Thursday, December 22, 2005

Response to "The Imperial President"

I read with some amusement your recent bit in Dissident Voice … “Imperial President and the NSA Spying Scandal” … and just ‘had to’ respond.

The gradual erosion of the protections of constitutionalism, the alleged ‘rule of law,’ beginning, I would aver, with the collapse of the Articles of Confederation, is part and parcel of the history of the country. The so-called “Civil” War saw the beginnings of the corporate ownership of government and the beat continues on. To ascribe the recent imbroglio to the current presidency is something like being angry with the taste of apples when the tree was planted long ago – did the planter know what was to come of his ‘unintended’ consequences – or was he malicious in his intent even then? Did the man who created the shovel know to what purpose his tool would be put? Have all presidents, believing in their own self-righteousness not felt constrained by any and all limitations? This one may seem blatant, but look at his predecessors, all. The problem isn’t so much the USE of the NSA as it is the EXISTENCE of the NSA. Is it the tool, or the use of the tool with unintended consequences that matters? The idea of corporations may not in itself be bad … but they too tend to grow more and more prominent over time … and to suffer from fewer and fewer limitations.

I do not wish to defend Bush the ‘man’ – he has not the depth, breadth nor scope to be president of the local Rotary, much less of theUnited States. (In fact it may be easier to elect an idiot at the presidential level than in the local Rotary – they at least know something of their members.) I do intend to ask how such a ‘man,’ with all of his limitations, could become president in the first place? How is it that trusting such a ‘man’ with tools such as the NSA came about in the first place? Are we not, in the final analysis, complicit as Eichmann was complicit in the holocaust? Are we not all sinners by omission in the same way the so-called victims of 9-11 were victims of the US imperial hegemony? Are we not, as Ward Churchill suggested, all a bunch of ‘little Eichmann’s”?

Oh yes, there is an evil in the land – and it is NOT al Queda – it is greed, and ‘going along’ so that we can continue to do better, even the poor, than the rest of the world. There is, I suspect, as much of Bush in you as there is of you in Bush – in all of us – a persistent little selfish nastiness. That nastiness was the sown seed that spawned the NSA and the ability to spy on our own citizens. That nastiness has allowed each of us to buy into the idea that ‘our way of life’ is the one needing to be preserved … and that nastiness is at least as Random as Bush.

Randall H Gaylor, MLS

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