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America, Unrepentant Still


#1

America, Unrepentant Still

Jeffrey D. Sachs

In its obituary coverage of Jesuit anti-war activist Father Daniel Berrigan, the New York Times recalled its story of Berrigan’s 80th birthday in 2001, entitled “A Jesuit Lion of Protest Turns 80, Unrepentant.” Why, the newspaper implied, had Berrigan not yet repented for his deeds, even at age 80? The implicit question was and is absurd.


#3

This is a good article. Of the types that we need to see more. And it's topic is not the CV of Sachs or the transition of Eastern Europe's out of the dictatorships. The latter is a very complex historical and cultural topic that should not be carelessly simplified to the impact of a single person. It is in fact an insult to millions of people in Eastern Europe to imply that a Sachs has determined their fate.


#4

The U.S., NATO, Israel, and Saudi Arabia are proxies for the international banking cartel. Those who serve them are sociopaths. Hats off to Berrigan for pursuing these unrepentant war criminals. http://coloradopublicbanking.blogspot.com/2014/05/the-view-from-top-of-power-pyramid.html


#5

Obama did "agonize" over our middle east conflicts; but only in front of the podium at various photo ops. As for Libya, he only regretted the follow up to the attack. A shallow article, at best.


#6

The whole point of American Wars is War Itself. It's a very profitable industry. Wall Street and the entire military-industrial-congressional-complex profit handsomely from War.

No Americans need be involved, except in the occasional "advisory" role, or as mercenaries. Just selling enormous quantities of arms to warring nations, such as the Saudis, or not too long ago, to Saddam in Iraq, is highly profitable. And much of that is paid for by us, the taxpayer. More accurately, the cost is simpy piled on top of the National Debt.

During and immediately after World War Two, the War Industry established industries in every congressional district in the nation. So every local politician is to some extent vulnerable to selling out, because to oppose the War Industry is to call for closing profitable industries in his/her own district, which means jobs and income for the local economy. Our entire nation is riddled with this cancer.

To end American wars abroad, and American arms sales abroad, our entire economy needs a complete overhaul. How to make that happen?


#7

I would add one more thing which is that war is also politics. War waged as a superpower became a political position. WW2 was to oppose an aggressor and to support allies. Korea was the half way political war of choice while Vietnam was the 100% political war. The war that didn't need to be fought but the war we chose to fight. An imperialist war! A political decision decision war not a war of necessity. We chose to fight a war of empire in Vietnam and even though we didn't win, we remained in the empire role nonetheless. The policeman of the world was political arrogance and a sure sign of cultural decline. The schoolyard bully who feels popular because all his friends are afraid to say they don't really like him.

Why are we in these endless wars? That is a political question at root. Get off oil and the Mid East is relatively unimportant. These are the wars for war's sake that peace advocates oppose with every fiber of their being. These are the cannon fodder and collateral damage endless wars that make no sense but just continue on and on in a steady state of conflict that make no sense except as politics.

We have become the new Prussians - neo Prussians - with a military industrial organized state. War as economic stimulus? I am surprised Hillary or the republicans don't go around claiming that these endless wars are a job creation economic opportunity program!

When did we all accept a constant unending state of war was normalcy?

You really miss the Fr. Berrigans and the Rev. MLKs and all those who demanded that the truth be told about the death dealing and the blindness of war.

We miss Fr. Berrigan's courage and his presence opposing war.


#8

Beats the hell outta me. Profits + violence: what's not to like, eh? However, I will say this: There simply is no pressure whatsoever to change anything. The Left "leadership/media is seemingly a handful of political authors & writers, esteemed political academia professors, and of course comedians. (They all btw mostly hate Nader for stepping up to the plate to change things.) They love to throw out issues for the few that still care...to pile on. One issue on top of another issue on top or yet another "injustice". And nothing is accomplished. Thank god they weren't around during the Vietnam War, it would have never ended, but we would have died laughing.


