The Shame of the Nation: A Collective Perversion – by Stephen Lendman
The daily headlines about a single congressman’s online pedophiliac behavior obscure the greater issue of a nation off its moorings and afflicted by the collective perversion of defiling the foundational equity and justice-for-all letter and spirit of what the nation long-claimed to stand for but no longer does if it ever did. Nearly everyone in the administration, Congress and courts share the collective guilt and shame and by their actions destroyed Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address “resolve….that this nation….shall have a new birth of freedom (in a) “government of the people, by the people, for the people (that) shall not perish from the earth.”
They conspiratorially participated in the crimes of a nation that go against Lincoln’s hope that the dead he spoke of hadn’t “died in vain” on “the great battle-field” where he stood and all the other civil war ones he referred to. They also defiled what the Founders stood for and gave us in 1787 when 55 of them met in the Philadelphia State House, where the Declaration of Independence was signed 11 years earlier, and framed an historic foundational document for the new federal republic they hoped would last into “remote futurity.” Benjamin Franklin was there but wasn’t so sure and openly and presciently warned we might not be able to keep it. Even at our nation’s birth, he understood the risk.
Where are the leaders now with the kind of wisdom, foresight, character, courage and honor our Founders and Lincoln had. A modern-day Diogenes would search in vain for them. We’ve come a long way in the last 220 years and since the time Lincoln spoke of a nation “conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.” Today democracy and freedom are somewhere between life support and the crematorium, and Ben Franklin would have said I warned you. The only speculation now is whether we’ve already gone over the edge, sunk too low, and it’s too late to save the republic. It’s visibly sinking fast into the dustbin of a worthy experiment gone sour because those with the power to nurture it spurned the chance. They sacrificed it on the alter of power corrupting and absolute power doing it absolutely.
Our Nation’s Beginnings and Path Since
Even at its outset, the flaws in the republic were broad and deep, but we managed to survive anyway and grow as a nation in spite of them. We had the right people give us a remarkable foundational start, and it helped in no small measure that along the way we had enlightened periods like the late 19th century Progressive Movement and later the glorious New and Fair Deals and Great Society when government actually served the needs of the people.
It didn’t last, and the modern-day “great transformation” south began in the early 1970s with the breakdown of the post-WW II Bretton Woods international economic order when the enormous debt from the Vietnam war forced Richard Nixon to close the gold window and make the dollar a fiat currency backed by nothing but the good faith of the issuing authority. Trilaterialism also emerged then to counter what its influential members saw as a “crisis of democracy,” meaning too much of it. It was founded by Chase Manhattan bank president David Rockeller (scion of the king of the original “robber barons”), Zbignew Brzezinski (Jimmy Carter’s national security advisor) and had about 300 other “eminent private citizen” members (including Jimmy Carter) of an elite international ruling class whose power is centered in the dominant transnational corporate interests aiming to rule the world and make it safe for capital – meaning, at the expense of the public interest. This was the period when capital began to be deregulated and what’s now called neoliberalism emerged to counter and erode the social and economic legacy of the FDR through LBJ years. Even Republican Dwight Eisenhower in the 1950s was wise enough to leave in place the New Deal policies he knew were enlightened and good for the nation overall.
Trilateralists had other ideas, and they only took a few years to begin reversing the great social gains begun under Franklin Roosevelt that would begin to atrophy fast with the engineered election of Ronald Reagan in 1980. He and his administration began a generation of government of, for and by the privileged serving the interests of capital and abusing the people who elected the ones in it. We still had a semblance of real elections then, but it didn’t help. Today even that’s lost as technology and the corruption of power destroyed the most fundamental element of a democratic society making the way things once were now just a relic of another era. A free and fair election process is not the stock and trade of the current neocon Bush regime, and it proved it the two times we were led to believe the current incumbent and a good number of his congressional cohorts were actually the people’s choices. They only were if by “the people” we mean those of privilege who stood to gain the most with them in office.
The Bush Neocon Road to Hell With No Good Intentions
One day, George W. Bush’s inauguration on January 20, 2001 will be remembered as a day of infamy in the nation’s history if it’s not already. It was also disturbingly reminiscent even then of the fall of Paris on June 14,1940 to the Nazi Wehrmacht when the people of that city were assembled to watch the jack boots parade along the Champs-Elysees turning the “City of Light” to darkness. So too a shroud of gloom fell over our capitol and nation on our dark day for those afraid of what would follow from the fall of our government and democracy to the invading neocons. They wasted no time, and as soon as the inaugural festivities ended began the process of dismantling what remained of our democratic freedoms in earnest. Before he could even find the West Wing, George Bush immediately signed executive orders reversing the few more enlightened policies of his predecessor. It was a clear sign of what was coming.
