Prague Twin

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Prediction

"When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying the
cross."

Sinclair Lewis

13 Comments:

  • Do you think he is right?

    By Anonymous Arch Stanton, at 4:25 PM  

  • You know me, I don't believe in prophesy or predestination, but it seems likely. It is just the combination needed to blind the American soul.

    A deadly concoction ideed.

    By Blogger Praguetwin, at 4:42 PM  

  • At some point, won't people, even the core 35% who think george W. is the Second Coming, wake up to the reality that the current form of Fascism masquerading as conservative Republicanism with the help of the flag and the cross is neither patriotic nor particularly Christian?

    By Blogger reality-based educator, at 5:50 PM  

  • Could one of you please provide a concrete example of the supposed fascism that has come to America?

    By Blogger Crazy Politico, at 6:09 PM  

  • How about "terror suspects," unnamed of course, being held in secret prisons in perpetuity or rendered abroad in CIA planes to countries that will torture and kill them?

    How about a Defense Department that sent out the message that torture/abuse in prisons like Abu ghraib and Bagram was A-OK as long as you didn't get caught (i.e., like those schmucks on the Abu Ghraib nightshift) - so hit 'em where it won't make any marks, OK?

    How about the preznit pursuing a program of domestic spying/wiretapping and his majority party in Congress rubberstamping the Consistitional transgressions like they're another tax cut?

    How about an administration that lied and misled its way into a war of choice, then attempted to smear, stifle, frighten, or otherwise shut up critics who have tried to expose the pre-war shenanigans?

    There's four examples of fascism and/or fascist-like policies currently emanating from Washington. And I didn't even get around to the administration's use of propaganda here at home and abroad, it's liberal use of New Speak (e.g.,clean skies means less pollution controls), or its insistence that the war in terror is an unending "generational" conflict that will force us to destroy our own Constitution in order to save it.

    By Blogger reality-based educator, at 6:54 PM  

  • I'm not going so far as to say we are there yet, but we are perilously close.

    Politico,

    I think for me, the most concrete example is the Vice-President lobbying for the use of torture. I know that the world is not perfect, and torture is going to be used in field. However, once the use of torture becomes institutionalized, once the order to commit specific acts of torture comes from the top (and here I refer specifically to orders from Rumsfeld to use techniques prohibited by the Geneva convention on prisoners in American captivity) you have a problem.

    I grew up believing that torture was something the Japanese used in WWII, that the Vietnamese used in the Vietnam War, that the Russians would surely use if given the chance.

    What seperated us from those regimes, was that the United States believed in the rule of law and basic rules of conduct no matter the situation.

    I was tought to believe that the United States was a pillar of humanity, a shining light in a world of dark. We seperated ourselves from facists with our humanity.

    Now, it seems, some people believe that we can sacrifice the very principles I was raised on, in the name of security. I believe, that if we condone the use of torture, we are no better than the rest.

    The gag order on article 217 of the Patriot Act which prevents businesses from disclosing the financial costs of complying with the provision is another example of the erosion of the Bill of Rights.

    I'm not saying we are there, but we are on the way.

    There is still time to save the Republic. But only if we can be honest with ourselves.

    By Blogger Praguetwin, at 6:58 PM  

  • UPDATE:

    I was writing my comment at the same time as reality-based-educator, and hadn't read it by the time I posted.

    Alot of similar arguments.

    By Blogger Praguetwin, at 7:00 PM  

  • How about this for an example of fascism come to America: The supposed left side of the Supreme Court eviscerating personal property rights visa vi Kelo v. New London.

    By Anonymous Arch Stanton, at 2:21 AM  

  • RBE=
    On point 1, that's actually been the norm since the first world war for non-national prisoners. They don't get the same rules as others. Not saying I like it, but it's not a "new" invention.

    Point 2 Can you prove that the DOD authorized the policy? So far 5 trials (at least) haven't been able to get it above a few unit commanders.

