The Congo

Nothing can go wrong-o, I’m in the Congo.

Update: May 2011 – Hey, if you like my writing, you should check out my new website: Sustainable Diversity with fresh new and more in depth material!

Undoubtedly you’ve heard of the Congo and most likely know that it’s located somewhere in Africa. However for most people- especially in the United States- their knowledge of the Congo is summed up in that single sentence. But… people usually get a feeling when thinking about the Congo, even though they know so little. It’s wild, packed with jungle, untouched by civilized man, enigmatic and dark. Blockbuster hits like Congo and outbreaks in the area of the dreaded Ebola virus – one of the (if not THE) most heinous viruses known to man – continue to portray the image of a surreal enchanted land. It is a region of the earth shrouded in mystery as well as misery. It is as if Heaven and Hell were forced to co-exist in one place with the most extremes of good, beauty, and bounty… as well as the most extreme of evil, death and deprivation. 700 years ago when the Divine Comedy was written, Dante passed a sign before he entered Hell: “Abandon all hope ye who enter here.” Many could argue the sign might be more appropriate for the entrance to the Congo.

What is it about the Congo that captures imaginations? The Congo is similar to an ancient, decrepit, haunted house. Far away from the rest of humanity, up on a hill, with lightening flashing in the background and a”Beware” sign hanging crooked on the banging iron gate that leads on to the property. Of course there is one difference – the Congo is full of abundant beauty- which makes it all the more surreal.

Well first what exactly is the Congo? It’s actually a river in Southwest Africa. Just as Buzz Aldrin will never have the fame of Neil Armstrong the Congo River is eclipsed by the Nile River for the longest river in Africa. After the Nile though, no river in Africa comes close. And the second longest river in Africa happens to run straight through the second largest rainforest in the world. The River is so popular two countries were named after it – which makes it a little confusing for conversation. The country to the Northwest of the Congo River is known as the “Republic of the Congo,” or simply Congo-Brazzaville as that is their capital city which is perched right on the edge of the mighty Congo River. African colonies and their “owners”This country deserves a story all its own, but this entry is going to focus on the much larger country to the Southeast – the “Democratic Republic of the Congo” or Congo-Kinshasa (the capitals of the two countries sit directly across the Congo River from each other). It is this country that this entry focuses around because its history is unrivaled and it is soaked in blood.

The Congo River got its name from the old Kingdom of Kongo which has its origins as far back as 1400 and lasted up until 1914 – or at least thats what Wikipedia says. I’m admittedly no expert on early Congo history but it does seem the Kingdom was relatively sound until it came in contact with the Europeans who began using them as slaves turning their own kingdom on itself. Considering the resulting temperament of the region hence, it is reasonable to wonder how many innocent lives could’ve been saved if the “civilized” white Europeans and Americans would’ve greeted the natives they met as simply another culture to learn from. What I mean by that is this:

The year is 1885 and European ego has ballooned to epic proportions as whole nations are making claim to owning the entire continent of Africa – absolutely with no regard to natural or native boundaries. This is something important enough to stop and look at real quick – just so we don’t underestimate what a truly global issue this is. This map of Africa is about 30 years too late but this is the same basic idea – it was just a free-for-all land grab with absolutely no consideration towards the native population. This may ring some bells of similarity in America. There was serious cultural damage done from this white European display of prideful ignorance. I’m not pointing any fingers as all the culprits and initial victims are long dead and anyone who still is living in those days is clinging to a dying past. There can be some direct blame laid, as those who initiated the use of such brutal force were directly involved – and in 1885 one of the largest private properties known to man was acquired – and it happens to be the single blue area in the African map – right in the center.

The King

King Leopold the jerkThere once was a King of a small European country who had a terrible problem. As a good King should he wanted his country great, and he racked his brains night and day trying to come up with a way to make his country great. And finally his eureka-moment came and an epiphany had been realized. He thought about it – where could he get more stuff for his country without bothering his immediate neighbors? And then it dawned on him – Colonies! The idea probably made his heart flutter near the ceiling. It made perfect sense – the King probably hit his palm to his forehead asking why he didn’t think of it sooner but there was still another problem that he didn’t anticipate. When he proposed his idea to Congress and his subjects there was virtually no interest. You see – this small European Country was Belgium and the King was none-other than King Leopold II. The people and government of Belgium wanted nothing to do with colonies in an age where democracy was beginning to flourish and the importance of the King was slowly eroding away. But King Leopold II was not deterred, he made a private company, had the area around the Congo River surveyed, and in 1885 all the other greedy countries recognized the Congo Free State as owned by only King Leopold II and nobody else – it is why the Congo is split in half at the river, he ‘gave‘ the northern half to the French for sovereignty of the much larger south. You see – he tricked his own subjects in to thinking he was just going to survey the land when in reality he was simply trying to grab an entire country as his sole property – and he succeeded with bribes.

