What 2016 Might Look Like

Many traditional conservatives, libertarians, and progressives who are no longer mesmerized by the Obama persona are beginning to realize that the 2012 elections might be the last chance to right the ship of state. Either we Americans can continue down a fear-driven path that will lead to our transformation into a police state with a declining economy, retaining only the trappings of a constitutional republic, or we can admit that the legacy of the past 10 years has been like a metastasizing cancer, something that should be surgically removed and discarded.

To be sure, the field of Republican candidate wannabes is not reassuring and offers little to distinguish itself from President Barack Obama. Indeed, Rick Perry and Michele Bachmann sound very much like George W. Bush, only more incoherent. Because Ron Paul deviates from the GOP orthodoxy on foreign and domestic policy issues, both the Republican leadership and the mainstream media continue to do their best to make him go away.

So what kind of country will four more years of the same old same old produce? A few things seem likely. The U.S. economy continues to contract, with the Fed and Treasury manipulating the quarterly statistics to confirm the White House claims that the country has avoided sliding into a double-dip recession. Unemployment hits 13 percent with an equal number having given up the search for work and 20 percent more underemployed, making the United States number one in unemployment among industrialized nations. As a result of the budget crisis, unemployment benefits are limited to 13 weeks and 80 million Americans lack health insurance. Medicare and Social Security eligibility now begins at age 70. One in five houses has gone into foreclosure since the housing bubble burst in 2008.

The national debt is over $26 trillion, making the U.S. also number one in the debt-to-gross-national-product ratio, with a debt twice as big as the total of all goods and services produced by the country plus income from foreign investments in a year. Economists agree that the only reason the U.S. hasn’t moved to default is that growing economies like China, Brazil, and India are reluctant to pull the life-support plug on the cow they have been milking for so many years, so they keep buying worthless Treasury bonds. The use of federal soldiers and National Guardsmen to put down riots by the unemployed and hungry in several cities in 2013-14 is controversial but is supported by most Americans and the media. The resulting deaths have been blamed in some cases on agents provocateurs of overseas terrorist groups deliberately seeking to create problems for the administration.

In foreign and defense policy, the U.S. military “trainers” are finally out of Iraq, kicked out by the Moqtada al-Sadr government, with Baghdad signing a mutual defense treaty with Iran on the day that the last GIs departed. Twenty thousand U.S. advisers remain in Afghanistan, hemmed into the area around Kabul supporting an aging and incoherent President Hamid Karzai. All the other NATO nations have already left Afghanistan. The provisional Taliban government based in Kandahar controls the rest of the country and has offered terms for a U.S. surrender, resulting in a White House threat to nuke all of Afghanistan before that is allowed to happen. Meanwhile in neighboring Pakistan, the government in Islamabad continues to fight its civil war against the breakaway tribal areas and the Free Republic of Karachi. The government claims the country’s nuclear arsenal is safe, but sources in London report that at least two suitcase bombs made in Pakistan have shown up on the international arms market.

Israeli Prime Minister Avigdor Lieberman has completed his annexation of major settlement blocs on the West Bank and has expelled more than 150,000 Israeli citizens of Arab descent under the new racial purity laws. He plans to remove the remaining Arabs from Israel proper by 2020. The White House has described the moves as “not helpful” and has called on both sides to set conditions for new peace talks to begin.

Elsewhere, the string of Predator drone bases across Africa, the Middle East, and Central Asia continue to strike terrorist targets as part of the “Keeping America Safe” program. The expansion of the program to hit targets in Turkey, Greece, France, Egypt, Mexico, Canada, and Saudi Arabia has been a huge success, according to the White House, which has described the drone as “the most effective weapon available against international Islamofascist terrorism. It is really winning the war. Honest.”

The U.S. declaration of victory over al-Qaeda in 2013 is attributed to the targeted assassination by drone of 53 American citizens overseas who were believed to be involved in supporting terrorists, with an anonymous intelligence source revealing the reasoning behind it: “These guys speak good English and know how to use the Internet. We had to take them out.” The good news was coupled with a warning against complacency and a bump in the defense and intelligence budgets justified by concerns that new terrorist groups might be forming somewhere that the CIA has not yet discovered.

