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Democracy and Empire: Both Illusions
Thursday, 04 September 2008 16:07
by Timothy V. Gatto

The last few weeks have been enlightening, although utterly depressing. If this sounds like a contradiction, all anyone must do to understand what I’m talking about, is to listen to the podcasts from my radio show from the last two weeks. My guests have been some of the most enlightened liberal minds in America, and their message has been that this empire’s days are drawing to a close, along with what is left of our civil liberties and our economic system. Our way of life, our lifestyle itself, is unsustainable in this age of dwindling resources and constant war.

If circumstances were not so dire, the reaction of politicians from the two major parties and the pundits from the mainstream media, along with those from the so-called “progressive blogosphere” on recent world events and the U.S. Presidential race would actually be quite amusing. The mainstream media’s reaction to events is totally predictable, the views of writers from the left, less so. Some are right on the money, others, sadly, have been sucked into this political non-drama between the Republicans and Democrats as if it all actually meant something, as if anything the principle players say or do will change anything at all. The truth about the elections is that the Democrats have again set themselves up to fail, but not without first giving Americans the illusion that they have a choice between opposing ideologies, instead of the truth, which is that there is really no difference between the Democrats and Republicans.

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I see a growing number of Americans realizing that they actually have no choice at all. I listen to the fear mongers from both political parties screaming that a vote for a third party candidate will insure the victory of McCain or Obama, as if it really mattered between them whether it is McCain or Obama that sets up shop in the Oval Office. There are some that have been playing party politics for so long that they have failed to notice this. While the political operatives spin their stances on the economy, foreign policy, abortion and God, the people that see the big picture, the ones who see reality, watch the danse macabre in the background, ushering in global collapse and unending war.

The statements made by Condoleezza Rice and George W. Bush about the recent hostilities between Georgia and Russia did not raise an eyebrow from Obama or McCain, nor did they raise questions from those that comment on all things political. The recent chiding given to Russia by Bush and Rice that this is the 21st Century and that sovereign nations do not invade other sovereign nations, was hysterically amusing, if the deaths of more than a million Iraqi’s and thousands of dead Americans weren’t involved, this would be a great plot for a big screen comedy hit.

The reality that we face in the beginning of this 21st Century is that nothing, from military action to economic sanctions to covert “regime change” operations, is “off the table” if it will make a profit for the corporations that control America. The fact that this nation is the largest debtor nation on Earth, with a national debt of 9.5 Trillion dollars (and rising fast), has little or no effect on the future policies of these deaf and dumb corporate politicians. This country could have paid for its energy needs for the next decade with what we have spent to steal them. The gigantic two hundred year party that America has been throwing is rapidly coming to an end. I would like to be able to say that it is the American people that are bringing about the end of the American Empire, but it’s not the people that are turning out the lights, the fact is that this nation is swiftly going belly-up.

The truth, as I see it, is that the last thing the Democrats want right now is to win this election. A victory for Obama in November will insure that it will be the Democrats that end up paying the bill for the excesses of the Bush regime. The American people will also expect the Democrats to bring about these changes they have been calling for. This is something that just won’t happen. The corporate- military-industrial-complex will not allow it to happen. The truth is that it would be better for the Democrats not to have to deal with an angry American populace, or if they respect the people’s wishes, angry corporatists that will pull the plug on their funding and so many political careers.  

The people that are running this country have no plan for the future. They have no answers, nor are they looking for any. The climate in the country is that the problems we have are so overwhelming, that they just aren’t being addressed. The people are so involved in just trying to survive from day to day that any type of populist movement for change seems unlikely. Our rights have been stripped away from us and more of them are being abrogated with each passing day. The enemy in this government’s “Global War on Terror”, if you look at the laws passed against them, has been the American people themselves. The American government can spy on us, torture us, deny us representation by legal consul, take our property and kidnap us, just by suspecting that we are terrorist sympathizers. This is dictatorship by innuendo.

While our government goes off the deep end with their wars for corporate profit and for other nation’s natural resources, Americans are coming to the conclusion that it is time that we started fending for ourselves. Some companies, like Donald Rumsfeld’s Searle, manufactures products like Aspartame that many researchers’ claim has ceased an 800% increase in brain tumors since it was released for human consumption in 1984. Many other companies release PCB’s, dioxins and other carcinogens into the soil, water and air. Research on technologies that would reduce our dependence on fossil fuels is not only being deprived of government funding, but they are also being hidden and subverted so that the multi-national oil corporations can continue to make unheard of profits. Companies like Monsanto designed genetically engineered seed that will not produce next year’s crop because the seed is sterile, making farmer’s line up for new seed at whatever the market will bear.