It’s an agenda to tyranny aided by a tsunami of socially destructive and authoritarian executive orders to go along with the legislative and judicial acquiescence of the other two government branches to a shameless, corrupted front-man stooge for a cabal of neocon bandits led by the Vice-President in the lead role. This alliance jeopardizes the republic that now hangs by a thread that could give way on any pretext because that’s what the people now in charge have in mind. Like other past “master race” regimes, their morality and agenda are corrupted by a Manichean world vision and delusions of superiority that they have a God-given moral authority to rule the world with an unchallengeable closed fist.
For them democracy, freedom and the rule of law are anathema. They stand in the way of their quest for global dominance and the subjugation of everyone in it through the barrel of a gun abroad and the so-called Department of Homeland Security at home that’s our version of Hitler’s dreaded Gestapo state police and his Schutzstaffel praetorian guard “Protective Squadron” known as the “SS” that had administrative control over the whole Nazi “homeland security” operation. Both these agencies became symbols of terror as justice under them was cruel and arbitrary. Their methods are now becoming standard practice under Bush neocon rule where anyone for any reason (including citizens) can now be seized without cause, called an “enemy combatant”, renditioned to a torture-prison hellhole in an undisclosed corner of the earth with no chance to be free again or be able to get help. In CIA terms, the law of the land now allows the state to do openly what it’s been secretly doing all along – make everyone it targets “ghost prisoners” taken on “ghost planes” to be held in secret “ghost prisons” subject to the justice of a military tribunal with no competent defense or right of appeal. Is there any clearer definition of tyranny than that?
George Bush’s Developing Years
Anyone knowing about George Bush’s developing years aren’t surprised by how he governs. He showed his dark side sadistic attitude and behavior early on. Bush progressed from a young boy blowing up frogs for sport with firecrackers to doing it now to countries with king-sized “shock and awe” ones. Along the way, he had his problems with alcohol and drugs, evaded serving in Vietnam and once as Texas governor shamelessly mocked a desperate woman’s cries for help at the eleventh hour before she was executed refusing to show any mercy in an interview he gave. He can also take “credit” for having presided over more executions as Texas governor than any other governor in the nation since capital punishment was reinstated by the Supreme Court in 1976. Even his own Texas aides said of him then that this is a man who enjoys killing.
He enjoyed inflicting pain in his college days as well as evidenced by a 1967 so-called fraternity initiation rite he was involved in that was exposed by the Yale Daily News and reported in the New York Times at the time. It involved the barbaric hazing procedure used by Delta Epsilon Kappa (DKE) fraternity when Bush was a Yale senior and fraternity president. New members then had to undergo painful hours of being kicked and beaten with wooden paddles lasting into the early morning hours leading up to the sadistic climax of being burned on their backsides with a hot branding iron in the shape of the letter Delta. It was enough to cause second degree burns and leave a permanent scar on the skin area as well as in the memories of those initiates going through it. When word got out about the practice, DKE fraternity was censured and fined $1,000, and the practice was banned by the university.
Electoral Fraud Is the First Step on the Road to Tyranny
People of conscience who believe in the letter and spirit of the law would have blanched at this kind of information and more that was suppressed when George Bush was a presidential candidate in 2000. It was no commonplace history of a young man sowing his wild oats or going through his rites of passage. This is a man whom former Texas Governor Ann Richards once aptly described as “someone born on third base (thinking) he hit a triple.” It also reveals a man who thinks he has a right to use and abuse anyone for his own amusement or self-interest. Had the voters known any of this, at the least it would have given them pause about whether this was the kind of man they wanted as chief executive, even though there’s no guarantee anyone else would have been much different in office. As things turned out, it didn’t matter once five arrogant High Court justices decided their votes counted more than all of ours. They wanted a Republican president and deprived Al Gore of the office he won. The rest of us lost out along with him because of their judicial annulment of our most fundamental democratic right without which there’s no democracy. We’ve been on the road to hell ever since.
Thorough investigative reporting proved how corrupted the electoral process was in 2000 because of mass-disenfranchisement of millions of eligible voters. It got worse in 2004 and may be off the charts in November and 2008 confounding the polls and pundits now predicting the Democrats will win back one or both houses of Congress. They’ll be hard-pressed to do it now that electronic voting machines run by large corporations control over 80% of the total vote. We know these machines can be easily manipulated in secret assuring the companies controlling them get enough of the candidates they favor elected ending any pretense there can ever again be a free and fair election with them in charge of the process. It’s another reason why half the still-enfranchised public or less never shows up at the polls. Why bother if your choice goes by voting machine magic to the other candidate, is never counted or doesn’t matter anyway because the only choice is what Ralph Nader calls “the evil of two lessers.” It’s a system of rule in a de facto one party state author and social critic Gore Vidal calls the “Property party” with two right wings: Republicans and Democrats in a plutocracy. Others call it fascism, but by any definition, it’s the tyranny of capital enforced by storm trooper brutality and military tribunal justice spelling the end of a democratic republic.
