Archive for October 20th, 2011

Foe, Friend, Foe, Corpse


by lizard

The US empire is a fickle friend indeed. With news of Gaddafi’s death this morning, I could only shake my head, reading the celebratory tweets and examining the grizzly death-porn on my twitter-feed. How many people recall how, just two years ago, US politicians like John McCain were giving this alleged monster accolades:

A U.S. diplomatic cable released Wednesday by the website WikiLeaks reportedly shows that Senator John McCain promised to help Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi obtain U.S. military hardware and become one of the United States’ partners in the war on terror.

The agreement took place on Aug. 14, 2009 and included Senator Joe Lieberman, Senator Lindsey Graham, Senator Susan Collins and Senate Armed Services Committee staffer Richard Fontaine.

According to the cable, McCain opened the meeting by saying that Libya’s relationship with the U.S. was “excellent.” Liebermann added, “We never would have guessed ten years ago that we would be sitting in Tripoli, being welcomed by a son of Muammar al-Qadhafi.”

The cable also says, “Lieberman called Libya an important ally in the war on terrorism, noting that common enemies sometimes make better friends. The Senators recognized Libya’s cooperation on counterterrorism and conveyed that it was in the interest of both countries to make the relationship stronger.”

What a difference two years makes. With the trumped up charges that Gaddafi was planning a slaughter on Benghazi, NATO embarked on a US blessed “humanitarian intervention” to allow the opposition forces to do this to Gaddafi’s hometown, Sirte:

The big question is why? Why did a former foe, turned friend, get recast as a monster to justify a violent regime change?

The cover story is a joke, and I’m frankly tired of having the same arguments with the same imperial apologists. There are too many examples of the US supporting brutal dictators as long as those dictators go along with the program for the noble humanitarian intervention meme to mean much. What will it take for them to finally understand US foreign policy doesn’t give two shits about human suffering?

US foreign policy is concerned with one thing and one thing only: projecting US hegemony, and whether it uses institutions like the IMF and the World Bank, or NATO, the goal is the same.

So what did Gaddafi do to cause the humanitarian bombs to begin raining down on Libya? My “educated” guess is Gaddafi made the same mistake Saddam Hussein made: he fucked with the Petro Dollar.

I’ve waded through this muck before, looking for answers, and though it puts the complicated geopolitical posturing of nation-states into a compelling context, I remain skeptical.

What I do know is how little we simple citizens really understand about what drives global conflicts around the world, and while we focus on our spoon-fed narratives of bad guys versus good guys, the reality of power and control exists outside that simple binary, in a nefarious realm us simple citizens can’t fathom.

Fascism in America

By JC

My previous post got me to thinking about a better way to visualize how corporations have inserted themselves into America as a 4th power. I hope the diagram below might better illustrate what I’m trying to get across. Click on the graphic to get a full sized pdf version to print out if you want.

 

By JC

It was only a matter of time till people started coming to the same conclusion that many of us have made recently, that there may be more overlap between the tea party and OccupyWallStreet than is readily apparent. James Sinclair over at howconservativesdrovemeaway draws an interesting comparison of the two movements:

We should pay less attention to the individual lunatics, and more attention to what a movement is really about. Occupy Wall Street, at its core, is a reaction to the increasing power and influence of large corporations. The Tea Party, at its core, is a reaction to the government’s constant interference with private enterprise. But wait a minute—aren’t those things connected?

Bailouts, subsidies, tax breaks, special rights and privileges, regulations designed to restrict competition—to name a few of the many ways the government protects and stimulates corporate interests, and those things are every bit as anti-free market as, not to mention directly related to, the high taxes and excessive bureaucracy that gets Tea Partiers riled up. In other words, aren’t these two groups—Occupy Wall Street and the Tea Party—raging against different halves of the same machine? Do I have to draw a Venn diagram here?

Oh, alright, I’ll draw a Venn diagram:

While I might quibble with his characterizations of the two, the important part of his analysis is the following:

Yeah, I’m oversimplifying, but only a little. The greatest threat to our economy is neither corporations nor the government. The greatest threat to our economy is both of them working together. There are currently two sizable coalitions of angry citizens that are almost on the same page about that, and they’re too busy insulting each other to notice.

The overlap between corporations and government — the intertwining of corporations and government — is a fundamental feature of creeping fascism in this country. And it will be the undoing of this country if it isn’t stopped.

We all have been educated about the 3 branches of government, and the separation of powers between the executive, the judicial, and the legislative. What the OccupyWallStreet movement needs to do is illuminate the need for another separation of powers, one between corporations and the government’s other three branches.

Congress and the Courts over the years have created a de facto 4th power in this country. Now the people need to raise up and separate it from the other three branches.




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