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Juan Cole on the Demise of US Civil Liberties

My deepest fear is that US support for Israeli militarism, and the terrorism that support inevitably engenders, will be what finally finishes off the civil liberties enshrined in the American Constitution.

Juan Cole

There are, and always have been, serious threats to US Civil liberties.  But I think Cole is correct in pointing out that today one of the greatest threats is the loss of our liberties in reaction to terrorism.  Our politicians are spineless folk who will try to trade away our liberties for a little security.

Indeed, this is already been happening — we have already lost some of our liberties in reaction to terrorism due to the unwise policies of the Bush and Obama Administrations.   And, unfortunately, every sign points to a further loss of liberties with the next successful terrorist attack.  Moreover,  such an attack seems sooner or later inevitable so long as we continue to support Israeli militarism.

Ultimately though, I think it is — not what any terrorists can do to us — but instead our own willingness to trade our liberties for the illusion of a little security that will do us in.  Some say America has become a nation of wusses.  I don’t yet know if that is really true.  But I do suspect we will someday soon enough see if it is true.

5 thoughts on “Juan Cole on the Demise of US Civil Liberties”

  1. Israeli Militarism = defense of self in my opinion and refusal to submit.
    Curtis Neeley might be wrong in this opinion but it is based on facts as understood as presented by the media. Curtis Neeley has never been to Israel and has no desire to visit. Curtis Neeley does not believe in “war” except in defense of “self”.
    Regarding war| – = War never ends with a truce.
    Why do those who are opposed to militarism in Israel not condemn North Korean “militaristic” attacks?

    Regarding militarism| – = Why would the North Korean type aggression NOT happen toward Israel? The attack would be the last attack before a war being launched without any question.

    Re: Post USSR truce| – = South Korea and their supporters, The United States, have demonstrated acceptance of a truce. This mistake was a demonstration of a lack of commitment by the US and others shown by accepting a truce instead of a victory. It would not occur again today.

    Re: Militarism and Civil Liberties| – = Civil liberties exist where commitment to them is solid and I believe militarism by anyone will never defeat humans committed to fundamental human liberties. No human will accept trading civil liberties for peace after the human realizes the trade-out being made. Who would dare attempting to repeal the Nineteenth Amendment? Why was it sixty years after the Thirteenth Amendment? I doubt it will be sixty years till a woman is president after the first slave was elected.

    Re: Commitment and civil liberties| – = Martha Washington freed 135 of her slaves when George Washington died and freed 165 of his slaves contingent on the death of Martha making her life only as secure as the
    ‘truce’ given 135 slaves by George Washington.


  2. Curtis:

    Just know your “defense of self” and “refusal to submit” is one of the many ill advised American imperialistic adventures throughout the Middle East. The systematic betrayal and humiliation of Arabs at the hands of the West reached its boiling point on September 11, when Washington finally realized that all the threats of retaliation and jihad were real and presented a clear danger.


  3. Civil liberties? They are a quaint old- fashioned idea, written on paper that was once the cornerstone of the Republic, but in recent times have been reduced to nothing. Where is your 1st amendment? Youd likely be prosecuted for some sort of hate crimeif you had the fortitude and audience to describe how America is falling apart within…
    Second amendment? Sure, the Supreme court upheld it, but in name only. Strap up and see hat the police say when you pull out the most recent ruling… They’d be laughing as they drove you to the police station… Third amendment? Well, that one really hasnt been tested yet- but since the definition of ‘war’ becomes more fluid and harder to actually define- i wouldnt be suprised to see it trampled after the next terror attack… Fourth amendment? Please… Its been dead and buried since before i was born… Fifth amendment? Same thing- the govt outlaws possession of ‘assault weapons’ but there is no devise to remonstrate you for property you purchased legally… As for using the fifth amendment against self- incrimination- you’d only be charged with hindering an investigation… The list goes on and on. My favorite is the Tenth amendment- all issues not covered by the first nine amendments are the RESPONSIBILITY OF THE STATES… You tell that to the IRS, FBI, HOMELAND SECURITY, SOCIAL SECURITY ADM., FDA, FCC, AHH the list goes on and on… The Bill of Rights was blueprinted for decimation during the Wilson Administration, and NOT ONE PRESIDENT OR CONGRESS SINCE THEN HAS DONE ANYTHING BUT ERODE THESE PRECIOUS RIGHTS. There was once a concept of “American Exceptionalism”, a concept which explained that WE are different, we do our thing despite the trends of the rest of the world… I think you’ll be able to find it in the same museum as the bill of rights- because neither can be found in any textbook, media outlet, etc. Same goes for the concept of this country being a Republic… Its an oligarchy led by two parties- each nefarious, corrupt, and blind to the ideas i’ve outlined. We are now little different than most European countries, moving headlong into second world territory… The United States is becoming more and more of a Socialist, fascist state every day. The saddest thing is that NOBODY SEEMS TO CARE! Telivision, mass media, twitter and facebook have become far more important in most people’s lives. We are entering an age where personal privacy, individual rights and common sense are disappearing at an alarming rate– and its only a matter of time before this last bastion of true freedom– the internet– becomes the domain of the police state, and comments like this will be …verboten…


  4. @Abibi As a former United States Marine Corps Corporal who was discharged as a conscientious objector to war in principle and not due to any religion whatsoever, Curtis Neeley supports defense of self even if it requires war.

    Defense of selves is all that Israel appears to do.

    Calling an attack “jihad or retaliation” does not make it “holy” or make it a retaliation. Christian soldiers considered the crusades their jihad and they were the first terrorists in history. Iraq got to answer for the boiling-over of 9/11 as has Bin Laden. Sure, Laden is alive in a rat hole somewhere but in not free and can’t do much. The United States will have a military presence in Afghanistan by 2013 to protect United States oil companies that are helping rebuild/redesign Iraq.

    Suicide bombers never bomb twice and demonstrate one religion’s brain-washing power. There will never be enough 9/11 hijackers to win and only an unintelligent group would use them hoping to impact the “West” enough to matter. Drones flown by youths via computers from around the entire Earth from Pakistan have killed more terrorists than Laden personally has killed or ever will.

    Arab self-humiliation is all that has resulted from attacks that were simply petty crimes and not some grand jihad. The United States was a sleeping giant and has awakened and exterminated terrorists systematically since 9/11 and will continue exterminating them like roaches until no more exist to justify militarism. Bin Laden would already be dead if the West wanted to stop killing “radical Muslims”.

    Somewhere in the United States there is a button that will kill Bin Laden if that decision is ever actually made. Yes, there will be many attacks like 9/11 but a shocking like that won’t happen again.

    Bin Laden made many American people wealthy and 10,000 turn 65 every day. Does anyone believe that Bin Laden could not be found if it were not more profitable for “Bin Laden” to scare entire countries into spending trillions? Lots of angry Muslims must believe “Bin Laden” is something besides a military industry puppet or they would not aid in what will come to be the second Western crusade.


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