- Borrowing the opening line from Dickens' Tale of Two
Cities - "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times...."
He referred to the French Revolution promising "Liberte, egalite
and fraternite" that began in 1789, inspired by ours from 1775 - 1783.
It ended a 1000 years of monarchal rule in France benefitting those of
privilege and established the nation as a republic the way ours did for
us here a few years earlier.
- That was the good news. The bad was the wrong people
came to power. They were the Jacobins who at first were revolutionary
moderates and patriots until they lost control to extremists like Maximilien
Robespierre who ushered in a "reign of terror" (The Great Terror
sounding a lot like today's "war on terror") characterized by
brutal repression against perceived enemies from within the Revolution
who didn't get a chance to prove they weren't. In the name of defending
it, individual rights were denied and civil liberties suspended. Laws
were passed that allowed charging those designated counter-revolutionaries
or enemies of the state with undefined crimes against liberty.
- It resulted in justice being meted out to thousands for
what Orwell called "thoughtcrimes" or for their freely expressed
opinions and actions judged hostile to the state under a system of near-vigilante
justice by the Paris Revolutionary (kangaroo) Tribunal with no right of
appeal. It led to the public spectacle of an inglorious trip to and quick
ending from the death penalty method of choice of the times - the guillotine
that was barbaric but quick, and a much easier, less painful way to die
for its victims than the use of state-inflicted torture-murder in the commonly
drawn out lethal injection process used in 37 of the 38 death penalty states
and by the federal government making the condemned endure a slow agonizing
death unable to cry out while they're being made to suffer during their
last moments of life. Instances of this barbarity aren't exceptions.
They're the rule, the exception being this time a report or two of what
really happens slipped out and made news.
- Fast forward to the past year and the previous five under
George Bush and ask: sound familiar? French Revolutionary laws during
the "reign of terror," like the Law of Suspects, were earlier
versions of our Patriot I and II and Military Commission Acts today. The
Revolutionary Tribunal, with no chance for justice or right of appeal,
was no different than our military courts today, and too many civil ones,
in which any US citizen may now be tried anywhere in the world, with no
habeas right of appeal or hope for due process and from which those sent
there won't fare any better than the French did, doomed to meet their unjust
fate - even though much in these laws today is unconstitutional and one
day will be reversed by a High Court upholding the law instead of the extremist
rogue one now empowered that scorns it.
- What May Lie Ahead As the New Year Approaches
- At the end of the sixth horrific year under the reign
of the Bush modern-day extremist Jacobin-neocons, we can now look ahead,
but to what. We have an administration in charge for another two years
one longtime analyst characterizes as "a bunch of crooks, incompetents
and perverts" with the president's approval rating plunging as low
as 28% in some independent polls and a growing number of people in the
country demanding his impeachment and removal from office.
- It's not likely from the new Democrat-led Congress arriving
in January, as their DLC leadership took it off the table and so far only
promises more of the same failed policy other than some minor tinkering
around the edges to create an illusion of change no different than the
deceptive kind of course correction proposed by the Baker "Gang of
Ten" Iraq Study Group (ISG) that guarantees none at all. It doesn't
leave members of the body politic with much hope for the new year that
will likely just deliver more of the same rogue leadership and policy engendering
growing public discontent and anger but not at a level so far to scare
the those in power enough to want to address it.
- The heart of the problem is the unpopular illegal war
of aggression in Iraq, the cesspool of corruption and scorn for the law
in Washington, and the assault on human rights and civil liberties in the
country justified by the so-called "war on terror" now rebranded
a "long war" against "Islamofascism" and "radicals
and extremists" (who happen to be Muslims.) It's the same failed policy
using the kind of deliberately provocative language intended to deceive
the public to think a threat great enough exists to justify any state action
in the name of national security including waging wars of aggression and
all the horrors associated with them at home and abroad.
- After the Baker "bob and weave,'' the now you see
a change of course and now you don't, disingenuously suggesting a drawdown
and exit strategy, the New York Times on December 16 reports "Military
planners and White House budget analysts have been asked to provide President
Bush with options for increasing American forces in Iraq by 20,000 or more."
