WE THE PEOPLE DO NOT KNOW THE PROBLEM SO WE CANNOT KNOW WHO IS GIVING THE RIGHT SOLUTION.
'natural law has been cited as a component in the United States Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States, as well as in the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen. (See "Laws of Nature" First Paragraph Declaration of Independence) Within the American Declaration of Independence, building on natural law, philosophies such as Consent of the Governed replaced the Old World Governance Doctrine of the Divine Right of Kings'.
I want to show two sides pushing this goal of MOVING FORWARD to ONE WORLD GLOBAL CORPORATE TRIBUNAL AUTHORITARIANISM. The Clinton neo-liberal media outlets made the Republican Tea Party the bad guys these few decades---the Koch Brothers and ALEC etc----never mentioning that the Clinton/Obama Wall Street global corporate neo-liberals were partnered with all the above. This is how Democratic base of voters never know who to vote out of office ----yes, the Tea Party are the conservative Republicans the Democrats have always fought---but the Clinton/Obama Wall Street global corporate neo-liberals were always FAR WORSE than the Tea Party because they were behind this march to extreme wealth and power and ending our Democracy.
The same is now happening in this next stage of installing authoritarian Marxism. The same Clinton media outlets----AS THIS VOX.COM------is now painting Trump as the far-right authoritarian, militaristic candidate----and he is----BUT HILLARY IS FAR WORSE THAN TRUMP BECAUSE SHE HAS SPENT THESE FEW DECADES DOING WHAT TRUMP HAS ONLY WANTED TO DO. You will not get from these outlets that Hillary is the one who is worse as both are bad.
The point of these discussions is what authoritarianism as regards militarization looks like.
'And they are coinciding with economic trends that have squeezed working-class white people'.
'We may now have a de facto three-party system: the Democrats, the GOP establishment, and the GOP authoritarians'
Wall Street installed a Trump and wants a Hillary in these Presidential elections to create yet another factioning of our population groups. Although Hillary will be worse than Trump---Trump has to be that factioning of WHITE WORKING CLASS AND POOR against all those evil people of color and different religions. This will bring sectarian battles between population groups that should all be the 99% all having the same oppressor---the Wall Street 1%.
I don't like article too long but this is a new public policy issue for Americans and we need to understand it NOW. Please take time to glance through.
The rise of American authoritarianism
A niche group of political scientists may have uncovered what's driving Donald Trump's ascent. What they found has implications that go well beyond 2016.by Amanda Taub on March 1, 2016
The American media, over the past year, has been trying to work out something of a mystery: Why is the Republican electorate supporting a far-right, orange-toned populist with no real political experience, who espouses extreme and often bizarre views? How has Donald Trump, seemingly out of nowhere, suddenly become so popular?
What's made Trump's rise even more puzzling is that his support seems to cross demographic lines — education, income, age, even religiosity — that usually demarcate candidates. And whereas most Republican candidates might draw strong support from just one segment of the party base, such as Southern evangelicals or coastal moderates, Trump currently does surprisingly well from the Gulf Coast of Florida to the towns of upstate New York, and he won a resounding victory in the Nevada caucuses.
Table of contents
I. What is American authoritarianism?
II. The discovery
III. How authoritarianism works
IV. What can authoritarianism explain?
V. The party of authoritarians
VI. Trump, authoritarians, and fear
VII. America's changing social landscape
VIII. What authoritarians want
IX. How authoritarians will change American politics
I. What is American authoritarianism?
For years now, before anyone thought a person like Donald Trump could possibly lead a presidential primary, a small but respected niche of academic research has been laboring over a question, part political science and part psychology, that had captivated political scientists since the rise of the Nazis.
How do people come to adopt, in such large numbers and so rapidly, extreme political views that seem to coincide with fear of minorities and with the desire for a strongman leader?
To answer that question, these theorists study what they call authoritarianism: not the dictators themselves, but rather the psychological profile of people who, under the right conditions, will desire certain kinds of extreme policies and will seek strongman leaders to implement them.
The political phenomenon we identify as right-wing populism seems to line up, with almost astonishing precision, with the research on how authoritarianism is both caused and expressedAfter an early period of junk science in the mid-20th century, a more serious group of scholars has addressed this question, specifically studying how it plays out in American politics: researchers like Hetherington and Weiler, Stanley Feldman, Karen Stenner, and Elizabeth Suhay, to name just a few.
The field, after a breakthrough in the early 1990s, has come to develop the contours of a grand theory of authoritarianism, culminating quite recently, in 2005, with Stenner's seminal The Authoritarian Dynamic — just in time for that theory to seemingly come true, more rapidly and in greater force than any of them had imagined, in the personage of one Donald Trump and his norm-shattering rise.
According to Stenner's theory, there is a certain subset of people who hold latent authoritarian tendencies. These tendencies can be triggered or "activated" by the perception of physical threats or by destabilizing social change, leading those individuals to desire policies and leaders that we might more colloquially call authoritarian.
It is as if, the NYU professor Jonathan Haidt has written, a button is pushed that says, "In case of moral threat, lock down the borders, kick out those who are different, and punish those who are morally deviant."
Authoritarians are a real constituency that exists independently of Trump — and will persist as a force in American politics Authoritarians prioritize social order and hierarchies, which bring a sense of control to a chaotic world. Challenges to that order — diversity, influx of outsiders, breakdown of the old order — are experienced as personally threatening because they risk upending the status quo order they equate with basic security.
This is, after all, a time of social change in America. The country is becoming more diverse, which means that many white Americans are confronting race in a way they have never had to before. Those changes have been happening for a long time, but in recent years they have become more visible and harder to ignore. And they are coinciding with economic trends that have squeezed working-class white people.
When they face physical threats or threats to the status quo, authoritarians support policies that seem to offer protection against those fears. They favor forceful, decisive action against things they perceive as threats. And they flock to political leaders who they believe will bring this action.
If you were to read every word these theorists ever wrote on authoritarians, and then try to design a hypothetical candidate to match their predictions of what would appeal to authoritarian voters, the result would look a lot like Donald Trump.
But political scientists say this theory explains much more than just Donald Trump, placing him within larger trends in American politics: polarization, the rightward shift of the Republican Party, and the rise within that party of a dissident faction challenging GOP orthodoxies and upending American politics.
More than that, authoritarianism reveals the connections between several seemingly disparate stories about American politics. And it suggest that a combination of demographic, economic, and political forces, by awakening this authoritarian class of voters that has coalesced around Trump, have created what is essentially a new political party within the GOP — a phenomenon that broke into public view with the 2016 election but will persist long after it has ended.
II. The discovery: how a niche subfield of political science suddenly became some of the most relevant research in American politics
Buttons for sale on the day of the 2016 Iowa caucuses.
This study of authoritarianism began shortly after World War II, as political scientists and psychologists in the US and Europe tried to figure out how the Nazis had managed to win such wide public support for such an extreme and hateful ideology.
That was a worthy field of study, but the early work wasn't particularly rigorous by today's standards. The critical theorist Theodor Adorno, for instance, developed what he called the "F-scale," which sought to measure "fascist" tendencies. The test wasn't accurate. Sophisticated respondents would quickly discover what the "right" answers were and game the test. And there was no proof that the personality type it purportedly measured actually supported fascism.
More than that, this early research seemed to assume that a certain subset of people were inherently evil or dangerous — an idea that Hetherington and Weiler say is simplistic and wrong, and that they resist in their work. (They acknowledge the label "authoritarians" doesn't do much to dispel this, but their efforts to replace it with a less pejorative-sounding term were unsuccessful.)
If this rise in American authoritarianism is so powerful as to drive Trump's ascent, then how else might it be shaping American politics?But the real problem for researchers was that even if there really were such a thing as an authoritarian psychological profile, how do you measure it? How do you interrogate authoritarian tendencies, which can sometimes be latent? How do you get honest answers on questions that can be sensitive and highly politicized?
As Hetherington explained to me, "There are certain things that you just can't ask people directly. You can't ask people, 'Do you not like black people?' You can't ask people if they're bigots."
For a long time, no one had a solution for this, and the field of study languished.
Then in the early 1990s, a political scientist named Stanley Feldman changed everything. Feldman, a professor at SUNY Stonybrook, believed authoritarianism could be an important factor in American politics in ways that had nothing to do with fascism, but that it could only reliably be measured by unlinking it from specific political preferences.
He realized that if authoritarianism were a personality profile rather than just a political preference, he could get respondents to reveal these tendencies by asking questions about a topic that seemed much less controversial. He settled on something so banal it seems almost laughable: parenting goals.
Feldman developed what has since become widely accepted as the definitive measurement of authoritarianism: four simple questions that appear to ask about parenting but are in fact designed to reveal how highly the respondent values hierarchy, order, and conformity over other values.
- Please tell me which one you think is more important for a child to have: independence or respect for elders?
- Please tell me which one you think is more important for a child to have: obedience or self-reliance?
- Please tell me which one you think is more important for a child to have: to be considerate or to be well-behaved?
- Please tell me which one you think is more important for a child to have: curiosity or good manners?
In 1992, Feldman convinced the National Election Study, a large survey of American voters conducted in each national election year, to include his four authoritarianism questions. Ever since, political scientists who study authoritarianism have accumulated a wealth of data on who exhibits those tendencies and on how they align with everything from demographic profiles to policy preferences.
What they found was impossible to ignore — and is only just beginning to reshape our understanding of the American electorate.
III. How authoritarianism works
A 2010 protest against President Obama.
In the early 2000s, as researchers began to make use of the NES data to understand how authoritarianism affected US politics, their work revealed three insights that help explain not just the rise of Trump, but seemingly a half-century of American political dynamics.
