Written by Chris Floyd
Sunday, 02 September 2007
Put your hand on my head, baby;
Do I have a temperature?
I see people who ought to know better
Standing around like furniture.
There’s a wall between you
And what you want — you got to leap it.
Tonight you got the power to take it;
Tomorrow you won’t have the power to keep it.
— Bob Dylan
Tomorrow is here. The game is over. The crisis has passed — and the patient is dead. Whatever dream you had about what America is, it isn’t that anymore. It’s gone. And not just in some abstract sense, some metaphorical or mythological sense, but down in the nitty-gritty, in the concrete realities of institutional structures and legal frameworks, of policy and process, even down to the physical nature of the landscape and the way that people live.
The Republic you wanted — and at one time might have had the power to take back — is finished. You no longer have the power to keep it; it’s not there. It was kidnapped in December 2000, raped by the primed and ready exploiters of 9/11, whored by the war pimps of the 2003 aggression, gut-knifed by the corrupters of the 2004 vote, and raped again by its “rescuers” after the 2006 election. Beaten, abused, diseased and abandoned, it finally died. We are living in its grave.
The annus horribilis of 2007 has turned out to be a year of triumph for the Bush Faction — the hit men who delivered the coup de grâce to the long-moribund Republic. Bush was written off as a lame duck after the Democrat’s November 2006 election “triumph” (in fact, the narrowest of victories eked out despite an orgy of cheating and fixing by the losers), and the subsequent salvo of Establishment consensus from the Iraq Study Group, advocating a de-escalation of the war in Iraq. Then came a series of scandals, investigations, high-profile resignations, even the criminal conviction of a top White House official. But despite all this — and abysmal poll ratings as well — over the past eight months Bush and his coupsters have seen every single element of their violent tyranny confirmed, countenanced and extended.
The war which we were told the Democrats and ISG consensus would end or wind down has of course been escalated to its greatest level yet — more troops, more airstrikes, more mercenaries, more Iraqi captives swelling the mammoth prison camps of the occupying power, more instability destroying the very fabric of Iraqi society. The patently illegal surveillance programs of the authoritarian regime have now been codified into law by the Democratic Congress, which has also let stand the evisceration of habeas corpus in the Military Commissions Act, and a raft of other liberty-stripping laws, rules, regulations and executive orders. Bush’s self-proclaimed arbitrary power to seize American citizens (and others) without charge and hold them indefinitely — even kill them — has likewise been unchallenged by the legislators. Bush has brazenly defied Congressional subpoenas — and even arbitrarily stripped the Justice Department of the power to enforce them — to no other reaction than a stern promise from Democratic leaders to “look further into this matter.” His spokesmen — and his “signing statements” — now openly proclaim his utter disdain for representative government, and assert at every turn his sovereign right to “interpret” — or ignore — legislation as he wishes. He retains the right to “interpret” just which interrogation techniques are classified as torture and which are not, while his concentration camp at Guantanamo Bay and his secret CIA prisons — where those “strenuous” techniques are practiced — remain open. His increasingly brazen drive to war with Iran has already been endorsed unanimously by the Senate and overwhelmingly by the House, both of which have embraced the specious casus belli concocted by the Bush Regime. And to come full circle, Democratic leaders like Hillary Clinton and Carl Levin are now praising the “military success” of the Iraq escalation — despite the evident failure of its stated goals by every single measure, including troop deaths, civilian deaths, security, infrastructure, political cohesion and regional stability. This emerging “bipartisan consensus” on the military situation in Iraq (or rather, this utter fantasy concealing a rapidly deteriorating reality) makes it certain that the September “progress report” will be greeted as a justification for continuing the “surge” in one form or another.
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