As a private block of land 1/4 the size of the United States the King went straight away to using it to create a profit. Seeing as no Europeans were living in the Congo Free State King Leopold II absentmindedly declared the entire land as “vacant.” And thus the arduous anguish-ridden history of the people of the Congo began. The cruelty of the first European colonists in the Congo Free State is noteworthy. King Leopold II was serious about making sure the “vacant” land turned him a profit – in any form necessary. If natives were encountered it was essential to use them for forced labor – slavery. Ivory which cost innocent animal life and rubber which was collected via slavery were the two main exports of King Leopold’s II new land. King Leopold II even allowed rival slave traders run parts of the Congo Free State.

Back in Belgium the King kept a tight lid on things – but not tight enough. His people were mad at the debt he had created by investing so deeply into this African colony he tricked everyone about acquiring in the first place. On top of that rumors were being spread about the brutal rule he had over the colony. After all – very few people who went there rarely came back, most were not allowed to leave the country. But politics crept up on Leopold and he was forced to let an independent group assess how he ran the country. And in 1908 there was international outrage towards the King and his forced labor – even the United States condemned it- slavery was apparently last century news (at this point it was only acceptable to restrict equal rights). Thusly the Western World virtually appointed the country of Belgium the new ruler of the Congo Free State to tone down the massive human rights abuses – and thus the Belgian Congo was born (which is why that is the name on the above map).

The Belgian people were not happy with their King during his reign and in 1902 he was almost assassinated. When he died in 1909 he was booed during his burial parade. I do not know the extent of the cruelty the King was responsible for and I don’t think anybody will ever know for sure (one of those eerie sayings people always say when countless have been murdered). I’ve read figures as high as 10 million innocent lives were taken under the brutal dictatorship that surpassed the brutality that even “regular colonies” employed. In 2005 a statue of King Leopold II was erected in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in the capital of Kinshasa (formerly Leopoldville) for historical purposes, by the time the sun rose the next morning it had been removed.

For more information on Leopold’s rule check out the book Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad as this seems to be the authority everybody points to (though fiction the book is largely based on what the author saw while in the Congo). But believe it or not King Leopold II and his creation of the Congo Free State is only the background of the tale I want to tell.

Katanga moneyKatanga

I find it hard to convey the complexity surrounding the Congo’s situation without mentioning the province of Katanga. During Leopold’s rule they were a modern African Kingdom that held their own against both Leopold’s men to the north as well as the encroaching British from the south. A Kingdom had arisen around the same time as Leopold’s men were entering the Congo from the West. It was known as the Yeke Kingdom and its leader was known as Msiri. Msiri was not a particularly benevolent leader but I can’t help but be impressed with the native attempt at demanding independence in a way that was every bit as economically brutal as Leopold. Being at the heart of the African continent they were an ideal trading post which produced slaves and copper. Their regional influence grew so large that the Kingdom quickly shared a sense of independence from the European encroachers. Despite the sense of unity Leopold’s men killed Msiri and took Katanga for their own profit – classic Leopold style. However this Kingdom seemed to have infused the area with a sense of brutal independence that ran through the decades.

Independence and the Rise and Fall of Patrice Lumumba

The Belgian Congo, ruled by the country of Belgium, did not carry on the brutal rule of their King but instead the more socially acceptable forms of discrimination rife with colonies those days. Katanga proved to be a mineral rich area of the Congo and the Belgian’s profited nicely from Leopold’s greed. While primary schools apparently were built in abundance a stark absence of secondary or higher education was found. And still, even though no longer run by Leopold, the country kept its borders as closed as possible to retain ignorance and protect from independent influence. The Africans were encouraged to get service jobs they weren’t allowed to have the higher paying jobs that would support a country. All of this kept the unwanted, bastardized, adopted Congo child in a non-threatening and profit-producing state (much like todays genetically modified pigs – helpless independently, bountiful for the ones who made it that way).

But by the time the late 1950’s occurred the natives of the Congo became increasingly more demanding about Independence as word leaked of other African countries becoming independent. The logistics of Independence had become nightmarishly large in size. The complete lack of higher education would leave a country helpless to care for themselves in a modern world now broadcasting information across oceans and flying fighter jets. Yet the native Congolese were becoming violent and the Belgian government had lost almost all favor – faced with no other option in January of 1960 Belgium promised independence in June of the same year. The total number of university graduates was 30, only 136 completed secondary education, and the country only had 600 priests to help tend to the countries needs – no doctors, no secondary school teachers, no army officers. With Congo’s native culture ravaged by Belgium and its leaders during the last 70+ years of occupation and forced to live under “civilized” order the Congolese sat at the eve of their Independence in complete ignorance on what it takes to run a “civilized” nation. The only history they had really known of a “civilized” nation was that of a very pushy and unpleasant country – which they were about to get rid of (or so they thought – there is little civilized action in a civilized world).