The first was Hetherington and Weiler's insight into partisan polarization. In the 1960s, the Republican Party had reinvented itself as the party of law, order, and traditional values — a position that naturally appealed to order- and tradition-focused authoritarians. Over the decades that followed, authoritarians increasingly gravitated toward the GOP, where their concentration gave them more and more influence over time.
The second was Stenner's theory of "activation." In an influential 2005 book called The Authoritarian Dynamic, Stenner argued that many authoritarians might be latent — that they might not necessarily support authoritarian leaders or policies until their authoritarianism had been "activated."
The social threat theory helps explain why authoritarians seem so prone to reject not just one specific kind of outsider or social change, such as Muslims or same-sex couples or Hispanic migrants, but rather to reject all of themThis activation could come from feeling threatened by social changes such as evolving social norms or increasing diversity, or any other change that they believe will profoundly alter the social order they want to protect. In response, previously more moderate individuals would come to support leaders and policies we might now call Trump-esque.
Other researchers, like Hetherington, take a slightly different view. They believe that authoritarians aren't "activated" — they've always held their authoritarian preferences — but that they only come to express those preferences once they feel threatened by social change or some kind of threat from outsiders.
But both schools of thought agree on the basic causality of authoritarianism. People do not support extreme policies and strongman leaders just out of an affirmative desire for authoritarianism, but rather as a response to experiencing certain kinds of threats.
The third insight came from Hetherington and American University professor Elizabeth Suhay, who found that when non-authoritarians feel sufficiently scared, they also start to behave, politically, like authoritarians.
But Hetherington and Suhay found a distinction between physical threats such as terrorism, which could lead non-authoritarians to behave like authoritarians, and more abstract social threats, such as eroding social norms or demographic changes, which do not have that effect. That distinction would turn out to be important, but it also meant that in times when many Americans perceived imminent physical threats, the population of authoritarians could seem to swell rapidly.
Together, those three insights added up to one terrifying theory: that if social change and physical threats coincided at the same time, it could awaken a potentially enormous population of American authoritarians, who would demand a strongman leader and the extreme policies necessary, in their view, to meet the rising threats.
This theory would seem to predict the rise of an American political constituency that looks an awful lot like the support base that has emerged, seemingly out of nowhere, to propel Donald Trump from sideshow loser of the 2012 GOP primary to runaway frontrunner in 2016.
Beyond being almost alarmingly prescient, this theory speaks to an oft-stated concern about Trump: that what's scariest is not the candidate, but rather the extent and fervor of his support.
And it raises a question: If this rise in American authoritarianism is so powerful as to drive Trump's ascent, then how else might it be shaping American politics? And what effect could it have even after the 2016 race has ended?
IV. What can authoritarianism explain?
In early February, shortly after Trump finished second in the Iowa caucus and ended any doubts about his support, I began talking to Feldman, Hetherington, and MacWilliams to try to answer these questions.
MacWilliams had already demonstrated a link between authoritarianism and support for Trump. But we wanted to know how else authoritarianism was playing out in American life, from policy positions to party politics to social issues, and what it might mean for America's future.
It was time to call Kyle Dropp. Dropp is a political scientist and pollster whom one of my colleagues described as "the Doogie Howser of polling." He does indeed appear jarringly young for a Dartmouth professor. But he is also the co-founder of a media and polling company, Morning Consult, that had worked with Vox on several other projects.
When we approached Morning Consult, Dropp and his colleagues were excited. Dropp was familiar with Hetherington's work and the authoritarianism measure, he said, and was instantly intrigued by how we could test its relevance to the election. Hetherington and the other political scientists were, in turn, eager to more fully explore the theories that had suddenly become much more relevant.
Non-authoritarians who were sufficiently frightened of threats like terrorism could essentially be scared into acting like authoritariansWe put together five sets of questions. The first set, of course, was the test for authoritarianism that Feldman had developed. This would allow us to measure how authoritarianism coincided or didn't with our other sets of questions.
The second set asked standard election-season questions on preferred candidates and party affiliation.
The third set tested voters' fears of a series of physical threats, ranging from ISIS and Russia to viruses and car accidents.
The fourth set tested policy preferences, in an attempt to see how authoritarianism might lead voters to support particular policies.
If the research were right, then we'd expect people who scored highly on authoritarianism to express outsize fear of "outsider" threats such as ISIS or foreign governments versus other threats. We also expected that non-authoritarians who expressed high levels of fear would be more likely to support Trump. This would speak to physical fears as triggering a kind of authoritarian upsurge, which would in turn lead to Trump support.
We wanted to look at the role authoritarians are playing in the electionThe final set of questions was intended to test fear of social change. We asked people to rate a series of social changes — both actual and hypothetical — on a scale of "very good" to "very bad" for the country. These included same-sex marriage, a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants living in the United States, and American Muslims building more mosques in US cities.
If the theory about social change provoking stress amongst authoritarians turned out to be correct, then authoritarians would be more likely to rate the changes as bad for the country.
In the aggregate, we were hoping to do a few things. We wanted to understand who these people are, in simple demographic terms, and to test the basic hypotheses about how authoritarianism, in theory, is supposed to work. We wanted to look at the role authoritarians are playing in the election: Were they driving certain policy positions, for example?
We wanted to better understand the larger forces that had suddenly made authoritarians so numerous and so extreme — was it migration, terrorism, perhaps the decline of working-class whites? And maybe most of all, we wanted to develop some theories about what the rise of American authoritarianism meant for the future of polarization between the parties as well as a Republican Party that had become both more extreme and internally divided.
About 10 days later, shortly after Trump won the New Hampshire primary, the poll went into the field. In less than two weeks, we had our results.
V. How the GOP became the party of authoritarians
Donald Trump and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie sign autographs during a Trump campaign event in Texas.
The first thing that jumped out from the data on authoritarians is just how many there are. Our results found that 44 percent of white respondents nationwide scored as "high" or "very high" authoritarians, with 19 percent as "very high." That's actually not unusual, and lines up with previous national surveys that found that the authoritarian disposition is far from rare1.
The key thing to understand is that authoritarianism is often latent; people in this 44 percent only vote or otherwise act as authoritarians once triggered by some perceived threat, physical or social. But that latency is part of how, over the past few decades, authoritarians have quietly become a powerful political constituency without anyone realizing it.
Today, according to our survey, authoritarians skew heavily Republican. More than 65 percent of people who scored highest on the authoritarianism questions were GOP voters. More than 55 percent of surveyed Republicans scored as "high" or "very high" authoritarians.
And at the other end of the scale, that pattern reversed. People whose scores were most non-authoritarian — meaning they always chose the non-authoritarian parenting answer — were almost 75 percent Democrats.
But this hasn't always been the case. According to Hetherington and Weiler's research, this is not a story about how Republicans are from Mars and Democrats are from Venus. It's a story of polarization that increased over time.
They trace the trend to the 1960s, when the Republican Party shifted electoral strategies to try to win disaffected Southern Democrats, in part by speaking to fears of changing social norms — for example, the racial hierarchies upset by civil rights. The GOP also embraced a "law and order" platform with a heavily racial appeal to white voters who were concerned about race riots.
This positioned the GOP as the party of traditional values and social structures — a role that it has maintained ever since. That promise to stave off social change and, if necessary, to impose order happened to speak powerfully to voters with authoritarian inclinations.
Democrats, by contrast, have positioned themselves as the party of civil rights, equality, and social progress — in other words, as the party of social change, a position that not only fails to attract but actively repels change-averse authoritarians.
Over the next several decades, Hetherington explained to me, this led authoritarians to naturally "sort" themselves into the Republican Party.
That matters, because as more authoritarians sort themselves into the GOP, they have more influence over its policies and candidates. It is not for nothing that our poll found that more than half of the Republican respondents score as authoritarian.
Perhaps more importantly, the party has less and less ability to ignore authoritarians' voting preferences — even if those preferences clash with the mainstream party establishment.
VI. Trump, authoritarians, and fear
Based on our data, Morning Consult data scientist Adam Petrihos said that "among Republicans, very high/high authoritarianism is very predictive of support for Trump." Trump has 42 percent support among Republicans but, according to our survey, a full 52 percent support among very high authoritarians.
Authoritarianism was the best single predictor of support for Trump, although having a high school education also came close. And as Hetherington noted after reviewing our results, the relationship between authoritarianism and Trump support remained robust, even after controlling for education level and gender.
Trump support was much lower among Republicans who scored low on authoritarianism: only 38 percent.
But that's still awfully high. So what could explain Trump's support among non-authoritarians?
I suspected the answer might lie at least partly in Hetherington and Suhay's research on how fear affects non-authoritarian voters, so I called them to discuss the data. Hetherington crunched some numbers on physical threats and noticed two things.
The first was that authoritarians tend to fear very specific kinds of physical threats.
Authoritarians, we found in our survey, tend to most fear threats that come from abroad, such as ISIS or Russia or Iran. These are threats, the researchers point out, to which people can put a face; a scary terrorist or an Iranian ayatollah. Non-authoritarians were much less afraid of those threats. For instance, 73 percent of very high-scoring authoritarians believed that terrorist organizations like ISIS posed a "very high risk" to them, but only 45 percent of very low-scoring authoritarians did. Domestic threats like car accidents, by contrast, were much less frightening to authoritarians.
But Hetherington also noticed something else: A subgroup of non-authoritarians were very afraid of threats like Iran or ISIS. And the more fear of these threats they expressed, the more likely they were to support Trump.
This seemed to confirm his and Suhay's theory: that non-authoritarians who are sufficiently frightened of physical threats such as terrorism could essentially be scared into acting like authoritarians.
That's important, because for years now, Republican politicians and Republican-leaning media such as Fox News have been telling viewers nonstop that the world is a terrifying place and that President Obama isn't doing enough to keep Americans safe.
