Earlier today I heard something interesting about the speech President George W. Bush gave at the Johnson Space Center commemorating the astronauts who died aboard STS-107 Columbia ... I watched that speech live on NASA TV ... thought it was touching. Bush talked about having visited the Space Center in better times, while Governor of Texas. The President of the United States of America lied. He lied. He made that up, during a commemoration to dead astronauts. George W. Bush never visited the Johnson Space Center while Governor, but it was a good thing to say, so he said it.
In another example of Enron-style democracy (or is it Goebbels ... did you know that Goebbels kept assuring the Germana people that the Nazi's didn't want war, that Britain was forcing the war on them?) the New York Times knows that truth is a powerful thing, and it's there responsibility to suppress any of it that doesn't suit the gangsters in power. Have a look at this re-jig, and wonder why they don't want peace demonstrators to know that NYPD sharp-shooters had them in their sites: The Memory Hole - New York Times Deletes Mention of Police Snipers
And parallel nothing at all, if the American Right is so Christian in their caring about human rights, why is their #1 recepient of military aid the nation that is also #1 for the murder and disappearance of civil rights workers and labour activists? (Colombia, on both counts.) How is it that good people think they can profit or benefit from Enron logic?
BTW, one of my old pages is on psychopathy, those who are charming, and charismatic, and ambitious, and energetic, and goal-directed, and focused ... and entirely lacking conscience. One of the things I studied was how decent people came to be recruited into psychopath's programs ... turns out good and decent people are unlikely to judge something as being too good to be true, on one hand. On the other, good and decent people are unlikely to believe that people in power are capable of hugely monstrous lies. (Goebbles was on top of that one, too. His tactic was to rigidly avoid little lies, which people would detect, and then put one right over the top, knowing that good folk would be unwilling to credit his savage treachery. It worked, too. Like the snake in Eden, he knew his trade. And we've only gotten better at manipulating human appetites ... it's called marketing. Just think of the fabulous science that went into designing cigarettes and gambling machines!)
The Pentagon's New Map by Thomas Barnett, US Naval War College sets out just why the oligarchs are going to murder thousands of Iraqi civilians and assassinate Saddam Hussein.
The rationalization begins like this: "Let me tell you why military engagement with Saddam Hussein’s regime in Baghdad is not only necessary and inevitable, but good. When the United States finally goes to war again in the Persian Gulf, it will not constitute a settling of old scores, or just an enforced disarmament of illegal weapons, or a distraction in the war on terror. Our next war in the Gulf will mark a historical tipping point—the moment when Washington takes real ownership of strategic security in the age of globalization."
Well, I guess we've been told! (And yes, they really are insane with pride. As the old saying goes, after hubris comes nemesis.) I can think of no finer example of hawkish self-centered Americanism, except perhaps the US statesman who explained that interfering with the Nicaraguan election was justified because "it was in our interests".
(In case you want a glimpse of the hyper-rationalistic militarism that drove me out of the military in '73 [drove me out of my mind would be very nearly as true ... it's so Darth Vaderish that good people have filters against seeing it for what it is], have a look at the site directed by the paper's author: U.S. Naval War College's NewRuleSets Project)
Uniting for Peace, a tactic from the Center for Constitutional Rights
"[L]ong ago, the members of the United Nations recognized that due to the permanent members veto powers, impasses would occur within the Security Council. They set up a procedure for insuring that such stalemates would not prevent the UN from carrying out its mission to “maintain international peace and security.” The aptly titled “Uniting for Peace” Resolution 377 was the solution to this problem. The resolution provides that, if because of the lack unanimity among permanent members of the Security Council, the Council cannot maintain international peace, the General Assembly “shall consider the matter immediately…” The General Assembly can meet within 24 hours to consider such a matter and can recommend collective measures to “maintain or restore international peace and security."In Jeremy Brecher's article at CounterPunch we read, "When Egypt nationalized the Suez Canal in 1956, Britain, France, and Israel invaded Egypt and began advancing on the Suez Canal. U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower demanded that the invasion stop. Resolutions in the UN Security Council called for a cease-fire--but Britain and France vetoed them. Then the United States appealed to the General Assembly and proposed a resolution calling for a cease-fire and a withdrawal of forces. The General Assembly held an emergency session and passed the resolution. Britain and France withdrew from Egypt within a week."
The Bush regime believes that they have God, big business, and manifest destiny behind them. They need to be reminded about the community of nations, the rule of law, and democracy; since they share Saddam Hussein's megalomania they cannot be otherwised appeased.
While the American oligarchs are spending millions of dollars to project military might to the other side of the planet, a more mundane form of oppression is being applied close to home: the level playing field that has been established for those who already have wealth is crushing those who have always had little, and leaving them with less.
I just discovered this online paper today and in it found this article, The Mexican Farmers' Movement: Exposing the Myths of Free Trade which reads in part:
"Since the "lost decade" of the eighties and the polarization of wealth in the nineties, the "trickle-down" theory has fallen into disrepute. Even so, today's neoliberals still insist that the poor will eventually benefit from the model, and all that's needed is for the laggards to catch up, convert, modernize, integrate, etc. As NAFTA enters its 10th year and after nearly two decades of trade liberalization under GATT, Mexican agriculture has steadily lost ground: statistics show 1,750,000 people displaced, as well as increases in poverty, malnutrition, and school desertion. While President Fox and his cabinet boast of six billion pesos in agro-export earnings, farmers point out that that money went into the pockets of fewer than 7% of Mexico's farmers."