Sunday, December 19, 2010

Bush's Tragic Legacy at Home and Around the World

by Len Hart, The Existentialist Cowboy

One hopes that thinking about Iraq has gotten clearer since Bush violated U.S. laws and international commitments in order to: 1) seize the oil fields of Iraq; 2) exploit the 'threat of terror' to consolidate his 'base' at home, 3) subvert Constitutional guarantees that give Americans the right to denounce incompetent and/or traitorous 'leaders'.

An evil legacy of this idiocy is the recent decree that would allow the government to 'sanction' i.e, kill its vocal opposition.
Civil liberties advocates and legal authorities struck back Friday at what they describe as the “deliberate targeted killing of U.S. citizens far away from any active hostilities, as long as the executive branch determines unilaterally that they meet a secret definition of who the enemy is.”

In an admission that took the intelligence community and its critics by surprise, Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair acknowledged in a congressional hearing ... that the U.S. may, with executive approval, deliberately target and kill U.S. citizens who are suspected of being involved in terrorism.

--William Fisher, Legal Experts Slam Assassinations of US Citizens, February 06, 2010
This reminds one of the infamous assertion by the newly appointed Gen. Michael Hayden that the legal standard to begin an investigation or, possibly more Draconian measures, was 'reasonable suspicion' --not 'probable cause' as it is, in fact! The General was wrong! He betrayed the fact that he had never bothered to read the 4th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
That the possible murder of U.S. citizens by our own government even saw the light of day is not just worrisome, it is cause for alarm! We should be yelling --crowded theater or no! The very concept is repugnant and those politicians entertaining it should be fired, impeached, removed, tried upon the probable cause they have violated U. S. laws against sedition.

Next time --unless these ideas are exposed, eviscerated and laid bare --a future would-be tyrant may find it easy to carry out a program of rampant murder upon a mere 'suspicion' about which he might even be inclined to lie. Such a tyrant might order the round-up and incarceration of anyone daring to express a disagreement! There is precedent! In the Germany of Adolph Hitler one need not 'do' anything to be arrested, detained, imprisoned and, eventually, murdered. One had only 'be'! A Jew ! A Gypsy! A non-Aryan! Thus not even the pure Aryan was free to act! He could only 'be' but not as a free individual but as a cog in the enslaved collective! This is what happens when the rule of law is flouted and or ridiculed as it was during Bush's eight years each of which were Annus horribilis!
The President revealed this ... as he fairly spat through his teeth, words of unrestrained fury directed at the man who was once the very symbol of his administration, who was once an ambassador from this administration to its critics, as he had once been an ambassador from the military to its critics.

The former Secretary of State, Mr. Powell, had written, simply and candidly and without anger, that "the world is beginning to doubt the moral basis of our fight against terrorism."

This President's response included not merely what is apparently the Presidential equivalent of threatening to hold one's breath, but within it contained one particularly chilling phrase.

"Mr. President, former Secretary of State Colin Powell says the world is beginning to doubt the moral basis of our fight against terrorism," he was asked by a reporter. "If a former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and former secretary of state feels this way, don't you think that Americans and the rest of the world are beginning to wonder whether you're following a flawed strategy?"

“If there's any comparison between the compassion and decency of the American people and the terrorist tactics of extremists, it's flawed logic,” Bush said. “It's just -- I simply can't accept that. It's unacceptable to think that there's any kind of comparison between the behavior of the United States of America and the action of Islamic extremists who kill innocent women and children to achieve an objective.

Of course it's acceptable to think that there's "any kind of comparison."

And in this particular debate, it is not only acceptable, it is obviously necessary, even if Mr. Powell never made the comparison in his letter.

Some will think that our actions at Abu Ghraib, or in Guantanamo, or in secret prisons in Eastern Europe, are all too comparable to the actions of the extremists.

--Keith Olberman, Bush owes us an apology
While he occupied the White House, his opposition was often called traitorous by that term and others as well. That this chill upon 'free speech' could happen in America where it was often said It Can't Happen Here begs an explanation! The question is not whether it might happen but why it happened in the first place and when it will happen again!
A state is not, like the ground which it occupies, a piece of property (patrimonium). It is a society of men whom no one else has any right to command or to dispose except the state itself. It is a trunk with its own roots. But to incorporate it into another state, like a graft, is to destroy its existence as a moral person, reducing it to a thing; such incorporation thus contradicts the idea of the original contract without which no right over a people can be conceived.

