Saturday, June 09, 2007

Giving up the Soul of America

Bush wages war against Iraq and loses! He wages war against America and wins. As someone said early on: let's give Iraq our Constitution. We don't have any use for it anymore.

Bush doesn't care that terrorism has gotten worse since he began the war. He doesn't care that when Ronald Reagan waged his "war on terrorism" in Lebanon, terrorism got worse. During the back-to-back Reagan/Bush debacles, there were a total of 306 acts of terrorism against US interests at home and abroad. During Clinton only 151. Those stats had been published by the Brookings Institution but are available from the FBI. [See: Terrorism in the United States Scroll down to pg 43 PDF file]

We measure Bush against FDR or Bill Clinton and find him lacking. Neocons measure him against other tyrants and find him a success. It was Pat Buchanan who spoke of the "culture war" at the GOP National Convention held in Houston in 1992. Though it was called a "hate speech" at the time, not even Buchanan could have had this in mind. What is left of Bush's support is most surely of another culture, a set of false values, a cynical Machiavellianism. It is not representative of the "America" I knew or grew up in. Could this, a conspiracy of Republicans to prop up a mean-spirited dictator, be the "culture war" that Pat Buchanan had in mind?

Bush calls his dictatorship a unitary executive.
When President Bush signed the new law, sponsored by Senator McCain, restricting the use of torture when interrogating detainees, he also issued a Presidential signing statement. That statement asserted that his power as Commander-in-Chief gives him the authority to bypass the very law he had just signed.

This news came fast on the heels of Bush's shocking admission that, since 2002, he has repeatedly authorized the National Security Agency to conduct electronic surveillance without a warrant, in flagrant violation of applicable federal law.

And before that, Bush declared he had the unilateral authority to ignore the Geneva Conventions and to indefinitely detain without due process both immigrants and citizens as enemy combatants.

-The Unitary Executive: Is The Doctrine Behind the Bush Presidency Consistent with a Democratic State? Findlaw
The Bush position flies in the face of Chief Justice John Marshall's decision in Marbury v. Madison, which held that the Court is the final arbiter of what is and is not the law. Marshall famously wrote there:
Between these alternatives there is no middle ground. The constitution is either a superior, paramount law, unchangeable by ordinary means, or it is on a level with ordinary legislative acts, and like other acts, is alterable when the legislature shall please to alter it.

If the former part of the alternative be true, then a legislative act contrary to the constitution is not law: if the latter part be true, then written constitutions are absurd attempts, on the part of the people, to limit a power in its own nature illimitable.

Certainly all those who have framed written constitutions contemplate them as forming the fundamental and paramount law of the nation, and consequently the theory of every such government must be, that an act of the legislature repugnant to the constitution is void.

This theory is essentially attached to a written constitution, and is consequently to be considered by this court as one of the fundamental principles of our society. It is not therefore to be lost sight of in the further consideration of this subject.

If an act of the legislature, repugnant to the constitution, is void, does it, notwithstanding its invalidity, bind the courts and oblige them to give it effect? Or, in other words, though it be not law, does it constitute a rule as operative as if it was a law? This would be to overthrow in fact what was established in theory; and would seem, at first view, an absurdity too gross to be insisted on. It shall, however, receive a more attentive consideration.

It is emphatically the province and duty of the judicial department to say what the law is. Those who apply the rule to particular cases, must of necessity expound and interpret that rule. If two laws conflict with each other, the courts must decide on the operation of each.

-Chief Justice John Marshal, MARBURY v. MADISON, 5 U.S. 137 (1803), 5 U.S. 137 (Cranch), WILLIAM MARBURY v. JAMES MADISON, Secretary of State of the United States, February Term, 1803
So many voices have been raised, so little has been done. It is fair to ask: is anyone paying attention? America! You have given up your Constitution. You have given up Due Process of Law. You have given up habeas corpus. You have given up the rule of law! If Bush is allowed to make it all up as he goes along, ruling by decree (signing statements), then you will have given up freedom itself. As William Wallace might have said: What will you do without freedom?
In its disregard for truth, public opinion, the separation of powers, the Geneva Conventions, the U.S. Constitution, and statutory law, the Bush administration has been more of a regime than an administration.

