by Gilles d'Aymery
"We have no political parties. We've never had much of them -- I mean the Democrats, the Republicans. We have one party -- we have the party of essentially corporate America. It has two right wings, one called Democratic, one called Republican. So in the absence of politics, with a media that is easy to manipulate and, in the hands of very few people with interests in wars and oil and so on, I don't see how you get the word out, but one tries because there is nothing else to be done."
—Gore Vidal, interviewed by Mark Davis, Dateline, SBS TV, Australia, March 12, 2003.
(Swans - November 6, 2006) What do American fake-Progressives, busy signing liberal manifestos, self-defined pseudo-Marxists, and laptop-Revolutionaries do when they want to fight the Republicrooks du jour? Do they unite and promote third-party candidates like the many worthy of consideration in the Green Party? Do they fight for, and advocate change? Do they come with proposals, platforms, no-nonsense politics? Some do and some don't, in lengthy essays and posts all over the blogosphere, but in any case, when the time comes for another biennial election cycle, whether congressional or presidential, they tend to have second thoughts. Things are so dire, the danger so grave -- Bush is a moron, incompetent in waging war, a fascist in disguise -- that one should put aside the long-term strategy of change and adopt a more flexible and short-term tactic. In other words, these people, again from the softest of the soft to the hard left, get suddenly united by the siren of expediency: They strongly advocate to vote for what Joel Hirschhorn, the author of Delusional Democracy, calls the Democraps. Then with the elections over, win or lose, they go back to their "progressive," pseudo-Marxist, or revolutionary fancies, discoursing on the merits of uniting again for the long struggle toward a better world...till the next time (that will be in 2008). As these useful idiots know well, the differences between the Republicrooks and the Democraps are of the order of night and day, no less. Here is a clear demonstration:
On October 19, 2006, during a symposium on Detainee Treatment & Trials at George Washington University, Washington, DC, former Chief & Special Adviser, CIA Counterterrorism Center, Michael Scheuer candidly, though in guarded terms, explained that what is now known as "extraordinary rendition" -- the secret transfer of prisoners from country A to country B -- is a program that was created in 1995 by the CIA upon the order of then-President W. J. Clinton. Furthermore, while much has been said about the unusual secrecy of the Bush administration, Wake Forest University Law Professor Robert Chesney summarized his research on the doctrine of State Secret Privilege. He found that the Bush administration's use of that doctrine was far from being unprecedented. The motion to dismiss a lawsuit on state secret privilege was exercised 38 times in the past 53 years (since 1953) -- 25 times before 2000. Overall, according to Professor Chesney, the motions were granted in whole or in part 26 times. During that same period, deference to the executive branch by the courts has remained consistent and high. The Bush administration, he concludes, is not doing anything different from preceding US administrations.
Some 20 senators and 40 representatives currently belong to the "New Democrats," those partisans of "progressive" Third Way politics that was initiated in 1985 with the inception of the Democratic Leadership Council. Twelve Democrats voted in favor of the Military Commissions Act of 2006, which was signed into law on October 17, 2006 by President Bush. Not surprisingly, Senators Carper, Landrieu, Lieberman, and Menendez were some of the New Democrats who voted for this tyrannical Act (in the words of The New York Times). Incidentally, Tony Blair of Britain has been a strong proponent of the Third Way. In 1999, he joined Bill Clinton and some 17 other NATO countries in launching a war against Serbia, a war that had not been sanctioned by the United Nations. Four years later, this Third Way politician joined George W. Bush in launching a war against Iraq that too was not sanctioned by the United Nations.