- The article goes on to say one option is to boost the
force level by up to 50,000 even though any increase greater than 20 -
30,000 would be "prohibitive" - but it won't deter the Pentagon,
on administration orders, from extending tours of duty even longer for
forces now there and calling up thousands of reservists and greatly extended
National Guard units to get into this quagmire even though it's recognized
their presence will only make things worse as well as place an unfair burden
on those called up, who've served before, and their families.
- As of December 27, it's somewhat less clear what Iraq
troop strength policy will emerge in January following comments by incoming
Democrat chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Joseph Biden,
who just stated "I totally oppose this surging of additional American
troops into Baghdad. It's contrary to the overwhelming body of informed
opinion, both inside and outside the administration." Senator Biden
will hold hearings on Iraq on January 9, and at that time things may heat
up a bit at least in rhetoric if not in final policy.
- Additional heat may be created in January after George
Bush admitted for the first time on December 19 that the US isn't winning
the war even though two weeks before the November mid-term elections he
said emphatically "absolutely, we're winning in Iraq." He wouldn't
acknowledge what most every honest observer knows including the Pentagon
Joint Chiefs - that the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are lost. They can't
be won and won't be. No military solution is possible now or any time
- The president is living in a state of denial, obsessed
with his messianic mission fed him by the vice-president and hardest of
his hard line neocon allies, and it shows in the outlandish solutions he
proposes to an insoluble problem - send in more troops (that will only
make things worse) and increase the overall size of the military (that
guarantees a permanent state of war).
- It also clearly sounds a lot like the first official
hint from the chief executive that a draft is needed and will come at some
unspecified time ahead - likely following another "made in Washington"
9/11 calamity severe enough to get the public to go along with something
now thought intolerable. The president's sentiment was echoed on December
21 by administration Veterans Affairs secretary Jim Nicholson who (incredibly)
said that "society would benefit" if the US reinstated the military
draft. He didn't say for whom. He did go further when asked in a press
conference whether it should include women saying: "I think if we
bring back the draft, there should be no loopholes for anybody who happens
to be drafted." Maybe, to his thinking, it should include pregnant
mothers as well and single ones with small children.
- Such openness by the VA secretary apparently was too
much, too soon, and too clear for the White House that quickly got the
Department of Veterans Affairs to issue a separate follow-up statement
from Nicholson saying: "Let me be clear, I strongly support the all-volunteer
military and do not support returning to a draft." Let the reader
choose which message to believe, but, with the nation in a permanent state
of war, it looks like the trial balloon and hint of a draft now being floated
is the opening round to instituting one at some designated time ahead.
That likelihood looms even greater as the Selective Service System announced
it's planning a comprehensive test of the military draft machinery, which
it hasn't done since 1998 while, at the same time, saying the agency isn't
gearing up for a draft. But what else would they say as they make plans
to do this on orders from the administration.
- It all amounts to an increasing level of insanity from
a power-crazed administration as well as sounding much like Benjamin Franklin's
wisdom who said "The definition of insanity is doing the same thing
over and over expecting different results." In the case of Iraq,
doing it with more troops on the ground is even more insane as a greater
occupying force there only guarantees a stronger resistance to it presenting
more targets to aim at with virtually no chance for a peaceful resolution
of the conflict short of a full unconditional withdrawal of all occupying
forces, no strings attached, that won't happen. In the case of a future
draft, now seeming more likely, it only guarantees this nation plans to
stay in a permanent state of war against future enemies to be chosen with
those in or to be included in the "axis of evil" heading the
target list at some point ahead.
- George Bush and others floating these lunatic schemes
have no regard for the lives of those affected, and why should they. For
now, their aim is to buy time, and as long as they can get away with it,
they and their well-connected cronies and corporate friends stand to gain
from the price everyone else has to pay - a huge one including the thousands
of lives lost each week and the many more thousands of survivors whose
lives will never be the same again.
- Think what it means as the new year approaches. The
nation is at war on two fronts, it's likely more ahead are contemplated
by some in the administration, no substantive effort is being made to change
course, and the condition at home is a relentless march toward becoming
a full-blown national security police state we're already perilously close
to. It's because the neocon-dominated Bush administration is reckless
in ambition, out-of-control in policy, and the embodiment of a relentless
and ruthless "weapon of mass destruction" unleashed on all humanity
in its way.
