Dictatorship

Afghanistan faces famine, economic collapse as international community poses conditions for aid

The key point is that the international community should not deny to the people of Afghanistan–the individual life-and-blood human beings–the aid they need to survive, on the theory that withholding aid will make the Taliban respect human rights. For examples of the challenges of survival these human beings face, see Espinosa and Follorou, above.

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The dog days of August and the Olympic Games: Time to act on Trump and the Republican fascist threat

See Jonathan Freedland, “Trump may be fading away, but Trumpism is now in the American bloodstream; He left in disgrace, yet all signs point to…


The indictment of Trump: The Democratic wall of silence begins to break

See, 1) Laurence H. Tribe, Barbara McQuade and Joyce White Vance, “Here’s a roadmap for the Justice Department to follow in investigating Trump,” Washington Post,…


America has become a Country of the Absurd

Reprinted, with permission, from ABSURARAMA! June 6, 2021. In the United States, perhaps 50-70 million voters, including a vast majority of Republican voters and almost…


Fascism in America is here NOW, in the Republican Party

A principal characteristic of fascist parties, such as the Nazi party in Germany in the 1920’s and 1930’s, is the use of violence in the streets and elsewhere against opponents. Today, in the United States, legislators, governors, and electoral officials operate under the threat of imminent bodily harm to themselves or their families.

The highest priority facing the government of Joe Biden is the urgent need to repress this threat of violence, so that votes and decisions and actions of legislators, governors, and government officials are not taken under the influence of fear of bodily harm to themselves or their families.

What can the Biden administration do?

A lot.

For example, they could establish a “zero tolerance”policy for such threats, which constitute serious federal crimes, and prosecute each and every individual who makes such a threat.


Liz Cheney and the Republican “Gleichschaltung”

There is a movement afoot in the House of Representatives to strip Liz Cheney (R-Wyoming) from her post in the House Republican Leadership. Her opponents are furiously trying to remove her because she has refused to endorse the Big Lie that Donald Trump won the November election, and that it was stolen from him by massive fraud. Cheney survived a similar challenge a few weeks ago, but she has apparently lost the support of House Republican Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, and is being challenged by a proponent of the Big Lie and everything Trump. Cheney says she will not tell lies to keep her position. The whole development reminds one of what took place in Germany in the 1930’s.


Biden’s disastrous decision to withdraw all troops from Afghanistam–with links to best opinion pieces

The decision to surrender to the Taliban and abandon our Afghan allies and supporters is among the most craven and dastardly decisions in U.S. military and foreign policy history. One searches in history for a decision of such dishonorable magnitude.

The comparison that comes to mind is the agreement by Neville Chamberlain of England and Ėdouard Daladier of France with Adolf Hitler at Berchtesgaden in Bavaria in October, 1938. The agreement, known as the Munich Pact, has become synonymous with betrayal and appeasement

That will be Joe Biden’s legacy, unless he changes course, which seems unlikely.


Afghanistan: Biden’s Achilles Heel

More fundamentally, his failure to replace Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad as head of the peace negotiations reveals he is inclined to continue Donald Trump’s “cut and run” policy, embodied in the February 29, 2020 surrender and withdrawal agreement in Doha, Qatar with the Taliban.

The Agreement does not provide even the slightest fig leaf to conceal the abject nature of the surrender to the Taliban.

By proceeding with the May 1, 2021 withdrawal date established in the Doha Agreement, or even postponing it by months, Biden would fail to recognize that the Taliban have not seriously engaged in “intra-Afghan” negotiations aimed at a peace settlement, and establishing a viable cease-fire, as called for in the Doha Agreement.

Biden is the prisoner of his 2009 thinking. He doesn’t recognize that conditions have changed. He doesn’t recognize that the current U.S. force posture and mission is essentially what he was arguing for in Barack Obama’s 2009 Afghanistan policy review.

If Biden continues on Trump’s “cut and run” course, he will be responsible for Afghanistan becoming another Iran, with the people–including those we have nurtured as advocates of democracy and the rule of law for the last 20 years–living under the harsh dictatorial rule of Islamic religious extremists, as in Iran.

Moreover, surrender in Afghanistan is not likely to enhance his negotiating position with Iran.

Biden must replace Khalilzad immediately, and conduct a fresh and new review of U.S. military and policy options in the region. He should listen to his democratic allies and, above all, to the people of Afghanistan as represented by their elected leaders.

He needs to develop a policy based on the facts on the ground today, and set aside the idea that the U.S. goal should be just to get out of Afghanistan.


Fighting the American fascists: Just imagine they are wearing Nazi military uniforms

They tell monstruous lies. They are not acting in good faith. They are silent in the face of violence. For two months they were complicit and co-conspirators with Donald Trump to overthrow the election and the Constitution.

They pay obeisance to Donald Trump, even today, after his attempted coup d’état and the Capitol Insurrection.
We should simply imagine that they are all wearing Nazi military unifirms.

When you see Senators Ted Cruz, Josh Hawley, and Ron Johnson,
in the Senate, for example, just imagine they are wearing Nazi military uniforms. It will clear your mind.



In Memoriam: The Republican Party (March 20, 1854-February 13, 2021)

While severely ailing for the last four years, The Republican Party entered its death throes and died on February 13, 2021.
This constitutional argument had been twice rejected by the full Senate, which under the Constitution has the sole authority to determine how it will proceed in impeachment cases.

Consequently, not only did the 43 Republican Senators violate their oaths of office and their oaths to do impartial justice, but they also violated the Constitution’s provision that the Senate is the sole arbiter of how it should proceed in an impeachment case, and the decision on constitutionality the Senate reached in exercising that power.
Journalist’s have been too intellectually lazy to understand and
report these details. Instead, they glibly write that Republican Senators who voted to acquit Trump justified their actions on a “technicality”.

Far from being a “technicality”, the bad-faith argument these apologists for Trump used to try to hide their craven cowardice involved fundamental precepts of the Constitution, including binding Senate determinations of whether the trial was constitutional or not.
Although the House Impeachment Managers lost their case for conviction in the Senate, they put forth a brilliant case, which convinced 57 of the 100 Senators to vote to impeach Trump.

Now, the battle must be taken to the court of public opinion, and to the polls in 1922, 1924, 1926, and beyond.


Democrats blow huge opportunity at impeachment trial, losing 57-43. But work must continue to tear down Trump’s propaganda wall.

The great political challenge we all now face is to find a way to dismantle Trump’s propaganda bubble and alternative universe, so that rational people, no longer fearful of fascist mobs and voters, can resume a politics of reason.
Yet let us not lose sight of the great success of the House Impeachment Managers in presenting a compelling case,  Let us also not lose sight of the fascist challenge that America faces, and the hard work that remains to be done to overcome it.