Five days before independence a non-executive president and Prime Minister were elected – Joseph Kasa-Vubu and Patrice Lumumba respectively. Both were leaders in the Congolese demand for independence. While the new King of Belgium – King Baudouin – came expecting to hear praise for his great Uncle – King Leopold II – he was greeted by Patrice Lumumbaa blasé president and a vehement prime minister. Lumumba chose his words with justifiable passion:

“We have known sarcasm and insults, endured blows morning, noon and night because we were ‘niggers’… We have seen our lands despoiled under the terms of what was supposedly the law of the land but which only recognised the right of the strongest. We have seen that this law was quite different for a white than for a black: accommodating for the former, cruel and inhuman for the latter. We have seen the terrible suffering of those banished to remote regions because of their political opinions or religious beliefs; exiled within their own country, their fate was truly worse than death itself… And finally, who can forget the volleys of gunfire in which so many of our brothers perished, the cells where the authorities threw those who would not submit to a rule where justice meant oppression and exploitation”

Each word was undoubtedly justifiable and thus the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) was born, independent from imperial rule, and alienated by their lofty oppressors. Immediately there were problems. The army started to get vocal about their low wages and began to riot, Lumumba immediately blamed the Belgian’s accusing them of inciting rebellion doing little to address the actual problem at hand. While the Belgian’s did keep the overhead jobs from the Congolese it was Lumumba himself who demanded the 6th month plan to independence instead of the Belgian’s proposed 4 year plan. Mutiny quickly became rampant and whites were beaten, raped, and insulted. A mass exodus of the white population quickly fled in the thousands and many of the Congolese feasted on their first taste of lustful bigotry and oppression – it was their turn to inflict the harm on the whites. During this time many of the Congolese quickly converted to everything they’ve ever hated about the Belgian rule. Of course the Belgian’s have left no other model of rule around leaving disaster inevitable.

As Lumumba rushed about his new duties taking care of this national crisis while refusing any aid from the Belgians, a sly politician named Moise Tshombe declared the mineral rich Katanga (remember Katanga?) an independent state, adding one more thing for Lumumba to handle. Katanga quickly became a unified unit at the earliest of the DRC’s independence. Lumumba, having nowhere to turn, looked towards the United Nations (UN) to help and within days foreign troops were maintaining public safety and civilian task forces were created to run public services. Of course at this point Belgian troops had also intervened to ensure the safety of their ex-patriots and this in no way pleased Lumumba.

Lumumba insisted that the UN expel the Belgian troops and the UN refused to intervene figuring the Congo needed all the help it could get. Infuriated Lumumba demanded the UN remove Belgian troops or he would invite the Soviet’s to intervene. It’s 1960. Lumumba happened to press the one button that would possibly get the United States even marginally interested in a remote African backwater – they called Commie! And the United States saw this as a very serious threat because a year previously a revolution had just taken place off the tip of Florida and a young Fidel Castro began his rule of the small country of Cuba. The DRC could be another country that could fall to the dreaded rule of communism and so Lumumba was rushed to Washington where the CIA attempted to persuade him not to make such a rash decision. By August the United States was calling Lumumba “a Castro or worse,” “irrational,” a “mad dog” and “psychotic.” The UN called Lumumba crazy, threatening, demanding, irrational and claimed he acted like a child. Within two months of independence the United States and UN were completely fed up with Lumumba’s rule and seemed more than happy to let the communists deal with him.

In fact we get a rare glimpse into how powerful politics really can get. President Eisenhower authorized the CIA to “eliminate” Lumumba. I’m not joking. “There was a stunned silence for about 15 seconds and the meeting continued,” Johnson recalled. Belgian leaders rife with embarrassment came to similar conclusions: “The main aim to pursue in the interests of the Congo, Katanga, and Belgium, is clearly Lumumba’s elimination definitive.” With the Western World attempting to manipulate the potentially malignant Soviet country and Katanga attempting to secede using military might and an army that has mutinied Lumumba’s options were thin but he continued to attempt to manage the country showing no signs of letting go. To add to Lumumba’s poor image a recent military expedition to Kasai ended with hundreds of Baluba tribesmen murdered and 250,000 displaced refugees. UN Soldiers looked on with strict orders not to use weapons aside for self defense.

Young MobutuWhat about Kasa-Vubu – the non-executive President? What was he doing during all this time? Kasa-Vubu had quickly grown accustomed and comfortable with his new life of luxury and was not in any hurry to stir any political trouble. But when approached by the U.S., the Belgians, and fellow Congolese Kasa-Vubu was virtually forced to act – but not before Lumumba did – and he quickly accused Kasa-Vubu of treason and dismissed him as president.

