As of December 31, anyone anywhere, including US citizens, can be called national security threats and judged guilty by accusation. Activists opposing America's imperium risk arrest, permanent detention or assassination.
So do social justice protesters. Military dungeons or FEMA camps await them. Martial law may authorize it, claiming "catastrophic emergency" powers. The original Senate bill excluded US citizens. Obama demanded their inclusion.
Inviolable rights no longer apply. Protesting imperial lawlessness, social injustice, corporate crime, government corruption, or political Washington run of, by and for rich elites can be criminalized. So can free speech, assembly, religion, or anything challenging America's right to kill, destroy and pillage with impunity.
It's official. Tyranny arrived in America. The nation's unsafe to live in. There's no place to hide. They're coming for anyone challenging injustice.
Lawlessness At Home and Abroad
They also target independent states. At issue is making them client ones. Tactics include threats, destabilization, violence, sanctions and war if other methods fail.
In 2011, Libya became NATO's latest charnel house. It was ravaged and destroyed for profit. For months, Syria's been ruthlessly targeted. Pressure's building for more. Anything ahead is possible, including replicating the barbarism inflicted on Libya.
Iran's next. Washington's pushing the envelope aggressively.
Tactics include provocations, subversion, fake accusations, isolation, covert or direct confrontation, cyberwar, and punishing sanctions, coming perilously close to acts or war.
In the past five years, four harsh rounds were imposed. In mid-December, Congress enacted another. They're included in the FY 2012 NDAA. They're aimed at penalizing foreign financial institutions doing business with Tehran's central bank. It's the main oil revenue conduit. US corporations, including banks, already can't deal with Iran.
Additional measures expanded sanctions on companies doing oil related business, including investments, selling Iran refinery goods and services, as well as providing Tehran with refined products worth $5 million or more annually.
On December 31, Obama signed the new law. He has 180 days to implement it. He calls it the stiffest measure yet, saying:
"Our intent is to implement this law in a timed and phased approach so that we avoid repercussions to the oil market and ensure that this damages Iran and not the rest of the world."
He has discretionary power to grant waivers, provided they're in America's national interest. Energy analysts fear enactment means disruptively higher oil prices. Others worry that confrontation may follow rogue bullying.
Navy Commander Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari said Iran's naval forces can readily block the Strait of Hormuz in response to hostile Western actions.
He spoke a day after Vice President Mohammad Reza Rahimi warned not a drop of oil would pass through the Strait if Iran's oil exports are sanctioned. If so, expect energy prices to skyrocket until normal flows resume. Also expect retaliation, perhaps including direct US-Iranian confrontation.