Saturday, September 13, 2008
Of 9/11, THE ELECTION, AND THE COMING FASCIST STATE
The attack of 9/11 struck me at the time as the logical result of a whole series of hubristic behaviors of the U.S. around the world. A week before the attack--I swear this is true--I was having a discussion with a guy in which I argued that it would not surprise me if we found ourselves attacked within our borders at some point. He dismissed the idea almost laughingly, saying our air and naval security were far too sophisticated and strong for that to happen. I said the attack would not be by traditional means, that it would be easy as pie for someone to simply slip into the country and blow up one of our cities with a nuclear device or sabotage a nuclear facility or a train hauling toxic chemicals--that we were vulnerable to a thousand different scenarios. Thus, a week later, when I was watching the events in New York in real time, I was sweating bullets because I was certain that the two planes flying into the Trade Center were just diversionary attacks in advance of the real thing.
I agree with Scott Ritter that If we continue our present course--and I see little reason to think that we won't--that we can expect to lose a city. The Bush Doctrine (that Sarah Palin blanked on in her interview with Charles Gibson) has opened the door for the same to be done to us. Thus, the day McCain takes office, Putin, Iran, others, will have this to think about: that the U.S. is no longer playing by the old rules, that they (Russia, Iran, whoever) are subject to attack by us in advance of any perceived threat. I'm sure they've already considered it, given that Bush and Cheney are still running loose, but once McCain and Palin--two certified lunatics--are installed, the countries we have been threatening so recklessly will have to carefully weigh how long they think they can afford to wait to hit us before we hit them.
Can Obama win? Somehow, I think not. The day before Sarah Palin appeared on the scene, everyone was holding their nose at John McCain. The day after, when I saw the mob's eyes roll back in their heads and foam issue from their mouths, I remembered again what country I'm living in, a country so simple minded and childish that it will get in the car with almost any strange man (or woman) offering goodies with a winning smile. And I find little comfort in the fact that the very things that are drawing so many to Sarah Palin are not all that different from the ones that have been drawing those on our side to Barack Obama--i.e., less issues than charisma and magical thinking. Even now, I know that Americans, having grown weary of the current war (but not tired of war), would gleefully march off to another one on the mere suggestion of a McCain, an Obama, a Hillary, or a gun-toting Sarah Palin. Makes no difference. Hell, we're already in Pakistan and nobody's squawking.
In other words, something is fundamentally broken here--always has been--and I doubt seriously that it can be repaired. One way or another the Neocons are going to win the election. If they don't win it outright, they'll steal it; the voting machines are still broken and easily hacked into. Or they'll kill our candidate. They'll do whatever they have to do.
By the end of McCain's first term in office, the U.S. will have completed its fascist mission and we will be living in a police state. The terrorist watch list--already bloated with over a million names--will have swelled to several million, and by then, no doubt, some mechanism will have been triggered allowing for more aggressive action against all those perceived enemies beyond merely detaining them at airports or relieving them of their laptops and cell phones. For a list of possibilities, I refer you to the Pinochet regime.
Am I discouraged? You're damn right I am. I hope I'm wrong. I hope, come November, I will be looking back on what I've written here and I'll be laughing. I sure as hell hope so.
But in the meantime, anyone who is still somewhat enamored of the idea of democracy might want to get their passports in order.