Doug's Darkworld

War, Science, and Philosophy in a Fractured World.

Posts Tagged ‘foreign policy

Evolution = God, Etc.

with 8 comments

A big part of the reason I haven’t been posting much daily is that I want to fit all my latest epiphanies into one post. I’ve come to a new understanding of a lot of fundamental things in the past few years, and I feel like I need to add vast codicils to anything I write to accommodate them. The good kind of accommodate. Since that isn’t going to ever happen, at least not blogwise, I’m going to take a different approach. I’ll start at some fixed point and ramble as I may. And I’m starting with Evolution = God. What do I mean by that? I could write a book. I mean that the Universe we find ourselves in is so complex on so many levels that it is mind boggling, we are the product of processes that have gone on for billions of years through gigatrillions of iterations. And every single step of the way leading to us was ordered on levels of precision that are again, mind boggling. We appear to be just one product of a reality that literally appears to have infinite possibilities to create different complexities. Yet here we are. When one truly grasps that, it’s amazing beyond belief.

It also makes the idea of a Biblical God who is concerned with promulgating his narcissistic cult throughout the human race on the threat of eternal torture seem like something a psychotic two year old would come up with. I mean, really? And every faith convinced that they are following the one true messiah, and the followers of the other faiths are inherently violent and somehow less than human. Islam, Christianity, and Judaism demonstrate that most clearly. Anything resembling an impartial look at even 20th century history has to conclude that each is capable of horrific barbarism under the right circumstances. If we go back further in history, it gets much much worse. Religions are ideologies, and with an ideology, it’s easy to manipulate people into committing atrocities. I use those three as examples, they are all the same. Political ideologies are no different, communists, socialists, capitalist, fascists, the whole lot have committed the most unthinkable atrocities throughout their histories.

Unthinkable being the word. Adherents of such ideologies either deny that their ideology committed the atrocity, holocaust deniers being a prime example, or they claim that the atrocities committed in their name were the only choice, forced on them by the enemy’s atrocities. America’s Obama supporters are a great example of this, but every president since World War Two has hands drenched in blood. As do their die hard apologists. The USA has been an empire since the Spanish American War, and there’s no such thing as a peaceful empire. Again, anything resembling an objective view of America’s actions in the twentieth century shows an empire drenched in blood like all the rest. And not blood for blood’s sake, that’s not my point, but if you are going to steal from people, they are going to fight back. It goes downhill from there.

That’s basically what the modern world is based on. People accumulating wealth at the expense of poor people. And nations accumulating wealth at the expense of poor nations. The upwards transfer of wealth combined with the colonial transfer of wealth. This isn’t really civilization, it’s looting with high tech gadgets. At least the Romans knew that the heart of their empire was productive provinces and an educated population. A lesson that seems to have been lost since then. There’s two big problems with this looting mentality being the heart and soul of the empire. For one thing, it creates horrific problems in the parts of the world we exploit. Some appreciate this, many don’t. More importantly, and the point that almost everyone seems to miss, is that the upwards transfer of wealth can only go so far. At some point the whole system collapses, usually because the wealth becomes so concentrated that the people at the top lose touch with reality. Mitt Romney’s feeble attempts to portray himself as a “common man” illustrate that nicely. He considered it a “hardship” when he was forced to live off of the income from his investments!

So as my regular readers may have noticed, I’m not particularly optimistic about the future of America. We seem to have the same hubris, shortsightedness, and corruption that have led to the downfall of so many empires in the past. In my next post I have a list of ten ghastly expensive mistakes the USA has made in the past decade or so, mistakes that will cost us all dearly … yet most Americans are oblivious too them. Worse, they are led around the nose by pundits and shysters and politicians and getting all worked about about such things as gay marriage, Obama’s birth certificate, and the like. Afghanistan is the longest war the USA has ever been in, and we are holding elections to deprive Americans of their rights. Jesus wept.

(The above image is Public Domain under US copyright law. It’s Photograph of Utah Battery on McCloud Hill, in the Philippines. It was taken in 1899, shortly after the Spanish American War. I was looking for a photo of the Spanish American War, but the ones I could find were all kinda lame. This was during fighting in the Philippines, our first real war of colonial repression. One of the men in this image was killed within by fire from Philippine Freedom Fighters.)

Written by unitedcats

May 19, 2012 at 12:47 pm

Ron Paul on Wikileaks: Lying is Not Patriotic

with 7 comments

I normally don’t publish guest articles, but this week I’m on a  roll. The Time Traveller post was just for fun, today’s post is deadly serious. I was writing my own post on Wikileaks, when I came across Congressman Ron Paul’s latest words on the subject. He covers the situation quite nicely, and since I am proud that at least one American politician hasn’t sold their soul to the bankers and militarists, I am reposting his speech here.

