Home     Writers     Op/Ed     Book Reviews     News     Bookstore     Photoshops     Submit     Search     Contact Us     Advertise  
  You are here: 

Sat

25

Oct

2008

Bread and Roses: U.S. Democracy: What a Farce!
Saturday, 25 October 2008 19:46
by Jennifer Lynne Ziemann

Are you living abroad and a U.S. citizen? Why do we do it? Well, unless you are in the military or you are working for the corporate interests of the United States, pardon me, I guess that is a bit of an oxymoron because if you are in the military then you are working for the corporate interests of the United States of America. Okay, let’s rephrase that: Unless you are working for the corporate interests of the United States then your life abroad probably has to do with the fact that you are not too pleased with the current U.S. political policies. In fact, displeased is probably an understatement.

Currently, I am living and working abroad and I do not work for a U.S. corporation. I am seeking a better way to live and have plopped my ass down in Costa Rica, the Switzerland of Central America unless they pass CAFTA in which neutrality would become a hard position to maintain since it would leave them beholden to U.S. corporate interests. Costa Rica has no standing army and provides healthcare for all of its citizens just to mention a few of their positive attributes. On the Caribbean coast a lifestyle exists that is not driven by capitalism…yet. It is not paradise and I still have much to learn about their government, but hey, no standing army, how cool is that?

Recently, I have been asked by a variety of expats if I have registered to vote abroad. I reply no and here is the general conversation that inevitably follows that answer:

Well you still got time; here I can show you where to go online.

I mean, no, I do not intend to vote.

Well, you don’t want McCain to win do you?

No, but I don’t want Obama either, I was and still am a Kucinich fan and I believe Obama’s interest run too close for comfort to the corporate interests.

But anyone is better than McCain and you have to vote because how goes the U.S. government goes the world.

People and not just any people, but liberal democrats actually still believe this sentiment, “how goes the U.S. government goes the world.” The last time I was told this, I responded, “But isn’t that the issue, the world should not follow the U.S.”

Look as close as Central and South America, more and more countries are rejecting Free Trade agreements with the U.S., more and more are accepting ALBA, the Bolivian Alternatives for the Americas, Hugo Chavez’s answer to free trade is fair trade. They operate under the belief that the United States’ approval is not necessary to be a prosperous nation. ALBA promotes solidarity throughout Latin America by recognizing that each country has different needs, for example, Cuba needed fuel, and Venezuela needed doctors. They came to the agreement that Venezuela would provide oil for Cuba at a reduced rate and in exchange Cuba would send doctors to train students in Venezuela. Cuba also offered scholarships for Venezuelan students to come and learn at their universities. According to ALBA fair trade is not just a monetary gain, but also includes bartering for services and humanitarian work. ALBA takes into consideration less developed nations, understanding that their needs are greater and that they are deserving of special and differential treatment. They want to create a Social Emergency Fund for the region and believe that intellectual property should be protected from international interests. They believe in complimentary not competitive trade. In other words, the people and their needs come first.

To date Venezuela, Cuba, Bolivia, Nicaragua, and Dominica, a small island in the Caribbean are members of ALBA. Ecuador has pledged to join and at the ALBA summit in January 2008 representatives from Honduras, Uruguay, Haiti, St.Vincent Island and Grenadines attended.

And what, pray tell, is the U.S. response to all of this “fairness”? Well they reactivated the long believed dead U.S. Naval Fourth Fleet that will patrol the waters from the Caribbean to the tip of South America. Vice Admiral James Stevenson told reporters that the fleet will “certainly bring a lot more stature to the area and increase our ability to get things done.”

Get what done? Where exactly is the military threat to the U.S. in Latin America? Which of these countries have the nuclear ability to wipe the U.S. off the face of the earth? The answer is nada, none, zero, there is no military threat in Latin America. It simply does not exist. All that is here are nations acting in their own economic and social interest instead of the interests of U.S. corporations.

When will the people of the United States refuse to allow their government to act like a feudal empire?

The U.S. backed Colombian government is the only threat to democracy in the region. The Colombian President Alvaro Uribe is implicated in drug trafficking and uses paramilitary death squads trained by the CIA and U.S. military to kill trade unionists, peasants, university students and anyone who opposes the Colombian right-wing government. Yet the U.S. considers this country an ally because they signed a Free Trade agreement ipso facto they put U.S. corporate interests above their own people.

Meanwhile, Russia’s response to U.S. military buildup in their own backyard of oil producing countries and near any other oil producing regions, i.e. the Middle East and Latin America is to send warships to Venezuela and begin naval maneuvers over Caribbean waters. Uh, this is eerily familiar; can you say Cold War II?

