I agree with Greg Djerejian who responded:The best way for would be tyrants to become the real thing is to scare the hell out of the population with the threat of an "external" enemy. Cheney and his psychopathic cohorts started laying the ground even before 911 - it just made things easier. They were going to make Saddam into a mortal threat without it. After 911 we saw the serious shredding of the Constitution begin. The press and the congress were cheerleaders - that includes many Democrats as well as most of the Republicans. The Bush/Cheney misadventure in Iraq and the War on terror are no longer enough, their credibility is now zero. They need a new threat - a new war. They will attack Iran. They don't even care if it is another cluster fuck as most predict. They will still use it as an excuse to take more power and discard the constitution.It's really an appallingly strange time in our country. We have a singularly powerful Vice-President (compared to any of his predecessors)--openly quite enamored by the tactics employed by the Soviet Union--our former arch-foe whose human rights standards we derided. Indeed, we fought a decades-long Cold War so that Western style constitutional freedoms would trump Soviet authoritarianism. But yes, from this Sovietophile posture, use of torture and black-sites and detention without habeas corpus protections makes all the sense in the world, doesn't it? Because we have a Vice-President all but openly emulating and cheer-leading the tactics of the KGB, not in the wilds of Wyoming, but to a soi disant sophisticated audience in Washington DC.It's almost as if the reason they hated" the totalitarians was because they could get away with doing what these guys could only fantasize about. It wasn't hatred at all, actually. It was envy.
But this is no longer an academic exercise, is it? Aside from the torture and black sites and detention without habeas (as if that's not enough) they've also been busily laying the legal groundwork for an authoritarian regime at home. It only awaits the next "crisis" for them to fully implement.
And judging by the hysterical reaction of the media and political elites the last time, I can only assume that they will succeed in persuading the country that all these things are necessary.(Recall that Sally Quinn spent the first few years after 9/11 giving terror-porn speeches all over Washington about how to prepare for the next attack, including whether your Shih Tzu can wear a gas mask.) The Nazis, (another former enemy no doubt richly admired for their efficient ways of dealing with internal dissent) never did an illegal thing according the German law. They just changed the laws. That's how the smart folks do things. Precedents, judges, new laws -- it all adds up to a new police state just waiting for the moment it's required.
Meanwhile, Cheney and the rest of his lunatic cohorts are sending clear, unambiguous signals that they are planning to attack Iran. Indeed, as Kevin Hayden pointed out yesterday, there is a coordinated product roll-out happening right before our eyes. First of all we have that Dick Cheney speech in which, as Greg Djerejian also points out, he repeatedly uses a phrase he and Bush used in the run-up to the Iraq war: "serious consequences.
Monday, October 22, 2007
The US and the west spent over half of my life, I'm 61, fighting the cold war to prevent the totalitarian Soviet Union from taking away our Democracy only to have the Bush/Cheney administration do exactly that over the last six years. Digby has an interesting, if disturbing, post up on this.