The administration, arguing that it is necessary to keep America safe from all the foreign and domestic threats,dismisses criticism of a defense budget that is 50 percent of all government expenditures. Defense Secretary Douglas Feith, attending the signing of the so-called Shoot and Fuggedaboutit Law indemnifying all military personnel from any responsibility for anything they do, warns that “if we don’t fight them over there we’ll have to do it over here.”

The government of Nuevo Leon-Coahuila-Chihuahua has successfully concluded a mutual defense treaty with Washington. Mexico City insists that the breakaway region cannot conduct its own foreign policy, particularly as the new government is a proxy for the Zeta drug gang, but Washington maintains that it must encourage new democracies wherever they spring up. Vice President John McCain has described a “new dawn for Latin America” and is preparing a high-level fact-finding mission to demonstrate U.S. support for the new regime.

Back at home, the PATRIOT Act Three has also been praised by the administration, Congress, and the mainstream media. Real-time screening of all emails originating in the United States and monitoring of all bank transactions by the National Security Agency has produced valuable leads in a number of terrorist cases, according to the White House press spokesman Charlie Sheen. Director of National Intelligence Joseph Lieberman reports that the increased tempo of midnight raids by FBI SWAT teams has also thwarted a number of terrorist plots. The White House has dismissed criticism over the reported deaths of more than 300 homeowners shot dead while resisting the intruders, noting that the FBI action is necessary because of the terrorist threat and has made Americans safer. FBI Director Lindsey Graham advises people to lie down with their fingers interlaced behind their heads and not resist when their front door crashes open at 3 a.m. because his men have a right to defend themselves.

The suspension of habeas corpus for the duration of the crisis, which has resulted in more than 10,000 citizens and resident aliens being held without charges in military detention centers, is also defended by Attorney General George Tenet Jr., who notes that those in prison have been constructing huge gliders capable of carrying weapons of mass destruction across the Atlantic Ocean or have been otherwise connected to terrorist activity. They are hardly innocent American citizens, which is why they are being kept in small cells and are being fed only high fructose corn syrup.

The Department of Homeland Security has announced that there are now more than 2 million names on the no-fly list, adding that the growth of the list is a tribute to effective police and intelligence work, making all Americans safer. It is also calling its orifice-probing screening for air travelers a tremendous success and intends to extend the procedure to train and bus travel. Some local authorities have decided to adopt the orifice probe as a regular law enforcement measure in Main Street America, setting up random road blocks in parts of town where malcontents regularly criticize the government.

Homeland Security Secretary Rudy Giuliani has also ordered 200 more Predator drones armed with Hellfire missiles to patrol the Mexican and Canadian borders, calling the initial deployment of 10 drones between Laredo and McAllen a “game changer,” reducing the flow of illegals at the relatively low collateral damage cost of under 100 deaths. Some of the drones will be able to identify people speaking Spanish on the ground and take appropriate action. Several state and local law enforcement agencies have also decided to order the drones to help police high-crime areas, funded under 2013’s America Armed and Ready Act.

The 2014 suspension of congressional elections for the duration of the crisis under emergency legislation has also been criticized, but the president has assured the people that it is necessary to keep experienced office holders in place to deal with the problems that are emerging. He has promised that as soon as the crisis is over elections will again take place. Presidential elections for 2016 will be held unless the state of emergency Cabinet decides that they should be delayed for national security reasons.

Fantasy? Well, maybe. But who would have thought during the summer of 2001 that the United States would declare war on the entire world and become embroiled in a number of unwinnable conflicts in Asia, that it would willingly bankrupt itself to do so, that Americans would accept the wholesale dismemberment of the Bill of Rights, and that electoral and political corruption would reach unprecedented levels. Osama bin Laden, the man blamed for the terrorist attacks in September of that year, openly boasted of his plans to bankrupt the United States by getting it to overreact to presumed threats. Did he ever get that right, with Bush and Obama acting predictably and cluelessly. Unless someone in Washington is smart enough to turn around the playbook, America will continue to slide into despair and disillusionment, and the answer will always be the same: more repression, more blame directed at outside forces, more lashing out like a wounded giant. Do nothing and 2016 could easily mark the death of the United States of America.

Read more by Philip Giraldi

Author: Philip Giraldi

Philip Giraldi, a former CIA officer, is a contributing editor to The American Conservative and executive director of the Council for the National Interest.