- It's underpinned by an extremist ideology based on rule
by savage capitalism that's frighteningly close to and borders on the tipping
edge of the classic definition of fascism combining corporatism with strong
elements of patriotism and nationalism, a claimed messianic Almighty-directed
and blessed mission, and characterized by authoritarian rule backed by
the iron fist of militarism and 'homeland security" enforcers, illegally
spying on everyone, and intolerant of dissent and opposition in an age
where the law is what the chief executive says it is and all semblance
of checks and balances no longer exist. In a word - despotism, but cloaked
in the deceptive rhetoric of a modern democracy falsely claiming to serve
the needs of all its people.
- It's also an age of extreme greed and corruption infesting
government and corporate boardrooms with the gap between rich and poor
at levels greater than since the 19th century "Gilded Age" of
the "robber barons." It's something economist Paul Krugman calls
"entirely unprecedented" under George Bush that "For the
first time in our history, so much (of the nation's economic growth has
gone) to a small, wealthy minority" while the great majority can't
stay even as inflation-adjusted wages fail to keep up with rising prices
and poverty is growing in an age of affluence affecting tens of millions
in the richest country ever in the world.
- The grossness of this disparity was on the online business
pages of the New York Times on Christmas Day in a story titled "Wall
St. Bonuses" So Much Money, Too Few ($250,000) Ferraris. The article
highlights that "The 2006 bonus gold rush has re-energized some luxury
markets" like Manhattan real estate that had softened earlier in the
year and echoed the lament of a real estate broker about a "dearth
of listings for two clients trying to spend $20 million on Manhattan properties"
while mentioning some of the Wall Street wealthy already in their luxury
nests are buying $5 million apartments for their children and private resort
vacation homes to boot.
- The same ugly data is there overall worldwide in a newly
released study by the Helsinki-based World Institute for Development Economics
Research of the UN University that shows the richest 2% of adults in the
world own more than half of its wealth compared, on the other end, with
the assets of about half the world's population accounting for barely 1%
of global wealth - lumps of coal only for them and a "Ba Humbug"
dismissal for their plight by those with everything wanting still more.
- The Cost to a Society Based on Predatory Capitalism and
Out-of-Control Greed, Corruption and Militarism
- The societal breakdown in the US is a national disgrace
and affects many millions. A sampling of some of it is listed below:
- -- 47 million Americans can't afford basic health insurance.
- -- Over 80 million in total have no health coverage during
some portion of each year and most of them are employed.
- -- The Bush administration just proposed sweeping cuts
in payments to pharmacies to reduce the Medicaid benefits 50 million poor
in the country rely on, can't afford to make up the difference for on their
own, and may have to forego medications they vitally need if pharmacies
won't fill prescriptions at lower prices.
- -- The US ranks 41st in infant mortality, and the World
Health Organization (WHO) ranks the country 37th in the world in "overall
health performance" and 54th in the fairness of health care despite
spending at a current level overall of around $2 trillion a year or about
double the amount per capita of the OECD countries that deliver superior
health care overall to their citizens as a national priority.
- -- Well over 12 millions Americans struggle daily to
feed themselves, and many thousands across the country can't afford housing
and are forced to sleep on the streets including in winter cold.
- -- A just released December 14 US Conference of Mayors
report said these conditions continue to worsen based on a survey of 23
cities showing 7% more requests for food aid in 2006 following a 12% jump
in 2005 during a period of economic growth.
- -- The same report showed requests for shelter rose 9%
in 2006 with requests from families with children rising 5%.
- -- Public education is deliberately being eroded with
illiteracy in basic reading, math and computer skills shamefully high and
- -- The US prison population is the highest in the world
at 2.2 million and increasing by 1000 a week, half of those in it are black,
and half of the total prison population is there for non-violent offenses
half of which are drug-related. The US prison system is a shameful Gulag
and an affront to humanity. The appalling conviction and sentencing of
first-time drug offender Weldon Angelos is but one of countless examples.
