- "Dissent is what rescues democracy from a quiet
death behind closed doors." --Lewis H. Lapham
- The year 2011 will bring Americans a larger and more
intrusive police state, more unemployment and home foreclosures, no economic
recovery, more disregard by the US government of US law, international
law, the Constitution, and truth, more suspicion and distrust from allies,
more hostility from the rest of the world, and new heights of media sycophancy.
- 2011 is shaping up as the terminal year for American
democracy. The Republican Party has degenerated into a party of Brownshirts,
and voter frustrations with the worsening economic crisis and military
occupations gone awry are likely to bring Republicans to power in 2012.
With them would come their doctrines of executive primacy over Congress,
the judiciary, law, and the Constitution and America's rightful hegemony
over the world.
- If not already obvious, 2010 has made clear that the
US government does not care a whit for the opinions of citizens. The TSA
is unequivocal that it will reach no accommodation with Americans other
than the violations of their persons that it imposes by its unaccountable
power. As for public opposition to war, the Associated Press reported
on December 16 that "Defense Secretary Robert Gates says the U.S.
can't let public opinion sway its commitment to Afghanistan." Gates
stated bluntly what has been known for some time: the idea is passe that
government in a democracy serves the will of the people. If this quaint
notion is still found in civics books, it will soon be edited out.
- In Gag Rule, a masterful account of the suppression of
dissent and the stifling of democracy, Lewis H. Lapham writes that candor
is a necessary virtue if democracies are to survive their follies and crimes.
But where in America today can candor be found? Certainly not in the councils
of government. Attorney General John Ashcroft complained of candor-mongers
to the Senate Judiciary Committee. Americans who insist on speaking their
minds, Ashcroft declared, "scare people with phantoms of lost liberty,"
"aid terrorists," diminish our resolve," and "give
ammunition to America's enemies."
- As the Department of Justice (sic) sees it, when the
ACLU defends habeas corpus it is defending the ability of terrorists to
blow up Americans, and when the ACLU defends the First Amendment it is
defending exposures of the lies and deceptions that are the necessary scaffolding
for the government's pretense that it is doing God's will while Satan speaks
through the voices of dissent.
- Neither is candor a trait in which the American media
finds comfort. The neoconservative press functions as propaganda ministry
for hegemonic American empire, and the "liberal" New York Times
serves the same master. It was the New York Times that gave credence to
the Bush regime's lies about Iraqi weapons of mass destruction, and it
was the New York Times that guaranteed Bush's re-election by spiking the
story that Bush was committing felonies by spying on Americans without
obtaining warrants. Conservatives rant about the "liberal media"
as if it were a vast subversive force, but they owe their beloved wars
and coverups of the Bush regimes' crimes to the New York Times.
- With truth the declared enemy of the fantasy world in
which the government, media, and public reside, the nation has turned on
whistleblowers. Bradley Manning, who allegedly provided the media with
the video made by US troops of their wanton, fun-filled slaughter of newsmen
and civilians, has been abused in solitary confinement for six months.
Murdering civilians is a war crime, and as General Peter Pace, Chairman
of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said at the National Press Club on February
17, 2006, "It is the absolute responsibility of everybody in uniform
to disobey an order that is either illegal or immoral" and to make
such orders known. If Manning is the source of the leak, he has been wrongfully
imprisoned for meeting his military responsibility. The media have yet
to make the point that the person who reported the crime, not the persons
who committed it, is the one who has been imprisoned, and without a trial.
- The lawlessness of the US government, which has been
creeping up on us for decades, broke into a full gallop in the years of
the Bush/Cheney/Obama regimes. Today the government operates above the
law, yet maintains that it is a democracy bringing the same to Muslims
by force of arms, only briefly being sidetracked by sponsoring a military
coup against democracy in Honduras and attempting to overthrow the democratic
government in Venezuela.
- As 2011 dawns, public discourse in America has the country
primed for a fascist dictatorship.The situation will be worse by 2012.
The most uncomfortable truth that emerges from the WikiLeaks saga is that
American public discourse consists of cries for revenge against those who
tell us truths. The vicious mendacity of the US government knows no restraint.
Whether or not international law can save Julian Assange from the clutches
of the Americans or death by a government black ops unit, both executive
and legislative branches are working assiduously to establish the National
Security State as the highest value and truth as its greatest enemy.
- America's future is the world of Winston Smith.
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