Thursday, November 09, 2006

What Dems Must Do to Matter

This is from here; copied below is most of the article that matters. . .

Will the Demcrats Become Part of the Problem?

After the years of illegal war and the overnight destruction of civil liberties that were 800 years in their creation, the United States stands at a watershed. If the legislation that has been put on the books permitting spying on Americans without a court warrant, legalizing torture and self-incrimination, and repealing habeas corpus and the right to an attorney remains on the books, the United States will be a police state regardless of which party is in power.

If the Democrats are to make a real difference, their first task is to repeal the Orwellian-named "Patriot Acts," the torture legislation, the detention without court evidence legislation, and the right-to-spy and invade privacy without court warrant legislation. The White House tyrant needs to be quickly told that one more "signing statement" and he will be impeached, convicted, and turned over to the War Crimes Tribunal at the Hague.

The notion that Americans can be protected from "terror" by giving up the Bill of Rights is absurd. Democrats are complicit in this absurd notion. Many were intimidated into voting for police state legislation, because they lacked the intestinal fortitude to call police state legislation by its own name. The legislation that has been passed during the Bush regime is far more dangerous to Americans than Muslim terrorists.

Indeed, the prime cause of Muslim terrorism is the US interference in the internal affairs of Muslim countries and America's one-sided stance in favor of Israel in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. When Jimmy Carter was president, his even-handed approach made the US respected throughout the Muslim world (and was one element that made him so dreadfully hated by fundamentalist freaks in the US). 9/11, if it was actually an act of Muslim terrorism, was the direct consequence of US one-sided meddling in Middle Eastern affairs.

When, and only when, the Democrats have erased the Bush administration's police state legislation from the books, thus restoring the Constitution, they should clear the air on two other issues of major importance. The Democrats must convene a commission of independent experts to investigate 9/11. The 9/11 Commission Report has too many problems and shortcomings to be believable.

Recent polls show that 36 percent of the American people do not believe the report. Such a deficient report is unacceptable. 9/11 became the excuse for the neoconservative Bush regime to launch illegal wars of aggression in the Middle East. The 9/11 Commission Report is nothing but a public relations justification for the "war on terror," which in truth is a war on American liberty. As long as politicians with a police state mentality can cling to the cover of the 9/11 Commission Report, the Bill of Rights will remain endangered.

The other issue is the blatant corruption in the Bush regime's contract practices. So many contracts are tainted with their connections to Republican power brokers, including Vice President Richard Cheney, that the taxpayers are being fleeced on the level of the Grant administration. Indictments and long prison sentences are in order.

This leaves the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Both are lost. Both invasions were illegal. Those responsible must be held accountable.
The American prosecutors of the Nazi war criminals at Nuremberg emphasized, as Robert Jackson put it, that Germany's crime was not in losing the war but in starting it. Under the Nuremberg standard, to launch a war of aggression is a war crime. It is punishable with a death sentence.


The US and Britain no longer have any role to play in the Middle East. As the King of Jordan predicted, there is now a Shiite crescent that runs from Iran through Iraq into Lebanon. This Shiite crescent is the most powerful force in the Middle East.

The Iraqi Sunnis can come to terms with Shiite power or be destroyed. The American puppet states of Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and the oil emirates are faced with the instability that comes from being allied with the "hegemonic" West against their own people. It is up to their own wits whether they can make the transformation.

The US has neither the resources, the finances, nor the credibility to intervene.

The Israelis have isolated themselves with their genocidal policies against the Palestinians. Intelligent Israelis are already sending their children out of the country. Israeli peace groups have thrown up their hands in the face of the persistent intransigence of the Israeli government and the disregard of common sense. It remains to be seen if the Israelis can learn to care about anyone but their own kind. Israel can save itself if its political leaders will stop pushing Palestinians off of their own land by destroying their homes and orchards and murdering their children, thus turning more Palestinians into refugees. It would be easy for the economically talented Israelis to pull the Palestinians into prosperity, thereby ending the conflict. Are Israelis capable of the humane leadership required to create a place for themselves in the Middle East or are they forever wed to Mao's dictum that "power comes out of the barrel of a gun"?

Republican rule in the 21st century has devastated American civil liberties and American prestige and leadership capability. Can Democrats restore American liberties and leadership, or will a lust for power corrupt them, too, and cause Democrats to retain the police state powers Bush has created?

If the Bush regime's police state legislation is still law in 2008, the Democrats will have failed.

Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan administration. He was Associate Editor of the Wall Street Journal editorial page and Contributing Editor of National Review. He is coauthor of The Tyranny of Good Intentions.He can be reached at:

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