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- Feature - Lloyd Kaufman: The Kotori Interview
- Feature - Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Road to the Mountaintop
- Feature - Losing LeBron
- Feature - The Crazy Legend of Slowhand Jack
- Feature - The Giving Lens Gets Focused
- Notes From A Polite New Yorker
- Tommy Digital's Pussy Cocktails
- The Octopus Files
- Wasims Rants
- The Guys You'll Meet on Earth, But Not in Heaven
- Slippery Id
- The Shameful Truth
- Writing for the Sake of It
- Void Creation
- Frankly Speaking
- Pulling At The Fringes
- These Altered States - America Trying to Become Itself
- The Worthless
The Shameful Truth: The Wizard of Oz
We are sitting in the middle of the engine of the United States of War Profiting.
I am disenchanted, but this is no fairy tale. I have been lead down the yellow brick road by a charlatan: our President who was going to change the way things are done. I no longer believe he is actually behind his smile, his face, his crisply ironed suits, nor do I believe he is a leader. I do not believe his preaching of raising taxes, or his scolding Congress in paralleling their procrastination with his children's homework.
For a while, I believed he was the Man in charge, I believed he wanted change. I believed he had intentions that superseded the war machine, the agenda of the CIA and corporate interests.
But today, all I see is a Harvard-educated man who has happened to appoint all the wrong people, happened to support big corporate interests, called the nuclear industry green, happened to add a new war- making three- happened to increase the number of corporate contractors in the wars, happened to sign the new and worsened Patriot Act, happened to leave Guantanamo open and increase the use of Bagram. Happened to be president when the Attorney General dropped 98 of 100 cases against CIA operatives and contractors in torture suits.
Happened to go bomb Libya and participate in a war without following the War Powers Act. I even DEFENDED him when it began – saying it was a bad call, but it was legal.
But it is not legal anymore.
He is now, to me, the Wizard of Oz. Except behind the curtain, he lies in bed with the CIA, GE, all war profiteers and war makers, covert and overt.
He is, I believe, one of the worst presidents ever because he sold us on something so counter to what he is, false appeals to the little guy that he would make the country better for us all.
And, unlike the friendly disrobed Wizard, he is not trembling or afraid. He is strutting full speed ahead, at the front of the parade on terror, while helping to train and arm Al Qaeda in Libya. Permitting the torture, covert and overt wars to continue. Of course. We need to strengthen the enemy so we have a bigger threat so we can support more war on...terror.
The terror is home.
I am terrorized by what my Nation has become.
I dream of Oz and going home. I click the heels of my Converse and I repeat three times, "I want to go home. I want to go home. I want to go home."
The trees are being taken over by evil spirits. The water is being poisoned by Natural Gas companies and hydrofracking. The air is being polluted. The economy is in ruin, but the banks charge twenty-five percent on my husband's credit card (I pay a mere thirteen). We get .01 percent on our savings account. Who is regulating the industry?
Where are the promises of change?
With rants about freedom and national security, we will surely keep Capitalism strong.
But our democracy is dying, in the name of Patriotism...which leads us to war.
Corporations gravely influence the government who promotes our war machine, so the corporations that influence them can profit so that the (individuals of) government can continue to benefit from hefty campaign donations and support.
The U.S. Military budget in 2009 for 2010 was $585.4 billion – JUST for military readiness and the war on terror.
As of the November 2010, we have spent $1 trillion in Iraq, and the cost in dollars in Iraq and Afghanistan is now $3 billion weekly.
As for policy which is not war-related, corporations control the economy and the food chain (i.e government subsidizing corn so high fructose corn syrup is in everything – and a great cause for diabetes), both of which are killing our country. Multinationals, the international blanket of corporations, are proven to influence international policy – both through our government (overtly) and through their influence of the CIA (covertly).
We have been convinced that we are fighting for freedom and security, but our greatest enemy is already inside.
Now Obama has put the ex- director of the CIA, Leon Panetta, in charge of military – and the General who has been running the recent wars, Petraeus, in charge of the CIA.
This is dangerous for our democracy because now the CIA – supposedly a civilian organization – is blatantly to be run by a military general. Our "security intelligence" will now be in the hands of a Military man. He has been military his entire life. The interests of the military, war profiteering, and an agenda based on corporate earnings from injustices is now the priority of our government and our failing economy.
We are sitting in the middle of the engine – firing the pistons - of the United States of War Profiting. We are all a part. Our nation's primary concern has become military might. We have not followed the hand of compassion and justice, nor aided democracies that were struggling to triumph. We have chosen, perpetually and presently, power, corporate economy, and profit from military interests over democracy.
