When Democracy Can’t Get Out of the Starting Gate

Geoffrey M Young posted this meme:

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To that, someone replied:

EVERYONE who Voted for TRUMP
Well no need to tell you.
You wouldn’t understand
Voted for a WORLD-CLASS asshole who didn’t become a war criminal until 1/29/17. Trump didn’t become a war criminal until he signed off on that illegal raid in Yemen, 9 days after being sworn in on 1/20/17.

These are definitive observations. America’s voting population votes either for known war criminals, or for people who within 9 days of assuming office become war criminals. Democracy does not exist, and cannot exist, under these conditions.

The United States has become, over the last 20 years particularly, literally nothing but an instrument of power, power and nothing more, a completely out of control war-mongering rogue state that very clearly in fact is ungoverned, a power instrument that literally, has no government.

Democracy ended in the United States, decades ago, but definitively in 2011, from the cumulative effect of a series of American wars of aggression, serial crimes against peace and humanity, a war series of increasing frequency and greatly increased risk (2014, the US coup in Ukraine).

Recall the idea of “Democratic Peace Theory”:

Democratic peace theory is a theory which posits that democracies are hesitant to engage in armed conflict with other identified democracies.[1] In contrast to theories explaining war engagement, it is a “theory of peace” outlining motives that dissuade state-sponsored violence.

Some theorists prefer terms such as “mutual democratic pacifism”[2] or “inter-democracy nonaggression hypothesis” so as to clarify that a state of peace is not singular to democracies, but rather that it is easily sustained between democratic nations.[3]

Among proponents of the democratic peace theory, several factors are held as motivating peace between democratic states:

  • Democratic leaders are forced to accept culpability for war losses to a voting public;
  • Publicly accountable statespeople are inclined to establish diplomatic institutions for resolving international tensions;
  • Democracies are not inclined to view countries with adjacent policy and governing doctrine as hostile;
  • Democracies tend to possess greater public wealth than other states, and therefore eschew war to preserve infrastructure and resources.

Lucid people cannot read these points without laughing out loud or throwing up in their mouth a little. Delusional apologists for war will identify a mistake and say that American wars are wars in defense of democracy against tyrants.

For example, they’ll say, “Assad is a butcher; bombs his own people, inherited his power, uses his power to amuse himself by making life a horror in Syria.”

That’s what Americans say, parroting what they’re told to say. The TV tells them to say it. The New York Times tells them. They believe it. In former times we went to church to learn our dogma, to learn our received beliefs, to receive our instructions. News media is the new church. And for the most part (that’s understating it), we’re obedient, slavishly devoted to it, compliant, passive, devout. We’ll believe even the craziest of stories about other countries, and never reflect on ours, not in a serious way, not in a way that reveals what we are.

We commit the atrocities. ISIS and Al Qaeda are our proxy armies. We arm, pay, train and direct them. Libya and Syria were both secular, non-sectarian, gender-equal, socialist societies until we sent in our terrorist armies to destroy them. Syria still holds on, continues to exist and to resist our invasion. Here are Syrian women interviewed in Syria in 2016 talking about their country and what will happen to them if the American-paid terrorists destroy Syria’s army, and government:

Syria defends itself against a foreign invasion paid for and armed by the United States. As Syria defends itself from foreign invasion, it must do so in a manner consistent with the laws of war. However, and this part is for the stupidest of Americans: Syria is not, by law, and not by any moral standard, committing war crimes when, in fighting against foreign invasion, on its own territory, it’s use of force causes innocent lives to be lost.

The right of national self defense is based first of all on elementary logic which shows that peace in the world cannot exist without the right of nations to self defense. This logic is, as well, codified in the United Nations Charter, Chapter VII, Article 51:

Nothing in the present Charter shall impair the inherent right of individual or collective self-defence if an armed attack occurs against a Member of the United Nations, until the Security Council has taken measures necessary to maintain international peace and security. Measures taken by Members in the exercise of this right of self-defence shall be immediately reported to the Security Council and shall not in any way affect the authority and responsibility of the Security Council under the present Charter to take at any time such action as it deems necessary in order to maintain or restore international peace and security.

Those acting in self-defense have the right to self defense as the basis for the possibility of peace, according to elementary logic, according to common sense, and according to International law as codified in the UN Charter.

The does not mean that a State acting in self defense is free from obligation in the manner of conduct of its war of self-defense. It means that the standard of obligation is one that acknowledges its right to defense. Within the legitimate exercise of that right, the State defending itself must do so respecting certain reasonable standards which are described for example in the Geneva Conventions. These involve things of great importance including a prohibition on the use of chemical weapons, standards involving the treatment of prisoners of war, standards involving the indiscriminate use of force on civilian populations.

While the United States is the aggressor in the case of Syria (as in the case of so many other wars of our time), the United States, justifies its aggression with the assertion that Syria violates precisely these standards.

Fascinating pretzel logic.


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Are you twisted up by this logic? Were you twisted up in 2003 by it (Iraq)? In 2001 (Afghanistan)? in 1999 (Yugoslavia)? in 2011 (Libya, Syria)? in 2014 (Ukraine)?

How many times is it going to work on you?

Here’s a refresher course, a short article by Gregory Barrett: https://www.counterpunch.org/2017/06/15/the-russians-didnt-do-it/ 

So what then does one say about nations that commit wars of aggression? We note the right of self defense enshrined in common sense (and as a requisite logic in the possibility of peace) and codified in the UN Charter. So what about those committing aggression? For that we also look also to common sense and logic, and to the Nuremberg Principles, Principle VI (a): Crimes Against Peace:

(a) Crimes against peace:

(i) Planning, preparation, initiation or waging of a war of aggression or a war in violation of international treaties, agreements or assurances;

(ii) Participation in a common plan or conspiracy for the accomplishment of any of the acts mentioned under (i).

For further conceptual elaboration of war of aggression, see: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/War_of_aggression

So what usually comes from the typical American mind, reflexively, at this point, whenever someone points out the facts of serial American war-mongering?  Usually something like this:

  • “Stop blaming.”
  • “stop the self-righteous sanctimonious bullshit”
  • “don’t belabor the past”
  • “seek unity,”
  • “stop attacking and blaming”
  • “there is a fine line between passion and zealotry”
  • “stop the personal attacks”
  • “you’re voicing an extremism that causes only more war”

Such (above) are not, and cannot be, the ideas of serious people. These are ideas that cannot be held in the minds of responsible decent people.

It’s not sanctimonious to say “you voted for a war criminal” or to say “I do not vote for war criminals.” What that is, rather, is the setting of a lowest minimal acceptable standard. It sets only an extremely low bar. Anyone who’s not a mass murderer can pass that bar. It says, that to be considered worth a vote, a candidate has to rise to meet only the lowest of minimal standards of basic human decency. If a candidate cannot rise at least to that level, then that candidate should be excluded.

There is a chasm, from here to the moon, separating this lowest possible minimal standard of human decency from “sanctimonious”. And there is absolutely nothing hypocritical in setting such a standard.

Setting that standard is the bare minimum act, and the first act, necessary for the possibility of democracy. Without it, democracy cannot be sustained. If this act is skipped, ignored, diminished, denounced as “dis-unifying sanctimonious bullshit, extremism that blames and attacks and creates war”, then democracy is destroyed before it gets out of the starting gate.

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To get out of the starting gate, democracy requires these two rules:

  1. do not vote for any candidate who is a war criminal
  2. impeach any politician who becomes a war criminal

Without these 2, democracy is dead on arrival, and you’re wasting your time arguing over it.



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