Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Obama's Wars: Is the U.S. a Failed State?

General Petraeus Speaks at Fundraiser
Bob Woodward has a new book out called "Obama's Wars." It's a fitting title that the Commander-in-Chief has earned. Obama did a Bush immitation recently, when he declared "mission accomplished" in Iraq. The announcement eclipsed the fact that there are 50,000 military personnel in Iraq as well as countless mercenaries. To underscore Obama's war credentials in his speech he praised his predeccessor Bush, the "War President."

During his presidential campaign Obama talked about the fact that Iraq was a "stupid" war, inferring that the war in Afghanistan was warranted. Really? What war isn't stupid? Who profits from war? Not the people expected to fight these wars, nor the people who are attacked – in Iraq's case, without legitimate provocation. The only beneficiaries are the corporations – war profiteers and mercenaries .

The American public is bombarded by a mainstream media which supports and glorifies war. The young are brainwashed to believe that war is necessary and as exciting as a video game. It was the American war hero, General George S. Patton who claimed, "Americans love to fight."

The reality is that Obama is conducting a "war" against the poor, against the people of Afghanistan who have been the victims of decades of war and depravation. The American ruling class has a beef with the Taliban, Al-Qaeda and the mythical Osama Bin Laden (who the U.S. says masterminded the Sept. 11 terror attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, but has offered no concrete evidence to substantiate the claim), but engages in collective punishment of Afghan civilians (a Geneva Conventions war crime). Meanwhile, these "terrorist" and boogymen are of their own making.

Additionally, the U.S. is overtly and covertly carrying on wars against Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, Honduras, the Democratic Republic of the Congo... the entire developing world really.

Obama is tacitly supporting an ongoing war against the poor devastated people of Haiti. In Haiti the U.S. supported and financed back-to-back coups in 1991 and 2004 against the first freely and fairly elected democratic government of Haiti -- that of Jean-Bertrand Aristide.

Indicative of the continuing assault on Haiti is the fact that Bush the younger was one of Obama's picks as an agent of "relief" efforts in Haiti. Bush Jr. and Bush Sr. both were head of the U.S. administrations which supported the coups.

The other pick for Haiti "relief" is Bill Clinton, who waged a covert war on Haiti when he was in office. His administration gave huge subsidies to his Arkansas farmers and destroyed Haiti's food security and the livelihood of thousands of local rice farmers.

It was a crippling strike that was probably just as deadly as the bombing of the Sudan (aspirin factory), the former Yugoslavia, Iraq, Afghanistan (Bill Clinton is a war criminal)... during his administration, since 2 out of 3 Haitians were farmers.

Clinton recently "apologized." However, in his new position as co-head of reconstruction efforts, he has not made a visible difference in alleviating the suffering of the victims of the quake. Some say that Clinton's position is akin to a Viceroy in this neo-colonial feudal system fostered in Haiti by the U.S.

Recently Congressman John Conyers (D-Michigan) announced that Bill Clinton will be stepping down from his position as co-chair of the Interim Haiti Reconstruction Commission (IHRC). Conyers shared the news at the recent 40th Annual Congressional Black Caucus Legislative Conference held in DC.

There is a rumor circulating that the Congressional Black Caucus will replace President Clinton. It's from the frying pan into the fire, given the scandals plaguing the CBC – with no less than four of its members under investigation or scrutiny for corruption. Last year ex-Congressman William Jefferson got 13 years for accepting "cold cash" for his influence. In March of this year even Congressman Conyer's wife was sentenced to three years in prison on bribery charges. Evidently, many CBC members are in office to help themselves, not their constituents.

The U.S. has been exploiting and oppressing poor nations – violating its own "democratic principles" and the human rights of the people of other countries for so long... it's fair to ask: will there be any accountability or justice for those who are suffering so much under the weight of the U.S.' inhumane "neoliberal" policies? Maybe there will be a comeuppance. MLK said, "The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice."

If Obama is being "boxed into war" and "thwarted" in his efforts to scale back or end the wars by General Petraeus and key Pentagon officials, it surely is a sign that the military industrial complex is out of control.