The one thing I would like to add is about the recent remarks by Clinton and other administration officials and their claim that Wikileaks is “putting American lives in danger.” The hypocrisy of that claim makes me want to puke, literally. Americans are being killed and maimed every day in Iraq and Afghanistan, and every drone strike in the Muslim world creates new terrorists who hate America, and it’s Wikileaks who is putting Americans in harm’s way? No, it’s our insanely aggressive foreign policy, our wars, our drone strikes, our meddling in the Middle East and Central Asia that are putting American lives at risk … Clinton and Obama are sending Americans to die pointless deaths in foreign lands, not Wikileaks.

Or to put my feelings in perspective, even though I loathed George Bush’s foreign policy, I would have taken an assassin’s bullet for him because I still respected the office of the presidency and what it stood for. Obama’s craven sellout to the bankers and militarists has utterly destroyed what little respect I had left for the office of the presidency, and I can’t say the same about an assassin’s bullet today.

That being said, the words of Congressman Ron Paul on Wikileaks:

Lying is Not Patriotic
by Rep. Ron Paul, December 10, 2010

WikiLeaks’ release of classified information has generated a lot of attention world-wide in the past few weeks.

The hysterical reaction makes one wonder if this is not an example of killing the messenger for the bad news.

Despite what is claimed, information so far released, though classified, has caused no known harm to any individual, but it has caused plenty of embarrassment to our government.  Losing a grip on our empire is not welcomed by the neoconservatives in charge.

There is now more information confirming that Saudi Arabia is a principle supporter and financier of al-Qaeda and this should set off alarm bells since we guarantee its Sharia-run government.

This emphasizes even more the fact that no al-Qaeda existed in Iraq before 9/11, and yet we went to war against Iraq based on the lie that it did.

It has been charged, by self-proclaimed experts, that Julian Assange, the internet publisher of this information, has committed a heinous crime deserving prosecution for treason and execution or even assassination.

But should we not at least ask how the U.S. government can charge an Australian citizen with treason for publishing U.S. secret information, that he did not steal?

And if WikiLeaks is to be prosecuted for publishing classified documents, why shouldn’t the Washington Post, New York Times, and others that have also published these documents be prosecuted? Actually, some in Congress are threatening this as well.

The New York Times, as a result of a Supreme Court ruling, was not found guilty in 1971 for the publication of the Pentagon Papers.  Daniel Ellsberg never served a day in prison for his role in obtaining these secret documents.

The Pentagon Papers were also inserted into the Congressional Record by Senator Mike Gravel with no charges being made of breaking any National Security laws.

Yet the release of this classified information was considered illegal by many, and those who lied us into the Vietnam War and argued for its prolongation were outraged.  But the truth gained from the Pentagon Papers revealed that lies were told about the Gulf of Tonkin attack which perpetuated a sad and tragic episode in our history.

Just as with the Vietnam War, the Iraq War was based on lies.  We were never threatened by Weapons of Mass Destruction or al-Qaeda-in-Iraq, though the attack on Iraq was based on this false information.

Any information that challenges the official propaganda for the war in the Middle East is unwelcome by the administration and supporters of these unnecessary wars.  Few are interested in understanding the relationship of our foreign policy and our presence in the Middle East to the threat of terrorism.  Revealing the real nature and goal for our presence in so many Muslim countries is a threat to our empire and any revelation of this truth is highly resented by those in charge.

Questions to consider:

1.  Do the American people deserve to know the truth regarding the ongoing war in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Yemen?

2.  Could a larger question be: how can an Army Private gain access to so much secret material?

3.  Why is the hostility mostly directed at Assange, the publisher, and not our government’s failure to protect classified information?

4.  Are we getting our money’s worth from the $80 billion per year we spend on our intelligence agencies?

5.  Which has resulted in the greatest number of deaths: lying us into war, or WikiLeaks’ revelations or the release of the Pentagon Papers?

6.  If Assange can be convicted of a crime for publishing information, that he did not steal, what does this say about the future of the First Amendment and the independence of the internet?

7.  Could it be that the real reason for the near universal attacks on WikiLeaks is more about secretly maintaining a seriously flawed foreign policy of empire than it is about national security?

8.  Is there not a huge difference between releasing secret information to help the enemy in the time of a declared war — which is treason — and the releasing of information to expose our government lies that promote secret wars, death, and corruption?

9.  Was it not once considered patriotic to stand up to our government when it’s wrong?

Thomas Jefferson had it right when he advised:  “Let the eyes of vigilance never be closed.”

(The above image is claimed as Fair Use under US copyright law. It’s not being used for profit, and frankly I hope no one would use a picture like this for profit. Credit and copyright: AP Photo/Steve Ruark. It’s the coffin of  Lance Cpl. Kevin M. Cornelius, killed in Afghanistan in August. I selected it because America’s war dead are still being relegated into the darkness by America’s so called free press.)

