Shame Of The Nation:
A Collective Perversion
By Stephen Lendman
26 October, 2006
daily headlines about a single congressman's online pedophiliac behavior
obscure the greater issue of a nation off its moorings and afflicted
by the collective perversion of defiling the foundational equity and
justice-for-all letter and spirit of what the nation long-claimed to
stand for but no longer does if it ever did. Nearly everyone in the
administration, Congress and courts share the collective guilt and shame
and by their actions destroyed Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address
"resolve....that this nation....shall have a new birth of freedom
(in a) "government of the people, by the people, for the people
(that) shall not perish from the earth."
They conspiratorially participated
in the crimes of a nation that go against Lincoln's hope that the dead
he spoke of hadn't "died in vain" on "the great battle-field"
where he stood and all the other civil war ones he referred to. They
also defiled what the Founders stood for and gave us in 1787 when 55
of them met in the Philadelphia State House, where the Declaration of
Independence was signed 11 years earlier, and framed an historic foundational
document for the new federal republic they hoped would last into "remote
futurity." Benjamin Franklin was there but wasn't so sure and openly
and presciently warned we might not be able to keep it. Even at our
nation's birth, he understood the risk.
Where are the leaders now
with the kind of wisdom, foresight, character, courage and honor our
Founders and Lincoln had. A modern-day Diogenes would search in vain
for them. We've come a long way in the last 220 years and since the
time Lincoln spoke of a nation "conceived in Liberty, and dedicated
to the proposition that all men are created equal." Today democracy
and freedom are somewhere between life support and the crematorium,
and Ben Franklin would have said I warned you. The only speculation
now is whether we've already gone over the edge, sunk too low, and it's
too late to save the republic. It's visibly sinking fast into the dustbin
of a worthy experiment gone sour because those with the power to nurture
it spurned the chance. They sacrificed it on the alter of power corrupting
and absolute power doing it absolutely.
Our Nation's Beginnings
and Path Since
Even at its outset, the flaws
in the republic were broad and deep, but we managed to survive anyway
and grow as a nation in spite of them. We had the right people give
us a remarkable foundational start, and it helped in no small measure
that along the way we had enlightened periods like the late 19th century
Progressive Movement and later the glorious New and Fair Deals and Great
Society when government actually served the needs of the people.
It didn't last, and the modern-day
"great transformation" south began in the early 1970s with
the breakdown of the post-WW II Bretton Woods international economic
order when the enormous debt from the Vietnam war forced Richard Nixon
to close the gold window and make the dollar a fiat currency backed
by nothing but the good faith of the issuing authority. Trilaterialism
also emerged then to counter what its influential members saw as a "crisis
of democracy," meaning too much of it. It was founded by Chase
Manhattan bank president David Rockeller (scion of the king of the original
"robber barons"), Zbignew Brzezinski (Jimmy Carter's national
security advisor) and had about 300 other "eminent private citizen"
members (including Jimmy Carter) of an elite international ruling class
whose power is centered in the dominant transnational corporate interests
aiming to rule the world and make it safe for capital - meaning, at
the expense of the public interest. This was the period when capital
began to be deregulted and what's now called neoliberalism emerged to
counter and erode the social and economic legacy of the FDR through
LBJ years. Even Republican Dwight Eisenhower in the 1950s was wise enough
to leave in place the New Deal policies he knew were enlightened and
good for the nation overall.
Trilateralists had other
ideas, and they only took a few years to begin reversing the great social
gains begun under Franklin Roosevelt that would begin to atrophy fast
with the engineered election of Ronald Reagan in 1980. He and his administration
began a generation of government of, for and by the privileged serving
the interests of capital and abusing the people who elected the ones
in it. We still had a semblance of real elections then, but it didn't
help. Today even that's lost as technology and the corruption of power
destroyed the most fundamental element of a democratic society making
the way things once were now just a relic of another era. A free and
fair election process is not the stock and trade of the current neocon
Bush regime, and it proved it the two times we were led to believe the
current incumbent and a good number of his congressional cohorts were
actually the people's choices. They only were if by "the people"
we mean those of privilege who stood to gain the most with them in offce.
The Bush Neocon Road
to Hell With No Good Intentions
One day, George W. Bush's
inauguration on January 20, 2001 will be remembered as a day of infamy
in the nation's history if it's not already. It was also disturbingly
reminiscent even then of the fall of Paris on June 14,1940 to the Nazi
Wehrmacht when the people of that city were assembled to watch the jack
boots parade along the Champs-Elysees turning the "City of Light"
to darkness. So too a shroud of gloom fell over our capitol and nation
on our dark day for those afraid of what would follow from the fall
of our government and democracy to the invading neocons. They wasted
no time, and as soon as the inaugural festivities ended began the process
of dismantling what remained of our democratic freedoms in earnest.