The disparity between the haves and have-not’s in this nation grows each year; the top 1% of the richest families holds 38% of the nation’s wealth. Senator’s bring home a median income of 1.2 million dollars and Congressmen 675,000 dollars and then they don’t require the wealthy Americans that make over $250,000 a year to pay their fair share. I wonder why? Not only that, I see them fill their father’s Senate and Congressional seats as if Congress was based on The House of Lords, but I don’t see them filling the treasury’s coffers. The people following the campaigns of these corporate candidates and report on their religious views, their choice of fast foods and report on things that have no bearing on how they could perform the task they are trying to get elected for ask no difficult questions such as why hasn’t there ever been a criminal investigation into the events that happened on 9/11? No questions as to why we support a regime in Israel that keeps building settlements on the West Bank and keeps Gaza in a state of siege while they bulldoze homes and bomb civilians?

Meanwhile the Attorney General wants to give the FBI more power to spy on American citizens. The articles of impeachment proposed by Rep. Kucinich stay locked away in some desk drawer. No questions as to why we gave Georgia over three billion dollars of military aid and put over 2,000 U.S. military advisers there along with over 1,000 Israeli advisers, decisions that prompted them to foolishly attack South Ossetia. There is no real debate over the positioning of nuclear missiles in Poland that would give us first strike nuclear capability and leave Russia defenseless against any aggression we may initiate. Although this situation could lead to a nuclear confrontation that could conceivably destroy not only both Russia and the U.S., but all human life on Earth! It doesn’t seem to be an area of contention between Obama and McCain, even though the United States is wrong in doing this. Russia has declared Poland a target for a nuclear attack, all over a position taken by the U.S. that is indefensible!

The world at large is facing food and water shortages. The United Nations becomes more ineffective at combating war and famine with each passing day. The United States is virtually bankrupt, our infrastructure is disintegrating and our industry is being sold off overseas. The corporations that run this country don’t care, they can just move to another nation. The American people will be left here, holding the bag, so to speak. The very worst thing about empires is that eventually they fall. This empire will be replaced, maybe not right away, but eventually another nation will create an empire to replace us.

I’ll be glad to see this empire go. Once it’s gone, if we are still left alive, we could concentrate on the things that are actually important, things like restoring our rights and living in dignity. Things like reversing the disparity between rich and poor so that we all share our nation’s wealth more equitably. Things like fixing our infrastructure, access to heath care for all, an educational system that teaches critical thinking and problem solving instead of how to take tests, and things like creating a sustainable level of agriculture and sustainable energy that reduces our reliance on fossil fuels for energy.

Meanwhile, for now, we will hear about increasing our military and where our next barrel of oil will come from. We will hear about threat levels and terrorists. We will argue about where our military should build more bases and what nations we should arm. We will watch as our unions take over the health programs of large corporations and agree to pay cuts for their workers so that their executives can continue to pay themselves hundreds of millions each year while the company uses red ink on their balance sheets. We will see more “free trade” agreements so as to outsource our industry better. We will see the re-created fourth fleet grow in size to counter a “dangerous” Latin America that is becoming increasingly socialist (even though their being a military threat is almost inconceivable). We will continue to pay a private concern to print our money at interest so that we will be forever beholden to the international banking cartel.

I’d like to see McCain or Obama respond to this article. They won’t, simply because they can’t. We will hear all sorts of inane statements and proposals that will be used as diversions to insure that we won’t focus on the real issues. Meanwhile, I’ll try not to laugh at these political analysts that don’t have a clue about the way they are being used by McCain and Obama who I’m sure are laughing at them in private together.
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Comments (2)add comment

Nolan said:

This has to be the most ridiculous thing I've ever read. The 'American Empire' isn't going anywhere. If America collapses, or implodes, or disintigrates, or whatever, the rest of the world is screwed.
September 06, 2008
Votes: +0

Steve Berry said:

Right on the money!
Sorry Nolan, but Tim is right. Our largest financial institutions are near collapse, families are starving, the 1% get richer, and the 78% get poorer. Today Lehman Bros., 158 yr old investment firm, was dissolved. Monsanto is trying to close the door on the world food supply, and you say "wow"? Look around you! This may be the beginning of the end of the American Empire!!!
September 17, 2008
Votes: +0

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