Saturday, March 03, 2007

Our Nemesis

From a review of "Nemesis - The Last Days of the American Republic", by Chlamers Johnson
Review by Stephen Lendman
courtesy of Information Clearing House

... Our democracy and way of life are now threatened because of our single-minded pursuit of empire with a well-entrenched militarism driving it that's become so powerful and pervasive it's now an uncontrollable state within the state. History is clear on this teaching we can choose as could all empires before us. We can keep ours and lose our democracy, but we can't have both. Rome made the wrong choice and perished. Britain chose more wisely and survived. We must now choose, and so far the signs are ominous. Our current behavior under all administrations post-WW II requires resources and commitments abroad that in the end, Johnson believes, "will inevitably undercut our domestic democracy and....produce a military dictatorship or its civilian equivalent." We're perilously close already because a hyper-reactionary statist administration hijacked the government and is driving the nation to tyranny and ruin.

The evidence post-9/11 shows it:

-- A nation facing no outside threats permanently at war.

-- Secret torture-prisons around the world with no accountability to which anyone, anywhere for any reason can be sent never to return or receive justice.

-- The most secretive, intrusive and repressive government in our history and a president who's a congenital, serial liar.

-- Social decay athome.

-- An unprecedented wealth disparity and extent of corporate power. Former US Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis warned years ago: "We can either have democracy in this country or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both."

-- A de facto one party state with two wings and a president claiming "unitary executive" powers ignoring the rule of law and doing as he pleases in the name of national security on his say alone.

-- The absence of checks and balances and separation of powers with no restraint on a reckless "boy-emperor" Executive on a "messianic mission."

-- A secret intelligence establishment with near-limitless funding operating without oversight. -

- A dominant corporate-controlled media serving as a national thought-control police and collective quasi-state ministry of information and propaganda glorifying imperial wars to "spread democracy" without letting on they're for conquest, domination and repression.

-- An omnipotent military-industrial complex Dwight Eisenhower couldn't have imagined when he warned us nor could George Washington, to no avail. In his Farewell Address in September, 1796, Washington said: "Overgrown military establishments are under any form of government inauspicious to liberty, and are to be regarded as particularly hostile to republican liberty." He meant large standing armies leading to an imperial presidency. They destroy our system of checks and balances and separation of powers and in the end our freedom.

-- A weak, servile Congress acceding to a dominant president under a system of authoritarian rule keeping a restive population in line it fears one day no longer will tolerate being denied essential services so the nation's wealth can go for imperial wars and handouts to the rich.

-- A cesspool of corruption stemming from incestuous ties between government and business mocking any notions of government of, for or by the people. Johnson points out America is plagued with the same dynamic that doomed other past empires unwilling to change - "isolation, overstretch, the uniting of local and global forces opposed to imperialism, and in the end bankruptcy" combined with authoritarian rule and loss of personal freedom. Hence, the title of the book - Nemesis, the goddess of vengeance and punisher of hubris and arrogance in Greek mythology...

Our present crisis isn't just from our military adventurism in Iraq and Afghanistan. It's from growing international anger and revulsion that America is no longer trusted with a president showing contempt for the law including our treaty obligations Article 6 of the Constitution says are the "supreme Law of the Land." They include the Third Geneva Convention (GCIII) of 1949 covering the treatment of prisoners in time of war and Fourth Geneva Convention (GCIV) the same year on protection of civilians in wartime in enemy hands or under occupation by a foreign power.. ..

Read the rest of this insightful review at Information Clearing House:
http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article17226.htm

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