There are a variety of political and media incentives for why this happens. But the point is that, as a result, Republican voters have been continually exposed to messages warning of physical dangers. As the perception of physical threat has risen, this fear appears to have led a number of non-authoritarians to vote like authoritarians — to support Trump.
An irony of this primary is that the Republican establishment has tried to stop Trump by, among other things, co-opting his message. But when establishment candidates such as Marco Rubio try to match Trump's rhetoric on ISIS or on American Muslims, they may end up deepening the fear that can only lead voters back to Trump.
VII. Is America's changing social landscape "activating" authoritarianism?
But the research on authoritarianism suggests it's not just physical threats driving all this. There should be another kind of threat — larger, slower, less obvious, but potentially even more powerful — pushing authoritarians to these extremes: the threat of social change.
This could come in the form of evolving social norms, such as the erosion of traditional gender roles or evolving standards in how to discuss sexual orientation. It could come in the form of rising diversity, whether that means demographic changes from immigration or merely changes in the colors of the faces on TV. Or it could be any changes, political or economic, that disrupt social hierarchies.
What these changes have in common is that, to authoritarians, they threaten to take away the status quo as they know it — familiar, orderly, secure — and replace it with something that feels scary because it is different and destabilizing, but also sometimes because it upends their own place in society. According to the literature, authoritarians will seek, in response, a strong leader who promises to suppress the scary changes, if necessary by force, and to preserve the status quo.
This is why, in our survey, we wanted to study the degree to which authoritarians versus non-authoritarians expressed a fear of social change — and whether this, as expected, led them to desire heavy-handed responses.
Our results seemed to confirm this: Authoritarians were significantly more likely to rate almost all of the actual and hypothetical social issues we asked about as "bad" or "very bad" for the country.
For instance, our results suggested that an astonishing 44 percent of authoritarians believe same-sex marriage is harmful to the country. Twenty-eight percent rated same-sex marriage as "very bad" for America, and another 16 percent said that it’s "bad." Only about 35 percent of high-scoring authoritarians said same-sex marriage was "good" or "very good" for the country.
Tellingly, non-authoritarians' responses skewed in the opposite direction. Non-authoritarians tended to rate same-sex marriage as "good" or "very good" for the country.
The fact that authoritarians and non-authoritarians split over something as seemingly personal and nonthreatening as same-sex marriage is crucial for understanding how authoritarianism can be triggered by even a social change as minor as expanding marriage rights.
We also asked respondents to rate whether Muslims building more mosques in American cities was a good thing. This was intended to test respondents' comfort level with sharing their communities with Muslims — an issue that has been particularly contentious this primary election.
A whopping 56.5 percent of very high-scoring authoritarians said it was either "bad" or "very bad" for the country when Muslims built more mosques. Only 14 percent of that group said more mosques would be "good" or "very good."
The literature on authoritarianism suggests this is not just simple Islamophobia, but rather reflects a broader phenomenon wherein authoritarians feel threatened by people they identify as "outsiders" and by the possibility of changes to the status quo makeup of their communities.
This would help explain why authoritarians seem so prone to reject not just one specific kind of outsider or social change, such as Muslims or same-sex couples or Hispanic migrants, but rather to reject all of them. What these seemingly disparate groups have in common is the perceived threat they pose to the status quo order, which authoritarians experience as a threat to themselves.
And America is at a point when the status quo social order is changing rapidly; when several social changes are converging. And they are converging especially on working-class white people.
It is conventional wisdom to ascribe the rise of first the Tea Party right and now Trump to the notion that working-class white Americans are angry.
Indeed they are, but this data helps explain that they are also under certain demographic and economic pressures that, according to this research, are highly likely to trigger authoritarianism — and thus suggests there is something a little more complex going on than simple "anger" that helps explain their gravitation toward extreme political responses.
Working-class communities have come under tremendous economic strain since the recession. And white people are also facing the loss of the privileged position that they previously were able to take for granted. Whites are now projected to become a minority group over the next few decades, owing to migration and other factors. The president is a black man, and nonwhite faces are growing more common in popular culture. Nonwhite groups are raising increasingly prominent political demands, and often those demands coincide with issues such as policing that also speak to authoritarian concerns.
Some of these factors might be considered more or less legitimately threatening than others — the loss of working-class jobs in this country is a real and important issue, no matter how one feels about fading white privilege — but that is not the point.
The point, rather, is that the increasingly important political phenomenon we identify as right-wing populism, or white working-class populism, seems to line up, with almost astonishing precision, with the research on how authoritarianism is both caused and expressed.
That is not to dismiss white working-class concerns as invalid because they might be expressed by authoritarians or through authoritarian politics, but rather to better understand why this is happening — and why it's having such a profound and extreme effect on American politics.
Have we misunderstood hard-line social conservatism all along?Most of the other social-threat questions followed a similar pattern2. On its surface, this might seem to suggest that authoritarianism is just a proxy for especially hard-line manifestations of social conservatism. But when examined more carefully, it suggests something more interesting about the nature of social conservatism itself.
For liberals, it may be easy to conclude that opposition to things like same-sex marriage, immigration, and diversity is rooted in bigotry against those groups — that it's the manifestation of specific homophobia, xenophobia, and Islamophobia.
But the results of the Vox/Morning Consult poll, along with prior research on authoritarianism, suggests there might be something else going on.
There is no particular reason, after all, why parenting goals should coincide with animus against specific groups. We weren't asking questions about whether it was important for children to respect people of different races, but about whether they should respect authority and rules generally. So why do they coincide so heavily?
What might look on the surface like bigotry was really much closer to Stenner's theory of "activation"What is most likely, Hetherington suggested, is that authoritarians are much more susceptible to messages that tell them to fear a specific "other" — whether or not they have a preexisting animus against that group. Those fears would therefore change over time as events made different groups seem more or less threatening.
It all depends, he said, on whether a particular group of people has been made into an outgroup or not — whether they had been identified as a dangerous other.
Since September 2001, some media outlets and politicians have painted Muslims as the other and as dangerous to America. Authoritarians, by nature, are more susceptible to these messages, and thus more likely to come to oppose the presence of mosques in their communities.
When told to fear a particular outgroup, Hetherington said, "On average people who score low in authoritarianism will be like, 'I’m not that worried about that,' while people who score high in authoritarianism will be like, 'Oh, my god! I’m worried about that, because the world is a dangerous place.'"
In other words, what might look on the surface like bigotry was really much closer to Stenner's theory of "activation": that authoritarians are unusually susceptible to messages about the ways outsiders and social changes threaten America, and so lash out at groups that are identified as objects of concern at that given moment.
That's not to say that such an attitude is in some way better than simple racism or xenophobia — it is still dangerous and damaging, especially if it empowers frightening demagogues like Donald Trump.
Perhaps more to the point, it helps explain how Trump's supporters have come to so quickly embrace such extreme policies targeting these outgroups: mass deportation of millions of people, a ban on foreign Muslims visiting the US. When you think about those policy preferences as driven by authoritarianism, in which social threats are perceived as especially dangerous and as demanding extreme responses, rather than the sudden emergence of specific bigotries, this starts to make a lot more sense.
VIII. What authoritarians want
From our parenting questions, we learned who the GOP authoritarians are. From our questions about threats and social change, we learned what's motivating them. But the final set of questions, on policy preferences, might be the most important of all: So what? What do authoritarians actually want?
The responses to our policy questions showed that authoritarians have their own set of policy preferences, distinct from GOP orthodoxy. And those preferences mean that, in real and important ways, authoritarians are their own distinct constituency: effectively a new political party within the GOP.
What stands out from the results, Feldman wrote after reviewing our data, is that authoritarians "are most willing to want to use force, to crack down on immigration, and limit civil liberties."
This "action side" of authoritarianism, he believed, was the key thing that distinguished Trump supporters from supporters of other GOP candidates. "The willingness to use government power to eliminate the threats — that is most clear among Trump supporters."
Authoritarians generally and Trump voters specifically, we found, were highly likely to support five policies:
- Using military force over diplomacy against countries that threaten the United States
- Changing the Constitution to bar citizenship for children of illegal immigrants
- Imposing extra airport checks on passengers who appear to be of Middle Eastern descent in order to curb terrorism
- Requiring all citizens to carry a national ID card at all times to show to a police officer on request, to curb terrorism
- Allowing the federal government to scan all phone calls for calls to any number linked to terrorism
"Many Republicans seem to be threatened by terrorism, violence, and cultural diversity, but that's not unique to Trump supporters," Feldman told me.
"It seems to be the action side of authoritarianism — the willingness to use government power to eliminate the threats — that is most clear among Trump supporters," he added.
If Trump loses the election, that won't remove the threats and social changes that trigger the "action side" of authoritarianismThis helps explain why the GOP has had such a hard time co-opting Trump's supporters, even though those supporters' immediate policy concerns, such as limiting immigration or protecting national security, line up with party orthodoxy. The real divide is over how far to go in responding. And the party establishment is simply unwilling to call for such explicitly authoritarian policies.
Just as striking is what was missing from authoritarians' concerns. There was no clear correlation between authoritarianism and support for tax cuts for people making more than $250,000 per year, for example. And the same was true of support for international trade agreements.
These are both issues associated with mainstream GOP economic policies. All groups opposed the tax cuts, and support for trade agreements was evenly lukewarm across all degrees of authoritarianism. So there is no real divide on these issues.
But there is one more factor that our data couldn't capture but is nevertheless important: Trump's style.
Trump's specific policies aren't the thing that most sets him apart from the rest of the field of GOP candidates. Rather, it's his rhetoric and style. The way he reduces everything to black-and-white extremes of strong versus weak, greatest versus worst. His simple, direct promises that he can solve problems that other politicians are too weak to manage.
