Category: United States foreign policy
Here is another troubling story about Hillary Clinton’s willingness to interfere with other governments to serve the interests of U.S. corporations, at the expense of ordinary people. Clinton has eagerly embraced Henry Kissinger as her role model for Secretary of State.
As Hillary Clinton seeks to defend her role in the 2009 Honduras coup, we speak with Dana Frank, an expert on human rights and U.S. policy in Honduras. “This is breathtaking that she’d say these things. I think we’re all kind of reeling that she would both defend the coup and defend her own role in supporting its stabilization in the aftermath,” Frank says. “I want to make sure that the listeners understand how chilling it is that a leading presidential candidate in the United States would say this was not a coup. … She’s baldly lying when she says we never called it a coup.”
But what happens when President Obama aids the enemy? Will we as a nation insist that the President should also be subject to the law? Are we a nation of laws, or corrupt banana republic which only enforces the law against those powerless to resist?
I haven’t seen Zero Dark Thirty and I don’t plan to do so. I’ve read enough about the film’s glorification of torture and violence, and the falsifications of history, that I’m not interested. I did read Matt Taibbi’s review, however, which is primarily a comment on what this film says about us:
The real problem is what this movie says about us. When those Abu Ghraib pictures came out years ago, at least half of America was horrified. The national consensus (albeit by a frighteningly slim margin) was that this wasn’t who we, as a people, wanted to be. But now, four years later, Zero Dark Thirty comes out, and it seems that that we’ve become so blunted to the horror of what we did and/or are doing at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo and Bagram and other places that we can accept it, provided we get a boffo movie out of it. That’s pathetic. Bin Laden was maybe the most humorless person who ever lived, but he has to be laughing from the afterlife. We make an incredible movie that celebrates his death – a movie so good it’ll be seen everywhere in the world – and all it does is prove him right about us.
As usual, Florida is still undecided, a mess. According to NPR, though, it is leaning heavily toward Obama, despite the shenanigans of the state GOP in suppressing the vote.
I didn’t watch last night. Couldn’t. We went to bed early.
But then Donna got up around midnight and woke me by a whoop of joy that I briefly mistook for anguish.
To my small surprise and relief, Obama won.
I will not miss the constant electioneering, the radio ads, the tv spots, the slick mailers. I will not miss keeping still in mixed groups about my politics (something I am not good at, but this election cycle it feels more like holy war than an election). I will not miss wincing every time some politician opens his or her mouth and nonsense spills out. (This is, of course, normal, but during presidential years it feels much, much worse.) I will not miss…
Anyway, the election came out partially the way I expected, in those moments when I felt calm enough to think rationally. Rationality seemed in short supply this year and mine was sorely tasked. So now, I sit here sorting through my reactions, trying to come up with something cogent to say.
I am disappointed the House is still Republican, but it seems a number of the Tea Party robots from 2010 lost their seats, so maybe the temperature in chambers will drop a degree or two and some business may get done.
Gary Johnson, running as a Libertarian, pulled 350,000 votes as of nine last night. Jill Stein, the Green Party candidate, got around 100,000. (Randall Terry received 8700 votes, a fact that both reassures me and gives me shivers—there are people who will actually vote for him?)
Combined, the independent candidates made virtually no difference nationally. Which is a shame, really. I’ve read both Stein’s and Johnson’s platforms and both of them are willing to address the problems in the system. Johnson is the least realistic of the two and I like a lot of the Green Party platform.
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Rep. Dennis Kucinich recently lost his race to return as a Congressional representative of Ohio. The blame for his loss sits largely at the door of the cowardly news media, which would rather make a cartoon of Kucinich than give serious heed to his well-formulated arguments.
At Salon.com, Glenn Greenwald also laments the way the establishment media has treated Dennis Kucinich. Greenwald argues that the media blithely painted him as wacky because of Kucinich’s friendship with Shirley McLaine (who believes in reincarnation). The media loves to report that (according to McLaine) Kucinich once “claimed to have an encounter with a UFO.”
For these “sins,” the establishment media advises that we are not to take any of Kucinich’s political positions seriously. Greenwald dismantles this insanity in two stages. First, he compares the alleged beliefs of Kucinich with the purported beliefs of most politicians, which the news media gives a free ride:
[Are any of Kucinich’s beliefs] any more strange than the litany of beliefs which the world’s major religions require? Is Barack Obama “wacky” because he claims to believe that Jesus turned water into wine, rose from the dead and will soon welcome him to heaven? Is Chuck Schumer bizarre because he seems to believe that there’s some big fatherly figure sitting in the sky who spewed fire and brimstone at those who broke the laws he sent down on some stones and now hovers over him judging his every move? Is Harry Reid a weirdo because he apparently venerates as divine the “visions” of a man who had dozens of wives, including some already married to other men? Neither the Prospect nor the Post would ever dare mock as “wacky” the belief in invisible judgmental father-figures in the sky or that rendition of life-after-death gospel because those belief systems have been deemed acceptable by establishment circles.
Step two of the analysis is to step back to see the political views of Kucinich that have been ridiculed by the mainstream media:
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Glenn Greenwald keeps unveiling stunning information about U.S. foreign policy. The following video by General Wesley Clark is jaw dropping, especially in light of the events that have unfolded since the conversations he reveals. The bottom line is that a pro-war U.S. foreign policy is repeatedly enacted without any national debate. The U.S. considers the Middle East to be U.S. property. How else can you explain that we are operating armed drones in six Muslim countries, and that politicians are actively discussing the “need” to invade Iran?
It has become abundantly clear that the United States has evolved from somewhat of a democracy to much more of a corporatocracy. It’s time to rename the national holidays to reflect this reality.
I was inspired to write this post when re-considering the attached photo of corporate flags, which I took at the downtown St. Louis Fourth of July celebration this year. Based on the ubiquitous corporate sponsors of that holiday (combined with the salient lack of people who cared about the original reason for this holiday), I’d recommend that we rename Fourth of July as Big Business Day. It’s clear now that (as Representative Dick Durbin once said), the banks own the place (referring to Congress), that we set aside a day to remember that development. But why stop there? There’s no more need for Labor Day either, since most politicians are leaving workers to fend for themselves. Further, a lot of us don’t have jobs anymore. Therefore, let’s rename Labor Day as Banker’s Day.
According to Antiwar.com, the American taxpayers are financially propping up Israel in ways downplayed by the media of both the U.S. and Israel:
In the past 10 years alone, Americans have given Israel the equivalent of approximately $200,000 per Israeli family of five. In addition, there have been weapons subsidies, loan forgiveness programs, special trade preferences, and other generous gifts from American taxpayers to Israel. In fact, despite being one of the world’ smallest nations, Israel receives more U.S. tax money than any other country.