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Lawrence Wilkerson has a terrific op-ed piece in today's Baltimore Sun in which he argues that the neo-cons are transforming America into a radical republic.

He begins:

We Americans came not from a revolution but from an evolution.

That is in large part why our so-called revolution produced success while most throughout history did not. We came as much from the Magna Carta as from our own doings, as much from British common law and parliamentary development as from the Declaration of Independence and Continental Congress.

Wilkerson puts some important historical context around the radicalism of the neo-cons.


As Alexis de Tocqueville once said: "America is great because she is good. If America ever ceases to be good, America will cease to be great."

In January 2001, with the inauguration of George W. Bush as president, America set on a path to cease being good; America became a revolutionary nation, a radical republic. If our country continues on this path, it will cease to be great - as happened to all great powers before it, without exception.

And he's just warming up.

From the Kyoto accords to the International Criminal Court, from torture and cruel and unusual treatment of prisoners to rendition of innocent civilians, from illegal domestic surveillance to lies about leaking, from energy ineptitude to denial of global warming, from cherry-picking intelligence to appointing a martinet and a tyrant to run the Defense Department, the Bush administration, in the name of fighting terrorism, has put America on the radical path to ruin.

He's on a roll, and it's sweet.

Unprecedented interpretations of the Constitution that holds the president as commander in chief to be all-powerful and without checks and balances marks the hubris and unparalleled radicalism of this administration.

Moreover, fiscal profligacy of an order never seen before has brought America trade deficits that boggle the mind and a federal deficit that, when stripped of the gimmickry used to make it appear more tolerable, will leave every child and grandchild in this nation a debt that will weigh upon their generations like a ball and chain around every neck. Imagine owing $150,000 from the cradle. That is radical irresponsibility.

After describing much of what the neo-cons are doing to turn the good America into a bad America, he discusses the possibility and necessity of stopping the slide.

We can turn back; moreover, we must if the world is to continue on a trajectory of more freedom and more prosperity for increasing numbers of people. Without American leadership - the good America - the world cannot progress.

If we are in some way the indispensable nation that a few Americans have said we are, then that is why. And it is no arrogance of power to say it; rather, it is to admit abiding reverence for the way the world works.

Such awesome responsibility generates not the swaggering ineptitude of which we have witnessed so much of late, but the abject humility that should flood us when we confront such unprecedented responsibility. I imagine the feeling to be something akin to what Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower felt moments before the invasion of Normandy began June 6, 1944.

...

All we need do, in reality, is return to our roots. Never in our almost 800-year history since the Magna Carta have we been radicals.

This is a terrific piece that helps contextualize what the neo-cons are doing. Read the whole thing.


Originally posted to schuylkill on Sun Apr 23, 2006 at 09:58 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  he gave a speech about this (8+ / 0-)

    at the Middle East Institute. Sadly there is no transcript, but it was on C-Span. Might still be available online.

    •  Wilkerson was very effective on C-Span (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Gorette

      I was very impressed with his ideas and manner of speaking.

    •   did Tocqueville really write that?... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Simplify, Phil S 33, KenBee

       The sentiment is laudable.  But did Tocqueville actually write this?  If so, where?

      see, for example,

       http://www.tocqueville.org/...

      When I tried to locate such a phrase, I found the article linked above.

       Tocqueville did employ the  " A"  because "B", "B" because "A" formula, when he wrote,

      Nul ne différant alors de ses semblables, personne ne pourra exercer un pouvoir tyrannique; les hommes seront parfaitement libres, parce qu'ils seront tous entièrement égaux; et ils seront tous parfaitement égaux parce qu'ils seront entièrement libres. C'est vers cet idéal que tendent les peuples démocratiques. Voilà la forme la plus complète que puisse prendre l'égalité sur terre; mais il en est mille autres, qui, sans être aussi parfaite, n'en sont guère moins chères à ces peuples.

      " ;men will be pefectly free because they will all be perfectly equal; and they will all be perfectly equal because they will be entirely free.  It's toward this ideal that democratic peoples tend. There is the most complete form which liberty can take on earth; but there are a thousand other forms which, without being as perfect, are hardly less dear to these peoples."

      But this is in the context of his having said just prior, that,

       " One could imagine some extreme point at which liberty and equality meet and become joined."

      or here, where he writes,

      Les hommes ne tiennent donc pas seulement à l'égalité parce qu'elle leur est chère; ils s'y attachent encore parce qu'ils croient qu'elle doit durer toujours.

       " Men are not attached to equality only because it is dear to them; they remain attached to it because they believe it should endure forever."

    •  He also appeared on Democracy Now (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bronte17, Buffalo Girl, Phil S 33, KenBee

      Here's the transcript of his interview with Amy Goodman from November 2005.

      Pretty much the same stuff on Iraq/BushCo cabal. He also argues with Amy G at the end re the role of US (BushCo, State Dept) in the Haitian Coup, which many, including Goodman/Congressional Black Caucus, see as basically allowing the thug-opposition to have its way by removing President Aristede from power and from the country.

      Should a liberal Dem blog be driven into "safe zones" by a tame party, or should it drive a tame party to break out?

      by NYCee on Sun Apr 23, 2006 at 11:33:36 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  excerpt from Middle East Institute brief (12+ / 0-)

      Is America a Radical Republic?

      According to Colonel Wilkerson, radical changes in US foreign policy began to take place early in 2001 and intensified as a consequence of the attacks of September 11th. These changes were not only the result of ideology, as the neo-conservatives emerged as powerful political players in the Bush Administration, but also of individual personalities who have impacted policymaking. Among these personalities, Wilkerson pointed to Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and Vice President Dick Cheney, who he characterized as wielding unprecedented power at the expense of other individuals in the government, including former Secretary of State Colin Powell, and to the detriment of the historical system of checks and balances.

      Wilkerson explained that the administration’s radical policies were often couched in terminology that appeared favorable to American values, such as seeking to establish a global “balance of power that favors freedom.” Beneath the rhetoric, however, was a radical change in outlook, which has upset the balance in the great compromise between American national interests and cultural values. Wilkerson cited the policy of preemptive
      war, the shift away from alliance-building and international cooperation, and the detainee abuse scandal as some of the most troubling recent developments in this administration’s outlook.

