Friday, October 13, 2006

The Tipping Point

Relevant to the U.S. role in torture today are two questions:

(1) Why did the United States support and underwrite torture in earlier years;

(2) how did it get away with doing this in a supposedly free and democratic society in which torture was considered by the public as a barbaric practice identified with totalitarian rule?

The answer to the first is simple: the ruling U.S. elite was preoccupied with preventing “radical nationalism” or even social democracy in the Third World, which would serve the poor local majority and interfere with transnational corporate access, privileges, and rights. It therefore gravitated to alliances and joint venture arrangements with local military and comprador elements to fend off those democratic tendencies, frequently by coups that established military and terror regimes. ...
The media have also never challenged the regular claims over many decades that the U.S. training of Third World military and police is designed to instill democratic values and alleviate human rights problems, despite massive evidence that the trainees have been taught that unions and dissidents in general are part of a “communist” threat; and in the face of evidence that the trainees have been exceptionally inclined to kill, torture, and overthrow constitutional governments—in Brazil, Chile, El Salvador, Indonesia, and elsewhere. This gambit was even used in defense of loans to our ally Saddam Hussein, prior to his 1990 invasion of Kuwait and transformation into “another Hitler,” the State Department explained that helping him out would “put us in a better position to deal with Iraq regarding its human rights record.”

Yet a far more telling event occurred that should remove all blinders, remove any doubt that nothing in this country has changed:

Cynthia McKinney was removed from Congress, in a run-off against a total unknown named Hank Johnson. McKinney was removed, courtesy of Diebold electronic voting machines. These machines have now erased her votes in two “elections.” McKinney’s push out of Washington is a disaster for American democracy. With the exception of a tiny single-digit number, there are now officially no Washington politicians worth a damn. And these few will surely be gotten rid of, if they are not already blackmailed or bought off.

The machines, courtesy of Diebold, ESS, Sequoia, and SAIC, four fronts of the Bush/Republican apparatus, own the vote. Period. The New World Order is unified on this, too: there may be a “selection” in November, but there will not be an “election.” It is literally insane to believe otherwise. (These are not “failures,” either.)

The Pentagon-CIA Archipelago Today

The United States is once again supporting regimes of terror in the alleged interest of a “war on terrorism,” just as it did in the 1960s and 1970s and again in the Reagan years. If they are “with us,” these regimes—from Algeria and Morocco to Pakistan and Uzbekistan to Indonesia and the Philippines—can not only go after dissidents with U.S. protection, but they also will receive U.S. aid in weapons and training. The United States will also send them prisoners in what amounts to a torture farming-out or outsourcing system, now openly referred to as “rendering,” allowing some or all of the dirty work in extracting information to be shared with allies. Such renderings have been made, among others, to Yemen, Thailand, Jordan, Morocco, Egypt, and even Syria, to which the United States sent the Canadian citizen Maher Arar for “interrogation” in 2002. This system helps institutionalize torture as an acceptable practice.

Meanwhile, there is the biggest and most inconvenient of inconvenient truths of all, Peak Oil and Gas. Every person alive is feeling pressure generated from it, whether it is in the form of rockets and bombs in the Middle East, the unprecedented summer heat from a dying planet, the certain pain that will be created by the disruptions of US oil supplies from Prudhoe Bay, or the heat of a world economy on the verge of meltdown. This is the heat of oppression. A planetary solution for survival tomorrow will not come from those at the top who have done their best to worsen this nightmare, and profit from collective tragedy.
Until and unless the machines, and the corporations that operate them, are removed from all elections, there is no vote, and no democracy, anywhere in this world. Until and unless the “war on terrorism” is exposed for what it is, and stopped, there will be no change, and no hope. There is only fascism, and a gruesome reality that becomes more evident with the passage of time, and we, the long disenfranchised.The New World Order does not break rank when it comes to your extinction.
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