Lumumba’s end came from an unlikely source – from a trusted personal aide that Lumumba promoted to army commander – his name was Joseph Mobutu (left). Supported by the CIA, UN, and many frustrated Congolese citizens the 29 year old Joseph Mobutu declared that he was neutralizing all politicians and assuming power until the end of the year. The 35 year old Lumumba quickly disappeared in to hiding.

On December 1st, 1960- 6 months after he became the first acting Prime Minister of the DRC- Lumumba was found crouching in the back of a pickup and arrested. After he was thoroughly beaten he was sent straight to Leopoldville (the capital later renamed Kinshasa) where Joseph Mobutu ruled with UN and U.S. support. And in that tropical December of 1960 along the muddy banks of the Congo River somewhere in Leopoldville Patrice Lumumba lay at the mercy of Joseph Mobutu. A former minister claimed to have seen Mobutu spit in Lumumba’s face and declare: “Well! You swore to have my skin, now it is I who have yours.”

The Death of Patrice Lumumba

You did know he was going to die, didn’t you? It’s common knowledge to not expect a happy ending in Africa and Lumumba’s death, unfortunately, is not exceptional compared to the ends of many African’s that dare to toil in African politics. In fact it might not even be worth talking about if it wasn’t so scandalous and if the resulting aftermath wasn’t so powerful –

Earlier I spoke of Lumumba killing hundreds of Baluba tribesmen as well as displacing 250,000 refugees. Well after a month of being detained it was decided that Lumumba and two of his colleagues be transported to a different city – Elizabethville. The guards picked for this transportation were Baluba – Baluba that were ready for revenge. The entire 6 hour flight was filled with unimaginable beatings and when the plane landed and the torture should have ended (should it have started?) there were Katangese soldiers and Belgian officers waiting for him. They took up the beatings where the Baluba soldiers left off and transported them to an empty house. You see – Elizabethville is located deep in the Southern Congo – in Katanga (remember Katanga?). Tshombe, the man who declared independence while Lumumba was in charge, still kept Katanga in an autonomous rule from the rest of the Congo and was supported by the Belgians. Tshombe and Belgian police commissioner Frans Verscheure were in charge of the detention of Lumumba and his colleagues and spent the afternoon taunting and beating Lumumba further.

Tshombe and Verscheure eventually got tired of torturing Lumumba and went home to get drunk. Tshombe’s butler noticed that his employer came home that evening covered in blood. By 10 P.M. many were drunk enough to have murder on there minds. Lumumba and his colleagues were never to see another sunrise – and they probably didn’t want to. Hauled 30 miles out of town the three men were ripped out of the pickup truck to face open graves in front of them.

Last pictures of Lumumba before he was dragged off and murdered“You’re going to kill us, aren’t you?” Lumumba asked.

“Yes,” Verscheure replied. And that night – January 17, 1961 – a group of drunken Katangese soldiers and Belgian officers murdered 3 men (Lumumba being the last) who spent the day being tortured. Then they were buried. As sobriety started to settle in panic began to engulf the group and cover stories started to be spun. It was the Belgians that worried particularly as what had just occurred would be found entirely unacceptable to the Western culture in which they so belonged. A political prisoner was in their hands the previous day and now they had no way of accounting for him. The following night after the diabolical deed had occurred some Belgians dug the cadavers back up, took them 120 miles away, hacked them up, and dissolved them in a vat of sulphuric acid. Then their bones were ground up and scattered on the return trip to Elizabethville so as to lose all connections with their cold blooded murder.

Nevertheless, this event was witnessed by too many people and the secret was not kept. The murder of Patrice Lumumba made him into one of the most famous political martyrs of modern times. The Congolese were vehement towards the Belgian’s for continuing to meddle with their independence and murdering their first leader. In addition this news was one of the few maniacal secrets the Congo had released to the world and staged protests occurred across the globe in over 30 cities. The support behind Lumumba came from the concept that he was just a poor guy trying to free his country from colonialism and for that simple reason – murdered – and the country that just “gave” them independence was responsible. Belgium was globally chastised – which I imagine, in some way, is exactly what Lumumba would want his death to do – hurt the image of those who had put him and his people in such a fetal state. Now we know Lumumba could not blame all of the misfortunes on Belgium, for he definitely created his fair share of oppression and impossible demands… but I can’t help but wonder – with the way Belgium treated the Congolese, no matter how the transition phase occurred (6 months OR 4 years), and no matter WHO was put in position of power – whether the Democratic Republic of the Congo was just set up to fail.

