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Even Lost Wars Make Corporations Rich

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Posted on Jan 10, 2011
AP / Petros Giannakouris

A young protester with a painted face demonstrates in central Athens during an anti-war rally back in 2007.

By Chris Hedges

(Page 2)

“When Obama was elected in 2008 the majority of the country had turned against the Iraq War,” he said. “You could not be a Democrat running for office without giving lip service to being against the Iraq War. The reason people were against the war is because there was a constant, senseless death of U.S. troops and Iraqi civilians. It was a squandering of our resources. This has not changed, despite the rebranding of the occupation. U.S. soldiers are still being killed, wounded and psychologically traumatized, especially those on their third, fourth and fifth deployment who were traumatized in previous deployments and are being re-traumatized. There were two U.S. soldiers killed in Iraq a few days ago. The reasons that led people to oppose the war in 2003 are still in effect. All that has changed is that the U.S. has been able to recruit enough Iraqis to put in the forefront and take the brunt of the combat operations with U.S. soldiers a few steps behind. U.S. soldiers are still involved in combat. One of our members [of March Forward!], who joined our group about a month ago, is in Iraq now. He told me yesterday that he was hit harder than he has ever been hit on his nine months of deployment. Combat is still a reality. People are still being killed and maimed.” 

“The war is still going on,” he lamented. “It is still bad for U.S. soldiers, and Iraq is completely destroyed. It is a catastrophe for the Iraqi people. To call this current operation ‘New Dawn,’ like this is a new day for the Iraqi people, ignores the fact that Iraqis have no electricity, live with constant violence, have no functioning government, have occupying forces still in their country and suffer rampant birth defects from the depleted uranium and other things. Iraq’s ‘New Dawn’ is a horror. It will remain that way until Iraq is given justice, which is a complete and immediate withdrawal of all occupying forces and heavy reparations paid to that country.”

Iraq, despite the brutality of Saddam Hussein, was a prosperous country with a highly educated middle class before the war. Its infrastructure was modern and efficient. Iraqis enjoyed a high standard of living. The country did not lack modern conveniences. Things worked. And being in Iraq, as I often was when I covered the Middle East for The New York Times, while unnerving because of state repression, was never a hardship. Since our occupation the country has tumbled into dysfunction. Factories, hospitals, power plants, phone service, sewage systems and electrical grids do not work. Iraqis, if they are lucky, get three hours of electricity a day. Try this in 110-degree heat. Poverty is endemic. More than a million Iraqi civilians have been killed. Nearly 5 million have been displaced from their homes or are refugees. The Mercer Quality of Living survey last year ranked Baghdad last among cities—the least livable on the planet. Iraq, which once controlled its own oil, has been forced to turn its oil concessions over to foreign corporations. That is what we have bequeathed to Iraq—violence, misery and theft.

It is not as if the Iraq and Afghanistan wars have popular support. The latest CNN/Opinion Research Corp. poll shows that 63 percent of the American public opposes U.S. involvement in Afghanistan. And the level of discontent over the war in Iraq is even higher. Yet we continue to accept the duplicity of bankrupt liberal institutions and a corrupt political process that year after year betrays us. Public opinion is on our side. We should mobilize it to fight back. When I and the other protesters were arrested outside the White House on Dec. 16, several of the police officers who had been deployed as military members to Afghanistan or Iraq muttered to veterans as they handcuffed them that they were right about the wars. The anti-war sentiment is widespread, and we must find the courage to make it heard. 

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“All these people join the military because there is an abysmal job market and tuition rates are skyrocketing,” Prysner said. “Many young people are cut off from a college education. People are funneled into the military so they can make a living, have a home, health care, take care of their children and have an education. If a fraction of the money spent on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan was used to meet human needs, kids would be able to go to college at affordable rates. We would be able to create jobs for young people when they get out of high school. Vast amounts of wealth, which we create, are poured into these wars and the military while people here are facing increasing hardship. We have to demand and fight for change, not ask for it.”

“We supposedly elected the most progressive president we have seen in a long time and the Democrats took control of the House and the Senate, but the wars have only expanded and intensified,” Prysner said. “The wars are now going into other countries, especially Pakistan and Yemen. The Democrats had a filibuster-proof majority in Congress. We had a seemingly progressive president. But all we got was more war, more military spending, more bombing of innocent people abroad and more U.S. troops coming home in coffins. This should eradicate and shatter the idea that convincing the Democrats to be on our side will accomplish anything. Left to its own devices Washington will continue its war drive. It will continue to dominate these countries and use them for staging grounds to invade other countries. There has been no real change in our foreign policy. If we are hurting the Democrats at this point, then fine. We need to build an independent political movement that is outside of the Establishment. This is the only way we have ever won real victories in our history.”

Chris Hedges is a senior fellow at The Nation Institute. His newest book is “Death of the Liberal Class.”


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By DofG, January 10, 2011 at 8:32 pm Link to this comment

A point that’s rarely considered when we seek to address the larger problems of culture, is that the solutions often don’t seem connected to “particulars” of the problems in question. Thus, real solutions are never considered. This is just another way of saying that we focus too much on the “trees” and not the “forest”. The real difference is that the “trees”, or particulars, tend to get us bogged down in an egocentric approach to problem solving. The “forest” approach compels us to seek out the unbiased “absolutes” that will guide us to more definitive answers.

If we use biology microecology as a guide, we must understand first, that no concepts, or paradigms of Man’s culture, can exist outside the natural paradigm of Nature! Concepts like government, body politic, law, macro and micro economics, all have their foundations in Nature. More to the influence of the corporatocracy, our political system is a SPHERE, while our economic system is, paradoxically, a PYRAMID! But what has happened over time is that selfish, and unenlightened politicians has allowed the very thing that should have NEVER happened-money to penetrate the nucleus of government-the REGULATOR! The present result is that now, capitalism has devolved into a full blown pathology! And the only way, by “either hook or crook”, for this to change is for “we the people” to demand that it be made a felony for money to mix with politics. It is the only way to purge the system of those who would make our political system a slave to the economic system. Unfortunately, a lot of the intellectual safety nets for the masses have been obscured by this pathology, that has managed to infect practically everything it has touched.

