I am offering the following analysis as a hopefully useful albeit gloomy guide to our prospects to regain the right to have our votes counted as cast, a fundamental constitutional right, and a right essential to democratic process. If it has a useful bottom line, let me offer it for those with short attention spans: the USG is not our institutional friend or protector despite a limited number of sincere but relatively powerless members of Congress who support democratic process. There is a ruling class in the classic Marxist sense of the term that runs the USA and that reached a consensus that democracy can go by the boards, and that is in the process of selling their decision to the American public by stealth. As many of you already know, any hopes of restoring our right to vote must come from massive grassroots pressure promising disruptive consequences if denied because our sacred rights as such have little or no value to the ruling class.
I previously posted an analysis of the means and methods of the Eastern Establishment to control the electoral process prior to the outright seizure of the vote count. http://tinyurl.com/32ha89 The traditional agonists who opposed the EE have been the reactionary right wing, often staunchly Xtn (evangelicals; orthodox Catholic), many of whom now openly advocate a theocratic state. These latter are the ideological folk, now including the neocons with strong links to Israel, who advocated open violent civil war against the labor unions from 1900-1920, who urged pre-emptive nuclear attacks upon China and the USSR, who excoriated Truman for "losing China" by not allowing McArthur to use the atom bomb against China, and whose policy is described frankly by Lieber & Press in "The Rise of Nuclear Primacy," in Foreign Affairs March/April 2006, the journal of the Council of Foreign Relations that is the strongest single group within the EE, and whose journal is its mouthpiece. Lieber and Press make plain that SDI or "Star Wars" has always been what Russia and China have taken it to be -- an offensive weapon system designed to protect the USA from attack by what would be left of either or both of their nuclear arsenals following a pre-emptive US nuclear launch. In the crudest of descriptions, the EE has always proceeded by "diplomacy" that affects to honor international norms while the Right has preferred to issue demands backed by brute force threatening annihilation.
The Next Coup
Let me simplify this and not just to be rhetorical: A coup has occurred. I woke up the other day realizing, coming out of sleep, that a coup has occurred. It’s not just a question that a coup lies ahead with the next 9/11. That’s the next coup, that completes the first.
The site of Ellsberg's speech is significant. On June 10, 1963 John F. Kennedy gave a speech at American University that his compatriots consider one of the great political speeches of last century. Known as The Peace Speech, Khrushchev privately considered it "the best speech by any president since Roosevelt." Robert McNamara, Kennedy's Secretary of Defense said of it in 2003, "If he had lived, the world would have been different. I feel quite confident of that. Whether we would have had détente sooner, I'm not sure. But it would have been a less dangerous world, I'm certain of that . ...Please read it. It's one of the great documents of the twentieth century." (David Talbot, Brothers, p.206) Kennedy and Khrushchev were collaborating to dismantle the Cold War and the vise-like grip of the men who owned and ran the military-industrial complex against whose excesses Eisenhower warned in his closing address, and whose policies are now openly articulated by the neocons. Talbot quotes C. Wright Mills who gave voice to the clarion call of "endless war" as the policy of the complex:
"For the first time in American history, men in authority are talking about an 'emergency' without a foreseeable end," Mills wrote in his durable 1956 work, The Power Elite. "Such men as these are crackpot realists: in the name of realism they have constructed a paranoid reality all their own." (207)
Kennedy's opposition to the war machine cost him his life, as it did the lives of all the effective voices who opposed it: Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, Robert F. Kennedy, and in all likelihood John Lennon, the only one the origins of whose assassination about which I am uncertain.
Probably fewer of you are familiar with Karen Kwiatkowski, Ph.D., a retired USAF lieutenant colonel who worked in military intelligence at the Iraq desk in the Pentagon. Kwiatkowski was forced into retirement after resisting Dick Cheney's efforts to manufacture pretexts for invading Iraq, Not to be thwarted, Cheney established the Office of Special Plans within the Pentagon to supercede conventional accurate intelligence reports. She saw firsthand the wholesale manufacture of lies to justify invading Iraq and wrote September 29, 2007 in an editorial entitled "Living in an Imperial World":
The republic is dead. Not sick, not dying, not failing, or in a gradual decline, not waiting to be resuscitated, but already stone cold dead.
This death probably occurred as we began to win the Cold War, but long before we realized we had prevailed. The professionalization of politics, of military and bureaucratic service to the state, of foreign policy making, and of business seems to have completely done in the old ideas. Simply federated, decentralized, self-depreciating government that once feared the people has self-actualized into a contemptuous, rapacious and iron-fisted murderer of freedom, and murderer of men. ...
Recognize that the republic is dead, and that we owe its rotting bloated corpse no loyalty whatsoever.
For those of you with an appetite for history, I recommend J.A. Hobson's 1903 Imperialism, the deepest prolonged meditation on the incompatibilities between imperialism in all its forms with democratic process, the distortion or corruption of the latter varying directly with the unabashed militarism of the former. Hobson opines:
Whatever virtues are attributed to military discipline by its apologists, it is admitted that his training does not conduce to industrial efficiency. The economic cost of militarism is therefore twofold; the greatly increased expense of he army must be defrayed by an impoverished people.
So far, I have regarded the issue [of imperialism] on its narrowly economic side. Far more important are the political implications of militarism. These strike at the very root of popular liberty and the ordinary civic virtues. A few plain reflections serve to dispel the sophistical vapours which are used to form a halo round the life of the soldier. Respice finem. There exits an absolute antagonism between the activity of the good citizen and that of the soldier. The end of the soldier is not, as is sometimes falsely said, to die for his country; it is to kill for his country. In as far as he dies he is a failure; his work is to kill, and he attains perfection as a soldier when he becomes a perfect killer. This end, the slaughter of one's fellow-men, forms a professional character, alien from, and antagonistic to, the character of our ordinary citizen, whose work conduces to the preservation of his fellow-men. ...If the service is long and rigorous enough to be effective, it involves these psychical reactions, which are indeed, part and parcel of military efficiency. How clearly this is set forth by Mr. March-Phillips in his admirable appreciation of the common soldier's life!
'Soldiers as a class (I take the town-bred, slum-bed majority, mind) are men who have discarded the civil standard of moral authority altogether. They simply ignore it. This is, no doubt, why civilians fight shy of them. In the game of life they don't play the same rules, and the consequence is a good deal of misunderstanding, until finally the civilian says he won't play with the Tommy any more. In the soldiers' eyes lying, theft, drunkenness, bad language, etc., are not evils at all. They steal like jackdaws. The language of Tommies, in point of profanity and obscenity, has no equal. Lying he treats with the same large charity. To lie like a trooper is quite a metaphor. He invents all sorts of elaborate lies for the mere pleasure of inventing them. Looting, again, is one of his perpetual joys. Not merely looting for profit, but looting for the sheer fun of destruction, etc. Are thieving and lying and looting and bestial behavior very bad things? If they are, Tommy is a bad man. But for some reason or other, since I got to know him, I have thought rather less of the iniquity of these things than I did before [because they so well serve British imperialism].' "
This judgment is itself a striking comment on militarism. The fact that it should be given by a man of sterling character and culture is the most convincing testimony to the corrupting influence of war. To this informal witness may be added the significant evidence of Lord Wolseley's Soldier's Pocket-book.