Written by unitedcats

December 10, 2010 at 9:12 am

Wikileaks, Korea, the War on Terror, Afghanistan, and Kafka in the News

with 9 comments

Sigh. I had the week’s blogs all written out, hoping that reality would be kind enough not to invalidate them before I hit the ol “publish” button, no such luck. No, world events have just kept on transpiring, so I better take a look at them. I’ll get back to Barney and Betty Hill and their encounter with the Mothman tomorrow, today some breaking news.

First out of the gate is the Wikileaks Afghanistan document releases, possibly the largest leak of classified material in US history. This is disturbing to me on a number of levels. Yeah, it’s nice to see the ugliness of the war in Afghanistan exposed, I can’t fault that. The mainstream media’s complicity in overlooking the horrors that occur in our wars is a huge part of the reason why there is no large scale opposition to them. It’s nice to see information that the government and the military has tried so hard to cover up has been released to the public domain. When people or governments keep secrets, it’s usually because they are trying to hide something or at the very least mislead. In this case, it’s just how ugly and gritty and ineffective our so called war of liberation in Afghanistan is, and how many of the people we are purportedly helping are inadvertently (or vertently in some cases)  being killed. Sadly however, the people who knew this already knew this, and the people who are in denial about this are unlikely to be moved by this revelation.

Which brings us to the scary part. The powers that be are likely discussing whether this release of classified information constitutes a “casus belli” in the war on the Constitution. At this very moment there are some who might suggest that Wikileaks founder and CEO is a “terrorist sympathizer” and thus can be detained without trial or warrant. And of course the Internet being placed under government control so that some terrible act of treason like this could never happen again. And if there’s anyone who could give a speech announcing such things in a  way that tens of millions of Americans would feel grateful for, it’s Mr Obama. And since I wrote this last night, the government has indeed claimed that this release is a “threat to national security.” Hopefully that’s as far as it will go.

On the other hand, if one really gets into the Washington Post’s recent “Top Secret America” series, the War on Terror isn’t about government control or world domination or anything ideological at all, it’s about shovelling money to the military/industrial/security complex. And the chances that either the Washington Post series or the Wikileaks leak will seriously compromise the looting is about zero. Our Byzantine government bureaucracy that has grown like a cancer in the USA since World War Two, and in some senses since the Civil War, it’s way to large and diffuse to be threatened by any one foe anymore. Contemporary America is like a scifi movie where the blob won, most people in most urban areas have been assimilated, and the few that are still fighting are just more food for the blob.

And food for the blob is the key. As long as this amazing system of government and military bases gets their zillions of truckloads of supplies every morning, all will be well. Well, all will be stable and under control. However, the infrastructure that supports this whole edifice has been decaying for decades, and eventually it’s all going to collapse from its own weight. The only thing really keeping the US empire afloat is cheap oil, and like the Spanish Empire that was run on cheap gold, those days cannot last. (I wonder if their were Spaniards worried about “peak gold” back in the day?) The Spanish Empire is my current best guess for the fate of the American Empire. Like them, our control of  a resource of vast wealth has made us a superpower, gold in their case, oil in ours. And like them, instead of reinvesting this wealth in infrastructure and other long term wealth sources, we are spending it on the military and toys for the rich. That’s  exactly why the Spanish Empire decayed so quickly and left Spain in the doldrums while France, England, and even Holland grew rich beyond imagining with colonial wealth. At least they have some lovely cathedrals to show for it, all we got are freeway interchanges and concrete stadiums.

So this is already shaping up to be an interesting week. A confrontation with Korea is in full swing, we are conducting huge military manoeuvres off their coast to teach them that making military threats is wrong. (It’s “do as I say not do as I do”  in the bizarre world of American foreign policy.) The threat to go to war with Iran is still very much on the table. Another American has been taken captive by the Taliban. In Iraq violence continues and our corrupt quisling government is still paralysed and unable to form an actual government. And just in general the American Empire, like the Gulf of Mexico, is one messed up place.

Interesting times indeed. Hell, strange creepy times. I guess that’s what gets me most about the last decade, in so many ways the parameters that define America have literally drifted off the scale. Terrorists kill and maim Americans daily, yet that’s normal? The bankers, the military, the oil companies, the security industry … do whatever they please, dictate national policy, and get handouts in the trillions just for the asking. And almost daily American military power kills innocent people abroad. Heck, we live in an America now where the president can simply have Americans murdered by naming them as terrorists. And part and parcel of the whole shebang, the rich just keep getting richer at a dizzying pace while the rest of us schmoes are being converted into serfs. In the sixties and seventies people would have been rioting and fighting back against this level of injustice and atrocity. In the eighties and nineties they would have been demonstrating.

Today … they vent on Facebook. Yeah, that’s gonna change the world. I dunno where we are going from here, but it’s a hell of a ride.

(The above image is claimed as Fair Use under US copyright law. It’s not being used for profit and is arguably a historically important image. Credit/copyright:  Vitaly Zaporozhchenko/AP. It’s the last Soviet troops leaving Afghanistan in 1989. They look happy, don’t they?)

Written by unitedcats

July 26, 2010 at 9:19 am