Jacob G. Hornberger
Americans have no problems identifying and confronting evil in foreign regimes. Most everyone, for example, has joined the bandwagon in condemning Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
As I point out in my new book An Encounter with Evil: The Abraham Zapruder Story, a big problem facing our nation, however, is the inability of all too many Americans to identify evil within their own regime as well as an unwillingness to confront and oppose such evil when they are able to identify it.
Dallas businessman Abraham Zapruder, the man who filmed the assassination of President Kennedy, had an encounter with evil here at home. As I detail in my new book, his unwillingness to confront and oppose such evil, while perhaps understandable, ended up destroying the rest of his life.
One thing is certain: There is no danger that Russian president Vladimir Putin will do anything bad to any American who criticizes him. That’s assuming, of course, that Americans who do so stay here at home. If they travel to Russia, things could get dicey, especially if they criticize Putin while visiting Russia.
Thus, it’s almost always safe to criticize evil within foreign regimes. It’s quite a different matter, however, with respect to evil within one’s own regime. Now, it’s a different story. That’s because there is a significant danger that one’s own government will do bad things to citizens who criticize evil within their government or evil actions committed by their government.
A good example is, once again, Russia. Most Russian citizens are standing with Putin, much as most Americans stood with their president when he ordered the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan. But there are some Russians who are criticizing Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Not surprisingly, their own government is now targeting them for being unpatriotic.
While most every American can identify the evil in Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, unfortunately all too many Americans are still unable to identify the evil associated with their own government’s deadly and destructive invasions and decades-long occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan, which were no different in principle from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. In fact, the U.S. government wreaked far more death and destruction in those two nations than Russia so far has wreaked in Ukraine.
On top of the U.S. invasions have been U.S. state-sponsored assassinations, kidnappings, torture, indefinite detention, sanctions, secret incarceration-and-torture camps, and other dark-side activities that most Americans would easily condemn if they were committed by Red China, Russia, or North Korea, but not when they are committed by the Pentagon, the CIA, and the NSA.
Moreover, all too many Americans are still unwilling to acknowledge, much less condemn, the role that the U.S. government’s interventionist foreign policy played in bringing about the 9/11 attacks, which then led to the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan. Such Americans continue to hew to the Pentagon-CIA line that the 9/11 attacks were motivated by hatred for America’s “freedom and values” rather than the anger and rage arising from the Pentagon’s and CIA’s deadly and destructive interventionism in the Middle East.
Equally important, while focusing their criticisms on Putin and his regime, all too many of the critics scrupulously avoid identifying and condemning the role that U.S. officials played in producing the Ukraine crisis through their political machinations and maneuvering through NATO, the old Cold War dinosaur that should have gone out of existence a long time ago.
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In my new book, I talk about the White Rose, a group of college students in Nazi Germany. They were not only able to identify the evil within their own regime, they were also willing to oppose it. Most other Germans were unable to identify the evil within their own government and instead came to the support of the government. Others who were able to identify the evil within their own regime chose to remain silent for the obvious reason: their own regime would do bad things to them, as it did to the members of the White Rose.
Today, virtually every American would celebrate the courage of the members of the White Rose. But in my new book, I raise a question: If such Americans were German citizens in the middle of World War II, would they have come to the defense of the White Rose or would they have been loyally supporting their own government, as most Germans did?
It is not sufficient to identify and oppose evil in foreign regimes. In order to get our nation back on the right track, it is imperative that the American people identify and confront the evil that exists within their own regime. That necessarily entails a higher level of consciousness and conscience.
By seeing what Abraham Zapruder’s encounter with evil here at home did to destroy his life and by studying the Kennedy assassination itself, we can gain a deeper understanding of what we need to do to get our nation back on the road toward liberty, peace, prosperity, and harmony with the people of the world.
I hope you will buy my new book and put it on the top of your stack of unread books. I know I’m biased, but I consider this to be the best work I have done in the 32-year history of The Future of Freedom Foundation. If you find it valuable, please recommend it to others. Also, please do not forget to leave a review on Amazon.
An Encounter with Evil: The Abraham Zapruder Story. Buy it today at Amazon for $9.95 Kindle version and $14.95 print version.