Friday, August 10, 2007

How the Ship of State Became the Ship of Fools

The US has caught a nasty virus the symptom of which is running punditry. It's like cruise ship diarrhea without the satisfaction at the end of ordeal or even panic. Some quick notes: Barack Obama is the most shallow, non-descript, boring politician to ever come down the pike --an intellectual lightweight whose soul has been coached out of him by media consultants. In Barack Obama, I find the vacuous echoes of Ronald Reagan, a previous lightweight who had mastered the art of reading buzzwords off a cue card. My skin crawls.

I have stopped listening to what passes for debate these days. It's become a matter of stringing meaningless platitudes together such that they sound like real human speech. Or is it a Japanese robot?

More quick notes: I wish John Edwards were uglier. Hillary Clinton is damaged goods. Ron Paul, still a Republican, has many more scales to shed before he can change his repitil..uh...Republican skin.

God help us --the only intelligent politician in the field is Dennis Kucinich who has only a snow ball's chance in hell of ever becoming President. It's our loss. Watching Democrats is akin to medieval debate about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin.

I am sick to death of tedious debates about the conduct of the war of aggression against the people of Iraq. The "conduct" of the war is not the issue. Why we continue to stay is! Why we haven't impeached, tried, removed and imprisoned George W. Bush is! Why a grand jury has not been convened to investigate the GOP crime syndicate is! Why corporations rule the US government is! The validity of the electoral process is! Why bother going through the motions until paper trails are mandated at the polls?

I am sick to death of Congress kowtowing to a President who has the support of little more than 25 percent of the American people. Carl Jung predicted our malaise in 1957 in his "The Undiscovered Self", decrying "...apocalyptic images of universal destruction" brought on by WWII and an atomic age ushered in when the United States dropped weapons of mass destruction on two cities in Japan. In its wake, Jung was fearful that 40 percent of the population —called a "mentally stable stratum" —might not be able to keep the lid on mass psychosis; it might be unable to restrain the spread of "dangerous tendencies", presumably: fascism, fanaticism, militarism, and intolerance. Jung seems to have been less concerned with external threats. The more dangerous tendencies he feared were home grown. There are some real issues to be addressed but all have taken a back seat to punditry.
The theme of collapse seems to have reverberated around the world, now manifesting its symptoms in the scientific community’s latest dramatic reports on global warming, the issue of Peak Oil coming further out of the closet — being discussed openly in mainstream media, and the bursting of the US housing bubble that now finds 1 out of every 264 homes in the nation facing foreclosure as each day the value of the dollar decreases and the value of precious metals soars.

--The Cycle of Time

In the meantime, Democrats have failed to challenge Bush's exploitation of the ultimate strawman: terrorism. Bush owns the issue of "terrorism" even if he had to make it all up. As long as Democrats buy into the paradigm, they have no place from which to launch a counter-attack. Democrats too easily conferred legitimacy upon an illegitimate usurper, credibility when, in fact, Bush lied about everything. They are now paying the price for having played Bush's game. The spectre of terrorism has been of greater benefit to Bush than "real" terrorists who share with O.J.'s "real killers" all the characteristics of a phantom menace.

Political rhetoric is just more of the same when, in fact, nothing is the same. How could the Democrats have missed the sea change that has taken place, the fundamental challenges to Constitutional government? What are the implications? Simply, the Bush junta has challenged not only the Constitution but almost 1,000 years of progress. Principles mouthed by Bush simply fly in the face of the Magna Carta, the English Petition of Right, the Mayflower Compact, The Virginia Declaration of Rights, The Declaration of Independence, The Constitution and the Bill of Rights, The Nuremberg Principles, and every US Supreme Court decision that has upheld the right of persons to be free of arbitary rule, to be secure in their homes, to be free of unreasonable arrest in the absence of probable cause that a crime has been committed.

Significantly, totalitarian states have their philosophical roots in Hegelianism, a straight road to both Nazism and Stalinism. There is, by contrast, another road that runs straight from Magna Carta to our own Declaration of Independence, Constitution, and Bill of Rights.