And, perhaps most importantly, his willingness to flout all the conventions of civilized discourse when it comes to the minority groups that authoritarians find so threatening. That's why it's a benefit rather than a liability for Trump when he says Mexicans are rapists or speaks gleefully of massacring Muslims with pig-blood-tainted bullets: He is sending a signal to his authoritarian supporters that he won't let "political correctness" hold him back from attacking the outgroups they fear.
This, Feldman explained to me, is "classic authoritarian leadership style: simple, powerful, and punitive."
To my surprise, the most compelling conclusion to come out of our polling data wasn't about Trump at all.
Rather, it was that authoritarians, as a growing presence in the GOP, are a real constituency that exists independently of Trump — and will persist as a force in American politics regardless of the fate of his candidacy.
If Trump loses the election, that will not remove the threats and social changes that trigger the "action side" of authoritarianism. The authoritarians will still be there. They will still look for candidates who will give them the strong, punitive leadership they desire.
And that means Donald Trump could be just the first of many Trumps in American politics, with potentially profound implications for the country.
It would also mean more problems for the GOP. This election is already showing that the party establishment abhors Trump and all he stands for — his showy demagoguery, his disregard for core conservative economic values, his divisiveness.
We may now have a de facto three-party system: the Democrats, the GOP establishment, and the GOP authoritarians
But while the party may try to match Trump's authoritarian rhetoric, and its candidates may grudgingly embrace some of his harsher policies toward immigrants or Muslims, in the end a mainstream political party cannot fully commit to extreme authoritarian action the way Trump can.
That will be a problem for the party. Just look at where the Tea Party has left the Republican establishment. The Tea Party delivered the House to the GOP in 2010, but ultimately left the party in an unresolved civil war. Tea Party candidates have challenged moderates and centrists, leaving the GOP caucus divided and chaotic.
Now a similar divide is playing out at the presidential level, with results that are even more destructive for the Republican Party. Authoritarians may be a slight majority within the GOP, and thus able to force their will within the party, but they are too few and their views too unpopular to win a national election on their own.
And so the rise of authoritarianism as a force within American politics means we may now have a de facto three-party system: the Democrats, the GOP establishment, and the GOP authoritarians.
And although the latter two groups are presently forced into an awkward coalition, the GOP establishment has demonstrated a complete inability to regain control over the renegade authoritarians, and the authoritarians are actively opposed to the establishment's centrist goals and uninterested in its economic platform.
Over time, this will have significant political consequences for the Republican Party. It will become more difficult for Republican candidates to win the presidency because the candidates who can win the nomination by appealing to authoritarian primary voters will struggle to court mainstream voters in the general election. They will have less trouble with local and congressional elections, but that might just mean more legislative gridlock as the GOP caucus struggles to balance the demands of authoritarian and mainstream legislators. The authoritarian base will drag the party further to the right on social issues, and will simultaneously erode support for traditionally conservative economic policies.
And in the meantime, the forces activating American authoritarians seem likely to only grow stronger. Norms around gender, sexuality, and race will continue evolving. Movements like Black Lives Matter will continue chipping away at the country's legacy of institutionalized discrimination, pursuing the kind of social change and reordering of society that authoritarians find so threatening.
The chaos in the Middle East, which allows groups like ISIS to flourish and sends millions of refugees spilling into other countries, shows no sign of improving. Longer term, if current demographic trends continue, white Americans will cease to be a majority over the coming decades.
In the long run, this could mean a GOP that is even more hard-line on immigration and on policing, that is more outspoken about fearing Muslims and other minority groups, but also takes a softer line on traditional party economic issues like tax cuts. It will be a GOP that continues to perform well in congressional and local elections, but whose divisions leave the party caucus divided to the point of barely functioning, and perhaps eventually unable to win the White House.
For decades, the Republican Party has been winning over authoritarians by implicitly promising to stand firm against the tide of social change, and to be the party of force and power rather than the party of negotiation and compromise. But now it may be discovering that its strategy has worked too well — and threatens to tear the party apart.
Here we have an article that rightly identifies Clinton/Bush/Obama neo-liberalism as the march towards authoritarianism. This was why it was so important for Hillary to appear to win the primary over Bernie----both candidates would be marching the US towards authoritarian militarization.
While this sounds like a left-leaning media outlet---TRUTHDIG has not shown me to be a reliable source and what Democratic base of labor and justice MUST NOW GUARD AGAINST---is this rise by far-right to install their brand of MARXISM. THIS IS NOT LEFT-LEANING MARXISM FOLKS-----it is what ending religious Natural Law of morality, ethics, and legal values needs to MOVE FORWARD.
'If neoliberal authoritarianism is to be challenged and overcome, it is crucial that intellectuals, unions, workers, young people and various social movements unite to reclaim democracy as a central element in fashioning a radical imagination that foregrounds the necessity for drastically altering the material and symbolic forces that hide behind a counterfeit claim to participatory democracy'.
Beyond Orwellian Nightmares and Neoliberal Authoritarianism
Posted on Oct 18, 2014By Henry A. Giroux, Truthout
Power in its most repressive forms is now deployed not only by the police and other forces of repression such as the 17 US intelligence agencies, but also through a predatory and commodified culture that turns violence into entertainment, foreign aggression into a video game and domestic violence into goose-stepping celebration of masculinity and the mad values of militarism. Meanwhile, the real violence used by the state against poor people of color, women, immigrants and low-income youth barely gets mentioned, except when it is so spectacularly visible that it cannot be ignored, as in the shooting death by a white police officer of the young black man, Michael Brown. The “deep state” empties politics of all vestiges of democratic rule while attempting, on the one hand, to make its machinery of power invisible and, on the other, to legitimate neoliberal ideology as a matter of common sense. The decisions that shape all aspects of the commanding institutions of society are made largely in private, behind closed doors by the anonymous financial elite, corporate CEOs, rich bankers, the unassailable leaders of the military-industrial complex, and other kingpins of the neoliberal state. At the same time, the cultural apparatuses of casino capitalism wage an aggressive pedagogical assault on reason, thoughtfulness, critical dialogue and all vestiges of the public good. Valuable resources and wealth are extracted from the commons in order to maximize the profits of the rich while the public is treated to a range of distractions and diversions that extend from “military shock and awe overseas” to the banalities of a commodified culture industry and celebrity-obsessed culture that short-circuits thought and infantilizes everything it touches.
Underlying the rise of the authoritarian state and the forces that hide in the shadows is a hidden politics indebted to promoting the fog of historical and social amnesia. The new authoritarianism is strongly indebted to what Orwell once called a “protective stupidity” that corrupts political life and divests language of its critical content. Neoliberal authoritarianism has changed the language of politics and everyday life through a poisonous public pedagogy that turns reason on its head and normalizes a culture of fear, war and exploitation. Even as markets unravel and neoliberalism causes increased misery, “the broader political and social consensus remains in place,” suggesting that the economic crisis needs to be matched by a similar crisis in consciousness, ideas, language and values.
Yet, even as the claims and promises of a neoliberal utopia have been transformed into a Dickensian nightmare and the United States succumbs to the pathologies of political corruption, the redistribution of wealth upward into the hands of the 1%, and the use of the criminal justice system as the default machinery of the punishing state for dealing with the United States’ social problems, Orwell’s dark fantasy of a fascist future continues without massive opposition. With the rise of what John Feffer calls “participatory totalitarianism,” the rich get more powerful just as the middle and working classes sink into economic and existential despair and young people are saddled with debts and the prospect of a future of low-skill jobs and a limited sense of dignity and hope. What all of this suggests is that the real crisis is not simply around the growing inequality in wealth and power accompanied by the more visible use of state violence and an arrogant display of hatred for both democracy and the disadvantaged, but also a dismantling of what Hannah Arendt called “the prime importance of the political.”
Democracy is not compatible with capitalism but is congruent with a version of democratic socialism in which the wealth, resources and benefits of a social order are shared in an equitable and just manner.
Underlying the carnage caused by neoliberal capitalism is a free market ideology in which individuals are cut off from the common good along with any sense of compassion for the other. Economic Darwinism individualizes the social by shredding social bonds that are not commodified and in doing so depoliticizes, atomizes and infantilizes the broader public. All problems are now defined as a problem faulty character and a deficient sense of individual responsibility. At the same time, freedom is reduced to consumerism and self-interest becomes the only guiding principle for living one’s life. What is crucial to recognize is that the central issues of power and politics can lead to cynicism and despair if capitalism is not addressed as a system of social relations that diminishes - through its cultural politics, modes of commodification and market pedagogies - the capacities and possibilities of individuals and groups to move beyond the vicissitudes of necessity and survival in order to fully participate in exercising some control over the myriad forces that shape their daily lives. If neoliberal authoritarianism is to be challenged and overcome, it is crucial that intellectuals, unions, workers, young people and various social movements unite to reclaim democracy as a central element in fashioning a radical imagination that foregrounds the necessity for drastically altering the material and symbolic forces that hide behind a counterfeit claim to participatory democracy. This means imagining a radical democracy that can provide a living wage, decent health care, public works and massive investments in education, child care and housing for the poor, along with a range of other crucial social provisions that can make a difference between living and dying for those who have been cast into the ranks of the disposable. This means at the very least recognizing that government has a responsibility to serve the public good rather than the financial and corporate interests of the rich and powerful who are driving the United States into the dark recesses of authoritarianism.
Democracy is not compatible with capitalism but is congruent with a version of democratic socialism in which the wealth, resources and benefits of a social order are shared in an equitable and just manner. Democracy as a promise means that society can never be just enough and that the self-reflection and struggles that enable all members of the community to participate in the decisions and institutions that shape their lives must be continually debated, safeguarded and preserved at all costs. The rebuilding of a radical democracy must be accompanied with placing a high priority on renewing the social contract, embracing the demands of the commons and encouraging social investments. These are only a few of the issues that should be a central goal for the development of a broad-based, radical social movement.