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By gerard, January 10, 2011 at 8:23 pm Link to this comment

re: radson—as “progress” looks more and more like “regress” every day, it might be a good idea to start considering a few other less mercenary goals, such as:  empathy, sympathy, compassion, fellow-feeling, inter-relatedness, kindness, caring, love, charity, amity, mutuality, thoughtfulness, acceptance, peace, mutual respect.

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By dailyplanet, January 10, 2011 at 8:02 pm Link to this comment

No one needs the credentials of an historian to know that warfare has always
been and IS a gold mine for business interests. The current warfare in Iraq and
Afghanistan is so intricately tied to corporate profit that the occupation of these
lands is a strategy in action; in operation indistinguishable from the dynamics
used to govern our own country. 

What does it even matter if military enlistments, or stationed troops fall in
number? America recruits its private store of mercenaries, hired killers who will
do whatever is required in whatever zone provides the hostilities of the day. 

These private corporate “support” services are contractual arms of the US State
Department who has provided them with billions in annual revenue from
monies supplied by the US Treasury by way of the American tax-payer.

America has become a sham democracy. The anonymous face of corporations
and financial institutions run the entire show; Democrat? Republican? Doesn’t
matter. They’re both just brand names for defective products.

Report this

By TAO Walker, January 10, 2011 at 7:55 pm Link to this comment

If we thought there was no “hope” we wouldn’t bother even to offer this reminder of The Good Medicine of Organic Functional Integrity, in response to “plainsman”‘s query.  How come most everybody here could easily recognize the critical distinction between free wild Elk, say, and the members of that same Nation who are now being subjected to the degradation of the domestication regime, yet they are at the same time so desperate to “fight shy” (in Louis LaMour’s favorite phrase) of acknowledge the point-for-point likenesses in the CONdition of “civilized” Humans?  Maybe they really are NOT their “selfs.”

Living too long in not-a-river-in-Egypt has left the captive peoples too enamored of their captivity.

HokaHey!  It is a Good Day to Live!

HokaHey!

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By garth, January 10, 2011 at 7:51 pm Link to this comment

radson,

I use quotes.

“We do have similar points in common and your latest is not ‘novel’ in any way with reference to the corporations and their acceptance by the ruling establishment”

Am I alone?

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By mdgr, January 10, 2011 at 7:50 pm Link to this comment

Thanks once again for the reality-reminders, Chris.

On that same note, momentum isn’t likely to come from a theatrical chaining of oneself to the White House fence, wherein 500 people show up.

Code Pink has done some very courageous things, as have you, but that was hardly the most worthy.

Telling the Dems to take a flying f*ck is a start, agreed, but unless the progressive Dems in Congress join in that call (and they won’t), it isn’t going to make much of a difference.

That leaves us with various forms of confrontation, some more suicidal than others. Recently in an interview, you said we might need to break the law.

Any chance of clarifying exactly what you meant by that? You’re a realist at heart. Let’s get real.

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By radson, January 10, 2011 at 7:11 pm Link to this comment

Garth : I haven’t been called ’ boy’ in such a long time it makes me feel young again ,so thx for the rejuvenation.We do have similar points in common and your latest is not ‘novel’ in any way with reference to the corporations and their acceptance by the ruling establishment ,It could be summarized by Madison .The question is how to wean the American ideology away from the believe that ‘progress’ could only be achieved through exploitation and basically Imperialism and war ;in a sense to maintain the military edge and therefore hegemony.

I know who I am

cheers

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By Aquifer, January 10, 2011 at 7:07 pm Link to this comment

Now. as Monty Python would say, for something completely different ....

Getting back to the article,

“All our efforts to work within the political process to stop these wars have been abject and miserable failures.”

If, as i believe David Cyr alluded to in a previous post, our “efforts” have failed it is because, by and large, they were pretty miserable excuses for efforts - consisting of voting for Dems/Reps long past the point when there even any shadows of legitimate reasons for doing so. We have had other choices but we did not make the “effort” to choose them. Until enough of us do the “political process” itself cannot, and should not, IMO, be reasonably discarded as a legitimate and, again IMO, necessary part of the solution.

“Power does not rest with the electorate.”

If that is so, it is only because we have not chosen to use it. Even the fellow Prysner, whom Hedges quotes at length seems to disagree with him on this point - “We need to build an independent political movement that is outside of the Establishment. This is the only way we have ever won real victories in our history.” If politics is dead, why bother ....

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By garth, January 10, 2011 at 7:00 pm Link to this comment

Hey Tao Walker baby, read this.
G.Anderson, January 10 at 11:50 pm Link to this comment


This country needs to take all of our servicemen out Afghanistan, and Iraq.  We need to
also, stop trying to control Pakistan with our bribes. Our presence in these countries is
actually increasing recruitment in fundamentalist military organizations. When we leave
recruitment will fall. Our involvement there is a waste of time, money and American
lives.  We need to spend our money instead, helping our servicemen and women
recover from what our government did to them, helping them get decent jobs. And doing
all those things for them, that we promised them when they signed up. We need to take
care of this country first, before we go out, creating a lot of trouble in the world, trying to
force our corporate crap on the rest of the world.  This country is becoming a casa de
locos. It’s all the doing of the plutocracy and the government they own. Tom Delay went
to jail today it’s, just a start.

————————————————\

Now if you want to create an identity on the InterNet like that of TRB Comments in the press, you’ve got to be a lot smarter and you you’ve got to be a lot less obtuse.

Do you inderstand what I mean, you fraud?

But we still love you.


There’s something about your high-minded rhetoric that pisses me off.

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G.Anderson's avatar

By G.Anderson, January 10, 2011 at 6:50 pm Link to this comment

This country needs to take all of our servicemen out Afghanistan, and Iraq.  We need to
also, stop trying to control Pakistan with our bribes. Our presence in these countries is
actually increasing recruitment in fundamentalist military organizations. When we leave
recruitment will fall. Our involvement there is a waste of time, money and American
lives.  We need to spend our money instead, helping our servicemen and women
recover from what our government did to them, helping them get decent jobs. And doing
all those things for them, that we promised them when they signed up. We need to take
care of this country first, before we go out, creating a lot of trouble in the world, trying to
force our corporate crap on the rest of the world.  This country is becoming a casa de
locos. It’s all the doing of the plutocracy and the government they own. Tom Delay went
to jail today it’s, just a start.

