IF AMERICANS KNEW THEIR HISTORY
by Wilbur Underyerskun for CPW News Service
Faded memories die hard. Failed faded memories die harder. It's as rooted in our sense of fair play as rooting for the Chicago Cubs when they continually failed to win.
We might ask how a symbol of defeat becomes so much a part of a particular mindset when there are values that are intrinsically opposed to that symbol. Moses in the Old Testament thought that slavery was a bad idea. George Washington did not want to be a slave to King George and seeing the hypocrisy moved to free his slaves in 1799.
At the height of the Civil War, James Power the sculptor, unveiled his famous Greek Slave. Ivory white, the Greek slave was a white woman chained to a tree stump. It can happen to anyone.
The fact is that Americans do not know their own history. Period. If they did they would know that behind the Civil War was the push to the Pacific and the Middle East's opium crops for which American boys and girls are still fighting and dying in Iraq and Afghanistan in the heart of the Golden Crescent which produces about ninety percent of the world's heroin, the legitimate and illegitimate opioids.
They would know that William Tecumseh Sherman was not just destroying the Atlanta to Savannah railroad in November and December, 1865, but the Eastern terminus of the Savannah to San Diego railroad that would beat the North's rail ambitions because of the relatively flat Great Southwest route that had been surveyed by Jefferson Davis in the 1850's. They would know that Confederate General Braxton Bragg and General William Tecumseh Sherman were business partners before the Civil War with Sherman working in San Francisco and Sacramento area with George Bragg to consolidate the Northern rail barons' preferred route toward opium smuggler, Caleb Cushing's, New England states and thus wrestle from the South the advantage. What better way to do that than to put pitchforks in the hands of the one essential pre-John Deere, Caterpillar and Ford tractor and cotton combine processors: Slaves. Slaves weren't needed to build the railroad, the North had Chinese and Irish to do that if they could only keep the South preoccupied, but the fight over slavery also fueled the sale of sulfur, lead and ultimately, poppies that also served not only the battlefield surgical tent, but the local civilian hospital and apothecary. Boom: the birth of the American Military Industrialist Complex!
With the 1867 invention of Alfred Nobel's dynamite the final punch through the Rockies was guaranteed and the pesky, troublesome, cantankerous Southerners were bypassed with a Union fortress dropped on top of their envisioned Pacific terminus at San Diego. Today the headquarters of the Navy SEALs of which William B. Cushing is patron saint and JSOC's Admiral William McRaven a notable alum, the subject of Jeremy Scahill's Dirty Wars and the U.S. Marines' headquarters, of which General Smedley Darlington Butler is a celebrated, but fallen saint, are part of this partly real, all-mythic, but well-bamboozled legacy.
No, the folks in South Carolina, Mississippi, most of the South including Texas that harbors the Bonnie Blue battle flag of the Confederacy in its state flag's left panel, are largely ignorant of the place that drugs had in their national heritage, but so are the bamboozled Yankees, most of whom are happy that Southern historians are retelling their lies. With historians like Shelby Foote proclaiming boldly that he consulted no original manuscripts in this retelling of the Civil War and with Texas' Frank Vandiver making so little of the letter at Rice University from Jefferson Davis to Franklin Pierce celebrating their mutual friendship with General Caleb Cushing and declaring that Lincoln was a pawn in the forgone conclusion of war, "Heritage, not hate" is disingenuous. Which ever side claims the moral high ground as Denzel Washington's character in Glory so rightly put it...."ain't none of us clean in this thing." When you consider that the ex-slaves would be to the U.S. power elites what the Chinese poor were for the British opium dealers who had taught Caleb Cushing and his buddies the ins and outs of selling chemical chains Caleb and Fred Bailey, also known as Frederick Douglass were as guilty as the South. The buyers? Mostly the poor in foreign and domestic ghettos as the rich New Englanders and their newest colleagues were like David Sassoon sitting in an Ottoman bazaar and packing his caravan for the trip to Basra. While the boys in gray were buried on Robert E. Lee's confiscated estate, Arlington National Cemetery, so the greatest contingent of Union Generals took their place in the burial ground of their order's chief clipper sheet-puller and Pacific track layer, along with the Huntingtons, Russells, Cushings and Lowes, the patriot of the Taft family and founder with William Huntington Russell of Skull & Bones, Alphonso Taft in Cincinatti's Spring Grove Cemetery.
