by Paul Craig Roberts
Does anyone remember when National Public Radio was an independent voice?
During the 1980s NPR was continually on the case of the Reagan
administration. NPR certainly had a Democratic slant, and a lot of its
reporting about the Reagan administration was one-sided. Yet, NPR was an
independent voice, and it sometimes got things correct.
In the 21st century that voice has disappeared, which was the intention
of the George W. Bush regime. Bush put a Republican woman in charge who made
it clear to NPR producers and show hosts that the federal part of their
funding was at risk.
Money often over-rules principle, and when corporations added their
really big money NPR collapsed. Today the local stations still pretend to be
funded by listeners, but if you have noticed, as I have, there are now a
large number of corporate advertisements, disguised in the traditional terms
"with support from . . ." If you are not listening to classical music, you
are listening to corporate advertisements.
Today the entire "mainstream media" is closed to truth-tellers. The US
media is Washington's propaganda ministry. The US media has only one
function - to lie for Washington.
What reminded me of NPR's surrender was NPR's August 31 report with its
two regular talking voice political pundits discussing the Republican
Convention and Romney's speech. After witnessing the Republicans at their
nominating convention at Tampa violate all their own rules and ride
roughshod over the Ron Paul delegates, one expected some discussion of the
Republican Party's refusal to allow Ron Paul to be placed in nomination or
his delegate account to be announced.
The operative question was obvious: How can the American people trust the
Republicans with the awesome power of the executive branch when the
Republican Party just finished demonstrating for all to see its Stalinist
qualities by crushing the anti-war, anti-police state wing of its party?
The authoritarianism was gratuitous. Romney had a sufficient number of
delegates to be nominated. It would have cost Romney nothing to follow the
rules and allow Ron Paul to be placed in nomination and his delegate numbers
to be reported. Instead, Romney wrote off the liberty contingent of the
Republican Party. The Brownshirts demonstrated their power.
The last Republican who wrote off a chunk of his own party was Barry
Goldwater, and he went down to crushing defeat. Makes one wonder if the
Republicans are relying on those electronic voting machines programed with
proprietary Republican software that leave no paper trail. The Democrats
have acquiesced to Republican election theft. There have been numerous cases
where exit polls indicate that voters chose a different candidate than the
one chosen by the Republican programmed voting machines.
One would have thought that NPR and its pundits would have found the
parallel with Goldwater worth comment, but the suppression of the Ron Paul
delegates was already down the memory hole.
One would also have thought that NPR and its pundits would have found
Clint Eastwood's speech a fascinating topic of discussion. Eastwood had a
Republican National Committee approved speech, but discarded it. Instead,
Eastwood stood beside an empty chair and pretended to be talking to Obama,
but it could just as well have been Romney in the chair. By pretending to be
talking to Obama, Eastwood made his points without eliciting boos from the
Not many in the Republican audience caught on, but there were some stony
faces when Eastwood said "I haven't cried that hard since I found out that
there are 23 million unemployed people in this country." More stony
Republican faces when Eastwood showed his opposition to the Iraq and Afghan
wars and asks the chair, "why don't you just bring them [the troops] home
tomorrow morning?" Those who thought he was digging at Obama cheered; those
who realized he was criticizing hardline Republican positions were
But NPR and the US media in general are uncomfortable with such real news
as a political party being told off by one of its heroes and a political
party sufficiently stupid to repeat Barry Goldwater's mistake. The
establishment might complain. The money might dry up or employees be fired
for permitting such a story to be aired. The Democrats lost their
independent financing when jobs offshoring destroyed the unions. There are
no longer countervailing powers to Wall Street and the corporations, which
have been endowed by the Republican US Supreme Court with First Amendment
rights to purchase US elections, and placed in charge of the US Treasury,
the regulatory agencies and the Federal Reserve.
In Tampa the Republicans wrote off the Ron Paul vote, because they are
enamored of power and its gratuitous demonstration. Can people so desirous
of power and the thrill of its use be trusted to let go of power when they
lose the next election? There are enough presidential executive orders and
national security orders, even some signed by the Democrat Obama, that any
president can assert them and refuse to face election.
Once Rome accepted Julius Caesar's coup, the Roman Republic was gone.
Those who tried to save the Roman Republic by assassinating Caesar failed,
because the majority of the legions had gone over to the dictatorship, which
promised them more money than the Republic had. Caesar's name became the
title for Rome's dictators.
In the US, even your friendly local police have gone over to
dictatorship. And they are armed with its tools. A friend, a competitive
shooter for accuracy, told me that as he left his gun club on August 27, a
local sheriff department entered in a military armored vehicle, something
one would expect to see on a battlefield, followed by a large sheriff's
department truck full of military equipment. He says that the gun club
allows local police to use the club's facilities so that club members are
not stopped and harassed about their firearms as they go to and from the
club. He reports that the police will line up 30 abreast, with automatic
weapons, not allowed to club members, and fire at one target, with 30 police
emptying 30-round magazines at the same target.
He once asked our protectors if they were practicing for some
competition. The answer was, "No, we are preparing to control the outcome
when there is trouble."
Control is the operative word. We have seen for a number of years now
that the Republican Party is power-addicted. Remember when the Bush
administration fired the US Attorneys who refused the order to indict only
Democrats? Remember the Republican Party's transparent frame-up of popular
Alabama Democratic governor Don Siegelman? Evidence indicates that the
Republican operative Karl Rove took advantage of a Republican federal judge,
vulnerable according to news reports to corruption charges, and a compliant
Republican US attorney in Alabama to railroad Governor Siegelman. The
message to Democrats was: if you get elected in our Southern Territory, we
will get you.
