Wednesday, June 9

The Cold War Carries On

With the passing of Ronald Reagan, we are likely going to hear the oft-repeated boast that this president was responsible for "victory" in the Cold War. This simplistic assertion bothers me not only because it is absurd to imagine Reagan as being individually responsible for such an overdetermined event as the collapse of the Soviet Union, but because it is vastly naive to imagine that the Cold War has simply ended and that nothing of it remains. The fact is, all the structures that were built to fight this undeclared war are still in place and have only grown stronger since George Bush Jr. was appointed president by the Supreme Court. Terror(ism) has been conveniently fitted with the former footwear of the faded communist foe. Wars are waged without official declaration (as they have been since 1941, the last time war was declared by the U.S.), and forces acting outside the constraints of the U.S. Constitution subvert national and international laws to overturn governments, fabricate national security threats, assassinate democratically-elected political leaders, cynically co-opt the language of democracy and freedom, bend toward self-serving ends mythologies of American cultural and political history, and satisfy wherever possible the sundry interests of a corporate-complicit secret government.
Much more can be said on these issues; but for today, I note that a June 4th post from Faramin drew my attention to a remarkable short documentary narrated by Bill Moyers during Bush's Sr.'s tour in office. This documentary on the origins and powers of the National Security State in the U.S. and its "secret government" is remarkably prescient with particular respect to today's events in corporate America, Iraq, Chile, and Cuba.