Report this

By Alan MacDonald, January 10, 2011 at 6:47 pm Link to this comment

Despite my overall agreement and respect for Hedges, he above all people, should know that the war machine is not the ultimate evil in this or any situation.

The key for US citizens to understand is not the wars, but the Empire behind those wars—- which is the very same ruling-elite corporate/financial/militarist Empire which now fully controls our former country, by hiding behind the facade of its TWO-Party modern ‘Vichy’ sham of faux democratic government (just as the Nazi Empire hid behind a far cruder single-party ‘Vichy’ regime in France during WWII).

The wars are but a symptom of the Empire—not the other way around.

Understand Empire and we understand the ‘causal’ cancer at the heart of all the other ‘symptom’ problems.

War is but a ‘symptom problem’, whereas Empire is the causal cancer behind wars and all else that is evil.

It is the Empire which causes all problems ‘abroad’ and ‘at home’, as Hannah Arendt said:

“Empire abroad entails tyranny at home.”

Empire is the central cancerous cause of:

All foreign wars, including oil wars

All domestic economic oppression

All classism, nationalism, and racism

All national police-state spying and political imprisonment

All domestic tyranny

All corporatist media lies and deceit

All global warming destruction

All international ‘weapons of war’ sales (of which the US alone accounts for 68%)

All financial crises and ultimate collapse

Catch Empire by the tail and we have belled the vicious hidden predatory ‘black cat’ that does all the killing, looting, destruction, and insanity world-wide!

We need to stop dividing, diluting, and deluding ourselves by so much ineffective ankle-biting at the ‘symptom’ cuffs of the Empire, and go for the jugular of Empire itself.

Alan MacDonald
Sanford, Maine

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By garth, January 10, 2011 at 6:40 pm Link to this comment

“If anybody here has a clue who this “Louis” is, eliciting all this demented raving from “garth,” perhaps they could take steps to alert “Louis” to the threats implicit (and getting pretty close to explicit) in that plainly unbalanced “individual”‘s submissions here today.  His references to “Deepak Chopra” (though the name is familiar), “Thom Hartmann,” and others, are totally lost on this Old Savage. “

This graph reads like a mad man caught in a web of his own madness.

I do wish you well, whoever you are.  I hope you treat your pets well, too.

But you’ve gone past the realm of mystical insight and have re-entered the gravimetric pull of being just another human being. 

You are just like the rest of us.

I welcome you.

Let’s see the re-emegence of a new TAO Walker with a little humility.

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By plainsman, January 10, 2011 at 6:29 pm Link to this comment

@TAO WALKER

Are you not talking—with your persistent use of the phrase “virtual world-o’-hurt”—about Agrarianism? Is it not the precondition necessary for what is now thought to be Civilization (uncivil as it is)? Are you not—by the term “free wild Peoples”—referring to what are now called hunters / gatherers?

These are two strata of human cultural evolution. A mistake that agrarianists made (and one that needs to be addressed) is to see themselves as being apart from the natural environment. In Judaeo / Christianity this has been taken to be “have dominion over everything”. But really it’s the perceived separation that is the problem. Hunters / gatherers very much see themselves as being a part of the natural environment; a condition that is true whether one perceives it to be true or not.

Your Sioux stories and prophecies may be different from those of the Anishinabeg that I am familiar with. The latter First Nation holds, in their Seventh Fire Prophecy, that the light-skinned race have a choice to make: Either stay on the current path (which leads to the destruction of humankind) or choose a different path (which leads to all of us prospering, including “free wild Peoples” and all other species with which we share the planet). Presumably the second path is one where all humans see themselves as, first and foremost, being a part of the natural environment.

I have heard that the Lakota Elders see that humankind has reached a kind of critical mass whereby our future survival is at stake. Whether this is the same as the Anishinabeg view I can’t say. However, even to many of us derisively labelled by you as Homo Domesticus, it is apparent that we must change our ways. So, please, don’t so readily discount all of us as being misguided and beyond hope or redemption.

One last thing: Do the Lakota have a phrase that means “It’s a good day to live”?

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By garth, January 10, 2011 at 6:29 pm Link to this comment

radson dear boy read this:

By Malcolm Martin, January 10 at 11:19 pm Link to this comment


January 22, 2010 “Information Clearing House”—Schools teach that the United States of America is a democracy. The government was established as “of, by, and for the people” and later on, a President Abraham Lincoln called the nation’s people to join and die in a civil war that such a thing might never perish from the earth. Aside from the extent the lesson was ever in accord with the truth, it has today become an outright absurdity. The Supreme Court has declared once and for all that the corporations will rule. The United States of America is now better described as a corporatocracy. The government is owned and dictated to by these capitalist creations whose God is Mammon.

Corporations are, of course, different from people….

Radson,
You have no idea who you are.

God bless.

Report this

By TAO Walker, January 10, 2011 at 6:26 pm Link to this comment

If anybody here has a clue who this “Louis” is, eliciting all this demented raving from “garth,” perhaps they could take steps to alert “Louis” to the threats implicit (and getting pretty close to explicit) in that plainly unbalanced “individual”‘s submissions here today.  His references to “Deepak Chopra” (though the name is familiar), “Thom Hartmann,” and others, are totally lost on this Old Savage.

One begins to suspect the rather vicious descriptives “garth” projects onto his psycho-emotional effigy of Yours Truly may actually be clues to elements in his own make-up that he has failed so far, despite his vehement protestations to-the-contrary, to come to any livable terms with.  Surely no one else here, either, wants to read one of these days about some “shooter” who left some of the “signs” of his “trouble”-ed “person”-ality scattered-around on this site.

Granted, it’s all not-really-happening only in cyberspace, but evidently there are those (whose numbers may well be “legion”) who have increasing difficulty in making that critical distinction.  As a further example of his disconnect from reality, anybody can look at those ‘threads’ where both our names appear, and see immediately that it is either the kind of unavoidable occurrence endemic to this format, or that “garth” has gratuitously gone after this Old Savage out of the same excess of bile in-evidence here.