We see the results today in the kinds of people serving in high office and the harm their malice, greed and lust for power cause. They shamelessly used the controversial event on 9/11 as a launching platform to go to war with two non-aggressive states to control them for political and economic gain and to serve the interests of our joined-at-the-hip Middle East partner. It didn’t matter that neither country threatened us or any of their neighbors. The Bush administration invented lies that they did to justify a messianic mission of madness, planned months earlier, starting in the Middle East and Central Asia, and continuing until its goal of full spectrum dominance is achieved over all land, sea, air, outer space and information.
The technology isn’t yet in place to declare mission accomplished, but the Congress is spending billions of our tax dollars developing it. If it can be done, we’ll all be forced to live by the rules it makes for the integrated world economy it hopes to establish serving the interests of capital that want to use us like production inputs to extract value from and then discard. Would anyone understanding this agenda accept it?
Our Middle East Partner in Imperial Madness
Allied with us in our criminal mission of madness is a willing and eager partner already suggested. It’s the tiny state of Israel that has the power and influence of a giant because we made it one. We fund and arm it lavishly and support its equally mad imperial mission to reign unchallenged over its part of the world in partnership with us. We co-authored and funded its genocidal wars of exploitation and annexation in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT) for nearly six decades and its similar adventures against its northern Lebanese neighbor for the past 40 of them culminating with its five week summer blitzkrieg criminal assault laying waste to the whole country and making this act of infamy a nominee for the crime of the century for the amount of devastation and human misery it caused in so short a time.
The Shameless Neocon Bush Administration Legacy
No other US administration in history can match the appalling six year record of the Bush neocons. The harm they’ve done and the price free people are paying for it is incalculable. They brazenly destroyed two defenseless countries in the name of “liberation,” killed many hundreds of thousands of their people bringing them the “benefits” of “western civilization,” and immiserated milllions more dooming them to suffer and die daily in great numbers out of sight and out of mind. They also trashed sacred constitutional and international laws and norms doing it, institutionalized the use of mass-imprisonment, torture and other dehumanizing and degrading barbaric acts to make it work, have a ready set of new targets in their queue and created a proto-fascist national security police state at home tolerating no dissent nor any protection from the sacred constitutional rights of habeas and due process now effectively annulled.
People of conscience demanding justice and accountability are outraged that officials responsible for this agenda are allowed to get away with it and may never have to answer for their crimes in a court of law. But that doesn’t mean they’ve gone unnoticed or unaddressed. The Bush administration has now become the first one in US history to be charged with war crimes by the International Committee of the Red Cross and the only other one the ICRC ever charged besides Nazi Germany. Those named culpable are George Bush, Richard Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, top military commanders and many members of Congress. Their crimes match the worst of those in the Hitler regime put in the Nuremberg Tribunal dock to stand trial. The ones found guilty there of the “supreme international crime” of illegal aggression were hanged while others of lesser culpability were sentenced to appropriate prison terms for lengths of time commensurate with their crimes. In a world not ruled by victor’s justice, George Bush and his conspiratorial allies would be held just as accountable and made to face the same judgment at the International Criminal Court (ICC) at the Hague as the worst of the Nazi rogues did at Nuremberg.
The threat of that happening after he leaves office may be why it’s been reported George Bush bought a 98,842 acre farm in Paraguay to go along with the 173,000 acres his father already owns there. Both properties border Bolivia and Brazil and comprise in total an astonishing 2.7% of the whole country. Are they considering buying a controlling interest in it? It’s not known what the Bush family has in mind there, but it is known Paraguay has no laws criminalizing money-laundering, anti-terrorism or terrorist financing even though it does have an extradition treaty with the US if it ever dared using it for the Bushes.
George Bush may have gotten advice to seek a safe haven because he and his cohorts have a lot to answer the US public and world community for including having financed their Orwellian agenda on the back of a growing mountain of unrepayable debt that’s causing some worried analysts to believe they’ve helped bankrupt the nation, an eventual fiscal calamity is unavoidable, and the end result will be what most people believe is unthinkable – that the richest of all nations will eventually default on its sovereign debt, entitlements millions are counting on and think are safe, and all other financial obligations because either there won’t be enough resources left to pay for them or we’ll just have near-worthless fiat currency no one any longer wants.
