The Gadfly Bytes --
January 30, 2007
Only Americans Can Restore America’s Honor
In six short years, the Bush regime has
transformed the United States from an exemplar of freedom, democracy
and the rule of law, to a pariah and a threat to international law
BBC poll of twenty-six countries has found that, by a plurality
of 49 to 32 percent, the United States is believed to play a “mainly
negative” role in the world. These scores report a continuing
decline in international respect for the United States.
Zweifel writes: “We no longer are viewed as a beacon of freedom
for the world, but a nation to be vilified for its war-mongering,
its torturing and its refusal to work with other countries.”
This transformation is due, in no small part, to the
neo-conservative determination to have the United States impose a
so-called “benevolent global hegemony” upon the world, and to the
subsequent implementation of this objective in Iraq.
neo-con “new world order” would be accomplished through the threat
or use of the unrivaled military power of the one remaining
super-power, the United States. This remarkable plan for a “Pax
Americana” was no secret. It was, in fact, clearly articulated in
1997 by a policy group, the "Project for the New American Century” (PNAC).
When first published, the PNAC “project” was merely a proposal. But
with the appointment of George Bush to the presidency in 2001, the
project was promoted to the status of United States policy, as most
of the PNAC founders joined the Bush Administration. (For a history
and analysis of PNAC, see Bernard Weiner:
Grand Game: A ‘PNAC Primer’ Update.”).
The sub-text of
the PNAC message to the world is, “we have the power to impose this
hegemony, and you can like it or lump it. But no matter, you are
helpless to stop us.”
The reaction of the international
community and the capacities of that community indicate that this
arrogant policy must fail, likely sooner than later. For, in fact,
the rest of the world is not “helpless” to contain, and if
necessary, overthrow “Pax Americana.” Because:
The Iraq occupation is demonstrating (as did
Viet Nam), that the US military, however equipped with “shock
and awe” weaponry, can not defeat an insurgency supported, or
even simply tolerated, by the population.
The United States economy is hostage to its
international debt. The US is, in effect, “owned” by its foreign
creditors, primarily China and Japan. Should those creditors so
decide, they can bring down the US economy by abandoning the
dollar as international currency, and by unloading the US debt
on the international market. They can also withdraw foreign
capital from the US economy. As
William Greider wisely observes, “any profligate debtor who
insults his banker is unwise, to put it mildly.” While such
retaliations would have serious impacts on the world economy,
these would be infinitely less than a world war waged to
overthrow the American Emporium.
Similarly, the American economy is almost
entirely dependent upon imported resources, especially oil. Less
than half of the oil consumed by the US is from domestic
sources. If an international embargo on oil imports were imposed
upon the United States, the consequences would be catastrophic.
Most notably, the production and distribution of food would be
drastically curtailed. (See my
The Oil Trap).
The American industrial base and technological
“know-how” that provided “the arsenal of democracy” in World War
II, has been outsourced and exported, while federal support for
basic scientific research is being curtailed. Accordingly, the
US has sold-off its technological pre-eminence and its economic
independence. Thus we might, for example, find ourselves in the
absurd situation of aiming at China, deterrent ICBMs that
contain microprocessors manufactured in China.
In short, if the United States chooses to force a
“hegemony” upon the world, the world can defeat the US and destroy
firing a shot. No matter that the US spends more on its
military than the rest of the world combined. This only indicates
that no coalition of nations can defeat the US in conventional war.
It does not follow that no coalition of nations can defeat the US by
other means. Clearly, if the international community finally runs
out of patience with an arrogant American regime, it can put a
decisive end to the American “global hegemony.” And that patience
may soon be exhausted. An unprovoked attack upon Iran just might
trigger that massive and effective non-military global response.
Accordingly, Caligula’s motto, Oderint dum metuant – “Let
them hate us so long as they fear us” – does not apply to the
American “hegemon.” While more and more of the world’s people
are coming to hate us, they have no need to fear us.