      Colonel Wilkerson addressed current policies that represent this radical trend, including the policies toward Iran, North Korea, China, and ballistic missile funding. He argued that these policies have been dictated by a small number of ideologically driven individuals, who have assumed enough power to sabotage dissent and reshape America’s relationship with much of the world.

      Colonel Wilkerson also explained the costs of these policies. In the case of Iran, the policy of refusing to negotiate with a so-called evil state has cost America any leverage against the aspiring nuclear power, and is a radical policy. The cost of the policy of non-negotiation towards North Korea has resulted in its possession of nuclear weapons, while the United States’ ability to monitor its nuclear program has been lost. The large expenditures on ballistic weapons, which Wilkerson deemed ineffective at best, have taken money away from other needed
      operations. Colonel Wilkerson also warned against allowing the radicals within the administration to assume a hostile position towards China. He attributed the desire to turn China into the next Soviet Union in part to the enormous influence of the military-industrial complex.

      Colonel Wilkerson expressed an urgent need to reform the current system and the process of making foreign policy. He described a culture war being waged within the government, the outcome of which will determine whether America will become a military state, or preserve its cultural values and republican system of balanced government. He said it is necessary to reform the National Security Act and to rearrange the government on a broad and comprehensive scale in order to render it more accountable to the people. He emphasized the importance of remembering America’s founding principles by studying the Constitution and foundational texts. He concluded by warning the audience that the greatest enemy America faces today is not an external threat, but is brewing within.

  •  I've always thought (6+ / 0-)

    the republicans, especially the neo-con variety, played up all the worst aspects of our nature...its like they grant permission to let our inner demons loose.  What ever happened to aspiring to the higher realms of human nature?

  •  This was a pleasant way to greet my Sunday (42+ / 0-)

    My Dad, who I am visiting, greeted me this morning with, "There's an article in the paper today saying almost the exact same things you were ranting about last night."

    Well, hardly, but I was ranting about the danger to our democracy that we are confronting today.

    "Dissent is the highest form of patriotism." — Thomas Jefferson

    by schuylkill on Sun Apr 23, 2006 at 10:08:21 AM PDT

  •  Blame American exceptionalism (18+ / 0-)

    An awful lot of Americans, including the nest of neo-cons in Washington, believe that "God Made America #1" and thus we don't have to follow the same rules that govern other nations. We can make our own rules as we go along.

    "I don't see any more serious division in our country than we had in the Civil War and at other times."--Richard J. Daley, former mayor of Chicago.

    by Dump Terry McAuliffe on Sun Apr 23, 2006 at 10:16:34 AM PDT

    •  Its called (5+ / 0-)

      "Creating your own reality"....they don't believe they live in the real world or by its very real rules.  They are simply above all of that.

    •  One of the things that really (10+ / 0-)

      disturbs me is the sense of entitlement to breaking the rules that these guys seem to have.

      They even feel entitled to break there own lop-sided rules.

      But without rules, there is no civilization.

      "Dissent is the highest form of patriotism." — Thomas Jefferson

      by schuylkill on Sun Apr 23, 2006 at 10:21:06 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  aoeu (8+ / 0-)

        but they believe in the theory of the elite ruling class. They make the rules, they don't follow the rules. Rules are to keep the masses in order. For them, rules would be an undue burden. And because they are `elites,' double standards are inherent and a fact of life.

        You cannot depend upon American institutions to function without pressure. ---Martin Luther King Jr.

        by Opakapaka on Sun Apr 23, 2006 at 10:32:14 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Nicely put n/t (0+ / 0-)

          "Dissent is the highest form of patriotism." — Thomas Jefferson

          by schuylkill on Sun Apr 23, 2006 at 10:45:06 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  society may need elites (0+ / 0-)

          I wouldn't really mind having an elite class if they acted respectfully and honorably.  We really NEED honest leaders to set the tone for the whole country.  If the government is corrupt, it's going to rot down into the core.  

          I hope the citizens of this country learn their lesson about listening to stupid liars, thinking it's okay if their team cheats to win,  and thinking it's funny to joke about scientific facts.  

          The force of public opinion cannot be resisted when permitted freely to be expressed. Thomas Jefferson

          by Thea VA on Sun Apr 23, 2006 at 11:13:47 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I don't have a problem with elites, (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Sophie Blue, neroden, Thea VA

            though I do have a problem if they haven't earned their status.

            However, I don't believe (as Neocons do) that there are two sets of truth, one for elites and one for the masses; or that there are two sets of rules, one for elites and one for the masses. To put it simply, their governing philosophy is undemocratic.

            The point is, not only are these Neocon elites dishonest, but they embrace and promote dishonesty--they believe it is both desirable and necessary. I can't imagine anything worse for our country, especially when the governing elites prove to be incompetent.

            You cannot depend upon American institutions to function without pressure. ---Martin Luther King Jr.

            by Opakapaka on Sun Apr 23, 2006 at 11:25:27 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Here's the explication of the neocon worldview: (8+ / 0-)

              Noble lies and perpetual war: Leo Strauss, the neo-cons, and Iraq  

              ...
              Shadia Drury: The idea that Strauss was a great defender of liberal democracy is laughable. I suppose that Strauss’s disciples consider it a noble lie. Yet many in the media have been gullible enough to believe it.

              How could an admirer of Plato and Nietzsche be a liberal democrat? The ancient philosophers whom Strauss most cherished believed that the unwashed masses were not fit for either truth or liberty, and that giving them these sublime treasures would be like throwing pearls before swine. In contrast to modern political thinkers, the ancients denied that there is any natural right to liberty. Human beings are born neither free nor equal. The natural human condition, they held, is not one of freedom, but of subordination – and in Strauss’s estimation they were right in thinking so.
              ...
              The people will not be happy to learn that there is only one natural right – the right of the superior to rule over the inferior, the master over the slave, the husband over the wife, and the wise few over the vulgar many. In On Tyranny, Strauss refers to this natural right as the “tyrannical teaching” of his beloved ancients. It is tyrannical in the classic sense of rule above rule or in the absence of law (p. 70).

