Tuesday, September 13, 2011
Another Century of War - by Stephen Lendman
Post-9/11, new millennium Bush and Obama policies eroded democracy, institutionalized state repression, accelerated economic decline, launched multiple imperial wars, and headed America for tyranny and ruin.
Neither will live down that legacy. Nor will complicit Republicans and Democrats, destroying nation for unbridled self-interest. As a result, in the century's second decade, America's no longer fit to live in. Imagine its far worse state years from now, resembling the worst of banana republic harshness, deprivation, and despair.
A frightening prospect, it goes largely unacknowledged until finally recognized too late to:
-- derail America's addiction to war;
-- prevent completing the grandest of grand theft looting of public and working household assets;
-- deter the destruction of eroding democratic values;
-- stop the transformation of America into a full-blown fascist police state; as well as
-- wreck the country in the process, leaving behind a rotting sinkhole of dystopian harshness, inequality, and depravation.
Yet it's clear. Corporate omnipotence and wars are immoral, illegal, harmful to popular interests, and only happen when corrupt officials betray the public trust, selling their souls for power and personal gain.
Imagine the difference if militarism and imperial wars ended, replaced by a commitment to peace and dedication to devote public resources to productive economic growth, benefitting everyone in the process.
In his seminal book, "A Century of War," Gabriel Kolko called the 20th century:
"the bloodiest in all history. More than 170 million people were killed." In WW II, 70% of them were civilians, "mainly (from) the bombing of cities by Great Britain and America." There was nothing good about "the good war" nor any others.
In Kolko's "Another Century of War?" he stressed how America contributes to much of the world's disorder through interventions, and as being the world's largest arms producer and exporter, profiting by proliferating death and destruction.
Post-WW II, Washington became a global menace, today calling "terrorism" the main threat - a bogus fiction to justify militarism and perpetual wars, heading the nation for moral, political and economic bankruptcy. According to Kolko:
"The way America's leaders are running the nation's foreign policy is not creating peace or security at home or stability abroad. The reverse is the case: its interventions have been counterproductive."
As a result, he believes the Korean War began America's decline, followed by successive policy failures, notably Vietnam, exacerbated further post-9/11.
As a result, its century of domination is ending, but who can predict how, when, or potential disasters it may cause before it does, including perhaps to planet earth, already dying from avoidable toxins.
With leaders like Bush and Obama, and likely worse ones to follow, Chalmers Johnson, before his 2010 death, said the "extinction that befell....the Soviet Union (was) unavoidable."
The same fate awaits America, he believed, stopping short of suggesting a mushroom-shaped cloud end to consume much more than one nation. It's because US policy's on a nuclear hair trigger, a reinvented MAD.
It threatens the unimaginable, bolstered by annual $1.5 trillion "defense" budgets, including all related categories, more than the rest of the world combined at a time America has no enemies except ones it invents.
As a result, he saw America heading for bankruptcy, authoritarian rule and loss of personal freedom, believing those elements approached fruition.
Begun under earlier presidents, Bush and Obama accelerated America's current state, noticeably by:
an abdication of rule of law principles, erosion of democratic values, and loss of personal freedoms, including due process and judicial fairness;
a nation with no enemies permanently at war;
secret, unaccountable global prison gulag, at home and abroad;
orture as official policy;
persecuting and scapegoating, Blacks, Latino immigrants, Muslims, and other minorities for political advantage;
he most secretive, intrusive, repressive government in our history under lawless, duplicitous leaders;
omeland social decay;
wrecking the economy to enrich bankers, war profiteers, and other corporate favorites;
an unprecedented wealth disparity combined with out-of-control corporate power;
a corrupt two-party duopoly, serving wealth and power at the expense of growing need;
weakened checks, balances and separation of powers;
a dysfunctional Congress, beholden to powerful corporate interests, notably Wall Street, war profiteers and Big Oil;
a secret, unaccountable intelligence establishment with near-limitless funding;
a corporate-controlled media, manipulating the public mind with managed news and infotainment;
a destructive military/industrial/intelligence service/media/think tank/academia complex Dwight Eisenhower couldn't have imagined when he warned about its lesser incarnation in his farewell address; and
endemic corruption, stemming from incestuous ties between government and business, flaunting the notion of government of, for or by the people.