I want to emphasize that I am not suggesting that reviving the radical imagination, as a call to reclaim a radical democracy, be understood as simply a pragmatic adjustment of the institutions of liberal democracy or a return to the social democracy of the New Deal and Great Society.
THIS IS WHY I AM VERY SUSPICIOUS OF THIS USE OF DEMOCRATIC SOCIALISM------
Every citizen needs to look beyond their communities---their state, and yes, even their nation to fully understand public policy and political goals. If you look at Europe you see the same move to the far-right as European citizens are now posturing to protect their jobs from immigrant labor. When the Western nations have seen this movement to far-right is always becomes FASCISM---IN THIS CASE CORPORATE FASCISM. The article shared on PRAGMATIC NILISM warned of the dangers of EGO-DRIVEN POLICIES---that is Joe Biden saying he believed in his HUMAN RIGHTS AND NATURAL LAW to be able to accumulate as much wealth and power as he could contrary to our US Constitution and common law.
This is to what goal our Congressional, state, and local pols have worked these few decades and as the 5%---they KNEW THESE GOALS. Democratic voters allowed far-right Reagan neo-liberals grab the Democratic Party beginning with Clinton because they did not EDUCATE THEMSELVES OR THEIR CHILDREN IN REAL PUBLIC POLICY ISSUES.
If you followed the national news you know Europe has tried to fold Turkey into the European Union without success because Turkish people are Muslim and they do not like neo-liberalism. What all Middle-East nations tying themselves to this neo-liberalism have done is install AUTHORITARIAN NEO-LIBERALISM. These are the dictators made billionaires who force their citizens to embrace International Economic Zone global corporate campus/global factory neo-liberalism. The Asian nations along with a few middle-eastern nations have operated under authoritarian neo-liberalism for decades---as in China.
THIS IS WHAT CLINTON/BUSH/OBAMA ARE NOW TRYING TO INSTALL IN THE US AND THAT IS ABOUT WHAT ALL THIS PRAGMATIC NILISM AND REDEFINING NATURAL LAW HAS AS A GOAL.
Here you see where the Muslim citizens in Turkey are not allowing ERDOGAN to advance these policies easily as they KNOW WHAT MALAYSIA LOOKS LIKE. Malaysia was the earliest Muslim nation turned International Economic Zone and their 1% are brutal authoritarians.
'This has been the insurrection of a new generation, who has been brought up by the conservative neoliberal authoritarian AKP regime for a decade'.
Authoritarian Neoliberalism Hits a Wall in Turkey
by Özlem Onaran, Anastasia Giamali
The protests that began in Gezi Park are substantively driven by economic as well as political concerns.
First published: 06 June, 2013 |
Category: Activism, Economy, Employment & Welfare, Labour movement
Özlem Onaran is Professor of Workforce and Economic Development Policy at the University of Greenwich and until 2004 was based at Istanbul Technical University. She discussed the social, political and economic context to the Gezi Park protests with Anastasia Giamali in an interview for the Greek newspaper AVGI.
Erdogan has been promoting a fully neoliberal agenda with privatisations, ‘development’, etc. Has this reached a ceiling? Is this the reason why people are protesting?
Yes, absolutely. The obvious injustice and police brutality in Gezi Park was the last drop in a long process of accumulation of discontent against an authoritarian government, their social policies pushing for a conservative Islamic life style threatening in particular women and youth, criminalization and imprisoning of oppositional groups ranging from seculars to Kurds, socialists, and trade unionists, and neoliberal policies which increasingly commercialized public services, created areas of rent for large corporations, and eroded the living standards and security of a significant part of the working people. 27 May and the mobilizations that has followed will mark a historic moment for the collective memory of the movements in Turkey. This has been the insurrection of a new generation, who has been brought up by the conservative neoliberal authoritarian AKP regime for a decade.
The establishment has been presenting Turkey as model not only for the Muslim world but also as an economic model for Europe during the crisis. Is Turkey really a model?
Can authoritarianism be a model? Not a stable one, as the recent events have shown. Can neoliberal speculation and finance-led growth be a model of development, social cohesion and regional convergence? No, as the recent history of Turkey, which is marked by regular boom and bust cycles, and crises in 1994, 2001, 2009, shows. In the recent global crisis, Turkey had one of the severest recessions in 2009 –deeper than other major emerging economies. Indeed Turkey’s growth model dependent on cheap labour and speculative financial capital inflows and a high trade deficit, would have experienced a crisis sooner or later even without the global recession. The recovery since 2009 is as fragile as before. The share of industry in Turkey’s production is decreasing and becoming increasingly more dependent on the imports of intermediate and capital goods. No wonder, this is a jobless growth process with high youth unemployment rates reaching 22%. This is neither socially nor economically stable. AKP has recently took pride in having paid the last instalment of its debt to the IMF. However, in the last decade Turkey has borrowed increasingly more in the international financial markets, and in particular the foreign debt of the private sector has reached unforeseen levels. This is a fragile model. When the private debtors go bankrupt, those private losses are often socialised. The periphery of Europe is just one recent example of this to add to a series of former crises in Latin America and East Asia. The next bust and crisis in Turkey is not a question of ‘if’ but ‘when’, and the international financial investors will make that decision.
We have come to conclude that the tone of the protest is not being set by the poor or the working classes but by the demand for democracy and social freedom. Is it possible to combine these two?
They have been already combined. The Confederation of Public Workers’ Unions rescheduled its strike about a change in the labour law to 4-5 June in order to support the mobilisation. What brought discontent to the tipping point of rebellion is also the increasing insecurity and impoverishment of the working people in Turkey. AKP has initiated a redistribution towards the poorest of the society via both crony in kind transfers of food and fuel as well as some institutional pro-poor changes, e.g. in the health services. However, the source of this redistribution was income scrapped from the organised blue collar and white-collar/professional working people, and not taxes on the rich. This redistribution helps to increase the profits of the large capitalists without hurting the poorest further. This also explains part of the mass electoral support for the party. In the last decade insecurity has increased for all segments of the working people bare the poorest. During a decade of AKP rule the amount of workers working for outsourced companies has more than tripled reaching to above 1.5 million. Almost a thousand workers died in workplace accidents. Dr. Ahmet Tellioglu, a workplace doctor at a major factory in Istanbul, who has been sacked recently because of his objection to serious health hazards in the practices of the factory, says that ‘anyone who is just above the poorest or earning just above the minimum wage, thus any working person, who has something to loose, feels increasingly more insecure in Turkey today’.
According to the protesters the Turkish government is building shopping centres and malls all over the country and that's what she is attempting to do in Gezi Park. They also say that these shopping centres will mark the end of the small shops and itinerant trade. Are we moving towards the creation of a new proletariat?
Yes, the losers of these policies are multi-dimensional. Gentrification and commercialisation is generating a potential for new urban alliances across different segments of the society ranging from the dislocated Roma people and the Kurdish street vendors to organised workers and small shop owners. Some of the latter may have voted for AKP but the neoliberal policies as well as the sheer arrogance of their brutality and ignorance about any popular discontent may mark the beginning of the erosion of the diverse mass support for them.
The past two years, we have seen uprisings everywhere, from Wall Street to Tunisia with most recent ones in Sweden and the current uprising in Turkey. Do these movements/uprisings have anything in common apart from police brutality?
They have a lot in common. They are all a rebellion against the lack of democracy, voice, and representation as well as rising inequality, joblessness, insecurity, commercialisation of the supply of basic needs and the multiple dimensions of the crisis – the energy crisis, climate change, ecological crisis and food crisis. Young men and women, who are mostly not coming from former organised leftist backgrounds, have been in the forefront of all these mobilisations. Not surprisingly, this is happening at a time of record high youth unemployment and increasing precariousness. This is a new generation, who feels insecure about the future, working, if at all, with fixed/short-term contracts, or part time without a choice, at times in the informal sector, most often for low pay, and usually in jobs not matching their education levels and aspirations. These mobilisations have given a massive expression to the discontent of a silent majority across the world and turned hopelessness into first anger and then hope. Their experiences has been followed and received by solidarity across the world. They have created domino effects, first regionally, but I believe now it is fair to say, also internationally. Turkey has a long tradition of rebellion, but I feel the recent images of rebellion from Greece or Spain or Egypt has been more alive in the memory of the first time demonstrators in Istanbul, Ankara or Izmir than the history of Turkey which has been persistently erased or discredited or demonised in the collective memory of the young Turkish people by the military coup and generations of ruling elite to follow. To occupy and demonstrate is now almost the new fashionable and ‘hip’ thing in a positive sense. To overcome fear and to rebel is something to be proud of. It is a uniting feeling as hearing the song from the concert of your favourite band playing at a remote corner of the world. No matter what next, all these mobilisations have transformed our social genes forever.
Today's US military has been tooled away from our US Constitutional and Federal laws tied to Congress and a President only declaring war if eminent national security danger is pressing---to that if empire-building. Whereas The Korean and Vietnam wars were illegal in that there was not EMINENT NATIONAL SECURITY DANGERS----these wars were declared in the guise of stopping communism. Now, Iraq and todays asymmetric drone warfare inside a dozen nations---no longer even try to cover-up pure GLOBAL CORPORATE WALL STREET EMPIRE-BUILDING. The continuous threat of terrorism will never end in empire-building because every nation captured will have citizens chanting DEATH TO AMERICA. Make no mistake, citizens in nations do not think making a dictator a billionaire constitutes a nation's willingness to bring International Economic Zones to enslave citizens and destroy their environment A SEAL OF APPROVAL FROM THOSE NATIONS.