I watch in fading disbelief. The saddest heartbreak is one that happens before your eyes. Slowly, it disbands your trust.
The CIA has been known for its inciting covert wars, funding covert wars, and overthrowing governments. For those of you who don't recall much of our tarnished history, I can name a few clandestine wars that the CIA paid for or ran:
-Using drug money to fight the Sandinistas in Nicaragua in the 80's (with the CIA the ends always justify the means).
It is widely speculated that in Honduras in 2009, the CIA helped oust the DEMOCRATICALLY-ELECTED Zelaya and support the dictator who took power illegally. The US and other nations said they would support the government chosen in the election in 2010, but the problem was Zelaya was not on the ballot.
Porfirio Lobo came to power in a widely boycotted election, with support from the U.S. Since Lobo's election, more than 34 members of a pro-democracy alliance (teachers, union members, activists) have been killed, as well as ten journalists. U.S. construction companies are presently bidding on military contracts in Honduras, "where the U.S. operates three bases – two of which have been built since the coup."
There are countless recorded abuses of corporate profiting in Iraq and Afghanistan, one of which is noted by Jeremy Scahill, an independent investigative reporter, in his book, Blackwater, The Rise of the World's Most Powerful Mercenary Army (Nation Books, 2007). KBR, the former Halliburton subsidy, was paid more than $80 million just in bonuses for contracts that turned out to be extremely defective wiring in Iraq – as told to Congress by a master electrician hired by the army to review the electrical work, who said it was, "some of the most hazardous, worst-quality work" he had ever inspected. Improper wiring was found in every one of the buildings that KBR had wired.
The CIA brought us to Libya. And there is evidence that Al Qaeda has offered its full support to the rebels. The same rebels the CIA and the Obama administration are supporting.
Susan Lindauer, who was a CIA asset and worked in Libya for years, says there is in fact evidence that the Libyan rebels are Al Qaeda. And, again, we are funding the wrong people and making our enemies stronger.
Why isn't there a major movement to stop the war in Libya? Why is Obama so gung ho about us being there? Not Bahrain; not other nations who are / were terribly oppressed? Of course, there is plenty of oil in Libya. But we don't go to war for oil. We don't go to war for corporate interests.
In the name of fighting communists or terrorists, weapons of mass destruction, or inhumane dictators, we continue to fight for the corporate profit.
If we look at the history of CIA, we can say that its choices always reflect global economic concerns, not humanitarian ones. More than "freedoms," or "evil" or whatever words we have been sold in the second millennium, we fight for profit.
No matter what, it seems a conflict of interest that someone whose job was inherently dependent upon war as a mechanism and potential, is now informing covert foreign policy.
Right before our eyes.
And no one seems miffed. Is it ME? Am I the problem of democratic conscience, of separation of military and government, of separation of corporate profit from international policy?
On June 30th, Obama finally laid into Republicans that they must compromise on raising taxes to help make up for our record-breaking deficit.
I am all for tax raises for the corporations. But I am wondering why no one discusses CUTS in military spending, war spending and the ludicrous demise of our economy largely because of this debt.
These wars are ruining us.
And the money spent by the CIA on covert wars and its machines is not even being privy to in the press.
I wonder, again, about what is happening here, when the corporations and military and government and SECRET SERVICE are so intertwined that both the peoples' life and liberty and the peoples' voice has become unrecognizable. Sadly, I wonder less about the pursuit of happiness.
How can people pursue happiness when social programs are cut, the economy is upside down, people can't afford groceries, much less health insurance, and the only people getting welfare are the corporations producing food that is killing us and weapons that are destroying others...at an unaffordable cost?
Referring to CIA practices after the Sept. 11 attacks at his confirmation hearing for head of CIA, Petraeus said, "it is time to take the rear-view mirrors off the bus with respect to certain actions out there."
It also happens that, on June 30th, when the Senate unanimously confirmed Petraeus for Director of the CIA, Eric Holder (US Attorney General) dropped 98 of the 100 cases against CIA officials and contractors for their use of torture. The only two that are being pursued are two cases in which deaths occurred.
It will, however, all return.
We will continue to pay for these wars and all those wars the CIA has brewed and is brewing. Do you all know that September 11th was also the day that Allende was assassinated? We will pay for all the torture we have done and continue. We will pay in our national debt as our Nation becomes a falling world power, and we will pay as our enemies multiply for those we have killed and tortured unjustly, mercilessly, and as a means, only to keep the wheels of this War Machine turning...turning...turning.
That's the Shameful Truth.