Wednesday, December 12, 2007

The day of reckoning Is approaching !

America's Day Of
Reckoning Is At Hand

By Paul Craig Roberts

Pat Buchanan is too patriotic to come right out
and say it, but the message of his new book,
Day of Reckoning, is that America, as we
have known her, is finished. Moreover,
Naomi Wolf agrees with him. These two
writers of different political persuasions
arrive at America's demise from
different directions.

Buchanan explains how hubris, ideology,
and greed have torn America apart. A
neoconservative cabal with an alien
agenda captured the Bush administration
and committed American blood, energy,
and money to aggression against Muslim
countries in the Middle East, while
permitting America's domestic borders
to be overrun by immigrants and
exporting the jobs that had made the
US an opportunity society. War and
offshoring have taken a savage
economic toll while open borders
and diversity have created social and
political division.

In her new book, End of America: Letter
of Warning to a Young Patriot, Wolf
explains America's demise in terms
of the erosion of freedoms. She writes
that the 10 classic steps that are used
to close open societies are currently
being taken in the US. Martial law
is only a declaration away.

The Bush administration responded to
September 11 by initiating military
aggression in the Middle East and by
using fear and the "war on terror" to
implement police state measures at
home with legislation, presidential
directives, and executive orders

Overnight the US became a tyranny
in which people could be arrested and
incarcerated on the basis of
unsubstantiated accusation. Both
US citizens and non-citizens were
denied habeas corpus, due process,
and access to attorneys and
courts. Congress gave
Bush legislation establishing
military tribunals, the procedures
of which permit people to be
condemned to death on the basis
of secret evidence, hearsay, and
confessions extracted by
torture. Nothing of the like has
ever been seen before in the US.

The cancer might have metastasized
if the Guantanamo detainees had
actually been the dangerous terrorists
and enemy combatants that the Bush
regime declared them to be. Had the
administration actually possessed
evidence against the detainees, the
Bush regime might have succeeded
in dispensing with the
Constitution. Conviction of the
detainees could have led to what
Wolf calls a "fascist
expansion." Following the exercise
of its new powers, the regime could
have broadened the definition of
terrorist to include the regime's
critics, thus pulling citizens in
general into tribunals devoid of
civil liberty protections.

It could still turn out this way in
the event of another 9/11 attack,
whether real or orchestrated. But
momentarily the drive toward
tyranny has been blunted, because
the vast majority of detainees turned
out to be hapless individuals sold
into American captivity by warlords
responding to the bounty the US
paid for "terrorists." Any unprotected
individual was vulnerable to being
captured by Afghan and Pakistani
warlords and sold as a
"terrorist." The Americans needed
to show results, and the Bush regime
needed "terrorists" in order to feed
the fear its propaganda had generated.

In Stalinist Russia or Nazi Germany, the
absence of evidence would not have
mattered as the judicial system
produced the results demanded by
the tyrants. However, the US
military had not been sufficiently
corrupted for the Bush regime's
Guantanamo agenda to
succeed. Honorable officers, such
as Lt. Col. Stephen Abraham, were
able to discern that the US
government had no information
on the detainees and used
interrogations in order to rubber
stamp the a priori determination
that a detainee was a terrorist or
enemy combatant. Military
officers made these revelations
known to real courts before the
tribunal process could establish itself.

CounterPunch writer Andy Worthington's
recently published book, The
Guantanamo Files: The Stories of
the 759 Detainees in America's
Illegal Prison, proves that the
regime's claim that it had hundreds
of dangerous terrorists at
Guantanamo was just another
Bush administration lie.

Currently, support for Bush,
Cheney, and the neoconservative
agenda is low. However, Congress,
the press, and elections have proven
to be feeble opponents of the Bush
regime's drive toward war and
tyranny. It remains to be seen
whether the regime has sufficient
credibility or audacity to initiate
war with Iran or a false flag attack
that would revive the fascist
expansion of which Naomi Wolf warns.

The Bush administration has been
a catastrophe. Its failures are
unprecedented. Energy prices
are at all time highs. The US is
deeply in debt and dependent on
foreign creditors. The dollar has
lost 60 per cent of its value against
other tradable currencies, and its
reserve currency status, the basis
of American power, is in doubt. The
US has lost millions of middle class
jobs which have been replaced
with low paid domestic service
jobs. Except for the very rich,
Americans have experienced
no gains in real income in the
21st century. As the ladders of
upward mobility are dismantled
and the middle class struggles and
fails, America is left with a few rich
and many poor. America's reputation
and credibility are damaged perhaps
beyond repair. Congress and the
press have enabled the executive
branch's disregard of the Constitution
and civil liberty. The US is mired
in two lost wars which are pushing
Lebanon and nuclear-armed Pakistan
into deepening political crises.

As Buchanan concludes, "Our day
of reckoning is at hand."

Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant
Secretary of the Treasury in the
Reagan Administration. He is the
author of Supply-Side Revolution :

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