Whilst democratic movements spread across the globe the concept of “democracy” being potentially at risk is more clear than ever before, – not really only by those countries opposing the principles of democracy, but even more at times by those who are supposed to protect it.
On a positive note for the US, the 2011 Obama Administration seems to work within the balance of powers as being provided within the US Constitution more at least than some of the previous Administrations, – operating clearly with more value systems at the centre. This is the way it should be and perhaps he is the first US President since Kennedy and Carter with value systems at the core of his Administration in terms of domestic policy. However the practicalities do not prove to be easy and with his level of strength and providing leadership, it is still wait and see how he will break with the tradition of the US being involved in war’s which should not be there in the first instance.
Presidential powers exercised during previous US Administrations however created a precedent within the US of using the “arm” of the CIA to engage in most secret covert operations, both within and outside US mainland and in part against all forms of human rights and/or dignity. The last with the ability even to keep Congress out of the picture with collective organised cover up’s and controlling the media, – besides suppressing existing justice systems as they should be able to work in a free society.
The US is neither sufficiently protected against the phenomenal powers from some internal background forces, which does include the CIA and the Pentagon, – nor from the collective systems of separation of powers with internal checks and balances to work in alignment of the Constitution and the law. Legislation is required to change this to better ways of law enforcement at the Executive branch of the US, as such to protect the US against itself. With the wrong persons in power at the main divisions of this Executive branch, the systems of governance might turn out to be a total failure, with cover up’s in place to hide matters from both Congress the public and the world.
Presidential powers are inappropriately able to collide (largely e.g. on foreign policy issues and military operations) with the existing background powers and vice versa; whilst Congress can be kept in the dark with the required investigations or hearings being delayed, – various justice systems being obstructed as well within e.g the FBI, – and with other help if so required. Besides this the media can be and has been controlled for many years. As such democracy at its worst proves both to be repugnant and intolerable, – whilst no systems are in place to correct this; nor systems being in place to reopen insufficient and past Government initiated investigations and held e.g. former Presidents (including members of their Administrations) accountable within the obligations of fair justice for all, – and not the few most powerful being excluded for those principles of the same justice.
Collective ignorance for the profound risks of a democracy not being exposed for its existing decay and failures (with both complete and right historical reflections on the past) – whilst voters are either misled or do not take notice – will provoke even worse decay to come with “the balance of power” being more compromised than ever before. Worsening repressive systems and corrupting elements may have free play at the highest positions in the US (if not stopped) if the US by error may choose the wrong President as happened with the Bush Administration not that long ago. At present this former US President is not able to visit Switzerland without the risk of being arrested as due to war crimes and human right abuses, which does show that at least something went wrong. Even for some US citizens who claim their systems of Government are always right and pretend to have proper knowledge of the US Constitution. Some even claiming that President Obama is to blame for everything what is wrong. The dangers of right wing extremism are unfortunately quite evident in the US and though no Party may claim to be perfect, the Democratic Party in the US has at present the best credentials to facilitate the required reforms as the Republicans (as “an Organisation”) lost any sense of direction. Obviously this may change in the future with new talent and vision and skill perhaps arriving at some stage.
Some may say the US is a Republic only. However this Republic is still based on democratic and constitutional principles of the separation and balance of powers, not being allowed those principles and common US values being compromised by either currents within the CIA or Pentagon. Existing powers at the level of the President or Congress seem to have insufficient oversight, – if senior management within both Pentagon and CIA are unable to get their Organisations under control and in line with both US law and the Constitution. With both the wrong President and ill selected people in top positions of both the CIA and the Pentagon the US is in danger of being an enemy of itself.
Both within the Military and CIA are enough very highly regarded people with dignity for their own country, not willing to sacrifice the US Constitution and the implications of this Constitution on the altars of human rights abuses, whether it is in the US or anywhere else in the world. Sounds excessive perhaps but “9/11” e.g. was largely an internal job as far as former Division Chief of the FBI Ted Gunderson concerned. It was an internal job as well as far as Major General Albert Stubblebine concerned, who was the Commanding General of the United States Army Intelligence. Still many people ask for clarification on 9/11, even at the highest levels of the Military Branch as the contradictions did not add up and the most evil systems within the US itself could have been part of the massacre in 2001, to give the US President an excuse to go to war.
Preserving democracy as the best possible governance against historically profound failures of the alternatives is subject to prove, provided by the Democracy itself. The US has to work on this to keep up its credibility, not only for its own people, but in the face of the world as well.
Secret powers within democracies have the ability within the dark corners of the world to degrade the meaning of democracy into the “bludgeoning of the people by the people and for the people”, without mechanisms to control those powers responsible for this ugly manifestation of inhumanity.
The Greek city state Athens, once being reflected on as the highlight of democracy, developed by its people probably the finest form of direct democracy ever being created. Obviously with its purest form this is not practical anymore in current times and places. Introduced by its popular leader Cleisthenes in about 500 BC there was the ecclesia which was inviting all eligible citizens over the age of 18 to meet on a regular base to discuss important state business by debate. In those days they would reach a decision based on the majority of those being around by a show of hands.
Pericles, the Athenian leader, at a funeral speech delivered 430 BC paid tribute to the constitution of those days which favours the many and not the few, indicating the importance of liberty and equality before the law. Political preferment should be based on merit and neither through the wealth of power and money nor class, – was his perception.
Both Plato and Aristotle warned for the potential of democracy being put at risk by those who are persistent unruly unstable and corrupt. The lessons go through history with major powers coming up and major powers going down as due to self inflicted obstruction of justice. Not only this. The power of imperialism with overstretched military resources and lack of economic durability have been at the foundations of the fall of Great Powers in history, together with poorly controlled internal corruption.