              Now, the ancients were determined to keep this tyrannical teaching secret because the people are not likely to tolerate the fact that they are intended for subordination; indeed, they may very well turn their resentment against the superior few. Lies are thus necessary to protect the superior few from the persecution of the vulgar many.

              The effect of Strauss’s teaching is to convince his acolytes that they are the natural ruling elite and the persecuted few. And it does not take much intelligence for them to surmise that they are in a situation of great danger, especially in a world devoted to the modern ideas of equal rights and freedoms. Now more than ever, the wise few must proceed cautiously and with circumspection. So, they come to the conclusion that they have a moral justification to lie in order to avoid persecution. Strauss goes so far as to say that dissembling and deception – in effect, a culture of lies – is the peculiar justice of the wise.

      •  Contrast to Ben Franklin, et. al (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Simplify, KenBee

        who made up extra rules for themselves (the young Franklin wrote himself a code of conduct), Hamilton impoverished himself working on federal matters and avoiding any lucrative deals that might present a conflict of interest, Washington kept a higher code of conduct than did the British generals, and on and on.   These Nixon/Reagan/Bush people are grifters in comparison.

        Are we still routinely torturing helpless prisoners, and if so, does it feel right that we as American citizens are not outraged by the practice? -Al Gore

        by soyinkafan on Sun Apr 23, 2006 at 11:30:11 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  god's hand in history (7+ / 0-)
      you're exactly right. There is a general sense of that. And for some (I don't know how many), it's specific and targeted:

      From a course description booklet for a Colorado Springs Christian High School:

      As Christians, we believe that the history of mankind is purposeful and that God is intimately involved in the unfolding of human events.

      --snip--

      United States History is a required course for 11th graders.  The course will emphasize that period of US history from the Civil War to the present.  The hand of God in United States history will be discussed as well as the major contributors to our American heritage. [my emphasis]

      05/06 course description pdf downloadable here (at the bottom.

      humani nil a me alienum puto (I consider nothing human foreign to me) --Terence

      by astraea on Sun Apr 23, 2006 at 10:29:42 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  exactly (8+ / 0-)

      Here is an lte I submitted on this subject (it wasn't printed)

      "Many republicans seem to feel that America is inherently a great country, blessed by god, no matter what we do. Most liberals feel that our greatness is a function of our history of democratic ideals and actions and requires constant vigilance and sacrifice to maintain.

      The implications of these different ideologies are enormous. If we continue to allow our government to torture detainees, spy on it’s citizens, create a massive national debt, run an unsustainable trade imbalance, remain addicted to oil, under fund schools,  ignore skyrocketing health care costs, and start disastrous wars under false pretenses – we may soon find out if America’s greatness is permanent or temporary."

    •  But that's (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      schuylkill, Jlukes

      always the case with Empires. Just read "White Man's Burden"!

      Given a choice between a real Republican and a Democrat who acts like a Republican, Americans will choose the real Republican every time - Harry Truman

      by tiggers thotful spot on Sun Apr 23, 2006 at 11:11:25 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Sadly, an awful lot of Democrats ... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      proximity1

      ...also believe in American exceptionalism, even if most of them leave out the divine right aspect of that formula.

      •  I think it depends on how we view exceptionalism (0+ / 0-)

        You're right that a lot of folks, even on our side, take the 'we can break rules' side of American exceptionalism seriously but leave the other side of the equation untouched.  I have always felt, however, that it's that other side of American exceptionalism - the side that realises that America really is a great and exceptional country and so we as Americans must appreciate the responsibility that comes with that exceptionalism - that is so important to our vision for foreign policy (and really domestic policy too if you think about it).  As the world's most materially and militarily wealthy country, we alone in the world have (sadly, had?) the most potential to right the wrongs of the world.  So the exceptionalism shouldn't be viewed as a source of arrogance (as sadly many do), it should be a humbling kind of exceptionalism (exactly like what Col. Wilkerson was saying Eisenhower must have felt on the beaches of Normandy right before D-Day).

        Give me liberty, or give me death!

        by salsa0000 on Sun Apr 23, 2006 at 12:39:06 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  My version of American exceptionalism (0+ / 0-)

      The way I see it we don't need to repudiate American exceptionalism, we need to reclaim it as a fundamental tenet of the liberal foreign policy: as the world's great country we have an exceptional responsibility to ensure international peace and tranquility.  To me American exceptionalism isn't a call to arrogance (as it is the way Republicans view it), to me American exceptionalism is a clarion call for national sacrifice.  And it's something I think all of us really do believe - whether the setting is the massacred village of Srebrenica or the killing fields of Darfur, we as Americans must be willing to take our exceptional responsibility seriously and defend the defenseless.  In my opinion that serves as a cornerstone for a truly moral national security policy that both serves our vital interests and remains true to our national ideals.

      Give me liberty, or give me death!

      by salsa0000 on Sun Apr 23, 2006 at 12:31:43 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The King can do no wrong (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        neroden

        This doesn't mean the King can do whatever the hell he wants, what is means is that the King by nature of his obligation to his subjects is prohibited from doing any wrongful things.

        Likewise true American exceptionalism doesn't grant America carte blanche to do whatever it wants. Instead it imposes a higher standard on American actions that they are in accordance with democracy. Sometimes it leads to extremes. Can anyone imagine a Secretary of State today saying "Gentlemen do not read other gentlemen's mail" and meaning it?

  •  It doesn't matter (8+ / 0-)

    America has already been destroyed. It hasn't sunk in yet, but Mr. Bush took this country far beyond the point of no return.

    Sure, the US may turn left with the next set of Congressional elections, and maybe we'll even have an FDR-like era of Democratic dominance ahead of us.

    The real problem is where Bush has taken the GOP. They are a party of hatred, radicalism, and fascism in the name of Christianity. They are a beast that cannot be bargained with; if you bargain with it, they will view it as a sign of weakness and attack. Don't take it from me; take it from the Ghost of the political career of Tom Daschle.

    The ugly monster that the GOP has become will NOT go away, for at least another generation. Too many lunatics have bought into the program as a result of the current trends of conservative Christianity and its desire to essentially become American political life. At the state level, the entire South will be lost. The entire region will simply become a theocracy and there is nothing we can do about it. At best, the federal government can check some of its worst theocratic excesses.