Before he could even find the West Wing, George Bush immediately signed
executive orders reversing the few more enlightened policies of his
predecessor. It was a clear sign of what was coming.
It's an agenda to tyranny
aided by a tsunami of socially destructive and authoritarian executive
orders to go along with the legislative and judicial acquiescence of
the other two government branches to a shameless, corrupted front-man
stooge for a cabal of neocon bandits led by the Vice-President in the
lead role. This alliance jeopardizes the republic that now hangs by
a thread that could give way on any pretext because that's what the
people now in charge have in mind. Like other past "master race"
regimes, their morality and agenda are corrupted by a Manichean world
vision and delusions of superiority that they have a God-given moral
authority to rule the world with an unchallengeable closed fist.
For them democracy, freedom
and the rule of law are anathema. They stand in the way of their quest
for global dominance and the subjugation of everyone in it through the
barrel of a gun abroad and the so-called Department of Homeland Security
at home that's our version of Hitler's dreaded Gestapo state police
and his Schutzstaffel praetorian guard "Protective Squadron"
known as the "SS" that had administrative control over the
whole Nazi "homeland security" operation. Both these agencies
became symbols of terror as justice under them was cruel and arbitrary.
Their methods are now becoming standard practice under Bush neocon rule
where anyone for any reason (including citizens) can now be seized without
cause, called an "enemy combatant", renditioned to a torture-prison
hellhole in an undisclosed corner of the earth with no chance to be
free again or be able to get help. In CIA terms, the law of the land
now allows the state to do openly what it's been secretly doing all
along - make everyone it target "ghost prisoners" taken on
"ghost planes" to be held in secret "ghost prisons"
subject to the justice of a military tribunal with no competent defense
or right of appeal. Is there any clearer definition of tyranny than
George Bush's Developing
Anyone knowing about George
Bush's developing years aren't surprised by how he governs. He showed
his dark side sadistic attitude and behavior early on. Bush progressed
from a young boy blowing up frogs for sport with firecrackers to doing
it now to countries with king-sized "shock and awe" ones.
Along the way, he had his problems with alcohol and drugs, evaded serving
in Vietnam and once as Texas governor shamelessly mocked a desperate
woman's cries for help at the eleventh hour before she was executed
refusing to show any mercy in an interview he gave. He can also take
"credit" for having presided over more executions as Texas
governor than any other governor in the nation since capital punishment
was reinstated by the Supreme Court in 1976. Even his own Texas aides
said of him then that this is a man who enjoys killing.
He enjoyed inflicting pain
in his college days as well as evidenced by a 1967 so-called fraternity
initiation rite he was involved in that was exposed by the Yale Daily
News and reported in the New York Times at the time. It involved the
barbaric hazing procedure used by Delta Epsilon Kappa (DKE) fraternity
when Bush was a Yale senior and fraternity president. New members then
had to undergo painful hours of being kicked and beaten with wooden
paddles lasting into the early morning hours leading up to the sadistic
climax of being burned on their backsides with a hot branding iron in
the shape of the letter Delta. It was enough to cause second degree
burns and leave a permanent scar on the skin area as well as in the
memories of those initiates going through it. When word got out about
the practice, DKE fraternity was censured and fined $1,000, and the
practice was banned by the university.
Electoral Fraud Is
the First Step on the Road to Tyranny
People of conscience who
believe in the letter and spirit of the law would have blanched at this
kind of information and more that was suppressed when George Bush was
a presidential candidate in 2000. It was no commonplace history of a
young man sowing his wild oats or going through his rites of passage.
This is a man whom former Texas Governor Ann Richards once aptly described
as "someone born on third base (thinking) he hit a triple."
It also reveals a man who thinks he has a right to use and abuse anyone
for his own amusement or self-interest. Had the voters known any of
this, at the least it would have given them pause about whether this
was the kind of man they wanted as chief executive, even though there's
no guarantee anyone else would have been much different in office. As
things turned out, it didn't matter once five arrogant High Court justices
decided their votes counted more than all of ours. They wanted a Republican
president and deprived Al Gore of the office he won. The rest of us
lostout along with him because of their judicial annulment of our most
fundamental democratic right without which there's no democracy. We've
been on the road to hell ever since.
Thorough investigative reporting
proved how corrupted the electoral process was in 2000 because of mass-disenfranchisement
of millions of eligible voters. It got worse in 2004 and may be off
the charts in November and 2008 confounding the polls and pundits now
predicting the Democrats will win back one or both houses of Congress.
