Environmental Ethics
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Ernest Partridge, Ph.D

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The Gadfly Bytes --October 23, 2007

TO: The Free World – FROM: The American People –

Ernest Partridge
The Crisis Papers.

October 23, 2007

In the two world wars of the past century, the United States came to the rescue of free nations abroad (in addition to few nations that were not free).  It is time now for “The Free World” to return the favors.

For the simple and sad fact is that the government of the United States no longer rules “with the consent of the governed,” as stipulated in its founding document, the Declaration of Independence. The White House is occupied by a usurper, installed by a seditious Supreme Court in 2000 and retained in office in 2004 through election fraud. The federal judiciary, once the protector of citizen rights and the rule of law, has become an instrument of oppression, as political opponents of the administration are selectively indicted, while political allies avoid indictment and conviction. Habeas Corpus has been suspended and most of the protections of the Bill of Rights have been set aside by a President who regards the Constitution of the United States as “just a goddam piece of paper.”

After six years of Congressional subservience to the President that a Soviet dictator would envy, in 2006 the American public voted to put the “opposition party” in control of the Congress, with a public demand that this party end the Iraq war, restore the rights of the citizens and the rule of law, and hold the ruling junta accountable for its crimes. After almost a year in power, the Congress has done none of these: the “opposition party” has simply refused to oppose.

This country’s mass media, most of which is owned by six conglomerates, serves the administration and the corporate elites -- elites that finance both political parties and which benefit from the tax breaks, deregulation, and war contracts obediently facilitated by the Congress. This media serves up the public with an endless diet of trivia and drivel. Opposition candidates and dissenters, if they are given any attention at all, are slandered, while detrimental facts and commentary about the President and his supporters are rarely reported. To be sure, the embargo on criticism of the regime is not complete. A few occasional critics are heard in the mainstream, and a few independent small-circulation magazines publish sharp dissents without hindrance. Nonetheless, the delinquency of the mainstream media is proven by the significant stories that never see print or air time: among them, the Downing Street Memos which prove that the President lied when he told the nation that he did not seek war in Iraq; irrefutable proof that the President walked away from his military obligation; compelling evidence that the past presidential elections were stolen; dissent by serving military officers and enlisted personnel; photographs and TV footage of dead and gravely injured soldiers in Iraq. The list is long.

To their great credit, most of the American people have at last seen through and dismissed the establishment propaganda in the mainstream media. While a majority of the public believed at first the administration lies that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction and was involved in the attacks of 9/11, today only a minority still believe this. Immediately after 9/11, more than 90% of the public approved of the President’s performance in office. Now that approval is at an unprecedented low of 24%, and a mere eleven percent approve of the Congress.  Small wonder: while nearly three-quarters of the population wishes to see an end to the Iraq war and occupation, the Congress, contrary to the wishes of the public, continues to fund it.

Failing to find reliable information in the mainstream media, more and more Americans are turning to the Internet, the remaining source of unfiltered information and unconstrained political commentary. Discerning “surfers” are well aware that the vast majority of internet sites are worthless: pornography, hucksters, undisciplined and uninformed rants, etc. However, a small minority of websites are invaluable – the last refuge of dissent. While they last.

(The foregoing is merely a sketch of the crisis facing the American people, and thus is grossly oversimplified. I have written several essays, detailing these abuses by the Bush Administration and the current political crisis in the United States. My purpose is simply to reiterate this crisis rather than to make the case anew. The primary task of this essay, an appeal for help from the international community, follows).

And so today there are, in effect, two Americas: first, the “official” United States comprising the Bush/Cheney administration, the mainstream media, both political parties, and the corporate elites that both support and benefit from this political establishment. Add to these the quarter of the population that persists in the belief that this political/corporate establishment is legitimate and serves the public interest.

The second America, consisting of as much as two-thirds of the population includes the dissenting “subjects” of the political establishment. This public is acted upon, but is powerless to act. It demands an end to the Iraq disaster. It demands health care reform. This public demands fiscal responsibility and a fair tax burden. All to no avail. The public also demands fair and verifiable elections. Majorities go to the polls and vote to “throw the rascals out.” Nonetheless, “ black-box” paperless voting machines reverse the public will and keep the rascals in.

In short, as I said at the outset, the government of the United States no longer rules “with the consent of the governed.” For all practical purposes, the Constitution of the United States, which every federal official and every member of Congress takes an oath “to protect and defend,” is no longer the supreme law of the land. “The unitary executive” rules supreme. Acts of Congress that the President doesn’t like are nullified with “signing statements.” Subpoenas from Congress demanding accountability of administration officials are ignored as the Congress meekly submits to this unlawful abuse of executive power.  The illegal Iraq occupation continues. Congress’s ultimate retaliation, impeachment, remains permanently “off the table.” And Congress is deaf to the protests of the public.

If we the people of the United States are to take back our government, we will need all the help that we can get. And this might include help from abroad.

Most emphatically, I don’t mean military help. God forbid! If a foreign army approaches our shores, like the Iraqi “insurgents” I will ally myself with our hated regime to throw off the invaders. Military intervention invites slaughter, and must be avoided at all costs.