- Paul Craig Roberts, Are Democrats Turning A Blind Eye to Civil Liberty?
What did you get in return for this Faustian bargain? You have given up the soul of America.
Why Richard, it profits a man nothing to give his soul for the whole world... but for Wales?

-A Man for All Seasons
How did this come to pass? Simply, Bush did it the Adolf Hitler way. The tactics were described by Hermann Goering to American psychologist, Dr. Gustav Gilbert, at Nuremberg. Goering, we can imagine, slapped his thigh, laughed, and called the whole process "easy". Even before his capture and trial, Goering was shooting off his mouth about the Reichstag Fire, a "terrorist" act exploited by Hitler to justify the seizure of dictatorial powers, the end of German democracy.
General Franz Halder, provided evidence on the Reichstag Fire at the Nuremberg War Crimes Trial in 1946.

At a luncheon on the birthday of Hitler in 1942 the conversation turned to the topic of the Reichstag building and its artistic value. I heard with my own ears when Goering interrupted the conversation and shouted: "The only one who really knows about the Reichstag is I, because I set it on fire!" With that he slapped his thigh with the flat of his hand.

After the Reichstag Fire on 27th February, 1933, Goering launched a wave of violence against members of the German Communist Party and other left-wing opponents of the regime. He also joined with Heinrich Himmler, head of the Schutz Staffeinel, in setting up Germany's concentration camps.-Spartacus, Hermann Goering
You will find the same account in William Shirer's The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich. It is often quipped that the difference between the Reichstag Fire and 911 is that no one died in the Reichstag fire.

The Bush strategy was originally outlined by Adolf Hitler himself:
The broad mass of the nation ... will more easily fall victim to a big lie than to a small one.

- Adolph Hitler

Though we know it to be a big lie, Bush still links his war against Iraq with the events of 9/11. By now, I should not have to repeat the obvious. The mainstream media has apparently not made the point effectively: Bush's invasion of Iraq had nothing whatever to do with 911. Saddam had nothing whatsoever to do with 911. Iraq had nothing to do with the "war on terrorism" until after US troops showed up in Iraq. Since that time, the war in Iraq has made terrorism worse as it has made of US troops a convenient target.

These are all issues about which Bush continues to lie. The Bush regime deliberately lied to Americans about Saddam's "weapons of mass destruction". Colin Powell has since apologized for his fraudulent presentation to the United Nations.

In the meantime, the war in Iraq grinds on. Thousands more will die so that Bush might enjoy absolute rule in what had been the "land of the free". How long can the American people assuage their consciences with a sop to naivete: but we were duped!

Hopes that a Democratic majority might moderate a radical White House have faded. Bush flack Tony Snow raises the specter of "permanent bases", presumably to guard oil fields seized by the US. Bushies now talk about a permanent presence of between 30,000-40,000 troops. This premised, of coruse, upon a friendly government in Baghdad and, that in turn, implies a series of CIA sponsored coups until the US gets what it wants. Viet Nam redux.

Is that what "bringing to Democracy to Iraq" was supposed to be about? In fact, no! It is another product of the "bait and switch" White House. When nothing else done by Bush has worked for anyone but Exxon-Mobil and Halliburton, what chance has yet another crazy scheme to steal Iraqi oil and, thus prop up our inarticulate tin horn dictator in Washington?

In the meantime, the ever courageous Dennis Kucinich says that Bush's planned theft of Iraqi oil is a war crime. Kucinich is absolutely correct.

The so-called "war on terrorism" gets worse because it is lost, because Bush never defined winning, except perhaps privately to the oil barons who conspired with Dick Cheney at what was intended to be a secret meeting of the "Energy Task Force". The very idea of "permanent bases" gave the game away. Bush's war against the people of Iraq was never intended to be won. It was never intended to be anything but an Orwellian state of emergency and endless war. It was never intended to end terrorism or to bring Democracy to Iraq. It was intended to distract the American public and keep George W. Bush in the White House. Let's look at things through George W. Bush's lens. Winning the war in Iraq means we leave and, in leaving, we lose the oil fields. Alas, Bush has embarked upon a "new frontier": tyranny and dictatorship.

Some notes on our "awakening" by Bill Moyers:

And now for something completely different:

Some additional resources:

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