Friday, July 27, 2007

We need more "inconvenient truths:" here's a couple

FOREIGN POLICY: American foreign policy for the last few decades has had little to do with our security or even our economic well-being, nor does it promote the welfare or democracy of countries on the receiving end. Instead, neoliberalism, NAFTA, GATT, WTO, World Bank, and the IMF serve a handful of very wealthy people and corporations.

Americans ignorance of this is how 9/11 can happen and a president can get away with saying it was because they "hate our freedom."

Ignorance of this also kept alarm bells from going off when Bush applied the same program to America that has been used on Latin America, Africa, and elsewhere with the same disastrous results: run up gigantic government debts that can't possibly be paid, and collect by forcing the country to drastically cut social services and privatize everything including essential services like WATER, and sell off their natural resources for a song, allowing all the profits to be expropriated.

Class exists. Class warfare exists. If Rush Limbaugh screams about his opponents committing class warfare, it's because the class he serves is winning and don't want anyone to notice. America has always prided itself on access to upward mobility and rags to riches stories, but right now that path is narrower and steeper. We need to open it up.

Both Democrats and Republicans prefer to talk about gay marriage, abortion, flag desecration, prayer in school, and all those other symbolic cultural issues because while people are getting in a lather about something that probably doesn't affect them, the pols can quietly line their pockets and the pockets of their cronies. Whether abortion is legal or not or your gay neighbors are married is not going to help you put food on the table, pay for you to go to the doctor, or put your kid through college. All of those things cost money and some are hard to solve. By contrast, prayer, abortion, etc. costs nothing (at least to the politicians). When a pol hears you talking about that stuff, he breathes a sigh of relief--for all he cares, you could be talking about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin.

Only a small portion of our "defense" budget is actually for defense. China is an instructive example. They spend about a seventh what we do on defense and yet they are in no danger of being invaded or likely even attacked. Why? They would be hell to occupy. Similarly, if we are having trouble occupying a medium-small country like Iraq, imagine some other country trying to occupy us. Apart from having to cross one of two oceans, every yahoo and his brother have a gun and lots of places to hide and shoot at the for'ners. We would be a pain in the ass.

Most of our defense budget is for OFFENSE, either protecting economic interests overseas or acquiring more. No one in the Persian Gulf region would come over here to attack us if we weren't propping up dictators, and now trying to install the semblance of democracy (so long as it lets our companies pump the oil, at a pace and price of the companies choosing) at the barrel of a gun.

Every war has at least one side who is a thief, sometimes both. He goes to another country to steal their land and resources. Hitler said this plainly in the Hossbach Memorandum before the war. Rarely is an invasion about anything else--maybe never. I don't suppose Hawaii was a threat to us when we annexed them unless they were going to paddle over here and throw pineapples at California.

Marine Corps General and two time Medal of Honor winner Smedley Butler said it best:
Out of war nations acquire additional territory, if they are victorious. They just take it. This newly acquired territory promptly is exploited by the few – the selfsame few who wrung dollars out of blood in the war. The general public shoulders the bill.

When someone of either party tells you we need a Cold War size military, they have one of three things in mind:
  • looking tougher than the other guy

  • getting donations from defense contractors

  • using the military to help other business interests.
Defense could probably be done with a fourth of our defense budget.

MORALITY IN GOVERNMENT: There is none except what we force them to have. None. Most politicians would not only kill an Iraqi to fill their friends pockets, they would kill you. Here they don't do it with bombs but by blocking safety regulations like inspecting beef for Mad Cow Disease or having safety testing for supplements. I worked for an attorney service and served papers on the company that made herbal ecstasy. Seven kids died at one party from taking it. Orrin Hatch takes money from the supplement industry and bars any testing or safety warnings. Members of both party either serve or cringe before the health insurance industry, which denies millions of us health care by pricing us out of the market or worse, not approving of coverage we paid for and putting us on hold until we die. Politicians know those health care stories. Lots of their constituents have called and said their wife or husband or kid died because they were denied care or couldn't afford it in the first place, and the politician thinks,
" lives or get a campaign donation. Those insurance companies would really chew my ass if I went after them. Probably back my opponent...Marcy! Send these people an autographed photo! That ought to make them happy."
Got any to add?

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