--Immanuel Kant, Perpetual Peace
Thus, it was in 1795 that Kant made quick work of the very concept of aggressive war. I find it ironic that as soon as this nation under incompetent and criminal leadership abandons those principles we find ourselves in a state of Perpetual War from which only an increasingly tiny ruling elite will benefit! This elite is Moloch by any definition!

Totalitarian regimes and other "fear based" societies are considered by Natan Sharansky to be "tyrannies". Though an apologist for Bush, Natan Sharansky is at least correct about that much! However, the "basis" for the specific principles of International Law to which the U.S. is "obliged", indeed, even insisted upon are as follows:

An excerpt:

(a) Offense.— Whoever, whether inside or outside the United States, commits a war crime, in any of the circumstances described in subsection (b), shall be fined under this title or imprisoned for life or any term of years, or both, and if death results to the victim, shall also be subject to the penalty of death.
I also recommend ‘Preventive War’ and International Law After Iraq. An excerpt from the introduction and executive summary:
However if change is to be effected, it must be carried out in way(s) that promotes international peace and security through multilateral action and the rule of law. This may be time consuming and frustrating, but the alternative danger is a weakening or even abandonment of the rule of law and undermining the prohibition on the use of force which has been the product of not only the international consensus to avoid war following two world wars but decades of consensus.

--‘Preventive War’ and International Law After Iraq, Duncan E. J. Currie LL.B. (Hons.) LL.M., 22 May, 2003
To conclude that because one has power its exercise is always right is, simply, wrong! It's a non sequitur! On trial for his Nazi crimes at Nuremberg, Goering called it "victor's justice"!
The victor declares what is right and moral and through some charade transforms these propositions into "legal" form and engaging in some meaningless ritual, punishes the losers.

--Hermann Goering
Goering's position is the Nazi position and that of anyone else, most recently, Republicans who subscribe to it! The law of the jungle, it will describe the ultimate descent of civilization unless it is eschewed. It must be pointed out that even Goering --a Nazi --did not consider for a moment that it was 'right'. It was and remains, as he said, the exercise of power by those who have it against those who don't! There is nothing 'right' about it and no victory can make it so.

Eventually Iraq will form an Islamic socialist/theocracy and --if it wishes to survive --an alliance with Iran. American soldiers will have been sacrificed for nothing! Is this how conservatives and/or GOPPERS define 'victory'?

Iraqis opposing a U.S. war of aggression are hardly "subversive"; many Iraqis will call those who oppose the U.S. by the word: "patriots". I refer you to William Pitt, Earl of Chatham who admonished the British parliament with what was very nearly his dying breath:
If I were an American, as I am an Englishman, while a foreign troop was landed in my country I never would lay down my arms,—never! never! never!

--William Pitt, Earl of Chatham (1708–1778)
And what term is used to describe the Americans who fought with the Lincoln Bridge and others against Franco during the Spanish Civil War. Are they terrorists?

Terrorism is Worse Under GOP Regimes

It used to be that one need not be "left" to denounce wars of naked aggression! I denounce the idea of "pre-emptive" strike; it is a return to the law of the jungle in which "...life is nasty, brutish, and short"! Every tin horn dictator from N.K. to Iran need only cite the Bush doctrine to justify their armaments.It's hard to imagine how one can win a moral argument by so willingly, so eagerly giving up the moral high ground --as Bush has clearly done!

My remarks are not merely theoretical. Just as FBI statistics prove conclusively that terrorism against the United States was worse as Ronald Reagan waged his similarly failed "war" against 'terrorism', so, too, Bush has failed! In fact 'terrorism' against U.S. 'interests' is always worse under GOP regimes. Coincidence? No! It is the understandable reaction of people to U.S. imperialism as it was the reaction of Zulus and eventually the people of India against the British!

Terrorism under Bush increased with his declaration of no quarter for those nations harboring or nurturing terrorists! Though he would not admit it, Bush had in mind administering his new acquisition--Iraq --by way of puppet governments. The ex post facto rationalization --bringing Democracy to Iraq --was not conceived until it was clear that no WMD would be found and, secondly, that the mis-named insurgency would not go away! At various stages, Bush and Bushy thought things would get better.

They never did!

But we are expected --I suppose --to surrender our freedoms willingly because a moron fucked up! I don't think so!

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