As If Iraq Wasn’t Enough Of A Blunder

November 27, 2007 at 10:33 am (War & Peace)

Three and a half years into the Iraq War, the Bush White House is now considering and invasion of Iran. As if Iraq was a shining example of how we can bring peace and stability to the region. Iran is not Iraq, and the fallout from such a folly would make Iraq pale in comparison.

An article by Chris Hedges caught my eye. It’s entitled “If Bush Attacks Iran, He Won’t Get My Taxes” (http://www.alternet.org/rights/66414/). In addition to suggesting measures we as citizens can take to voice our extreme displeasure with the situation, he also points out some of the reasons why invading Iran is a very, very bad idea.

“This war, and especially Iranian retaliatory strikes on American targets, will be used to silence domestic dissent and abolish what is left of our civil liberties. It will solidify the slow-motion coup d’état that has been under way since the 9/11 attacks. It could mean the death of the Republic.”

“A war with Iran is doomed. It will be no more successful than the Israeli air strikes on Lebanon in 2006, which failed to break Hezbollah and united most Lebanese behind that militant group. The Israeli bombing did not pacify 4 million Lebanese. What will happen when we begin to pound a country of 65 million people whose land mass is three times the size of France?”

“But more ominous, an attack on Iran will ignite the Middle East. The loss of Iranian oil, coupled with possible Silkworm missile attacks by Iran against oil tankers in the Persian Gulf, could send the price of oil soaring to somewhere around $200 a barrel.”

Just what our economy needs – $5/gal oil.

“This attack will be interpreted by many Shiites in the Middle East as a religious war. The two million Shiites in Saudi Arabia (heavily concentrated in the oil-rich Eastern Province), the Shiite majority in Iraq and the Shiite communities in Bahrain, Pakistan and Turkey could turn in rage on us and our dwindling allies. We could see a combination of increased terrorist attacks, including on American soil, and widespread sabotage of oil production in the Persian Gulf. Iraq, as bad as it looks now, will become a death pit for US troops.”

It’s bad enough that Bush talked about making a ‘crusade’ , now that might be exactly what he will have on his hands; a Muslim/Christian holy war.

“A country that exists in a state of permanent war cannot exist as a democracy. Our long row of candles is being snuffed out. We may soon be in darkness.”

A pretty dire warning, but not without merit.

I leave you with a quote from a recent speech by Presidential hopeful Ron Paul entitled “Iran: The Next Neocon Target” (http://www.house.gov/paul/congrec/congrec2006/cr040506.htm):

“One of the greatest losses suffered these past 60 years from interventionism becoming an acceptable policy of both major parties is respect for the Constitution. Congress flatly has reneged on its huge responsibility to declare war. Going to war was never meant to be an Executive decision, used indiscriminately with no resistance from Congress.

“If we accepted the traditional American and constitutional foreign policy of non-intervention across the board, there would be no temptation to go along with these unnecessary military operations. A foreign policy of intervention invites all kinds of excuses for spreading ourselves around the world. The debate shifts from non-intervention versus interventionism, to where and for what particular reason should we involve ourselves. Most of the time it’s for less than honorable reasons. Even when cloaked in honorable slogans– like making the world safe for democracy– the unintended consequences and the ultimate costs cancel out the good intentions.”

Truer words were never spoken 🙂

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The End Of America

November 22, 2007 at 7:27 am (Civil Rights, The Constitution)

On this Thanksgiving Day, which happens to coincide with the 44th anniversary of the assissination of President Kennedy, I have been pondering the state of our country. As you can tell from the theme of my web site (The Day The Consitution Died – http://www.kurtericson.com), I’m greatly disturbed by what seems to be a slide towards a police state and what is tantamount to a state of martial law.

While browsing the articles on one of my favorite news/op-ed sites, Alternet (http://www.alternet.org), I came across an interview with author Naomi Wolf about her new book “The End Of America: Letter of Warning to a Young Patriot” (http://www.alternet.org/rights/68399/). It details the way in which she feels we are losing the foundations of our country. In the book, she outlines ’10 steps’ (http://www.alternet.org/blogs/video/65748/) or a blueprint for how fascists take over democracies. They are:

1. Invoke a terrifying internal and external enemy

2. Create a gulag

3. Develop a thug caste

4. Set up an internal surveillance system

5. Harass citizens’ groups

6. Engage in arbitrary detention and release

7. Target key individuals

8. Control the press

9. Dissent equals treason

10. Suspend the rule of law

As you may have noticed, many of these have already been implemented. We are well on our way to abandoning the very precepts which have made this country great, and a light to the World.

From her interview:

“I could tell last fall when a law was passed expanding the definition of terrorists to include animal rights activists, that people who look more like you and me would start to be called terrorists, which is a classic tactic in what I call a fascist expansion.”

“And then looking back at Italy and Germany, which were the two great examples of modern constitutional democracies that were illegally closed by people that were elected … duly elected … most Americans don’t remember. Mussolini, a National Socialist, came to power entirely legally. And they used the law to shut down the law. So that’s what I call a fascist shift.”

“History is particularly instructive in the early days of the fascist shifts in Germany and Italy, when things were really pretty normal. People go about their business, just like we’re doing now. It’s not like goose stepping columns of soldiers are everywhere. It looks like ordinary life. Celebrities, gossip columns, fashion, before getting caught up in a snare. People kept going to movies, worrying about feeding the cat. (laughs) Even while you watch the sort of inevitable unfold.”

“They can mow down democracies all over the world, but somehow we’ll be just fine. But what’s so ironic about that is that the Founding Fathers drafted the Bill of Rights in fear. They knew that you had to have checks and balances, because it’s human nature to abuse power, no matter who you are. They knew the damage that the army could do breaking into your home. … they knew that democracy is fragile, and the default is tyranny. They knew that. And that’s why they created the system of checks and balances.”

It’s a great interview and if you’re concerned about what’s happening to our civil rights in this country, I suggest you read it. I conclude this blog entry with a question from the interviewer, and a quote from Milton Mayer’s 1955 book “They Thought They Were Free”:

“So let’s talk about what could happen here. Is America in denial? Or is avoidance an attitude that seemed to be present in all historical examples? That people assume it’s not going to happen to them. Does the Americans’ denial at this point run parallel with the denial of Germans and Italians? Or do we have our own version of denial here?”

— …when the Nazis attacked the Communists, he was a little uneasy, but, after all, he was not a Communist, and so he did nothing; and then they attacked the Socialists, and he was a little uneasier, but still, he was not a Socialist, and he did nothing; and then the schools, the press, the Jews, and so on, and he was always uneasier, but still he did nothing. And then they attacked the Church, and he was a Churchman, and he did something – but then it was too late.
— from the book “They Thought They Were Free” by Milton Mayer – interviews with ordinary German citizens about the rise of Nazism in Germany

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