Bah, they won, it looks like to me.
Dunno, Jeff, the games not over. I've got radical friends that think Bush is really damaging the empire with his over-reach. After 9-11 there were demonstrations of hundreds of thousands of people in places like Paris and Tehran in solidarity with America. Now almost the entire world considers the U.S. the world's #1 source of evil. The establishment is finding itself having to resort to electoral fraud and death squads to retain neo-liberal footholds in the Western Hemisphere (Mexico, Columbia) compared to what really could be described as "the Washington Consensus" a few years ago. U.S.-backed dictatorships all over the Muslim world are facing seething hatred towards their imperial satraps, reliable client governments like Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Pakistan could all be swept away overnight. The military is totally over extended as it is.
In 1980 nobody thought the Soviet enterprise would disappear in the next decade. Our empire may be just as brittle. Even here in the belly of the monster people are beginning to show signs of consciousness. Twice as many folks want to see the Demublicans win the presidency as the Republocrats. Most of the anger at Congress is because it isn't standing up to Bush enough. The first socialist ever was sent to the Senate. If the empire starts to totter and the government attempts to really mobilize the people (draft, dramatically increased sacrifices), who knows?
Bush's skirting constitutional safeguards often backfires, delegitimizing the empire more than it increases his power. Look at the world's reaction to the Hicks verdict and Democratic efforts to investigate the Patriot Act. Sure, the American sheeple is not a bad characterization, but they are FAR more suspicious of their government than they were in the sixties. It took years of 100-dead-troops-a-day warfare to cause demonstration of the scale that we had in the streets before this war even started. People don't have anything like the same kind of faith in the institutions (congress, the presidency, corporations, the military) that were common place in the fifties and early sixties. Though Bush is supposed to have "won" two elections, there is very good evidence that both
elections were fraudulent.
I think if one articulate electoral politician suddenly started telling the truth, stopped speaking in approved code, it could threaten the whole imperial enterprise. The United States is NOT a democracy, if you read the Federalist Papers you realize it was never intended to be. It is not even a democratic republic where you have single member constituency elections controlled by the corporate media and the vote of folks in Wyoming or Alaska are worth 4.5 votes in California. The government is not a world-wide force for good, but an evil empire with over 700 military bases in over 130 countries. The system couldn't tolerate someone telling the people the truth over and over again, but clumsy efforts at control could get folks to really think about those propositions. Expelling a dissident Senator from the chamber would add publicity, weight and credibility to her arguments.
There is enormous discontent in this country with the government, but really no way for it to be expressed. The people think they have a democracy, thats what they have ALWAYS been told, and they support the idea of democracy. And electoral activity is the only legitimate form of political expression for the public. But they also know it doesn't matter if you vote for Tweedlededee or Tweedlededumb. In times of crisis attitudes can change very quickly. Compare public attitudes in 1962 to 1968. The internet gives people a alternative transnational method of communicating, organizing, that is harder to monopolize than a few TV networks. Revolution is not out of the question, even here.
As to the Official 9-11 Story, here are some salient points:
1) The government was incompetent. If I were paid to think about terrorist threats it would have taken me about 10 minutes to suggest that would-be martyrs might hijack planes and ram them in to buildings. Plenty of people had already discussed this option including the nutcases who shot up the high school in Columbine, Colorado. It would have been trivial to install locking doors to prevent that in the first place if the government REALLY were concerned about terrorism.
2) But Bush & co. actually have a symbiotic relationship with terrorists, they benefit from each other. Islamic fundamentalists and the Republican right have a long-standing partnership, from the contacts between Reagan and the Ayatollahs before the 1980 election to keep the hostages until Carter was defeated to the support of the Saudis and the billions given to Al Qaeda and its buddies in Afghanistan in the eighties. Every time Bush hit a lull in his popularity he played the Terrorism Card until it became a Boy-Who-Cried-Wolf situation for millions of Americans despite the full-throated complicity of the corporate press. If the definition of terrorism is using fear as a political weapon the U.S. government is the world's biggest terrorist, and is increasingly being recognized as such around the world.
3) I'm not convinced that Osama Bin Laden himself was personally involved in 9-11, that may just be a convenient way for the government to create a single recognizable figure head for the public to hate, rather like Emmanuel Goldstein in Orwell's 1984, Carlos The Jackal, or Zarqawi in Iraq. Bin Laden repeatedly denied involvement himself, and it is quite possible that the jihadist movement is diffuse and decentralized enough that he really did have little or nothing to do with it. When the government got Khalid Sheikh Mohammed to confess to every crime since the Lindbergh kiddnapping, even the bourgeois press was a little suspicious, particularly after it was remembered that CIA officials had previously told ABC News that "Mohammed lasted the longest under water boarding, two and a half minutes, before beginning to talk." The only time Bin Laden publically took credit for 9-11 was in a very suspicious video released the Friday before the 2004 election which CIA analysts immediately decided was released to help Bush win reelection (see #2 assuming the video is genuine). In any case, earlier
& Taliban government offers to turn Bin Laden over to international tribunals were rebuffed
by the U.S. government. That, plus the pathetic attempt to snag the "Al Qaeda" operatives in Tora Bora convinces me that the United Snakes government isn't interested in bringing responsible parties to justice for the 9-11 attacks, and that by itself should be grounds for impeachment.