PNAC “project” is fundamentally false: there can not be, and
therefore will not be, an “American Century.” Even so, the
attempt to implement this “American Century” has cost us the respect
of the rest of the world.
Restoration of that respect must
come from within. If we the American people and our political
institutions -- the rule of law, congressional checks and balances,
and the constitutionally enumerated rights -- cast out this evil and
outlaw regime that has brought infamy upon our nation, the sins of
the past six years will be upon the overthrown culprits, and credit
will be due to the institutions and the people that threw them out.
Like the devils that possessed the poor wretch brought before Jesus,
the abuses and outrages that besmirch our international reputation
can be attached to the culprits. And if they are exposed and cast
out from our body politic, the world will be better prepared to
accept the United States back into the international community.
A restoration of the international reputation of and respect for
the United States must involve:
Withdrawal, “with all deliberate speed,” from
Iraq. Also all prisoners held at Guantanamo and other military
prisons must either be brought to a speedy and fair trial, or
released immediately with reparations.
Immediate Congressional legislation restoring
habeas corpus and the Constitutional rights violated by the
Patriot Act and the Military Commissions Act, accompanied by the
rescinding of those acts.
Rigorous and uncompromising Congressional
investigations and disclosure of the crimes of the Bush
administration, followed by remedial legislation.
Following this, the impeachment of Bush, Cheney,
and culpable subordinate executive officials, followed by trial
and conviction in the Senate.
Acknowledgment that international treaties are
enforceable laws of the United States (as stipulated in Article
Six of the Constitution). Most urgently, this would include the
Geneva Conventions (concerning torture) and the Nuremberg
Accords (regarding war crimes).
And finally, there is the matter of election reform.
During the first Bush administration, one often heard from
abroad, “we hate Bush, but not the American people.” Then came
the 2004 election, whereupon the word from abroad was “how could the
American people have re-elected this wretch and his criminal
The exculpatory answer might be: “well, the American
people did not elect Bush and Cheney – not in 2000 and not in 2004.”
I have argued repeatedly, there is abundant evidence that these
presidential elections were stolen. I will not repeat that evidence
here, except to note that the evidence continues to accumulate.
And yet both the mass media and, amazingly, the Democratic
Party, refuse to take note, investigate, and report this evidence.
It has been the task of the internet and independent citizens (too
numerous to mention), to keep the issue alive.
And so they
poll reports that less than half of the American public
confidently believes that Bush won the 2004 election “fair and
square,” and a third of the public is “not at all confident” that he
If the electoral crimes of the past four national
elections are exposed and the criminals are indicted, tried and
convicted, this will probably be the result of state or local
criminal investigations. But if and when this is accomplished, the
onus of responsibility for the crimes and outrages of the Bush
Administration will be further removed from the American people.
If we the people of the United States and our political
institutions successfully remove the Bush Administration from power
and remove Bush’s supporters from the Congress, the international
community might regain its respect for those institutions and the
However, that outcome depends upon the
dedication and persistence of the Democratic Congress and its
constituents. Early indications from the Congress are not
encouraging, though it is too early to fairly evaluate that Congress
or guess what might be ahead. Are the congressional Democrats
intimidated or are they shrewd? Are they avoiding their
responsibility to the Republic and its people, or are they waiting
for the evidence to speak for them and against the Busheviks?
In either case, the people should not passively await the answer.
Instead they must put constant pressure on their legislators, and
demand action: investigate, build a case, impeach, and convict.
The Bush/Cheney administration has done enormous damage to the
reputation of the United States throughout the world. But the damage
need not be permanent. Not if people and politicians of good will
and loyalty to the United States and its principles and traditions
act courageously, vigorously and persistently.
It will not do
to stand on the sidelines and wait to see what happens. We the
people of the United States must make things happen.
the Americans can restore America’s honor.
Copyright 2007, by Ernest Partridge