Opposition to President Barack Obama's request to authorize another endless war in the Middle East continues to build, with progressives charging that the draft resolution is far too broad and anti-war activists mobilizing to defeat the measure.
The way the American mercenary class gets everything they want and are forced by congress to take more it makes me wonder if we are not a military junta with an illusion of democracy that allows them power without their use of force to get it.
This article notes that "On MSNBC on Thursday evening, Phyllis Bennis of the Institute for Policy Studies said that while minute details are now being scrutinized, the big picture issues are getting lost."
Yes, Phyllis, this 'issue' of expanding wars is being lost sight of --- just as the old saying goes, "you can't see the forest for the trees".
But what is really happening on the left progressive movement and alternative media, the new saying is --- "we can't see the Empire for the issues".
While the "issues" like; expanding wars, vast inequality, Wall Street looting, environmental destruction, spying, and increasing domestic tyranny, et al, are all important 'Issues", and all must be addressed, the other thing that all these "issues' (or 'symptom problems') have in common is that they are ALL caused by the exact same thing ---- a disguised Global Empire that is the hidden cancerous tumor responsible for all these more visible symptoms of the underLYING EMPIRE.
As Zygmunt Bauman hauntingly puts it, “In the case of an ailing social order, the absence of an adequate diagnosis…is a crucial, perhaps decisive, part of the disease.”13
Berman, Morris (2011-02-07). Dark Ages America: The Final Phase of Empire (p. 22). Norton. Kindle Edition.
We can all write, and protest, and demonstrate, organize, and "Occupy" separately about the hundreds of significant "issues" and 'symptom problems' that Empire causes ---- or we can act in solidarity about all these dangerous "issues" and 'symptom problems' and rally together in showing how the causal disease of Empire is the common disease of our entire "ailing social order" as our fore-fathers had the focus to do against the Empire that was the common oppression of their time --- and which led to the only successful American Revolution against Empire. But ignite the Second American Revolution against Empire as a newer non-violent Revolution by "Occupying the Empire".
As I recommended just yesterday to Jill Stein and everyone who supports and has any impact on the Green Party ---- a bold platform and message focused like a laser on being anti-EMPIRE (and pro-democracy) is NOT a single issue stance, but rather an EVERY Issue stance, because every single issue that true progressives are for can easily, logically, and seamlessly be woven into being anti-EMPIRE --- for the simple and compellingly obvious reason that EVERY Issue, Every 'symptom problem, and Every offense against the 99% of us is CAUSED by one and only one cancerous tumor of EMPIRE!"
All roads don't lead to Rome anymore", but all our troubled roads, “issues”, and 'symptom-problems' still
"lead to an EMPIRE" (albeit a disguised one which the Green Party must expose!)
As long as we can be endlessly distracted wrangling about "gay" marriage, and "choice," and "gunz," the Congress and its corporate constituency can continue to initiate and then endlessly pursue these VERY profitable "overseas excursions."
I agree until the vampires of war are leashed and face the light of truth there will be no peace and no time to undue their physical and mental destruction.
Why young men would fight and die in foreign land solely for the benefit of large corporations. This age old affair is going almost from the birth of this nation. On the pretext of preventing communism we have attacked falsely the Vietnam,started covert operations in Latino countries and now in the name of terrorism we will be attacking any where around the world. These days everyone knows that all are for the profit of oil corporations or weapon makers or mercenary contractors. These will be conducted by using our tax-payers' dollar. Unless the people are dumb they shouldn't allow this stupidity repeating again again when homelessness and joblessness are running beyond measure. We should write to our local Congressman for its prevention. It needs to be stopped. To control the world is not our job especially at the expense of tax dollar.
Even after nearly 2,000 years we've not learned what the Romans learned during their fall from power. Endless war in endless places, may, for a short period of time, bring wealth and the good life to some, but will inevitably lead to decline for everyone.
We cannot and should not be the world's warriors for any reason. The conflicts outside of this country are not ours to solve; the solutions need to come from the parties within the conflict. The Middle East is a marvelous example of this. There is no way we will ever be able to make that place a Garden of Eden again. If that is ever to happen it will be solely at the hands of those who live in the region. Their dispute; their resolutions.
We should be looking inward right now, to a crumbling infrastructure and all the other issues that have been mentioned in the posts below. Above all, we need to cross cultural and regional differences in this country, unite again, understanding as does "amacd" that so many of these problems are intimately interwoven - creating our very own shroud.