Heritage not hate? Right. Both flags have plenty of each, but in the final analysis one flag excels over the other by its mere design and single-sided construct. It MUST be truer than the other, there is only one way to look at it. The father of "applied sociology" at Columbia University, also the father of the creator of Black Scholes, the Nobel Prize winning economist from Harvard whose Frankenstein-ish eco-metrics tanked the U.S. economy in 2008 could not, in consultation with the wizards of Madison Avenue and Sigmund Freud's best mind science architects, have come up with a more powerful image of a nation's....A nation's......A NATION'S complex character. A bold and mind-focusing symbol that begs like a Rubics Cube to be shuffled into its proper, singular, well-coordinated viewing. Oh, but the truth is covered, as Winston Churchhill said poignantly, "by a swarm of lies." The Union flag has, however, what the Confederate flag does not. As in the film In The Valley Of Ellah, it can be horizontally flipped as a universal sign of extreme distress where the Confederate flag cannot. I say we jettison the Confederate AND upright Union flags for the flipped Union flag! Today, following a war in Iraq which Zbigniew Brzezinski has said was based on a bamboozle with absolutely false evidence and running into the trillions of dollars above the promised $60 billion and in response to the 19 September 11th hijackers of which none were Iraqi and 15 were Saudi Arabian, Americans can truly identify with our new flipped flag. Unless, that is, you need the cover of the upright to hide the bamboozle as Pat Tillman, Jessica Lynch and Theodore "Ted" Westhusing so discovered and now depend on us to join them as an overwhelming majority of flag flippers. This is not a sign of capitulation, but a strong affirmation that the values upon which America was built....freedom, liberty and justice for all....the democratic values that kings and despots deplore.....is always a generation or less of losing it core principles. It is a battle cry for compatriots and like-minded freedom fighters who want the values upon which they were established perfected.
In the 1940's in Nazi occupied France the Vichy French puppets of the Reich minted on the French Vichy coins the words "Travaile-Famille-Patrie"...."Work-Family-Fatherland". The tyrannical Nazis liked that better. After their liberation by freedom loving American, Canadian and British troops the French restored their coin to its original message "Liberte-Equalite-Fraternite". Was this not the message of Washington, Franklin, Jefferson and the rest? Liberty, equality, fraternity? Ah, but when the very symbol of our liberty, equality and fraternity is in trouble? You flip the flag!
This need for a flag flipping was a long time coming. I sugguest that people read Thomas Layton's 1999 book Voyage of the Frolic: New England Merchants and the Opium Trade with its discovery that Fred Bailey, also known as abolitionist Frederick Douglass, was laying the hulls of opium clippers in Baltimore before the Civil War. He could have been like Don Aranow in Miami in the 1980's, but working for powerful silent partners in Baltimore or Boston where Caleb Cushing, George Luther Stearns and even Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. all came together, the later coining the word "anesthetics" and whose son would have a tight reign on the Supreme Court just as the nation constructed its legal policies that allowed the leading importers the power to prohibit. This will put recent events in Baltimore, Maryland and Ferguson, Missouri and even Charleston, South Carolina, not to mention the appearance of CIA Director, John Deutsch, in South Central Los Angeles after the Rodney King riots when Gary Webb was publishing the meticulously researched lightening rod for big government and the newspaper puppets, Dark Alliance, into sharp focus. Look, too, at the 2014 book, Sulphur, Lead and Poppies that pulls back the curtain on America's biggest bamboozle that cost 600,000 Americans mothers their sons and shows just how Shelby Foote, Frank Vandiver and a host of others missed telling us about the fast boat to China....or simply Shanghaied it!
When following Gary Webb's release of Dark Alliance the Washington Post's Jeff Leen not only belittled Webb even as Webb referred to the 1992 book, meticulously researched by the Houston Post's Peter Brewton, The Mafia, CIA and George Bush and Webb's conversation with Brewton, who would become the Texas Tech University journalism professor; When the Washington Post made it clear that there was, unlike President Nixon's little Watergate break-in that paled in comparison to the Regan-Bush Iran-Contra weapons-for drugs-for hostages fiasco, "nothing to see here"; When the Houston Post's other paper, the Houston Chronicle, recruited as its managing editor, Vernon Loeb in 2013, the Washington Post's editor who worked with Jeff Leen and with Steve Coll who has moved on to head the Henry Luce Professorship at Columbia University as Dean of Columbia's journalism department with it longstanding connection to the leading American media marketers trained in the new science of "applied sociology" and "applied psychology", ABC, CBS, NBC....Loeb providing the WP's fraudulent cover stories of Pat Tillman's death, Jessica Lynch's rescue and co-wrote the book with Paula Broadwell All In: The Education of General David Petraeus and the evolution of the management of the media from the fictional Liberty Valance....whose tyranny was like the Vichy French coin....a sign of freedom denied, liberty veiled.... to its current state that shows just why Valance and those of his persuasion feel they need to kill the messenger.
Flip the flag.