If the Magna Carta is not the birth certificate of Democracy, it is the death certificate of despotism. It spells out for the first time the fundamental principle that the law is not simply the whim of the king. The law is an independent power unto itself. And the King could be brought to book for violating it!"

—Simon Schama, History of Britain

Bush's demogoguery is an issue and the Democrats should be on the offensive. Instead, most members of Congress lined up behind what Gore Vidal called an "un-American" administration.

Instead of bullshit and platitudes from Obama --nonsense talk about attacking Pakistan, Barack should have been screaming about America's enemies inside the White House --George W. Bush and his every supporter. Do the Democrats get it? Have they not understood what Bush has done? Is Congress without a clue?

The Constitution itself is explicit when it establishes the sovereignty of the people. But, if that were not enough to dispel notions of the "state as absolute", a Bill of Rights was insisted upon and ratified by the people. In the 1960's, Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas believed the freedoms guaranteed by the Bill of Rights to be absolute —beyond the power of Congress or the executive to modify or infringe in any way. We could use someone like Douglas today. As his friend Tommy Corcoran pointed out, Douglas had "wanted the Presidency worse than Don Quixote wanted Dulcinea" and Franklin Roosevelt believed that Douglas would have been the strongest running mate in 1944. It was Democratic bosses who persuaded Roosevelt to pick Harry Truman instead. Oh well! "To err is Truman!"

Democratic "opposition" to Bush seems less naive than irrelevant, locked into the GOP paradigm when Democrats should be forcing a defensive GOP to debate on Democratic turf, on Democratic issues, indeed, the very future of Democracy in America. Tragically, the Democrats will get suckered into debating the "conduct" of a war that should never have begun, a war that is itself a crime, a war that has, in fact, no good end, a war that is, in fact, lost!

Democrats are in danger of blowing the last chance they will ever have to forge a new and better future. It's become a cliche that the Chinese character for "crisis", literally translated, means "dangerous opportunity". If the Democrats fail to make the most of this opportunity, the people of the US will be no better off, nothing will have been gained for the ordeal we have suffered, nothing true, lasting or valid will have been affirmed. What a waste if this should all turn out to be the most irrelevant presidential debate in this nation's history!

And now for something completely different:

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Thursday, August 09, 2007

How Power Without Responsibility Poses a Threat to the World

Following is the complete text of an excellent article by Aziz Huq for The Nation, reprinted by CBS News. The very crux of the following article is a theme sounded many times on this blog i.e, the mission of this administration "the transformation of limited government into a government that is not accountable to anyone." There are two words to describe this. Dictatorship! Tyranny!
After enduring weeks of blistering criticism for Attorney General Alberto Gonzales' inartful elisions about the National Security Agency (NSA) spying activities, the Bush administration has successfully forced on Congress a law that largely authorizes open-ended surveillance of Americans' overseas phone calls and e-mails. How did they do it?

The Protect America Act of 2007 — the title alone ought to be warning that unsavory motives are at work — is the most recent example of the national security waltz, a three-step administration maneuver for taking defeat and turning it into victory.

The waltz starts with a defeat in the courts for administration actions — for example, the Supreme Court's extension of the rule of law to the US military prison at Guantánamo in the 2004 case of Rasul v. Bush, or its striking down of the military commissions in 2006 in Hamdan v. Rumsfeld. The second step does not follow immediately. Rather, some months later, the administration suddenly announces that the ruling has created a security crisis and cries out for urgent remedial legislation. Then (and here's the coup de grâce) the administration rams legislation through Congress — the Detainee Treatment Act of 2005, or the Military Commissions Act of 2006 — that not only undoes the good court decision but also inflicts substantial damage to the infrastructure of accountability.

This time, the sordid dance began with a bad ruling for the government, a ruling that demands some context to be understood.

In January the administration suddenly announced that it was submitting the secretive NSA "terrorist surveillance program" to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, or FISC, a closed judicial process established by the 1978 FISA law to handle search warrants for foreign intelligence purposes. The move came as federal appellate courts in Ohio and California seemed on the cusp of ruling the NSA's domestic surveillance efforts illegal as violations of FISA and possibly the Fourth Amendment. It seemed a way to forestall defeat in those cases.

