Dr. Ludwig Watzal
Between the Lines 16 February, 2014
“Today no American is safe from his own government”, writes Paul Craig Roberts in his introduction to his new book on “How America was Lost”. To anticipate the essence of the book: The greatest threat to the freedom of the American people comes from their own government and not from an imaginary terrorist threat. This alarmist rhetoric serves as a pretext for America’s wars of aggression.
In his anthology, Roberts provides convincing arguments that the U. S. has become a rogue state. According to him, “America’s fate was sealed when the public and the anti-war movement bought the government’s 9/11 conspiracy theory. The government’s account of 9/11 is contradicted by much evidence. Nevertheless, this defining event of our time, which has launched the US on interminable wars of aggression and a domestic police state, is a taboo topic for investigation in the media.” Without the willful collaboration not only of the U. S. media but also by its international outlets the fabricated 9/11 narrative could have never become so widely believed, despite its obvious flaws and innumerable contradictions. According to Roberts, this could only happen because “there is no free press in America (except for Internet sites)”.
There is only a difference in gender between the neoconservative Bush-warriors and the Obama’s interventionist and warlike Amazons. Roberts, who was a former Assistant Secretary of the U. S. Treasury has become one of the most outspoken and distinctive critics of the dark machinations of the U. S. government, starting with the George W. Bush administration and its follow-up Obama presidency. Roberts’ conclusions might appear shrill for journalists and pundits of the U. S. Empire and its client states in Europe when he states: “Americans are ruled by usurpers who claim that the executive branch is above the law and that the U. S. Constitution is a mere ‘scrap of paper’.” Or: “The American people have suffered a coup d’état, but they are hesitant to acknowledge it.”
This anthology contains numerous articles on a variety of different political issues starting from 2009 until the end of 2013. In his essay, “How America was lost”, which serves as the title of the book, Roberts quotes from a speech by Dean Acheson, which he delivered at the “American Society of International Law” in 1962. Acheson pointed out that “power, position, and prestige are the ingredients of national security and that national security trumps law”. Roberts concludes from Acheson’s speech that democracy in the U. S. takes a “back seat” to national security. The term “national security” doesn’t actually mean anything but justifies everything.
Some essays deal with 9/11 and its consequences for the U. S. and the world. Since that day, the law in the U. S. is no longer a shield for ordinary people but “had been turned into a weapon in the hands of the government”. Since 9/11 the executive branch of government has risen above the law. On September 30, 2011, was the day “America was assassinated”, writes the author in “The Day America died”. On that day, Obama used his absolute power by having “two American citizens, Anwar al-Awlaki and Samir Khan, murdered”. Few days later, al-Awlaki’s son was also murdered with a drone in Yemen. “Having murdered its critic, the Obama Regime is working hard to posthumously promote al-Awlaki to a leadership position in Al-Qaeda.” It is historically unique, that the President of the flagship democracy maintains a personal killing list. Obama has been so far the first U. S. President who “asserted the power to murder citizens”.
In his essay “Washington drives the World toward War”. Roberts presents a gloomy outlook. “The fatal war for humanity is the war with Russia and China toward which Washington is driving the US and Washington’s NATO and Asian puppet states.” The bigotry of the U. S. power elite is rooted in its self-righteous doctrine that stipulates America as the “indispensable country”. This means, according to the author, that “the US has been chosen by history to establish the hegemony of secular ‘democratic capitalism’ over the world. The primacy of this goal places the US government above traditional morality and above all law, both its own and international”. Alarming, however, is the fact that with few exceptions “the American people including the Christian churches have accepted their government’s criminality and immorality with scant protest”, not to speak of the European U. S. vassal states.
That the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, better known as NATO, should go down the drain is a foregone conclusion for the author, because NATO “has resurrected as America’s imperial army”. According to Roberts, the neoconservatives are frustrated that the Cold War ended without a US military triumph over Russia. It is a triumph that the dangerous warmongers still hope to achieve. For the time being, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin has saved the U. S. before a final showdown through his skilful diplomacy. But for the U. S. warmongering political class there will be no peace until Russia is defeated. Its first step is an attempt to engineer a coup d’état in Ukraine and the establishment of a puppet regime in Kiev.
In his wrap-up, Roberts highlights the work of the U. S. Justice Department that had nothing better to do than to provide legal justifications enabling U. S. Presidents to disregard the law and the Constitution. In the light of these lawyers’ sophistry, George Orwell may appear as an amateur.
This anthology compiles a great number of valuable essays by one of America’s strident critics. It is unfortunate that the fawning U. S. media do not print such excellent contributions.
Dr. Ludwig Watzal works as a journalist and editor in Bonn, Germany.