Tuesday, August 27, 2002

In his novel, 1984, George Orwell warned about a society that envisioned war as peace, freedom as slavery and ignorance as strength. We now have a president who has told us to prepare for a state of permanent war as the only means to maintain the peace. A president, I might add, that personifies "ignorance as strength." Can "freedom is slavery" be far behind?

In Learning To Love Big Brother, an article on TomPaine.com, Daniel Kurtzman looks at the parallels between 1984 and the Bush presidency, and asks the question, "Can a sitting president be charged with plagiarism?" The comparison is not so far-fetched as you might at first think: permanent war, silencing of dissent, official disinformation, history being re-written as it happens (official White House transcripts of Bush's speeches clean up his gaffes), and all of us are subject to constant surveillance.

What can we do to fight this? Exactly what we're doing right here, for one thing: talk openly about this to each other. As long as we maintain our rights to free speech (and free thought), and to openly dissent, then we (the people) win. If the point of the open-ended war on terrorism is to maintain our way of life, remember that our way of life is based on these primary rights.

If Bush gets his way, and quiets all dissent, then the terrorists win - even if they're all dead. Speak up, it's the only way to know that we're still Americans.

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