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“We had to destroy the village in order to save it.”

July 31st, 2011 · No Comments

Published on Sunday, July 31, 2011 by CommonDreams.org
We Must Destroy the Government in Order to Save It
http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/07/31
by Robert Freeman
A certain, macabre phrase came to personify the Vietnam War: “We had to destroy the village in order to save it.” The colonel who uttered it was doubtless oblivious to both the psychotic irony and the larger surreal symbolism that the phrase represented. Savage destruction was perfectly consonant with ideologically-intended salvation, just so long as both were issued by the same sanctimonious American official. Indeed, in some perverse medieval rendering of modern imperial justice, salvation could only be achieved through destruction.

The phrase might just as well be a rallying cry for the Tea Party Republicans and their holy jihad against government and the cooperative society that government represents: they must destroy it in order to save it. For that is unquestionably what the debt ceiling debacle is really about.

Let’s dispense once and for all with the fiction that the debt ceiling debate is anything but a contrivance to destroy government and the shared aspirations to civility that government represents.

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