from GlobalResearch Website
The signs are all there for anyone to see, and
time is getting short for action.
Wolf's short but meticulously documented book
shows that what is happening in America has indeed happened many times
before, not in the United States, but rather in places like Chile, Italy,
Russia, and Germany. In each case, people couldn't understand why they
didn't recognize where they were heading before they passed the point of no
These methods are even part of the formal curriculum in places like the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation, previously known as the School of the Americas, in Fort Benning, Georgia, where thousands of Latin Americans have been trained by the United States government in the most savage techniques of insurgency and counterinsurgency. Fascists use ten basic strategies to shut down open societies.
They invoke an external and internal threat in order to convince the population to grant their rulers extraordinary powers. They establish secret prisons that practice torture, prisons that are initially few in number and only incarcerate social pariahs, but that quickly multiply and soon imprison,
They develop a paramilitary force that operates without legal restraint.
They set up a system of intense domestic surveillance that gathers information for the purposes of intimidating and blackmailing citizens. They infiltrate, monitor, and disorganize citizens' groups. They arbitrarily detain and release citizens, especially at borders. They target key individuals like civil servants, academics, and artists in order to ensure their complicity or silence. They take control of the press. They publicly equate dissent with treason. Finally, they suspend the rule of law.
All of these strategies are being employed in
The inmates are designated as "enemy combatants" who have no rights under international or American law. And there is nothing stopping American presidents from filling these prisons with American citizens.
In an April 24 2007 article for the Huffington Post, Wolf writes that thanks to the Military Commissions Act of 2006,
She points out that while currently Americans in
such situations will be spared any torture except psychosis-inducing
isolation and can look forward to eventual trials, these rights typically
evaporate in the final stages of a fascist shift.
Blackwater's mercenaries, many of whom were
trained by Latin America's most horrific police states, have operated in
Iraq outside of Iraqi, American, and military law, and have murdered
uncounted innocent Iraqis with impunity. Domestically,
Blackwater was contracted to provide hundreds of armed security
guards in the wake of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, and there's evidence
that they fired on civilians. Blackwater's business plan calls for their use
in future disasters and emergencies throughout the United States, and it's
supported by some of the biggest powerbrokers in America.
David Horowitz and his colleagues have
mounted a well-funded nation-wide intimidation campaign that has university
students spying on their professors and that has successfully coerced
regents at State Universities to discipline or fire left-leaning professors
like Ward Churchill. The regime's supporters have organized campaigns to
damage the careers of artists like the Dixie Chicks for criticism of
the president and his policies.
Worse than this, independent journalists appear to be marked for death by American forces in Iraq.
In her Huffington Post article, Wolf writes,
The goal of these tactics, as she writes in The
End of America, is to create "a new reality in which the truth can no longer
be ascertained and no longer counts."
This would be amusing, were it not for the Bush
administration's revival of the draconian 1917 Espionage Act after half a
This abuse lets the President choose what laws he wishes to enforce or not, overruling Congress and the people. So Americans are living under laws their representatives never passed. Signing statements put the president above the law." He has also gutted the Posse Comitatus Act, which was created to prevent the president from maintaining a standing army for use against American citizens.
Wolf writes that the 2007 Defense Authorization Bill lets the president,
On its own, this is an incredible expansion of
presidential power, but when combined with the use of military contractors
Blackwater it gives the president almost
Similarly, America in 2007 is farther along the path than it was in 2005, or will be in 2009, provided that a massive pro-democracy movement, complete with impeachment proceedings, doesn't reverse the shift while there's still time. A simple Democratic victory in the 2008 presidential election won't do the job unless the institutional and legal environment created by the Bush administration is thoroughly dismantled.
Regardless of whether the next president is a
Republican or a Democrat, he or she will inherit a legacy of centralized
power that a democracy simply can't tolerate.
She doesn't acknowledge that Black and Indigenous Americans have long lived under quasi-fascist rule, she doesn't examine the role that previous administrations have played in setting the stage for the Bush regime, and she doesn't acknowledge the roles played by corporatism, widespread social dislocation and the radical Christian right in the rise of a fascist American zeitgeist.
Despite this, The End of America needs to
be read by as many people as possible.
The Harper government is eager to kowtow to the Americans, even to the point of refusing to advocate for Canadian citizens on American death rows. The powerful think tanks and lobbying groups that influence our provincial and federal governments, such as the Fraser Institute and the Canadian Council of Chief Executives, either can't see the shift for what it is or they don't care.
More than all of this, however, is the simple
reality that once the shift is complete, the American government will act
even more irrationally and belligerently than before. Canada has resources
like oil and water the United States is going to need, and the Canadian
border is less defensible than the French border was in 1940.
We have to take all the steps that have rescued
dying democracies in the past, and to take them immediately, in the
desperate hope that it isn't already too late.