The message that there are “two Americas” -- the “official” usurping oligarchy and the majority public “yearning to breath free” – must be repeated, loud and clear, before the entire world. Four years ago, millions filled the streets throughout the world to protest the pending Iraq war. And time and again we hear from abroad, “we don’t hate Americans, we hate your government.” This international sentiment must be directed toward governments abroad so that they might, in turn, act in defiance of the American government and in support of the disenfranchised American public. That’s how we treated the so-called “captive peoples” behind the “iron curtain” during the Cold War. It worked then, and it can work again.

Here are a few suggestions:

Provide political asylum. The Congress has authorized the administration to proclaim martial law, virtually at the President’s own say-so. So if some undefined “national emergency” takes place, any and all conspicuous dissenters are in immediate peril. The internment camps are reported to be in place and empty, awaiting their unfortunate residents. Dissenters will be emboldened if they know that, in the worst case, they will not be trapped in their own country, and that there will be refuge beyond the borders. Are you listening, Canada? Mexico? Costa Rica?

Radio Free America. (Or, “The Voice TO America”). The Cold War supplies a precedent. If the corporate mass media will not provide the American public with accurate and unbiased national and world news, then perhaps the foreign media might serve this purpose. The Guardian of the United Kingdom is doing so splendidly with its American edition. The BBC news, which is available on TV cable and satellite, and the CBC, which can be accessed close to the Canadian border, understandably broadcast news about their own respective countries. Expanded coverage of news of special interest to American audiences would be much appreciated. The US government might protest. But official Soviet protests did not silence Radio Free Europe or The Voice of America. It remains to be seen how well the Brits and Canadians would serve the American “liberation movement.”

The Free Internet. Clearly the internet – “the American Samizdat”  – is the primary holdout against the Bushevik “Ministry of Truth.” Indeed, given its significance as a source of dissent, it is a mystery why the free internet has not yet been shut down or at least severely curtailed by the establishment. And in fact, there are increasing indications that this curtailment is imminent. If the media corporations that provide the internet servers are afforded the “right” to select internet content, then that will surely cripple the dissenting internet.  But it need not kill it.  As the Chinese and Soviet governments discovered in the eighties, the international communication networks have become too vast and indispensable for even totalitarian governments to control. The Tiananmen protests, the Polish Solidarity movement were coordinated by FAX and international telecommunications.  In the Russian counter-revolution of 1991, the internet emerged as a significant instrument of dissent.  Today, the international communications network is too indispensable to both the US and the the global economies to be set aside simply to accommodate the political needs of the ruling American elites. The domestic American internet, crushed to earth will rise again.

Economic Levers. The whole world knows what the Bushevik elites refuse to acknowledge: those American corporate elites, in their unconstrained greed, have sold-off the American industrial economy, which is now “owned” by our creditors and by the suppliers (primarily Asian) of our manufactured goods. True, the United States expenditure on its military is equal to that of all other nations combined. But the result is that multi-billion dollar aircraft, carriers, submarines, and missiles, are useless against “insurgents” with improvised weapons in Iraq. And we have the absurdity of missiles aimed at China, with guidance systems containing microprocessors made in China. Bottom line: the US military budget contributes, not to our strength, but to our weakness.  For all this military hardware is totally irrelevant to the fact that the American economy is at the mercy of our creditors and the suppliers of our essential resources – our foreign creditors and suppliers.

As Bush and Cheney continue their brutal repression of Iraq, as they rattle their swords at Iran, and as they flagrantly violate international laws against torture and aggressive war, they are increasingly perceived as threats against global peace and security. The “coalition of the willing” is fast becoming the “coalition of the fed-up.”

And this “the coalition of the fed-up” is not helpless against the threat of this emerging, self-proclaimed “benevolent global hegemony,” and its “new world order” – this “new American Century.”

If, as is becoming increasingly likely, the United States is perceived abroad at the primary threat to global peace and security, the international community can, by threatening to devalue the dollar, call in the US debts, and curtail imports of essential resources, exert enormous pressure on the American government.  As William Greider wisely observes, "any profligate debtor who insults his banker is unwise, to put it mildly." 

The “coalition of the fed-up” has, as its natural ally, the disenfranchised “second America.”  Both desire the dissolution of the American corporatocracy, the end of the neo-con "Project for the New American Century,” and the return of a restored American democracy to the community of nations.

Surely this is an incomplete list of how the disenfranchised and powerless American majority might, with the assistance of free peoples abroad, bring about a restoration of a government, of, by, and for the people, to the United States. What are your thoughts? Your suggestions? The agenda is open.

Copyright 2007 by Ernest Partridge


Ernest Partridge's Internet Publications

Conscience of a Progressive:  A book in progress. 

Partridge's Scholarly Publications. (The Online Gadfly)

Dr. Ernest Partridge is a consultant, writer and lecturer in the field of Environmental Ethics and Public Policy. He has taught Philosophy at the University of California, and in Utah, Colorado and Wisconsin. He publishes the website, "The Online Gadfly" and co-edits the progressive website, "The Crisis Papers".   His e-mail is: gadfly@igc.org .



Dr. Ernest Partridge is a consultant, writer and lecturer in the field of Environmental Ethics and Public Policy. He has taught Philosophy at the University of California, and in Utah, Colorado and Wisconsin. He publishes the website, "The Online Gadfly" (www.igc.org/gadfly) and co-edits the progressive website, "The Crisis Papers" (www.crisispapers.org).  Dr. Partridge can be contacted at: gadfly@igc.org .