On the Other Hand...

What, When, Where, Who, Why?

by Jim Davies

Those five questions are what every journalism student is taught to ask, about every story he covers. Every story is built around the answers he finds - or should be so built.

As the terrible events of September 11th 2001 unfolded, the major news media addressed the first four of them well. The What, When and Where were asked and answered before our very eyes - including the awesome collapse of those beautiful twin towers in Lower Manhattan, pictured proudly in the window of every travel agency around the world. This was real-time reportage at its best. Nor were they slow to ask "Who?" had done it, for example, nor to speculate on some answers before a shred of evidence had been collected.

But during the 11 hours that I had the TV on, in the background mostly, I noticed only one occasion when the CNN people posed the fifth question - "Why?"

And even then, they presented no answer. "Why?" is different from the other questions; it has to do not so much with facts, as with the reasons behind the facts; and with exploring possible reasons requires that the participant THINK.

I don't know whether CNN & Rivals employ reporters who can think, nor whether, if they can, they want their viewers to think. I do know that Adolf Hitler, that accomplished politician, remarked "How very fortunate for governments, that the people do not think." And I suspect that his students in every political cabal in the world including D.C., along with their puppets and mouthpieces in the media, have learned his lesson well and want to do as little as possible to encourage independent thought.

There was one exception, during September 11th: some text scrolled across the bottom of my screen to reveal that the Muslim terrorist group Hamas had announced as how this outrage took place because of "US Policy".

If US policy had been to favor Muslims over Jews this past half century I rather doubt that Hamas would have put it that way, but give them their due: this time, they got it just about spot-on.

The Enemy of My Friend

As any reader of this collection of essays must know, I am one who opposes government. Not just this or that government, but all government on principle; for I believe that every human being is his or her sole self-owner; and so entitled not to be ruled by anyone else.

Further: I don't merely speak and write against the evils of government, I with-hold money that they expect me to pay them. I feel it's my best contribution to human happiness and wealth, to do my bit to starve the weasels out of existence; or at least, to induce them to find an honest job.

So I pay no income tax, and have many friends who do the same and who join in an Internet group for mutual assistance, called Tax Freedom Now. And we expect to be accused of aiding America's enemies; for if we oppose the very government that has just sworn to track down the perpetrators of the terror of 9/11 and bring them to justice, are we not the enemies of America?

No, we are not; exactly the contrary is the case. Here's why.

It goes back, see, to the missing question above: "Why?" Why did a gang of murderers plan and execute this remarkably successful attack, on three out of four symbols of American power? What was their motive? The question that the reporters didn't bother to ask is the key to this whole thing.

Remember, the perps were not "cowards", as all the commentators alleged. They showed more courage than any American fighter I can call to mind: they coolly and deliberately sacrificed their own lives, to accomplish their benighted objective. So again: why?

Hamas got it partly right: because of US policy. Not, I'd say, because of a particular policy (pro-Israeli, anti-drug, anti-Serb or pro-Irish, or whatever...) but because the US has any foreign policy at all, as such. See, as soon as one policy represents the whole nation, those whose interests are damaged by that policy will quite naturally start hating the whole nation, and look for ways to strike at it - as hard and symbolically as possible.

The moment a foreign policy is formed, at that moment enemies are created. If there were no government, there could be no such policy and therefore this people would prosper with no enemies. That's the best way to do it. In this respect it would be possible to do almost as well if a government existed, but followed Jefferson's wise counsel to pursue "peace, commerce and honest friendship with all people, entangling alliances with none." But that's no way to build an empire, and for at least the last century, America's politicians have been dedicated to building the largest empire in history.

Turn off the Money Spigot

The knee-jerk political reaction to wreak vengeance finds a ready response among those who fail to think, but those of us who can reason a little, and pose the "Why?" question, will now begin to see that the endless cycle of war and revenge and terror and war and... will end only when the cause is removed; that is, when government stops the favoring of one nation or group over another. And since the very essence of government is to wield power in just that kind of way, IMHO it has to go.

And we can make it go by with-holding our support; in practical terms, by not paying it any money that we can prevent it getting its fangs on. And in America, that means to stop paying the "income tax", because for very good reasons there is no law to compel payment of the income tax.

Those of us who do that, therefore, are very far from being the "enemies" of America. On the contrary, the real domestic enemies of all that America stands for are those who mindlessly go on supporting the vast superstructure of a government that routinely and daily violates all the ideals of individual liberty for which this country stands. It is you, if you continue volunteering your money to those usurpers, who are the enemies of America; for you have made possible the pursuit of a foreign policy, by helping pay its expenses. And a foreign policy (any policy) will inevitably create foreign enemies, some of whom will sooner or later terrorize America, including perhaps your neighborhood.

Or maybe even nuke it, as suggested here.

© Copyright Jim Davies 2001

Jim Davies lives in New Hampshire,
and enjoys contemplating which way is up.

The above is Edition # 313

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