This is the title of the latest article by Paul Craig Roberts on LewRockwell.com. It’s a very disturbing article for a number of reasons, not the least of which are the conclusions he draws. In the article, Roberts writes:
Many expected President Obama to re-establish the accountability of government to law. Instead, he went further than Bush/Cheney and asserted the unconstitutional power not only to hold American citizens indefinitely in prison without bringing charges, but also to take their lives without convicting them in a court of law. Obama asserts that the US Constitution notwithstanding, he has the authority to assassinate US citizens, who he deems to be a “threat,” without due process of law.
This is, of course, in written in regards to the government sanctioned execution of Anwar Al-Awlaki (about which I wrote here). The more I think about what occurred last Friday, the more it disturbs me. What is happening to the country I grew up in? I guess I’m not as naive to think that our government hasn’t had people executed in the past, perhaps even American citizens. But in the past, this was always denied in the public. Our intelligence services always operated in such a way to provide the president with plausible deniability. Apparently that facade is no longer necessary. Our president stands at the podium and proudly states for all to hear that he ordered the execution of an American citizen because he deemed him a threat to our national security. I say it yet again: What has happened to the country I grew up in?
The old saying by Randolph Bourne holds true, “War is the health of the state.” It is during times of war that the State increases its power and reach through special war time powers that are necessary to fight the war. Think of Abraham Lincoln’s suspension of Habeus Corpus during the American Civil War, or Franklin Roosevelt’s detention of Japanese American during WWII. All the way down to George W. Bush’s indefinite detention of terror suspects in Guantanamo Bay prison; a policy that our current president, Barrack Obama continues to this day (though he campaigned on the promise to close Gitmo down). Not only does war keep the military industrial complex happy, but it also gives cover to the executive branch to expand its power in our country.
Another reason I found this article disturbing is that up until about a month or so ago, I probably would have been in the crowd who would have hailed this as a victory in the War on Terror. I would have mouthed the line that it’s sad to see any life end, but it’s necessary for the greater good. It’s disturbing because I’m disgusted with myself for giving my tacit acquiescence to our growing elected dictatorship. I used to think that America was a good and moral country. That for all its faults, and there are many (about 300,000,000 million of them), we tried to do the right thing, we tried to promote the ideals of freedom, liberty and democracy throughout the world. I still think that America is good and that America stands for freedom, liberty and democracy. However, our government has been hijacked by people whose intentions may not be the best.
We’ve been fighting the War on Terror for ten years now with no appreciable end in sight. We have people in control of our economy who seem to be doing the opposite of what needs to be done to fix things. I try not to get hyperbolic, but I can’t help but think that most of this is being done on purpose; and an evil purpose at that. Why would we put our fighting men in harms way in an interminable war? Why would we engage in multiple wars in multiple countries that have nothing to do with American national interests (but seem to have everything to do with certain corporate interests)? Why would we engage in economic policy that degrades the dollar, increases inflation, prolongs the recession and does absolutely nothing to solve America’s long-term fiscal mess? There can be only three reasons why this would be done: 1) The people running the country are incompetent (a distinct possibility); 2) The people running the country are ideologically bent (a much greater possibility); 3) The people running the country are evil and want to destroy this country for their own greedy gain (a possibility that is gaining increasing traction in my mind).
I don’t want to think the worst about my country; I love my country. I am proud to be an American citizen, but I weep for our future. I fear that our republic is slowly being eroded before our eyes. I am angry that I was in a “dogmatic slumber” for too long not to notice it earlier. What has awoken me to what is going on is that this current administration attempted to take the abuses of the previous administration too far too fast. Obama overplayed his hand and exposed himself as the ideologue that he is. The Tea Party movement is a response to too big an overstep by the government, but I fear that even this might be too little too late. The Tea Party movement itself has been infiltrated by warmongering neoconservatives who want to continue the War on Terror.
Roberts concludes his article with these words:
Readers ask me what they can do. Americans not only feel powerless, they are powerless. They cannot do anything. The highly concentrated, corporate-owned, government-subservient print and TV media are useless and no longer capable of performing the historic role of protecting our rights and holding government accountable. Even many antiwar Internet sites shield the government from 9/11 skepticism, and most defend the government’s “righteous intent” in its war on terror. Acceptable criticism has to be couched in words such as “it doesn’t serve our interests.”
Voting has no effect. President “Change” is worse than Bush/Cheney. As Jonathan Turley suggests, Obama is “the most disastrous president in our history.” Ron Paul is the only presidential candidate who stands up for the Constitution, but the majority of Americans are too unconcerned with the Constitution to appreciate him.
To expect salvation from an election is delusional. All you can do, if you are young enough, is to leave the country. The only future for Americans is a nightmare.
I agree that salvation cannot come from an election. Salvation only comes through faith in Jesus Christ as the only salvation for our sins, so I’m not pinning my ultimate hopes on an elected official. But I also think that we should not simply let our country be ruined by those bent on an American empire. We should vote (and vote for Ron Paul) and we should speak out and we should send a message to the career politicians who want to run our country. I will do my part and pray for this country.