But in early summer, a FISC judge declined to approve part of the NSA's activities. While the ruling remains classified, it apparently focused on communication that originated overseas but passed through telecom switches in the United States.

Modern telecommunications work by breaking communications into packets of data and routing them through a network of connected computers. Messages do not travel in a linear fashion: A message from Murmansk to Mali might be routed through California. Many of the largest switches routing international data are located in the United States. As USA Today reported in May 2006, the NSA is already tapping those switches. And since January, the government appears to have obtained "basket warrants," allowing it to trawl this data freely, without any judicial or Congressional oversight.

It seems likely that the judge objected because the NSA was collecting calls that originated overseas but ended in the United States. The NSA can generally get a warrant for such communications — unless there is no evidence that the person under scrutiny is a terrorist. A broad-brush NSA surveillance program, especially one that generates its leads through data-mining, the science of extracting information from large databases, might have exactly this problem.

The second step in the waltz came several months later, with administration allies such as House minority leader John Boehner invoking the FISC ruling on Fox News as justification for a new law. As usual, the administration and its allies had no compunction about using classified information — such as the ruling — when it helped them politically. And as usual, the administration artfully concealed the full details of the ruling even while insisting on it as a spur to immediate action. By waiting for the last week of the Congressional session, the administration in effect cut off the possibility of meaningful debate.

The third step of the waltz has a grim familiarity about it: enactment of a law that is in no way limited to addressing the narrow "problem" created by the FISC ruling. Rather, the Protect America Act is a dramatic, across-the-board expansion of government authority to collect information without judicial oversight. Even though Democrats negotiated a deal with Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell that addressed solely the foreign-to-foreign "problem" created by the FISC ruling, the White House torpedoed that deal and won a far broader law.

To those who have followed this administration's legal strategy closely, the outcome should be no surprise. The law's most important effect is arguably not its expansion of raw surveillance power but the sloughing away of judicial or Congressional oversight. In the words of former CIA officer Philip Giraldi, the law provides "unlimited access to currently protected personal information that is already accessible through an oversight procedure."

Like the Constitution's Framers, this administration understands that power is accrued through the evisceration of checks and balances. Unlike that of the Framers, its mission is the transformation of limited government into a government that is not accountable to anyone.

On Monday, the administration defended the Protect America Act as a "narrow" fix and rejected accusations that it authorized a "driftnet." To see how disingenuous these claims are requires some attention to the details of the legislation.

The key term in the Protect America Act is its licensing of "surveillance directed at a person reasonably believed to be located outside of the United States." This language has a superficial reasonableness, since domestic surveillance has long been understood to raise the most troubling abuse concerns.

But the trouble with this language is that it permits freewheeling surveillance of Americans' international calls and e-mails. The problem lies in the words "directed at." Under this language, the NSA could decide to "direct" its surveillance at Peshawar, Pakistan — and seize all US calls going to and from there. It could focus on Amman, or Cairo, or London, or Paris, or Toronto. Simply put, the law is an open-ended invitation to collect Americans' international calls and e-mails.

Further, the law does not limit the collection of international calls to security purposes: Rather, it seems the government can seize any international call or e-mail for any reason — even if it's unrelated to security. Indeed, another provision of the law confirms that national security can be merely one of several purposes of an intelligence collection program. This point alone should sink the administration's claim to be doing no more than technical fiddling. While the FISA law limited warrantless surveillance absolutely, this law licenses it, not only for national security purposes but also for whatever purpose the government sees fit.

Of further concern is the "reasonably believe" caveat. This means that so long as the NSA "reasonably" believes its antennas are trained overseas, wholly domestic calls can sometimes be collected. And since the NSA uses a filter to separate international calls from wholly domestic calls, it need only "reasonably believe" that it's getting this right. It's this new latitude for error that is troubling, especially because this isn't an administration known for its care when the rights and lives of others are at stake. It remains deeply unclear how much domestic surveillance this allows.

The problems created by this loosening of standards are compounded by the risibly weak oversight procedures contained in the law. Rather than issuing individualized warrants, now the Director of National Intelligence and the Attorney General can certify yearlong programs for collecting international calls. The program as a whole is placed before the FISA court, which can only invalidate those procedures and claims that are "clearly erroneous." The government thus has to meet an extraordinarily low standard, in a one-sided judicial procedure in which the court has no access to details of the program's actual operation.

