FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Why Can’t Americans Have Democracy?

by PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS

Syria has a secular government as did Iraq prior to the American invasion.  Secular governments are important in Arab lands in which there is division between Sunni and Shi’ite. Secular governments keep the divided population from murdering one another.

When the American invasion, a war crime under the Nuremberg standard set by the US after WW II, overthrew the Saddam Hussein secular government, the Iraqi Sunnis and Shi’ites went to war against one another. The civil war between Iraqis saved the American invasion. Nevertheless, enough Sunnis found time to fight the American occupiers of Iraq that the US was never able to occupy Bagdad, much less Iraq, no matter how violent and indiscriminate the US was in the application of force.

The consequence of the US invasion was not democracy and women’s rights in Iraq, much less the destruction of weapons of mass destruction which did not exist as the weapons inspectors had made perfectly clear beforehand.  The consequence was to transfer political power from Sunnis to Shi’ites. The Shi’ite version of Islam is the Iranian version. Thus, Washington’s invasion transferred power in Iraq from a secular government to Shi’ites allied with Iran.

Washington’s hostility toward Assad is hypocritical. On February 26, the Syrian government held a referendum on a new constitution for Syria that set term limits on future presidents and removed the political monopoly that the Ba’ath Party has enjoyed.

The Syrian voter turnout was 57.4%, matching the voter turnout for Obama in 2008. It was a higher voter turnout (despite the armed, western-supported rebellion in Syria) than in the nine US presidential elections from 1972 through 2004. The new Syrian constitution was approved by a vote of 89.4%.

But Washington denounced the democratic referendum and claims that the Syrian government must be overthrown in order to bring democracy to Syria.

Washington’s allies in the region, unelected oil monarchies such as Saudi Arabia and Qatar, have issued statements that they are willing to supply weapons to the Islamist rebels in order to bring democracy–something they do not tolerate at home–to Syria.

For Washington “democracy” is a weapon of mass destruction. When Washington brings “democracy” to a country, it means the country’s destruction, as in Libya and Iraq. It doesn’t mean democracy. Libya is in chaos, a human rights nightmare without an effective government.

Washington installed Nouri al-Maliki as president of Iraq. He lost an election, but remained in power. He has declared his vice president to be a terrorist and ordered his arrest and is using the state police to arrest Sunni politicians.

For a decade Washington has misrepresented its wars of naked aggression as “bringing  democracy and human rights to the Middle East.”  While Washington was bringing democracy to the Middle East, Washington was destroying democracy in the US.  Washington has resurrected medieval torture dungeons and self-incrimination. Washington has destroyed due process and habeas corpus. At Obama’s request, Congress passed overwhelmingly a law that permits US subjects to be imprisoned indefinitely without a trial or presentation of evidence.  Warrantless searches and spying, illegal and unconstitutional at the turn of the 21st century, are now routine.

Obama has even asserted the right, for which there is no law on the books, to murder any American anywhere if the executive branch decides, without presenting any evidence, that the person is a threat to the US government. Any American anywhere can be murdered on the basis of subjective opinion in the executive branch, which increasingly is the only branch of the US government. The other two “co-equal” branches have shriveled away under the “war on terror.”

Why is Washington so determined to bring democracy to the Middle East (with the exception of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, and the Emirates), Africa, Iran, Afghanistan, Russia, and China, but is hostile to constitutional rights in America?

The rights that Americans gained from successful revolution against King George III in the 18th century have all been taken away by Bush/Obama in the 21st century.  One might think that this would be a news story, but it isn’t.

PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS was an editor of the Wall Street Journal and an Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Treasury.  His latest book, HOW THE ECONOMY WAS LOST, has just been published by CounterPunch/AK Press. He can be reached through his website

Paul Craig Roberts is a former Assistant Secretary of the US Treasury and Associate Editor of the Wall Street Journal. Roberts’ How the Economy Was Lost is now available from CounterPunch in electronic format. His latest book is The Neoconservative Threat to World Order.

More articles by:

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

zen economics

Weekend Edition
February 24, 2017
Friday - Sunday
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Exxon’s End Game Theory
Pierre M. Sprey - Franklin “Chuck” Spinney
Sleepwalking Into a Nuclear Arms Race with Russia
Paul Street
Liberal Hypocrisy, “Late-Shaming,” and Russia-Blaming in the Age of Trump
Ajamu Baraka
Malcolm X and Human Rights in the Time of Trumpism: Transcending the Master’s Tools
John Laforge
Did Obama Pave the Way for More Torture?
Mike Whitney
McMaster Takes Charge: Trump Relinquishes Control of Foreign Policy 
Patrick Cockburn
The Coming Decline of US and UK Power
Louisa Willcox
The Endangered Species Act: a Critical Safety Net Now Threatened by Congress and Trump
Vijay Prashad
A Foreign Policy of Cruel Populism
John Chuckman
Israel’s Terrible Problem: Two States or One?
Matthew Stevenson
The Parallax View of Donald Trump
Norman Pollack
Drumbeat of Fascism: Find, Arrest, Deport
Stan Cox
Can the Climate Survive Electoral Democracy? Maybe. Can It Survive Capitalism? No.
Ramzy Baroud
The Trump-Netanyahu Circus: Now, No One Can Save Israel from Itself
Edward Hunt
The United States of Permanent War
David Morgan
Trump and the Left: a Case of Mass Hysteria?
Pete Dolack
The Bait and Switch of Public-Private Partnerships
Mike Miller
What Kind of Movement Moment Are We In? 
Elliot Sperber
Why Resistance is Insufficient
Brian Cloughley
What are You Going to Do About Afghanistan, President Trump?
Binoy Kampmark
Warring in the Oncology Ward
Yves Engler
Remembering the Coup in Ghana
Jeremy Brecher
“Climate Kids” v. Trump: Trial of the Century Pits Trump Climate Denialism Against Right to a Climate System Capable of Sustaining Human Life”
Jonathan Taylor
Hate Trump? You Should Have Voted for Ron Paul
Franklin Lamb
Another Small Step for Syrian Refugee Children in Beirut’s “Aleppo Park”
Ron Jacobs
The Realist: Irreverence Was Their Only Sacred Cow
Andre Vltchek
Lock up England in Jail or an Insane Asylum!
Rev. William Alberts
Grandiose Marketing of Spirituality
Paul DeRienzo
Three Years Since the Kitty Litter Disaster at Waste Isolation Pilot Plant
Eric Sommer
Organize Workers Immigrant Defense Committees!
Steve Cooper
A Progressive Agenda
David Swanson
100 Years of Using War to Try to End All War
Andrew Stewart
The 4CHAN Presidency: A Media Critique of the Alt-Right
Edward Leer
Tripping USA: The Chair
Randy Shields
Tom Regan: The Life of the Animal Rights Party
Nyla Ali Khan
One Certain Effect of Instability in Kashmir is the Erosion of Freedom of Expression and Regional Integration
Rob Hager
The Only Fake News That Probably Threw the Election to Trump was not Russian 
Mike Garrity
Why Should We Pay Billionaires to Destroy Our Public Lands? 
Mark Dickman
The Prophet: Deutscher’s Trotsky
Christopher Brauchli
The Politics of the Toilet Police
Ezra Kronfeld
Joe Manchin: a Senate Republicrat to Dispute and Challenge
Clancy Sigal
The Nazis Called It a “Rafle”
Louis Proyect
Socialism Betrayed? Inside the Ukrainian Holodomor
Charles R. Larson
Review: Timothy B. Tyson’s “The Blood of Emmett Till”
David Yearsley
Founding Father of American Song
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail