Obama and the fall into tyranny
By Paul Craig Roberts
Online Journal Contributing Writer
Jun 18, 2008, 00:15
by John Pilger, Alexander Cockburn, and Uri Avnery make clear by groveling before the Israel Lobby,
Barack Obama has dispelled any hope that his presidency would make a
Obama told the Lobby that in order to protect Israel he
would use all the powers of the presidency to prevent Iran from having a
nuclear weapon. As in the case of Saddam Hussein�s �weapons of mass
destruction,� the conclusion whether or not Iran is making a nuclear weapon
will be determined by propaganda and not by fact. Therefore, there is no
difference between Bush, McCain, Obama, and the Lobby with regard to the Middle
As Israel has several hundred nuclear weapons, and a modern
air force and missiles supplied by the US, the idea that Israel needs American
protection from Iran is a fantasy. All Israel needs to do in order to be safe
and to live in peace is to stop stealing the West Bank and to drop its designs
on southern Lebanon. Obama is too smart not to know that US foreign policy has
been shanghaied by the Lobby, not in order to protect innocent Israel but to
enable Israel�s territorial expansion.
Obama has dispelled hope on the economic front as well.
Obama has appointed two leading apologists for jobs offshoring as his economic
advisors -- Bill Clinton�s Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin and Rubin associate
Jason Furman. These two are notorious for their justifications of policies that
benefit Wall Street, CEOs, and large retailers at the expense of the economic
well-being and careers of millions of Americans.
As a result of offshoring, good jobs in America are
disappearing. The Bureau of Labor Statistics job figures make it totally clear
that the US economy has ceased creating net new middle class jobs in the
private economy in the 21st century.
Stressing higher returns to shareholders, Wall Street
pressures corporations to move their operations abroad. Wal-Mart tells its
American suppliers to �meet the Chinese price� or else, a price that US firms
can meet only by offshoring their operations to China.
Every job and product that is offshored increases the US
trade deficit and lowers US GDP. It is a losing game for America that rewards
the overpaid elite of Wall Street and corporate America, while dismantling the
ladders of upward mobility.
By enlarging the trade deficit, offshoring erodes the
reserve currency role of the dollar, the real basis of US power. Now that US
imports exceed US industrial production, it is unlikely that the US trade
deficit can be closed except by a sharp reduction in US consumption, which
implies a drop in US living standards. If the dollar loses its reserve currency
status, the US government will not be able to finance its budget and trade
deficits. Where is the hope when Obama endorses a foreign policy that benefits
only Israeli territorial expansion and an economic policy that benefits only
multimillionaires and billionaires?
The answer is that Obama�s election would signify the
electorate�s rejection of Bush and the Republicans. Considering the cowardice
of the Democratic Congress and its reluctance to hold a criminal regime
accountable, electoral defeat is the only accountability that the Bush
Republicans are likely to experience.
It is not sufficient accountability, but at least it is some
If the Republicans win the election and escape
accountability, the damage Republicans have done to the US Constitution, civil
liberty, and a free society will be irreversible. The Bush Regime and its
totalitarians have openly violated US law against spying on Americans without
warrants and US and international laws against torture. The regime and its
totalitarians have violated the Constitution that they are sworn to uphold.
Bush�s former attorney general, Alberto Gonzales, even asserted to the Senate
Judiciary Committee that the US Constitution does not provide habeas corpus
protection to American citizens.
When federal courts acted to stop the regime�s
unconstitutional practices and abuse of prisoners, the Republicans passed
legislation to overturn the court rulings. The Republican Party has shown
beyond all doubt that it holds the US Constitution in total contempt.
Today the Republican Party stands for unaccountable
To reelect such a party is to murder liberty in America.
The June 12 Supreme Court decision pulled America back from
the abyss of tyranny. For years, hundreds of innocent people have been held by
the Bush regime without charges, a handful of which were set to be tried in a
kangaroo military tribunal in which they could be convicted on the basis of
secret evidence and confessions extracted by torture.
The court ruled, 5-4, that detainees have the right to
appeal to civilian courts for habeas corpus protection. The Bush Republicans
claiming �extraordinary times� had created a Gestapo system in which the
government could accuse, without presenting any evidence, a person of being a
threat and on that basis alone imprison him indefinitely. Justice Anthony
Kennedy reminded the Republican Brownshirts, �The laws and Constitution are
designed to survive, and remain in force, in extraordinary times.�
Bush�s current attorney general, Michael Mukasey, said he
would proceed with his kangaroo trials.
President Bush indicated that he was inclined to again seek
to overturn the court with a law.
Brownshirt Republican Senator Lindsey Graham said he would
draft a constitutional amendment to restore the executive branch�s tyrannical
Republican presidential nominee John McCain said that the
Supreme Court decision protecting habeas corpus �is one of the worst decisions
in the history of this country.�
The four Supreme Court justices (Alito, Roberts, Scalia, and
Thomas) who voted for tyranny in America are all Republicans. They all came out
of the Federalist Society, a highly subversive group of right-wing lawyers who
are determined to elevate the powers of the executive branch above Congress and
the Supreme Court.
The Republican Party has morphed into a Brownshirt Party.
The party worships �energy in the executive.� If the Brownshirt Republicans are
reelected, they only need one more Supreme Court appointment in order to
destroy American liberty.
That is what is at stake in the November election. As bad as
Obama is on important issues, his election will signal rejection of the tyranny
to which the Republicans are committed.
Craig Roberts [email him] was
Assistant Secretary of the Treasury during President Reagan�s first term. He
was Associate Editor of the Wall Street Journal. He has held numerous academic
appointments, including the William E. Simon Chair, Center for Strategic
and International Studies, Georgetown University, and Senior Research Fellow,
Hoover Institution, Stanford University. He was awarded the Legion of Honor by
French President Francois Mitterrand. He is the author of Supply-Side
Revolution : An Insider's Account of Policymaking in Washington; Alienation
and the Soviet Economy and Meltdown:
Inside the Soviet Economy, and is the co-author with Lawrence M. Stratton
Tyranny of Good Intentions : How Prosecutors and Bureaucrats Are Trampling the
Constitution in the Name of Justice. Click here for Peter
Brimelow�s Forbes Magazine interview with Roberts about the recent epidemic of
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