Polite Fascism has come to America. If this concept sounds preposterous to Americans it may sound otherwise to foreigners who are getting the worst of it. The public judges the White House largely by its conduct of domestic affairs, about what it has done for them, and not by its foreign wars, which is where America’s fascist brutality is largely exercised and of which the U.S. public knows little. Obama has quieted many Leftist critics by taking actions to appease their needs, such as securing passage of Obamacare. He has satisfied gays, by pledging to treat them as human beings. He has indicated he will not let the Republicans eviscerate Social Security, reassuring the elderly. And he is calling for enactment of gun control legislation, long sought by the Left.
What’s more, neither the Pentagon nor the FBI is rounding up large numbers of domestic dissidents and putting them in “detention camps,” as Nixon’s Attorney General Richard Kleindienst once threatened would be the fate of anti-war demonstrators who tied up traffic in Washington, D.C. Obama’s Department of Homeland Security may be a sword hung over the heads of the citizenry but its officers are not smashing store windows and beating Jews on the Hitler model. Suffice it to say the FBI now and then entraps Muslims in dangerous bomb plot “conspiracies,” which are alleged plots, not actions. But it has made no wholesale arrests. The object of Polite Fascism apparently is to keep people in line by making examples of the few rather than mincemeat of the many.
Critics of the Bush and Obama regimes have been, and are, free to speak, write, and demonstrate---even though this last is becoming increasingly hazardous as the Feds militarize the once friendly cop on the beat. Demonstrators these days are in jeopardy of having their First Amendment rights quashed by the promiscuous use of tear gas against them. Overall, though, the Obama regime fits this Webster definition of “fascist”: “A totalitarian governmental system led by a dictator and emphasizing an aggressive nationalism, militarism, and often racism.” However, when it comes to “emphasizing an aggressive nationalism” and “militarism,” Mr. Obama can’t deny those terms don’t fit him. They do. Even though he masquerades as a moderate, left-of-center liberal, he is the most powerful fascist who has ever lived, the commander-in-chief of the largest war machine ever, and he operates with a reckless brutality that is killing innocent people and inspiring fear over vast areas of the world, literally turning life for millions into a living hell and causing their populations to despise America.
Suffice it to say enactment of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) on New Year’s Eve, 2011, gave Mr. Obama more power than any king. As the American Civil Liberties Union put it:
“Although President Obama issued a signing statement saying he had ‘serious reservations’ about the NDAA’s detention provisions, the statement only applies to how his administration would use them, and would not affect how the law is interpreted by subsequent administrations. The provisions – which were negotiated by a small group of members of Congress, in secret, and without proper congressional review – are inconsistent with fundamental American values.”
The law, in fact, allows the federal authority to arrest and detain any person indefinitely without trial, effectively giving the president the powers of a king and subverting the Constitution.
It is in the application of illegal force abroad that Obama has thus far brazenly identified his fascist-style cruelty and terrorism. By his admitted use of the drone war machine against alleged terrorist suspects he is murdering human beings wholesale and plunging wide communities into perpetual fear of his attacks. If one just enumerates the number of terror strikes, said to exceed 200 in Pakistan alone, (and killing 2,500), Mr. Obama is the foremost terrorist operating on the planet today.
Reports are emanating out of Pakistan, for example, of civilians living under the perpetual threat of the drones, of people being driven insane by the fear that their families will be killed by their dreadful Hellfire missiles, and, when they are, of not even being able to identify them from what remains of their body parts. In these communities, people are afraid to shop, to go to work, drive their cars, and to send their children to school or outdoors to play. They are afraid to go to mosques or gather anywhere for public meetings, which have been repeatedly struck. And they do not rush to the aid of the surviving wounded in need of medical care lest they be stricken in the act by a follow-up drone strike. Their communities have been brazenly converted into war zones by Mr. Obama, whose self-authorized attacks reportedly have killed more than a hundred children even as he takes care to provide armed guards to protect his own two daughters. And while the president brazenly lies that his attacks are only killing terrorists, in point of fact the follow-up attacks against first responders cannot possibly be confined to terrorists. Killing innocent people without judge or jury who have not been convicted of any crime is murder, pure and simple. These actions surely fit the Webster definition of fascism as it relates to “nationalism” and “militarism.”
The only honorable course for dealing with this tyrant is impeachment and trial for murder. His knowing accomplices in the Pentagon, CIA, and the Congress need to be prosecuted with him. Such prosecution might also extend to the officials of Lockheed Martin Corp., of Bethesda, Md., manufacturers in Orlando, Fla., of the Hellfire missile. This war-enabling corporation blandly identifies itself as “a global security and aerospace company” involved in “advanced technology systems, products, and services.” Its Board of Directors authorized a first quarter 2013 dividend of $1.15 per share, suggesting that business is good. Meanwhile, survivors of many cities in Pakistan are mourning the loss of their family members and friends. Survivors must also live with mutilated and incapacitated loved ones, including children maimed for life. They are also mourning the loss of homes, businesses, incomes, education, and sanity swept away by the Hellfire strikes. This is nothing less than the mass torture of large civilian populations, as deplorable as anything experienced by Londoners during the World War Two Nazi blitz, and a very crime against humanity as well. As the UK Guardian newspaper reported last June 21st, the UN rapporteur on extrajudicial killings, Christof Heyns, says the drone killings “challenge the system of international law that has endured since the Second World War.”
Sherwood Ross is the author of “Gruening of Alaska” (Best Books) and numerous magazine articles and blogs on political subjects.