"The framers of the constitution knew human nature as well as we do. They too had lived in dangerous days; they too knew the suffocating influence of orthodoxy and standardized thought. They weighed the compulsions for restrained speech and thought against the abuses of liberty. They chose liberty." ~ Justice William O. Douglas
Nice Job, King George!
Aside from these moral and legal quandaries, Mr. Bush fails to explain how the targeted killing of the leader of Hamas achieves anything other than the exponential increase in hatred for Israel, the United States, and Britain--both in Palestine, as well as in the rest of the Middle East and the world. The outraged mobs in Gaza, whose numbers and angry mood were in televised images worldwide, are obviously the latest mass of humanity ready to sign up as new recruits for Hamas, Fatah, the PFLP, al-Qaeda, and any other organization of similar ilk in the Middle East. Thanks, King George. Americans need all kinds of additional enemies with ideologically motivated ideas of blood revenge on their minds and a willingness to give up their own lives in the process. We need to continue American support for Israel's ongoing theft of property, livelihoods, and lives as well. And when the next round of retaliations takes innocent American lives in large numbers, it can be stated publicly again from The West Wing that the Palestinians, Arabs, and Persians hate us only because of our commitment to "freedom and justice." And Mr. Bush's pals in the defense industry, the petroleum consortiums, and the Israeli lobby will then win an entirely new set of contracts and projects necessary for the next round in "The War on Terror." What goes around, certainly comes around. And minus a legitimate attempt at a settlement with the Palestinians and the jettisoning of the folly of preemptive war in the Middle East, the Bush-Sharon-Blair brain-squad will continue to guarantee the continuance of the cycle of violence, with each round reaching new plateaus in blood and body counts in an era where dirty bombs and C-4 gorged backpacks have brought the skills and sophistication of asymmetrical warfare to the highest levels yet attained in history--with more to come.
Palestinians, Arabs, and Persians may take small comfort in one silver lining in a very dark cloud. The same forces employing the Oval Office of the White House for this reckless, murderous direction in foreign policy, are the same ones interested in the incremental robbery of the Constitutionally guaranteed civil rights of the average American. Paul Craig Roberts tells us today about the Bush Administration's renewed commitment to the suspension of habeas corpus in the Guantanamo prisoner cases, even as the Bush-Ashcroft Justice Department prides itself in the passage of the USA Patriot Act through a sycophantic, gutless Congress. This latter Act gives the U. S. Federal law enforcement agencies the right to engage in warrantless searches of American homes and businesses for a period of up to 90 days with no demonstration of probable cause, along with new vistas of innovation in electronic surveillance operations subject neither to the boundaries of judicial warrant upon probable cause, or even a cursory consultation with the Federal court (the FISA, or Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act court) designed to protect American citizens from a rogue CIA, NSA, or FBI answerable to no higher law or authority than themselves. And the suspension of habeas corpus would insure that the Bush Administration, or its successor, could detain an individual on suspicion of "terrorism" without the filing of formal charges and the subsequent provision of legal representation, for interminable periods of time. Welcome to Mr. Bush's version of The New World Order.
Perpetual war, the support of the immoral and illegal activities of a dubious ally, the stimulation of the cycle of strike and counterstrike in extra-judicial killings, and the creation of a Central State and National Security apparatus in the United States designed to destroy the Constitutionally guaranteed freedoms of the individual designed by America's Founding Fathers, is the legacy of one George W. Bush in keeping with a number of his immediate predecessors. And unless this legacy is deliberately and permanently reversed by a honest coalition of Americans both Left and Right who see the danger for what it is and refuse to sanction its official continuance, it may be underscored that the losses of Arabs and Palestinians in land and lives will be matched by the same level of tragedy in what was once the Old American Republic in the "land of the free and the home of the brave."