It’d be sort of funny, if it wasn’t so pitiful….hell, it’s sorta funny anyhow.

HokaHey!

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By Malcolm Martin, January 10, 2011 at 6:19 pm Link to this comment

January 22, 2010 “Information Clearing House”—Schools teach that the United States of America is a democracy. The government was established as “of, by, and for the people” and later on, a President Abraham Lincoln called the nation’s people to join and die in a civil war that such a thing might never perish from the earth. Aside from the extent the lesson was ever in accord with the truth, it has today become an outright absurdity. The Supreme Court has declared once and for all that the corporations will rule. The United States of America is now better described as a corporatocracy. The government is owned and dictated to by these capitalist creations whose God is Mammon.

Corporations are, of course, different from people….

The rest of the story

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article24481.htm

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By radson, January 10, 2011 at 6:16 pm Link to this comment

Garth thx for your kind words ,I assumed that you thought you could think ,now I know you can’t think at all .

Report this

By radson, January 10, 2011 at 5:29 pm Link to this comment

Garth

Garth: Most people choose other kinds of New Years resolutions,you have chosen some kind of New Years revolution ,by placing Tao ,ITW ,samo, Thomas and ardee in the same ‘coterie’ .I can only guess that you
were feeling lonely ,now you do realize that the aforementioned posters don’t partake in Ad Hominem ,if it could be avoided .If what you say about your personal Family is true ,then I got to -tip my hat -to your dad ,why you may ask ,is rather simple to answer .You said that your father was an alcoholic ,yet he still managed to raise thirteen children ,that’s quite an accomplishment and I would dare to say that your siblings
don’t all share your point of view .As far as striving towards original thought is concerned ,I have to agree ,but I also may add that, that it is a very rare breed that can actually achieve that form of independence.You having
grown up with thirteen siblings are in essence a part of them and them a part of you.Tao mentioned Louis Riel and for good reason ,Louis was a Métis that lived his last days in Manitoba Canada and advanced the
idea of peaceful coexistence within different civilizations ,now Garth; America is a coalescence of differing cultures ,along with a history of racism and genocide but progress has been made in that regard ,but mostly
from pressure by the oppressed.I view the progression of mankind in the overlapping of spheres ,kind of overlapping concentric circles that at all times borrow from the preceding one ,some times for the good of Humanity yet too many times the negativity or evil ;if you wish takes precedence.

cheers

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Stormboy6722's avatar

By Stormboy6722, January 10, 2011 at 5:22 pm Link to this comment

The corporate billionaires are successful in manipulating political thinking in America because they have all the money. And of course they use their economic power to funnel ever more money into thier hands.
I would like to see Truthdig publish a long series, and in fact tilt its entire editorial focus toward exposing, describing and shining a bright flood light of attention on the network of multi-billionaires like, but by no means limited to, the Koch bros. and all the owners of diversified portfolios that include big oil, big coal, big banks, big auto, big ag, big media, big chemical, big pharmaceuticals, big insurance, big EVERYTHING.
These oligarchs have systematically conducted a lavishly funded, highly organized and outrageously successful public manipulation campaign to convince people to distrust government, scoff at science and defund education, to the point that now the uneducated, uninformed and unthinking masses have put agents of big multi-national corporations into power, which they use to put even more wealth into their accounts, and out of ours, leaving impoverished families and communities, a drained economy, a paralyzed democracy and a devastated planet behind.
Coral reefs are dying fast. The oceans are becoming acidic. Ice packs are receding. Droughts are spreading and forests are disappearing. The planet is heating up faster by the day and still we hear daily that the economy demands we extract and burn more carbon. Wars are fought to obtain more oil and to increase quarterly revenues for major corporations.
We all should shine a bright light on their strategies and methods.

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By rav, January 10, 2011 at 5:21 pm Link to this comment

Take a moment, cause noting else matters but were you stand!!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=erPnyi90cIc

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By skimohawk, January 10, 2011 at 5:03 pm Link to this comment

“Lord of War” should be required viewing for all high-school students.
Anyone who has not seen “The Green Table” on stage should go see it.

It’s the same old game, folks. Our country has been playing it since James Polk sent Zachary Taylor to Texas.
As Jack Webb used to say “Only the names are changed to protect the innocent.”

How come only Washington, New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco on March 19? How about Seattle, Denver, Chicago?

Congressional Switchboard: 1 202 224 3121

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By Aging Populist, January 10, 2011 at 4:45 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Google “Smedley Butler”, and read his classic book “War is a Racket” (free online). GENERAL (USMC) Smedley Butler is the ONLY American serviceman to ever win TWO Congressional Medals of Honor.

It is the single best condemnation of the U.S. congressional/corporate/military racket ever written.

American corporate leaders tried to get him to lead a coup against FDR in the 1930s. They failed, because he was a man of conscience and honor.

Here we are 80 years later, and corporations and government have fused. They are one, and Chris Hedges is right.

We now live in a fascist state, and the American of my youth is lost.

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By TAO Walker, January 10, 2011 at 4:17 pm Link to this comment

If “garth” knew how completely off-the-mark he is, in his can-only-be-“self”-satisfying speculations about this Old Indian, who has never appeared on TV and has a ‘connection’ only with “Louis” Riel, maybe even that “nasty” boy would have to feel some shame….well, one hopes he would, for his sake and that of those in his immediate vicinity.  His rabid obsession with what is nothing but a figment of his own fevered imagination suggests the kind of deranged psycho-emotional CONdition said to be exhibited by the terribly CONfused “individual” charged with the murderous shooting rampage in Tucson.   

If there is anybody who fits, even vaguely, the description posted below here by “garth,” and they are in any way in the “public” arena, they would do well to take seriously the threats implied in the rantings of a clearly disturbed “mind.”  Here in the free wild reaches of Indian Country we can see these poor souls coming from a long way off, but they’re obviously much harder to spot in the clamorous and crowded CONditions prevalent inside the virtual world-o’-hurt.

