Friday, February 2, 2007

The Dog That Didn't Bark in the Night

In a Sherlock Holmes story entitled "Silver Blaze" in which a champion race horse of the same name disappears on the eve of a big race and his trainer has gone missing and perhaps murdered, Holmes has this exchange at the crime scene with Gregory, the Scotland Yard inspector:

Gregory: "Is there any other point to which you would wish to draw my attention?"
Holmes: "To the curious incident of the dog in the night-time."
Gregory: "The dog did nothing in the night-time."
Holmes: "That was the curious incident."

The really perverse and extremely revealing dimension of the situation we face today is that the people that most citizens look to as the country's watchdogs - our political leadership and the mass media - have been curiously silent in the face of this White House's extraordinary power grab and exceptional - the very least we can say - incompetence on matters that really matter. It's really quite maddening, which is why many people who've been paying attention have been "freaking out" for the last six years.

It's one thing for a villainous band to seize power. It's another for the existing institutions to permit it to continue. It's crystal clear that the Democratic Party's leadership and the corporate media as a whole are perfectly content to allow the essential elements of the radical restructuring that the GOP has been carrying out to stand. The Democrats have said that they intend to modify some of the aspects of these moves such as restoring a little of the habeas corpus that was stripped by the Military Commissions Act of 2006 (MCA) (Scroll down the page to my picture). Modify, not abolish. Modify, not repudiate. What does this tell you?

Consider the latest news item (1/31/07) that a US judge has ruled that a Florida physician can be prosecuted under the MCA for pledging to treat alleged terrorists on the grounds that his doing so was providing "material support" to someone engaging in hostilities against the US:

"U.S. District Judge Loretta A. Preska ruled against Sabir's motions to dismiss the indictment at a pretrial hearing on Jan. 17, and explained herself in a written decision released Tuesday.

"She said 'any reasonable doctor' would know from the plain language of federal law that pledging to provide medical support to al-Qaida would be a form of outlawed `expert advice or assistance.'''

To which I can only say: wake up and smell the sulphur!

As I wrote in Chapter Five of ITP:

"Even if somehow the Democrats miraculously win the next presidential election, and even if, hypothetically, the Democratic president wishes to curb the radical right wing’s agenda, the radical right has entrenched itself so thoroughly and strategically in the government, in the military, in business and in the media that any moves to curb its power and its agenda will be met with the ferocity of a really pissed off vampire. Look at how angry and vituperative they are right now, and they have power! Remember how they succeeded in impeaching Clinton even though only 26% of the public supported the idea at the time.

"Moreover, even if, for the sake of argument, the Democrats were to be alone in power and the GOP and their theocratic fascist minions were to disappear overnight in a rapture, consider what has been happening internationally over the last thirty years or so. Social democrats worldwide, who are far more left wing than our Democratic Party, have been moving to the right as they 'adjust' to globalization’s dictates. Neoliberalism is ascendant worldwide and public order policies are the rule. In other words, the welfare state worldwide has been under fire and steadily being dismantled. Social democracy accepts the fundamental 'rightness' of capitalism and seeks merely to ameliorate its worst effects. The solution to the issues of our day thus involves breaking decisively with things as they are and taking things in an entirely different direction." (pp. 108-109)

The fight for impeachment is a crucial part of the larger fight to meet the exceptionally dangerous juggernaut that the Bush/Cheney regime are the cutting edge of. People must realize the magnitude of this fight. It's a fight we dare not shrink from. Which future are we going to have? The one led by people who don't believe in the "reality-based community," and who practice torture as a "no brainer" (Dick Cheney), and who think that suppressing science and ignoring global warming is just another day in the office? Or an entirely different future? Once Bush and Cheney are out of office, does anyone really think, even if the Democrats win the White House in 2008, that we are going to see a dramatic reversal of all that has transpired under Bush/Cheney? Does Fox News and Clear Channel, do Rush Limbaugh, Bill O'Reilly, Pat Robertson et al go away too when the results of the 2008 elections are announced? Do the American Enterprise Institute, the Heritage Foundation, the radical, fundamentalist right, and Ann Coulter fold up their tents and retire to some island underneath the former Polar Ice caps? Do we get to vote them away? Does the so-called "war on terror" that Cheney has said will last generations and which the Democratic Party has been unwilling to expose as a lie and has been running scared over all this time somehow go away with a Democratic victory in 2008?

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