He was convicted of three sales of marijuana in 2004 while in possession
of a gun unrelated to the sale. Under the insane federal mandatory sentencing
laws, he was sentenced to five years for the first offense and 25 years
each for the other two totaling 55 years in federal prison or a likely
life sentence if he's forced to serve it all because he possessed and sold
a few "joints" of a substance less harmful than legal cigarettes
that kill millions yearly while it's not known marijuana ever killed anyone
using it. Only in America.
- -- The true state of things overall is suppressed by
the dominant corporate-controlled media (including the NPR and PBS parts
of it) functioning as a national thought-control police controlling all
mass communication and depriving the public of any real information vital
to a healthy democracy and their welfare.
- -- Racial segregation is as great as in the 1960s, and
the national sport almost is demonizing Muslims as "terrorists, radicals,
extremists and Islamofascists" and impoverished "people the color
of the earth" Mexicans and Latin Americans as "illegal immigrant
invaders polluting" our white western European society and culture,
mindless that they only come el norte in desperate search of work because
of the devastating effects of NAFTA on their lives that destroyed their
ability to support their families.
- Data from the Oakland Institute think tank specializing
in social, economic and environmental issues shows that heavily subsidized
US corn exports to Mexico have tripled since NAFTA came into force forcing
two million Mexican corn farmers out of business, something that was predicted
in advance but allowed to happen anyway. It also led to suicides but at
a rate nowhere near the level globalized trade US-style had on farmers
in India where as many as 100,000 of them have taken their own lives because
"New World Order" indebtedness caused them to lose their farms
and then everything else.
- -- Childhood poverty in the US ranks 22nd and next to
last among developed nations when there should be virtually none tolerated
in the richest country in the world or toleration of any of the other listed
- -- An alarming number of high-paying and other jobs have
been exported abroad in a process that's gone on for decades but picked
up in momentum since the 1980s and especially in recent years. Mckinsey
Global Institute estimates the volume will grow 30 - 40% a year for the
next five years. Forrester Research estimates 3.3 million white-collar
jobs will be lost by 2015 with most affected areas in financial services
and information technology, and University of California researchers estimate
that "up to 14 million American jobs are at risk to outsourcing."
- It adds up to a nation in decline, losing its industrial
base and becoming primarily a service-oriented economy mainly offering
low-skill, low-pay jobs with the better, higher-paying ones growing scarcer,
making a college degree in areas outside of critical skills almost worthless.
Exporting jobs to low-wage countries is a boon for corporate bottom lines
in an age of "globalized free trade" never characterized as fair
for the harm it does to millions of wage earners at home or in the developing
countries on the receiving end being exploited by capital that sucks out
their wealth and impoverishes their people, many of whom work for near-slave-rate
wages in a modern era of serfdom in countries around the world in Asia,
Africa, Eastern Europe and Latin and Central America.
- -- Worker outrage around the world in protest is growing
in response to these abuses (unreported in the US) because most governments
are doing little or nothing to ameliorate them. It showed up on November
22 in South Korea when over 200,000 workers belonging to the Korean Confederation
of Trade Unions (KCTU) staged a general strike protesting in 17 cities
against the bilateral US-Korea Free Trade Agreement currently being negotiated
that will do to their members and farmers what NAFTA did to Mexicans and
India's agricultural trade policies did to their small farmers. It continued
on the streets in the days following and spilled over to the Big Sky Ski
Resort in Big Sky, Montana where negotiations are being held in seclusion
but are still unable to escape the daily protests held against them there.
- -- It happened as well in Cebu City, Philippines where
President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo (closely allied to the failed Bush agenda
and elected through fraud) had to cancel two Association of Southeast Asian
Nations (ASEAN) meetings in December attended by 19 countries including
the US and Canada. It was an abrupt ending to the meeting held to ratify
trade and security agreements because of the mass protests by workers,
farmers and others against their harmful effects forcing thousands in the
country to leave daily to go abroad for work paying enough to support their
families at home.
- -- Workers almost everywhere have been harmed, including
in the US, as union clout and worker rights here have declined in an age
where the social contract government once had with its working people has
been dismantled with less than 13% of the work force (the lowest in the
industrialized world) unionized today compared to one-third of it in 1958.