Congressional oversight is even more laughable. Attorney General Gonzales, that paragon of probity and full disclosure, is required to report not on the program's overall operations but solely on "incidents of noncompliance." Of course, given how weak the constraints imposed by the law are, self-reported noncompliance is likely to be minimal.

Finally, some advocates and legislators have taken comfort in the law's six-month sunset provision. But this means that the act will be up for authorization in the middle of the presidential campaign, an environment in which the pressures to accede to administration demands will be even higher than usual. And the law doesn't really sunset after six months: The provision is artfully drafted to allow the NSA to continue wielding its new surveillance powers for up to a year afterward.

The Protect America Act, in short, does not live up to its name: It does not enhance security-related surveillance powers. Rather, it allows the government to spy when there is no security justification. And it abandons all but the pretense of oversight. The result, as with so many of this administration's ill-advised policies, is power without responsibility — and it is by now all too clear how wisely and carefully this administration wields power in the absence of accountability.

One coda to this story is worth adding. The Justice Department is unlikely to take action against Representative Boehner for his partisan invocation of classified information on network news. Newsweek reported this week that former Justice Department lawyer Thomas Tamm is being investigated apparently in connection to leaks of information about the NSA's domestic surveillance. So goes Gonzales Justice: Politicized manipulation of classified information gets the green light, while hardworking career officials become targets for speaking out when they see the law being violated.

Power Without Responsibility, Aziz Huq, Reprinted by CBS with permission from The Nation.
There is increasing bi-partisan support for impeachment. Of course, impeachment must begin with both Bush and Cheney to be followed with a wholesale housecleaning of the most corrupt administration in American history.

Is that enough? No --unless Bush's assault on the Constitution is undone, impeachment is a complete waste of time. Unless Congress reasserts its sole power and authority to wage war and unless Bush's sorry rewrite of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights is undone, impeachment will simply bestow dictatorship upon a successor. It's not about Bush anymore; we all know him to be an evil fuck up! This is about the kind of nation we will have after Bush is brought to justice for capital crimes.

Rome failed to restore its lost republic. Will that be the story of the US?

News items from Bush's repressive regime:

Kent officer tickets man for 'Impeach Bush' sign

That's an outrage, of course. We have a right to carry any damn sign we please! But, I have long ago stopped trying to "cover" every outrage against the Bill of Rights, indeed, the very rule of law. Under Bush, they are legion. It is Bushco's strategy to move against freedom on so many fronts, that it is beyond the ability of media or watchdogs to chronicle every outrage, every abuse, every subversion of law or the very rule of law itself.

Our Un-American Government

FindLaw columnist and human rights attorney Joanne Mariner discusses different definitions of what it means for a practice or belief to be "un-American," as defined by American figures ranging from Joseph McCarthy to Bill O'Reilly to Donald Rumsfeld. Mariner notes that even after Rumsfeld described the torture perpetrated at Abu Ghraib as "un-American," the U.S. has continued to condone torture. She argues that in the end, the term "un-American" should be defined in opposition to that which is best in American life -- including our regard for human rights. She encourages readers to sign a pledge to this effect, opposing what, she argues, are truly un-American practices such as indefinite detention and other rights violations....
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Wednesday, August 08, 2007

May the enemies of Democracy tremble

Over the last several weeks, I have been honored to have been "tagged" for the Thinking Blogger Award by blogs Liberality, Hot Potato Mash, and Bluebloggin. The recognition of peers freely given is, in the words of Churchill, "no small thing" And, it is in that spirit, that the rules require that I pass on the honor. I am required to tag five "thinking blogger". Having been tagged thrice, I suppose I can pass the award on to 15 outstanding blogs. To be honest, that has made the job a bit easier. Who could select only five from the following list? And I worry about the one's I've omitted from the following.