They'll be hard-pressed to do it now that electronic voting machines
run by large corporations control over 80% of the total vote. We know
these machines can be easily manipulated in secret assuring the companies
controlling them get enough of the candidates they favor elected ending
any pretense there can ever again be a free and fair election with them
in charge of the process. It's another reason why half the still-enfranchised
public or less never shows up at the polls. Why bother if your choice
goes by voting machine magic to the other candidate, is never counted
or doesn't matter anyway because the only choice is what Ralph Nader
calls "the evil of two lessers." It's a ystem of rule in a
de facto one party state author and social critic Gore Vidal calls the
"Property party" with two right wings: Republicans and Democrats
in a plutocracy. Others call it fascism, but by any definition, it's
the tyranny of capital enforced by storm trooper brutality and military
tribunal justice spelling the end of a democratic republic.
We see the results today
in the kinds of people serving in high office and the harm their malice,
greed and lust for power cause. They shamelessly used the controversial
event on 9/11 as a launching platform to go to war with two non-aggressive
states to control them for political and economic gain and to serve
the interests of our joined-at-the-hip Middle East partner. It didn't
matter that neither country threatened us or any of their neighbors.
The Bush administration invented lies that they did to justify a messianic
mission of madness, planned months earlier, starting in the Middle East
and Central Asia, and continuing until its goal of full spectrum dominance
is achieved over all land, sea, air, outer space and information.
The technology isn't yet
in place to declare mission accomplished, but the Congress is spending
billions of our tax dollars developing it. If it can be done, we'll
all be forced to live by the rules it makes for the integrated world
economy it hopes to establish serving the interests of capital that
want to use us like production inputs to extract value from and then
discard. Would anyone understanding this agenda accept it?
Our Middle East Partner
in Imperial Madness
Allied with us in our criminal
mission of madness is a willing and eager partner already suggested.
It's the tiny state of Israel that has the power and influence of a
giant because we made it one. We fund and arm it lavishly and support
its equally mad imperial mission to reign unchallenged over its part
of the world in partnership with us. We co-authored and funded its genocidal
wars of exploitation and annexation in the Occupied Palestinian Territories
(OPT) for nearly six decades and its similar adventures against its
northern Lebanese neighbor for the past 40 of them culminating with
its five week summer blitzkrieg criminal assault laying waste to the
whole country and making this act of infamy a nominee for the crime
of the century for the amount of devastation and human misery it caused
in so short a time.
The Shameless Neocon
Bush Administration Legacy
No other US administration
in history can match the appalling six year record of the Bush neocons.
The harm they've done and the price free people are paying for it is
incalculable. They brazenly destroyed two defenseless countries in the
name of "liberation," killed many hundreds of thousands of
their people bringing them the "benefits" of "western
civilization," and immiserated milllions more dooming them to suffer
and die daily in great numbers out of sight and out of mind. They also
trashed sacred constitutional and international laws and norms doing
it, institutionalized the use of mass-imprisonment, torture and other
dehumanizing and degrading barbaric acts to make it work, have a ready
set of new targets in their queue and created a proto-fascist national
security police state at home tolerating no dissent nor any protection
from the sacred constitutional rights of habeas and due process now
People of conscience demanding
justice and accountability are outraged that officials responsible for
this agenda are allowed to get away with it and may never have to answer
for their crimes in a court of law. But that doesn't mean they've gone
unnoticed or unaddressed. The Bush administration has now become the
first one in US history to be charged with war crimes by the International
Committee of the Red Cross and the only other one the ICRC ever charged
besides Nazi Germany. Those named culpable are George Bush, Richard
Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, top military commanders and many members of
Congress. Their crimes match the worst of those in the Hitler regime
put in the Nuremberg Tribunal dock to stand trial. The ones found guilty
there of the "supreme international crime" of illegal aggression
were hanged while others of lesser culpability were sentenced to appropriate
prison terms for lengths of time commensurate with their crimes. In
a world not ruled by victor's justice, George Bush and his conspiatorial
allies would be held just as accountable and made to face the same judgment
at the International Criminal Court (ICC) at the Hague as the worst
of the Nazi rogues did at Nuremberg.
The threat of that happening
after he leaves office may be why it's been reported George Bush bought
a 98,842 acre farm in Paraguay to go along with the 173,000 acres his
father already owns there. Both properties border Bolivia and Brazil
and comprise in total an astonishing 2.7% of the whole country. Are
they considering buying a controlling interest in it? It's not known
what the Bush family has in mind there, but it is known Paraguay has
no laws criminalizing money-laundering, anti-terrorism or terrorist
financing even though it does have an extradition treaty with the US
if it ever dared using it for the Bushes.
George Bush may have gotten
advice to seek a safe haven because he and his cohorts have a lot to
answer the US public and world community for including having financed
their Orwellian agenda on the back of a growing mountain of unrepayable
debt that's causing some worried analysts to believe they've helped
bankrupt the nation, an eventual fiscal calamity is unavoidable, and
the end result will be what most people believe is unthinkable - that
the richest of all nations will eventually default on its sovereign
debt, entitlements millions are counting on and think are safe, and
all other financial obligations because either there won't be enough
resources left to pay for them or we'll just have near-worthless fiat
currency no one any longer wants.
