You know, you really have to hand it to those Jihadists.
Osama Bin Laden was almost eerily prophetic in his vision. In only five years he managed to catalyze a transformation of the United States from a relatively prosperous, peaceful and respected nation into a debased land filled with frightened citizens willing to utterly throw away everything it took more than two hundred years to put in place.
Congress has, in only half a decade, essentially corrupted the greatest, most powerful democracy in the history of the human species into a personality cult–cum–dictatorship the likes of which is more normally to be found in places such as Cuba or — more than a decade ago — the Soviet Union.
With the signing into law of Bush’s pet “tur’rist” project, we’ve given to the Executive branch two things it should never, ever have: The ability to interpret internationally-significant law to suit current fashion; and the ability to define anyone — including American citizens — as an “enemy combatant” to be held indefinitely, without charges or evidence being presented.
The first thing is reprehensible to anyone who cares about America’s standing in the eyes of the world — or the safety of our own captured soldiers — or the value of information gleaned from detained suspects. It’s also reprehensible to anyone who is a human being, who is capable of feeling even a fraction of human compassion or concern for the rights and freedoms of others.
The second things is precisely what the Soviets used to do to anyone politically inconvenient. It was called disappearing.
Now George W. Bush has arrogated to himself the same power that was once despised in men such as Stalin and Lenin — and is still rightly despised today in types such as Castro, Kim Jong Il and Muammar Gaddafi.
The Cold War was fought for nearly fifty years, and in that time, while the US did things that were dark, questionable — wrong — one thing that didn’t happen was a total restructuring of the powers of the offices of president, a restructuring that sidestepped the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and indeed everything that we were fighting the Cold War to protect.
Yet in one tenth that time, one man was capable of overturning all of that.
And that man was not Osama Bin Laden.
Sure, Osama deserves some of the credit — but we have met the enemy, and he is us, and we have the government we deserve.
The midwives on this detestable birth — elected Republican officials — will be recorded in later years, hopefully, as the traitors they are.
The sire of this wretched bastardization is probably not intelligent enough to fully comprehend what he has wrought, which makes him even more dangerous than the typical Machiavelli.
Meanwhile, surrounded only by sycophantic yes-men and –women, he and his cronies get to imagine they’ve done something good, something wholesome, something other than the vile hideous monstrosity they have perpetrated on the world.
Osama can celebrate; for Americans — the true ones — there is nought but weeping. Lady Liberty turns her face in shame from a soiled nation.
The battle is over. We have lost the “War on Terror”.
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