America will survive. That is not in question. Its military is still as honorable as its political masters let them be, its people as sane and reasonable as any people could be whose government has tried -and, to a larger degree than they could predict or understand, failed- to whip it into a fearful, war-mongering mob.
America will survive because its current leadership does not know its heart, and is woefully unprepared to understand its strength. It is a weak country's would-be tyrants trying to impose their own fear and terror on a strong country. Horse riders trying to break a T-Rex.
That five, ten years from now the current administration will be the most despised in living memory can only be doubted by them, and we all know that dealing with reality is not their strong suit.
I know the tools they are attempting to bear in this last-ditch attempt to save themselves. They are the tools of the terrified, the last resort of the scoundrels. They didn't save the military juntas in Latin America, a region whose inhabitants are often but too-ready to trade liberty for security, and they won't save a bankrupt administration of delusional lightweights.
The only question is how many more people will be hurt before this ends, and how much damage America will suffer in the process.
It takes a lot to make americans this angry with their government, to turn them from the half businesslike, half indolent nation they naturally want to be to the scarily competent country they can be. It takes a lot to make most americans turn their ingenuity and passion, their enterprising, manically innovating little capitalistic hearts from their usual, enjoyable habits of making money to the distasteful job of kicking their own government's ass.
The Bush administration has succeeded.