Civil Strife

Congo CrisisMobutu assumed power of Leopoldville with the avid support of the U.S. and UN but was not the favored leader in the country. The Soviet Union was aiding a Northeastern uprising (red), Tshombe still was attempting succession of Katanga in the Southeast aided by the Belgians still (green), and in the Southwest diamonds had been found in the area of Kasai and the locals began to guard the area from the rest of the country – the Belgians also meddled here (blue). Mobutu, in short, was only in charge of the Western portion of the country and the capital (yellow). Most of the rest of the country started to divide itself.

By 1964 Katanga had failed to become an independent state and Tshombe became acting Prime Minister of the entire DRC. That same year a revolt occurred in the Eastern (red) portion of the map and Tshombe had to recover half the land of the country he had previously tried to secede from. Mass executions began of the Congolese people who were deemed “intellectuals” or “counter-revolutionaries.” It was this section of the country that supported Lumumba the strongest and they began executing the “counter-revolutionaries” at the foot of Lumumba statues. The United States and Belgium were in panic, if the revolution succeeded communist Lumumba supporters would cover the country leaving only what is vile and distrustful to U.S. and Belgian interest. The two countries supplied the Western half of the country with combat aircrafts, transport planes, counter-insurgency experts and technicians. The DRC was undoubtedly a pawn in the global chess game of Democracy vs. Socialism (leaving only despotism in the wake). More confusion, killing, torture, and power struggles occurred in the decimated country until the Eastern Soviet rebellion was managable. All in all an estimated one million people had died during the rebellion.

By 1965 Mobutu had officially declared himself president (a popular thing military heads were doing all over Africa at this time). Personally I don’t understand how any man could take the position Mobutu did but he seemed to become severely hardened after the chaos of the previous 5 years. Dissidents were quickly eliminated. Mobutu instilled public hangings and brutal treatment of those who did not completely support him which quickly stabilized the country. One must truly look at the situation and legitimately ask whether if Mobutu did not take these actions if another million would’ve died. Of course it’s rhetorical as we’ll never know, but what we do know is a little more on how the United States played a role in this very real and nightmarish mess:

The United States and its Relationship with the Congo

“General, if it hadn’t been for you the whole thing would have collapsed and the Communists would have taken over,” President Kennedy was quoted as saying to Mobutu in 1963 about his initial assertion of power.

“I do what I am able to do,” Mobutu responded while asking for military equipment, training, and parachute training for himself. The President granted his request and gave him a command aircraft for his personal use and a permanent US Air Force crew to go with it to boot. Also he was kept on the CIA payroll and was paraded around as an exotic and powerful leader by those in the United States government.

In 1970 Nixon praised Mobutu and told him “there are things we can learn from you.” On top of that Nixon pushed for more investment in the country. By 1974 the U.S. and Europe had over $2 billion (2,000,000,000) invested in the country celebrating Mobutu – a dictator the likes of which the world has only rarely seen – as the appropriate leader to manage the country of their “investment.”

Mobutu and NixonI hate to bring U.S. involvement in on the history of an African country but it is obvious from the above facts that the United States government were far more involved with the politics of the DRC than they probably should have been or care to openly admit. The people of the United States were ignorantly unaware that the leader of a remote African country was zipping around in a tax-paid jet with a tax-paid crew and a tax-paid staff and was being injected with tax-paid cash. Morally the concept of a leader of a country being on another country’s payroll is just another Westernized form of stunting a culture and country of people. While the United States certainly did not acknowledge the intricate details of the situation in the Congo they blanketly placed them in a category of “Potential Soviet ally” and insisted on menacing in the countries very internal and bloody business. Of course the Soviets were no better grubbying their fingers in the Congo pot as well aiding the stir of an uprise that cost one million lives.

The United States brought shame upon themselves as a country becoming so worked up at Lumumba calling for Soviet help. If you remember country’s total graduates of both higher education and secondary education totaled less than 200 in 1960. What honest threat would a jungle nation with a handful of people educated on the “civilized” world that was ripe for civil war cause if they had become communist? Logic says none at all. And if democracy was really their goal why did they support a military dictator which was neither socialist nor democratic? He was despotic!

In an age where the prevailing argument of American policy is “We were noble enough to free the Iraqi people from a terrible dictator,” it goes completely ignored that the United States had supported harsh military dictators for decades (including Saddam originally). As I argued in my entry on The Bush Administration with another harsh military dictator – Samuel Doe – the United States has never been interested in “freeing people” or “democracy” so much as it has been interested in strict obedience. And Mobutu provided just that.

