Coronation in the Garrison State'
Mike Whitney: 'Coronation in the Garrison State'
Posted on Thursday, January 20 @ 10:11:48 EST
By Mike Whitney
"Fascism should more properly be called corporatism because it is the merger of state and corporate power."
-- Benito Mussolini
The Bush inauguration is designed to shock the American public into noticing the fundamental changes within the government. Like Guantanamo, it is intended to be more symbolic than substantive. The event is a means of acclimating people to the seismic shift in the basic structure of the state. The administration has swiftly taken the country from Republic to National Security State, and is saturating the public consciousness with that new reality.
The presence of 4,000 fully-armed policemen, many in riot-gear, will be the first thing that most people notice. Security has never been tighter even though there's no indication of a terrorist threat. This unnecessary show of force isn't a sign of paranoia on the part of the administration. It's a political calculation to discourage dissent. The excessive demonstration of power is exactly what the inauguration architects had in mind. It's their way of saying, "Get used to it."
The same rule applies to the 2,500 military personnel who will be deployed to the streets of Washington DC. They serve the dual purpose of intimidating the public and celebrating the further militarization of the nation.
That militarization has never been as conspicuous or as extreme as for this second inaugural event. According to the Associated Press, the capital has readied itself, "with rooftop snipers, missile batteries, bomb-sniffing dogs, high-tech monitors and miles of metal barricades... Coast Guard cutters are on duty in the Potomac River, while customs aircraft and other surveillance flights are in the skies above the city. Sophisticated sensors to detect chemical, radiological or biological material are in place," and, "Canine bomb-sniffing squads, bicycle patrols and crowd control units also are at the ready... Hour by hour the city of grand buildings and marble statues disappears behind curtains of steel security fences and concrete barriers."...