    The problem is that the GOP--which has been there, in some form or another since the founding of the Republic--has become a monster that no longer embraces rationality or reality. It is a monster that will not go away. Even if removed from power, it will still attempt to drag the entire country into the toilet.

    Reagan would have completed this transformation himself, if he didn't have both an ounce or two of sanity and a Democratic Congress to deal with.

    However, even if the Democrats regain control of the political process in this country, we will no longer be the great nation that defeated the Nazis, defeated Communism, and put a man on the moon. We will now be the once-great nation, that supported Saddam Hussein until he stopped following our orders in lock step, that built Osama Bin Laden, and that invaded Iraq based on lies and one man's desire to be a "great war president." But as far as the rest of the world is concerned, we're nothing more than Guantanamo, USA.

    Don't blame me, I voted for Gore and Kerry.

    •  The End of the First American Republic? (0+ / 0-)

      Sounds like you are predicting the end of the First American Republic (and we can only call it the first if another one arises). I worry this may be happening, too.

      Our democracy may turn out to be far more fragile than we thought. It was a great thing when it was established. But now that humanity has so much more experience with various forms of democracy, it looks like ours has some pretty deep flaws.

      For example, it may be far too difficult to remove a sitting president. It might be better if it were easier to do so. Though I'm not sure the entrenched two-party system is the fault of the Constitution, I think a multi-party system would be better.

      "Dissent is the highest form of patriotism." — Thomas Jefferson

      by schuylkill on Sun Apr 23, 2006 at 10:43:12 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  >2 Parties = Parliamentary system (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        aprichard, lefthanded, majcmb1, neroden

        Because the American system is winner-take-all, the best way to amass power is simply to have 2 parties. 3rd and 4th parties need to be engulfed into larger parties in order to be electorally successful. In fact, the different coalitions that dominate the Republicans and Democrats would probably be organized into separate political entities in a parliamentary system.

        In the long run, though, I think the problem with America is twofold:

        1. The populace (on the whole) isn't educated.
        1. The populace (on the whole) doesn't want to be.
        •  Anti-intellectualism has a long (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Xan, lefthanded, Simplify, neroden

          history in America. It's partly embedded in the rugged individualism that is part of our frontier history. There is a deep distrust in many quarters of those who are educated.

          It's very sad because it leads to behavior such as choosing to vote for the guy you'd most like to have a beer with.

          "Dissent is the highest form of patriotism." — Thomas Jefferson

          by schuylkill on Sun Apr 23, 2006 at 11:12:49 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I'm a beer drinker (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            majcmb1, neroden

            and it's hard for me to imagine anyone I'd like to have a beer with less than Bush.  I like a little good conversation along with my beverages, and his smug, stupid, mean-spirited one-liners just don't cut it for me.

            •  He's allegedly a teetotaler (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Lisa

              So I never really got the beer drinking buddy thing. But even if he did drink, I agree with you that I can't imagine a worse drinking buddy than Bush. Selfish, stupid, mean and vapid are not qualities I seek in friends, whether drinking or not. And I'm guessing that he's even worse drunk.

              "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has." Margaret Mead

              by kovie on Sun Apr 23, 2006 at 01:55:03 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  I don't think the framers (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        neroden

        took into account this level of venality.  The checks and balances would have worked as designed if the a-holes in charge didn't break laws with impunity.

    •  Maybe (0+ / 0-)

      You might be right, The fact that Bush's popularity has plummetted in virtually every state gives me some hope. I think the large proportion of people thatt get all their news from talk radio is going to be difficult to bring back to reality.

      I tend to think America's greatness is more threatened by the fiscal incompetence of the Bush Administration. Can we repay a $9 trilion debt with baby-boomers retiring and global oil production declining?

    •   reply... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Lisa

      However, even if the Democrats regain control of the political process in this country, we will no longer be the great nation that defeated the Nazis, defeated Communism, and put a man on the moon. We will now be the once-great nation, that supported Saddam Hussein until he stopped following our orders in lock step, that built Osama Bin Laden, and that invaded Iraq based on lies and one man's desire to be a "great war president." But as far as the rest of the world is concerned, we're nothing more than Guantanamo, USA.

      Don't blame me, I voted for Gore and Kerry.

      I agree.  However, with the exception of the

      -- "and that invaded Iraq based on lies and one man's desire to be a "great war president." --

      all of the preceding are and were true before Bush was "elected" and are certainly true since he took a second term.

       The plain fact is that Americans today are not and have nothing to do with the people who founded the nation or wrote the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.

       You can find people here in this site arguing that "no court would agree" that the Guantanamo Bay prisoners are legally entitled to POW status and that "there is little" argument that they are entitled to it.

       That is the accepted view by a great many in not most Americans today.  Torture is just terrible--except when it's important that our government practice it.

       Let us have a good, hard, look at who we are now and who we've been coming to for a good long while now.

    •  Defeatist analysis that I disagree with (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      adigal, majcmb1

      if for no other reason that than one, you cannot prove this and it is just speculation, two, we've faced far worse crises in the past that we've survived, and three, we invariably emerged stronger from each of them, because of how we dealt with them.

      The Civil War (600,000 dead), Great Depression (millions out of work, homeless and barely staying alive), WWII (hundreds of thousands dead US soldiers), Cold War (the spectre of nuclear annihilation) and even Vietnam (nearly 60,000 soldiers dead and a country torn apart) were all far more terrible crises than the one that BushCo have put us through. That is all but inarguable.

      And we not survived each one, but emerged from them far stronger than we were before them. We became a world economic and military power after the Civil War, the dominant world power after the Great Depression and WWII, and the only world superpower after the Cold War. What we did with these powers is a different matter (sometimes we used them wisely and even nobly, and sometimes not). But that we became more powerful because of the way that we dealt with these crises is undeniable.

      (Vietnam is the only exception here, as we survived it but never really dealt with it properly, politically, militarily and especially emotionally, and have been paying a price for that ever since, some of which, I'd argue, are BushCo, global terrorism and the current neocon disaster in Iraq and elsewhere).