Mobutu Sese Seko Kuku Ngbendu Wa Za Banga

Just as we’ll never know what Michael Jackson would be like without gross amounts of fame we will never know what Joseph Mobutu would’ve been like without gross amounts of power. As the economy started to tentatively increase in the 1970’s Mobutu started to let his ego expand. After all the previous ruler couldn’t even rule for 6 months and he had ruled it for almost a decade with progress. He often began to be seen wearing a leopard-skin hat. On top of that he had decided to change his name in 1971 from Joseph Mobutu to Mobutu Sese Seko Kuku Ngbendu Wa Za Banga (the title of this section) which meant something along the lines of “the all-powerful warrior who, because of his endurance and inflexible will to win, will go from conquest to conquest leaving fire in his wake.” Not exactly modest nor really encouraging. It was also during this time Leopoldville (the capital) became Kinshasa, Elisabethville (where Lumumba met his torturous end) Lubumbashi, and Stanleyville (where the 1964 rebel revolt took place) became Kisangani. Lastly Mobutu decided that the name Democratic Republic of the Congo was outdated and changed the name to Zaire. Today many of your decade-old maps still have the Democratic Republic of the Congo labeled as Zaire as it continued to be named such until 1997.

Another dicatatorial action Mobutu took was creating a single party to eliminate political opposition. In case you were ever interested in what the trademarked official way of removing all political rights from the masses – it is the creation of a single party. This way things are simple – they become your way… or the rape, torture, abusive, deprivation, prison way. And the opposition party is usually preoccupied with one of the listed things if you know what I’m saying. So he started a single party and, of course, it was the duty of the party to follow, as he deemed it, “Mobutuism.” The concept behind it was basically that the belief of sharing power is absurd and having only one leader is the most important thing – and what that leader says goes or else punishment will ensue. Mobutu had become as oppressive as the Beglian colony was by taking on this paternal position for his people.

Actual Zairian money - seriously.Also this is known as something – Mobutu was creating a cult of personality. The name changes to himself and the country, the creation of a single party, naming things after himself – all of these things are signs of when your ego can no longer bathe in the Pacific Ocean anymore. From this point on nobody was allowed to have a European name in the country and priests baptizing anyone with a European name will receive a 5 year jail sentence. European suits were banned and fawning over the “Saviour of the People” (his title, not mine) was encouraged. In fact songs and dances were constantly being put on for him. Places where he lived and grew up became national pilgrimage places or places of “high meditation.” His staff began calling him a prophet. A former prime minister – Nguzu Karl-i-Bond – later wrote in his memoirs the following about Mobutu:

“Nothing is possible in Zaire without Mobutu. He created Zaire. He fathered the Zairian people. He grew the trees and the plants. He brings rain and good weather. You don’t go to the toilet without the authorisation of Le Guide. Zairians would be nothing without him. Mobutu has obligations to nobody, but everybody has obligation to him. As he said to me on August 13, 1977, in front of three witnesses: ‘Nguz’, there’s nothing I have to do for you; on the contrary, I have made you whatever you are.'”

And the American government still supported him.

Having satiated himself with fame Mobutu turned his head toward fortune to devour. With the simple ease of just vocalizing it Mobutu seized a massive amount of foreign businesses. In a simple decree he acquired 2,000 businesses and redistributed them to friends and family. Mobutu himself was the boss of plantation conglomerate with over 25,000 employees. Mobutu virtually owned the country – not dissimilar to his Belgian predecessor. During the 1970’s it was estimated that one-third of total national revenues was in one way or another at his disposal. Mobutu immersed himself in all aspects of business in his country bloating himself with wealth while his country slowly slipped back in decline. Whether it was copper, cobalt, diamonds, banking, stocks, business ownership, and surely much more Mobutu siphoned the profit guiltlessly for his arbitrary whims. In the 1980’s the average individual on the Forbes 500 list made about $400 million a year. Mobutu was estimated to be making $5 billion making him one of the richest men in the world at the time.

And the American government still supported him.

The consequence? National disaster. Mobutu could not handle all of the capital he had acquired making himself rich making Zaire’s budding economy begin to slowly rot. As poverty spread from the mismanaged businesses greed enveloped anyone with any power. Teachers and hospital staff went unpaid for months. It was Mobutu who helped coin a new form of government in which Zaire was a leading example – the term was a kleptocracy – klepto commonly know as someone who commonly steals – so a kleptocracy is a form of government that commonly steals. People with all levels of power took more than their fair share leaving the masses with little else but poverty. It came to a point where nothing could be accomplished without a bribe. It is at this time that we can see the Congolese people have become indistinguishable with their oppressors as corruption permeated the country turning neighbor on neighbor for a petty level of power.

“If you steal, do not steal too much at a time. You may be arrested, Yibana mayele – Steal cleverly, little by little.”

This is a documented quote directly from Mobutu himself. While corruption was on the minds of the leaders the country was impoverished. Medical staff, teachers, and other workers stopped working because they were receiving no wages. Those who did receive wages were getting little more than 10% of their value in 1960 (their independence). Hunger, disease, and malnutrition were the product of the greed. Mobutu modeled the practice of many ruthless African dictators. The first step is to gorge on as much profit from your country in any way you please. The second step is to invite foreign investors to gorge on the money they bring as well. The third step is to comply with foreign inquiry to missing funds until they try to get you to stop gorging, then ignore them and wait to see what they do. And this is exactly what Mobutu did, threatening the lives of those who came to his country to monitor fair business practices. Mobutu constantly was shifting his friends and enemies to make sure nobody ever got too close.

