Look Back And Ahead In
An Age Of Neocon Rule
By Stephen Lendman
28 December, 2006
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 ahead.
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
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
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
-- 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 rising.
-- 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
-- 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
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
-- 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 abuses.
-- 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 destroy.
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 ever had."
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 away.
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 and
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
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
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
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 Neocon Rule
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 majority.
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
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 rule.
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
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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