October 13, 2006

Is America Dead Yet?
“A man who feels it his duty at such an hour to assume the leadership of his people is not responsible to the laws of parliamentary usage or to a particular democratic conception, but solely to the mission placed upon him. And anyone who interferes with this mission is an enemy of the people.”

- Hitler addressing the Reichstag on February 20, 1938.
Paul Craig Roberts asks a few good questions:
When does “collateral damage” so dwarf combatant deaths that war becomes genocide?

What percentage of these 655,000 deaths were insurgents or “terrorists”? Probably 1% and no more than 2%. Bush’s “war on terror” is, in fact, a war on Iraqi civilians.

What is America’s reward for Bush’s illegal wars that have killed 655,000 Iraqis, an uncounted number of Afghanis, and disabled as many as 400,000 US troops?

What kind of government would destroy the lives through death or disability of over one million people for no valid reason?
Mike Whitney puts it in perspective:
So, (to summarize) in one 24-hour period, we found out that we’ve killed 2.5% of the entire Iraqi population, that we will maintain the same troop levels for the next 4 years (at minimum) and that our attempts to establish security have only increased the amount of violence.

That’s bad. That’s real bad.
Ted Rall puts a fork in it:
How did we get here? Good Germans--and many of them were decent, moral people--asked themselves the same thing...

Just as no single rollback led marked the transition from the Weimar Republic to the Third Reich, no event is individually responsible for America's shocking five-year transformation from beacon of freedom to autocratic torture state. It wasn't just letting Bush get away with his 2000 coup d'état. It wasn't just us standing by as he deliberately allowed his family friend Osama bin Laden to escape, or as he invaded Afghanistan, or as he built the concentration camps at Guantánamo and elsewhere, or even Iraq. It was all of those things collectively.

The Military Commissions Act signals that our traditional system of beliefs and government has irrevocably devolved into moral bankruptcy. Memo to Senator McCain: You don't negotiate with terrorists, and you don't compromise with torturers.

It doesn't matter how much food aid we ship to the victims of the next global natural disaster, or how diplomatic our next president is, or whether we come to regret what we have done in the name of law and order. Our laws permit kidnapping, torture and murder. Our laws deny access to the courts. The United States has ceded the moral high ground to its enemies.

We are done.
And if you think that sounds pessimistic, here's Whitney's conclusion:
Even if the Democrats sweep both houses in November, it is doubtful that the enfeebled congress will have the power to confront the omnipotent “unitary” executive. Bush has all the power now; and what he says, goes.

America is presently in a long, downward spiral. It could be years before we hit rock bottom. Our military is grinding down, our alliances are increasingly frayed and tenuous, and public opinion has begun to wane. The tectonic-plates of political good-fortune have begun to shift. There won’t be any more “good news” coming from Iraq.

Still, in the face of mounting pressure and widespread public unease, Bush has ordered a carrier group to the Gulf; steaming ahead for an apocalyptic confrontation with Iran. When the time is right, he’ll blow the whistle and the bombs will start pelting down like a Texas hailstorm.

It’s a death-wish.

Bush is chugging inexorably towards Tehran and we’re all being swept along in his wake. It’s like one last wild ride on the Titanic before we hit the ice in the open seas and slip slowly beneath the waves.

Glub, glub!


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