If there’s anybody close to “garth” who might intervene
therapeutically, before he does harm to his own “self” or anothers’, that could only be a good thing….for ALL-concerned.

HokaHey!

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By garth, January 10, 2011 at 3:39 pm Link to this comment

“By TAO Walker, January 10 at 7:32 pm Link to this comment

The only place any “individual” ever gets “thoughts” that are entirely “their own,” is to do like “garth” does and pull them out of their own ass.  At least some of the rest of us, many of whom have parents that are neither alcoholic nor otherwise insane, have grown-up among Natural Communities of Human Beings who necessarily live together in-concert, having even much of our “thoughts” in-common….along with, of-course, pretty much everything else in this Whole Living World.

Those who’d rather half-live in the virtual world-o’-hurt that is “garth”‘s “self”-CONtained solipsistic delusion needn’t worry….because they’re dying in it already.”

My, my. What a nasty little man who purports himself to be an ‘untouchable savage philosopher.

Is the mask you want to follow.  Whoever is behind it might be nice to his pets and his wife and his children, bt as as Rodney Dangerfield said, “He a friend who cac do you absolutely no good.”

Keep listening to ‘Louis’ the makeshift pseudo-psychologist, the one behind the TAO Walker mask and you’ll find yourselves a few step behind from where you are now. He appears from time to time on Thom Hartmann.

He’s a joke.  But in a while, you be able to laugh at him.  The effeminate-like Deepak Chopra personnae, the passing of the ‘token’ around the campire. It was supposed to build community, but in the end it was was really meant to let these manipulators know something about you that they could use, later.

I let anyone know about my upbringing because I am not ashamed.  I had little or nothing to do with it.
TAO Walker is trying to rob that discovery from you.  And I might add, he’s a fucking schmuck.  A worthless piece of embittered flesh.

I don’t really care.  It’s up to you. But don’t listen to these “I am freer than you crap.”

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By ray, January 10, 2011 at 3:33 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Until america fails as a nation, war will persist.
We the people have no choice but to follow our leaders madness.
I am thankful that america will no longer be my country of choice to habitat- I feel sorry for those of you w/o options to leave.

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By Anarcissie, January 10, 2011 at 3:27 pm Link to this comment

tolstoycat—I think most people still have to work their way through the voting thing and the big demonstration thing.  Of course, since war is the lifeblood of the state, any serious direct impediment to it that actually worked would be promptly neutralized one way or the other.  It’s necessary to convince people that they have to live differently; then they will think of ways to do it.  A lot of people may have learned something from voting in 2008.  It might be a start.

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By felicity, January 10, 2011 at 3:11 pm Link to this comment

I remember Ford saying “As far as the US is
concerned, the Vietnam War is finished.” Take note,
President Obama.

And where would the Iraqi people stand?  Since seven
years ago, 2003, 20% of Iraqi city-dwellers lived in
slums and today 53% live in slums, they should
welcome our departure.

Raising taxes to pay for the wars, having been done
consistently throughout history by other governments
to pay for their wars (George launched two wars and
cut taxes? no wonder he has a string of failed
business ventures behind him) might motivate the
electorate to get off the sticks and into the
streets.

As it is now and will continue if we, the people,
don’t rise up, our tax dollars are going for two
things: The creation of a permanent American
aristocracy and the military needed to defend it.

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By tolstoyscat, January 10, 2011 at 2:56 pm Link to this comment

Chris,

I went to the march in DC in 2009 hosted by Answer
Coalition. We protested to no-one! Thousands and
thousands of us marched on the Pentagon. It was on a weekend. The Pentagon and all of the war profiteers were closed. No one saw us except a few cars when the permitted march passed by a gap that cars on one roadway could see.

I also attended the protest called Funk the War with the SDS, the day before. Only a couple hundred strong, the unpermitted and police accompanied dance protest was visible to the public and approached war profiteers business premises while they were open.

Feeling good about yourself doesn’t change a thing. One needs to assess what the result of protest is if it serves only to make us feel good about ourselves.

The anarchist principle of ‘direct action’ addresses
this.

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By jinch, January 10, 2011 at 2:42 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

By frank, January 10 at 1:41 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The US is a colony of Isreal. Iraq was considered an enemy of zion hence the war. Next on our master’s list is Iran. Irecommend Greg Felton’s book The Host and the Parasite for confirmation.

frank:
You have nailed it!
It is NOT for oil.

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By berniem, January 10, 2011 at 2:42 pm Link to this comment

Yo, Ernie! If you ever see this I’m just wondering if you’re a wealthy Ayn Rand adherent or nuts. The dear Dr. Paul describes himself as a libertarian which in plain speech is a euphemism for one who believes in systemitized economic anarchy protected by a truncated governmental entity whose sole function is to protect the life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness of those very anarchists at the expense, economic as well as political, of the bulk of society who are free to fend for themselves among the dregs left behind by the exploiters and their well conected agents. And, please, spare me the “personal responsibilty” and the ol’ “pull yourself up by the boot straps” nonsense when you know damn well its always them thats got gets more and it usually comes from those who didn’t have much to begin with! Oh, and if you wish to project ahead to what the future of a Paul Sr. world would look like just bend an ear to Paul Jr. and if that don’t scare you you truly must be nuts!

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By David J. Cyr, January 10, 2011 at 2:34 pm Link to this comment

QUOTE (Chris Hedges):

“Power does not rest with the electorate.”
____________

Hedges starts this article asserting a “fact” that has never been tested.

Yes, there is ample and quite obvious proof that elections are not serving any good purpose. But the liberals and conservatives, who comprise near all the participants within the electorate, obediently vote together for Power to rest in corporate representation. We all always get the corporate party gangster government that the liberal/conservative majority votes together for. That actual fact, proven in the result of every election, implies that the electorate does have the power.

The “progressive” liberals did prove, beyond any reasonable doubt, that getting more Democrats elected won’t change anything. That’s because Democrats just protect the rot we need removed.

However, to actually know whether or not power could rest with the electorate, the majority of those participating in the electorate would need to, at least one time, try being disobedient.

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By jimch, January 10, 2011 at 2:34 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

By so left i am right, January 10 at 12:43 pm Link to this comment


“Chris is spot on as usual. However, control of the oil was the primary reason.”

