A post not about left/right but about freedom and privacy.
Big Brother has a great new expensive toy and itching to use it. Predator Drones once used for combat operations in war torn areas of the world are now ready to be deployed in US cities to spy on its own citizens.
The future is now. Got some crazy, yellow Gasden snake flag flying neighbors, who are arming themselves for the 2nd Coming ? Is your Congressman or Senator a birther, or just an exuberant alien exporter?
How would you like the Tea Party or the uber right wing of the CIA telling Homeland Security where to deploy these next ?
On Memorial Day, remember the fallen victims of every war. Remember America’s fallen soldiers, remember their names, remember their families, remember the loved ones they left behind. But above all else, remember how the blood, death, and fire of war are unleashed, remember why they are unleashed, remember who does the unleashing, who glorifies it, and who profits from it.
The process is always the same. It exploits human weakness, triggers the tribal instincts within us, incites anger, and forges it into hatred. The politicians claim a dangerous enemy is determined to destroy the homeland, they talk about patriotism, they talk about God, they talk about the greatness of their nation, the glory of their culture, the sanctity of their ideology or religion. They say the enemy is evil and deserves destruction. The flags are waved and the guns are loaded. The generals are summoned and given their orders. And then the killing begins.
When I was a young man I carried me pack,
And I lived the free life of the rover,
From the Murray’s green basin to the dusty outback,
I waltzed my Matilda all over.
Then in 1915 my country said: Son,
It’s time to stop rambling, there’s work to be done,
So they gave me a tin hat and they gave me a gun,
And they sent me away to the war . . . . . .
There’s work to be done.
That’s what America’s young men were told. In 1950. In 1965. In 1989 and 1991 and 2001. There was work to be done at the 38th Parallel. There was work to be done in the Mekong Valley. There was work to be done in Panama. There was work to be done in Baghdad and Kabul and Kandahar. That’s what they were told.
Then the politicians gave them a tin hat, and gave them a gun.
He was poised, articulate, even more forceful than aloof at various times. He sure seemed like he really cared. I certaintly wouldn’t mind getting the chance to talk with him. He seems like such a well intentioned guy.
The only problem is Obama outright lied in several places, and his wonderful rhetoric is in great conflict with his actual governing decisions and priorities. For example:
1. Obama assured us again that he was “Ending the Iraq War”. First he said that he would have all our “combat” troops out by August. Then a few sentences later he claimed that “all our troops” (unqualified) would be out of Iraq. But the reality is that this is the man who brought back George W. Bush’s outgoing War Secretary, Robert Gates (CIA-IRAN-CONTRA crook) to run his War Policies. Gates and Obama and Hillary Clinton (also a WarHawk) are all in agreement that at least 50,000 troops will remain permanently in Iraq, and of course, the 17 unwelcome U.S. Military Bases will also be there permanently. The private contractors Halliburton and Blackwater (which operates under another name now), will all continue to remain as well. Obama’s claim to end the Iraq War in August 2010 has about as much validity as his claim to end Guantanimo within 1 year. The crooked Oil Contracts, the Corporations, the Military Bases, the huge multi-hundred million dollar U.S. Embassy, and at least 50,000 troops to protect all of that — ain’t going nowhere.
Whether the people that are stuck there are classified as being “combat” troops or not, is hardly relevant. The War and the Foreign Occupation has not ended, is not ending, and will not end. The vow to end the Iraq War is another empty promise from President Obama, and until and unless he stops listening and empowering the likes of Robert Gates – no meaningful change to this corrupt War policy will truthfully occur. We have over 1.5 million dead Iraqis, over 2 million Iraqi refugees, over 5,500 dead Americans, over 75,000 wounded or disabled Americans, and have wasted of some 3-Trillion of the taxpayers dollars. Clearly our Foreign Policy does far more damage to our own Country (as well as to the World) then anything any terrorist could ever dream up. Obama’s patty-cake policy on confronting the tragedy of the U.S. Iraq intervention is sadly insufficient.
Moreover, he is expanding our excessive American Militarism and violence to the far corners of the Earth even more by tripling the troop exposure in Afghanistan, starting War with Pakistan, killing civilians with cowardly CIA-run, unmanned Drones equiped with Hellfire bombs, threatening Iran, Yemen, and Venezuela (via Columbia). He has embraced the illegitmate Bush-era policies of detaining people with no charges, and no rights. And he has kept torture sites such as Bagram, Gitmo, and Abu Grahib open for business, while additionally directly outsourcing human torture through the disgraceful secret program of CIA renditions to Foreign prisons. And let us never forget that the Obama Military budget far exceeds any of the Miltary budgets submitted under Bush & Cheney. While the words sounded good, the governing remains a shameful tragedy, and a bankrupt wasteland of corruption and unnecessary human carnage, and bloodshed.
2. Obama also spoke about the plight of the middle-class and winning their trust. He said: “To close that credibility gap we must take action on both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue to end the outsized influence of lobbyists; to do our work openly; and to give our people the government they deserve.” It is hard to take him seriously however when his administration has empowered and promoted the very special interests that were responsible for the Financial meltdown, such as Timothy Giethner, Lawerence Summers, Ben Bernanke, and unabashed GOP-Lite Corporatists like Rahm Emanuel. If Obama wants to help the middle-class, why are the crooked Banking/WallStreet elites hand chosen by him to run his policies? Why does he want to give the Federal Reserve even more power, instead of audit them?
In the aftermath of the devastating earthquake in Haiti, Obama walked out of a National Security Council meeting and observed, “for a country and a people who are no strangers to hardship and suffering, this tragedy seems especially cruel and incomprehensible.”
Those words from the man at the top of America’s cruel and incomprehensible political system, from the guardian of America’s cruel and incomprehensible economic system, from the protector of America’s cruel and incomprehensible banking system must seem especially meaningless to the hundreds of millions of victims of America’s corporate wars, corporate exploitation, and corporate repression. The devastation in Haiti, as tragic and terrible as it is, is minor compared to the devastation inflicted on a global scale, inflicted every minute of every day, inflicted on the poor and the powerless of every nation by the corporate masters of this country.
No Richter Scale can measure their destructive impact, no words can convey the enormity of the hardship and suffering they inflict. The death toll is in the millions, but there’s no media coverage of that catastrophe. No one provides assistance to the victims, there are no relief efforts, there’s no help on the way for the survivors trapped in that rubble, they’re on their own . . .
We can see the corruption, we can hear the lies, we can feel the consequences closing in, we can taste the bitterness, we can smell the smoke as America burns, as the world burns, as the future itself burns. Obama and the Democrats aren’t putting out the fire, they’re fanning the flames. Whether that’s due to stupidity or complicity doesn’t really matter anymore. Putting out the fire is all that matters now.
Get ready to do that alone, because we won’t be getting any help from the Obama addicts. They overdosed on unreality long ago. They took the poison from the poison stream, then floated out of here, floated out of reality into Obama Land, where the inhabitants see only what they want to see, where they hear only what they want to hear. They run through the streets, with eyes cold and dead, under a black belly of cloud in the rain, in through a doorway, they give each other white golden pearls, stolen from the sea, they’re raging at “purity trolls”, they’re raging, and a storm blows up in their eyes whenever they’re confronted with the truth.
They’re addicts. Denial is their drug. They’re stoned on it, they’re hooked on it, they smoke it, they inject it, they mainline it, they freebase it, whatever it takes to get baked. They’re all dealers of denial, they’re all pushers of denial, they hook each other up, they’re wired on it, they’re all wired on it, scoring the next fix is all they care about. Whatever the Big Man does or doesn’t do is just fine with them.
The US media may not be reporting it and the politicians may not want to talk about it, but the situation in Iraq is deteriorating. On Friday, 5 US soldiers were killed in a truck bomb attack near Mosul, and another died Saturday when an IED hit his convoy north of Baghdad.
Nor can we forget that life for ordinary Iraqis is still full of danger–last week six simultaneous car bombs across Baghdad killed 32 and wounded 120–and full of misery–on a good day Iraqis are lucky to get four hours of electricity. No wonder tens of thousands filled the rain-drenched streets of Baghdad a week ago, chanting “No, No To America! No, No To Occupation!”
That war in Afghanistan, where 21,000 additional troops are being shipped into harm’s way? It’s actually a war in Afghanistan AND Pakistan. Two articles that you did not see in your local newspaper last week provide a much clearer picture. It is not a pretty one.
The News, an Pakistani paper published in English, laid out what those miraculous pilotless drones used by the US military actually do:
Of the 60 cross-border predator strikes carried out by the Afghanistan-based American drones in Pakistan between January 14, 2006 and April 8, 2009, only 10 were able to hit their actual targets, killing 14 wanted al-Qa’eda leaders, besides perishing 687 innocent Pakistani civilians.
One result of American death raining out of a clear sky is a massive refugee crisis. A new UN report says that 600,000 Pakistanis have from fled their homes in border areas rendered deadly by the drones and US-backed Pakistan Army operations. These internal refugees join 1.7 million homeless Afghan men, women and children who have fled into Pakistan!
How much more misery will the expansion of this war cause? How many more mujahidin fighters will it produce? It’s got to stop! We’ve got to stop it!
This Friday and this weekend mark the 20th observance of the Iraq Moratorium. Please take some action by yourself or with others to stop this war!