Sunday, October 17, 2004
maybe not fascism...just a military dictatorship...
By Norman Livergood, former Dept Head, US Army War College.
We usually think of a nation being controlled by a military dictatorship when a military leader seizes control through a putsch, as in the case of General Pervez Musharraf in Pakistan or Saddam Hussein in Iraq. The previous government is overthrown and a military strong man places himself in power with few if any constraints from judicial or legislative oversight.
But we must look for the essence of a military dictatorship, those features which are present whenever this form of oppression occurs. In essence, a military dictatorship is a form of government in which absolute power is concentrated in a repressive ruler or a small clique who use military and police power to dominate the people mentally and physically.
Taking this definition as our touchstone, in the United States we know we're living under a military dictatorship when we see:
* a leader put into power through a coup d\'etat, not through democratic elections
* the military used to control the civilian population in violation of the U.S. Constitution
* the president ordering a US citizen held indefinitely by the military
* a shadow government being set up consisting entirely of executive branch officials in violation of the Constitution
* government informants spying on fellow citizens