The point is that U.S. imperialism is getting old. As early as 1852, U.S. marines invaded Argentina and held captive the capitol of Buenos Aires to protect its corporate interests during a revolution. During the Spanish-American war in 1897 the U.S. occupied and installed a government friendly to U.S. interests in Cuba despite the fact Cuba wanted independence from Spain and annexed Hawaii as a bonus in 1898, but they did not stop there. They next occupied Wake Island, 2300 miles west of Hawaii and took control of Puerto Rico.

Their next conquest was Guam and then finally the Philippines. The occupation of the Philippines began a three year war in which the U.S. squashed any insurrection amongst the native population. The U.S. commanders in the region instructed the army to kill anyone over the age of ten. They burned their crops, villages, and livestock. Members of the U.S. military were quoted as saying that they viewed the brown-skinned natives as nothing more than “niggers” deserving death and most certainly not capable of governing themselves.

Yet, despite the U.S. savagery, the war lasted three years because the insurrects had the support of the people. General Arthur MacArthur, who commanded the invasion and occupation, said he was reluctantly compelled to believe the “whole native population was against us.”

All of this war waged in the name of U.S. corporate interests. Back in 1907 Woodrow Wilson stated, “Concessions obtained by financiers must be safeguarded by ministers of state, even if the sovereignty of unwilling nations be outraged in the process… the doors of the nations which are closed must be battered down.” And still to this day, the U.S. adheres to this policy beginning wars in the name of protecting the economy. Bluntly put the U.S. economy survives solely on an everlasting state of war and aggression against the rest of the world.

I believe that Lt. General Norman Seip, commander of the US Air Forces Southern Command summed up the U.S. imperialistic agenda to protect our corporate interests best in an interview recently with the U.S. military newspaper Stars and Stripe, “We’re always looking for opportunities for what I call lily pads, places we can go in for a week or two and then get out. It increases our presence, and makes us more unpredictable in operations.”

That alone folks should be more than enough to convince you that participation by voting in U.S. so called democratic elections is indeed a farce. With people like Lt. General Norman Seip in command and our very own Senators and Congresspersons being bought by corporate lobbyists on a daily basis, it is going to take more than a change of the guard in the Oval Office to save the United States of America.

I leave you with this:

We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the Governed, that whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or abolish it, and to institute a new government…from The Declaration of Independence, 1776.

I urge all U.S. citizens to join me, boycott the elections, and refuse to participate in this farce of a democracy, stand up and make your voices heard. The U.S. government has become destructive of our unalienable Rights and the unalienable Rights of the rest of the world. We, the People, have a Right, no, an obligation to abolish this government.
 
More from this author:
Bread and Roses: A Girdle by Any Other Name is Still a Girdle! NO SPANX YOU!!!! (6128 Hits)
by Jennifer Lynne Ziemann Who defines the perfect woman? Men? Hollywood? Insecure women who are uncomfortable in their bodies? God?...
Bread and Roses - The Art of Surrender (2455 Hits)
by Jennifer Lynne Ziemann The US is nearly seven years into a war with no discernible front lines, no discernible enemy, and no discernible...
Bread and Roses: - U.S. Democracy: What a Farce! (4562 Hits)
by Jennifer Lynne Ziemann Are you living abroad and a U.S. citizen? Why do we do it? Well, unless you are in the military or you ...
Related Articles:
You and What Army? Bush Legions Starting to "Unravel" (11942 Hits)
Is it possible the largest and most advanced military in the history of the universe is ready to bust? According to General Barry McCaffrey (ret.)...
U.S. Military Has Killed Up to 238,000 Iraqi Civilians (11218 Hits)
A just-released study by researchers at Johns Hopkins University, published in the current issue of the prestigious British medical journal The...
U.S. Service Academy Graduates Unite Against Illegal Iraq War (12202 Hits)
Atlantic Free Press Netherlands – (October 26, 2006) – The overwhelming response by alumni of United States service academies to the...
What Vote-Theft Conspiracy? (7478 Hits)
by Dave Lindorff, The big losers on Election Day were of course President Bush and the Republican Party, but there was another loser too: the...
What do we do now? (5811 Hits)
by Frank Pitz In the 1972 movie The Candidate, newly (and surprisingly) elected candidate Bill McKay – played by Robert Redford –...


Add this page to your favorite Social Bookmarking websites
Trackback(0)
Comments (1)add comment

SC Person said:

0
Howdy
Hi Jennifer. So, what's it like in Costa Rica? Is it pretty there? I hope all is well with you. I want you to know that I will be praying for you.
 
October 28, 2008
Votes: +0

Write comment
smaller | bigger

busy
 

adsense

Top