A GATHERING STORM
Ernest Partridge, The Crisis Papers
September 26, 2006
"If there is no struggle there is no progress. Those
who profess to favor freedom and yet depreciate agitation…want crops
without plowing up the ground, they want rain without thunder and
lightening. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many
waters…. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and
it never will."
Early last August,
that “The Democrats, believing they have an excellent chance to reclaim
one or even both houses of Congress, are almost certainly heading for
another huge disappointment in November.” While I am only slightly less
certain of this today, some remarkable events have taken place since
then that suggest a possible political upheaval after the election. As
the criminal behavior of the Bush administration becomes ever more
brazen and the international trust in and reputation of the United
States continue to plunge to unprecedented depths, a formidable
opposition is beginning to coalesce. Today, the various factions of this
opposition are separate and uncoordinated, but that could suddenly
change. The catalyzing events – the “final straws” – might be the
torture scandals and one more “fixed” national election. Or if that is
not quite enough, then add another unprovoked war, this time with Iran.
If, despite all this, the elites do not demolish the foundations of
Bushism, then the pending inevitable collapse of the US economy will
incite the ordinary citizens to do so.
These bold pronouncements are speculative, of course, and require an
argument. But before we get to that, let’s review, as premises to that
argument, some hard and generally indisputable facts:
The election fraud issue is heating up, despite the
determined silence of the MSM about the issue and its persistent
ridicule of the election critics.
A recent Zogby Poll reports that a third of the US population
believes that the 2004 Presidential elections was stolen, and an
additional fifth has doubts. Computer scientists at
Princeton recently acquired a Diebold machine and soon thereafter
demonstrated how an election could be “hacked” in a couple of minutes
leaving no trace of the crime. Then
Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. published an account of how a Diebold Vice
President may have done just that in Georgia in 2002. Incidentally, “Diebolding,”
like “Swiftboating,” is fast becoming a familiar verb, and that can’t
be good news for the Busheviks.
CIA professionals have been betrayed with the “outing”
of Valerie Plame Wilson, and slandered by the Administration’s
persistent attempts to blame the Iraq fiasco on “bad intelligence.”
CIA professionals can be very dangerous adversaries.
The Iraq War has increased the threat of terrorism at
home and abroad. So states
a report, just released by sixteen separate government
intelligence agencies. This official "National Intelligence Estimate"
directly refutes the claims of Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and the GOP
propaganda machine that Iraq is the central stage of the "War on
Forty-five Retired Generals and Admirals, including Colin Powell
and four other former Joint Chiefs, have urged the Congress to
preserve the Geneva Conventions. Military Judge Advocates General are
also protesting the policy. Junior officers and enlisted
personnel are complaining about inadequate equipment and the
deplorable treatment of veterans returning from Iraq.
The torture practices and policies condoned, and now
promoted, by the Bush administration are criminal acts as defined by
the Geneva Conventions and by the US War Crimes Act.
The incarceration of so-called “illegal combatants” at
Guantanamo and other military prisons, and of American citizen Jose
Padilla in a Navy brig, are direct and explicit violations of the
Fifth, Sixth, Seventh and Eighth Amendments to the Constitution of the
United States. (Read
If the American economy continues on its present
course, it is certain to collapse.
Stein’s Law prevails: “That which can not go on forever, won’t.”
Moving next from hard fact to plausible speculations:
Wealthy individuals and corporations that thrived
during the Clinton Administration are in grave peril if the US economy
collapses. It is in their enlightened self-interest to steer economic
policy away from its present disastrous course. We’ve not heard much
about any rational concern among these elites (that media problem
again), but it is hard to believe that the “movers and shakers” can be
so naive as to fail to appreciate that they have no enduring stake in
Many informed scholars and statesmen see a potential
disaster from a war with Iran. That war would unite the Islamic
nations in opposition to the United States and quite possibly
seriously curtail oil imports. Almost a quarter of the world’s oil
supply passes through the Strait of Hormuz, which Iran might blockade.
Hugo Chavez has vowed to shut off all oil exports from Venezuela to
the US if Bush launches a war against Iran. Together, these
contingencies would devastate the US economy, so much so as to force
the US out of the Middle East. And the Iranians know this full well.
The United States is becoming an international pariah.