Eisenhower told us that the US military complex built from WW 2 and then Korean War was leading to a dangerous situation for the American people ----and Bush/Cheney took that challenge and ran with privatization of our US military to global military corporations. Over 70% of our US military---probably more---are now private global military contractors under no nation's laws----working for global corporations.
The article below looks towards the Roman Empire for that comparison of the rich and their drive to empire. The military becomes the nation's economy----and the citizens forced to enter the military are NOT CITIZENS----a 2% to the 1% of military leaders gain the wealth while citizens from every nation captured are simply conscripts. This is what is now replacing our once public national military.
IF YOU DON'T THINK THE AUSTERITY CUTS---ELIMINATION OF NEW DEAL VETERANS BENEFITS AND WAGES IS A SIGN OF FORCED CONSCRIPT WITH LITTLE MORE THAN A BED AND FOOD FOR SERVICES RENDERED---WAKE UP.
Monday, December 28, 2009
A military is an organization authorized by its nation to use force, usually including use of weapons, in defending its country (or by attacking other countries) by combating actual or perceived threats. As an adjective the term "military" is also used to refer to any property or aspect of a military. Militaries often function as societies within societies, by having their own military communities, economies, education, medicine and other aspects of a functioning civilian society.
The profession of soldiering as part of a military group is older than recorded history itself. Some of the most enduring images of the classical antiquity portray the power and feats of its military leaders. The Battle of Kadesh in 1274 BC was one of the defining points of Pharaoh Ramesses II's reign and is celebrated in bas-relief on his monuments. A thousand years later the first emperor of unified China, Qin Shi Huang, was so determined to impress the gods with his military might that he was buried with an army of terracotta soldiers. The Romans were dedicated to military matters, leaving to posterity many treatises and writings as well as a large number of lavishly carved triumphal arches and columns.
In the modern era, world wars and countless other major conflicts have changed the employment of the militaries beyond recognition to their ancient participants. Empires have come and gone; states have grown and declined. Enormous social changes have been wrought, and military power continues to dominate international relations. The role of the military today is as central to global societies as it ever was.
Posted by MilitaryAuthoritarianism
at 7:55 PM No comments: Sunday, December 27, 2009
ETYMOLOGY OF MILITARY NATIONALISM
ETYMOLOGY OF MILITARY NATIONALISM
--- The meaning of the word nationalism is:
- Devotion to the interests or culture of one's nation.
- The belief that nations will benefit from acting independently rather than collectively, emphasizing national rather than international goals.
- Aspirations for national independence in a country under foreign domination.
---The meaning of the word military is:
n., pl., military, also -ies.
- Armed forces: a country ruled by the military.
- Members, especially officers, of an armed force.
Posted by MilitaryAuthoritarianism at 6:29 AM No comments:
WHAT IS MILITARY AUTHORITARIANISM-ABSOLUTISM?
According to Theodore M. Vestal of Oklahoma State University–Stillwater has written that authoritarianism is characterized by:
· "Highly concentrated and centralized power structures," in which political power is generated and maintained by a "repressive system that excludes potential challengers" and uses political parties and mass organizations to "mobilize people around the goals of the government";
· The following principles:
1) rule of men, not rule of law;
2) rigged elections;
3) all important political decisions made by unelected officials behind closed doors;
4) a bureaucracy operated quite independently of rules, the supervision of elected officials, or concerns of the constituencies they purportedly serve;
5) the informal and unregulated exercise of political power;
· Leadership that is "self-appointed and even if elected cannot be displaced by citizens' free choice among competitors"
· No guarantee of civil liberties or tolerance for meaningful opposition;
· Weakening of civil society: "No freedom to create a broad range of groups, organizations, and political parties to compete for power or question the decisions of rulers," with instead an "attempt to impose controls on virtually all elements of society";and
· Political stability maintained by "control over and support of the military to provide security to the system and control of society; 2) a pervasive bureaucracy staffed by the regime; 3) control of internal opposition and dissent; 4) creation ofallegiance through various means of socialization."
Authoritarian political systems may be weakened through "inadequate performance to demands of the people." Vestal writes that the tendency to respond to challenges to authoritarianism through tighter control instead of adaptation is a significant weakness, and that this overly rigid approach fails to "adapt to changes or to accommodate growing demands on the part of the populace or even groups within the system." Because the legitimacy of the state is dependent on performance, authoritarian states that fail to adapt may collapse.
Authoritarianism is marked by "indefinite political tenure" of the ruler or ruling party (often in a single-party state) or other authority. The transition from an authoritarian system to a democratic one is referred to as democratization.
John Duckitt of the University of the Witwatersrand suggests a link between authoritarianism and collectivism, asserting that both are in opposition to individualism. Duckitt writes that both authoritarianism and collectivism submerge individual rights and goals to group goals, expectations and conformities. Others argue that collectivism, properly defined, is based on consensus decision-making, the opposite of authoritarianism.
We all know Bush pushed this Declaration of War to its limits by creating a false scenario with Hussein and chemical weapons all proven knowingly false in this march to eliminate all US Constitutional controls by an executive working for global corporations to use our privatized military force for empire-building.
Those US citizens serving in the military used to do so with pride----but after the Bush terms of suspended rules of enlistment keeping citizens overseas and in war zones for a decade or more-----many of those patriotic families are saying NO TO WAR. This is now used as an excuse to open enlistment to global military labor pools. Not only is our US military being almost totally privatized---we now have people from nations all over the world enlisted with the promise of citizenship working for a bed and a meal.
NOTHING SAYS GLOBAL CORPORATE SOCIALISM THAN A PRIVATIZED MILITARY----EAT, SLEEP, SCHOOLED, AND WORK ON A GLOBAL CORPORATE CAMPUS.
Our veterans and military families are the ones being connected to the appeal of global corporate socialism coming with International Economic Zones and global corporate campuses/global factories with that comparison to military life
BUT GLOBAL FACTORIES AND GLOBAL CAMPUSES ARE NOT THE SAME---PLEASE DON'T BE FOOLED.
Citizens need to know first what our US Constitution says of Presidential/Congressional powers to declare war in order to know who to elect to STOP THESE CONTINUOUS EMPIRE-BUILDING WARS.
'But what the framers actually meant by that clause was that once war has been declared, it was the President’s responsibility as commander-in-chief to direct the war. Alexander Hamilton spoke in such terms when he said that the president, although lacking the power to declare war, would have “the direction of war when authorized or begun.” '
Presidential War Powers: The Constitutional Answer
by Tom Woods
There’s a lot of confusion, on right and left alike, regarding the president’s war powers under the Constitution. Here’s an overview of the most common claims on behalf of such powers, along with replies to these claims.
“The president has the power to initiate hostilities without consulting Congress.”
Ever since the Korean War, Article II, Section 2 of the Constitution – which refers to the president as the “Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States” – has been interpreted this way.
But what the framers actually meant by that clause was that once war has been declared, it was the President’s responsibility as commander-in-chief to direct the war. Alexander Hamilton spoke in such terms when he said that the president, although lacking the power to declare war, would have “the direction of war when authorized or begun.” The president acting alone was authorized only to repel sudden attacks (hence the decision to withhold from him only the power to “declare” war, not to “make” war, which was thought to be a necessary emergency power in case of foreign attack).
The Framers assigned to Congress what David Gray Adler has called “senior status in a partnership with the president for the purpose of conducting foreign policy.” Congress possesses the power “to regulate Commerce with foreign Nations,” “to raise and support Armies,” to “grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal,” to “provide for the common Defense,” and even “to declare War.” Congress shares with the president the power to make treaties and to appoint ambassadors. As for the president himself, he is assigned only two powers relating to foreign affairs: he is commander-in-chief of the armed forces, and he has the power to receive ambassadors.
At the Constitutional Convention, the delegates expressly disclaimed any intention to model the American executive exactly after the British monarchy. James Wilson, for example, remarked that the powers of the British king did not constitute “a proper guide in defining the executive powers. Some of these prerogatives were of a Legislative nature. Among others that of war & peace.” Edmund Randolph likewise contended that the delegates had “no motive to be governed by the British Government as our prototype.”
To repose such foreign-policy authority in the legislative rather than the executive branch of government was a deliberate and dramatic break with the British model of government with which they were most familiar, as well as with that of other nations, where the executive branch (in effect, the monarch) possessed all such rights, including the exclusive right to declare war. The Framers of the Constitution believed that history testified to the executive’s penchant for war. As James Madison wrote to Thomas Jefferson, “The constitution supposes, what the History of all Governments demonstrates, that the Executive is the branch of power most interested in war, and most prone to it. It has accordingly with studied care vested the question of war in the Legislature.” Madison even proposed excluding the president from the negotiation of peace treaties, on the grounds that he might obstruct a settlement out of a desire to derive “power and importance from a state of war.”
At the Constitutional Convention, Pierce Butler “was for vesting the power in the President, who will have all the requisite qualities, and will not make war but when the nation will support it.” Butler’s motion did not receive so much as a second.
James Wilson assured the Pennsylvania Ratifying Convention, “This system will not hurry us into war; it is calculated to guard against it. It will not be in the power of a single man, or a single body of men, to involve us in such distress; for the important power of declaring war is vested in the legislature at large: this declaration must be made with the concurrence of the House of Representatives: from this circumstance we may draw a certain conclusion that nothing but our interest can draw us into war.”
In Federalist #69, Alexander Hamilton explained that the president’s authority “would be nominally the same with that of the King of Great Britain, but in substance much inferior to it. It would amount to nothing more than the supreme command and direction of the military and naval forces, as first general and admiral of the confederacy; while that of the British king extends to the declaring of war, and to the raising and regulating of fleets and armies; all which by the constitution under consideration would appertain to the Legislature.”
