(This note in another venue got some good comments and so I'm reproducing it here. h_b)
A note of something like hope.
Perhaps the worst consequence of the war-mongering we're experiencing now is it's effect on our fundamental understanding of power: whether it's the red-neck cracker screaming at the peace-nik in the street, or the smarmy right-winger squelching conversation at the water cooler, or the fundamentalist nay-sayer, the deprecation of dissent is actually the valuation of violence ... and the check against power is not violence, which destroys power, but actually another and independent power. That's the profound realization underlying the Constitution of the USofA (and why it's been so often violated by being imposed on people).
Power always derives from the people ... that's not an abstract, that's a realization into the nature of reality; democracy as an institution is an invention, a creation, but the forces it recognizes and harnesses are elemental. So, to opress or suppress the people is to destroy the root of power ... the way Bush and Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz and Cheney are fucking around with power-structures in Iraq is intended to ham-string the population, to make sure that they are never truly free. The Constitution is an artiface, a thingie, a construct, a tool, an artifact, something made ... and thus is the nature of law. But what makes it special as a document is that it recognizes the energies that lie surging under the surface of the people that comprise the nation. However flawed it is as a work of humans, it is a great project. And that's why the American hawks are so terribly wrong: they impose themselves by destroying power, not checking it.
But nonetheless and still, the people united can never be defeated ... simply cannot be ... just can't. The state that tries to defeat the people is a tyranny, regardless of how good the lawyers are, and how able the goons; because it is a tyranny that survives by destroying contending power, it brings about its own empoverishment and its own flacidity. However mind-fucked modern consumers are is only a measure of how soon the system will implode. "Capitalism gives rise to its own exectuioners and grave-diggers."