Now that we’ve heard from the North Koreans on the subject of America (see: Fucking USA) I now present an email rant from a stranger with some very well-reasoned things to say about the current government in America. The following are the words of V. James Haydel (and edited by me).
In recent days, the President, the Vice-President and the Secretary of Defense have warned that we are in a battle with "Islamic Fascism" and compared critics of the Administration's war in Iraq to those who appeased Hitler.
Does anyone else find it ironic that Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld are calling the drive towards Islamic theocracies "fascist"? What is developing in the Middle East bears little resemblance to the Jeffersonian democratic ideal, but it displays far fewer of the characteristics of fascism than America under the Bush Gang. To see a society moving slowly towards fascism, one need not travel to the Middle East.
"Fascism : A philosophy or system of government that advocates or exercises a dictatorship of the extreme right, typically through the merging of state and business leadership, together with an ideology of belligerent nationalism." - The American Heritage Dictionary.
"If this were a dictatorship, it'd be a lot easier, just so long as I'm the dictator." -George W. Bush
"Of course the people don't want war. But after all, it's the leaders of the country who determine the policy, and it's always a simple matter to drag the people along whether it's a democracy, a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism, and exposing the country to greater danger." -Hermann Goering at the Nuremberg trials
We're not there, but the Bush Administration has consistently taken steps that move our "Democratic Republic" towards a fascist dictatorship. I'm sure that if you asked Bush and Cheney, they would, in all sincerity, vehemently deny that that is their goal. I suspect they would say that they believe in a strong, pro-active America, a strong executive branch, minimal government regulation, low taxes and free trade. Maybe so. But their actions have produced grotesque perversions of these benign sounding principles.
The strong, pro-active America of Bush's speeches has become an arrogant, despised war-monger, whose heavy handed bullying of other countries has actually weakened America. The strong executive branch has, with the acquiescence of a supine Congress and an ideologically cooperative Judiciary, become all-powerful. Constitutional checks and balances are swept aside. If Congress or the courts occasionally stand in the way of something the President wants to do, he simply ignores them with signing statements, executive orders and recess appointments. Minimal government regulation has produced corporate looters and a poisoned environment. Low taxes has taken the form of trillions of dollars of breaks for the wealthiest Americans and minimal relief for the middle class, which is shrinking and becoming poorer. "Free trade" has become a euphemism for giving giant corporations free rein to exploit workers, send jobs overseas and corrupt the law-making process. The "Ownership Society", in Bush-Speak (aka "BS"), means "you're on your own, chump."
I've heard it said that the Bush Adminstration is incompetent; I've said it myself. But I don't think they are incompetent at all about the things that are important to them. They're only incompetent at the things they don't care about, e.g. governing and administering, protecting the health of Americans, protecting and empowering the poor and the middle class, etc. When it's something they care about, they've been extremely effective.
They wanted a war with Iraq; they got it. They wanted to cut taxes on corporations and the wealthy. They did. They wanted to undermine the wall between church and state. They have. They wanted to reduce the role of science and increase the role of religion in the formulation of government policy. They've succeeded. The wanted to pack the courts with conservative Christians and members of the Federalist Society. They have. They wanted to weaken environmental protections and other government regulations that protect the public from corporate exploitation. They've done that. They wanted to privatize government functions. They've had some success there, e.g., our abysmal reconstruction program in Iraq, turning over IRS functions to private debt collectors (but only for small tax payers),but this is an area where the Adminstration had a major setback, viz: the failed attempt to privatize Social Security. They wanted to aggrandize power in the Presidency and emasculate Congress and the courts. They've achieved that. They wanted to intimidate and muzzle the press. They have. The wanted to win elections, even if it involved corrupting the electoral process and election fraud. With the compliance of a conservative Supreme Court and rampant election fraud in Florida and Ohio, Bush was "elected" twice.
Whether or not it is the real objective of the Bush-Cheney Gang, more and more, America is exhibiting the characteristics of a fascist regime. Those characteristics are:
1. Powerful and Continuing Expressions of Nationalism, Usually Coupled With a Suspicion of Things Foreign: Think lapel pins, freedom fries, Ann Coulter and the conservative talk radio crazies.
2. Disdain For the Importance of Human Rights: Think torture, rejection of the Geneva Convention, imprisonment without trial or counsel, secret prisons, illegal wiretaps. The White House is proposing a bill that would let Bush imprison indefinitely anyone he believes connected to terrorism. Consider the conservatives' scorn for the ACLU.
3. Identification of Enemies and Scapegoats: Think liberals, Islamic fascists (which includes everyone living in the Middle East, except Israelis) and homosexuals.
4. Avid Militarism: President Eisenhower warned of the military-industrial complex 45 years ago. His warnings went unheeded. Our society is controlled by the military-industrial complex. A trillion dollars of our taxes is spent each year to bloat our military. Funding for domestic needs and the repair of decaying infrastructure is reduced. The Bush Doctrine, combined with the Cheney One Percent Doctrine, have made us war-mongers. Their corporate cronies have made billions off of the war.
5. A Controlled Mass Media: Giant media conglomerates, owned or run by conservatives, control most of the newspapers, magazines, radio, TV and movies in America. They refuse to accept political ads favoring Democratic candidates, but have no problem airing Swift Boat attacks. Because they depend on government favors re regulation, they mute criticism of the Adminstration. Reporters who ask impertinent questions or write critical articles are frozen out and denied access. Reporters are threatened with prosecution for treason for disclosing the Administration's illegal activities.
6. Obsession With National Security: We are obsessed, but the vast quantities of money spent on 'national security' aren't making us more secure. They are, however, making the Halliburtons and Lockheed-Martins very rich. The cost of our arms programs has nearly doubled to more than $1 trillion.
7. Power of Corporations Protected: Regulation and tax audits of corporations have disappeared under Bush.
8. Religion and Ruling Elite Tied Together: The evidence is too voluminous to cite.
9. Power of Labor Suppressed Or Eliminated: The percentage of our GDP attributable to wages and salaries has dropped steadily under Bush.
10. Disdain and Suppression of Intellectuals and the Arts: This describes Bush to a tee - - except recently, when "The Decider" became "The Reader". After Rick Scarborough (a conservative former Republican congressman) had a piece on his show entitled: "Is Bush An Idiot?" (conclusion? he is) Bush announced that he had read 60 books this year, including "The Stranger" (about a guy who kills an Arab for no reason) and some Shakespeare. Of course this is bullshit. Bush sleeps nine hours a night and works out two hours a day. He hasn't read 60 books - total - since Biz School. This effort to distract from a discussion of whether he is an idiot is like an "Orange Alert" in response to some bad political news.
11. Obsession With Crime and Punishment: Does Alberto Gonzales creep you out as much as he does me?
12. Rampant Cronyism and Corruption: The money stolen from the taxpayers by the Bush Crime Gang is mind-boggling. Whether it's no-bid contracts to Halliburton, bridges to nowhere, or simply out-and-out theft, tens of billions of dollars have been siphoned out of the U.S. Treasury to Bush's conservative cronies and and to corporations that contribute to his regime.
13. Fraudulent Elections: Hardly anyone doubts that the 2000 election was stolen. Some very persuasive studies of the 2004 election suggest that it, too, was stolen.