Baseball91's Weblog

January 29, 2009

The Real War on Terror

 

The cost of freedom:  American presidents like to invoke patriotism in their speeches, reminding us of the lives that were spent to preserve the freedoms evoked in the United States Constitution.  September 2001 was nothing, compared to what transpired in the world in January 1919.     

 

It is unnerving to live in an age when a president and a Congress can pass The Patriot Act, quickly trading away freedom at a price of homeland security.  The passage of the act does not say much for the generations who have grown up on the age of television.  And there was little, if any, protest. 

 

Few Americans seem to know of the days of real terror that existed in Germany at the close of the War to end all Wars.  This was a time of real terror.  There had been a revolution in Russia.  The family of a monarch was killed.  The Kaiser was deposed in Germany.  And from November 1918 through August 1919, Germans lived through the German Revolution, a politically-driven civil conflict before the establishment of the Weimar Republic.  It was during this period that a new constitution was drawn up, with Article 48.  I wonder how different Article 48 was from the Patriot Act.  Students of history recall that it was Article 48 that Adolph Hitler used in 1933 to establish his dictatorship, ending the Weimar Republic and ushering in the Third Reich.

 

Few Americans seem to know that it was Germany that allowed Vladimir Lenin to take a sealed train in the midst of World War I through Germany, Sweden, and Finland to reach St. Petersburg, with hopes of his affects on anti-war movement in Russia. The Russian Provisional government had carried on in the war following the toppling of Czar Nicholas II on March 15, 1917.  The February Revolution was followed by the October Revolution led by Lenin, as the Bolsheviks seized power as the German had hoped, demanding an immediate end to the war.

 

In the days of terror that existed in Germany at the close of the War to end all Wars, civil unrest was the reason that Article 48 was incorporated into the constitution. 

 

On November 9, 1918, hundreds of thousands of people poured into the center of Berlin, in a movement which had started in the final days of October 1918 when 47 sailors dispatched needlessly to be sacrificed in battle in the last moment of the war without authorization mutinied, while the new democratic government was seeking peace.  The mutiny of 47 affected sailors led to a general revolution supported by sailors and workers which was to sweep aside a hope to save Kaiser Wilhelm’s monarchy.  Then in January 1919, hundreds of thousands of people again poured into central Berlin as a revolutionary wave developed.  On January 4, 1919 Emil Eichhorn, the chief constable of Berlin was dismissed by the government when he refused to act against demonstrating workers in the Christmas Crisis after sailors insising on only their pay, had occupied the Imperial Chancellery, cut the phone lines, put the Council of People’s Representatives under house arrest and captured Otto Wels.  Reacting to  Emil Eichhorn’s dismissal, revolutionary stewards and the chairs of the Communist Party called for a demonstration to take place on the following day. This demonstration turned into an assembly of huge masses.  On January 5, 1919 hundreds of thousands of people poured into Berlin, many of them armed.  Further armed revolts occurred all over Germany in the first months of 1919.  The violence was violently suppressed.  Vladimir Lenin’s counterparts in Germany, Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht, were put to death. 

 

In Italy, Mussolini obtained from the legislature his dictatorial powers for one year, which was legal under the Italian constitution of the time.  In a political and social economy, he passed legislation that favored the wealthy industrial and agrarian classes (privatisations, liberalisations of rent laws and dismantlement of the unions).  His domestic goal was the eventual establishment of a totalitarian state with himself as supreme leader. 

 

Under the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878, the U.S. armed forces had been barred from domestic operations, except in specific, limited circumstances.  The Clinton administration set up the Joint Task Force-Civil Support in October 1999 as a “homeland defense command.”  In 2002 the Pentagon established the U.S. Northern Command, charged with carrying out military operations within the United States. 

 

Perhaps September 11th should serve as a wake up call to Americans about the meaning of freedom, as written into the Constitution of the United States.  Mindful of the lives that were lost to preserve these freedoms, what exactly had happened to change the concept that  U.S. armed forces should be barred from domestic operations.  Why are Pentagon officials projecting some 20,000 active-duty U.S. troops be stationed in the United States by 2011?  Why now?  Why 20,000?  Who set this number?  Was there any debate?  And is a foundation now laid that this can become a police state one day like Germany or Italy in the 1930s?     

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3 Comments »

  1. I’ve written a number of articles about Weimar Germany as well as others that make comparisons of the United States and Weimer. I expect to do more in the coming year. Presidential Executive Orders and well as laws passed in the wake of September 11th 2001 make it very possible that if any new attacks take place or if there is sufficient turmoil that the President could rule pretty much by decree in his capacity as Commander in Chief. Nice work on this article. Peace,
    Padre Steve+

    Comment by padresteve — December 31, 2010 @ 6:03 AM | Reply

  2. Reblogged this on Baseball91’s Weblog and commented:

    For states – dare I say Congress – to legislate on the basis of this revolt/rebellion/revolution, it is worth noting that extreme cases make extreme laws.

    Comment by baseball91 — December 24, 2013 @ 6:43 AM | Reply

  3. Comment by baseball91 — November 29, 2016 @ 11:09 PM | Reply


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