In many foreign countries, opinion polls report that the US is
regarded as the greatest threat to peace. Because common threats
create alliances, US belligerence may well unite the industrial world
against the US. The neo-cons seem to believe that, due to our
formidable military strength, other nations must meekly yield to our
unilateral acts. On the contrary, the rest of the world (95% of the
world’s population) can destroy our economy at will by shutting off
imports of essential materials, by calling in our foreign debt, and by
abandoning the dollar as the prime international currency. (See my
Bush and his accomplices, like many autocrats, are
dogmatic, determined and single-minded. They are notoriously deaf to
dissenting opinions or warnings. (Cf. the August, 2001 PDB, "Bin Laden
Determined to Strike in US," and
Richard Clarke’s book “Against All Enemies”). Thus they are quite
capable of taking “a step too far.” “Social Security reform” was such
a step. Perhaps the “aggressive interrogation policy” (i.e., torture)
will prove to be a more portentous blunder, the “final straw” that
catalyzes a resistance movement that will bring them down.
Because of these circumstances, the Busheviks have made
some powerful enemies, both foreign and domestic. As the discontent of
these adversaries becomes more evident and manifest, a resistance
movement may evolve. Among these dissidents are disaffected moderate
Republicans such as John Dean and Kevin Phillips, some of whom, like
James Webb in Virginia, are running for office as Democrats. In
addition, resistance is forming among members of the federal civil
service, foreign investors and creditors, and as noted above, retired
military officers and veterans, and CIA professionals. And finally, more
and more ordinary citizens are being alerted as the media curtain
dissolves, exposing the lies and criminal activities of the Busheviks.
To their everlasting shame, the Washington Democrats are not conspicuous
among this opposition.
As the November election moves ever closer, it becomes increasingly
likely that Karl Rove and the GOP will manage to hold things together
long enough to steal one more election – to keep control of Congress,
regardless of the will of the voters.
But then what?
What happens if, after the opinion polls continue to show an
overwhelming desire by the voters to turn the GOP out of the Congress
and the state houses, the Republicans nonetheless remain in power? What
if they do so despite statistically impossible upsets, e.g. in Ohio (Kenneth
Blackwell, now down by 19 points), and Florida (Katherine
Harris down by 18 points). What if, as before, virtually all
these “upsets” are in the Republicans’ favor by means of vote totals
that are, by deliberate design, impossible to validate?
Might it finally dawn on the American public and the Democratic Party
that elections are now meaningless charades, and that as long as
unverifiable paperless e-voting prevails (and what is to stop it?), the
United States will be, for all practical purposes, a one-party
In short: what are citizens to do when it is finally recognized and
acknowledged that it is impossible to vote the ruling party out of
office – when, in effect, that party rules without the consent of the
The founders of our republic, in Congress assembled on July 4, 1776, had
That to secure these Rights, Governments are
instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of
the governed, That, whenever any Form of Government becomes
destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or
to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation
on such Principles, and organizing its Powers in such form, as to them
shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.... [W]hen
a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same
Object, evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it
is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to
provide new Guards for their future security.
So am I suggesting a new revolution or a
Not exactly, and not necessarily.
First of all, let’s be clear: were a coalition of institutions, elites
and citizens to overthrow the GOP autocracy, this would not be a coup.
It would be a counter-coup, for the Bush regime came to power in 2000 in
a coup which was fraudulently re-instated in 2004. Due to widespread
election fraud and a suspension of ballot counting by a rogue Supreme
Court, the United States today is ruled by an illegitimate regime. Even
if, however improbably, the election returns of 2000, 2002 and 2004 were
accurate, we can not know this because e-votes are, by design,
unverifiable. An unverifiable vote is an invalid vote. Accordingly,
offices obtained through such “elections” are illegitimate. Compounding
that illegitimacy are Bush and Cheney’s deliberate violation of their
oaths of office, “to protect and defend the Constitution of the United
Second, by a “counter-coup,” I do not envision Bush and Cheney
frog-marched out of a White House surrounded by tanks and troops in
battle fatigues. I devoutly hope that such an eventuality will never
take place and fully believe that it is both unlikely and unnecessary.
Tanks surrounding a Presidential palace install or replace dictators far
more frequently than they remove them. I would trust a military junta
even less and fear it even more than I do the ruling Busheviks. Dear
Lord, never let it come to this!
Instead, I envision a restoration of our democracy through “people
power:” a peaceful “velvet revolution” such as we’ve seen in South
Africa, in the Philippines, in Poland, in Czechoslovakia, in Russia, and
in the US south in the sixties. It would be a restoration funded by
wealthy and progressive individuals, publicized by what remains of a
free media and by a mainstream media “constructively pressured.”