According to John Bassett Moore, the great authority on international law who (among other credentials) occupied the first professorship of international law at Columbia University, “There can hardly be room for doubt that the framers of the constitution, when they vested in Congress the power to declare war, never imagined that they were leaving it to the executive to use the military and naval forces of the United States all over the world for the purpose of actually coercing other nations, occupying their territory, and killing their soldiers and citizens, all according to his own notions of the fitness of things, as long as he refrained from calling his action war or persisted in calling it peace.”
In conformity with this understanding, George Washington’s operations on his own authority against the Indians were confined to defensive measures, conscious as he was that the approval of Congress would be necessary for anything further. “The Constitution vests the power of declaring war with Congress,” he said, “therefore no offensive expedition of importance can be undertaken until after they have deliberated upon the subject, and authorized such a measure.”
“John Adams made war on France without consulting Congress.”
Supporters of a broad executive war power have sometimes appealed to the Quasi War with France, in the closing years of the eighteenth century, as an example of unilateral warmaking on the part of the president. Francis Wormuth, an authority on war powers and the Constitution, describes that contention as “altogether false.” John Adams “took absolutely no independent action. Congress passed a series of acts that amounted, so the Supreme Court said, to a declaration of imperfect war; and Adams complied with these statutes.” (Wormuth’s reference to the Supreme Court recalls a decision rendered in the wake of the Quasi War, in which the Court ruled that Congress could either declare war or approve hostilities by means of statutes that authorized an undeclared war. The Quasi War was an example of the latter case.)
An incident that occurred during the Quasi War throws further light on the true extent of presidential war powers. Congress authorized the president to seize vessels sailing to French ports. But President Adams, acting on his own authority and without the sanction of Congress, instructed American ships to capture vessels sailing either to or from French ports. Captain George Little, acting under the authority of Adams’ order, seized a Danish ship sailing from a French port. When Little was sued for damages, the case made its way to the Supreme Court. Chief Justice John Marshall ruled that Captain Little could indeed be sued for damages in the case. “In short,” writes war powers expert Louis Fisher in summary, “congressional policy announced in a statute necessarily prevails over inconsistent presidential orders and military actions. Presidential orders, even those issued as Commander in Chief, are subject to restrictions imposed by Congress.”
“Jefferson acted unilaterally against the Barbary pirates.”
Another incident frequently cited on behalf of a general presidential power to deploy American forces and commence hostilities involves Jefferson’s policy toward the Barbary states, which demanded protection money from governments whose ships sailed the Mediterranean. Congressional naval legislation had provided that, among other things, six frigates “shall be officered and manned as the President of the United States may direct.” (Final authorization for the funding of the last three of these ships was approved only in late 1798, so the frigates in question were ready for action immediately prior to Jefferson’s accession to office.) It was to this instruction and authority that Jefferson appealed when he ordered American ships to the Mediterranean. In the event of a declaration of war on the United States by the Barbary powers, these ships were to “protect our commerce & chastise their insolence – by sinking, burning or destroying their ships & Vessels wherever you shall find them.”
In late 1801, the pasha of Tripoli did declare war on the U.S. Jefferson sent a small force to the area to protect American ships and citizens against potential aggression, but insisted that he was “unauthorized by the Constitution, without the sanction of Congress, to go beyond the line of defense”; Congress alone could authorize “measures of offense also.” Thus Jefferson told Congress: “I communicate [to you] all material information on this subject, that in the exercise of this important function confided by the Constitution to the Legislature exclusively their judgment may form itself on a knowledge and consideration of every circumstance of weight.”
Jefferson consistently deferred to Congress in his dealings with the Barbary pirates. “Recent studies by the Justice Department and statements made during congressional debate,” Louis Fisher writes, “imply that Jefferson took military measures against the Barbary powers without seeking the approval or authority of Congress. In fact, in at least ten statutes, Congress explicitly authorized military action by Presidents Jefferson and Madison. Congress passed legislation in 1802 to authorize the President to equip armed vessels to protect commerce and seamen in the Atlantic, the Mediterranean, and adjoining seas. The statute authorized American ships to seize vessels belonging to the Bey of Tripoli, with the captured property distributed to those who brought the vessels into port. Additional legislation in 1804 gave explicit support for ‘warlike operations against the regency of Tripoli, or any other of the Barbary powers.’”
Consider also Jefferson’s statement to Congress in late 1805 regarding a boundary dispute with Spain over Louisiana and Florida. According to Jefferson, Spain appeared to have an “intention to advance on our possessions until they shall be repressed by an opposing force. Considering that Congress alone is constitutionally invested with the power of changing our condition from peace to war, I have thought it my duty to await their authority for using force…. But the course to be pursued will require the command of means which it belongs to Congress exclusively to yield or to deny. To them I communicate every fact material for their information and the documents necessary to enable them to judge for themselves. To their wisdom, then, I look for the course I am to pursue, and will pursue with sincere zeal that which they shall approve.”
“Presidents have sent men into battle hundreds of times without getting congressional authorization.”
This argument, like so much propaganda, originated with the U.S. government itself. At the time of the Korean War, a number of congressmen contended that “history will show that on more than 100 occasions in the life of this Republic the President as Commander in Chief has ordered the fleet or the troops to do certain things which involved the risk of war” without the consent of Congress. In 1966, in defense of the Vietnam War, the State Department adopted a similar line: “Since the Constitution was adopted there have been at least 125 instances in which the President has ordered the armed forces to take action or maintain positions abroad without obtaining prior congressional authorization, starting with the ‘undeclared war’ with France (1798-1800).”
We have already seen that the war with France in no way lends support to those who favor broad presidential war powers. As for the rest, the great presidential scholar Edward S. Corwin pointed out that this lengthy list of alleged precedents consisted mainly of “fights with pirates, landings of small naval contingents on barbarous or semi-barbarous coasts, the dispatch of small bodies of troops to chase bandits or cattle rustlers across the Mexican border, and the like.”
To support their position, therefore, the neoconservatives and their left-liberal clones are counting chases of cattle rustlers as examples of presidential warmaking, and as precedents for sending millions of Americans into war with foreign governments on the other side of the globe.
“The War Powers Resolution of 1973 gives the president the power to commit troops anywhere he likes for 90 days.”
The War Powers Resolution is incoherent. Section 2(c) provides that the president’s power to initiate military action is limited to “(1) a declaration of war, (2) specific statutory authorization, or (3) a national emergency created by attack upon the United States, its territories or possessions, or its armed forces.” But at the same time, it authorizes the president to introduce military force for up to 90 days for any reason at all, which is obviously unconstitutional. I’ve written on this elsewhere.
For more on this topic, see Louis Fisher’s article on Thomas Eagleton.
“If the United Nations authorizes military action, the president does not need to consult Congress.”
The UN Charter itself notes that the Security Council’s commitment of member nations’ troops must be authorized by these nations’ “respective constitutional processes.” The Congressional Research Service’s Louis Fisher explains further: “Assured by Truman that he understood and respected the war prerogatives of Congress, the Senate ratified the UN Charter. Article 43 provided that all UN members shall make available to the Security Council, in accordance with special agreements, armed forces and other assistance. Each nation would ratify those agreements ‘in accordance with their respective constitutional processes.’ It then became the obligation of Congress to pass legislation to define the constitutional processes of the United States. Section 6 of the UN Participation Act of 1945 states with singular clarity that the special agreements ‘shall be subject to the approval of the Congress by appropriate Act or joint resolution.’ The procedure was specific and clear. Both branches knew what the Constitution required. The President would first have to obtain the approval of Congress.”
The UN Participation Act’s provisions regarding military action and the president have often been misread, thanks to a qualification in Article 6. But that qualification simply means that once the president has obtained congressional approval for a special agreement with the UN Security Council to make American forces available to the UN, he does not need congressional approval a second time to implement that agreement.
Fisher elaborates on the UN Participation Act of 1945 here. (See especially pp. 1249-1250.)
The remaining claims, somewhat more technical in nature, have been put forth most memorably by John Yoo, former deputy assistant attorney general under George W. Bush. These are paraphrases of Yoo’s positions. They are replied to in much more detail in Who Killed the Constitution? by the present author and Kevin Gutzman.
“In the eighteenth century, a ‘declaration of war’ was a merely rhetorical and communicative act – a ‘courtesy to the enemy’ – and did not involve the initiation or authorization of hostilities. Thus in granting Congress the power to declare war, the Constitution had merely given it the power to communicate to an enemy people (as well as to neutrals and to the country’s own citizens that a state of war existed; the president, on the other hand, retained the power actually to bring the United States into war by commencing military action.”
This is partly correct. In the eighteenth century a “declaration of war” could indeed have this lesser meaning. But a review of eighteenth-century usage reveals that to “declare war” could also mean actually to begin a war.
Consider also that as the Constitution was being debated, Federalists sought to reassure skeptical anti-Federalists that the president’s powers were not so expansive after all. For one thing, the Federalists said, the president lacked the power to declare war. In order for their argument to carry any weight, “declare war” must have been taken to mean the power to initiate hostilities – for no anti-Federalist would have been appeased by “Sure, the president can take the country to war on his own initiative, but the power to draft declaratory statements will rest with Congress!”
If Yoo’s argument were correct, we should expect to see presidents in the years immediately following ratification of the Constitution taking bold military action without concerning themselves much about the will of Congress, which according to Yoo had only the power to issue declaratory statements. But as we have seen in the examples of Washington, Adams, and Jefferson, the opposite was in fact the case; these early presidents were careful to defer to Congress.
“Congress may have some power over major wars, but lesser uses of force are reserved to the president alone.”
