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Friday, July 22, 2011

Did we learn something about our country and economy from that human monster Bin Laden?

"Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed" 
-Mahatma Gandhi

Let me preface this by saying that Osama Bin Laden was a cold blooded killer who murdered over 3000 people in the name of a religion.

10 years have passed by and I think we've learned something about this country and the institutions of power that control and influence it.

The United States has become an imperial power, there's no question about it.  After the 9/11 attacks we proved Bin Laden very right, let's remember his goal wasn't to destroy the country by offensive military force but to bankrupt us with our own military expenditures.

With 750 base across the world it's really hard to argue that we've become anything but an empire.  This alone shouldn't be a concern, nations have been fighting over influence since the beginning of time.  However an iron fisted foreign policy that relies almost entirely on how much violence and destruction we can do to other people should be.  “To a person who has a hammer, every problem looks like a nail.”

The most worrying thing of all was the direction we took in March of 2003 with the invasion of Iraq.  While I think everyone agrees that Saddam Hussein was a complete as$&*@#, let's not forget he was our guy up until 1990 when he invaded Iraq in an attempt to repair an Iraqi economy left in shambles after an American supported proxy war fought with Iran for 10 years.

After invading Iraq and going to war for the same reason almost all wars are fought (access to resources, in this case oil) Bin Laden had us right where he wanted us and people here in the U.S. and around the world no doubt took notice.

The Bush administration was pretty much a validation of everything we suspected about a corporate oligarchy that if doesn't outright run this country at this point wields incredible economic and policy influence.  We started wars, cuts taxes for the wealthy, gave huge government handouts to corporations directly and indirectly; Enron, the oil and gas companies, big pharma, banks and mortgage companies.  And while the Democrats stood horrified at the build up of debt that was being created by these policies the Republicans pushing the policies shrugged their shoulders.

When the American people exhausted mostly over the war swept into power in 2006, the brakes were finally applied to The Bush Doctrine, but the damage had already been done and government action would sit in limbo until President Obama and the Democratic wave swept into power in 2008.  But by the summer of 2008 we saw the utter collapse of our economy, a Bush led bailout of the banks, it seemed as if Obama had this collapsing situation thrown into his lap and we hadn't even hit the bottom yet.

And along came a corporate led protest starting in 2009 known as the Tea Party movement disguising itself as a grassroots populist movement was organizing as best as it could to policies aimed at curbing corporate influence.  Over the last 3 years we've passed weak reforms even though we've had a super majority in congress, but due to the fact that portions of the Democratic Senate are bought out just like the entire Republican Party, in short we've had no real reform. So, the last 3 years the economy has sort of tugged along, corporate profits have been through the roof and yet that good news hadn't translated to the vast majority of the American people.  And with a deficit piling on, the ideas on how to reduce it have translated into a direct attack on the poor, and most helpless people in our country, corporate America doesn't care though, it needs that money too and another tax holiday.

With the Republican victory in the House in 2010, where does the debate sit now?  Let's reduce the debt and let's do it by raiding Social Security and Medicaid.  If you would have told me this would have even been possible to do so back in 2005, I would have told you you were out of your mind.  If you would have told me 6 months ago that Obama was considering these draconian cuts I would have said you were on another planet, but here we are.

This system we live in has been described as a vampire squid, I more liken it to Pearl Jam's representation of it in their video 'Do the Evolution' (towards the very end), a monster enslaving mankind and destroying the very eco-systems that keep humanity alive:

"Behind the ostensible government sits enthroned an invisible government owing no allegiance and acknowledging no responsibility to the people."
-Theodore Roosevelt

‎"I am not an advocate for frequent changes in laws and constitutions, but laws and institutions must go hand in hand with the progress of the human mind. As that becomes more developed, more enlightened, as new discoveries are made, new truths discovered and manners and opinions change, with the change of circumstances, institutions must advance also to keep pace with the times. We might as well require a man to wear still the coat which fitted him when a boy as civilized society to remain ever under the regimen of their barbarous ancestors." -Thomas Jefferson

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