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Everyone is encouraged to live in the “present”. In fact, it is really all anyone can do. Our lives keep changing as the country and the world change, and it is imperative that we keep up with the pace. Occasionally, however, we should all stop and think of the line from the Talking Heads hit “Once In A Lifetime” and ask ourselves, “Well, how did I get here?”

For, if we really want to know why our country exists in its current state we need to understand how we got to this point. As bad as the current Bush presidency has been, it didn’t start with his administration. There is a long chain of events that brought us endless war, interventionism at home and abroad, loss of civil liberties, debasement of the currency, and the threat of terrorism. I would like to mention some of the events that I believe are the most significant. Admittedly, this will not be a complete list. I welcome any comments about events that I don’t mention in this post. Of course I welcome comments about the events that I do mention as well.

Let’s start way back in the 1860’s with Abraham Lincoln. If you want to know where the precedent for suppression of civil liberties in America was set, look no further than “Honest Abe.” Check out what Thomas DiLorenzo has to say about Lincoln. Funny, but they don’t teach this stuff in the government schools.

Next there is the war that marked the beginning of America’s expansionist foreign policy: The Spanish-American War.

Not too long after that, in 1913, two more pernicious acts were committed upon the American people. First there was the passage of the Federal Reserve Act, that set in motion the forces that are destroying our currency. But, there’s also the Sixteenth Amendment, which brought us the income tax, and the notion that the government actually owns our paychecks and allows us to keep a portion of them.

Soon after these dastardly acts America entered WWI. The Wilsonian policy of “making the world safe for democracy” exists to this very day.

Moving on to the early 1930’s we see the genesis of the American corporate state with FDR and the New Deal. Interestingly, the fascist Mussolini government in Italy was drawn on for inspiration here.

Also significant in American history is the day of April 5, 1933, when FDR made it illegal for Americans to own gold coins, bullion, or certificates, thus speeding up the process of currency destruction.

And what about all of those Japanese internment camps in this country during WWII? Long before people like Dubya were concerned about “Islamofascists” and homegrown terrorism, FDR set the stage.

And speaking of setting the stage, there is the U.S. involvement in Korea and Vietnam. With these wars the Constitutional requirement of a formal declaration of war by Congress was eschewed, giving the President carte blanche to wage war whenever and wherever he likes. Of course, this Executive power is largely viewed as being normal these days. Furthermore, the United States is now expected to get involved in various conflicts around the globe that have no connection to American national security.

And the hits just keep on coming. We now move on to the Middle East and 1953. The CIA launched Operation Ajax in Iran. The end result would be the removal of the democratically elected Mohammad Mossadegh from power. He was replaced with the U.S. supported brutal dictator Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, the Shah of Iran.

In the 1960’s, in the interest of keeping the Commies at bay, the CIA also assisted in bringing Saddam Hussein’s Baath Party to power in Iraq. I’ll come back to Saddam in a moment.

Returning to money matters, August 15, 1971 was indeed a fateful day for the American dollar, as Richard Nixon closed the gold window completely. From here the Fed’s printing presses have been working overtime.

Alright, so now more about Hussein. Back in the 1980’s the U.S. government considered the “butcher of Baghdad” to be a great ally. He was the recipient of military support during his eight year long war with neighboring Iran. Anyone starting to see some reasons why the people of Iran might harbor some enmity toward the United States?

Also in the 1980’s, and once again in the name of fighting Soviet Communism, the U.S. supported Islamic fundamentalists in Afghanistan. Ronald Reagan referred to them as “freedom fighters.” Osama bin Laden was one of those freedom fighters. Strange, now they are portrayed as the people who are trying to take away our freedom.

And why did our “allies” in Afghanistan become our enemies. Well, according to Osama bin Laden it has a lot to do with the U.S. establishing military bases in Saudi Arabia. He cites the existence of those bases as one of the main reasons why he started fighting a holy war against the U.S.

Moving into the 1990’s we have the sanctions against Iraq which are considered to be some of the most brutal in history. Hundreds of thousands of Iraqis, many of them children died as a result of these U.S. government backed sanctions. Former Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright said on national television that those deaths were “worth it” since the ultimate goal was to remove the now evil Hussein from power.

Again, I know that these events do not cover everything that has brought us to our current state of affairs in America. But, we need to remember them. They are enormously significant as mile markers on our road to the destruction of the American Republic.

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