Friday, January 25, 2008

The New America:
Dynastic Politics and Moral Monopoly


Here are two new articles from Paul Craig Roberts. They are both excellent...and by 'excellent' I mean I've started apartment hunting in both Toronto and Costa Rica beccause we're in serious trouble here.



The Empire That Must Be Obeyed
What Gives the US the Right to Claim a
Moral Monopoly Over the World?


By PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS, Counterpunch, 23 January 2008


"The first use of nuclear weapons must remain in the quiver of escalation as the ultimate instrument to prevent the use of weapons of mass destruction."

Five Western military leaders.
I read the statement three times trying to figure out the typo. Then it hit me, the West has now out-Owellled Orwell: The West must nuke other countries in order to prevent the use of weapons of mass destruction! In Westernspeak, the West nuking other countries does not qualify as the use of weapons of mass destruction.

The astounding statement comes from a paper prepared for a Nato summit in April by five top military leaders--an American, a German, a Dutchman, a Frenchman, and a Brit. It can be found here.

The paper, prepared by men regarded as distinguished leaders and not as escapees from insane asylums, argues that "the West's values and way of life are under threat, but the West is struggling to summon the will to defend them." The leaders find that the UN is in the way of the West's will, as is the European Union which is obstructing NATO and "NATO's credibility is at stake in Afghanistan."

And that's a serious matter. If NATO loses its credibility in Afghanistan, Western civilization will collapse just like the Soviet Union. The West just doesn't realize how weak it is. To strengthen itself, it needs to drop more and larger bombs.

The German military leader blames the Merkel government for contributing to the West's inability to defend its values by standing in the way of a revival of German militarism. How can Germany be "a reliable partner" for America, he asks, if the German government insists on "special rules" limiting the combat use of its forces in Afghanistan?

Ron Asmus, head of the German Marshall Fund and a former US State Department official, welcomed the paper as "a wake-up call." Asmus means a call to wake-up to the threats from the brutal world, not to the lunacy of Western leaders.

Who, what is threatening the West's values and way of life? Political fanaticism, religious fundamentalism, and the imminent spread of nuclear weapons, answer the five asylum escapees.

By political fanaticism, do they mean the neoconservatives who believe that the future of humanity depends on the US establishing its hegemony over the world? By religious fundamentalism, do they mean "rapture evangelicals" agitating for armageddon or Christian and Israeli Zionists demanding a nuclear attack on Iran? By spread of nuclear weapons, do they mean Israel's undeclared and illegal possession of several hundred nuclear weapons?

No. The paranoid military leaders see all the fanaticism, religious and otherwise, and all the threats to humanity as residing outside Western civilization (Israel is inside). The "increasingly brutal world," of which the leaders warn, is "over there." Only Muslims are fanatics. All us white guys are rational and sane.

There is nothing brutal about the US/Nato bombing of Serbia, Iraq, and Afghanistan, or the Israeli bombing of Lebanon, or the Israeli ethnic cleansing of the West Bank, or the genocide Israel hopes to commit against Palestinians in Gaza.

All of this, as well as America's bombing of Somalia, America's torture dungeons, show trials of "detainees," and overthrow of elected governments and installation of puppet rulers, is the West's necessary response to keep the brutal world at bay.

Brutal things happen in the "brutal world" and are entirely the fault of those in the brutal world. None of this would happen if the inhabitants of the brutal world would just do as they are told. How can the civilized world with its monopoly on morality allow people in the brutal world to behave independently? I mean, really! God forbid, they might attack some innocent country.

The "brutal world" consists of those immoral fanatics who object to being marginalized by the West and who reply to mass bombings from the air and to the death and destruction inflicted on them through myriad ways by strapping on a suicide bomb.

Unable to impose its will on countries it has invaded with conventional arms, the West's military leaders are now prepared to force compliance with the moral world's will by threatening to nuke those who resist. You see, since the West has the monopoly on morality, truth, and justice, those in the outside world are obviously evil, wicked and brutal. Therefore, as President Bush tells us, it is a simple choice between good and evil, and there's no better candidate than evil for being nuked. The sooner we can get rid of the brutal world, the sooner we will have "freedom and democracy" everywhere that's left.

Meanwhile, the United States, the great moral light unto the world, has just prevented the United Nations from censuring Israel, the world's other great moral light, for cutting off food supplies, medical supplies, and electric power to Gaza. You see, Gaza is in the outside world and is a home of the bad guys. Moreover, the wicked Palestinians there tricked the US when the US allowed them to hold a free election. Instead of electing the US candidate, the wicked voters elected a government that would represent them. The US and Israel overturned the Palestinian election in the West Bank, but those in Gaza clung to the government that they had elected. Now they are going to suffer and die until they elect the government that the US and Israel wants. I mean, how can we expect people in the brutal world to know what's best for them?