      As for the present crisis (or crises) that BushCo have gotten us into, clearly, it is (or they are) great and undeniable, and the damage already done to the country COULD eventually put us in an even worse crisis, which COULD potentially be far worse than any of these past crises were. But that has yet to happen, and there is no rational basis to assume that they WILL happen. COULD does not mean WILL.

      Prediction is not an exact science, especially when done unsystematically as you have here. The worst case scenario that you predict might come to pass, but there's no way to know if it will. It's just as likely--and, I'd argue, far more likely, based on past experience--that we will survive the present crisis, and perhaps once again emerge even stronger.

      Personally, I believe--as does Wilkerson--that this is what will happen. E.g., the south will not turn into a ante-bellum theocracy. It's already moving in the opposite direction due to emerging technology-based economic development and Latin American immigration (both legal and illegal, but in the end it'll all be effectively legal) that will drastically change the demographics and politics of the entire region. The sterotype of bible-thumping, pickup truck-driving, NASCAR-watching, gun-totin', racist and homophobic good ole' boy will eventually go the way of northeast WASP country club Republicans who run the country. And the cynical alliance forged between the two in the 60's that made possible the Republican dominance of the past 25 years will fall apart as a result. It already is.

      I'm not saying that dealing with and eventually ovecoming the damage that BushCo have done will be easy and painless or even complete. Only a fool would believe that. But it can and I believe will be done. As Clinton liked to say, there's nothing wrong with America that can't be fixed by what's right with America. BushCo represent much of what's wrong with America. But I believe that there's still much that's right with it, that will in time correct many of these wrongs, not just on a functional level but perhaps even on a systemic level.

      "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has." Margaret Mead

      by kovie on Sun Apr 23, 2006 at 12:28:01 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •   uh, wait a second, pal... (0+ / 0-)

        Prediction is not an exact science, especially when done unsystematically as you have here. The worst case scenario that you predict might come to pass, but there's no way to know if it will. It's just as likely--and, I'd argue, far more likely, based on past experience--that we will survive the present crisis, and perhaps once again emerge even stronger.

         I'll go even further and say that prediction--in this instance, predicting the future course of the nation as some sort of foregone conclusion--is not only NOT an exact science, it isn't even an inexact science.

         I'm mystified as to what you think I predicted though, in the post you're replying to.

         What I am arguing is not what we might or--even less--shall become, but what we already have been for some time.

         In excusing Nixon in the mistaken hope of "putting Watergate behind us", we failed our duties to ourselves and those now, who've come along since;

         that is but one of too many examples to list in this space.

         You say we've not only "survived" these trials but even come through them stronger.
        Well, it isn't a prediction, it's an observation of the present: my view is that is highly questionable that we have "survived" these trauma.  We are, I believe, suffering from the horrors of Bush and Cheney not because we "came through", "survived", triumphed and learned from --and corrected our many grevious errors in the recent and not so recent past, but, rather, because we didn't.

         Whether or not we still may correct these still-standing and still-flagrant errors I do not pretend to know.  I don't claim to have or use a crystal ball.  But I can tell you this much: based on the evidence I can observe here and elsewhere, I am frankly less than very confident.

         There is of course the real possibility that people may begin to see how we've been going wrong; but first a great many of them have to wake up and notice that we have been going wrong.  One of our most difficult and persistent mistakes is the confident belief that, as you put it, we've endured and come through those numerous trials you cited and now we're somewhere beyond them.

         That's a serious error, I think.  But don't expect to see many here subscribe to that view.  Like you, they think, "I'll worry about that tomorrow. " [Except they don't.]

        Don't call me defeatist.  I'm not saying that the game is over.  I'm saying it isn't going well, we're not the "good guys" anymore, if we ever were; and things don't at this point look like Spring is about to burst out all over for peace, freedom and democracy.

         Our fellow Americans' are less in the camp of, "What I have, I'm happy to share, friend," than they are in the "Over my dead body!" camp.

        That could change and I hope it does.  

        •  I wasn't responding to your comment (0+ / 0-)

          but to Super Pretzel's. Note the thread above.

          And prediction IS a science, btw. It's just not an exact one, nor do serious practitioners claim that it is. There are all sorts of very scientific models that can be created that can predict the future with one degree of precision and accuracy or another. E.g. weather models, sports oddsmaking, political polling, etc. But for it to be useful, it has to be done systematically and scientifically, following a coherent process. The comment I was responding to was engaging in anectodal prediction, which is fine by me (we all do it here) but not the final word on what will happen by any means.

          Also, I'm not sure what you mean about not having survived past crises. Clearly, we emerged from them bloodied and forever scarred, and not everyone did emerge from them in equal measure, if at all (thus the death figures I quoted). But if you think that, deaths, wounds, scars and all, we didn't survive the Civil War and WWII, for example, then you have a way of looking at things that differs markedly from mine. Like civilization itself, the US has been enduring and surviving crises for centuries. The fact that it's still here, in one form or another, is testament to that. I'm not sure how you can say that we haven't survived them. Sure, we still have poverty, racism, inequality, etc., but that doesn't change the fact that we're still here--i.e. by definition, we survived.

          As for the present crisis, we're still in the thick of it, so there's no way to tell where it'll lead, good or bad. We won't be able to know whether we survived it until years from now. I think we will. Others think we won't. Seen out of historical context each prediction is equally valid. But seen in a historical context, I think mine is a bit more likely to come true. Why others don't agree is something I still don't understand. Like I said in my previous comment I don't think it's a slam dunk or that it will be easy. But I still think that it can and will happen, if history serves as any guide.

          And I remain to be convinced that this crisis is fundamentally different from and worse than any previous crisis we've faced--and survived. Anyone who claims this simply does not know the first thing about history, and is engaging in emotional hyperbole. I acknowledge the magnitude of the present crisis, but I will not respond to it with semi-defeatist panic.

          And only fools believe that we were ever the "good guys". Most often, throughout our history, we've acted out of self-interest, as any other nation has in history. That makes us neither good nor bad. We've sometimes acted in good ways, other times in bad ways--sometimes very, very, very bad ways. But generally in self-interest. And our self-interest now is to get rid of these evil idiots and lunatics and undo as much of the damage that they've done as we can. I think it can still be done, and believe that it will be done. If that makes us "good", then all the better.