Propaganda is not necessary, the simple truth will suffice, since, as
Steven Colbert correctly noted, “reality has a liberal bias”.
The struggle for restoration would be assisted by agencies and
individuals within the governments, federal, state and local. On the
federal level, individuals in the CIA and other agencies might disrupt
the functioning of the regime (by methods that they know best), and
whistleblowers might expose and publicize corruption and abuse of power.
Just enough GOP Senators and members of Congress might be “persuaded” to
join the Democrats in
of resistance that would reorganize the Congress and then proceed to
investigate the crimes of the Bush administration. If so,
impeachment, conviction, and removal from office would become distinct
State governments might pass resolutions of non-compliance and calls for
impeachment, or even, in extreme cases, threaten secession. (Secession
would fail, as it should, but resolutions of secession would ignite
public debate and publicize citizen grievances). Local prosecutors
might, at last, investigate, indict and bring to trial individuals (e.g.
politicians and voting machine manufacturers and technicians) guilty of
The military, from general officers down to privates, might refuse to
obey illegal orders from the White House. For example, orders to
continue an illegal war in Iraq, or to commence an illegal war in Iran.
If so, they would have the support and sanction of the Nuremberg
accords, which have the force of law.
And finally ordinary citizens, in ever-increasing numbers, would, in the
words of The Declaration, publicly “absolve” themselves of “allegiance”
to the illegitimate regime. As in Alabama and Mississippi in the
sixties, the jails would then be jammed with non-violent resisters, and
the streets would be filled with angry citizens demanding the
restoration of a government that rules with their consent – as in
Manila, Johannesburg, Gdansk, Prague, St. Petersburg, Moscow.
It could happen here in the United States of America if We the People
finally come to understand and appreciate that redress through the
ballot box is no longer available to us. And if, furthermore, this
aroused public has the good sense and discipline to renounce violence.
On the other hand, none of this may be attempted or, if attempted,
succeed. If so, and if, once again, the will of the majority of American
voters is thwarted in November, then the United States will likely
descend into a long night of despotism. Then, at last, the rest of the
civilized world might unite to bring down what we American citizens have
failed to reform. Alliances abroad can crush the despotic American
regime by shutting off the supply of essential resources and deflating
the value of the dollar.
To avoid this fate, what must we ordinary citizens do today, just six
weeks before the election?
First of all, vote! – even in elections fated to be “Diebolded.”
Every impossible (“miracle”) GOP victory erodes the credibility of
e-voting and by implication the legitimacy of the GOP regime.
Conversely, every obviously fraudulent election increases the legitimacy
of extra-electoral protest and resistance. And who knows? A flood of
votes against Republicans by an angry and alerted citizenry just might
overwhelm the Congressional “fix” that is presumably in place.
Support the Democrats
selectively – individuals, not the corrupt
and complaint national party. Send contributions to individual
progressive candidates, never to the Democratic Leadership Council or
the Senate or Congressional Campaign Committees. And when the
solicitations arrive from the DLC, the DSCC, or the DCCC, let them know
why you won’t contribute.
Keep pushing the election fraud issue with letters to the editor, to the
media, and to Congress, and in your personal, business and professional
contacts. And contribute to the citizen organizations working toward
election reform, and
Boycott the mainstream broadcast media and their sponsors, except for
rare mavericks such as Keith Olbermann. And again, write to them and
tell them why. Support and distribute the work of progressive print
columnists such as Paul Krugman, E.J. Dionne, Bob Herbert, etc.
Support alternative and independent media: publications (The Nation, The
Progressive, American Prospect, etc.), broadcasts (Pacifica,
DemocracyNow, Air America Radio, etc.) and of course the internet.
Above all we must always remember that this is our country. The
regressive oligarchs have taken it away from us. They will not willingly
give it back to us. And so, we must take it back.
Copyright 2006 by Ernest Partridge
Ernest Partridge's Internet Publications
Conscience of a Progressive:
Partridge's Scholarly Publications. (The Online Gadfly)
Dr. Ernest Partridge is a consultant, writer and lecturer in the field
of Environmental Ethics and Public Policy. He has taught Philosophy at
the University of California, and in Utah, Colorado and Wisconsin. He
publishes the website, "The Online
Gadfly" and co-edits the progressive website,
"The Crisis Papers".
His e-mail is: firstname.lastname@example.org .