The fact that the UN tried to stop Israel's just punishment of the Gazans shows how right the five leaders' report is about the UN being a threat to Western values and way of life. The UN is really against us. This puts the UN in the outside world and makes it a candidate for being nuked if not an outright terrorist organization. As our president said, "you are with us or against us."

The US and Israel need a puppet government in Palestine so that a ghettoized remnant of Palestine can be turned into a "two state solution." The two states will be Israel incorporating the stolen West Bank and a Palestinian ghetto without an economy, water, or contiguous borders.

This is necessary in order to protect Israel from the brutal outside world.

Inhabitants of the brutal world are confused about the "self-determination" advocated by Western leaders. It doesn't mean that those outside Western civilization and Israel should decide for themselves. "Self" means American. The term, so familiar to us, means "American-determination." The US determines and others obey.

It is the brutal world that causes all the trouble by not obeying.

*****

The Era of Dynastic Politics, Where Nothing Really Changes

By PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS, Counterpunch, 24 January 2008


If polls are reliable, Hillary will win the Democratic nomination. The Democratic groups that prefer Obama are not sufficiently numerous to give him the nomination.

Of course, anything can happen in a political campaign, but the latest Field Poll of likely California Democrats and independent voters gives Hillary a 39 to 27 percent lead over Obama. This is bad news for Obama, because California is a progressive state where race is less likely to be a handicap.

Obama is favored by those who rank the Iraq war and foreign policy as the most important issues, by blacks, college graduates, and those with higher incomes.

Hillary is favored two to one by women, two to one by lower income groups and three to one among Latinos. Hillary has a further advantage. At the 2004 Democratic National Convention approximately 50 per cent of the delegates were women. As Democratic delegates are invariably feminists, they are not going to miss the chance of putting a woman in the presidency.

Are the Democrats choosing Hillary because she has the moral integrity to stop an unjust war and to hold war criminals responsible for leading America into war based on lies and deception? Are they choosing Hillary because she defends the US Constitution from usurpation by executive power? Are they choosing her because she is public-spirited instead of personally ambitious?

No. The Democrats are choosing Hillary because of gender and race. Despite all the efforts of Democratic activist groups, the majority of Democratic voters are more concerned with race and gender issues than with their country's reputation and their civil liberties.

If elected president, Hillary will bring no more change than did the Democratic congressional majority elected in 2006.

Obama might not bring any change either. But he is the only candidate in the running who has expressed concern over Israel's mistreatment of the Palestinians and who voted against the Iraq invasion. Clearly, he is a better bet for change than Hillary. However, Democrats are more attuned to race and gender issues than to war crimes and loss of civil liberties.

This is not to argue that Republicans are an improvement. Their likely nominee is McCain, who has recently said that he is OK with a hundred-year war in Iraq. McCain is as willing to attack Iran as Bush and Cheney, and he would not be adverse to conspiring with Israel and the neoconservatives to pull off an attack. Republicans don't even have a "change" candidate in the running. They have worked to marginalize Ron Paul precisely because he would be an instrument of change.

Even if Obama were elected and was sincere about change, what could he do? Probably very little. The pool of candidates from which he could staff an administration is not that much different from that of any other candidate. He can pass over a neocon architect of the Iraq invasion and settle on an architect of President Clinton's bombing of Serbia.

Moreover, Congress will still be controlled by the same interest groups. If Obama were to appoint people opposed by the military-security lobby, the Israel Lobby or the offshoring lobby, the Senate would be unlikely to confirm them. No president wants to nominate people who cannot be confirmed. Presidents have to staff their administrations according to who can get the approval of powerful interest groups.
This makes if difficult to change the status quo. It only takes one senator to put a hold on an appointment. Change in Washington requires breaking many iron grips.

In the presidential race, Hillary would defeat McCain, who without any doubt is the war candidate. Hillary will get the women's vote, the minorities' vote, and the anti-war vote. McCain will get the vote of angry macho white males.
What Hillary has to worry about is a major terrorist attack, whether real or orchestrated, that would revive the 9/11 fears and send voters scurrying to put the presidency into the hands of a war hero. As Hillary is not regarded as a threat to Israel's territorial expansion or to the interests of the military-security complex, the only wild card is some terrorist action that would require the failure of US security in order to succeed.

Of course, all of this ignores the salient fact: No one knows how the Diebold electronic voting machines programmed by Republican operatives with proprietary software will count the votes.

If it hasn't become a stolen affair, the American presidency has become a family affair, one that is passed from a Bush to a Clinton to a Bush and back to a Clinton. The interest groups are satisfied, and nothing of importance changes.

After Hillary will we have Jeb?

*****
Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan administration. He was Associate Editor of the Wall Street Journal editorial page and Contributing Editor of National Review.
*****

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