Sobriety & the U.S. Presidential Race

(10:00PM EST – promoted by Nightprowlkitty)

No, this is not a post about alcoholism, and the only drunkenness to which it might refer is the manic inebriation that comes with the exercise of great power.

As the U.S. presidential race settles into its pattern of opposing camps supposedly at great odds, especially every four years — of conservative against liberal, hawk against dove, progressive versus reactionary — it is good to be reminded that underneath all of the hullaballoo (and I agree it’s hard not to be caught up in it, as detestable as Bush’s GOP has been these last seven years), that nothing about this race will really change how the U.S. is run, or rather who runs it.

Along those lines, I’d like to refer to a succinct statement of this issue from Chris Floyd, who himself quotes the insightful Gore Vidal. Reading the following, inspired by Floyd’s coverage of the U.S. intervention into Somalia and the subsequent human rights disaster that has followed, is like a splash of cold water, of stone cold sobriety regarding both the festivities and inanities of the past two convention weeks.

It’s clear that no nation on earth will be allowed to organize its own society as it wishes, or work out its own internal conflicts, if the American elite decides they have some financial or strategic interest in the matter. The only nations immune to this power-mad interventionist philosophy are those who can strike back hard enough to upset the elite’s apple cart. And thus we have Bush’s “war on terror” — which is, as we’ve often noted, simply an escalation of the long-running, bipartisan foreign policy of the “National Security State” that has ruled America for 60 years.

This year marks the anniversary of this coup d’etat: the 1947 “National Security Act.” Writing on the 50th anniversary of this supplanting of the Republic, Gore Vidal wrote:

Fifty years ago, Harry Truman replaced the old republic with a national-security state whose sole purpose is to wage perpetual wars, hot, cold, and tepid. Exact date of replacement? February 27, 1947. Place: The White House Cabinet Room. Cast: Truman, Undersecretary of State Dean Acheson, a handful of congressional leaders.

Republican senator Arthur Vandenberg told Truman that he could have his militarized economy only IF he first “scared the hell out of the American people” that the Russians were coming. Truman obliged. The perpetual war began. Representative government of, by, and for the people is now a faded memory. Only corporate America enjoys representation by the Congress and presidents that it pays for in an arrangement where no one is entirely accountable because those who have bought the government also own the media.

Now, with the revolt of the Praetorian Guard at the Pentagon, we are entering a new and dangerous phase. Although we regularly stigmatize other societies as rogue states, we ourselves have become the largest rogue state of all. We honor no treaties. We spurn international courts. We strike unilaterally wherever we choose. We give orders to the United Nations but do not pay our dues… we bomb, invade, subvert other states. Although We the People of the United States are the sole source of legitimate authority in this land, we are no longer represented in Congress Assembled. Our Congress has been hijacked by corporate America and its enforcer, the imperial military machine…”

Here’s another link for the Vidal quote. And for those who forgot what it’s all about, here’s another link to a time and place we forgot, but never left.

For more on Somalia, see my piece from earlier this year, Worse than Darfur: U.S. Proxy War in Somalia

Crossposted at Invictus

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    • Valtin on September 6, 2008 at 2:30 am
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    if I hear another Democrat proclaim what a “mistake” it was to go into Iraq, and not a premeditated unilateral action of aggression and illegal attack, then I’m going to make it my own personal campaign, even unto personal blog implosion, to tell the truth about this rewriting of history by the Democrats. I’m sick of their covering for Bush and the murderers and torturers among us.

    • Edger on September 6, 2008 at 3:32 am

    And 6 years in 1953 later the CIA orchestrated the overthrow of the Iranian government and reinstalled Shah Reza Pahlavi as the US puppet dictator, which led directly to the Iranian revolution and overthrow of the Iran monarchy in the 1978-79 revolution and the hostage crisis in Teheran… the crisis that the RNC labelled the other day as the “first” terrorist attack against Americans… and now Bush and John McCain both want to attack Iran and Brarck Obama has gone on record as saying that all options remain on the table regarding Iran.

    These kind of manipulations have been going on for all that time, regardless of the party affiliation of the president. The blowback builds and is worse each time. 9/11 was a direct result of these policies and can be traced now directly back to that 1947 “National Security Act”.

    How bad will the next one be? How big does the lesson have to be?

    “Ancient History”: U.S. Conduct in the Middle East Since World War II and the Folly of Intervention

  1. … is what makes being a citizen so damned discouraging.

    I will vote for Obama.  But there will be no rest if he wins.  There will be no end to the battle if he wins.

    It will only be the beginning of the battle.

    I will admit, I am not a big fan of Chris Floyd, but I think he did a good job here.  I think it’s very important to find a way to adapt and adjust to the challenges embedded within challenges that we confront in America today.

    Eight years of Bush and his gang of criminals have made those challenges almost surreal.

    Thanks for this, Valtin.

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