#9

The deep state that began in l947 with the establishment of the NSA grew exponentially in power once its members (and assorted allies) could pull off a Presidential assassination (JFK/1963) with full impunity.

The growth of right wing billionaire funded think tanks added to ideological influence over academe (made all the more so with limited funding calling for private "investment" in this sphere) set the template, culturally.

Just add 911 as trigger for beefing up the military and allowing its members to spy on all aspects of citizens' private lives and the secret government that's no long answerable to The People takes charge.

Therefore, I agree with THIS frame:

"It is not Berrigan who should have stood repentant, but America’s foreign policy establishment, the one still very much in power and at war in many countries where we do not belong."

But one must remember that America's "foreign policy establishment" is NOT America.

And just as the Page and Gilens Study proves, the citizens' wishes, moral positions, and consent does NOT factor into the policies put into motion.

Stop dignifying what the Deep State does by cloaking it under the umbrella of America or made to falsely comport with America's citizens as a singular uniform whole.

MANY of us opposed Vietnam and the war in Iraq (that's now a war that's impacted numerous Middle East countries). Many of us do not NEED to repent.

WE just don't have any control over the military empire...

And militarists are like the most arrogant of male drivers. Even when they're lost, they refuse to stop and ask others for direction. They'd rather crash the family car or drive it over a cliff.


#10

It makes perfect sense: Profits & control of resources. Big Finance strong arms the weak, and for those who don't particularly like our The Deal on the Table, the MIC steps in and, well...there goes the neighborhood.


#11

Adopt socialism. Not democratic socialism (though that might have to be an interim step), but real socialism.


#12

The quote "War is the continuation of Politics by other means" attributed to Carl Von Clausewitz could also read "war is Big business by other means".

Given that wars are orchestrated by bankers and the 1 percent in the pursuit of profits whereby they end up exerting control over a people and a countries resources , a first step would be to remove the profit motive. Smedley Butler made this point in "war is a racket".


#13

Unrepentant? The US has a wall to honor the 55,000 soldiers that died in Vietnam and I say it is way past time the US erected a war criminal wall of shame to dishonor the war criminals and cowards that condoned this slaughter in Vietnam.

President Johnson, President Nixon, McNamara, and many Pentagon Generals, like General Westmoreland and General Hershy belong on the the war criminal Vietnam wall of shame! And out of 100 Senators only two voted against the lie about the Gulf of Tonkin attack, so that is another 98 names that belong on that wall of shame of cowards and war criminals. I am sure there are many more, that are culpable for sending so many young soldiers to be murdered for a lie!


#14

Berrigan fought for peace and truth in the 60's as many of us did. Even then the youth knew it was corrupt and wrong. The establishment undermined all the work done then, just as they are now. The Bernie revolution is not new, it was going on then. But unlike the 60's we have an opportunity to change the corruption and military aggression now. Now with millions hearing the message, not just the youth, it is reasonable to assume this time it may be more successful. We desperately need to stay involved and stay in Bernies corner, keep him moving to the convention and then if he loses stay behind him as he introduces more legislation in the Senate. With millions behind him we can make these things happen. Like Berrigan we should never give up and never vote for Hillary to put the last nail in our coffin.


#16

I agree with all you've said but I would add that what we need to do is to remind these complacent status quo governing elites that this is still a democracy. They expect us to lose no go back to being apathetic almost immediately. I think that people should hold a mass demonstration in Philadephia in July at the dem convention. That is our last chance to retain our democracy. The independents have been shut out by closed primaries and now the establishment des want to cite rules to disenfranchise the voters, 50%?of whom are independents! They wouldn't if they thought it would backfire on them. They know Hillary may be indicted but first they need to knock Bernie out so that we will have no choice but to stick with Hillary even if she is indicted.

I think that was the plan but the Trumpenstein monster has run amok and gotten away from them. Hillary could lose and the status quo Dems are blindly willing to take that chance but they shouldn't be allowed to. People need to demonstrate at the convention. Spread the word!

