Sobran, April 2000

[*] F.J.P. Veale, a British jurist, called the Allies' "advance to barbarism" in his mercilessly trenchant book of that title. Long out of print, Advance to Barbarism is now available only from the Institute for Historical Review in Torrance, California. return

[5] ARTICLE. I. All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives... Section. 8. The Congress shall have Power... Clause 11: To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water -The United States Constitution

...the executive has no right, in any case, to decide the question, whether there is or is not cause for declaring war. -James Madison return

[6] France agrees. return

[7] WASHINGTON—President Bush and his vice president conceded Thursday in the clearest terms yet that Saddam Hussein had no weapons of mass destruction... Cheney dismissed the significance of Duelfer's central findings, telling supporters in Miami, "The headlines all say `no weapons of mass destruction stockpiled in Baghdad.' We already knew that." -Bush, Cheney Concede Saddam Had No WMDs, http://story.news.yahoo.com, Thu Oct 7, By SCOTT LINDLAW, Associated Press Writer return

[8] "We've had no evidence that Saddam Hussein was involved in Sept. 11," Bush told reporters as he met members of Congress on energy legislation. Bush Distances from Cheney on Saddam-9/11 Link, Reuters, Wed September 17, 2003 06:08 PM ET, By Steve Holland . return

[9] An up-to-date listing of U.S. soldiers killed in combat can be found HERE. And while more than 8,000 have been officially listed as injured or maimed, it seems that more than 17,000 U.S. soldiers have been evacuated from the Iraq theatre of operations. return

[10] "Have we been creating more terrorists than we have been eliminating?" -Donald Rumsfeld. The latest count is that there are 20,000 foreign anti-American fighters now in Iraq. -Patrick Buchanan, Meet the Press, September 5, 2004, 10:34 return

[11] Shays is almost certainly incorrect in the size: These are not "briefcase" nukes, but "backpack" nukes and they weigh somewhere in the vacinity of 160 pounds—-—so they're not "backpacks" for just anybody. Ah-oh! Didn't the hi-jackers show an affinity for working out?? Anyway, it takes "critical mass" of fissionable material, and a very sturdy container to keep the critical mass together in a "critical size" long enough for the chain reaction to convert as much mass as possible according to e=mc squared. This critical mass and it's container set the lower limit of size and weight to such devices. So, once again, they're not brief-case nukes. Suitcase or backpack maybe, but not briefcase. -LRW. return

[12] Skull and Bones is a secret society, centered at Yale University, which initiates only about 15 new members per year and is ridiculously over-represented, especially in the Bush Administration. See Skull & Bones (Part I) and Conspiracy Too Monstrous To Conceive, By Henry Makow Ph.D., June 08, 2003 You can find the Kerry connection to Skull and Bones in WAYNE MADSEN, Apprehension and Frustration, Neo-Cons on the Brink, www.counterpunch.org, June 4, 2004 return

[13] Kerry regularly says he will out-Bush Bush. For example, Kerry says he will keep troops in Iraq for at least four years and increase troop levels by 40,000. An echo, not a choice. return

[14] I'd suggest the Libertarian candidate Michael Badnarik: He's personable, intelligent, well spoken—and believes strongly in the U.S. Constitution! Besides, he's on the ballot in 48 states, way more than the next runner-up, token candidate Ralph Nader, who is at least acknowledged by the fifth branch of government. While he largely knows the score, Nader is only on the ballot in approximately 34 states. return

L. Reichard White has made his living by beating casinos at their own games for over thirty years and specializes in games theory and self-motivation in enterprises with uncertain outcomes. His current studies include the evolution of lying as part of modern enterprise, the ethnology of rebellion and the role of prediction in personal psychology. You can find some of his other work at NEXIALIST N+E+W+S, or search Google for "L. Reichard White" and you can contact him at mailto:LReichardWhite@yahoo.com


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