- Pat Buchanan is too patriotic to come right out and say
it, but the message of his new book, Day
of Reckoning, is that America, as we have known her, is finished. Moreover,
Naomi Wolf agrees with him. These two writers of different political persuasions
arrive at America's demise from different directions.
- Buchanan explains how hubris, ideology, and greed have
torn America apart. A neoconservative cabal with an alien agenda captured
the Bush administration and committed American blood, energy, and money
to aggression against Muslim countries in the Middle East, while permitting
America's domestic borders to be overrun by immigrants and exporting the
jobs that had made the US an opportunity society. War and offshoring have
taken a savage economic toll while open borders and diversity have created
social and political division.
- In her new book, End
of America: Letter of Warning to a Young Patriot, Wolf explains America's
demise in terms of the erosion of freedoms. She writes that the 10 classic
steps that are used to close open societies are currently being taken in
the US. Martial law is only a declaration away.
- The Bush administration responded to September 11 by
initiating military aggression in the Middle East and by using fear and
the "war on terror" to implement police state measures at home
with legislation, presidential directives, and executive orders
- Overnight the US became a tyranny in which people could
be arrested and incarcerated on the basis of unsubstantiated accusation.
Both US citizens and non-citizens were denied habeas corpus, due process,
and access to attorneys and courts. Congress gave Bush legislation establishing
military tribunals, the procedures of which permit people to be condemned
to death on the basis of secret evidence, hearsay, and confessions extracted
by torture. Nothing of the like has ever been seen before in the US.
- The cancer might have metastasized if the Guantanamo
detainees had actually been the dangerous terrorists and enemy combatants
that the Bush regime declared them to be. Had the administration actually
possessed evidence against the detainees, the Bush regime might have succeeded
in dispensing with the Constitution. Conviction of the detainees could
have led to what Wolf calls a "fascist expansion." Following
the exercise of its new powers, the regime could have broadened the definition
of terrorist to include the regime's critics, thus pulling citizens in
general into tribunals devoid of civil liberty protections.
- It could still turn out this way in the event of another
9/11 attack, whether real or orchestrated. But momentarily the drive toward
tyranny has been blunted, because the vast majority of detainees turned
out to be hapless individuals sold into American captivity by warlords
responding to the bounty the US paid for "terrorists." Any unprotected
individual was vulnerable to being captured by Afghan and Pakistani warlords
and sold as a "terrorist." The Americans needed to show results,
and the Bush regime needed "terrorists" in order to feed the
fear its propaganda had generated.
- In Stalinist Russia or Nazi Germany, the absence of evidence
would not have mattered as the judicial system produced the results demanded
by the tyrants. However, the US military had not been sufficiently corrupted
for the Bush regime's Guantanamo agenda to succeed. Honorable officers,
such as Lt. Col. Stephen Abraham, were able to discern that the US government
had no information on the detainees and used interrogations in order to
rubber stamp the a priori determination that a detainee was a terrorist
or enemy combatant. Military officers made these revelations known to real
courts before the tribunal process could establish itself.
- CounterPunch writer Andy Worthington's recently published
Guantanamo Files: The Stories of the 759 Detainees in America's Illegal
Prison, proves that the regime's claim that it had hundreds of dangerous
terrorists at Guantanamo was just another Bush administration lie.
- Currently, support for Bush, Cheney, and the neoconservative
agenda is low. However, Congress, the press, and elections have proven
to be feeble opponents of the Bush regime's drive toward war and tyranny.
It remains to be seen whether the regime has sufficient credibility or
audacity to initiate war with Iran or a false flag attack that would revive
the fascist expansion of which Naomi Wolf warns.
- The Bush administration has been a catastrophe. Its failures
are unprecedented. Energy prices are at all time highs. The US is deeply
in debt and dependent on foreign creditors. The dollar has lost 60 per
cent of its value against other tradable currencies, and its reserve currency
status, the basis of American power, is in doubt. The US has lost millions
of middle class jobs which have been replaced with low paid domestic service
jobs. Except for the very rich, Americans have experienced no gains in
real income in the 21st century. As the ladders of upward mobility are
dismantled and the middle class struggles and fails, America is left with
a few rich and many poor. America's reputation and credibility are damaged
perhaps beyond repair. Congress and the press have enabled the executive
branch's disregard of the Constitution and civil liberty. The US is mired
in two lost wars which are pushing Lebanon and nuclear-armed Pakistan into
deepening political crises.
- As Buchanan concludes, "Our day of reckoning is
- Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the
Treasury in the Reagan Administration. He is the author of Supply-Side