Could past generations conceive an America sunk so low? Can thoughtful analysts imagine a way out? Does anyone think failure can avoid full-blown tyranny?
Do they doubt future conditions too frightful to imagine, the same fate that doomed past empires, betraying their roots for corrupted destructive power, heading them for tyranny and ruin.
Trends analyst Gerald Celente and others remember when the business of America was business. Now it's war, more war, multiple wars, permanent wars, pillaging one nation after another for wealth, power, and dominance, while homeland needs go begging.
A previous article said America never was the "land of the free and home of the brave." In fact, it's become a "Let 'em eat cake" society.
Whether or not Marie Antoinette actually said it, France's 1789-99 revolution was very real, delivering guillotine justice, not promised "Liberte, Egalite, and Fraternite," a status now destroying what's left of American freedom, heading for the trash bin of history if not already there.
At issue is America's militarized colossus, waging global wars, looting the nation, bankrupting it, wrecking the remnants of a free society. Plagued by the same dynamic that doomed past empires, the misguided notion that militarism sustains growth is pursued.
In fact, it erodes it by sacrificing industrial America, shifting production and other high-paying service operations abroad to focus on war making and banker occupation (financial warfare).
As a result, essential homeland needs go begging, including healthcare, education, job creation, the nation's crumbling infrastructure, and a free society, sacrificed for unbridled greed and power.
With bipartisan support, it suggests Dante's ninth gate of Hell, bearing the inscription: "Abandon all hope, ye who enter here."
It's up to mass awareness to stop it - by any means necessary. Dante's alternative is too grim to accept and needn't be with committed public resistance. What better time than now to ignite it.
A Final Comment
Previous articles explained international and US laws pertaining to waging war, what America's leaders long ago forgot and ignore.
Under the Constitution's Article I, Section 8, only Congress may declare war, not the president. That, in fact, last happened on December 8, 1941 after Japan attacked Pearl Harbor. As a result, all subsequent US wars have been illegal, including Obama's against Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Libya, Yemen, Somalia, and numerous proxy ones.
Moreover, the UN Charter explains under what conditions violence and coercion (by one state against another) are justified.
Article 2(3) and Article 33(1) require peaceful settlement of international disputes. Article 2(4) prohibits force or its threatened use. And Article 51 allows the "right of individual or collective self-defense if an armed attack occurs against a Member....until the Security Council has taken measures to maintain international peace and security."
In other words, justifiable self-defense is permissible. However, Charter Articles 2(3), 2(4), and 33 absolutely prohibit any unilateral threat or use of force not:
specifically allowed under Article 51;
uthorized by the Security Council; or
permitted by the US Constitution only amendments ratified by three-fourths of the states can change.
In addition, three General Assembly resolutions also prohibit non-consensual belligerent intervention, including:
the 1965 Declaration on the Inadmissibility of Intervention in the Domestic Affairs of States and the Protection of Their Independence and Sovereignty;
the 1970 Declaration on Principles of International Law Concerning Friendly Relations and Cooperation among States in Accordance with the Charter of the United Nations; and
the 1974 Definition of Aggression.
Nonetheless, Washington spurns international and US laws repeatedly, especially waging preemptive aggressive wars, what the Nuremberg Tribunal's Justice Robert Jackson called "the supreme international crime against peace," sentencing convicted Nazi war criminals to death for committing it.
The War Powers Resolution (WPR) resolution holds for legal wars. Applying it to Libya was a red herring as America has no authority to attack another country illegally, and may only do so in self-defense until the Security Council acts.
Unless America ends its addiction to permanent war, its eroded free society will be lost. If that's not incentive enough to prevent, what is!
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.