The following is a scathing assessment of the fraudulent U.S. Empire. We don't agree with every last bit of it, but sad to say, there's a great deal of truth in what Mike Whitney has written here.

"The Butcher's Apron," by Mike Whitney. Uruknet. December 21, 2007.

Every four years the country is swept up in the pomp and pageantry of presidential elections. And every four years loyal Americans flock to the voting booths to select the candidate of their choice. Elections—we are told—-are supposed to be the true expression of democratic government. But they aren't. They're a sham and most people know it. The balloting creates the illusion of choice where there is none. It's become a meaningless ritual that has nothing to do with representative government.

The 2008 elections have already been marred by a number of controversies, the worst of which is the report that was published last Friday by Ohio's top election official, Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner. The report proves that the voting systems that decided the 2004 election in Ohio were rife with "critical security failures". The election was rigged; pure and simple—stolen by the Bush team and their friends in the establishment media who refuse to report the news. It's actually funny, in a cynical kind of way. The perpetrators were so cocksure they could pull it off that—-according to Democracy Now—- "the servers for the computation of the Ohio vote count were in the same basement in Chattanooga, Tennessee that houses servers for the Republican National Committee. The programmers who (worked) for Ken Blackwell, the Republican Secretary of State, were Republicans who did websites for the Bush administration." (Democracy Now)

What gall. Blackwell's thugs didn't even try conceal what they were up to. Why should they care? It's not like there's an independent media that's going to report the details of a stolen election. No way. Blackwell ripped off the election and then thumbed his nose at the public. No investigation. No accountability. No nothing. Just like a banana republic only bigger.

So why do we keep throwing billions of dollars down a black hole just to maintain this pathetic charade that fools no one? Why not just load up the boxcars with pallets of crisp-new hundred dollar bills and ship them off to Crawford where they end up anyway. Let Bush worry about how to distribute the loot. Besides, with Congress' public approval dithering at 11%; we'd be better off paying them to stay at home and turn the House of Representatives into condos.

This year every one of the leading candidates is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Every one of them is a "dual loyalist" with a globalist agenda. Every one of them accepts the new regime of curtailed civil liberties, endless war, and free trade. There's not a nationalist or a patriot among them. None. They're all part of the same corporate effluent that washed into Washington on a wave of special interest payola drowning all visible symbols of a once-vital Republic. Romney pontificates about expanding Guantanamo while Clinton boasts about an attack on Iran. Blah, blah, blah. How can anyone listen to this gibberish? There's not a dime's worth of difference between any of them. They're all lacquer-hair phonies who've never had an original thought in their lives. Everything they think or say comes off a cue-card or teleprompter that flashes poll-tested, focus-group mumbo-jumbo which they reiterate roboticly. It's all rubbish.

If a prospective candidate hasn't sworn his undying allegiance to the cabal of transnational corporations, or taken a blood-oath to defend the doctrine of unfettered self-aggrandizement, or pledged to carry out a bloodthirsty "economy-busting" global crusade; he is quickly banished to the wilderness.

Just look at Ron Paul, who collected $6 million in donations in a matter of hours but still can't even get his picture in the papers. Why is that?

It's because he hasn't sold his soul to the carpetbagging freebooters who run the system. Apart from Kucinich, he's the only red-blooded, Constitution-toting American in the race. The rest are just bunko-artists and Pharisees.

Everyone knows what's going on. The whole campaign extravaganza is a pointless farce. Why continue the deception?

We all watched in 2000 while the five loonies on the Supreme Court suspended the hand counting of ballots, overturned the ruling of the Florida Supreme Court, and awarded the election to their own Party's candidate. How is that any different than Blackwell's manipulations in Ohio? It's all the same. In fact, the 5 justices had so little regard for the intelligence of the American people they invoked the 14th amendment—-the "equal protection" clause—-which had never been used except in cases of racial discrimination. They didn't care. Who was going to stop them?

Can you imagine, dear reader, the peals of laughter that must have gone up at the right-wing think tanks after that ruling? Hooray for the oligarchy of racketeers! Pass the brandy.

That was a turning point in American history. It showed that the ruling class really doesn't care what the people think anymore. This is THEIR country and they'll run it whatever way they want. To hell with democracy.

The reason there's more coverage of the campaigns this year is simply because the boardroom Mandarins want to restore the illusion that we actually have a choice. We don't. They pick the candidates and we pull the lever and go home. End of story. The debates are nothing more than a public relations gambit designed to lend a bit of credibility to a system that is rotten to the core. What part of the body-politic has been spared the cancerous ravages of corporate corruption. The Congress? The Executive? The High Court? The media?

Don't make me laugh. The entire system is marinated in a culture of violence and dishonesty. Nothing is salvageable. It all stinks.

The real difference between the parties is minuscule but significant. The Democrats have become the party of traditional imperialism spearheaded by Brzezinski, Holbrooke, Albright and the other guardians of Empire. These are the master-puppeteers who operate behind the scenes for their well-heeled benefactors. Their focus is mainly on Central Asia; controlling resources from the Caspian Basin, "pacifying" Afghanistan, rallying the EU to a greater role in NATO, and continuing the apocryphal "war on terror" into infinity. It's the Great Game redux.

The Republican Party has become the party of neoconservatives. Their operational plan is "A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm". It aligns the US with the foreign policy objectives of Israel's Likud Party. The focus is balkanizing the Middle East, undermining Arab nationalism, installing US-Israeli client regimes, and controlling the regions prodigious natural resources. It is a straightforward strategy for regional hegemony.

This is the REAL split between the parties, not the meaningless Democrat-Republican labels. Presently, the traditional imperialists have regained the upper-hand as the Bush bandwagon lurches into the ditch. Of course, there is some cross-pollenizing between the two parties; the differences are not absolute. There's plenty of gray-area and incestuous intermingling, but this is a pretty accurate overview. What's important is that neither party has any intention of restoring the Bill of Rights, slowing the outsourcing of jobs, or abandoning the war on terror. No way. That is not in their collective interests at all.

When civil liberties are stripped away; elections become pointless. Freedom has nothing to do with pushing a colored-nob on a touch-screen computer every 4 years. Its about containing the power of the state. Doesn't anyone grasp that? Freedom has become hollow buzzword that's sprinkled through presidential speeches or used to defend the latest bloody intervention in some foreign country. It's lost whatever meaning it had. We've forgotten that the Bill of Rights doesn't give us special, superhuman powers. It was designed to be a straitjacket that would restrict the actions of power-hungry politicians and confine them within the law. That's all it is; a shackle on government. Now, all that's been lost. The basic rules of the game have changed; the social contract has been repealed. Even the flag, which once embodied the hopes and aspirations of the nation; has been raised over Guantanamo, Abu Ghraib and countless other black sites spread across the planet like grains of sand. What does the world see when they look at that flag now? Do they see a symbol of liberty and justice or the butcher's apron flapping lazily above some far-flung torture chamber.

Everything has changed. America has lost its way. Casting a ballot for one silver-spoon CFR plutocrat over another accomplishes nothing. That's not democracy. It's a fraud.

Mike Whitney graduated from St. Michael's College in 1975. He owns and runs a landscape company in Snohomish, Washington, U.S. His articles appear on many alternative sites on the Internet. Mike has been a close observer of the sub-prime fiasco.


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    About Tom Usher

    Employment: 2008 - present, website developer and writer. 2015 - present, insurance broker. Education: Arizona State University, Bachelor of Science in Political Science. City University of Seattle, graduate studies in Public Administration. Volunteerism: 2007 - present, president of the Real Liberal Christian Church and Christian Commons Project.
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