I have to disagree with this conclusion. I think the oil factor is merely a diversion for the real reason for invading Iraq. In my opinion, we invaded to remove one of the dangers to Israel. We are going to maintain a presence in the middle east, specifically in Afghanistan, for years to come because of its proximity to Iran, another of the threats to Israel. We all know that there are those who want us to destroy the Iranian nuclear program so as to neutralize any threat to Israel. The tentacles of Israel’s influence are so deeply entrenched - and ever growing - in the U.S. government that we will be engaged in the area for decades to come.
  So no matter how much we rant about these wars - and I have been doing it prior to either of them beginning - our protestations will be falling on deaf ears of those who are in a position to do anything about them. None of these folks will pay any attention to Chris Hedges, Ralph Nader, Dennis Kucinich, nor any of us ordinary citizens. Believe it!

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By TAO Walker, January 10, 2011 at 2:32 pm Link to this comment

The only place any “individual” ever gets “thoughts” that are entirely “their own,” is to do like “garth” does and pull them out of their own ass.  At least some of the rest of us, many of whom have parents that are neither alcoholic nor otherwise insane, have grown-up among Natural Communities of Human Beings who necessarily live together in-concert, having even much of our “thoughts” in-common….along with, of-course, pretty much everything else in this Whole Living World.

Those who’d rather half-live in the virtual world-o’-hurt that is “garth”‘s “self”-CONtained solipsistic delusion needn’t worry….because they’re dying in it already.

HokaHey!

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By TAO Walker, January 10, 2011 at 2:12 pm Link to this comment

Chris Hedges and others here seem to persist compulsively in the pollyanna-ish belief that it is only a relatively secondary part of their “civilized” world-system that has broken-down….the politico/eCONomy part.  Their descriptions of the syndrome’s actual symptoms, however, are (without exception) rather of complete and utter societal dysfunction….total ORGANic failure of catastrophic dimensions.  The insanity he notes so fearfully permeates the behavior of the entire “global” population….not just that of its corporo-/security-state CONstituents.   

Corporations and governments, both institutional set-ups which held-out to the domesticated peoples the false-promise of some kind of clever short-circuit around what Life Herownself requires of Her singular expression here that IS Humanity, as such, can only DO what they ARE.  They’re doing it today, and in Siamese twin-like lockstep, to a fair-thee-well, too.  Only it turns-out the most “efficient answer,” to the “problem” these CONtrived artifactual arrangements were supposed to “solve,” is to eliminate most (if not all) of Humanity itself from the “equation”....as totally unfit-for and terminally “redundant”-to the undead “self”-perpetuating imperatives of these entirely make-believe CONstructs.  It’s been the stuff of nightmare for ages, but, “Son this ain’t a dream no more….It’s the real thing!” (Bob Dylan—“Senor”) 

It is this stark Natural Fact which Hedges and others simply can’t bring their terrified “self” to come to grips with.  Its implications for their own beleaguered “individual”-ity are just too literally mind-boggling.  It is this stark Natural Fact which renders completely futile such vain stop-gaps as any “anti-war movement”....no matter now massive.  It is this stark Natural Fact which makes “political” and “eCONomic” activity of every kind serve ONLY the purposes of the undead CONstruct….to the “system”-atic dismemberment and ultimate destruction altogether of the Natural Living Arrangement of our Mother Earth.

This fate awaits, also, despite their insanely exceptionalist pretensions to-the-CONtrary, that mega-random collection of “individuals,” the entire suppurating “mass” of the virtual subspecies homo domesticus.  In the school of Life, Biology trumps philosophy every time.

So instead of hurling their bodies heroically, but foolishly in-vain, under the treads of the death-dealing CON-TRAPtion, our tame Sisters and Brothers might join us surviving free wild Peoples in the Song ‘n’ Dance of Life Herownself.  They can DO that simply (though admittedly not at-all easily) by spitting-out the make-believe ‘hook’ of the “self,” which has displaced the presence in their consciousness of the ORGAnic Natural Person that we ALL, by Nature, naturally ARE. 

Then they can coalesce, naturally and spontaneously, into the Natural Organic Communities of Natural Persons that ARE the Natural Organic Form of Humanity in Her Natural Living Arrangement.  They will thereby recover the Natural Organic Integrity necessary to DO our given Natural Organic Function as vital components in Her natural immune system.

Yes, it might already be too-late to “arrest” the “self”-obsessed retro-viral entity whose disease process is overwhelming our Living Arrangement….anyhow before it proves “fatal.”  So what?!  At-least we get there together in the spontaneous affection of our Hearts, and not all alone in the solitary misery of isolated troubled-“minds.”

Our only (even possibly) viable option, Sisters and Brothers, is to BE The Medicine we need….to DO what we ARE.  Love the ones we’re with!

ALL TOGETHER….NOW!!!!

HokaHey!

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By garth, January 10, 2011 at 2:09 pm Link to this comment

These ‘guys’ are rank amateurs when it comes to manipulation of thought.

I grew up in a blue collar working class family with 13 children, an alcoholic father and an insane mother.  Our six room cottage was in the shadows of a medieval thinking Catholic Church and the city was dominated by Irish-Catholic and Italian pols.  It was manipulation to the point of overly-determined consequences. 

Yet, I figured it out for myself using my mother’s free-floating anxiety and my father’s cynicism.

These frauds can lead you down the garden path.  And that is where they’ll bid their adieu.

Wanna get stuck?  Listen and/or read this bullshit and believe it.

TAOWalker, samosamo, ITW, ThomasG, ardee and all the rest are here to take your freedom of the ability to recognize deception away from you.  Can you tell a liar from any of the others?

I grew up in it and I can tell you, it’s the same crap.  It’s a painful and slow awakening, but it will come if you don’t give in.

It doesn’t matter what you think as long as YOU thought it.  Make sure your thoughts are yours.  They want you to stay within predetermined parameters. Boundaries that were decided by someone else.

I want a nice rescue dog for a pal.

