From Superpower to Tinhorn Dictatorship
By Paul Craig Roberts
02/27/06 "ICH" -- -- America is headed for a soft dictatorship by
the end of Bush’s second term. Whether any American has civil rights
will be decided by the discretionary power of federal officials. The
public in general will tolerate the soft dictatorship as its
discretionary powers will mainly be felt by those few who challenge
The congressional elections this coming November are the last chance
for for Americans to reaffirm the separation of powers that is the
basis of their civil liberties. Unless the voters correct their
mistake of putting both the executive and legislative branches in
the hands of the same party and deliver the House or the Senate to
the Democrats, there is nothing on the domestic scene to stand in
the way of more power, and less accountability, being accumulated in
The Democrats have been a totally ineffective opposition and might
not inspire any voter response other than apathy. Rather than vote
for a cowardly party that is afraid to defend the Constitution,
voters might simply not vote at all.
In this unfortunate event, the only check on the Bush regime is its
Bush’s ill-fated invasion of Iraq has set in motion forces beyond
his control. On February 23 the Asia Times reported that America’s
Pakistani puppet, Musharraf, is “losing his grip.” Some Pakistani
provinces are already beyond Musharraf’s control, and the remainder
are rioting against “Busharraf” as Musharraf is now known. The
infantile American press misrepresents the riots as responses to the
Danish cartoons of the Prophet Muhammed, but in fact the target of
the riots is the American puppet.
By invading Afghanistan and Iraq and by threatening Syria and Iran,
Bush has taught Muslims everywhere that they owe their humiliation
to the Western controlled secular governments that suppress their
aspirations. They are realizing that their power resides in Islam
and that this power is suppressed by secular governments. Busharraf
is probably dead meat, and when he goes so does the US military
adventure in Afghanistan.
When Bush attacks Iran, the US army will be caught between the Iraqi
Shia and the Iranian Shia and will be decimated in fourth generation
conflict, so aptly described by William S. Lind. If a few thousand
Sunni insurgents can tie down 10 US divisions, imagine the fate of
US forces trapped in a Shia crescent.
The collapsing power of the US hegemon is everywhere evident. It is
evident in the inability to successfully occupy Iraq or even
Baghdad. It is evident in the growing military cooperation between
North and South Korea, and it is evident it the revolt in the Indian
government against Prime Minister Singh’s nuclear agreement with the
US. Indians say this agreement subjects India to US hegemony and
represents America’s attempt to block India’s pioneering research on
thorium as a nuclear fuel. Opposition parties have told Singh that
if he signs the agreement, they will bring down his government.
The entire world now recognizes that America has lost its economic
power and is dependent on the rest of the world to finance its
budget and trade deficits. The US no longer holds the cards.
American real incomes are falling, except for the rich. Jobs for
university graduates are scarce, and advanced technology products
must be imported from China. The US is a rapidly declining power and
may soon end up as nothing but a tinhorn dictatorship.
Dr. Roberts [send
is Chairman of the Institute for Political Economy and Research
Fellow at the
Independent Institute. He is a former associate editor of the
Wall Street Journal, former contributing editor for
National Review, and a former assistant secretary of the U.S.
Treasury. He is the co-author of
The Tyranny of Good Intentions.
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