This process of "waging war all over the world" has a long history. In the context of our young nation being surrounded by imperial powers such as Great Britain, Spain, France and Portugal, the Congress in early 1819 refused to condemn the invasion and conquest of Florida, then called "the Seminole war." The date was February 8th, 1819 by a vote of 100 to 70 in the House. The long debate centered on whether to abide by our treaty with Spain, or to take advantage of Spain's strategic inability to defend the invasion by General Jackson (with a wink from President Monroe). Since then, especially after WWII, the intermittent wars of conquest got more and more frequent, until they were constant by 1953, with the overthrow of Iran. After 9/11, the Earth was declared the American Homeland, literally. Here is the quote:
". . . 9/11 has taught us that terrorism against American interests ‘over there’ should be regarded just as we regard terrorism against America ‘over here.’ In this same sense, the American homeland is the planet." page 362, 9/11 Commission Report
So is "empire" a cause of our many problems, or a symptom of something more ultimate, deeper?
I think there are two causes less proximate to our economy, our destruction of ecosystems, our changing the climate, our depletion of resources. The first deeper, more ultimate cause is the constitutional system itself with its many undemocratic features, and its complete lack of the normal features of direct democracy which many other nations, and indeed, many of our own states, enjoy. (For references on the undemocratic features, see Seth Ackerman's article "Burn the Constitution"; Sanford Levinson's books "Our Undemocratic Constitution" and also "Framed: America's 51 Constitutions and the Crisis of Governance." And Daniel Lazare's book "The Frozen Republic" and his blog of his name dot com.)
Deeper still, is the cause of a LACK OF sovereignty believed in and asserted by the American people.
Perhaps because the Constitution is revered as a "great" document, and the standard of democracy, we can't imagine an actual critique of the system, one which was designed consciously by James Madison to prevent popular democracy, something he clearly stated on June 26th, 1787 at the convention, believing the Senate being the ultimate way to assure the opulent maintain wealth and control over the non-opulent.
Whatever the reason, Americans don't believe in the mechanisms and procedures which would enable popular policies, whether foreign policies such as "law, not war," or domestic policies benefitting the majority, or electoral policies to create a system which creates popular foreign and domestic policies, such as Germany's, New Zealand's, Norway's, Finland's, etc. Such mechanisms are obviously convention-and-referendum and initiative-and-referendum to amend our Constitution. And of course, initiative-and-referendum to pass or overturn laws—something we do regularly in my home state of Washington.
We Americans then are squarely to blame for failing to think our way out of our corporate, militaristic, plutocratic tyranny of a national government, being unable and unwilling to challenge the exclusivity of Article 5 for amending with its absurd supermajority requirements. We could amend it away quite easily, but we can't think of such a right, even though in Great Britain, few if anyone would question Scotland's right to secede from Great Britain via referendum. Here, our right to alter our government by such a process never rises to the level of a topic of public discussion, something explained well in the book by Christian Fritz called "American Sovereigns." Until that changes, mass murder will continue, as America leads the march towards global ecocide.
What would it take for us to wake up to our right to the freedom to collectively participate in creating, finally, a government of the people, by the people, and for the people?
What do you think the assassination of JFK was?
Breaks people down according to their interests, not as a citizen within a democracy, but as a particular group that seeks to acquire certain rights, power, and economic advantages fragmenting our society into special interests and holding those fragments in relative isolation from what's happening to the other fragments and as a whole destroying the public common. This is the purpose of our current political system. The public has ceased to be a kind of entity that's self-conscious about its self as planned by the power-elite.
Perfectly seriously: Why do we need politicians in the Internet Age? Why do we need centralized government when it is the enemy of democracy?
Just consult any recent Noam Chomsky talk at YouTube. Obomber the Peace Prize Man and all his duopoly fellows are as devoted and deliberate as can be about creating more war, global war, permanent war---Theirs is the biggest campaign of terror ever waged. They know exactly what they're doing with each and every day of new death, knowing full well it will "fail" but that of course is the plan. There's gold in them there corpses.
I think the United Greek Empire and the Roman Empire became the same way: Fake Democracies which the MICC always got what it wanted: continual warfare all over the known world.
In the Roman case, Caesar just ignored the Senate and proclaimed himself emperor for life. Fortunately, they knew what to do about it.
After witnessing this madman declare he can kill anyone, anytime, anywhere, and his signing of NDAA section 1021, I can only say: Brutus, where art thou?
War is unacceptable in the face of global warming and civilized society.
Presidents Washington, Adams, Jefferson and Madison all fought the war hawks tooth and nail, knowing that War makes you Poor. They declared neutrality to avoid getting sucked into endless European wars. It can be argued that our nation was really founded on avoiding war. The cost of paying for the Seven Years War through stamp and product taxes caused our split with England.
