The True Costs of the War Reply

Paul Craig Roberts shines once again.

Do Americans see the irony in the “saving Iraq from tyranny” excuse? The greatest price of the neoconservative war against Iraq is not the $3 trillion or the dead and maimed American soldiers and their broken families. The greatest price of this evil war is the destruction of the U.S. Constitution and American civil liberties.

The Bush/Cheney/Obama National Security State has eviscerated the Constitution and civil liberty. Nothing remains. The fascist Republican Federalist Society has put enough federal judges in the judiciary to rule that the president is above the law. The president doesn’t have to obey the law against spying on American citizens without warrants. The president doesn’t have to obey U.S. and international laws against torture. The president doesn’t have to obey the Constitution that mandates that only Congress can declare war. The president can do whatever he wants as long as he justifies it as “national security.”

The president’s part of the government, the unaccountable executive branch, is supreme. The president can announce, without being impeached, his decision to murder Americans abroad and at home if someone somewhere in the unaccountable executive branch regards such American citizens as “threats.”

Murder first. No accountability later.

I generally consider so-called “right-wing conservatism” to be a dead force in American politics. I suspect Iraq and Afghanistan will be American imperialism’s last great hurrahs. Americans clearly will not accept war if it involves any genuine sacrifices on their side such as high casualites, a direct war tax, the draft, rationing, etc. The U.S. has not fought a war of that kind since Vietnam. America’s imploding economy and mounting fiscal liabilities for entitlements and public debt will render future military adventures like Iraq cost prohibitive. It’s also obvious enough that in domestic American politics social conservatism is a dead dog as well. Organized religion continues to lose its influence, and the old WASP culture continues to disappear. Even the US prison population declined in 2009 for the first time in four decades. There’s also evidence the war on drugs is starting to very slowly recede with initiatives like the marijuana decriminalization referendum in California. Clearly, American culture is now more liberal than ever before with regard to virtually every issue including race, religion, cultural values, sexuality, the environment, and just about everything else. The greatest danger to liberty in the future will not come from reactionary theocratic Christians or right-wing racial supremacists (contrary to what the left-hysterics claims) or even ordinary conservatives, but from the rising forces of totalitarian humanism, the overlords of the managerial-therapuetic state, and the massive police state apparatus and authoritarian legal structures that have been created under the guise of the wars on drugs, crime, and terrorism. It is this apparatus that the totalitarian humanists will inherit and use to advance their own preferred form of tyranny. Thanks a lot for leaving us such a legacy, conservatives. May you all rot in Hell.

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