This is the specter of a potential future elephant in the room calamity few in high places will admit is there. Nor is there much talk that it was engineered by successive administrations, a complicit Congress and a friendly private for-profit Federal Reserve (owned and controlled by the big banks and Wall Street giants) always willing to print up all the ready cash needed to keep the party going. As long as it can get away with it, it knows it has to (as it’s doing now) because once it stops the good times are over, and so is freewheeling neocon imperialism. While it lasts though, the high-roller players are benefitting at the public’s expense from a dollar-financed Ponzi scheme using the world’s dominant reserve currency debt to advance the interests of capital and build a global US empire to secure it. The ugly scheme has gone on unchecked for decades, it accelerated during the Reagan years and went into overdrive under the Bush neocons and their agenda of endless imperial wars for world dominance that need lots of cash and mountains of debt to create it.
Today we have their legacy, and we’re governed recklessly by an authoritarian band of marauders with delusions of grandeur for their kind of brave new world order that threatens all humanity. It’s a vision of corporatism enforced with unchallengeable military might and made possible by the magic of printing press debt monetization other central banks have to go along with. They haven’t much choice as they’re tied to the majority of America’s industrial base operating in their countries, but more importantly, they’re entrapped in a US-controlled dollarized world where over half their foreign reserves collectively are now in the US currency, China alone holding $1 trillion of them. All the players need to keep the scheme going like a worldwide fiscal game of musical chairs played on the edge of a cliff. They can’t let the music stop even though they know one day it will, and then they’ll face the same fate as the Mother Goose character Humpty Dumpty. Herb Stein, Richard Nixon’s chief economic advisor, knew all about the nursery rhyme symbolism. He explained it once when he said: “Things that can’t go on forever, don’t.” He omitted the part about what happens next, but he understood the penalty for excess is high, painful, inevitable and at that point there’s nothing “All the king’s horses and all the king’s men” can do about it.
This is the legacy of a generation of greed capped by the George Bush neocon presidency that will go down in history as a blight on humanity the likes of which may end up exceeding anything preceding it anywhere – if we survive to reflect on it. Call this era under the Bush neocons The Age of Perversion in contrast to an earlier Age of Enlightenment that helped inspire our liberating revolutionary spirit creating the glorious experiment of a democracy never before tried outside of the imperfect earlier version of it for a few decades in ancient Athens.
Theirs ended as ours is doing now, and many share the blame besides a rogue administration, Congress and courts. As much fault lies with the dominant interests in corporate boardrooms without whose complicity none of this would be tolerated, the powerful Jewish Lobby Zionists and their Christian fundamentalist/Zionist allies with enormous influence on policy, and those in academia and the major media who sold their souls pledging allegiance to a criminal enterprise posing as a legitimate government. They’re all conspiratorially allied in its messianic mission of madness for the benefits they get at the expense of the public welfare and the ultimate price that one day will have to be paid for their transgressions.
Also blame the many millions of ordinary people so pre-occupied in their daily lives they took the word of a sadist and inveterate liar making empty promises to combat terror threats that don’t exist while claiming to care about the democratic social equity and justice-for-all principles he, the Congress, courts and other dominant interests don’t give a damn about.
How often the public falls for this scam, and how easy it is for those in power to deceive us any time they want to invent a new threat to scare us into going along with whatever scheme they have in mind and even fleece us in the process without our ever being the wiser. Like those they rape and plunder, we, too, are victims – of our own indifference that likely won’t change until our wounds begin to smart and fester enough to cause real pain, but by then it may be too late.
We the people let them get away with their destructive scheme of endless imperial wars, income redistributionist tax cuts for the rich and corporate giants, the erosion of essential social services and the repressive USA Patriot Act that legalizes all intrusions into our lives and led to the just-enacted Military Commissions Act that effectively annuls the Constitution, criminalizes dissent and makes us all “enemy combatants” with no legal rights left to defend ourselves including the bedrock ones of habeas and due process. How low we’ve sunk in coming so far and how willing we’ve been to go along.
The crime of the nation is the shame of a failed state no longer seen abroad as a beacon and symbol of hope and freedom. We stand disrobed and exposed as an out-of-control dystopian rogue enterprise run by a craven leadership fighting a war of terror against humanity that’s taking all of us on the road to hell. Is there still time to stop this insanity and save the republic? We’ll never know unless we finally realize the enormity of the threat and get aroused enough to fight back in our own self-defense.