As Iraq has fallen into a morbid morass, a bipartisan task force led by James Baker (R) and Lee Hamilton (D), are cooking a fix that will quite possibly entail redeployment to permanent bases (redeployment will please the Democratic constituency and allow the administration to "stay the course"). Meanwhile, much under the radar screen and out of the news, another bipartisan fix is in the making -- Iran and the conquest of the Greater Middle East. NATO forces are currently deployed in the Balkans, Afghanistan, and Lebanon. The Eastern Mediterranean sea is fast becoming the focal point of European navies, and a formidable US armada has assembled in the Persian Gulf, launched a series of "exercises," and is ready to deploy by the time of this writing. The risks for an expansion of the "Global War On Terror" to Iran and Syria are very real and extensively explained by Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya in "The March to War: Naval build-up in the Persian Gulf and the Eastern Mediterranean" (Global Research, October 1, 2006). When is the last time a huge dispatch of military power to a potential theater of operations has not been used? This is not a rhetorical question.
Both the Democrat and the Republican leaderships, with their European allies, are in on the fix. The Project for a New American Century remains on track and is fully supported by the likes of Al From, the founder of the Democratic Leadership Council, Representative Rahm Emanuel, the head of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, and Senator Charles Schumer, the head of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. A litany of names can be added, all power brokers in the bowels of the Democratic Party. The Clintons, of course; but also Madeleine Albright; Richard Holbrooke; Senators Biden, Carper, Feinstein, Kerry, Khol, Lieberman, Obama, Reid, Rockefeller, and on, and on. In the House of Representatives, the list would have to begin with Mrs. Pelosi and go on through a minimum of 50 names. These people are supported by an amazing amount of money from their corporate enablers.
In 1998, Congress passed the Iraq Liberation Act, which then-President Clinton signed into law. According to Jon Sawyer, the director of the Washington-based Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, "[F]our weeks ago, Congress enacted and President Bush signed the Iran Freedom Support Act, a resolution very much in the spirit of the 1998 Iraq Liberation Act." Sawyer reports that, "Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Los Angeles) voted for the Iran Freedom Support Act. So did House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.). So did all but 21 members of the House and every member of the Senate, which approved the measure by unanimous voice vote." ("Iran sounds an awful lot like Iraq," LA Times, October 29, 2006.)
Robert Kagan, a senior associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and transatlantic fellow at the German Marshall Fund, in his monthly Washington Post column, "Staying the Course, Win or Lose" (November 2, 2006), writes,
Historically, and especially in the six decades since the end of World War II, there has been much more continuity than discontinuity in foreign policy. New administrations change policy around the margins, and sometimes those changes prove important -- George H.W. Bush temporized about the Balkans; Bill Clinton temporized and then sent troops. Clinton temporized about Iraq and then bombed. George W. Bush temporized and then invaded. But the motives behind American foreign policy, and even the means, don't differ all that much from administration to administration. Republicans berated the Democrats' "cowardly" containment until they took the White House in 1952, then adopted that strategy as their own.
Today Democrats insist that the United States will be such a [benevolent] force as soon as George W. Bush leaves office. Although they pretend they have a fundamental doctrinal dispute with the Bush administration, their recommendations are less far-reaching. They argue that the United States should generally try to be nicer, employ more "soft power" and be more effective when it employs "hard power." That may be good advice, but it hardly qualifies as an alternative doctrine.
Many around the world will thrill at the defeat of Republicans next week. They should enjoy the moment while they can. When the smoke clears, they will find themselves dealing with much the same America, with all its virtues and all its flaws.
All candidates picked by Rahm Emanuel and Charles Schumer in this election cycle are either Third Way New Democrats or arch-conservatives who support a pro-war agenda.
The pseudo-Marxist referred to in the introduction, with his clear insights of the obvious differences between the two parties, will assert, without losing any sleep, that "[I]t will be a significant victory for working people if Democrats can take control of Congress." The fake Progressives will get back to their "good pay and cushy jobs," in the words of Nicholas von Hoffman. The pseudo-Marxist will work on becoming a full professor and arrange for another book contract, all the while advocating saving Darfur (Marxists can also be humanitarians, after all). And our laptop Revolutionary will do whatever deep strategizing his fecund intellect lends him to explore.
We, the uneducated masses, would be well-advised not to depend any longer on those useful idiots for, in the words of Joel Hirschhorn, "[I]n so many ways these agents of deception are more dangerous than the outright corporate lackeys in both the Democratic and Republican parties."
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