Taking Exception: The Delusion of Democratic Rescue

Arthur Silber continues to blaze away with posts to which nothing can be added except this admonition: go and read. In his latest, Songs of Death, he does what every visionary does: tells us truths that we have not yet heard -- or do not want to hear. In this case, it's the bitter pill that the Democratic heroes coming to rescue us from Bush will in fact perpetuate, with remarkable fidelity, the brutal policies of loot and dominion that the present Administration has championed so brazenly. For proof of this, Silber offers us the Democratic heroes' own words -- and damning stuff it is, too, from Hillary Clinton's public musing about "offensive military action against Iran" (not defensive action, but good old Bush-style "pre-emptive" aggression, as Silber notes) to Barack Obama's recent commitment to maintain the American Empire in all its overwhelming military glory, while affirming -- what else? -- that "we must never take the military option off the table" when dealing with Iran.

Silber delves deeply into the long-standing, bipartisan imperial hubris that underlies the common foreign policy of Bush, Obama and Clinton. Again, his analysis needs to be read in full, but this brief clip cuts to the heart of our political reality:

...every great civilization of the past has, in some form, made claims like those made by "American exceptionalism." Their time came and went, as will ours. But as I recently observed, our ignorance is close to perfect: we have rendered ourselves incapable of grasping the past, the present or the future. Understanding developments over broad historic periods is a task for which we are singularly unsuited, and our sole concern remains today and tomorrow, and at most the next election. In addition, to talk accurately and sensibly about such matters flatters the vanity of neither the political class nor Americans more generally. Even though it is the truth, no one wants to hear: "The United States represented a revolutionary and glorious political development at its founding. But the original principles upon which this nation rested began to be seriously eroded only one hundred years later, and today they are all but vanished. Unless we again radically alter our path, we are headed to the trash heap of history, like every nation of once great achievement before us." Such views need not apply: they will not garner large campaign contributions, they will not lead to speaking engagements, and they will certainly not get you to the White House.