'War on terror' is last birth pang of American fascism

By Lahai J Samboma

mein furher.jpgIt is possible that the idea for the present article may have been lurking somewhere in my subconscious for some time, but the decision to finally write it came suddenly after hearing Bush’s claim on television today that the foiling of an alleged plot to blow up several US-bound aircraft was definitive proof that “we” were in a war against “Islamic fascists”.

This was rich, coming as it did from the 21st Century’s greatest fascist leader and the single most potent threat to international peace and security. During the course of his short speech, which our hero delivered on an airport tarmac, he did his handlers and speechwriters proud. Not only did he not read from a script - at least not one that we could see - he also remembered to repeat the all-important buzz-words and phrases: “…those of us who love freedom and democracy…freedom …democracy” - you name it, it was there!

One could not help thinking that this revelation of a nefarious plot by vile Islamic fundamentalists could not have come at a more opportune moment - at a time when the “war on terror” was centrestage worldwide, with the Zionist-Anglo-American tag team victoriously killing mad, Koran-thumping towel heads in Occupied Palestine, Iraq, Lebanon and Afghanistan.


Bush’s seemingly off-the-cuff remark that he would give the security establishment “all the tools they needed to do the job” was as much a clincher as all the others he had delivered since he and his handlers hijacked the White House in a desperate and cynical bid to firmly root fascism by stealth in the American body politic. At some point in the near-future, Tweedle-Bush is going to spearhead more anti-democratic legislation to further limit individual freedoms in the US. And, as light follows day, Tweedle-Blair would do likewise in Britain.

The contention that America is, or is becoming, a fascist state is not a new one. It has been around since corporate interests took over both main parties through the device of party political funding. The predominant variant of the view that the US is a fascist society, which has come to be categorised as corporate fascism, may offer a glimpse into the nominally free but profoundly undemocratic and fascistic nature of the “land of the free”.

However, the main problem with this conceptualisation of the American disease becomes immediately same shit.jpgapparent when one considers the cure proposed by it proponents. They suggest that this lies in eliminating corporate funding of political parties and replacing it with funding by the state. And how is this revolution in the ethos of party politics to be effected? Suffice it to say that a large part of the proposed solution entails lobbying and writing letters and signing petitions to legislators, whose very existence depends on these self-same vested interests. One can almost visualise the turkeys gleefully voting for Christmas!

This postulation of both the problem and the method of its amelioration is extremely naive; at worst, it is reactionary fantasising. Any proper diagnosis will have to start from a statement of the characteristics of fascism and then seeking to ascertain whether these characteristics are present within the American body politic. According to the political scientist Dr Lawrence Britt - who in 2003 published a comparative study of fascism in Germany, Italy, Spain, Indonesia and Chile - fascist states have several characteristics in common.


These are his fourteen characteristics of fascism: powerful nationalism; disdain for human rights; identification of enemies/scapegoats as a unifying cause; supremacy of the military; controlled mass media; suppression of labour power; corruption; fraudulent elections; obsession with crime and punishment; the protection of corporate power; the close relationship between religion and government; an obsession with national security; rampant sexism; and suppression of intellectuals and the arts.

America under Bush passes this checklist with flying colours. The belholy gullible.jpgligerent nationalism of “my fellow Americans” is without rival in the modern world except in Kim Jong Il’s Korea, as is the disrespect for human rights represented by recent so-called “anti-terror” legislation, the concerted snooping on citizens and ongoing rights violations in US-occupied Iraq; the corporate stranglehold on the political system is a given, as are corruption and the unholy merger of the executive with end-time Christian fundamentalism that is fuelling the current Zionist massacres of Palestinians and Lebanese in the Middle East.

While the Nazis and the Pinochistas had the resistance and the leftists, Bush’s America has manufactured its very own unifying bogeyman in the form of Osama bin Laden, a radical Saudi who was essentially set up in the terror business with CIA funding and expertise. One could have said they would have had to create al-Qaeda if it did not exist; only, in this case, they did create it. And, regarding rigged elections, we all know that the oaf in the Oval Office got there through electoral fraud!


