Predatory Capitalism, Corruption and Militarism: What Lies Ahead in An Age of Neocon Rule?
by Stephen Lendman
Global Research, January 2, 2007
Borrowing 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
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.
Read the rest here.