International Writers Magazine - Our Tenth Year: USA Coup
U.S. press corps is pathetically myopic. They have the depth and
consistency of processed cheese slices, knowing nothing of American
history and even less than nothing about the lessons of world history.
Six years ago the press acted in concert to promote the Iraq war. Remember
CNNs Wall of Heroes, where they posted the photos of service people
participating in the liberation of Iraq? Now, having shifted
with the political wind, they are excoriating Bush and his gang for
having lured the country into that mess. Hey, one out of two aint
bad, right? Currently they are laughing up their sleeve at Dick Cheney
for sticking his neck out and vocally defending Bush administration
decisions to invade Iraq and torture Arab prisoners. I am not going
to leap to the defense of al-Queda terrorists who were tortured. On
the other hand, average Iraqi insurgents who fought the occupation,
not to mention people randomly detained or denounced over personal enmities,
should never have been subjected to those methods.
They had nothing to do with terrorist strikes against the U.S. Some
did nasty things against the U.S. occupation, but they were prisoners
of war, and as such were entitled to the presumption of humane treatment
as dictated by the Geneva Convention. This is all beside the point.
Cheney is not interested in the Iraq war or treatment of prisoners.
He is building a political base for the future. Cheneys vision
for the future of American politics does not include a provision for
parliamentary democracy. He is setting himself up as a future strongman,
having more to do with Spanish dictator Generalissimo Francisco Franco
than with any American historical figure. Cheney is setting himself
up as the focus for the disaffected rump of the obsolete American establishment
that is being displaced by the Obama Revolution, the bankers, industrialists,
hereditary ruling classes, social conservatives and reactionary intellectuals
who are no longer running things, which they imagine to be their hereditary
The Republicans cannot regain supremacy at the polling booth under the
current circumstances and the Obama clique is moving fast on all fronts
to consolidate power. Whats left for them? Coup détat.
I have been harping on this since even before the election and I have
not yet gained any traction, but it doesnt make it any less immediate.
Cheneys vision of politics is of the hardball variety. His concept
of democratic institutions can best be summarized by Adolph Hitlers
response when reminded of the moral authority of the Catholic Church:
How many divisions does the Pope command? he quipped.
When Cheney was vice-president he spent most of his time hiding out
in undisclosed locations for fear of assassination. That is how he conceives
of politics, as a fight to the death. Fortunately for Obama, the armed
forces are engaged on the other side of the world. But there are still
enough units left in the U.S. to occupy Washington, New York and parts
of California. If you combine them with the substantial rump of unabashedly
reactionary elements in the civilian population and media establishment,
you have the makings of a very effective power grab.
Let me briefly run down a partial list of popularly elected governments
that were overthrown by right-wing coups in the last century: Chile,
Guatemala, Thailand, Iran, Brazil, Argentina, Greece, Turkey, Spain,
Italy and Burma. In France, President Charles de Gaulle narrowly escaped
being deposed and assassinated by elements of the army after he expressed
his determination to achieve a peace agreement in Algeria. Anybody who
believes it cant happen in the U.S. is taking the shortsighted
view of historical development. This country is young and it has not
yet experienced the full gamut of political evolution that older countries
have been forced to endure. Lets hope it doesnt at
least in our lifetime. But this, I believe, is Cheneys ambition,
to mobilize the disinherited ruling class oligarchy and push for permanent
I admire Barack Obamas intelligence and I am hoping that it is
not eclipsed by a naïve presumption that just because he has majority
support he is home free. He needs to play the political game as it is
played in other countries and keep an eye on his loyal opposition. I
certainly do not advocate nefarious methods like electronic surveillance
or wiretaps, but he needs to keep track of whom Cheney is meeting and
what he is discussing. Given the enormous stakes in play, he needs to
keep his finger on the pulse of the military and intelligence communities
for signs of unhealthy or destructive tendencies. Basically what he
needs is a political intelligence apparatus that is loyal to him personally.
That is only prudent domestic politics. (How his resumption of trials
in Gitmo will play out is another story).
© Dean Borok May 15th 2009
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