          "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has." Margaret Mead

          by kovie on Sun Apr 23, 2006 at 01:52:26 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •   oh, you weren't responding to my post... (0+ / 0-)

            Well, nevermind, then.  Funny, there's so much in common between the post in which you do not reply to mine and, then, this latter one, which I gather is a reply to a post of mine.

             Isn't that a  fascinating coincidence?!?!

            •  Don't try to get clever (0+ / 0-)

              Because you're not. Grow up first and then maybe we can have a serious discussion.

              "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has." Margaret Mead

              by kovie on Mon Apr 24, 2006 at 08:44:48 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •   Neither 'good' nor 'bad', just ... (0+ / 0-)

            "self-interested"?  This is your view of how not only the US has acted but, indeed how, " any other nation has [acted] in history" ?

             Why, I wonder, do you see fit to distinguish between acts as "self-interested" when nation-states practice them and, on the other hand, something else that might fairly be condemned as "bad" when individuals or groups other than nation-states do the same ?

            It seems to me that anyone, or any nation, can be at one and the same time engaged in behavior which is fairly described as both "self-interested" AND "bad".

             Though, I admit: to those who don't bother to think about it more than a second, it does seem to sound somehow more respectable to suggest that nations "merely" follow their "self-interests"--as though they're either unaware of the harm that this might entail or, if aware, that it's really nothing personal--a nation just has to do what a nation has to do, act in a way which seems bad but is really simply "self-interested" instead.

             You are the first, of course, to try and sell such nonsense; and a lot of our fellow citizens are buying it, too.

            •  I never said that (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              proximity1

              When I said that nations are generally neither good nor bad, but merely acting in their self-interest, I thought it was obvious that I meant that, in any given instance, they weren't NECESSARILY acting out of good or bad intentions, but that they well might be doing one or the other, or neither.

              E.g. when we entered WWII, we did it because we were attacked and wanted to defend ourselves--i.e. self-interest--and not because we wanted to rid the world of fascism, even though, in the end, that's exactly what we helped do, which was a good thing. Or, when we attacked Iraq in 2003, we did it (well, some of us at least), it turns out, to protect our oil interests in the region, and not because we wanted to kill or seriously injure thousands of soldiers and Iraqis, even though this is what we ended up doing, which was clearly bad.

              Put another way, WWII was an example of good self-interest, and the Iraq war is an example of bad self-interest. There can certainly be a link between self-interest and good or bad intentions, and I never said otherwise, but it's a case by case thing.

              So please try to avoid the impulse to get all self-righteous and accuse others of not spending more than a second thinking about something, when it's clear that this is exactly what you did here. There's nothing more annoying than people who like to get on a soapbox and preach to others about things they know nothing about, just because they THINK that they disagree with them. Save it for your Freshman Poly Sci class.

              "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has." Margaret Mead

              by kovie on Mon Apr 24, 2006 at 08:43:01 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  ' There's nothing more annoying than people who . (0+ / 0-)

                "...There's nothing more annoying than people who like to get on a soapbox and preach to others about things they know nothing about, just because they THINK that they disagree with them. Save it for your Freshman Poly Sci class."

                [ I'll come back to the above at the end of this.]

                Cited below is the exact quote in its context to which I replied:

                And only fools believe that we were ever the "good guys". Most often, throughout our history, we've acted out of self-interest, as any other nation has in history. That makes us neither good nor bad. We've sometimes acted in good ways, other times in bad ways--sometimes very, very, very bad ways. But generally in self-interest. And our self-interest now is to get rid of these evil idiots and lunatics and undo as much of the damage that they've done as we can. I think it can still be done, and believe that it will be done. If that makes us "good", then all the better.

                Not only did I fail to grasp from your original comment that in the above quote you meant "that, in any given instance, they weren't NECESSARILY acting out of good or bad intentions, but that they well might be doing one or the other, or neither..." but I think, moreover, that the chances are great that an average reader would draw the same erroneous conclusion which I did; therefore, it turns out that in prompting your clarification, my mistaken interpretation was a good thing--apart from its other traits: self-righteous, preachy and wrong.

                 To get back to your remark cited first above, I don't have a freshman--or any other level of-- poli-sci course to teach.  This and other internet fora are my only teaching venues.  So there's no other place for which I can reserve my tendancy to "to get on a soapbox and preach to others about things they know nothing about...."

                 Indeed, a soapbox from which to "preach to others" is kinda sorta exactly what I thought this site is supposed to be.

                 So, this being the case, "my" class is now in session--though I'm as much if not more to be found among the pupils here as I am in any sense standing up in front of the group.

                 I'm here to state and defend my views and to welcome, read, learn from and reply to those who reply to me; I can learn and you've helped to demonstrate that, I hope.  And I'd much rather be shown my mistakes than simply preach my opinions and hear nothing in return.

                 Thank you for setting me straight as to what you meant.  I thought for a moment we disagreed.

              •   oh, yes, three postscripts... (0+ / 0-)
                1. I can't prove it, of course, but maybe you'd take my word for it when I tell you that when I referred to "those" --

                Though, I admit: to those who don't bother to think about it more than a second, it does seem to sound somehow more respectable to suggest that nations "merely" follow their "self-interests"--

                I really meant others and not you in particular.

                1. I misstated "You are the first, of course, to try...".  I intended to write, "You are not the first, of course, to try..."

                and 3)

                 "  So there's no other place for which I can reserve my tendancy to "to get on a soapbox and preach to others about things they know nothing about...."

                 ought to have read,

                  So there's no other place for which I can reserve my tendancy to "to get on a soapbox and preach to others about things [ I ] know nothing about...."

                 

    •  Is it wrong (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Progressive Liberaltarian

      to yearn for the day when this particular ideology attracts such a small group of people that we can drown the whole ugly movement in the bathroom, a la Grover Norquist?

      I am hopeful.  I think the day is coming, soon, when people will "forget" to mention they supported Bush, opposed gay marriage, opposed stem cell research, supported invading Iraq, supporting invading Iran, god help them.  There will always be a group of diehards, but in the end they'll have their survivalist stash and communicate among themselves via ham radio and the rest of us won't have to hear from them.

