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Ear to the Ground

Gorbachev Scolds Obama and McCain

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Posted on Jul 8, 2008
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According to Mikhail Gorbachev, John McCain and Barack Obama have more in common than they’d like to admit. Both have refused to address their country’s unprecedented military spending, which the former Soviet leader blames for America’s economic woes. Writing in a Russian newspaper, Gorbachev argued that the U.S. behaves “as if the Cold War were not a thing of the past, and the country were surrounded by enemies.”


Washington Post / The Trail:

He blamed U.S. military spending for the downturn in the U.S. economy and said neither Sen. Barack Obama or John McCain has addressed the issue.

“The subject of military spending has literally been shrouded in a curtain of silence,” he said. “This taboo must be lifted.”

The U.S. accounts for 50 percent of the world’s output of arms and military equipment, Gorbachev noted, adding: “It runs over 700 military bases across the world and plans to build more as if the Cold War were not a thing of the past, and the country were surrounded by enemies.”

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By samosamo, July 10, 2008 at 2:30 pm Link to this comment

thebeerdoctor, July 10 at 11:36 am

Yeah, I really believe in the Gaia concept, which makes me alarmed when I read of the frogs and salamanders and other amphibians are disappearing. To most veggies it means ‘who cares’ or ‘good riddance’. What will really shock people is when the bottom of the food chain ‘disappears’, the plankton and small cell life, and the rapid repercussions from that will open a few eyes. No doubt the planet will keep going with extinctions here and there but one day it will have an affect. But the earth/gaia will still keep living. Other than our sun going through a severe disruptive stage I or a catastrophic astronomical collision, I don’t believe the system will totally die until again the sun does something like swell up and toast the inner planets. And still, there may be some of the deep deep bacteria in the rocks to would survive for a while longer.
And space travel to other stars, MAYBE, but only if they are close, with in few light years. Other side of the galaxy? NO! Even the attempt to go to mars will prove very taxing for the travelers and with human nature, look out.

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By thebeerdoctor, July 10, 2008 at 12:36 pm Link to this comment

samosamo, I do not know if you ever heard the Gaia hypothesis, the idea that the planet itself is one giant interlocking biological system. In such a case it has been postulated that the irrational brain functions within humans is part of a larger planetary plan to throw off species that threaten the ecological system. It is startling to consider, but that reptilian brain often mentioned, may perhaps be a mechanism to rid this world of a creature that threatens all life, flora and fauna. Perhaps you heard the factual story of pine cones that are only released in the extreme heat of a forest fire?
You know much has been made about the extinction of the dinosaurs. A more important question is: What kept them around for so long? Their reign on earth in terms of time span, makes human existence seem like a drop in the bucket.
The ego centric religious will have difficulty with this. It is unsettling for many to grasp that maybe we are just creatures in a long procession of species, and that maybe we are not so special at all.

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By samosamo, July 10, 2008 at 10:59 am Link to this comment

beerdoctor,
I’ll have a fosters on that. I believe the human race is genetically hard wired with enough traits to bring on its own demise, which with the age of technology that can take on very interesting ideas. I mean, what kind of life is this now as you stated ““smart bombs” and “precision laser guided missiles” and a pentagon that sees the problem with cluster bombs can be solved by making sure that 99% of the caplets explode on contact.”
I realize the urge to fight is a strong trait but eventually most sane people grow out of that and want to live a quietter and less stressful life, and most if not all other species, I believe. Which could mean this is a curious and peculiar part of human intellectual traits, who knows.

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By thebeerdoctor, July 9, 2008 at 11:21 pm Link to this comment

Historian 2’s comments have put this into true focus. From this perspective, observing the squabbles over the pageant puppet show known as the presidential election, seems almost beside the point. There is no history where this world is going. A technological mythology has seized the human brain. Thus, there is talk of “smart bombs” and “precision laser guided missiles” and a pentagon that sees the problem with cluster bombs can be solved by making sure that 99% of the caplets explode on contact. Despite all the patriotic jingoism, one thing is sure, the family of man is being destroyed. This truth, this bloody awful truth, exists, even if there is not a single soul left to acknowledge it.