In an age of modern-day "robber barons," the middle class bedrock
of a democratic state is slowly disappearing as the nation moves closer
to becoming a banana republic at a time when 51 of the world's largest
economies are corporate giants, most of them US-based.
- It all goes on with no redress or sign of change in an
age of out-of-control militarism and outlandish budgets supporting it that
began ratcheting up under Ronald Reagan, along with big budget deficits
to pay for it, and have gone wild under George Bush. The White House just
approved a fiscal year 2008 near $470 billion Pentagon budget on top of
an additional $100+ billion off-the-books amount minimum more that will
boost this year's war budget for Iraq and Afghanistan to a yearly record
of about $170 billion. It also needs tens of billions annually for "Homeland
Security" and tens of billions more for the "spy agencies"
totaling numbers in the range of well over $700 billion a year and rising
- while social spending continues to be slashed to pay for it all in a
heartless society scorning its people and their essential needs as long
as the interests of capital are served along with the militarists in it
profiting from its blood money.
- Since WW II, when the US emerged as the only dominant
nation left standing, Washington, instead of disarming and fostering peace,
embarked on a now long-running program of militarization to maintain the
country's political, economic and military preeminence over all others.
It takes a lot of military spending to do it, that could have been used
far more productively investing in human capital (like health and education)
and physical capital (like essential infrastructure) as well as promoting
non-military related business and industry that over time pay back far
greater dividends than the short-term gains from building weapons and having
large standing armies, navies and air forces that only exist to kill and
- Productive spending also pays off in creating a society
free from a dominant military culture like now exists out-of-control and
hard to contain in the Pentagon that scorns civil liberties and democratic
principles and values that have nearly vanished. The course this nation
chose 60 years ago led to today's corrupted society armed to the teeth
for endless wars with the most destructive weapons in human history deployed
on over 800 known military bases in about 155 of the 192 countries of the
world. It cost an unimaginable amount creating this monster as documented
by the Center for Defense Information. It reported this country spent
an estimated $21 trillion in constant dollars since 1945 on defense, the
numbers continue to rise sharply, and the mindset of most of the nation's
leaders, especially George Bush, is when you've got the might, you have
to throw it around to prove it as well as scare off potential challengers.
- Shamefully the US stands as a modern-day Sparta glorifying
war and those put in charge to wage it. Witness the retirement ceremony
for Army Major General Geoffrey Miller last summer when Army Vice Chief
of Staff General Richard Cody awarded the man who supervised the infamous
US Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib torture-prisons with the Distinguished Service
Medal (DDSM). This award was established by Richard Nixon in 1970 so the
Secretary of Defense could reward officers of the US Armed Forces "whose
exceptional performance of duty and contributions to national security
or defense have been at the highest levels."
- Witness also the December 16 retirement ceremony at the
Pentagon for unindicted war criminal and torture-authorizer Donald Rumsfeld
complete with pomp and circumstance, George Bush and Dick Cheney in attendance
for the spectacle, and a 19 round cannon salute that might have been better
aimed. In open defiance of growing public anger over the war, speakers,
including the president, shamelessly lauded Rumsfeld for the war of aggression
he directed and his leadership in doing it. The galling scene showed Bush
hugging Rumsfeld saying: "This man knows how to lead, and he did.
And the country is better off for it." He failed to say for whom,
but it got worse with Dick Cheney saying: "I believe the record speaks
for itself - Don Rumsfeld is the finest Secretary of Defense this nation
- Contrast those spectacles with the fate of extraordinary
people like Lynne Stewart prosecuted for her crime of courage, honor and
resisting tyranny. She was unjustly charged under the 1996 Antiterrorism
Act with four counts of aiding and abetting a terrorist organization and
violating Special Administration Measures (SAMS) imposed by the US Bureau
of Prisons, which included a gag order on Sheik Abdel Rahman whom she represented
as counsel for the defense in his 1995 trial because former US Attorney
General Ramsey Clark asked her to take the case.
- Lynne took it in the same spirit she spent her entire
30 year professional life as a courageous champion for the rights of the
poor, underprivileged and those in society never afforded due process unless
they're lucky enough to have an advocate like her. She broke no law, and
her trial was a gross miscarriage of justice. Still, the Justice Department
asked for a harsh 30 year sentence. It wasn't for any crime committed.