According to the rules, I now must display the rules.
  1. If, and only if, you get tagged, write a post with links to 5 blogs that make you think. [Having been tagged three times, I will tag five for each or a total of 15 blogs.]
  2. Link to this post so that people can find the exact origin of the meme.
  3. Optional: Proudly display the Thinking Blogger Award on your site with a link to the post that you wrote.
The envelope please! Here is my list of 15 blogs in no particular order:
  1. The Peace Tree - a veritable oasis of reason amid an irrational din. A recent excerpt:
    i think that it is mind boggling that in a country with less want than possibly any other country on the planet- that we should covet anything that anyone else has. much less blow up their families to get it. think about that for a moment
  2. 70 reasons to doubt -where Damien has compiled almost everything known about 911. This work of one man equals that of most think tanks. His knowledge is encyclopedic. A must visit.
  3. Intelligentaindigena Novajoservo - explores the plight of indigenous peoples all over the world. A recent post: Ward Churchill: An Indigenist activist willing to stand up for what is right.
  4. Bad Attitudes, by Jerome Doolittle, Chuck Dupree et al., epitomizes a blog of "thinking bloggers". They bring to blogging some serious credentials and don't need to be told who Richard Hofstadter is. Check them out for informed opinion.
  5. is the work of professional, award-winning journalist Marc McDonald. A recent post, The Real Reason The Wingnuts Hate YearlyKos, exposes the hypocrisy of right wing propagandists like Bill O'Reilly and Rush Limbaugh.
  6. cannablog which recently made the point beside a reproduction of Guernica that Pablo Picasso was never called an asshole, but Colin Powell ....[read the post]
  7. Daveawayfromhome who writes eloquently of a loss felt by many:"For over two decades I've watched as America has slowly given itself over to the powers of Authority. America, the rebel nation, the home of rock-and-roll, somehow seems to have given up the urge to make it's own choices."
  8. Les Enrages. From this excerpt, a reminder "The heart is what counts here, for that’s where Liberty lives." Until we get the bullet proof indictment that puts the Bush gang in a dank cell, that will do!
  9. News Sophisticate, lately, exposes Blackwater recruitment of its hired guns in Latin America. This is, of course, symptomatic of the fascist society that the US has become.
  10. Department of Homeland Conspiracy is new to my blogroll but putting issues even more bluntly: The United States of America is Dead
  11. Any blog that could write of George Tenet that he is "alleged to have assisted our nation" deserves recognition. A tag, therefore for Firedoglake.
  12. Freedom and Democracy are Dying, is the work of a "thinking blogger" from Canada who asks his neighbor: Why Does Saudi Arabia Need Military Aid? Indeed!
  13. Pensito Review is a mainstay, an essential resource that reduces global issues to their effects on you. An example: Global Warming Sucks!
  14. Vagabond Scholar --the work of a dedicated blogger who takes the time to tighten his prose while sharing videos of the Clancy Brothers. Don't miss "Will You Go, Lassie, Go."
If you are on the list, consider yourself "tagged". So --those are the blogs I have tagged for the "Thinking Blogger Award". Taken individually, each is treasure. Taken together --a force for freedom and good. May the enemies of Democracy tremble at their approach.




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Tuesday, August 07, 2007

A Dream of Freedom

by Len Hart, The Existentialist Cowboy

Sometimes a thousand twangling instruments
Will hum about mine ears, and sometime voices
That, if I then had waked after long sleep,
Will make me sleep again: and then, in dreaming,
The clouds methought would open and show riches Ready to drop upon me; that, when I waked,
I cried to dream again.
--William Shakespeare, The Tempest (Caliban), Act 3, Scene 2
George W. Bush enjoys the support of only one American in four, the lowest presidential approval rating in a generation. It is no coincidence that leading Dems beat every major ’08 Republican.