BFFsAnd the American government still supported him.

I stress this so many times because this is a clear cut case where the United State blatantly and flagrantly ignored the concept of democracy and freedom for the sake of convenience. The United States only saw the Congo one-dimensionally. The Congo was a block of land in Africa that was not allowed to supply its wealth to the Soviet Union – and that’s it. If the nation dove in to despotism, debt, greed, despair, torture, wars, and suffering that was acceptable so long as they were not supplying their wealth to the Soviet Union. In this regard the political term for him was a “friendly tyrant.” In case that doesn’t make sense I’ll gladly break it down for you. Mobutu is still a tyrant and does all the terrible, horrible, awful things a tyrant does to his own people – however – he is friendly towards us, which makes us feel safe, so we give him money for doing that to keep him that way. That is what the term “friendly tyrant” means. How much money did the United States give to Mobutu? Between 1965 and 1988 the United States gave Mobutu $860 million of taxpayer money. Mobutu maintained friendship with the United States administration after administration. Into the Reagan and Bush Administration Mobutu was still solidly not helping the Soviet Union in a Cold War gone lukewarm. The suffering was obvious, the only unity maintained was through Mobutu’s iron fist of greed, and keeping him in power curdled the tense situations as they began to root.

I bring all this up to ask the philosophical question – is it right for one nation-state to put a leader of another nation-state on their payroll? Does this not undermine the very responsibility of a leader? Where is this leader’s loyalty when he is being paid by another country? Who could possibly argue that a leader can stay loyal to his country while on the payroll of another? The United States and the Soviet Union created so much global tension out of an ego issue it reverberated negatively around the world – the Congo being one of the worst affected. Taxpayer money went for decades to a man whose only job was to suppress, and he was praised for it:

“I have come to appreciate the dynamism that is so characteristic of Zaire and Zairians and to respect your dedication to fairness and reason. I have come to admire, Mr. President, your personal courage and leadership in Africa.”

“Zaire is among America’s oldest friends, and its president – President Mobutu – one of our most valued friends. And we are proud and very, very pleased to have you with us today.”

Both of the above are direct quotes from President George Bush I (There is something eerily familiar about having to use Roman Numerals for identification of a specific leader and its correlation with oppression). The history of the United States and Mobutu is simply unacceptable behavior if it were happening in America, and there is absolutely no legitimate reason (so this excludes discrimination and hate-mongering) why this should be happening because of Americans elsewhere. It would be as if one high school superintendent paid off another high school superintendent to make all their students and staff submissive to him, which may include robbing them, not paying them, refusing them any decent medical attention, refusing to have any autonomy whatsoever… all so the original superintendent can feel like he’s doing a good job eliminating potential (not actual even yet!) competition. From Dwight Eisenhower to George Bush I all the presidents supported Mobutu and supplied him with cash to continue his plundering and oppression – it was little other than that by any standards at all – and Bush says those complete false positive things about him. The feeling was mutual however with Mobutu sharing positive feelings on George Bush I himself:

“As regards George Bush I’ve met him thirteen times. We know each other from way back. He was in charge of the CIA and knew Zaire’s problems backwards. He received me at his home in Maine with his mother, wife, and children and grandchildren. I met him again recently at the funeral of Emperor Hirohito. He is an intelligent, open and sensitive man, with strong convictions.”

I find these quotes so essential because they are documented facts. There was absolute friendship between a dictator who many would largely agree was worse than Saddam Hussein, yet even at this time Bush was fighting that very man for being a ruthless dictator. The hypocrisy is blatant and the fact that this is not acknowledged as a historical lesson goes to show that there is a strong level of national oppression within the United States let alone what type of oppression the government encourages outside of the country.

When the Soviet Union fell there was little reason to keep Mobutu on the United States payroll and his reputation was catching up with him. The United States began to distance herself from Mobutu until eventually the government denied Mobutu a visa into the United States. No longer was he welcome less than a decade after the breakup, one of the United States “oldest friends,” perhaps Bush meant “oldest tools.” In fact – the only one to speak up for Mobutu anymore in America happened to be Pat Robertson, the famous televangelist (of all people), giving an argument for Mobutu to visit the United States. Though Pat Robertson has done a good job covering his tracks there have been quite a few accounts claiming that Mobutu allowed him to mine diamonds in his country, which is probably the reason for their forged relationship. Robertson seems a man willing to profit from anything – religion to an oppressed nation – regardless of moral character.