It was to send a clear message to all in the legal community not to represent
"unpopular clients" and not to afford them their legal right
of due process with competent counsel when the government wants them put
- Lynne for the present had the last word being vindicated
in court on October 17 when Judge John G. Koeltl rejected the prosecution's
case in the 28 month sentence he handed down allowing Lynne to remain free
pending her appeal to a higher court, acknowledging it might overturn her
conviction and effectively rebuking the Justice Department for their prosecution
of a courageous woman who spent a lifetime fighting for justice.
- The outcome was painfully different in an age of Muslim
demonization and persecution shown in the prosecution of Dr. Rafil Dhafir,
a Muslim American of Iraqi descent and practicing oncologist until his
license was unjustly revoked as a prelude to the greater outrage committed
against him. Dr. Dhafir was charged and tried in another US "kangaroo
court" for what Katherine Hughes called and wrote his "crime
of compassion." Katherine followed the trial daily in court for 17
weeks and remains his champion, continuing to work tirelessly for his vindication
- Dr. Dhafir was convicted and is now serving a 22 year
sentence in federal prison for violating the Iraqi Sanctions Regulations
(the IEEPA) having used his own funds and what he could raise from others
to bring desperately needed humanitarian aid, including food and medical
supplies, to Iraqi people unable to get them because of the punitive, harsh
and unjust sanctions imposed prior to the 2003 war. He did it through
his Help the Needy charity, and for it was convicted of violating the sanctions,
tax fraud, money laundering, and mail and wire fraud - a total of 60 counts
and found guilty on 59 of them.
- The verdict sent another chill through the Muslim community,
and as Katherine explained on her web site - dhafirtrial.net - "If
we can get Rafil Dhafir, we can get anyone." Not quite, as Lynne
Stewart's vindication proves. But it proves something else too. In the
age of George Bush, the chance of prevailing against injustice as a white
American is a lot better than for a "not-as-white" Arab Muslim,
even an American one, especially one courageous enough to take on a mission
of mercy in defiance of state policy unjustly prohibiting it.
- Dr. Dhafir was confined at the federal prison in Fairton,
NJ until December when he was transfered further away from his family,
who weren't told. He's now at what's been described as the hellhole in
Terre Haute, IN, in an area of right wing extremism and KKK influence,
in a deliberate act of further barbaric vengeance to break his spirit,
restrict his access to legal help and his family, and cause him undue pain
and suffering in an age of US-sanctioned and authorized torture as a method
of social control and inhumanity and because no dissenting authority has
the courage to challenge Washington's willingness to go against the most
basic principles of equity and justice.
- A Look Back to Find Direction Ahead
- A look back to an important anniversary just reached
should have been duly noted and reflected on in the major media, but it
passed nearly unnoticed. It was the December 15 anniversary of the Bill
of Rights of 1791 to the Constitution framed in 1787. It gave us unimaginable
freedoms up to that time written into the law of the land that overall
was a great democratic experiment never tried before outside of ancient
Athens for a few decades before it ended. It gave people the rights of
free expression, religion and peaceable assembly; protection from illegal
searches and seizure; the right of due process, against double jeopardy
and to remain silent if accused; to a speedy trial by jury if charged with
the right to counsel and to be able to call witnesses; protection from
any cruel and unusual punishment and more.
- Most of the credit for this historic achievement goes
to James Madison who drafted the first 10 amendments and with his perseverance
got the other Framers to go along. He then managed to get the needed two-thirds
vote from both Houses of Congress and ratification by the required three-fourths
of the states in 1791 to have them become the law of the land - a major
landmark achievement today being defiled by those in power who have contempt
for the freedoms the Founders gave us.
- Madison is thought of by some to be the "Father
of the Constitution," but it's more accurate to call him its Godfather
as he had a lot of help from the other 54 Founders who met in the Philadelphia
State House, where the Declaration of Independence was signed 11 years
earlier, to frame this historic document for the new republic they hoped
would last into "remote futurity" - if we could keep it as Ben
Franklin warned at the time and would shudder now at how things turned
out and condemn those in power responsible.