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By boiled frogs, January 10, 2011 at 1:53 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The biggest obstacle is getting people out their comfort zones and over their fear. So many of the people I know are against many of the issues stated in this article, but they feel afraid of the consequences of speaking out. Others are too damned comfortable to do anything. They feel that they voted and that’s enough. I guess it will take more layoffs, draconian budget cuts, an obvious dictatorial domestic crackdown and near collapse to get these people motivated. So sad but true.

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By balkas, January 10, 2011 at 1:07 pm Link to this comment

let’s face the facts:
vast number of americans r owned in diff degrees.
u.s is best understood if viewed as region. owned and ran by a minority of
people.

thus, it make sense to deem u.s inhabitants as “regionals” or “provincials” as the
french owners of people called their own serfs.

we’v lived under lawlessness for a long time. for ca 10k yrs in mesopotamia; 6k
yrs in many asian lands and in europe for ca 3k yrs. 

the root cause of all evils that befall us is supremacism; discrimination-racism
being its twin daughters.

let us recall that indigenes had no whores, priests, laws, police, taxes,
‘education’, media, govt, presidents, spy agencies, jails, army, experst, john
waines, organized religion, mafia, gambling, concept of owning people-water-
land-animals-women, nonsharing, noncaring etc.
and they survived.

when priests saw that they went ballistic; vowing to utterly destroy it. and they
did.
of course, in any pristine and ideally idyllicly society, priests cannot function nor
wld they be needed.

alas even today the control at least 4bn people. we lost them for any good
cause.
so, priests need to be one over for just causes. so, if they balk, hurt the
bastards any way u can. picket their churches, beg their followers to abandon
them, etc. tnx

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By frecklefever, January 10, 2011 at 1:00 pm Link to this comment

WE REALLY HAVE DON’T TO WAIT TILL MARCH….WE MUST BE DOGGED ON TWO
ISSUES…CONVINCING SOLDIERS TO REFUSE TO SERVE EN MASS AND CONVINCE THE PUBLIC
THAT IT IS IN THEIR BEST INTEREST TO BACK ONLY PUBLIC FUNDING OF CAMPAIGNS..

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By balkas, January 10, 2011 at 12:27 pm Link to this comment

if we wld look at the fact that there always had been one will in washington and
never ever two wills we wld not think that it is a duopoly which rules—or,better
yet- owns americans.

the governance cld be called duopolic only if we consider dems-repubs on one
side and the unelected opposition the second part of it.

in addition, the second part of the duopoly willingly remaining an impotent side.
and possibly forever if deemed ok.

this sheds ligt on why nader only got 700k votes. it sheds light on why the
impotent opposition blames corporate media or even electoral system for such
showing.

while, in fact, everybody knew or shld have known that corporate media and its
system of rule wld exclude nader from their pages.

we can be sure that the second part of the duopoly wld once again thwart any
candidate who wld stand for significant changes.

recall also that the unelected opposition still harps on the theme that wars are
useless, failing, cost money, r unwinable, weaken u.s.
devil forbid there be a principle on which one wld base objections to all wars of
aggression.
and in effect saying that the wars they like are ok?!

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By garth, January 10, 2011 at 12:22 pm Link to this comment

Declarative statements:

“Power does not rest with the electorate. It does not reside with either of the two major political parties. It is not represented by the press. It is not arbitrated by a judiciary that protects us from predators. Power rests with corporations. And corporations gain very lucrative profits from war, even wars we have no chance of winning.”

These statements are not only true but painfully obvious.

We’ve tried protests, civil disobedience, humane arguments that it’s just not right to kill other human beings, for any reason. To no avail.

All this talk and grumbling by the few sane persons among us is going nowhere.

I got an idea.  Let’s make a movie. A Two Act play.

We can use technology to cut and splice. 

Act I: Spanky MacFarlane and Our Gang are sitting around a conference table as the President of the US and his cabinet.  Spanky goes into a reverie where he sees himself as Mickey Rooney in one of Rooney’s movies, and says,

“Wait a minute.  I have an idea.  Let’s start a war.”

The rest of the act can be improvised.

In Act II, Buckwheat has assumed the Presidency of the US and he’s about to start two more wars while still supporting the war that Spanky started.

Improvise.

At the end of Act II, a soldier appears out of the night to take control of the wars and the dispirited Americans.  It’s Alfalfa playing the General who is returning from foreign wars.

Cut

Take it from there, and what’s for lunch.

NB:
All you gung ho Americans suffering from Testosteronitis, think of this:  The French Foreign Legion was one of the toughest fighting forces in the history of war.  Yet what would they have done alone in North Africa without ‘Lucky Pierre’?

Maybe we need to fall as a nation to find our humanity. Maybe our Democracy has been polluted with the undue influence of the rich as a result of the Citizens Union ruling.  Maybe it cannot stand. 

Maybe we need another Website, one that is populated with the words of authentic poster, instead of the diaphanous film of ITW, TAO Walker, samosamo and the rest of those Hatriots.

Do you want to be manipulated?  Do you know anyone who talks like the bozos mentioned above talk?

Maybe you’ve spent too much time on the InterNet?

Pinch yourself.

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By bonito, January 10, 2011 at 12:19 pm Link to this comment

” When though the course of history, an elitist
ruling class becomes non-responsive to the
Electorate, then it is the Right, Nay! It is the duty
of the latter, to rise up and overthrow their
masters.”

This is based on a quotation coined during the First
american Revolution. I find these words of wisdom as
true today as when first uttered.  There can be no
excuse that the elitist in Washington can even
imagine, to justify what has happened to the Working
Men and Women during the last 30 odd years. The
spirits of those brave Souls that initiated the Labor
Movement in this country, must be resting uneasy as
they witness the complete destruction of what many
gave their lives, time, effort, and what little
wealth possessed in order that working Men and Women
could share in the much ballyhooed American Dream.

It now becomes imperative if we are to survive as a
Nation, to destroy within the Law, and with any
method possible, all that our rulers have inflicted
upon We the People that could prevent us from
pursuing A new American Dream of, Life,Liberty,and
Happiness.

