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10/31/2006 Archived Entry: "The Dread"

DREAD. A perfect storm of it.

Part of it's merely personal. I've been sick -- unusual for me. Worse, the symptoms are mysterious and unyielding. I'm also in the early stages of a project that flat-out terrifies me, despite a supportive partner and years of experience that should tell me I can rise to the occasion.

But this occurs against the background of Our Beloved Leaders legalizing torture and declaring habeas corpus null and void (after 800 years) for arbitrarily chosen unfortunates. Now Glorious Leader signs another dead-of-night bill. This one eliminates historic protections against using the military to whack Americans. (See section 1076. Or read this article, both thanks to teotwawki.)

The crises meriting war against the people are so broadly defined they include any "condition" of "insurrection, domestic violence, unlawful combination, or conspiracy" that "opposes or obstructs the execution of the laws of the United States or impedes the course of justice under those laws." This could include all kinds of things -- mass resistance to the drug war, for instance, or to gun-confiscation laws. Peaceful draft resistance. Or a tax revolt. Or what happens if Americans react to hyperinflation with riots or resistance?

Any mass resistance to any law, it appears, could turn Phoenix into Fallujah or Birmingham into Baghdad. And don't forget those domestic detention centers being built by Dick Cheney's minions.

Ah, but it's SO unlikely, we say as we numbly go about our business. And it really is hard to believe that a monkey-brained moron like George W. Bush could do so much harm. Or that he could set the stage for some horse-faced Hillaryous harridan or control-freaking bearer of the Mark of McCain to wage war on Americans down the road.

Numb. That's all I feel, writing this. Just plain numb. The bad news has come so steadily for the last decades and so fast and hard for the last five years that even an acute awareness eventually shuts down. How much bad news can you take before you just can't take it any more?

Numb to the news -- which is uniformly not just bad but horrible. But under the surface numbness lies the dread.

We tell ourselves that we're still okay. That, despite Bush's modern American Enabling Acts, well ... it's much better here than in Nazi Germany or the Soviet Union. Because after all, no American president has decreed mass roundups of (white) Americans -- yet. No American president has conducted mass slaughter of (white) Americans -- yet. No American president has sent (non drug-using) millions to gulags -- yet.

Yet, yet, yet. But what are we waiting for?

What would George W. Bush -- or Hillary -- or Barak -- or McCain -- or the latest cretinous presidential pretender, some fascistic lunatic called Hunter (who is, not coincidentally, named as the sponsor of the aforesaid Whack Americans with the Military Act of 2007) -- have to do, finally, to persuade us that yes, things really are that bad, that yes, it really can happen here?

What is it going to take? What horror will finally make us believe that they really, truly mean all these laws they're passing?

Are we really, truly, going to have to wait until the mass roundups or the Fallujafications of American cities begin before we admit to ourselves that in their intentions OUR Glorious Leaders are no better than THEIR Glorious Leaders? And that OUR citizens are at best only marginally better than THEIR subjects -- if that? What will it take to demonstrate that we are all in grave danger? Danger not just from these demented NeoCons, but from every future demagogue and would-be dictator they have enabled with their cynical acts?

Do we actually have to wait for them to begin hauling us off to their camps before we understand that the camps they're building are being built for a reason? Do we actually have to wait to be imprisoned without rights before we believe that they really, truly meant it when they passed laws to strip us of our rights?

Fear. I normally cherish my solitude. I like the place I live. But between feeling personally vulnerable lately and feeling all the historic protections of freedom crumbling, I've felt a powerful urge either to get the hell out before it's too late or, at least huddle with my friends for whatever minimal protection may still be available against the rape of America.

Yes, on another day I'm sure I'll be back to my optimism that we can, and will, outsmart the bastards who want to control us all. Ultimately, I'm quite confident we will outsmart, outwait, outlive them. Dictators always die. And before they die, they often end up blowing apart their own dictatorial plans through sheer, wretched excess. They end up being charged with war crimes or being subjected to (in Walter Williams' coinage) Romanian term limits, as they exquisitely deserve.

But that doesn't erase the fear of what they can do with their excesses in the short term. And I'm so weary of the dread.

Posted by Claire @ 08:11 AM CST

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