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America Is In Deep Trouble When States Talk Seriously About Secession

By James Donahue

There was a meeting held Oct. 3-4 in Chattanooga, Tennessee, that we haven't heard about in the nightly news, even though what went on there could have a major impact on the future of the United States.

Representatives of at least two states, Tennessee and Virginia, and other states as yet unnamed, gathered at the Marriott Convention Center Hotel there this month to talk seriously about secession from the union.

The last time a few states tried that, President Abraham Lincoln sent Union troops into battle against what was known as the Confederate Army and we had a Civil War.

This group met for what was called the Second North American Secessionist Convention, sponsored by The Middlebury Institute and The League of the South. A news statement issued by the League of the South said that the purpose of the convention "was to provide a forum for the representatives of (various state) movements to "discuss strategies, exchange ideas and information and find areas of mutual understanding and cooperation."

The following resolution was approved by the delegates and posted:

"The deepest questions of human liberty and government facing our time go beyond right and left, and in fact have made the old right-left split meaningless and dead.

"The privileges, monopolies and powers that private corporations have won from government threaten everyone's health, prosperity and liberty, and have already killed American self-government by the people.

"The power of corporations endangers liberty as much as government power, especially when they are combined as in the American Empire.

"Liberty can only survive if political power is returned from faraway and self-interested centers to local communities and states.

"The American Empire is no longer a nation or a republic, but has b ecome a tyrant aggressive abroad and despotic at home.

"The States of the American union are and of right ought to be, free and self-governing.

"Without secession, liberty and self-government can never be sustained, and diversity among human societies can never survive."

A letter posted on the Middlebury Institute's website states that its members believe that "of the options open to those who would dissent from the actions and institutions of a government grown too big and unwieldy and its handmaiden corporate sponsors grown too powerful and corrupt, the only comprehensive and practical one is some form of separatism."

The institute statement also warns that "signs point to a series of major crises that will seriously disrupt and may even destroy the American system . . . These include economic disruptions in the wake of global "peak oil" production before 2010, deterioration of the power of the dollar through mounting and uncontrollable national debt and trade imbalances, continued degradation of vital ecosystems on which the nation depends, climate change and severe weather causing widespread devastation of coastal areas, extended use of military force worldwide leading to increased terrorism and the reinstitution of the draft, judicial takeovers at the Federal level by right wing ideologues capable of altering fundamental legal rights, and terrorist attacks at facilities the government has been unable or unwilling to protect."

The statement continues that these are the reasons the Middlebury Institute "hopes to foster a national movement in the United States that will place secession on the national political agenda, encourage secessionist and separatist movements here and abroad, develop communications among such existing and future groups, create a body of scholarship to examine and promote the ideas of separatism, and work carefully and thoughtfully for the peaceful dissolution of the American empire."

It is our opinion that there may be a much less radical way of healing the long list of reasons leading this group to consider separating from the United States, which has long stood tall and proudly as a hope for the world.

We just need Congress to find its courage to launch impeachment procedures against President George W. Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, much of the Bush cabinet, and even consider tossing out a couple of Supreme Court judges.

We also need Congress and the Senate to resend the Patriot Act and all of the other legislation designed to strip our constitutional rights. While they are at it, our legislators need to demand that the records of the activities going on behind closed doors during the Bush years in office be opened for public inspection. Congress has never declared war and there is no reason for all of this fear-based secrecy. If there has been illegal activity, everyone responsible, all the way to the top, should be put on trial.

If we can get this accomplished before voters pick a successor to Mr. Bush, then Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi can serve briefly as our president. We highly recommend that our next president open dialogue with world leaders, especially in Iran, Russia, Syria, and Venezuela, and start healing all of the political damage caused by the Bush Administration since 2001.

Once we get our house in order we will show to the world that America has the ability to stop the ugly war machine that has turned almost every nation against us, and threatened the very existence of our nation. We also must join the other nations in fighting a real common foe . . . the specter of global warming and its threat to the future of our existence on this planet.

We hope American voters have learned their lesson and never again will allow our courts to overpower our election process and let corporate power and religious bigotry take over our government.

We believe that America can and will return to the greatness it once enjoyed and assume a leadership role in staving off the environmental threat that looms like a very dark cloud over our heads.