"The wealthy, not only by private fraud but also by common laws, do every day pluck and snatch away from the people some part of their daily living. Therefore, when I consider and weigh in my mind these commonwealths which nowadays do flourish, I perceive nothing but a certain conspiracy of rich men in procuring their own commodities under the name and authority of the commonwealth.

They invent and devise all means and crafts, first how to keep safely without fear of losing that which they have unjustly gathered together, and next how to hire and abuse the work and labor of the people for as little money and effort as possible."

Thomas More, Utopia

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Maiden Voyage

Well this is day number one. I've burned more hours than I care to remember posting on the sites of others but never felt I'd have the time for a blog of my own. While I'm still somewhat pressed for time, I think I can make this work.

A little about myself and where I hope this blog is heading.

I am a husband and father who, for several years now, has made a living as a Chicago police officer. Obviously it would mean career suicide if I were to reveal my true identity for the department doesn't much care for opinionated talkative types. Furthermore, my politics are considerably to the left of the mainstream and my contempt for US foreign policy won't sit well with the flag-wavers on the force either.

The inspiration for this blog was provided by the guys over at Second City Cop blog who, to put it mildly, swing decidedly to the right of the political spectrum. I guess I dreamed this up as kind of a counterweight to some of the reactionary statements that regularly appear on that site. The Chicago Police Department's image has been taking enough of a beating lately, what with a new corruption scandal seemingly emerging every few months. The public's opinion of us couldn't be lower--until they get a glimpse into the minds of some of the troglodytes on Second City Cop blog. Having said that, I do not wish to imply that everyone there is in this category, however, there are enough of them to leave the impression that they are representative of the CPD and of law enforcement generally. They are not.

This blog is not intended to be about about police work, or what boss is screwing whom. To be perfectly frank, I rarely think about the job when I'm off duty. When I take off my uniform and put it in the locker, that's where I try to leave the job. I've had a lot on my mind but almost none of it concerns the department. I'm much more concerned with the direction of my country since 9/11. It seems I've been in a foul mood for some time now, and can trace it to 19 March 2003. That of course was the day the Bush administration launched its illegal war of aggression against a third world country which posed no threat to us, nor was a party to the 9/11 attacks. What I have often found frustrating among many of my colleagues is their indifference and/or ignorance of our government's deceptions in justifying wars of aggression, the violation of both the letter and spirit of our Constitution with warrantless wiretapping of American citizens, and the "unitary executive" theory of the ultra-nationalists in charge. I've posted some of these concerns on Second City Cop blog and for my efforts received the indignant vitriol I had pretty much expected.

Slowly it began to dawn upon me that just posting comments in response to the latest outburst from the Insane Clown Posse running Second City Cop blog, was unproductive and, given the quality of discourse, uninteresting. As Gordon Geko so famously said in the movie "Wall Street", Greed is Good. I wanted more.

What I would like to do here is introduce to our rather insular police culture, an alternative interpretation of world events that hasn't been put through what American dissident Noam Chomsky has called the "doctrinal filters" of the mainstream corporate media; that august body which of course served us so well as it unquestioningly swallowed all of the White House fabrications during the lead up to aggression in Iraq. Naturally I welcome a larger audience outside of the law enforcement community, but for now my primary focus is on those of us who "walk the line" so to speak. Any potential blowback from US adventuring abroad will be intimately felt by those of us in law enforcement. I am convinced that the subsequent legislation rammed through a pliant Congress and Senate would likely entail a significant loss of rights. Given the current mood of the country, which has cooled considerably to the Bush administration's "war on terror", resistance to further erosions of our liberty could be significant. As one of my ideological heroes Ben Franklin once said, "Those who sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither". I for one am not prepared to don jack-boots in service to a police state. How about you?

What I propose to do here is provide links to the work of independent journalists, intellectuals, and other writers who have heretofore been relegated to the margins. Their message doesn't "sell on Wall Street" so you are unlikely to hear from Chomsky, Edward S. Herman, John Pilger, Norman Finkelstein, or Alexander Cockburn on CNN and FOX. You will here.

I'll try my best to stay topical and the floor will be open for debate. I trust you will be patient with me (I still have to work full-time) as this work in progress evolves.


dilligaf said...

Oh CT, can you define an illegal war of aggression? There has not been a legal (prescribed by the constitution) declaration of war since WWII. So was JFK wrong? LBJ for continuing the Vietnam conflict? Truman??? OMG, Clinton???? Bush SR???

Coldtype said...

By legal dilligaf, I mean one declared by the UN Security Council. The US Constitution has nothing to do with it.

Following the Second World War, the victors set up the UN to arbitrate disputes through dialog not war.

WWII was the most destructive conflict in human history and saw the atom bomb, a weapon capable of ending all life on earth, used for the first time. The world powers that emerged from the ashes of that conflict predicted that WWIII would finish us off as a species.
Wars of aggression, i.e conflicts not in self defense from imminent attack, were formally outlawed.

Under Article 51 of the UN Charter, to which the US is a signitory, a nation may act in self defence of its territory until such time as the Security Council votes the aggressor nation in violation. At this time every member nation that can contribute forces may do so in order to assist the aggrieved party. ANY war not sanctioned by the UN Security Council, or that satisfies the conditions Article 51, is by definition a violation of international law.

So in answer to your question, yes JFK was wrong to attack South Vietnam in 1961; and yes LBJ was wrong to radically escalate the assault in March of 1965. Vietnam posed no threat to the United States. Likewise, LBJ was wrong to invade the Dominican Republic in 1965 in order to install a government more amenable to US business interests. Again, the Dominican Republic posed no threat to America.

The argument can be made that the First Gulf War was justified because Iraq invaded a sovereign nation that had no hope of defending itself. The UN Security Council voted to sanction Operation Desert Shield/Storm. Curiously, however, when Iraq attacked Iran (then an Offical Enemy) in 1980 the US lent Saddam a hand. Go figure.

By Truman I presume you are referring to the Korean War. In truth, that was the first "hot" conclict of the Cold War in which US and Chinese forces battled to a draw on Korean soil. That conflict is perhaps too complex to address here. I may add a post on it at a later time--with sources.

A very good source for back ground on the Korean War and the Cold War generally is "Memiors of a Rebel Journalist, The Autobiography of Wilfred Berchett". Berchett was the first Western journalist to reach Hiroshima after the atom bomb drop. His discriptions of radiation sickness are believed to be the first in english and he spent much of his career reporting from the other side of the "Iron Curtain". Stay safe.

fillmoreranger said...

Coldtype best wishes for your new endeavor.Been thinking of trying it myself(or at least more frequent entries). Your opening statement took the words right out of my mouth over what has happened to my country since 9/11.Like you I am definitly to the left of the majority of the dept but then again so was Attila the Hun.

Coldtype said...

I hear you Filmore. There are a lot of us out there who wish to see our country hold up the ideals of the Founding Fathers.

As far as starting your own blog, I highly recommend it. The Blogger site makes it extremely easy to set up. Go for it.

Coldtype said...

My bad Filmore. I didn't hit your link. Keep your blog going. I'll add your link to my list on the Lair. Stay safe.

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