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America - The Real Danger Lies Within
by Eric Margolis, Contributing Foreign Editor
The Toronto Sun
appearing on rense.com
January 4, 2004

PALM BEACH -- The year 2003 dramatically and dolefully illustrated Lord Acton's famous dictum that absolute power corrupts absolutely.

An almighty United States, unrestrained by any rival, international body, or world opinion, bestrode the globe, a belligerent colossus determined to monopolize global oil reserves and use its vast military power to crush lesser nations or malefactors that disturbed the Pax Americana.

For America's hard right - a curious farrago of Armageddon-seeking southern Protestants; neo-conservative supporters of Israel's right-wing Likud party; and the military-industrial-petroleum complex - the Bush administration's aggressive foreign policy of world domination, and utter contempt for international laws and old allies, marks a new era of national greatness. President George Bush, who vowed his foreign policy would be "humble" and "compassionate," has turned out to be the most radical president in modern U.S. history.

But for those Americans whose primary loyalty was to their country, rather than to religious cultism, foreign nations, or financial profit, the rapid emergence of the U.S. as an imperial power waging two hugely expensive colonial wars in Asia was a disaster, both for America's democratic system and for the rest of the world.

Bush's vow to bring "democracy" to the Mideast rang as hollow as pious assurances by 19th century European colonialists they were gobbling up Africa and Asia to bring the blessings of Christianity and civilization to benighted savages. Pillaging resources, not enlightenment, were - and remain - the true colonial motivation.

Bush's claims to hold the mandate of heaven to wage global warfare against the nebulous forces of "terrorism" sounded as dangerous and nonsensical as old Chairman Leonid Brezhnev's drunken claims it was the Soviet Union's "sacred internationalist duty" to launch military adventures anywhere on Earth where socialism was threatened.

Columnist Georgie Anne Gayer put it perfectly when she recently wrote that whereas America used to lead the world as champion of democracy, personal freedom and human rights, today, under Bush, it instead seeks to dominate the world through raw military and monetary power.

Carte blanche

In 2003, we saw an abject, cowardly Congress violate its duty as the republic's premier political organ by disgracefully handing the barely elected president carte blanche to wage an unprovoked war against Iraq that was justified by a torrent of ludicrous lies worthy of Dr. Goebbels. Lies and propaganda that were packaged in the best tradition of Soviet agitprop as news, then force-fed by a servile media to an ill-informed public shockingly deficient in any sense of history, geography, or foreign affairs.

The invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, and sundry military adventures around the globe, were made possible by a steady drumbeat of warnings from the White House and its neo-con trumpets that the U.S. was in dire national peril from "terrorists" and "rogue states."

Paranoia again swept America during the holiday season as planes were grounded and orange alerts flashed at a populace that responded to these synthetic alarms with well-trained Pavlovian reflexes.

Though the mighty United States, with only 5% of world population, accounts for nearly 50% of total global military spending, the continuing Orwellian message from Washington was of fear and vulnerability. Vague threats of terrorist attack and menacing Muslims were used to curtail American civil liberties, and expand the government's powers of repression and intrusion.

The public barely noticed this sinister, proto-totalitarian campaign.

The so-called "war on terrorism" was a hoax used to mask and justify the long-planned expansion of U.S. military power around the globe. What were in reality a series of police actions waged against tiny anti-American groups was no more a war than the farcical "war on drugs." But invoking war trumped criticism and dissent - and justified a real war of aggression against oil-rich Iraq.

The very term "terrorism" is a nonsense designed for propaganda effect; a damning label applied by the administration to groups or states strongly opposing U.S. policy.

A "war on terrorism" makes no more sense than waging war on evil.

Those who opposed Washington's surging imperial and totalitarian impulses were branded "leftists" and "anti-Americans."

The French thinker Regis Debray, writing about past colonial powers, answers thus: "The free man is not anti-American, but anti-imperial. America (now) revisits the time of colonizers drunk on their superiority, convinced of their liberating mission, and counting on reimbursing themselves directly."

Criticizing U.S. foreign policy run-amok and George Bush does not equal anti-Americanism. It is the citizen's birthright, and the friend's duty.

This writer has witnessed nine colonial wars and saw how they corrupted the armies, and then the nations, that waged them, brutalizing conquered and conqueror alike. Iraq is the latest.

Mankind's three worst scourges are religious fanaticism, nationalism and imperialism. Each of these three evils has been whipped up by the Bush administration to justify domination abroad, repression of dissidence at home and, of course, re-election.

Those who truly love and respect the United States, like this writer, a conservative and U.S. Army veteran, see the very qualities that made America a beacon to the world - its very soul - now under heavy assault by a cabal of religious fanatics, foreign-leaning ideological extremists, and self-enriching Enron-Republicans.

That is a danger considerably greater than al-Qaida.

Copyright 2003, CANOE, a division of Netgraphe Inc. All rights reserved.

Posted: January 6, 2004


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