The evidence from the early republic contradicts this claim. Supreme Court justice Samuel Chase summed up the reigning doctrine in 1800: “Congress is empowered to declare a general war, or congress may wage a limited war; limited in place, in objects and in time.” The 1804 case of Little v. Barreme involved a ship commander who, during the Quasi War with France in the late 1790s, had seized a ship that he thought was illegally trading with France. The commander was following a directive from President John Adams in seizing this ship, which had been coming from France. But Congress had authorized President Adams only to seize ships going to France; in short, the president’s directive ventured beyond what congress had called for in this limited war. In a unanimous decision, the Court declared that the commander was liable for damages even though he had acted in accordance with a presidential directive. No such presidential directive could override the authority of Congress, said the Court.
“The Vesting Clause grants the president a wide array of unspecified powers pertaining to foreign affairs.”
You won’t hear this argument in many casual discussions of presidential war powers, but since Yoo cited it in a draft memorandum he wrote for the Department of Defense in early 2002, it’s worth a brief reply. (Again, a lengthier reply can be found in Who Killed the Constitution?)
The Vesting Clause can be found in Article II, Section 1 of the Constitution; “The executive Power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America.” According to this view, the Vesting Clause bestows on the president a host of unspecified powers in addition to the specific ones listed in the rest of Article II. The Framers of the Constitution, they say, thereby showed that they wanted the president to exercise all powers that would have been recognized in the eighteenth century as being fundamentally executive in nature, even if those powers are not actually mentioned in the Constitution. Congress, on the other hand, is assigned no such open-ended authority but is instead limited by the Constitution to all “legislative Powers herein granted,” a reference to the specific list of powers that then follows. The conclusion: the president may rightly exercise all powers relating to foreign affairs (since such powers are by their nature executive) except those specifically assigned to Congress.
Unfortunately for Yoo, he will not find any support for his views on executive power and the Vesting Clause in the state constitutions drawn up after 1776, in the Federalist, or in the state ratification debates. Nowhere in the state constitutions do we see any indication of an intent to vest the executive with an array of unspecified powers beyond those that were expressly mentioned. In Federalist #69, Alexander Hamilton argued that the American president would be much weaker than the British king, and cited the specific list of powers the Constitution grants the president. That argument would have been absurd and dishonest if the Vesting Clause had given the president an additional reservoir of powers beyond those Hamilton catalogued. Curtis Bradley and Martin Flaherty, writing in the Michigan Law Review, conclude that “in the thousands of pages recording these debates the argument that the Vesting Clause grants the president a general foreign affairs power simply does not appear.”
In short, there is no constitutional support for the presidential war powers claimed by mainstream left and right. That’s why they usually wind up claiming that the congressional power to declare war is “obsolete.” They can’t deny its existence, so they deny the document in which it is contained. And that means they lose the argument.
The American people have known we were on a slow march to authoritarianism as all the International Justice treaties that the US used to lead in installing and enforcing have these few decades been ignored and discarded. Bush said---the US is not bound by any international treaties as he and Cheney privatized the US military to operate in the Wall Street 1% empire-building policies of ONE WORLD NEW WORLD ORDER.
Americans KNOW our military is being allowed to operate with no oversight and accountability to national or international law and the people being hired to these global military corporations are increasingly those with the propensity towards PRAGMATIC NILISM-----the loss of Western Natural Law values tied to this ONE WORLD goal. The American people must not put their hands up and say OH WELL---THESE ELECTIONS ARE RIGGED WHAT CAN WE DO? What is being allowed overseas in our name IS COMING BACK TO OUR COMMUNITIES as militarized security and policing with US cities as International Economic Zones under Trans Pacific Trade Pact.
THIS IS TO WHERE THE TRUMP/HILLARY FAR-RIGHT AUTHORITARIAN MARXISM LEADS.
Have We Forgotten The Humanitarian Articles Of The Geneva Convention?
September 15, 2012 Donna Anderson
September 15, 2012
It would be naïve to assume that no country has ever violated the Geneva Convention and it would be suicidal to think that war-time behaviors will change anytime in the near future. But evidence indicates, and witness testimony proves, that the US government is intentionally targeting civilians in Pakistan, including women and children. Is violating the Geneva Convention only morally reprehensible when it happens on your home turf?
Americans typically think of the Geneva Convention in relationship to treatment of prisoners of war. Yet, the articles of the Fourth Geneva Convention (1949) established protections for the wounded, and for civilians in and around a war zone. Special provisions were also included to protect the people responding to the scene who were there to collect and care for the wounded.
A video created by Saad Ali, a contributor at WeAreChange.org, exposes the fact that the US government is currently using unmanned aerial vehicles, or drones, to attack Pakistani civilians, including children and first responders attempting to give aid to victims, a clear violation of the Geneva Convention.
In a recent statement, President Obama says that he wants to make it clear that drone strikes are not responsible for a large number of civilian casualties, but the fact that there are any should start setting of some alarms.
A 2004 FBI report warned that “Terrorists may use secondary explosive devices to kill and injure emergency personnel responding to an initial attack.” Their goal, as the FBI reported, is to incite even more terror.
Since then, the US Justice Department has prosecuted some of the nation’s most notorious domestic terrorists on the grounds that they used this “double tap” tactic to incite additional terror, most notably Eric Rudolph, who was convicted of bombing gay nightclubs and abortion clinics. Rudolph was targeting “federal agents by placing second bombs nearby set to detonate after police arrived to investigate the first explosion.”
So the US government clearly recognized these attacks on responders as a morally reprehensible act. Yet, in 2010, WikiLeaks published the now infamous Collateral Murder video, showing a US Apache helicopter attacking a group of people they claimed were insurgents, and following it up with an attack on the people who tried to pull the “insurgents” to safety.
The WikiLeaks video clearly shows the Apache gunner firing rounds into people who are already dead or seriously wounded, a clear violation of the Geneva Convention. As a van pulls up next to the victims and people emerge to try to pull the wounded to safety, the Apache makes another pass and attacks the rescuers, another clear violation of the Convention.
Killed in the attack were more than a dozen innocent people, including two Reuters employees. Trapped inside the van and seriously injured were two young children. Their father was killed in the attack, as they looked on. Strike three, you’re out.
While Americans understand the rules of the Geneva Convention it’s difficult for some to view them as anything other than an abstract concept because the war on terror is being fought on foreign soil. But Saad Ali gives us a poignant example of what happens to innocent civilians when these rules are ignored.
In his video, Saad Ali states that more than 3,000 Pakistan civilians, 200 of them children, have been killed by drone attacks. “President Barack Obama has authorized 311 drone strikes in Pakistan since he took office in 2009.” The first was ordered just 3 days after his inauguration on January 20, 2009, resulting in the deaths of 19 innocent civilians, including four children.
To illustrate the atrocities, Saad Ali recounts the story of a civilian farmer, Hamid Abdullah, a refugee whose daughter had just been married. The following morning, as he walked to the bazaar for groceries, he witnessed a drone attack on the market. Out of concern for the victims, Abdullah ran to see if he could be of any help. As he approached, another incoming drone attacked and destroyed his home, killing his entire family, including the daughter who had just been married.
During an Q&A with Hilary Clinton that’s shown in Ali’s video, a Pakistani woman asks, “How do you expect the people of Pakistan not to have anti-American sentiments when day in and day out we hear about drone attacks that kill more innocent people than militants?”
Hillary Clinton said, “I do not believe that there is any basis for your comment. There has been a lot of focus on doing what is necessary to protect Pakistan, to protect Afghanistan, and to protect Americans.”
According to Saad Ali, the American people look at the people in Pakistan and wonder why they hate us so much. The deaths of 3,000 innocent civilians might have something to do with it. But the US government is blaming these deaths on Al Qeada and the war on terror and calling them collateral damage. The US government is also refusing to admit they’re doing anything wrong and refuses to release the legal documentation showing justification for the drone strikes.
Dennis Kucinich says that 10 civilians die for every one suspected militant in US drone strikes and out of the 114 drone attacks in Pakistan at least 32% of those killed by the strikes were civilians.
But maybe we’re not really violating the Geneva Convention because, as Ali’s video points out, some of these drone attacks are being carried out by the Blackwater special operations group, a covert private security contractor hired by the US government, operating under the command of the US Joint Special Operations Command.
Blackwater, a.k.a. Xe Services, has been in trouble repeatedly in the past and the leader, Eric Prince, is a Christian extremist who operates his company in a manner that encourages the killing of Muslims. In fact, the members of Blackwater make a game of it. Blackwater is not overseen by Congress, therefore they don’t answer to the Geneva Convention, and the only thing they’re loyal to is a paycheck.
In another drone attack that happened just last weekend 4 missiles were fired, killing at least six militants in North Wasiristan Agency. But in a second, follow-up attack, two more missiles were fired while “militants” were removing the wreckage from the first strike. It’s important to note that the US now defines “militant” as “all military-age males in a strike zone.”
Ali also discusses Project for the New American Century, who state that they want to destabilize Muslim countries in order to create a clash of civilization. Pakistan is a very large country and they have nuclear weapons, so by destabilizing Pakistan internally Obama doesn’t have to declare war, thus avoiding the potential for World War III. Ali calls it a “Proxy War” and it’s purpose is to ruin Pakistan’s alliance with China before Pakistan can become an energy corridor between Iran and China.
The drone attacks ordered by Obama are responsible for killing thousands of innocent civilians and included in that number are more than 200 young children. Read Saad Ali’s article and watch his video to get the full details, but as a reminder of our humanitarian obligations, the following quote comes from Ali:
“It’s a foreign concept to the western world. Imagine a foreign invader with technology you’ve never seen, attack(s) your suburban development. A missile hits your home on your way back from work. You pull up to your wife and children mangled, dead, burning on the lawn. Your immediate response is anguish and pain. Soon after you compose yourself, you consult family, and retrieve you fireproof safe containing a collection of firearms and ammunition.”
Can you really blame them for hating Americans?