Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Welcome to the Empire

It all began in 1898
As you may know the Roman Empire began as a Republic, the USA did too.

And the laws formally enabling the Empire are being passed as we live through. Some were passed in the wake of the 9/11 inside job but if anyone believed that the alleged killing of Osama Bin Laden in foreign territory meant the return to normality, the end of the post-9/11 permanent state of emergency, he or she was very wrong. 

Not that it probably matters in Pakistan, where the government of Zardari has totally abdicated any concept of sovereignty but it may matter elsewhere and, as George Washington points out, it may matter inside the borders of the USA. 

A new law has been proposed by Representative Mac Thornberry (R-Texas) to replace the emergency law issued in 2001 and authorizing the US President effective imperial powers outside the United States: to intervene militarily anywhere on Earth without need to formally declare war. This as we know has been used extensively in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Haiti and now Libya. And even if at times a good cause was used as pretext, the results are always bad: extending the power of a centralized Empire and destroying the self-rule of the nations and all the international legal system. 

This new law proposed by Thornberry, according to the American Civil Liberties Union, will:

... grant the president – and all presidents after him – sweeping new power to make war almost anywhere and everywhere. Unlike previous grants of authority for the Afghanistan and Iraq wars, the proposed legislation would allow a president to use military force wherever terrorism suspects are present in the world, regardless of whether there has been any harm to U.S. citizens, or any attack on the United States, or any imminent threat of an attack. The legislation is broad enough to permit a president to use military force within the United States and against American citizens. The legislation contains no expiration date, and no criteria to determine when a president’s authority to use military force would end.

Scary, no?

Any pretext of terrorism, even a false one would justify anything. Of course the bourgeois constitutional structure of the USA has already been severely damaged with the perpetual state of emergency, the predecessor of this law and the recognition of corporations as citizens with rights

The state of law has been further damaged in other cases such as allowing corporations to pollute the country massively, damaging the health of US citizens and the natural wealth (the Gulf of Mexico has suffered a brutal massacre only in the last year and the government and responsible corporation, BP, have got away). Or maybe more dramatic: the massive fraud of law in which banks have made their own issued mortgages illegal (in a ridiculous attempt to save some cents in taxes) and have gone on a rampage of illegal foreclosures and yet they are getting all support from a government and state authorities who should be defending the rights of the citizens.

The term banana republic comes to mind with so much corruption But it is a big banana indeed.

Representative John Garamendi (D-California) has proposed an amendment, that, as far as I can discern, neutralizes this new dictatorial law. However the US Congress is now controlled by the Republicans (the far right) and is, I fear, more than likely to pass this law.

US Empire (source)
The USA and its de facto Empire may still stumble for some more years as a formal democracy until this one and maybe other totalitarian provisions are effectively used (they will be used, believe me, specially as the living conditions of the people are plummeting everywhere) but it is being legally liquidated as a formal democracy, whatever that is worth. 

And what happens in the USA affects the whole World, much more if it is, as some have put it, a declaration of war against the whole planet. So be afraid, wherever you are, you have reasons to fear. 

Of course, do not let fear paralyze you: in the long run only dead is certain, so in these conditions of growing totalitarianism and loss of everything in the hands of a corporative imperial government, fighting may be not such a bad option. 

It is better to die standing than to live on your knees (Emiliano Zapata).

Another version of a part of the US Empire (source)

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