March 8, 2003

Zinn on War

If you haven't seen the powerful essay called "War" by Howard Zinn, check it out. In it, the author of the highly recommended A People's History of the United States gives a very rational analysis of why this war regime will fall. Here's a small sample:

There is a basic weakness in governments, however massive their armies, however wealthy they are, however they control the information given to the public, because their power depends on the obedience of citizens, of soldiers, of civil servants, of journalists and writers and teachers and artists. When these people begin to suspect they have been deceived, and withdraw their support, the government loses its legitimacy, and its power.

We have seen this happen in recent decades, all around the globe. Leaders who were apparently all-powerful, surrounded by their generals, suddenly faced the anger of an aroused people, the hundreds of thousands in the streets and the reluctance of the soldiers to fire, and those leaders soon rushed to the airport, carrying their suitcases of money with them.

The process of undermining the legitimacy of this government has begun. There has been a worm eating at the innards of its complacency all along - the knowledge of the American public, buried, but in a very shallow grave, easy to disinter, that this government came to power by a political coup, not by popular will.

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