The American people are sick of war, but the military is defying the will of the people by prolonging/conducting these illegal "wars." The thing is that the American public turns a blind eye to the other fascist anti-democratic operations the U.S. carries out all over the world.

The fear that accompanies the drumbeat of war is accompanied by a nutty, and often satirically cynical attack on people of the Muslim faith. The atmosphere of frenzied hate and hysteria is very disturbing. It was sad to see the bewilderment of a Muslim cab driver who was beaten by a racist rider. The escalation of violence, arson and discrimination and religious intolerance against Muslims is unprecedented.

The U.S. is degenerating into a "banana republic" when the demagoguery, hate, rage and racism of some in the Tea Party towards the President of the United States and the government pushes the envelop to the point of inciting sedition and armed insurrection.

Hopefully, the Tea Party remains a fringe. The majority of the U.S. population believes in the rule-of-law and respectful discourse. However, there is a fight for the soul of America being waged.

Is an age of repression inevitable? Some are fighting the climate of fear and hate, but the vast majority are not conscious of the fix they're in, with so many of their rights being taken away by the Patriot Act, illegal wiretapping, covert surveillance and illegal searches...etc.

Just this week the New York Times reported that the Obama administration is seeking to expand the government's ability to conduct invasive surveillance online.

A wake up call is due to come soon – when the American people will get a taste of the bitter feeling of helplessness felt by a vast majority of the developing world who have been the victims of U.S. imperialism. Of course, anti-war activist who came out in huge numbers in the lead up to the war in Iraq already have a taste of what empire looks like, given the way the Bush administration went to war in Iraq in spite of the polls which showed most people in America and the world opposed the war.

After the two successive coups in Haiti, thousands died. Some poor souls had their corpses desecrated and left on the streets to be eaten by dogs. Political activist went into hiding and even now the ones who escaped indefinite detention, no longer feel free to claim their political voice back or demonstrate for their human rights. The wave of repression brought on by the actions of the U.S. France and Canada has had a lasting effect on the Haitian psyche and body politic that will take generations to overcome.

In the U.S. the military industrial complex are flexing their muscles and feeling their oaths. They see themselves to be as powerful, if not more powerful than the elected "Commander-in-Chief."

Eisenhower warned about the "unwarranted influence" of the military; that it would threaten the "very structure of our society."

Wouldn't it be ironic and perhaps inevitable, if the so-called "banana republic" meme that the U.S. press and public has branded developing countries with in the past were to come to pass in the U.S.? These oppressive regimes were more often then not encouraged and supported by the U.S. government (because military dictatorships are so much more amenable to Western influence (corruption, assassination threats) then "socialist" democracies).

In his book "Confessions of an Economic Hit Man" John Perkins details how the U.S. "convinces" countries that are strategically important to the U.S. to accept enormous loans for infrastructure development and how they make sure that the lucrative projects are contracted to U.S. corporations.

Militarism is one of the main reasons for the pain and suffering around the world. The
governments of the poorest of the poor in developing countries buy up arms from the U.S. and others at the expense of feeding their desperately poor populations or building infrastructure.

The U.S.' military adventures are largely to blame for the failed economy. One could correctly say that the U.S. is a "failed state."

The Pentagon and military brass such as General
Petraeus do not respond to public opinion or Executive pressure. Evidently they don't believe in the very democratic principles they portray as the goal for the destruction of Afghanistan and Iraq.

The recent revelations about the "killing for sport" of innocent Afghan civilians by five U.S. military-men are horrific and shocking in nature. The hypocrites at the Pentagon have proven that they are fascists, particularly in light of the destruction of thousands of copies of the memoirs of an Army officer. The Pentagon destroyed the books in order to "safeguard state secrets." On September 20 they destroyed about 9,500 copies of Army Reserve Lt. Col. Anthony Shaffer's memoir "Operation Dark Heart."

"DoD decided to purchase copies of the first printing because they contained information which could cause damage to national security,"
-- Pentagon spokeswoman Lt. Col. April Cunningham said.

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