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Savvy to a Fault: Coming to Terms With Imperial Power

US Politics & Gov't  (tags: abuse, corruption, dishonesty, ethics, freedoms, government, lies, iraq, terrorism, war )

- 3235 days ago -
"How does it become a man to behave toward this American government to-day? I answer that he cannot without disgrace be associated with it." -- Henry David Thoreau


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Robert K (437)
Sunday December 6, 2009, 4:26 pm
To me, this quote from Thoreau expresses the only rational, moral and humane stance that a citizen can take toward the vast and brutal machinery of the American imperial state in our time. The crimes of this state are monstrous, and mounting. But what is worse is that these crimes are not aberrations; they are the very essence of the system -- they are its goal, its product, its lifeblood.

And what is this crimeful essence? Matt Taibbi described it well in a recent article:

Our Western society quite openly embraces war as a means of solving problems, and for quite some time now has fashioned its entire social and economic structure around the preparation for war.


Robert K (437)
Sunday December 6, 2009, 4:29 pm
The mass murder in Iraq, the horrible slaughter in Vietnam and Cambodia, the direct involvement in the massacre of hundreds of thousands of people in Indonesia, Latin America, and the Iran-Iraq War to name just a few such operations carried out within the last generation are regarded as actions which, however "mistaken" some might feel them to have been, were undertaken in good faith, to "preserve our way of life" from this or that imminent, overwhelming threat to our very national existence. [Which was, of course, the same reasoning Hitler used to justify his militarism: the urgent need to protect the German people from maniacal, irrational, bloodsworn enemies bent on their total destruction.]

And let us not forget that American war planners also drew up detailed plans involving the extermination of tens of millions of East Europeans in "first strike" nuclear attacks plans which they often urged national leaders to put into practice. And even today, the constantly asserted vow to keep the nuclear option "on the table" at all times means that every single action or policy toward a "problem" nation carries with it the explicit threat to kill millions of people to outdo the Holocaust in a matter of minutes.

Can one really look at such plans and attitudes, and at the towering, Everest-like mountain of corpses produced by American polices just in the last generation and say that there is not also a form of inhuman madness behind this hegemonic ambition as well? Is this really a system that one can be associated with honorably in any way? What should we think about a person who wants to lead such a system, who wants to take hold of the driving wheel of the war machine, to use it, to expand it, to accept all of its premises, to keep all of its horrific "options" forever on the table, to feed it and gorge it and coddle it and appease it at every turn, while millions of their own people sink fu

Kit B (276)
Sunday December 6, 2009, 4:49 pm
I have to wonder if the loss of the USSR has not been a greater problem for the USA then any of us have considered. We lack an opposing enemy and seem to want to replace one "enemy" with another. Will we drive ourselves to the brink of destruction searching for our "other"? Please explain to this woman how we aid anyone in finding freedom at the end of gun barrel? We seem to have no shame left, just rhetoric that spews as a continuous expression of endless "justification" of the madness.

Robert K (437)
Sunday December 6, 2009, 4:57 pm
And another thing Kit, besides the billions of dollars and millions of innocent lives wasted and blown to smitheareans in perennial war, I am under the impression that the majority of Americans have no idea we are memely puppets on billionaire corporatist strings. Thanks for comment

Pamylle G (461)
Monday December 7, 2009, 4:19 am
Well-written piece. Thanks, Sir Robert.

Fiona O (561)
Monday December 7, 2009, 9:56 am
It is true, we are beoming imperialists. We have to face it.

Michelle R (13)
Sunday December 20, 2009, 11:19 am
Nothing productive will happen in Copenhagen until:

1.) there is a limit set for meat consumption
2.) a stop to cutting down trees for paper products & most housing uses
3.) a definitive switch to solar/wind/water/hydrogen energy instead of oil and coal.

But, governments were sold a long time ago. Our governments are not acting in the best interests for the planet and the future. If they were, businessmen, CEO's, and the like would be seized by the worlds army's and thrown in prison. But, as they own governments, they own the army's. Army's kill for businessmen, for resources and those who stand in the way are killed or arrested.

"Spiritual evolution is a personal experience and comes from within. People who still eat meat not considering the cruelty they inflict on innocent animals have not come close to understanding spirituality or God for that matter."

Well said by someone.

There is no forcing evolution. So, it follows that the destruction of the planet will continue.
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