As far as crime and punishment are concerned, the corporate state has criminalised whole generations of mainly African-Americans, with the prison population presently numbering well over two million, more than one in every 138 US residents. The traditional sexism of the fascist state is here complemented by rampant racism. If one were to engage in hair-splitting, one could say that the only difference between “Bushism” and the fascisms of old is that the former does not control the mass media, suppress labour or independent intellectualism. But such an assertion would not stand up to close scrutiny.

While there may not be overt control of the mass media, the concentration of ownership in the hands of a few corporate interests who back either the Evil Party or the Less Evil Party, or both simultaneously, more than compensates for the crude government censorship of old. This, among other things, has the intended effect of limiting or stifling dissenting discourse, while feeding misinformation and propaganda to a gullible public. Similar insidious methods have been used to buy-off and neutralise labour activism and most independent scholarship. There is a stark choice facing many labour leaders and intellectuals: toe the line or expect to see your career stagnate and research funds dry up.


“Bushism”, thanks to its backroom fixers and puppeteers, has got all the bases covered. One other characteristic Ifreedom.jpg believe we must mention - one that is only perhaps implicit in Brett’s list - is the forcible suppression of any form of open dissent, from running battles with anti-globalisation and anti-capitalist protesters to the arrest of individuals wearing “the wrong” T-shirts. In this regard, the case of Michael Ferner is particularly instructive; he was arrested for sporting a “peace” T-shirt in July, as were a couple who wore anti-Bush shirts to the president’s Independence Day appearance in West Virginia.

Says Professor Sheldon S. Wolin, emeritus professor of politics at Princeton University: “The Nazis focused upon mobilizing and unifying the society, maintaining a continuous state of war preparations and demanding enthusiastic participation from the populace. In contrast, [ the US] exploits political apathy and encourages divisiveness. The turnout for a Nazi plebiscite was typically 90 percent or higher; in a good election year in the United States, participation is about 50 percent.

“The Nazis abolished the parliamentary system, instituted single-party rule and controlled all forms of public communication. It is possible, however, to reach a similar result without seeming to suppress. An elected legislature is retained but a system of corruption (lobbyists, campaign contributions, payoffs to powerful interests) short-circuits the connection between voters and their representatives. The system responds primarily to corporate interests; voters become cynical, resigned; and opposition seems futile.”


When I began writing this article, I predicted that the authorities on both sides of the Atlantic would seek to use fight it.jpgthe revelation of this alleged plot to pass more restrictive “anti-terror” legislation. And - unholy son-of-a-Bush! - just five minutes ago a newscaster announced that the UK government has let it be known that they are drafting further “anti-terror” laws to be rushed through parliament. We now await a similar announcement from the “war-president”.

It has been said that when America sneezes, Britain catches its cold. That saying could not be more apt in this case. As the US progresses gradually into full-blown fascism under Bush, his lapdog Blair is doing his level best catch-up. And the more one contemplates recent developments, the more one begins to question the tactics of the securitariat in the last two days. For example, was it really necessary to disrupt all trans-Atlantic travel after the alleged plotters had been apprehended? Was this aimed at ensuring maximum media coverage, thereby causing mass hysteria and creating a climate conducive to the acceptance by the public of further erosion of democratic and human rights? This “war on terror” is the last birth pang of American fascism.

One would have thought, given that disaffected individuals prepared to engage in desperate acts of terrorism are fired by perceived injustices emanating from Bush-Blair foreign policy in the Middle East and Afghanistan, that a tiny fraction of the massive amount of air time which has been consumed by reports and analysis of the foiled alleged plot would have been devoted to examining the role, if any, those issues have played. But it would appear those issues are not up for discussion in “civilised” and “democratic” societies. The politicians don’t want to talk about it; the cheap harlots of the media networks shy away from it.

So, what should be done? There is really only one course of action open to all freedom-loving people and that is to resist by all necessary means these elective totalitarian regimes that pass themselves off as democracies. Fascism was defeated before. It is possible to defeat it again today. I will conclude this piece by quoting two American thinkers:

Benjamin Franklin: “They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.”

Samuel Adams: “It does not require a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless minority keen to set brush fires in people's minds.”