Occupy the convention! Demonstrate in July not only in Philadelphia but in your hoe towns. Organize like we did back in the sixties!

You know once we had to do a lot of work to have one sheet fliers printed up but now we can design our own on a hoe printer and hand them out. Everybody keeps talking about doing something but nobody is doing the things that worked for us back then. Doesn't anybody remember what it took to organize a demonstration or educate people about the war. Fliers were everywhere. People read them and believed. Silence is golden for the establishment. They don't have to do anything to remain where they are. It is up to us to challenge their hold over our minds and spirits. Fight for your democracy if you think this rigging. The game is wrong. Demonstrate like they are doing elsewhere in the world.

America needs to to wake up and say - Democracy matters!

Demonstrate


#17

For all that I agree with you, at least to the point of adopting democratic socialism (I have issues with state socialism), the problem is implementing that idea. Any suggestions?


#18

Good point. Pontificating doesn't change much, especially when it's only the choir who's listening to the sermon.

Here's an ugly wrinkle I only recently understood. When congress remains deadlocked, refusing to enact legislation favored by the president, what happens? The president, frustrated with domestic affairs, turns to foreign policy where he wields a free hand (thanks to congressional acquiesence to presidential war powers). Who benefits? The War Industry, every time.

So, it is to the benefit of the War Industry, and their numerous lackeys in congress, to put up one roadblock after another to passing congressional legislation.

Sound familiar?


#19

No matter who is elected the next president I expect to be worried (and alarmed if the next president is Donald Trump). You have a dictator in North Korea claiming to be developing nuclear weapons to put on ICBMs that could reach the west coast of the US, Putin with a vast trove of nuclear weapons trying to increase the power and influence of Russia, China turning small islands and reefs into naval bases in the contested South China Sea, ISIS trying to turn the clock back almost 1,500 years by imposing strict Islamic law wherever possible and attacking anyone who disagrees, the seemingly endless conflicts in the Middle East with Saudi Arabia and Iran waging a proxy war, and various conflicts throughout Africa.


#20

There are persuasive arguments that both Germany and Japan were pushed into a corner by The Empire and decided the only response was to go to war, implying World War Two was also fought entirely over profits. By the time Germany and Japan were actively at war, the Allies response was inevitable, of course, which worked out real well for those seeking profits.

And I would go so far as to argue the War Industrialists didn't really care which side won the war. Either way they would remain in power. They started the war. They profitted immensely from the war, and regardless who won they would be sitting at the top of the heap, where they remain today.


#21

Actually I would disagree with that assessment although a case might be made that Japan was pushed into war with us because we cut off their supply of oil as they were getting roughly 80% of their oil from us. However they had invaded China and occupied Manchuria and so forth so a case could be made that they forced our hand because of their East Asian sphere of influence expansionist policies.

Germany was different. The memories of WW1 were still fresh and the fault lay with the French reparations that prevented a stable recovery economy in Germany. However, the fascists were coming to power and dictators like Franco, Benny the Moose, Hitler, Stalin and even Hirohito were dominating the scene. So they pushed events not us.

During WW2 Roosevelt came down hard on war profiteers and it was nothing like the MIC that people imagine it was. That was why the industrialists hated him. He kept them from making extreme profits and exploiting the war effort.


#25

You babble and spread falsehoods. But they are so absurd that I am amazed. To say that there was no moral basis for the oil embargo against Japan and claim it was an act of war flies in the face of historical fact. It denies the territorial acquisitions by imperialist Japan with their racist ideology of Manchuria, Korea, coastal China and the invasion of Indochina. It ignores the rape of Nanking and the long running Sino-Japanese war. The oil embargo was a direct result of Japan's bloody and genocidal conquests in East Asia. That was in 1941. The USS Panay had been sunk by Japanese planes which was an act of war btw.

You are aware that queequeg is a fictional character in an American novel (Moby Dick) which seems odd even for a Russian who rants about how Americans have no culture and intellectual prowess. Just sayin'.