What is not clear from the polls is whether or not Americans really get it! Simplistic polls cannot measure the degree to which this "President" wages war on the US Constitution and every principle that impelled the separation from England. Have Americans, at last, grasped the subversive nature of this radical, reactionary, rogue administration? If not, Gore Vidal has a reminder.
This is an unpatriotic government. This is a government that deals openly in illegalities, whether it is attacking a country which has done us no harm, two countries—Iraq and Afghanistan—because we now believe, not in declaring war through Congress as the Constitution requires, but through the President. ‘Well, I think there are some terrorists over there, and I think we got to bomb them, huh? We’ll bomb them.’ Now, we’ve had idiots as presidents before. He’s not unique. But he’s certainly the most active idiot that we have ever had.
--Gore Vidal
I am not inclined to quibble with Vidal. However, Bush's is not merely an "un-patriotic" regime, it is a treasonous one. Bush, after all, perpetrated a well-orchestrated fraud upon the sovereign so that he might wage a war of naked aggression and thus seize the oil fields of Iraq.

Vidal recently contrasted Bush with the Roman Emperor Tiberius whose reputation Vidal thinks suffers because his history was written by his enemies, most notably Tacitus.
The Senate of Rome sent him congratulations with the comment, “Any law that you want us to pass, we shall do so automatically.” And he sent a message back. He said, “This is outrageous! Suppose I go mad. Suppose I don’t know what I’m doing. Suppose I’m dead and somebody is pretending to be me. Never do that! Never accept something like preemptive war,” which luckily the Senate did not propose preemptive wars against places they didn’t like. But Mr. Bush has done that.
Scholars assure us that when Jesus Christ said "Render unto Caesar", the Caesar he referred to was Tiberius. Americans will remember Tiberius as portrayed by George Baker in the BBC series of I, Claudius of 1976 (Britain) and 1977 (US). The series was based upon Robert Graves' "I, Claudius" and relied heavily on Tacitus. It reinforced the image of Tiberius as a rake, retiring to Capri where he buggered anything that moved that also had an orifice. Tacitus himself says this of his own objectivity.
But the successes and reverses of the old Roman people have been recorded by famous historians; and fine intellects were not wanting to describe the times of Augustus, till growing sycophancy scared them away. The histories of Tiberius, Caius, Claudius, and Nero, while they were in power, were falsified through terror, and after their death were written under the irritation of a recent hatred.
--Annals, Tacitus
In defense of Tiberius, Vidal reminds us that Tiberius was, at least, wiser than Bush who more nearly resembles Claudius, considered by his own family to have been an idiot, a stammerer, a failure, a "least consequential twig".
A member of a ruthless and murderous imperial family, he survives because he seems to all around him the least consequential twig of the family tree. But Claudius bears enduring witness to a moment when the virtues of the Roman republic, which has already been disposed of by the time he begins his tale, are being lost to the bloodlusts and hubris of the Roman empire. 
--I, Claudius, a Review
 While scholars may quibble about the accuracy of Tacitus or that of Robert Graves, there is Gibbon who described, in a comprehensive nine volume history, the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. The Roman Empire fell, he claimed, due to "a loss of civic virtue" in a lazy citizenry who just didn't get it.

Other reasons for the fall of Rome may be just as credible and equally modern sounding. Like the US under Bush, Rome lacked adequate budgetary controls, resources were wasted, defense was outsourced, not to Blackwater but to barbarians. As in the US, the Roman economy had become a Ponzi scheme premised upon conquest and plunder --perpetual war. Wealth trickled up, not down. A landed elite escaped taxation as they robbed poorer farmers of their lands. A "Roman dole" never paid its own way. Roman society was rotten, top heavy and broke. I can support my thesis that Rome's own currency had already collapsed by the time the Praetorian Guard auctioned off the empire to an aristocrat--Didius Julianus. Rome would have fallen if the barbarians had not gathered at the gate. [See: America's Indebted Prosperity]

Bush has assumed an imperial "Presidency", a dictatorship. He claims the power and authority to rewrite laws and interpret the Constitution. He has said that he will deprive Americans of every right affirmed in the Bill of Rights. Bush has said that he alone will define "terrorism" and to make the point, he flouts American treaty obligations. Unless Bush is checked or impeached, unless his corrupt administration is overthrown or otherwise brought down and utterly repudiated, his decrees will stand. Bush will have deprived every citizen of his/her rights. The people will have become subjects of a dictatorial regime which spies on them. Only a rogue state would find it necessary to rob its citizens of the rule of law and does so to maintain itself in power. Only a rogue regime finds it necessary to bully the rest of the world with nukes. Only a rogue regime will create enemies abroad in order to maintain its power base at home. This simply must not be tolerated. Any American regime effecting such an outcome is, by definition, illegitimate. The people are now and always sovereign.

