The War for the Truth-Decision 2012

October 21, 2011 | By | 1 Reply More

This is the third article in a series of three (here are the first and second) which are based upon a recent revealing piece published by truthout.org where Mike Lofgren, a veteran Republican operative on the Republican staffs of the US House and Senate Budget Committees reveals what lies at the core of contemporary American Republicanism and why he quit after 28 years of service.
Mr. Lofgren writes:

To those millions of Americans who have finally begun paying attention to politics and watched with exasperation the tragicomedy of the debt ceiling extension, it may have come as a shock that the Republican Party is so full of lunatics. To be sure, the party, like any political party on earth, has always had its share of crackpots, like Robert K. Dornan or William E. Dannemeyer. But the crackpot outliers of two decades ago have become the vital center today: Steve King, Michele Bachman (now a leading presidential candidate as well), Paul Broun, Patrick McHenry, Virginia Foxx, Louie Gohmert, Allen West. The Congressional directory now reads like a casebook of lunacy.

… I wrote of the current tactics of the Republicans, especially in the US House of Representatives on the debt ceiling “crisis.

Mr. Lofgren continues:

Republicans are among the most shrill in self-righteously lecturing other countries about the wonders of democracy; exporting democracy (albeit Among the GOP base, there is constant harping about somebody else, some “other,” who is deliberately, assiduously and with malice aforethought subverting the Good, the True and the Beautiful: Subversives. Commies. Socialists. Ragheads. Secular humanists. Blacks. Fags. Feminazis. The list may change with the political needs of the moment, but they always seem to need a scapegoat to hate and fear . . . . As for what they really believe, the Republican Party of 2011 believes in [the] … tenet[sic] I have laid out below. The rest of their platform one may safely dismiss as window dressing:  . . .  2. They worship at the altar of Mars . . .   [T]here still remains a psychological predisposition toward war and militarism on the part of the GOP. This undoubtedly arises from a neurotic need to demonstrate toughness and dovetails perfectly with the belligerent tough-guy pose one constantly hears on right-wing talk radio. Militarism springs from the same psychological deficit that requires an endless series of enemies, both foreign and domestic. The results of the last decade of unbridled militarism and the Democrats’ cowardly refusal to reverse it, have been disastrous both strategically and fiscally. It has made the United States less prosperous, less secure and less free. Unfortunately, the militarism and the promiscuous intervention it gives rise to are only likely to abate when the Treasury is exhausted, just as it happened to the Dutch Republic and the British Empire.

The Republicans’ lust for war is both practical and political. As long as there is some “other” (“Eurasia” or “Eastasia”) to foist upon the American people as the “enemy,” Republicans won’t have to worry about or be accountable for their primary role in creating our nation’s fiscal woes or their strident advocacy of the stripping away of Americans’ civil rights.

Ronald Reagan started the current trend of Republican “war” presidents with his “war” against Grenada. In part, Reagan invaded Grenada to shore up his macho credentials after he saw what a brief little war in 1982 did for Maggie Thatcher’s popularity. Just two days after suicide bombers destroyed the Marine barracks in Beirut, Lebanon, President Reagan invaded Grenada on October 25, 1983. Most significantly, Reagan didn’t ask Congress for a declaration of war or pass any tax to fund the Grenada “war.” The US invasion of Grenada was condemned by the United Nations, Canada and the United Kingdom but, Reagan’s popularity soared immediately after taking a hit where 241 US marines and military personnel were killed and 80 seriously injured. The US immediately thereafter withdrew troops from Lebanon, took no action against any suspected terrorist or terrorist groups who also killed other allied soldiers that day and established the tactic of suicide bombing in the Middle East as imminently successful at spooking and getting America to run (thank you, Mr. Reagan).

The important concept of the Republican “War President” was shown to be a distractive success by Reagan. The Grenada “war” established the Republican way of just going to war wherever the President wanted at whatever spending the President cared to spend for the war without paying for the war with a specific tax which had been done by the US for every other war in history. The Republican goal of re-establishing the prerogatives of the imperial presidency during “war” was accomplished by President Reagan.

Reagan didn’t stop there. The NSA staff of the Reagan White House then undertook to fight a covert war against Nicaragua. The fighters were knows as “contras” and embroiled the Reagan administration in a broad scandal, but none of the President’s “war” powers were diminished. Regan established a precedent for lower level officials and staffers to deflect the heat for any downside of the war activities of the White House while being “tough on Communism” or whatever.