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By Historian2, July 9, 2008 at 3:27 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

More than forty years ago, The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. warned that unless we engage in a great revolution of values and overcome racism, materialism and militarism, we would be “dragged down the long, dark and shameful corridors of time reserved for those who possess power without compassion, might without morality and strength without sight.”
  That dark time has come. We face a constitutional crisis brought on by the imperial and arrogant acts of a President who has placed himself above the law and is conducting an illegal war, subverting the Constitution and willfully ignoring a planetary crisis that threatens the future of life on earth. As we are manipulated by fear and distrust, despair overcomes decency. We are losing faith in our capacity to create the world anew.
  In 2008, in the midst of yet another illegal war, with an administration and a Congress both well-funded by corporations, and during a presidential campaign in which the front runners of both major parties are beholden to their corporate benefactors, it is doubtful that King’s “revolution of values” will come from any of our elected leaders.
  If we truly “recall the fullness of his message,” it is we ourselves who are called to act today to make the “great revolution of values” happen for us, and for our children. As King said, near the end of that Riverside Church speech, “We are now faced with the fact that tomorrow is today. We are confronted with the fierce urgency of now. In this unfolding conundrum of life and history there is such a thing as being too late.”

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By thebeerdoctor, July 9, 2008 at 8:52 am Link to this comment

I know it is tough for some to consider that continuing militarism will eventually destroy all of human civilization. For those who subscribe to “the rapture” mythology, this is just fine and dandy.
“While the forces of insanity are logically secure,
the diseases of the psychic soul are better left uncured,”
Zulu Zion

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By Jonathan, July 8, 2008 at 11:05 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Sad thing is, pre 9/11, America was reaping the benefit of the end of the cold war.  Our deficit was going down, and it looked for a brief period (that would be the Clinton years) as if we were on the path to peace and prosperity in our time.

The way we responded to 9/11 was understandable, especially for a nation that hadn’t known war and death on its own soil for several generations.  But we had the opportunity, as a nation, to embark on a path of self discovery and growth.  Collectively, we chose fear, and the paralysis of moral and emotional development that results.

And it’s not all the Bush administration’s fault: it took a great acquiescence on the part of the greater public, sometimes sensing, sometimes not, that all was not as it was purported to be by Cheney et al.  (Sucking up life through the medium of T.V and video games arrests emotional development, anyway)

Our chosen path has been a painful one (especially for the families of ~1 million Iraqis and 4000 American servicemen and women, and I hope desperately that we are ready to embrace the new kind of thinking that Obama appears to offer.  I’m not supporting Obama because his is a message of hope, but because he seems to have greater emotional intelligence than most pols.  And that is what we most need now from an American president.

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By G.Anderson, July 8, 2008 at 10:22 pm Link to this comment

Absolutely right, and as someone else pointed out, no where in any major media will this story appear.

As long as we’re burning money in the middle east, America will continue on a downward spiral.

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By kdnc, July 8, 2008 at 7:46 pm Link to this comment

It seems like I have heard someone else talking about this issue before, but I can’t remember who.

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By samosamo, July 8, 2008 at 6:52 pm Link to this comment

This sure isn’t on msm sites and never will be and how ridiculous to have a former leader of the former Soviet Union to point this out. And he is absolutely correct even though Chalmers Johnson is the first person I saw that talked about our military going from the cold war enemies to the ‘others’ like drug lords, terrorists and probably more made up than real just to keep robbing our treasury. Just goes to show anybody that is paying attention how the rape of this country is being played out. It is all about the oil and hegemony over the rest of the world. And the people in congress, the white house and the military don’t care what damage this country and the world incurs because they must have an agenda that is going to keep them punishing the rest of the world for their greedy benefit.

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By Elizabeth, July 8, 2008 at 6:05 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

He’s right.  The amount we are spending on the military is obscene. What do we need all those bases for? Why do we always need the latest “toys” when lower tech. is what is beating us in Iraq.

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