” Freedom is just another word for nothing else to
loose, nothing still ain’t nothing but it’s free. ”
We should no longer accept poverty causing wages and
the elitist brand of freedom as compensation for our
Labor. It is much too late to effect change though
compromise, now We whom do not count ourselves in the
top 5% of the population and, the elitist rich of the
nation, must come together as a group to advocate for
real change to improve the lot of workers. We as
taxpayers though our so called Representatives, and
Senators, have done way too much for the Rich and
Greedy, now is the time to take of Working Men and
Women.

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By loneagle, January 10, 2011 at 12:00 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Doesn’t it seem just bizarre that when soldiers
deploying to Iraq are interviewed at the airport
and say they are proud to fight for our
freedoms, that no reporter ever asks how
fighting in Iraq protects our freedoms?

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By Ernest Logan Bell, January 10, 2011 at 11:15 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Want Peace? Then take a deep breath, break from the false-left verus right paradigm and support Ron Paul for president in 2012, the only potential candidate that will bring ALL the troops home, end the bailouts, restore our civil liberties, get out of NAFTA and GAT, and end the war on drugs. Real change requires a Revolution. Wake Up

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By John Halle, January 10, 2011 at 11:12 am Link to this comment

Hedges, yet again, shows himself as the pre-eminent inheritor of the prophetic
tradition-the Isaiah of our times. 

But this begs the question: why is he a voice in the wilderness?  Where are
other national figures on the left-those with access to major media and with it,
megaphones which can reach millions of potential upporters?  Why are they not
actively organizing and participating in acts of protest? 

Providing these figures with the impetus they (apparently) require is the
function of the Open Letter to the Left Establishment found at

http://www.protestobama.org.

Hedges, Chomsky, Cindy Sheehan, Tariq Ali, Margaret Flowers and 4860 others have signed on.

All those moved by Hedges’s prophetic voice are urged to join with us.

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By bogi666, January 10, 2011 at 11:00 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The Pentagon wasting oil to preserve oil? Pentagon doublespeak. Just as Admiral Mullen declared in August that the national debt is a threat to national security while it is the proceeds form the Treasury bonds that fund the Pentagon/DHS/spy agencies, threats to national security to protect US from threats to national security. The ‘forced contributions’,withholding taxes, are used to conduct murder and mayhem around the world.

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By http://MoneyedPoliticians.net, January 10, 2011 at 10:24 am Link to this comment

I have never been an anti-war dove, but since following the money that transfers from the defense industry to the politicians that approve all of their funding, I am now “one of them.” Only public funding of campaigns will reverse this and our dire drop in the economy. These politicians must start working for US and not THEM.

Jack Lohman
http://MoneyedPoliticians.net

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By aacme88, January 10, 2011 at 9:22 am Link to this comment

What the political class has in store for us is a Randian dystopia, in which constant warfare is the industry, the vast majority of the people live in poverty, and a few rule in unimaginable splendor. We know now that the Dems are in it also, and will not be leading the charge back to sanity.
But someone must, if sanity is to be restored.
Like the Tea Party takeover of the Republican infrastructure, the Dem party might be vulnerable to takeover.
Another model is Philippine “People Power”, which came out of nowhere and swept aside an entrenched dictatorship.
However it happens, if it happens, it will be you and I who do it.
The knight in shining armor on a white horse is not coming.
If we don’t do it, rereading “Brave New World”, “1984”, and “A Handmaid’s Tale” might be helpful for tips on getting along.

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RayLan's avatar

By RayLan, January 10, 2011 at 9:20 am Link to this comment

War is always good for business, at least certain types of business epitomized as Haliburton. Our current wars are volunteer wars - and the motivation of these soldiers is anybody’s guess - it could just be a job - a way of getting education, or sincere belief that they are protecting the nation.

But all the emotional nationalistic rhetoric about God and country which feeds the justification is IMO dangerous and , I’ll say it, stupid.  There is nothing sacrosanct about a nation. Unfortunately so many religious fanatics, Christian, Muslim and even Jewish have politicized their claim to the Kingdom as a claim of territory and a crusade to conquer a land and a people.  History proves as much.

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democratz.org's avatar

By democratz.org, January 10, 2011 at 8:49 am Link to this comment

Boycott the war contracor General Electric. Sign the petition.

Have you had enough of conservatism in this country? Do you want to force conservatives to lose their power to legislate and even compromise legislation? Channel your anger constructively and sign the petition at http://www.democratz.org to obtain needed progressive legislation and help in spreading the word far and wide. Thank you. I promise you a peaceful revolution that will bring down conservatism peacefully.

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By frank, January 10, 2011 at 8:41 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The US is a colony of Isreal. Iraq was considered an enemy of zion hence the war. Next on our master’s list is Iran. Irecommend Greg Felton’s book The Host and the Parasite for confirmation.

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By Davy de Verteuil, January 10, 2011 at 8:06 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Vampires profit always, from the dead maimed and disposess. Thats the truth of Coorporations.

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By knobcreekfarmer, January 10, 2011 at 7:43 am Link to this comment

Chris is spot on as usual. However, control of the oil was the primary reason.

Can you remember back to the first months of the Bush administrations first
term? Back to the “Cheney Energy Task Force?” Bechtel, Chevron, Halliburton,
Exxon, all of the largest oil companies and all of the largest oil engineering
companies met. They agreed that they needed to increase their access to Middle
Eastern oil.


“Iraq possesses huge reserves of oil and gas, reserves I would love Chevron
to have access to.”
Ken Derr, the former C.E.O. of Chevron.

“We hope Iraq will be the first domino and that Libya and Iran will follow. We
don’t like being kept out of markets, because it gives our competitors an unfair
advantage.”
John Gibson, Chief Executive of Halliburton Energy Service
Group.

You see, they had a plan. A plan brilliantly conceived and paid for - by us. $250
million went to Bearing Point, Inc. in a no-bid contract to rewrite the economy of
Iraq. A plan that was complete two months before the invasion! Why would we
devise a plan to rewrite the economy of a country we hadn’t even declared war
on?

The DOD has known about peak oil/limits to growth for decades and has been
moving their chess pieces around accordingly. Not just to keep the “American
way of Life” consuming away at the planet but also for the military’s own
survival. They are after all the single largest consumer of oil in the us.

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