I despair that my government has abandoned the democratic ideals of millions of Americans who must now bear the shame that Bush has brought upon them. Once a beacon of hope and freedom, the US now stands for atrocity and repression..

American "radicals" might never have posed a threat to an establishment that, at least, mouthed the ideals of our founding. Rather, radicals in America, settled into a role: that of a nagging conscience. Many "radicals" eased into the role of making uncomfortable a corrupt establishment --one that has begun the work of undoing Washington, Jefferson and Madison.

America was not always the reactionary right wing state that it is today. Throughout our history, American radicals, like latter day Calibans, lurked about the edges of our collective political consciousness. We often hear, like "a thousand twangling instruments", the dream that had been our founders' dream and, later, that of Martin Luther King.
In a sense we have come to our nation's capital to cash a check. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men, yes, black men as well as white men, would be guaranteed the unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
When we allow freedom to ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, "Free at last! free at last! thank God Almighty, we are free at last!"
--Martin Luther King, Jr
You know, it’s at a time when people say, ‘Well, it makes no difference what we do, you know, if we march and we make speeches, and this and that.’ It makes a lot of difference if millions of Americans just say, “We are fed up! We don’t like you. We don’t like what you’re doing to the country and what you have done to the country. We don’t like to live in a lawless land, where the rule of law has just been bypassed and hacks are appointed to the federal bench, who will carry on and carry on and carry on all of the illegalities which are so desperately needed by our military-industrial corporate masters.”
--Vidal, op cit
In waking from a "Caliban's" dream, we find ourselves ruled by the likes of Nixon, Reagan, Bush. When we should be roused to rebellion, we are, like Caliban, tempted merely to re-capture in sleep a sweet dream of freedom, equality and peace. But we must not doze. We must awaken and act!

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Sunday, August 05, 2007

Bush Deliberately Creates "Constructive Chaos" in Iraq

Two phrases --"new world order" and "constructive chaos" have in common Yale's not so secret "Skull and Bones" society which nurtures both concepts. Neither phrase is peculiar to the Bushes, though the elder and the lesser Bush pimp both ideas. New world order, itself a mushy half-baked soupcon of ill-considered ideologies, has been associated with a certain Yale Fraternity known less for its scholarship than its lame-brained kookiness. Constructive chaos is associated, though not accurately, with Iraq. Iraq is in chaos but its hardly productive. Both Bushes fail their own standard.

The idea of a "New World Order" was not merely reinforced or even acquired in the lesser Bush's Yale days. The lesser Bush grew up with the idea, if "idea" it be. As president, George H.W. Bush espoused a "New World Order" in 1991, 10 years prior to the events now called "911". As far as I can tell, the phrase was first used by Adolf Hitler, though there is a very good possibility that it's origins may be traced to the various, nefarious and multifarious threads called "Illuminati".

For the record, Bush Sr, of course, did not make his State of the Union address on September 11, 1991. It was made on January 29, 1991.

While nothing said by Bush about Iraq is or has been true at any time, every dire prediction has come true. Iraq is a scene of endless insurgency, sectarian bloodletting, and urban warfare never planned for by the US military. If the war was intended to end world terrorism, it has, in fact, made it worse. If the attack and invasion was intended to bring Democracy to Iraq, it has, in fact, made of Democracy an unrealizable dream. If Bush had intended merely to up-end an evil dictatorship, he merely replaced it with his own. If Bush seeks simple revenge against terrorists, he need only give himself up to international authorities. It may have been, as I recall, Le Monde Diplomatique, which wrote: Les Etats-Unis sont le plus grand terroriste au monde.

According to Watching America, the US occupation has made of Iraq, an Iraqi barrel.
A barrel is a cylindrical metal or wooden container that is now more a part of the lives of Iraqis than ever before, and strikingly so, since the American-British occupation of Iraq. Many observers calculate that the humble barrel is a prerequisite for the kind of democracy exported by Uncle Sam's country, since this greater-ubiquity of the barrel has coincided with Iraqi democracy as we know it today. The barrel has become an indispensable commodity that no Iraqi building, office, or installation, official or unofficial, can do without.


