The Predator State

Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld shares a ...

Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld shares a laugh with President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney during his farewell parade at the Pentagon. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Predator State, How Conservatives Abandoned the Free Market and Why Liberals Should Too, by James K. Galbraith published in 2008. The predator state is the marriage between large corporations and government.

“Republican (with a small “r”) government, with its checks and balances, exists to limit the abuse of power. It is a matter of negotiation, compromise, the making of public arguments, and of listening to private dissent. Modern corporate decision-making structures exist, on the contrary, to permit senior executives to do what they want. This is the culture that Richard Cheney brought back into government from Halliburton, that George bush imbibed at his minor perches at Harken Energy and the Texas rangers. The operational result is a government by cliques operating in secret, indeed with their very membership unknown outside. Cheney’s 2001 Energy Task Force is a characteristic example. The neoconservative capture of foreign policy inside the Bush administration is another. The drive by Karl Rove‘s political office to direct the U.S. attorneys into political prosecutions is a third. The advance and defense of torture as a method of interrogation in secret prisons run by the CIA is a fourth. The program of warrantless wiretapping, which evidently amounts to the blanket capture by the National Security Agency of all Internet communications, is a fifth. The list could go on, but the practice is clear: we live under a government that as a matter of principle does what it wants.”

Nixon

Richard Milhous Nixon, 37th President of the U...

Richard Milhous Nixon, 37th President of the United States (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I voted for Richard Nixon in 1968 and 1972. I would have voted for him in 1960 if I had been eligible to vote; I was too young at the time. The voting age then was 21 years and I was only 19 & 1/2. Knowing now what I do about Nixon, I regret that I ever voted for him. LBJ was engaged with North Vietnam in the Paris peace talks to end the Vietnam war. Nixon let the South Vietnamese know that they would get better terms with him if he were elected in 1968. Thus the peace talks failed and the war dragged on, Nixon was elected, and millions more Americans and Asians died or were wounded before the war finally ended in April, 1975. That was an act of treason on Nixon’s part. LBJ had the facts and chose not to act. He should have acted and ended Nixon’s career.

When Salvador Allende was elected President of Chile, Nixon ordered the CIA to create chaos in the Chilean economy to decrease Allende’s support by the Chilean people so that Allende could be more easily deposed. The Chilean generals took the bait and installed Pinochet as dictator in 1973. During Pinochet’s 17 years in power, thousands of Chileans were disappeared, tortured and murdered without a trace. Now here in the US, the GOP are using Nixon’s Chilean strategy to reduce President Obama’s support among American voters.

For the relatively minor crime, nobody died, of the Watergate break-in, Nixon was forced to resign. Nixon was never charged nor punished for his major crimes, the death and/or dismembership of millions. The Nixon case is similar to that of Al Capone. Capone went to prison for income tax evasion; the government was unable to prove the more serious charges of murder and extortion.

 

Pakistan and Osama bin Laden

Bill O'Reilly - Caricature

Bill O’Reilly – Caricature (Photo credit: DonkeyHotey)

The Government of Pakistan has played a double game with the US since before the Reagan administration. I am not sure when the duplicity started, but it may have been in the Nixon years. Nixon was strong supporter of Pakistan even when he was a vice president under Eisenhower. Thus Pakistan’s willingness and ability to deceive the US goes back half a century, more or less.

Last night on his TV show, Bill O’Reilly demanded that President Obama take a public stand against Pakistan’s sentencing of Dr. Afridi to 33 years imprisonment for assisting the US in killing bin Laden. An amendment to a bill in Congress has been submitted to reduce aid to Pakistan by $33 million, a ridiculously small sum, about 1% of our annual aid package. If we really wanted to get Pakistan’s attention, we would cut off all military aid, continuing only civilian assistance.

With its large and mostly poor population and its nuclear arsenal, Pakistan is probably the most dangerous threat on the planet to world peace. In my judgment, Pakistan is more a threat than Iran is or ever will be. I am certainly glad that Barack Obama is in charge of dealing with the problem rather than Bill O’Reilly. As long as the US is fighting in Afghanistan, we need Pakistan more than Pakistan needs us. Once we are out of Afghanistan, it may be possible to nudge Pakistan into a more democratic path, to their benefit and to the benefit of a more peaceful and prosperous world.

 

Nixon’s playbook

Seal of the Central Intelligence Agency of the...

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President Richard Nixon authorized the CIA to attempt the overthrow of the Allende government of Chile by subverting the Chilean economy. They succeeded in creating enough turmoil and economic chaos that Allende was successfully deposed on September 11, 1973, leading to the Pinochet dictatorship that lasted until 1990.

The GOP has adopted this page from Nixon’s playbook, and they are now applying it here in the US to bring down President Obama. They will continue creating economic turmoil and distress among Barack’s supporters until the GOP regains power in Washington, DC. Once they succeed in holding our economy hostage, they will repeat the tactic until such time as they succeed in regaining power or until the voters say “enough.”