RANGER AGAINST WAR: Democracy in Descent <

Monday, December 05, 2011

Democracy in Descent

Ya' feelin' alright?
I'm not feelin' too good myself

--Feelin' Alright
, Joe Cocker

And I guess we're doing fine,

But there's no escaping our

Spectacular failure

--Spectacular Failures
, Just Jack

Ranger Question of the Day:

a book club meeting at local coffee shop was studying,

"Having a Real Relationship with God":

How can one have a relationship with something

that is unreal?


The entire Phony War on Terror
(PWOT ©) has been sold as an effort to democratize the undemocratizable. Simply put, elections are not the guarantors of a liberal democracy. Think Putin, Chavez, Mussolini, Hitler -- any garden-variety fascist.

The essential question regarding United States foreign policy is, does the U.S. favor stability, or the supposed propagation of democracy? In the past, U.S. security trumped the peddling of a democratic agenda, until President Bush thought to channel Jimmy Carter and deliver democracy to the intransigent Afghanistan and Iraq.
However, realpolitik seems to have left the building when recent Middle East elections in Tunisia, Egypt and Syria indicate conservative Islamic fundamentalist winners.

In Egypt's example, the U.S. is footing the shift to a more fundamentalist government to the tune of $1.3 billion per year -- and that country is not remotely dancing to the U.S. tune. So why the effort? As The Week stated,
"The Egyptian military might be corrupt, but it has to remain strong enough to keep the Islamists in line" (Chaos in Cairo).

As the PWOT enters its 10th anniversary,
poster boy Afghanistan remains at the BOTTOM of a recent survey of transparency in governments, beating out shining beacons of corruption North Korea and Somalia for the privilege (Transparency International). [FWIW, the U.S. came in at #24 -- behind Canada and Qatar, but at least we beat France at #25, which is what matters, right? Hey, democracy's messy business.]

What do
We the People want our government to accomplish with our foreign policy? Since we can't vote for what we want, as the promises do not actualize, voting -- the crown jewel of a true democracy -- becomes an act of futility in a democracy in descent.

Last Tuesday:

On Tuesday 60 members of the United States Senate voted to preserve a provision in the National Defense Authorization Act—that would be the bill that funds the Pentagon—allowing the U.S. military to pick up and detain, without charges or trial, anyone suspected of terrorism, including American citizens, and to restrict transfers of prisoners out of Guantanamo Bay. Specifically, 60 senators voted against an amendment that would have invalidated the part of the bill which empowers the president and the military to detain anyone they suspect was involved in the 9/11 attacks or supports al-Qaida, the Taliban, or “associated forces that are engaged in hostilities against the United States or its coalition partners” (Military Police State).

The 2012 Defense Appropriations bill is an anti-democracy bill proposing giving the Department of Defense jurisdiction over domestic terrorism, to include suspension of
habeas corpus to U.S. citizens. Jose Padilla and Anwar al-Awlaki helped pave the way. How can you export what you don't have?

This is an example of the New U.S. Democracy, which aims to level itself with systems that look somewhat less-than democratic. On paper, it will help bring more nations into the democratic fold, and those who trumpet the loudest for the curtailment of our once-sacred rights will say, "What need have I to be worried about the anti-democratic bills -- I'm not doing anything wrong?" Until, like Pastor Niemoller suggested, they come for you.

The 2012 Defense Appropriations bill is exactly what the U.S. fought in Nazism and Japanese militarism, and what we demonized in Communism with its military primacy over civilian interests.

If the bill becomes law, 235 years of U.S. policy and practice will have belly-flopped into the trash heap of history, next to Cold Fusion and The Great Leap Forward.

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