American strategic planners have benefited from this idea, for they have made a barrel out of Iraq: the Americans have put terrorist and criminal gangs from around the world inside it, and thrown its borders open to create a fertile breeding ground for terrorism and crime. After letting nature take its course, what's inside the Iraqi barrel can then be distributed elsewhere in the region to implement America's plan for democracy. This is being done under the strange, contradictory rubric of "constructive chaos," a phrase used in the Western press to justify the massacres and blood baths that have characterized Iraq during the American-British occupation.

--Washington's 'Iraqi Barrel Plan'

But in fact, "constructive chaos" most certainly had it's origins inside the Skull and Bones.
...the Order was first established on the Yale campus in 1832. It was officially incorporated only in 1856 under the name Russell Trust Association. According to virtually all the available biographical data on its early members, the money required to sustain the secret order's campus affairs and its broader role in placing its members into key positions of influence upon their graduation from Yale, derived from the opium trade in the Far East. That trade was set up by the British East India Company and was flourishing by the time the Treaty of Paris was signed in 1783 ending the American War for Independence.

--George Bush, Skull & Bones and the New World Order: A New American View International Edition White Paper, Paul Goldstein and Jeffrey Steinberg, April 1991

"Constructive chaos" is a strategy by which bonesmen and pnacks (for PNAC) seek to impose a new world order. The plan is inherently undemocratic, repugnant to every principle upon which the US was founded. For a start, the establishment of a "new world order" defines any opposition as "terrorist" in nature. Thus, otherwise peaceful civilians are criminalized and waged war upon. War becomes a self-fullfilling prophecy, a logic loop, an infinite regress from which there is no escape save violence. The facts bear this out. Bush, like Ronald Reagan before him, has made terrorism much, much worse. The verifiable facts support me and I renew my challenge to my critics at the Heritage Foundation to debate me on this issue. [See:The Heritage Foundation Picks a Fight with the Cowboy]

Secondly, even if the people of the US were prepared to wink and nod at Bush's various atrocities, perversions and war crimes, there is absolutely no evidence whatsoever that the so-called "constructive" chaos in Iraq has been beneficial in any way --even by Bush's utterly depraved moral standards.

The world has not benefited from the fall of the Soviet Union for several reasons. Foremost, the GOP, having rallied a base around a banner of anti-communism, found itself without a demon to exploit. At the time, I celebrated the destruction of the Berlin Wall and dared hope for a new era of peace. Neocons, however, were already at work on ways to bring about a "catalyzing event" not unlike Pearl Harbor that would unite Americans behind a new crusade for Middle East oil.

Secondly, in the absence of a "Soviet threat", the nation had to find new justification for the trillions spent arming the nation to the teeth. Ronald Reagan, after all, had crushed the labor movement, doubled the Federal Bureaucracy, and paid off his base with historically high tax cuts that benefited only the very, very wealthy, making them more so. The industrial base was hallowed out. Highly paid skilled labor had to find work at Wal-Mart. Mired in debt, the GOP plan was to create a new and bigger Military/Industrial complex and thus mire the nation in perpetual oil wars.

How the U.S. Intentionally Destroyed Iraq's Water Supply

As these documents illustrate, the United States knew sanctions had the capacity to devastate the water treatment system of Iraq. It knew what the consequences would be: increased outbreaks of disease and high rates of child mortality. And it was more concerned about the public relations nightmare for Washington than the actual nightmare that the sanctions created for innocent Iraqis.

The Geneva Convention is absolutely clear. In a 1979 protocol relating to the "protection of victims of international armed conflicts," Article 54, it states: "It is prohibited to attack, destroy, remove, or render useless objects indispensable to the survival of the civilian population, such as foodstuffs, crops, livestock, drinking water installations and supplies, and irrigation works, for the specific purpose of denying them for their sustenance value to the civilian population or to the adverse Party, whatever the motive, whether in order to starve out civilians, to cause them to move away, or for any other motive." ...
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