    Point 3 It's a surviellance program against foriegners who happen to be making calls to the US. The FISA Court of Review has upheld it, and it's actually been upheld in courts for decades that the President has the authority to authorize wire taps for national security purposes under Art. II of the Constitution.

    3 what you call a lie Bill Clinton, John Kerry, and dozens of other democrats called the truth from 1997-2000. Italy, France, and Germany's intelligence services all believed the same truths. In fact, according the NY Times and Washington Post, Saddam's own generals thought he had WMD until just a few weeks before the war started.

    Yet even if any were true 100% in your view, they wouldn't rise to the level of fascism.

    Praguetwin- I think folks confuse torture with agressive interrogation techniques. I usually suggest the book POW (1987) as a good read on the subject of torture. I served under the "test case" for Vietnamese torture techniques for 2 years. I wish I could find him to get his take on the current issue.

    By Blogger Crazy Politico, at 4:29 AM  

  • Crazy Politico,

    Are you saying you actually underwent torture?

    My reference to Rumsfeld is very specific. I know that tactics are going to be used. But one must keep their actions within the realm of the current law. For better or for worse right now that is the Geneva Convention. Like it or not, the US signed it.

    The interogation techniques currently being empoyled have written in warnigns that this or that specific practice is prohibited by the Geneva Convention. Nonetheless, Rumsfeld has added side notes that say, "Make sure this happens!!", and the two exclamation marks are there.

    I mean hey, I understand (but dont agree) with a commander saying "get the information", but when you have the Sec. of Def. personally demanding that certain interogative techniques be used on any and all prisoners, and when he marks it with two exclamation marks, you have to wonder if the guy is reallly trying to get information, or if he really has problems.

    An old school nationalist would say, "get the information, details are not important." But when I look at the current situation, I can't help but to wonder if inflicting pain isn't more important to these guys than bagging the bad guy.

    Maybe we are not there yet, but to pretend that we are not close, is to bury you head in the sand.

    In my view, Sir.

    By Blogger Praguetwin, at 5:54 AM  

  • Praguetwin,

    If we were really that close to fascism, you wouldn't be able to keep saying we were. It's really that simple. Is the GOP overly enthusiastic in their controls? Probably. Does that equal fascism? Not at all.

    By Blogger Stephanie, at 8:43 PM  

  • Stephanie,

    Like I said, we are not there yet. Fascism has many levels. Even here in the Czech Republic, plenty of people wrote and protested under fascism. Plenty ended up in jail too.

    When I see people locked up without a trial, when I think of the eavesdropping, and the torture, I worry that the barriers are being broken down.

    To me, fascism means absolute executive rule and the comprimising of human rights to maintain that rule.

    Not that simple, like you say. Free speach is a good litmus test. When that starts to be infringed, we are in real trouble. I doubt that could happen, but we are dangerously close to self-imposed fascism when people say we have to "support the president in this time of crisis". Or when a majority of Americans say they would be willing to give up some civil rights in the interests of security.

    In the end, it is the people who allow fascism to happen and it is the people who can stop it dead in its tracks.

    By Blogger Praguetwin, at 2:41 PM  

  • The problem I see is that the GOP used scare tactics to win their elections. Now the DNC seems to be doing the same thing.

    FEAR should not be the great American motivator.

    As for "support the president in this time of crisis," I've never really been one to go that far. While I feel that people should respect the President of the United States if they want to be considered patriots, that doesn't mean they can't disagree with him or talk about being in disagreement with him. Things like "Not MY President" offend the hell out of me, because they're so anti-democratic it's ridiculous. Yet, these same people who disrespect the fundamental principles of "people's choice" this country was founded on want to be called patriots? Holding that opinion doesn't make me a fascist, because I also hold the opinion that people have a right to make asses of themselves by shooting off their mouths. Should they do it? IMO, no. That doesn't mean I'm going to throw them in prison and execute them for it.

    By Blogger Stephanie, at 6:07 AM  

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