This is the specter of a
potential future elephant in the room calamity few in high places will
admit is there. Nor is there much talk that it was engineered by successive
administrations, a complicit Congress and a friendly private for-profit
Federal Reserve (owned and controlled by the big banks and Wall Street
giants) always willing to print up all the ready cash needed to keep
the party going. As long as it can get away with it, it knows it has
to (as it's doing now) because once it stops the good times are over,
and so is freewheeling neocon imperialism. While it lasts though, the
high-roller players are benefitting at the public's expense from a dollar-financed
Ponzi scheme using the world's dominant reserve currency debt to advance
the interests of capital and build a global US empire to secure it.
The ugly scheme has gone on unchecked for decades, it accelerated during
the Reagan years and went into overdrive under the Bush neocons and
their agenda of endless imperial wars for world dominance tha need lots
of cash and mountains of debt to create it.
Today we have their legacy,
and we're governed recklessly by an authoritarian band of marauders
with delusions of grandeur for their kind of brave new world order that
threatens all humanity. It's a vision of corporatism enforced with unchallengeable
military might and made possible by the magic of printing press debt
monetization other central banks have to go along with. They haven't
much choice as they're tied to the majority of America's industrial
base operating in their countries, but more importantly, they're entrapped
in a US-controlled dollarized world where over half their foreign reserves
collectively are now in the US currency, China alone holding $1 trillion
of them. All the players need to keep the scheme going like a worldwide
fiscal game of musical chairs played on the edge of a cliff. They can't
let the music stop even though they know one day it will, and then they'll
face the same fate as the Mother Goose character Humpty Dumpty. Herb
Stein, Richard Nixon's chief economic advisor, knw all about the nursery
rhyme symbolism. He explained it once when he said: "Things that
can't go on forever, don't." He omitted the part about what happens
next, but he understood the penalty for excess is high, painful, inevitable
and at that point there's nothing "All the king's horses and all
the king's men" can do about it.
This is the legacy of a generation
of greed capped by the George Bush neocon presidency that will go down
in history as a blight on humanity the likes of which may end up exceeding
anything preceding it anywhere - if we survive to reflect on it. Call
this era under the Bush neocons The Age of Perversion in contrast to
an earlier Age of Enlightenment that helped inspire our liberating revolutionary
spirit creating the glorious experiment of a democracy never before
tried outside of the imperfect earlier version of it for a few decades
in ancient Athens.
Theirs ended as ours is doing
now, and many share the blame besides a rogue administration, Congress
and courts. As much fault lies with the dominant interests in corporate
boardrooms without whose complicity none of this would be tolerated,
the powerful Jewish Lobby Zionists and their Christian fundamentalist/Zionist
allies with enormous influence on policy, and those in academia and
the major media who sold their souls pledging allegiance to a criminal
enterprise posing as a legitimate government. They're all conspiratorially
allied in its messianic mission of madness for the benefits they get
at the expense of the public welfare and the ultimate price that one
day will have to be paid for their transgressions.
Also blame the many millions
of ordinary people so pre-occupied in their daily lives they took the
word of a sadist and inveterate liar making empty promises to combat
terror threats that don't exist while claiming to care about the democratic
social equity and justice-for-all principles he, the Congress, courts
and other dominant interests don't give a damn about.
How often the public falls
for this scam, and how easy it is for those in power to deceive us any
time they want to invent a new threat to scare us into going along with
whatever scheme they have in mind and even fleece us in the process
without our ever being the wiser. Like those they rape and plunder,
we, too, are victims - of our own indifference that likely won't change
until our wounds begin to smart and fester enough to cause real pain,
but by then it may be too late.
We the people let them get
away with their destructive scheme of endless imperial wars, income
redistributionist tax cuts for the rich and corporate giants, the erosion
of essential social services and the repressive USA Patriot Act that
legalizes all intrusions into our lives and led to the just-enacted
Military Commissions Act that effectively annuls the Constitution, criminalizes
dissent and makes us all "enemy combatants" with no legal
rights left to defend ourselves including the bedrock ones of habeas
and due process. How low we've sunk in coming so far and how willing
we've been to go along.
The crime of the nation is
the shame of a failed state no longer seen abroad as a beacon and symbol
of hope and freedom. We stand disrobed and exposed as an out-of-control
dystopian rogue enterprise run by a craven leadership fighting a war
of terror against humanity that's taking all of us on the road to hell.
Is there still time to stop this insanity and save the republic? We'll
never know unless we finally realize the enormity of the threat and
get aroused enough to fight back in our own self-defense.
lives in Chicago and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
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