      That is my dream.  Touching, isn't it?

  •  Go Larry (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tomathawl, cotterperson, DrKate, KenBee

    When the colonel speaks, I recommend. He's a Republican and former administration regime insider. His words scare the bejesus out of the cowardly Hannitys of this land and is now the best voice "We the People" have.

    Please give this site a hit: West Point Graduates Against the War

    by SheriffBart on Sun Apr 23, 2006 at 10:34:40 AM PDT

    •  SheriffBart (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      schuylkill, Buffalo Girl, SheriffBart

      Do you have an email address for the West Point Graduates Against the War?  I'm a retired Air Force officer with a Regular commission, but did not attend West Point.  Although I don't qualify to join them, I would like to express my admiration and encouragement to the gentlemen who sponsor this great web site.

      As long as we have men of honor like these serving in the military, there is hope yet for this country.

      You can't spell "Worst President Ever without a W".

      by tomathawl on Sun Apr 23, 2006 at 11:21:15 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Silly Man (5+ / 0-)

    We Americans came not from a revolution but from an evolution.

    That is in large part why our so-called revolution produced success while most throughout history did not. We came as much from the Magna Carta as from our own doings, as much from British common law and parliamentary development as from the Declaration of Independence and Continental Congress.

    Forgets the importance Iroquois Confederacy.  

    Which also points to the fact that the United States used to be able to take ideas from a variety of sources around the world to see what worked. Now, we willfully ignore lessons learned by others (see: healthcare, (and a special thanks to Dan Rodgers and Atlantic Crossings)).

    The middle is a ghost.

    by KazHooker on Sun Apr 23, 2006 at 10:41:34 AM PDT

  •  Late to the party ... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lisa, Xan

    I am glad that Wilkerson has 'seen the light' but every time I see any of his (thoughtful) commentaries / such attacking the neo-cons, this Administration, I remember that he facilitated this disaster of a conspiracy called an Administration and participated in it ...

    Could he have swayed the election in 2004 if he had spoken up then?  If he had worked (hard) to get Powell to resign in Oct 2004?

    Where was he as the nation was dragged down?  ... One of the participants pulling on the ropes dragging us down.

    He has a long way to go before redemption ...

    9/11/05, Day 1469, A count worth keeping? Or, Osama Bin Forgotten?

    by besieged by bush on Sun Apr 23, 2006 at 10:45:00 AM PDT

    •  He's done a great service. I forgive him. (5+ / 0-)

      Coming out and saying things against Powell must have hurt him with a lot of people. He derserves a lot of credit for this and speaking out.

    •  that is such bullshit! (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      drsmith131, Jlukes, Opakapaka

      Where have you been, these past few years? Prithee, what heroic deeds did you accomplish towards thwarting this cabal of thoughtless jackals? Divest yourself of this notion that being an employee of the government somehow makes one an accomplice to the misdeeds of these shitbags. We've all seen what happened to those who spoke out: they were summarily dismissed as wimps and malcontents. Wilkerson chose to stay in to serve a man he felt could make a difference. Both he and Gen Powell now realise that they couldn't.

      Attitudes such as yours—repeated regularly here—help in no way. Do you want change? Do you wish to work towards pulling back a majority of voting citizens from the precipice of suicidal jingoism? Then shut the fuck up and help us encourage that change.

      Thankfully, it's Wilkerson, and not yourself, who was given the editorial pages of the Baltimore Sun to make his arguement.

      "Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit upon his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats." – H.L. Mencken

      by subtropolis on Sun Apr 23, 2006 at 11:35:26 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Not to resort to your level but it is not BS ... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        subtropolis

        I welcome that Wilkerson has 'found the light' but, unlike what you suggest, Wilkerson was not exactly a 'government employee' but worked with Powell for helping to get George elected (by the SCOTUS ...) in 2000 and (re)elected in 2004.  He was -- at that time -- a political appointee and not exactly a career civil servant working for the Administration. I know many of those -- and many of them are extremely uncomfortable with the political direction but believe in their service and their role as public servants.

        And, watch with casting stones ... one reason that I am so frustrated with Wilkerson is because I had conversations with HIM (among others) where he strongly defended this Administration -- words that are 180 degrees out from what he is saying now ... hmmm -- while I was striving to get him (and others ... and the Admin) to take different paths. My career has suffered -- one of those, I guess, wimps and malcontents -- because I have chosen to speak 'truth' to power rather than suffer this in silence.  I have been cut off from people who I spent decades working with as I have challenged their lemming like following of BushCo.  

        I think that we should welcome that Wilkerson has chosen to come out strongly and eloquently.  I do not think it wrong to remember that this eloquence also served a different master ... and that Wilkerson seems to 'have seen the light' quite late ... Better late than never -- certainly ... and he is extremely eloquent ... but, that it was / is late in the game (overall -- in terms of the Bush-Cheney conspiracy) remains relevant ...

        9/11/05, Day 1469, A count worth keeping? Or, Osama Bin Forgotten?

        by besieged by bush on Sun Apr 23, 2006 at 07:00:18 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  thanks for your reply (0+ / 0-)

          I apologise for my outburst. I can see, now, that you are not some reactionary worried about black helicopters. And please excuse the suggestion that Wilkerson is just some 'employee'. My ranting was obviously getting the better of me. I was generalising about all the different people who have been coming forward, only to be shot down by some kossack because they "didn't speak up before the elections."

          It worries me, because i remember all those 'Reagan Democrats' who were eventually wooed back. Only, this time, the level of antipathy towards the middle-leaning-right has (quite rightly) grown to seething infuriation. I'm reminded of Carl Bernstein's excellent article, Senate Hearings on Bush, Now, in which he lays out the facts: that it's going to take an honest, bi-partisan effort to bring the nation (i'm Canadian, and just a frustrated bystander, btw) back from the brink.

          I would be interested to know more about the conversations you've had with him.

          "Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit upon his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats." – H.L. Mencken

          by subtropolis on Sun Apr 23, 2006 at 09:32:33 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Mea culpa ... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            subtropolis

            but anonymity enables engagement here ... no details ...