If we look at history, super powers crumbled down as a result of corrupting powers colluding within a culture of decay. Democracies are not without those risks if existing decay is not eliminated within the process of proper law enforcement. The US needs to manage its affairs as it proved that military expenditure out with any proportion compromised economic growth within proportion. Frankly the US has increased its risk of following the similar pathway as Great Powers in the past, running out of the recourses to stay sustainable. The deepening controversy about spending priorities as shown in US Congress, with a politics of short term advantage and long-term disadvantage provide the base of potentially spiralling down dynamics.
At the heart of democracy lies the question of the supreme powers of state (created by the people for the people), to protect lawfully the rights of people being restricted to prevent the misuse of powers to cut those same rights as implemented by the Constitution. This failed at unimaginable scale during the last Bush Administration. The trend of allowing the major background powers in the US to have more say in public policy since the assassination of JFK, accelerated during the last Bush Administration. The corrupting Government investigations about the realities of the CIA orchestrated 9/11 drama, provided a ruthless US Executive Branch to go to war at pleasure, as by choice there was a stand down in the security systems and by choice there was a US controlled demolition of the various towers in the lower Manhattan area of New York in 2001. This direction could prove in US history -in retrospect – the last straw over which the US lost its potential to continue to be sustainable. The Obama Administration has to stick to the conduct of US Presidents neither being critical against those provoking powers nor to stop the war in Afghanistan at once, without running the risk to be assassinated by extreme right wing elements.
The limitations of powers by the Executive branch with its far too much dominating Agencies must be exercised with the consent of the voters, but is the only reason the US could survive as a sustainable Democracy with full backing of US Congress. The trend to be involved in various pointless war’s , apart from those who have both security and moral merit with the approval of Congress, may drive the US to bankruptcy.
As shown, the relation between people and state on the justified balance between might and right is still an issue after centuries of battle. Political mechanisms to make sure that those who govern at various levels remain accountable can’t be guaranteed only by regular elections and competition.
The reality of the political process and operating powers remain a concern, as some of the most basic constitutional rights and obligations have been compromised during the last decades. Often behind closed doors and in the dark corners of those places where detection was being made difficult and operating justice systems being prepared to compromise the truth by those people already being compromised.
Both President Truman and President Eisenhower warned against significant background powers within the US with connections deep within those separation of powers and elaborate systems of checks and balances. Those background powers decide at some extend – together with the Presidential powers being exercised – the direction of the US Government. Sinister branches of those background powers carry a history of human atrocities in a wide variety, both within and outside the US. When those powers were under threat by political opponents in the US, assassinations or smear campaigns have not rarely been the tools of choice to stay in control and prevent exposure.
Those collective background powers, working somehow together, are at some extend able to attract those US Presidents who are able to remain the status quo of both secrets and society, misleading not rarely – and profoundly!- the majority of the voters.
Democracy can be a charming form of government full of variety, but not rarely full of disorder as well at various levels.
It should not happen that democratic societies are in a position to get “criminals” eventually in positions perhaps affecting branches of government, – whilst law enforcement each country deserves is unable to extinguish the malicious effect those people may have on their systems of governance. This is decay in the foundations of a democracy as profoundly demonstrated during the last US Administration and not resolved by tighter legislation. It can happen any time again with even worse implications.
It is not in our poor power to add or detract the value of those who struggled before us and could not stay around to finish their task, those who fought for fairness and justice against the senseless acts of bloodshed which ignored our common humanity on the battlefields of civilian slaughter.
This is what happened with 9/11 and during various war’s, the last of which were “open” at times but more often they took place as part of secret operations.
The violence of the increasing decay in institutions with indifference and inaction do show the sickness of the soul of a country anywhere possible on this world with different gradations.
The US is an example of a Republic based on the principles of a democracy where more proactive management is required in terms of legislation to prevent the various abuses of power, as too many people lost their lives and to many compromises were made at the cost of an economy in shambles as a result of excessive and pointless war activities in the past.
When we can’t resist the temptation to meet disagreement with force we breed violence and this violence will breed retaliation and potential terror. We need to be strong enough to defend ourselves against any evil powers who want to get the better of us, but whilst living on this planet the short time we have, we need to realise that those who live in our times are our brothers and as such we need to act against inhumanity hatred or blind revenge, – as our common goal on earth is at a different level, regardless the need indeed to extinguish the dangers of terror.
Paul Alexander Wolf
- “The West Is Terrified of Arab Democracies” – Interview with Noam Chomsky (yallasouriya.wordpress.com)
- james petras, man of many … um … hats, or whatever (niqnaq.wordpress.com)
- General Paul E. Vallely calls for massive march on Washington (dancingczars.wordpress.com)
- Retired General Calls For Massive March On Washington D.C. To Confront Obama’s Tyranny (Video) (thedaleygator.wordpress.com)
- U.S. general calls for massive march on Congress, White House (wnd.com)
- Rise Of The “Uber-President”: Obama Rewrites Laws, Ignores The Constitution (thesleuthjournal.com)
- Oligarchs, Demagogues and Mass Revolts . . . Against Democracy (thepeoplesvoice.org)
- Oligarchs, Demagogues, and Mass Revolts against Democracy (alethonews.wordpress.com)
- Democracies, Republics, and Human Dignity (americanclarion.com)
- Rise of the “Uber-President”: Obama Rewrites Laws, Ignores the Constitution (thedailysheeple.com)