“Of all the enemies to public liberty war is, perhaps, the most to be dreaded, because it comprises and develops the germ of every other. War is the parent of armies; from these proceed debts and taxes; and armies, and debts, and taxes are the known instruments for bringing the many under the domination of the few. In war, too, the discretionary power of the Executive is extended; its influence in dealing out offices, honors, and emoluments is multiplied; and all the means of seducing the minds, are added to those of subduing the force, of the people. The same malignant aspect in republicanism may be traced in the inequality of fortunes, and the opportunities of fraud, growing out of a state of war, and in the degeneracy of manners and of morals engendered by both. No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare.” - James Madison, Father of the US Constitution.
When one looks at the big picture, the picture of dysfunction and falseness of what is called our American democracy one is driven to the conclusion that the problem is a systemic fault in our governance. That fault is that our Constitution is a contrivance to appear democratic while always allowing a way for the priviliged and elite to get their way. Daniel Lazare in his book "Frozen Republic" outlined this 20 years ago. He has also presciently stated that such a system will drive itself into a crisis that it will not emerge from. For his candor and his insight he has been consigned to the wilderness.
Cogent thoughts amacd. Yes, global empire is the tumor, and at some point, though it will not be popular in the US to cite what is causing the tumor since our Constitution was created by 50 or more esteemed, wealthy elite in its early development, we have to get to the root cause of the disease, that which creates the tumor. We need to define the economic system that produces the tumor. It, of course, is capitalism, and its workings were well documented with prescience quite clearly 150 years ago. It is difficult to have this discussion in the "home of the brave, and the land of the free," but at some point all of its tentacles need to be dissected and followed to the core that makes all of the seemingly disparate issues come together. Capitalism is the fault, and for some maybe just unchecked capitalism. For me, it is the former. This is the consciousness that needs to be imbedded in the minds of citizens. And since the root is economic, my hope is that the Green Party, or some other that must arise, bases its platform on the 'working class," a term little used today. The social consciousness and analysis of how all these issues stem from one source is what needs to be exposed and made part of mindset of citizens across the political spectrum. Difficult, but not impossible.
If it looks like punch, is thrown like a punch, and feels like punch, chances are .. . its a punch
The cities have turned into jungles
And corruption is stranglin' the land
The police force is watching the people
And the people just can't understand
We don't know how to mind our own business
'Cause the whole world's got to be just like us
Now we are fighting a war over there
No matter who's the winner
We can't pay the cost
'Cause there's a monster on the loose
It's got our heads into the noose
And it just sits there watching
"Excerpt from Monster, Suicide, America" Steppenwolf
Funny how a song that was released 46 years ago is just as relevant today as it was back in 1969.
This morning I revisited Stevie Wonder's 'Superstition', about the same era, "When you believe in things that you don't understand ... you suffer".
I have only one quibble with the Steppenwolf lyrics - and its my pet peeve about using the incredibly essential nature of the jungle (and the DIVERSITY OF INDIGENOUS PEOPLES who have coexisted in and with them for millennia) as an image for something negative - war zone would be/have been more apt
I agree with all that Swamibhut says but not the suggestion that we must contact our 'representative'. We don't have one!! Those creeps in Congress work for the extremely wealthy people who have but one goal....to get richer. Amacd says the problem is the empire. Yes the empire is a problem but the real central point of all the decline in our nation is the loss of our democracy.
The awful situation just gets worse through our two party political system. We have two major political parties and the are both working for those greedy creatures who hold the wealth of our nation in their hands.
We need to end the system of political parties and elect good moral ethical people in our district who will pledge to vote on the advice of the people (living breathing human beings) who are registered to vote in that district.
Let's give democracy a change---but, if we fail to throw out all the corrupt paid lackeys of the rich, we need a revolution. Jefferson said we should have one each generation. Hopefully the revolution can be peaceful but we are up against incredible military force. It is going to demand that each and everyone of us join the struggle for direct democracy in our nation.
Write a nice letter to your 'representative', I'm sure you have done this before---but don't expect a different response. Those people in Congress don't care what you say. Not one bit. You must know that is true but don't want to admit that. Time for us to wake up and take action.
When I see riot police, any military force, ISIS, Taliban, etc. with masks it sends up a "red flag" that they aren't who we think they are.
They are paid mercenaries. Paid by who and why is the question we should be asking. Are these the "faster responding military" Rumsfled talked about. Paid for mercenaries from all over the world to do the dirty fighting without question and a real policy agenda…follow the money?
The MO has to be the elite who want "unending wars" for empire and profit. All wars start with bankers I read. Where do they get the guns in the first place we have to ask? They don't have jobs…who pays them? Who feeds them? It is an easy puzzle if our government is serious about protecting us. Just asking as a concerned citizen.