11 November 2008

"A Civilian National Security Force"

A Democrat has won the presidential election, so now it's Republicans' turn to sound alarms of dictatorship. One who got attention doing so this week is Rep. Paul Brown of Georgia, fresh from his own re-election. He bases his suspicions in part on a speech Senator Obama gave in Colorado Springs last July 2. This talk has gotten a lot of attention in the libertarian-conservative blogosphere, who find it telling that a crucial passage has been edited from some transcripts of the speech, even though video clips clearly show Obama saying the same words. This is what he said, according to the Chicago Tribune:

We cannot continue to rely only on our military in order to achieve the national security objectives that we've set. We've got to have a civilian national security force that's just as powerful, just as strong, just as well funded.


It is a curious phrase, and very much open to interpretation. In context, Obama seemed to mean that civilians undertaking civilian activities both at home and abroad could make an equal contribution to national security --broadly defined as restoring good will toward the U.S. in foreign countries and protecting Americans from natural disasters and the like as well as guarding against terrorism. But it's also an incautious phrase, as tone deaf to the sensibilities of many Americans as the first President Bush's invocation of a "New World Order" at the time of the Gulf War. While the full phrase "civilian national security force" should dispel the fears expressed by people like Rep. Brown about Obama's alleged intent to create a Gestapo-like organization, the "national security force" bit was bound to raise alarms. Critics have speculated that Obama had in mind something like the organizations fostered by Hugo Chavez in Venezuela, which are accused of spying on and otherwise harassing dissidents, and the senator's seeming insistence that this entity be "just as powerful, just as strong, just as well funded" as the military was bound to have some people wondering why.

Since this blog doesn't play by American Bipolarchy rules, I can note that the exact same words out of Senator McCain's mouth would have sparked similar alarms in the liberal-left blogosphere. McCain and Obama both, in fact, are strong advocates of "national service." That aspect of McCain partly explains why more libertarian Republicans preferred George W. Bush during the 2000 primaries. McCain made proposals similar in detail to what Obama advocated in Colorado, but to my knowledge never used the exact phrase that has spooked some people. The similarity of their ideas, nevertheless, may explain why Obama's remarks weren't much exploited by Republicans during the late campaign.

It may just have been a misconceived bit of rhetoric that was repudiated once its liability sunk in, but some people have a habit of interpreting all political rhetoric indiscriminately or unconditionally. As opposed to cynics who assume that rhetoric = lies, these others assume that each speech is a naked confession of a candidate's genuine intentions, especially if those inferred intentions confirm their own pre-existing fears. For someone to expunge the offending passage, from this perspective, could only be an admission of guilt, not a realization that the words didn't sound right. But someone may simply have realized that the phrase created a wrong impression that impressionable people would assume was the right one.

The easiest way around this would be for a reporter to ask the President-elect what he meant in Colorado Springs. He may have been asked already, since I'm only catching up with this story, and any new answer might not satisfy anyone, but for the sake of argument the question is worth asking.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Anonymous1 says:

Let me explain it for you, Mr. Wilson. Barack Obama is controlled by the same One World, Israel-Uber-Alles Zionist Jews as George Bush, Jr. and the Republicans. Obama is a communist for his leftist rabble rousers but he pursues exactly the same hidden agenda as his predecessors. That is why the Jews put him there. I am quite sure you do not know this but all this one world horseshit was set up by the tribe at Paris in 1919 after the First World War. All you are witnessing now is the denouement of the plan. There will be another staged 09/11 attack-and then the American gulag shall be here. All "terrorists"-like me-shall be rounded up. Those who think like terrorists must be terrorists. Thus, any who believe Americans are getting screwed just like the Arabs of Palestine-and by the sane force-shall be allies and accessories of the terrorists. All it takes to sell the equation is public outrage and hysteria. A second 09/11 will do it. If you think there isn't precedent then remember that in 1944 thirty five or so antisemitic defendants were put on trial by the Roosevelt administration for sedition. There only "crime" was to have held opinions in some respects similar to those of the German enemy. That trial failed because no overt act was proved and the necessary hysteria was absent (that, plus the fact that 90% of the population had wanted to stay out of the war pre the set up at Pearl Harbor).

President Obama is a front man for the Jews-and he will do what they tell him. He is already backing off his campaign promises about pulling out of Iraq and Afghanistan-the same way Pelosi failed to do anything after her promises of Democrats changing course. I anticipate the silent treatment from now on on this blog. Since you have no answers for anything I say the best course of action shall be to fail to respond. No doubt that shall be precisely the technique employed. Dear old 'methnic will not even bother to wish me a happy demise.

Samuel Wilson said...

Well, don't blame me, anyway; I voted for Nader. Meanwhile, think of this: about twenty years ago, there was an old man who rode the same bus I did. He regularly and loudly announced his determination that Catholic nurses had been trained by Catholic priests to kill their patients. I never felt a need to refute his every utterance, either.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous1 says:

Of course I'm nuts Mr. Wilson. Make an invalid comparison, then rest the case on that. All politicians speak the same catch phrases because all politicians are controlled by the same Jews. Please do not analogize me to psychopaths who belong in a mental hospital. Actually, I suspect that Ralph Nader, like Patrick Buchanan, agrees with much of what I write.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous1 says:

If you doubt my facts, Mr. Wilson, I will reccomend one of my short essays to you. It is called "The New World of 1919: The Paris Peace Conference" writen by "Voltaire". Look it up on a Google search. It is very easy to find. You can read it in five minutes. If you do, you will find that everything I tell you about a certain international force emerging into the open in the aftermath of WW1 is provably true. Then you can ponder the implications of this fact for the present state of the world.

crhymethinc said...

What looney bin did you escape from, asshat? Someone forget to tie the straitjacket with the correct knots? What's the matter? Did you catch your mom screwing your jewish landlord as a child? Go take your meds, screwball. You are nothing more than a disenfranchised, bitter old man, useless to society. Your paranoid delusions are nothing. Your lies are nothing. Your words are nothing more than a waste of breath. Just because some idiot wrote their hatred in a book and got it published, doesn't make it the Truth. The TRUTH is - you're nothing more than a crank. Go stick your head in the oven and pretend your at Dachau.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous1 says:

Why do you not leave the rebuttals to Mr. Wilson who at least tries (however ineptly) to offer rational response?