Let's see now: President dropping in the polls; impeachment talk over illegal wiretaps gaining traction; majority of Americans now supporting withdrawal from Iraq; Abramoff scandal reaching into the White House; big push starting for war with Iran; the Bush gang reduced to defending their crime, deception and despotism with a last, threadbare card, the "terrorist threat".....
Why, yes, I think it's about time for a guest shot from Osama!
And so the deadly symbiosis between that dynamic, death-peddling duo, Bush and bin Laden, goes on. And as usual, the timing -- even the wording -- of the terrorist's bloviation falls, with eerie perfection, into lock-step with Bush's political needs. As noted above, the only way Bush can justify his now-open establishment of a de facto dictatorship -- arbitrary rule by "the unitary executive" -- is by the constant, hysterical invocation of a terrorist threat. To meet this threat, to preserve "our way of life," says Bush, we must shred all of our inherent liberties, our inalienable rights, our constitutional freedoms, our centuries-old system of checks and balances; we must give all power to the Leader, who will protect the only thing that matters: our skin.
This is of course a cynical and absurd argument; no terrorist attack, no matter how massive, could destroy the American republic. This can only be done from the inside -- and only by the deliberate choice of those in power. At every turn, the Bush gang has sought to instil a blind, quaking, automatic fear in the American people, so that when they hear the word "terror," they jump to the Boss's tune, they run for cover and burn the Constitution to keep them warm in their hidey-hole. It's been a remarkable exercise, really: the attempt to create a polity of cowards.
And if there is another terrorist attack in the United States -- as there certainly will be, given the fact that the Bushists deliberately allowed bin Laden to escape capture at Tora Bora in 2001 (more on this topic here next week), and have swelled the terrorist ranks with their murderous war in Iraq -- the last vestiges, the last pretenses of American civil rights and individual liberty will be stripped away. The people have long been inculcated with this idea, from top Bushists such as General Tommy Franks: if there is another terrorist attack in the "Homeland," then "the Constitution might be suspended." This is now the "conventional wisdom," a widely accepted notion -- despite there being no reason for such an action whatsoever. Yet the militarist-corporatist faction now represented by the Bushists -- which has long dreamed of suspending the civic order and ruling by decree and martial law, and has in fact been planning for this eventuality for decades -- will doubtless seize the day when the next attack comes. As Bush himself said just days after the September 11 attacks, when the bodies of the dead were still compacted with the smoking ruins of the Twin Towers: "Through my tears, I see opportunity."
So here we are. The dictatorship is now in the open, as the Justice Department's tortured "defense" of Bush's high crime of arbitrary spying this week proves once again. Like the "signing statement" that eviscerated the much ballyhooed "anti-torture bill," the latest load of cringing mendacity from that most servile minister, Attorney General Al Gonzales, again confirms the Bushist principle that the president is simply above the law: there is nothing he cannot do, no crime he cannot order in the exercise of his "plenary powers." But despite this naked display of apish chest-thumping -- "Me top monkey! You do me homage! You pick my fleas, bring me best fruit!" -- there are disturbed rumblings amongst the rabble. Recent polls show a majority of Americans support impeachment if it is proved that Bush ordered wiretaps without a court order. (The proof is copious, of course; and indeed, the criminal act is openly admitted by Bush.) A majority of Americans believe the Iraq war is a mistake and want the troops withdrawn. The new Medicare fiasco -- which has seen multitudes of the sick and old suffering needlessly -- will further embitter large swathes of the people against their cruel and rapacious masters.
What then can save the Leader? What can preserve, enhance and extend the power of his faction to carry on God's work (which naturally overrides any puny restrictions of human law)? What can keep the machine grinding forward, and keep the money rolling in? Only fear. Only cowardice. Only terror -- terror from without to justify the terror from within.
So terror is what we are going to get. I've written of this symbiosis many times, and a conclusion once drawn years ago is even more true today: Dazed by the lure of loot and glory, hamstrung by their own wilful ignorance of the complexities of history and human nature, the third-rate thugs of the Bush Regime have entered into a collaboration with the equally dazed, equally ignorant bin Laden mafia. Each gang draws meaning and justification from the other, each cloaks its own criminality and murder in the guise of a crusade against the other's evil. And both draw their power and profit from the same unrenewable natural resource:
The blood of innocent people..