Friday, May 17, 2013

Is it possible to dial back the national security state? ... by gimleteye

The constant bickering between US political parties will be viewed, through the lens of history, as fundamentally abetting the rise of the permanent national security state. A deeper analysis will rest on the foundation of the international economy, and the role of technologies in eliminating national boundaries. Inevitably, the role of Mideast petroleum in creating massive inequities in Arab societies, along with the dependencies it creates in the US, will come to the fore. But it is the failure of Congress and of leadership -- especially from the radical right -- that will be most harshly assessed.

Why the radical right? Because the radical right, for decades, has been motivated by its certainty that the profits of fossil fuels -- oil, coal, and gas -- are the prerequisite of the modern economy that elevated the US to the position of the most powerful nation on earth. To be sure, Democrats have been confounded by the power of the fossil fuel lobbies, not mention the nation's utilities, and the complexities of energy policy reform.

Huffington Post reports on a Senate hearing yesterday: "WASHINGTON -- The war authorization that Congress passed after 9/11 will be needed for at least 10 to 20 more years, and can be used to put the United States military on the ground anywhere, from Syria to the Congo to Boston, military officials argued Thursday. The revelations came during a hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee and surprised even experts in America's use of force stemming from the terrorist attacks in 2001. "This is the most astounding and most astoundingly disturbing hearing that I've been to since I've been here. You guys have essentially rewritten the Constitution today," Sen. Angus King (I-Maine) told four senior U.S. military officials who testified about the 2001 Authorization to Use Military Force and what it allows the White House to do."

Whether you are Republican or Democrat, you will agree that the Bush White House fathered the measures now in question. It is also not in question that a Republican led House of Representatives is calling the Benghazi attack the biggest intelligence failure in US history, skipping past the fact that Bush White House ignored intelligence leading to 9/11 and subsequently justified the rise of the national security state.

If there is any hope for Congress to dial back the national security state, it rests on leadership in Congress. That leadership cannot thrive when there is so much dissension as there is, today.


Anonymous said...

There is little hope given republican control of the House. They seem to be in some kind of trance as their only focus seems to be trying to find a way to get back at Obama for winning. They seem to be stuck in time and not focused on the present or the future. Our only hope is the midterm elections. We have got to get people there who are concerned about the country, not whose sole focus is throwing knives at the President. Everyone knows we need to dial back from 9/11. They are not interested in dialing back because they think they can win the Presidency and once in control again, will expand state control especially when it comes to war and our quest for oil. Because they appear irrational, the burden shifts to Democrats to dial it back.

Anonymous said...

About 15 Years ago I asked a good friend and US Neighbor who grew up and went to school in a Swiss Internat school at lake Geneva before WW2 about the feeling of the approaching war at the time. You have to appreciate that he was in company of the sons of all the mayor war supporting industries & royal houses of the Teutonic area.
To the question of how those privileged sons viewed the approaching war he laved and conveyed the sentiment: "Heck, we are all going to make a lot of money"
Foolish me thought there might be some apprehension if not fear.
So you see, its time to look the beast in the eyes and recognize it's the 1930is all over again. Never thought to live in such an era again, in a country that prosecuted the evildoers at the time. Its discouraging to think about it, and depressing to know the voters not grasping the seriousness of today's situation.

Anonymous said...

The voters lack knowledge and the educational system, the press, nor the media is focused on educating them. Some time ago in our history, maybe during the industrial revolution, someone decided that fossil fuel was the way to go as a major source of energy. Because of that decision money was invested into that technology and denied to other sources such as solar, wind, etc. Additionally, to be viable all the new technology used oil or gas. So the horseless carriages needed oil too. Flashback to the present and the whole economy is dependent on oil. Americans have no idea of the vast wealth enjoyed by the oil-producing countries or what we have to do maintain access to keep our economy going. That is our dilemma and looking to the future we must explore and fund alternative energy sources.

Anonymous said...

The Republicans seem to be stuck in a "Twilight Zone". In the meantime the country and the world have moved on and are facing a host of critical issues that need immediate attention. The old tactics and focuses won't hunt now. Because of them, we have crashed and gone over the fiscal cliff, our credit worthiness has gone down, we are struggling to move our economy, our people need jobs, and they are focused on a place in time that we have passed long ago. So, yes, Anon #1, we have got to get control so our energies can go to problem-solving instead of raising chaos to divert our attention away from pressing issues like dialing back state control.

David said...

To blame this disturbing trend on one political party or another displays a stunning naïveté. Things have been headed n this direction inexorably since the presidency of Woodrow Wilson, with both parties contributing equally. The "news" that comes to us is circus for the masses while the real work; a slow, plodding, almost invisible erosion of liberty and the Constitution continues almost unnoticed and unabated. Political apathy does nothing but provide cover to those conducting this work. The longer we are distracted by this left/right, abortion, stem cell research, racial tension, gun control misdirection, the more we facilitate those who would subjugate this country to a central authority that governs the world.

Anonymous said...

Well David we have to start somewhere. The first step is to get people in Congress who are at least interested in problem-solving. The republicans have demonstrated rather dramatically that they have no interest whatsoever in solving the nation's problems.