But never fear, we have "freedom and democracy." George W. Bush told us
The weak, chicken-hearted Obama administration has not commuted
Siegelman's outrageous sentence. The inability of the Democrats to stand up
for their own members and their own principles is the best indication we
have that Republican tyranny will prevail.
It didn't take Caesar George W. Bush 10 minutes to wipe out the prison
sentence of vice president Dick Cheney's chief aid for revealing the
identity of a CIA operative, a felony under US law. But the Obama Justice
(sic) Department supports Karl Rove's destruction of one of its most popular
It was the German left-wing's weak opposition to the National Socialists
that gave the world Hitler.
The Republican Party has become the Party of Hate. Decades of frustration
have made Republicans mean. They object to everything that has happened
since the Great Depression in the 1930s to make the US a more just and
The Republican Party wants power so that it can smash all vestiges of
regulation and welfare and all those of whom Republicans disapprove: the
poor, the minorities, liberals, the imagined "foreign enemies," war
protestors and others who challenge authority, those American weaklings who
have compassion for the unfortunate, the US Constitution, that
pinko-liberal-commie document that coddles criminals, illegal aliens, and
terrorists, and all dissenters from the policy of enriching the one percent
at the expense of the 99 percent.
Above all else, the Republicans want to turn Social Security and Medicare
into profit centers for private corporations.
Would the world be surprised if Republicans donned brown shirts? America
has declared itself to be "the indispensable nation," justifying its
hegemony over the world. Any country that does not submit to Washington is
"a foe." The neoconservative propaganda that America is the indispensable
nation with a right to world hegemony sounds a lot like "Deutschland uber
A decade ago the Bush regime demonstrated that it could over-ride US
statutory law, the US Constitution, and the constitutional separation of
powers in order to concentrate unaccountable power in the office of the
The Democrats, when they gained control of Congress in the mid-term
elections, did nothing about the unprecedented legal and constitutional
crimes of George W. Bush. The Democratic Speaker of the US House of
Representatives, who could easily have impeached George W. Bush for his
obvious crimes against US law and the US Constitution, announced that
"impeachment is off the table." Money was more important to House Speaker
Nancy Pelosi than the rule of law.
When a people have no political party that represents them, they are
doomed to tyranny.
And to war.
Russia and China are in the way of Washington's hegemony. Romney, the
Republican presidential candidate, has declared Russia to be "our number one
geopolitical foe" for opposing Washington's plans to overthrow by violence
the Syrian government. Why is overthrowing the Syrian government so
advantageous to Washington that Romney in a fit of pique recklessly brought
the United States into direct confrontation with Russia?
Arrogance and hubris lead to wars. Do Americans really want a person as
president who is so reckless as to gratuitously declare a large
nuclear-armed country to be our number one enemy? The American and Israeli
trained Georgian army did not last an hour when the former Soviet republic
foolishly, on Washington's encouragement, provoked the Russian bear.
Meanwhile the Obama regime, concerned with China's rapid economic rise,
has indicated that it thinks China is the number one enemy. The Obama regime
has forgot that China, when a primitive, backward country, fought the US to
a stalemate in Korea more than a half century ago.
The Obama regime has announced that the US Navy is being repositioned to
the Eastern Pacific, that the US regards the South China Sea as America's
national interest, and that new naval, air, and troop bases are being
established in the Philippines, South Korea, Vietnam, Thailand, Australia,
New Zealand, and elsewhere in the region. The purpose of these bases is to
block China's access to energy and raw materials, which is what Washington
did to Japan in the 1930s.
Are Americans aware that the hubris and idiocy of their political leaders
have now saddled Americans with the burden of two number one enemies, both
well equipped with armies and nuclear weapons? Only Iran can be happy about
this as it moves Iran off the front burner.
Washington is putting its forward military bases in place, and the
propaganda war is being cranked up. The subservient British press was quick
to fall in line with Washington. A British reader of my column reports that
the Guardian/Observer and New Statesman are at Putin's throat: "Every day
this week we've had Russia/Putin hate stories. Headlines such as 'medieval
dictatorship' as we saw in last Sunday's Observer [August 26] are common. In
this week's New Statesman we have a front page picture of Putin with the
headline 'Putin's reign of terror.' They've got Putin with a crown on his
head and dressed as a Tsar-like figure. It's a relentless information
battlefield assault on Russia."
Another line of Washington's attack on Russia is Washington's covert
backing of Chechnya terrorist groups in the Caucasus and funding of front
groups in Russia for protest and terrorist organizations. Allegations of
corruption and stolen elections come primarily from Washington-funded groups operating in Russia. Through these methods, Washington
hopes to destabilize the Russian government and to isolate it
internationally in order to remove a barrier to Washington's hegemony.
Two of Romney's right-wing neoconservative advisors said that Romney as
president would "confront Moscow on its poor record on democracy, human
rights, and the rule of law." The western media will not comment on the
irony of these propagandistic allegations against Russia issuing from the
US, the country that has destroyed habeas corpus and due process protections
of the accused, tortured detainees in violation of the Geneva Conventions
and its own statutory law, kidnaps, tortures, and assassinates foreign
nationals as well as its own citizens, supports terrorism against Libya,
Syria, Iran, and Russia, runs roughshod over international law, never
submitting to law itself but using law as a weapon against governments that
it has demonized, while it carries on military operations against seven
Muslim countries without a declaration of war.
The Nuremberg Trials of Germans after World War II established that naked
aggression is a war crime. Naked aggression, renamed by Washington,
"preemptive war," has become the
operative principle of US foreign policy.
As Putin remarked, Washington is guilty of the crimes of which it accuses
others, but Washington permits all things to "the indispensable nation."
Amerika uber alles!
Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic
Policy and associate editor of the Wall Street Journal. He was columnist for
Business Week, Scripps Howard News Service, and Creators Syndicate. He has
had many university appointments. His internet columns have attracted a
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