by Philip Giraldi
July 11, 2013
Antiwar.com

There seems to be a lot of confusion about the meaning of elections, constitutions, and the rule of law. One recalls that the USSR in its heyday had a beautifully crafted constitution guaranteeing individual rights and also held regular elections for the Supreme Soviet that permitted one to select from a slate of candidates approved by the government. Everyone was able to vote because it was illegal not to. When Soviet courts sent someone to the Gulag the legal proceedings were meticulously recorded and everything was done in full compliance with the law. Everyone knew that it was all a massive fraud, but there was nothing anyone could do about it.

Here in the United States, we have congressional elections every two years but the dominant parties that alternate in power have rigged and gerrymandered the process in such a way that only candidates acceptable to the corporate/military/political status quo can rise to the surface. We Americans also are blessed with the world’s oldest written constitution, which George W. Bush and Barack Obama have shredded, permitting the government to ignore with impunity most of the articles in the Bill of Rights. Bush even referred to the constitution as “just a goddamned piece of paper.” Americans can now be investigated by the government at any time and for any reason and are no longer entitled to personal privacy. There are secret courts and those accused of thought crimes including material support of terrorism can be arrested based on information they are not allowed to challenge, held without charge, and eventually tried or sometimes not tried subject to government fiat. So much for elections, constitutions and the rule of law.

So why is everyone complaining about the coup in Egypt and agonizing over whether it was a pure military coup d’etat or a genuine revolution phase two? Apart from the issue of whether Cairo will continue to receive U.S. military assistance, the result is the same. It is not exactly as if a staunch upholder of democratic rights was removed from office, nor did it constitute the violent end of a long tradition of free elections.

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