            I am ready to work with those walking away from the BushCo regime and entering into reality-based policy world ... but, while happy to have them waking up from their stupor, like any other addict, I keep my eyes open with concern that they might return to the drug.  

            20 years ago, I could seriously entertain that one of the R candidates (at least primary) could end up having my support if the D candidate was anathema ... now, it is virtually impossible for me to envision how I could vote for a R unless that party regains the brains taken out via the Heritage/AEI/etc fostered lobotomy ... Would a Wilkerson vote / work for a McCain?

            9/11/05, Day 1469, A count worth keeping? Or, Osama Bin Forgotten?

            by besieged by bush on Sun Apr 23, 2006 at 09:46:31 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  Better late than never! (0+ / 0-)

      I understand why he didn't come out before even though I wish he, and others like him, would have.  

      Would one more voice really have mattered in 2004 anyway?  I don't understand why the substantial majority of voters weren't ready to drop Bush in 2004 but they weren't.  Some editorials and appearances by this guy two years ago probably wouldn't have mattered.  

      Now there appears to be a much wider audience for Bush condemnation.  I hope people like Wilkerson keep it coming because more seem to be listening now.

  •  Does he tie it to Congress? (0+ / 0-)

    The CW Needs to really put the dots together.  

    The Bush Years have been An Inconvenient Truth. I want Change. 22 to Open the Doors of Congress

    by kubla000 on Sun Apr 23, 2006 at 10:46:31 AM PDT

  •  The NeoCons work w/the Christian right (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    astraea, SheriffBart
    Just saying.
  •  Devastating Critique (8+ / 0-)

    This is a must read piece. We need to email this as far and wide as possible. The fact that Wilkerson was in the Administration makes this all the more powerful.

    I have to wonder when Republicans are going to awaken to the great harm Bush is doing to their party. One after another all the myths about Republicans (small government, fiscal responsibility, competence) are being exposed as false. The longer Republicans support this president the harder it will be for them to convince people that the Bush Administration is an abberation and not the inevitable result of Republican Policies.

  •  I have mixed feelings about (8+ / 0-)

    sweeping historical analyses like this.

    de Tocqueville wrote those words before the Civil War, when America kept slaves.

    Was America 'good' then? Really?

    Was there ever a 'good old days' where America lived up to the pablum we tell ourselves about being the light of freedom for the world? Really?

    In the last sixty years, we've accumulated a large count of  brutal dictators and kleptocrats we've supported or installed and democracies we've overthrown, including Saddam among the kleptokillers in the long-forgotten Reagan times.

    I actually see BushCo as evolutionary, continuing the awful drift to rogue state that was started during the Cold War, when America became a land of 'clandestine' international law-breakers and militarists. The American people did virtually nothing to protest (until Vietnam, and there weren't enough protestors to stop the reelection of Richard M Nixon... I see Bush's reelection after starting an unnecessary war as a lot like Nixon's, a vote of confidence for militarism and violence)

    It's good to point out the dangers of the road we're on, and certainly the Neocon plan is to jam the accelerator pedal all the way to the floor, but I think America was on this road before 2001.

    Given a choice between a real Republican and a Democrat who acts like a Republican, Americans will choose the real Republican every time - Harry Truman

    by tiggers thotful spot on Sun Apr 23, 2006 at 11:07:17 AM PDT

  •  I just sent him an email (0+ / 0-)

    that simply said "Thank you, Sir!!" as the Subject so that he will know that we appreciate and support him.

    Why doesn't Powell say something?

    -4.25, -6.87: Someday, after the forest fire of the Right has died we'll say "Whew, I'm happy that's over."

    by CanYouBeAngryAndStillDream on Sun Apr 23, 2006 at 01:06:51 PM PDT

    •  Powell clearly turned his back on Wilkerson (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      CanYouBeAngryAndStillDream

      History will not be kind to Powell.  He lied us into a war, and dissed his adviser for telling the truth.  I think Wilkerson will come out smelling like a rose, as will all the insiders who've tried to tell us the truth, often at great personal cost.  The woman who was fired last week from the CIA for leaking the info about the network of secret prisons comes to mind.  I hate that she won't get her well-earned pension.

  •  This was an utterly smashing op/ed (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    neroden

    and yet the sad part is ALL of these people sat by while this was all being hatched.  Nothing was done because they all went along with it. Now that it has failed miserably JUST AS WE SAID IT WOULD, they are trying to save face.

    Too little.  Too late.  We're still fucked.

  •  I just looked at his bio ... (0+ / 0-)

    What a stunning article from a former member of this administration! My head has been reeling from all of the voices coming out of the closet to criticize this rogue administration.

    Why couldn't this have been done before the 2004 election? I guess I should just be grateful they're doing it before the 2006 Congressional elections.

    "You don't lead by pointing and telling people some place to go. You lead by going to that place and making a case." - Ken Kesey

    by Glinda on Sun Apr 23, 2006 at 01:36:34 PM PDT

  •  My favorite (0+ / 0-)

    [my emphasis]

    As Alexis de Tocqueville once said: "America is great because she is good. If America ever ceases to be good, America will cease to be great."

    In January 2001, with the inauguration of George W. Bush as president, America set on a path to cease being good; America became a revolutionary nation, a radical republic. If our country continues on this path, it will cease to be great - as happened to all great powers before it, without exception.

    From the Kyoto accords to the International Criminal Court, from torture and cruel and unusual treatment of prisoners to rendition of innocent civilians, from illegal domestic surveillance to lies about leaking, from energy ineptitude to denial of global warming, from cherry-picking intelligence to appointing a martinet and a tyrant to run the Defense Department, the Bush administration, in the name of fighting terrorism, has put America on the radical path to ruin.

    Unprecedented interpretations of the Constitution that holds the president as commander in chief to be all-powerful and without checks and balances marks the hubris and unparalleled radicalism of this administration.

    What a great op-ed.  And yet nothing has changed...everything is still the same, we've still got The Decider staying the course while shuffling the deck chairs.  It's gonna take a revolution either on the streets or in the voting booth, probably both.

    We Need REGIME CHANGE

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