GWH Bush invaded Panama, put US troops into Somalia, set up shop in Saudi Arabia in “Operation Desert Shield” to protect US interests there, and mustered international support for “Operation Desert Storm” to throw Iraq out of Kuwait after our GWH Bush appointed ambassador to Iraq told the government of Saddam Hussein that “the US had no special or defense agreements with Kuwait” and that she “had served in Kuwait 20 years before; and then, as now, we took no position on these Arab-Arab affairs.” GHW Bush didn’t ask for any tax increases to finance his wars.

George W. Bush later would involve the US in simultaneous wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, with a general “authorization for the use of military force” but, no declaration of war and without any specific tax to pay for the costs of the two wars. Some estimates for the total cost to the US alone for the Afghan and Iraq wars are in excess of $3 trillion.

G. W. Bush also pushed the limits of presidential powers by insisting on greater and greater abilities of a “war president” to engage in illegal wiretaps and surveillance of US citizens without warrant or probable cause, to arrest US citizens and “enemy combatants” and to hold them without charge, access to courts for habeas corpus or trial or counsel and for unlimited periods of time. Bush’s self-selected Vice President, Dick Cheney, went so far as to advocate attacks upon US citizens on US soil by US troops and the pre-emptive nuclear bombing of Syria, Iran and Libya.

George W. Bush liked to repeat the mantra “9/11 changed everything” and he’s right. 9/11 gave the Republicans and the far political Right a new opportunity to claim Democrats “soft” on terrorism just as they had in the past claimed Democrats “soft” on Communism. 9/11 gave the impetus for the “Global War on Terrorism (GWOT).” If ever there were a misnomer, the GWOT is it. An issue before the United Nations and the international community is a definition of “terrorism.” Some define “terrorism” as “the taking of innocents for political purposes.”
Terrorism is not necessarily killing, but may cause death and certainly its primary purpose is to generate and perpetuate fear. Terrorism is political. David Easton has defined “politics” as “the authoritative allocation of values.” So “terrorism” is the taking of innocents in an attempt to influence how people or peoples allocate their values. The primary motivator in any such effort is fear. The absence of fear negates the intent of the terrorist. But fear may motivate others to seek gain from the tactical terrorist efforts for strategic purposes. I believe such was the goal of the G.W. Bush administration and remains a primary goal of the Republican Party in the United States.

George B. Shaw said; “Everyone is entitled to his opinion, but no one has a right to be wrong on the facts.” Let’s look at the former Soviet Union and its satellites as a threat and compare them to our latter day foes in the “Global War on Terror (GWOT)”. The former Soviet Union and its allies had millions of soldiers, thousands of tanks, nuclear weapons, chemical weapons, and had sworn to “bury” us. The Soviets had battled the United States in the “Cold War” since around 1946 through the fall of its empire in 1989. Now, the GWOT will serve to create a permanent state of war for Republicans to constantly foment domestic fears and political unrest so as to assume and retain continued political dominance. But, the advocates of surrendering our civil liberties and spending trillions to combat “terrorism” cannot come up with a hard number of those “terrorists” dedicated to harming Americans.

The GWOT will continue to be a centerpiece of Republican political strategy even though the numbers for their case don’t add up. According to the libertarian Cato Institute, the number of US citizens killed by international terrorists since 1960 (when we started counting) is about the same as the number of Americans killed over the same period by lightning, accident-causing deer, or severe peanut allergies.

No one has advocated any global war against lightning, accident causing deer or peanut allergies.
No one has advocated the wholesale destruction of US civil liberties and the forsaking of cherished American values to fight lightning, accident causing deer or peanut allergies. No one has advocated the incarceration of rain clouds, deer or peanut farmers indefinitely and without charge, access to the courts or counsel or the use of US troops on US soil against these.

As America approaches the decision of who will lead our country in November 2012 in the US House, US Senate and as our elected (hopefully) President, it is to be hoped that we all will look to the objectively verifiable facts of what truly is to be feared by Americans. The choice is between those who would use war, fear, death and the destruction of persons and our fundamental values to take care of a chosen few or those which strive to hold steadfastly to truth, to uphold the Constitution, and to be and to do that which is just and right by all.

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Category: Corporatocracy, Corruption, Politics

About the Author ()

imothy E. Hogan is a trial attorney, a husband, a father of two awesome children and a practicing Roman Catholic in St. Louis, Missouri. Mr. Hogan has done legal and political work in Jefferson City, Missouri for partisan and non-partisan social change, environmental and consumer protection groups. Mr. Hogan has also worked for consumer advocate Ralph Nader in Washington, DC and the members of the trial bar in the State of New York. Mr. Hogan’s current interests involve remaining a full time solo practitioner pioneer on the frontiers of justice in America, a good husband and a good father to his awesome children.

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