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 Message
    From: J. Michael Straczynski <71016.1644@compuserve.com>
 Subject: <Point of No Return>
      To: CIS  
    Date: 2/29/1996 7:11:00 AM  

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(16 messages)


Philip Hornsey <74053.2101@compuserve.com> asks:
> Don't you think the "Traitors Can't Escape" poster was a bit over
> the top for *public* consumption (on the wall in the bar area)?

It's not always as simple as that. You also take a uniquely
Western perspective. Look around at Russia, Cuba, 1930s Germany and
the beer hall putsch, Iraq, Iran...a leader can survive all kinds of
opposition if he has sufficient control of the armed forces. After the
Gulf War, it was generally assumed that Saddam would be gone within a
few months; now his position is stronger than ever.

Also, Clark didn't (ostensibly) declare martial law to protect
himself, he did it because of an imminent alien threat which was
detected long before these allegations came out, we just had Ganymede
attacked and that's spitting distance from the primary Earth jump gate
at Io...there is indication of collaboration and conspiracy among some
in the Joint Chiefs (and in fact that's correct, from his point of
view, given Hague's activities)...there's enough ammo there to justify
martial law. Dissolve the Senate? Just happened a couple years ago in
Russia, when we had tanks firing on the Senate building. Some might say
that Yeltsin was in the same position as Clark in that his motives
might be saving himself.

(The majorit of our posters, btw, are taken from genuine WW II
propaganda and war-support posters that were actually in use. We make
some slight modifications, but the gist is there. Yes, we do fall for
these things, we do go for these things. We always have.)

As for the USA-western perspective...during WW II we saw
Japanese civilians interned in camps along the West Coast...afterward
we saw people prosecuted for being Reds, saw careers and lives
destroyed by even the hint of "commie" influence. If you look at
newsreels and documentary footage from the time, you see a populace,
fresh out of a war, who survived by focusing on the Enemy, given a new
enemy. Might they have gone along with some kind fo martial law if
they thought that if they *didn't* cooperate, the nation might be
vulnerable to Russian nukes or invasion? I think the climate was
perfect for it.

Could it happen right here, right now? No, because the
surrounding climate isn't right. Could it happen if the conditions
*were* right? Of course it could. We're not genetically or
evolutionarily different from the Germans or the Russians or the Cubans
or the Iraquis. If we think we'd never fall for that, we place
ourselves in *exactly* the position of guaranteeing that we *will* fall
for it. Because we won't recognize it when it happens. We can justify
and rationalize it as something else.

Yeah, people back on Earth still have guns. What of it? Right
now, with martial law, the streets are quiet, the news is more positive
than usual for a change, the quarrelsome jerks in the senate have been
given a good kick in the butt, the president's getting things *done*,
we've all still got our jobs, the muggers are hiding out, life goes on
except for the lawbreakers. You gonna go out on your own and start
shooting at Earthforce troops armed to the teeth with *vastly* more
advanced weaponry? On whose behalf? The aliens? The troublemakers?
What're we rallying for? Or against? This'll blow over soon, it
always does. It never lasts. Right now, just ride it out, wait and
see what happens. Who knows...maybe Clark's right? Who wants to be
perceived as a traitor?

Those are the thoughts of any populace in this situation. Just
as when Yeltsin declared martial law in Moscow, as when Mayor Daly sent
in the shock troops in Chicago, on and on.

Here's the number one rule: a population will always stay
passive for as long as they perceive that they stand to lose more by
opposing the government than by staying quiet. It's when they have
little or nothing left to lose that they rise up; the politicos first,
then, more reluctantly, the general population.

jms

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