By Frank Scott
American arrogance and power is obvious to the rest of the world, leading to fears of us as a "rogue state". Under corporate mind management , many Americans believe otherwise. But recent actions give us cause to wonder about ourselves.
Chiropractors might lose their minds trying to find a spine in the Democratic wing of our corporate party. And sanity may be the problem for the Republican wing , if its White House crew is any example. Some critics think Bush could use a lobotomy, but it would have to be performed by a proctologist .
How can we explain the behavior of an administration which barely managed to gain a minority vote, in a minority turnout, and then acted as though it had a landslide. And that this imaginary mandate gave it the power to cancel the wimpy days of Clinton, to return to the gimpy days of Reagan.
Given the obvious signs that we use too much energy and suffer private power monopolies , does the Bush team propose renewable energy, serious conservation, and public power? Silly. We need to remove environmental restrictions, desecrate more of the earth with oil wells, and further unleash private market forces.
Here, the hypocrisy of some environmentalists must be mentioned. They will tolerate any abuse , so long as it isn't on their front lawns. The SUV gas guzzlers reached a market peak under Clinton-Gore, burning more fuel than ever while no new wells were dug in the USA, and they were silent. The Bushmen at least highlight the hypocrisy of talking environmental reform at home , while pillaging foreign countries to gorge our commuter-serfs with cheap gasoline.
Clinton's soothing double speak put many to sleep while he disregarded the Kyoto accords. Bush blatantly announced that we would not honor them, which is exactly what we were doing .This honesty about our previously sneaky policy at least woke some slumbering environmentalists .
The Bushmen cannot be blamed for our historic institutional racism, exemplified by the recent ugliness in Cincinnati , but they have leaped backward in areas of civil and human rights. Their conservatism is more constipated than compassionate, returning to the faith-based market god revered by the Reaganoids, and removing the cosmetic veneer of liberalism applied to that fundamentalist religion by the Clintonites.
But their worst performance may be foreign policy . The Clinton clique was in charge during the revival of "yellow peril" racism , and the disgraceful Wen Ho Lee episode. That American was locked up as an enemy spy, based on less evidence than was available to prove Clinton a perjurer .
But the Bushmen have gone further, stepping up spy flights over Chinese waters, and having a plane forced down in Chinese territory. This created a round of devious diplomacy, with China demanding an apology for our spying, and the USA seeming to demand an apology from China for interfering with our spying.
This schizophrenic saber rattling occurs as we run a massive trade deficit with that nation. Some capitalists drool over cheap labor and the vast Chinese market for consumer goods, while others drool over potential weapons sales to Taiwan . This collective salivation does nothing for the world drinking water problem, over which another group of capitalists wet themselves in anticipation of marketing that natural resource, if they gain its control through the FTAA .
And the Bushies simply maintain the long running disaster in Palestine-Israel, where occupied people in rebellion are "aggressors" and settlers on their lands "victims". After several hundred Palestinian deaths, a Bush official called Israeli military reaction "excessive". Our mind managers said this was harsh criticism . If we cut ten dollars from our billions in aid to Israel , that might be called severe punishment.
What are we to think? If the serial killers in Washington are to be believed, we need more tools for mass murder. Employees of the weapons industry see danger at every turn, and their irrational fantasies are purchased at our expense and called "intelligence".
Americans pay for the world's lowest military intelligence and highest military budget , all of it making us less safe and more poor.
Weapons , spies and military personnel do not make a great power. That should have been learned in Viet Nam. But we've outgrown that experience; by learning the price of imperial injustice? No, by devastating the weak nation of Iraq. And that stupid and sadistic policy continues under Bush , even as the wicked leader we supposedly subdued remains in power.
There was general righteous clucking over another wicked leader, recently arrested at our demand, after we all but obliterated Yugoslavia for his alleged sins.
Saddam Milosevic, or Slobodan Hussein-confusion is understandable-are symbols of a foreign policy that is an extension of our domestic policy. Whether in Cincinnati, Europe, China or Palestine, it is based on brute force, arrogance, ignorance and disrespect . This, in a global environment falling apart under neoliberal rule that strengthens corporate capital , weakens government and transforms political democracy into market fascism.
NAFTA, the WTO and the proposed FTAA are part of a global capitalist organization , already more powerful than most nations and a major cause of inequality and suffering . The US operates as its military force and seems to rule the world, but our system and leadership show dangerous signs of breakdown. And all of us, not just foreigners and poor people, will suffer if that breakdown takes place.
There is a global movement of people thinking more clearly than most governments, especially ours. It is working to take control away from anti-social profiteers. The problem is a tyrannical collection of corporate minorities, often feeble minded in their pursuit of profit. The solution demands a global majority, sound in mind , body and purpose, and dedicated to democracy and social justice. And Americans need to play a role in creating that solution , especially since we are so much a part of creating the problem.
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