- Two future presidents, Thomas Jefferson and John Adams
were serving abroad as envoys to France and Britain and weren't in Philadelphia
for this historic gathering. When they were back later on, Jefferson and
Madison wanted twelve initial amendments to the Constitution instead of
the original 10 that were adopted. Federalists John Adams and Alexander
Hamilton, however, opposed the Bill of Rights entirely and managed to exclude
from them the other two that included "freedom from monopolies in
commerce," or what are now giant corporate predators, and "freedom
from a permanent military," or today's standing armies waging wars
of illegal aggression.
- Imagine what might have been, what was lost, and how
the country might be governed today had Jefferson and Madison prevailed.
Still they deserve our gratitude for what they accomplished, and it's
disconcerting at the least to wonder how much worse off we'd be now if
they hadn't gotten any of the Bill of Rights freedoms in our founding law
that although lost under neocon rule may one day be restored if we can
survive in the meantime.
- A Look Ahead In An Age of State-Sponsored Terror Under
- It's time to pause at year's end to give thanks for our
blessings but reflect that the spirit of the season demands that the madness
of Bush neocon rule be stopped and ended before it's too late. Six years
is more than enough to know the administration's agenda at home and abroad
is roguish, corrupted by greed and contempt for the law, ruthless in its
pursuit of world dominance through the barrel of a gun, and arrogant enough
to think it can get away with it because who'll challenge those in charge.
- Internally, there no longer are checks and balances as
the three branches of government under Republicans and Democrats are united
for a common purpose, and their agenda to carry it out is hostile to the
public interest. It's the ultimate expression of Lord Acton's dictum that
"power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely." Positively
it does in the age of George Bush and a culture obsessed with power, the
lust for more of it, and the worship of the wealth and privilege that comes
with it. It wreaks of the Vince Lombardi philosophy that "Winning
isn't everything; it's the only thing," and the only rules are the
ones those now in power make up as they go along justifying whatever they
choose to do, regardless of its consequences always harmful to the great
- It's also based on might making right but not the way
Abe Lincoln meant it when he said in his February, 1860 Cooper Union speech
prior to his July presidential nomination that year: "Let us have
faith that right makes might, and in that faith, let us, to the end, dare
to do our duty as we understand it." He later expressed a spirit
of reconciliation with the South and kind of humanity George Bush has contempt
for in his second inaugural address in March, 1865 when he spoke of "malice
toward none (and) charity for all" only weeks before his life was
taken by an assassin's bullet. Imagining that language from George Bush,
and meaning it, would be to imagine the unimaginable from a man who likely
doesn't even understand it.
- What is imaginable in the year ahead and thenceforth
is a world without George Bush and his neocon extremist administration
leading the nation on a path to hell. Those wanting justice demand the
Congress act to impeach him and the vice-president and then remove them
from office allowing for the chance charges will be brought against them
both and others in their administration so they'll be held to account in
the International Criminal Court (ICC) in the Hague or another judicial
venue where officials may be prosecuted for war crimes, crimes against
humanity and genocide. They committed them all and more against the people
of Iraq, at least two of the three in Afghanistan, and a legion of others
against the people of the United States and its Constitution.
- It'll only happen if it comes from the bottom up, from
enough public outrage bubbling to the surface vocally demanding justice
be served and the rule of law restored and again respected. No one at
any level in public or private life should ever be allowed to get away
with the kind of reckless and gross criminality that's been rampant and
out-of-control in Washington for the past six years under Republican neocon
- It's long past time to put an end to this criminal class
of rogues in charge, running the country like their private fiefdom in
a culture of galling corruption and scorn for the law that exceeds anything
here ever preceding their tenure. Already there's a groundswell of growing
outrage slowly building in size and intensity. As the new year approaches,
it remains to be seen if a combination of those people of conscience can
unite with enough others in the body politic to give us all what everyone
should want and demand - an end to wars, a renewed respect for the law,
accountability for those in government who violated it, and a commitment
to serve the public interest with equity and equal justice for all in the
true spirit of a real democracy restored from the grave and once again
respected and cherished.
- Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at
email@example.com. Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.