France and the Rwandan Genocide

The Congo and RwandaIn a small country a fraction of the size of Zaire along its exotic Eastern border a conflict was occurring. A group known as the Tutsi were about to be murdered in such large amounts the word genocide had to be pulled out of the closet before anything was seriously done about it. The Tutsi, though a minority group, tended to be wealthy and hold positions of power. The Tutsis had an aristocracy and enjoyed a higher style of living than their Hutu counterparts. The Hutu were the majority in this country known as Rwanda and some Hutus felt indignant over this Tutsi rule. Rwanda and Burundi have had ethnic tensions between the Hutu and the Tutsi stemming back to the 1960s. Political leaders have been assassinated, executed, and murdered by Hutu and Tutsi alike. The Tutsi people were exiled for over 30 years creating one of the largest refugee communities in Africa. The Tutsis who remained in Rwanda (while the exiles planned for their return) were forced to carry an ethnicity card, given quotas determined by the Hutu government, Tutsi women were not allowed to be married to Hutu men, and the leader of it all – Juvenal Habyarimana – kept a photograph of a Tutsi hut in flames in his presidential mansion.

But now it is the early 1990’s and the Tutsi had earned their way back in to Rwanda but not without continued ethnic tension. Habyarimana was not willing to share the power with the returning Tutsi and began to stir up dehumanizing hate in which only the most desperate and lowly of people do. Hutu supremacists began organizing death squads and murdering the Tutsi in cold blood.

As all this was going on next door Mobutu was immersed in troubles of his own. After 30 years of rule Mobutu had little to show for it. Since 1988 the economy had shrunk by 40% and his money was worthless. Per capital gross domestic product in 1993 was $117, about 65% lower than in 1958 – before independence. Mobutu’s old stealing grounds were in decline and people across the world had begun to wise up to Mobutu’s destructive, deceitful, ignorant ways. Copper, cobalt, diamonds and gold all were mismanaged, not being produced, or being smuggled. Mobutu had reaped what he had sewn. Distrust permeated through every level of government and when cohesion looked possible Mobutu incited ethnic tensions just like his neighbor, Habyarimana, to the East. But the worst of it all was that he had virtually no foreign friends that could provide him with his insatiable desire for wealth and global leverage. The United States wouldn’t talk to him anymore, the World Bank stopped funding him as they saw $9 billion sink into the murky depths of the Congo never to reappear, it really looked as if it were only a matter of time before Mobutu met the fate of his predecessor – Lumumba.

Francophone AfricaEnter France. First it was Belgium who could not help but get their fingers dirty in Africa, followed by the Americans, and now the French saw the Congo as a part of their imperialist vision. If one country asserted more dominance on the continent of Africa than any others – it would be France. France was very diligent in not only maintaining but spreading the Francophone culture. To France Africa was divided into two sections – Francophone Africa (map on left) – and then everybody else. France didn’t really regard Africa as a totally separate culture or continent from their own – they regarded Africa, literally, as their own backyard. To them defending Francophone Africa was defending France – it was defending France’s backyard. And what was France defending Francophone Africa from? Why Anglophone Africa of course – the British influence could not encroach.

Treating a continent of people like a backyard once again shows the immaturity Africans had to deal with when encountering their European counterparts. Everything from the French language to French influence were of the highest priority in Francophone Africa- everything else coming second – and I mean everything. Jaques Foccart, the leader authority of French policy on Africa for 40 years and met Mobutu personally, had explained France’s interest on the topic of Zaire:

“[Zaire] is the largest country on francophone Africa. It has considerable natural resources. It has the means of being a regional power. The long-term interest of France and its African allies is evident.”

No longer was Zaire considered a country with desperate people and a flat-lined economy in dire need of compassion and stability with a ruthless leader. It was viewed simply as a potential area of profit and if France continued to support its leadership – whoever it was – they can benefit from any economic or regional power gained from it. However unfortunate for the French what was brewing in the region was not potential profit but genocide. In fact France supplied Habyarimana with troops which he used to repress his opponents (Mobutu also had supplied Habyarimana in the past with troops and weapons). Rwanda was also part of the precious francophone empire and acknowledging the genocide that Rwandan Hutus were facilitating would not look good for France. But the crisis continued to grow, Tutsis continued to be slaughtered and the West, especially France, was slow to react. When Habyarimana was assassinated in April of 1994 the genocide took full effect.

Rwandan refugee camp in ZaireFor Mobutu though he had found a new purpose – a new way to manipulate power again. The Rwandan crisis was getting out of hand and Mobutu gladly opened the border to his country for refugees to come spilling in. However, this time, the refugees were not Tutsi – they were Hutu. The whole reason the crisis began in Rwanda was because Tutsis were demanding to return to the government that exiled them 30 years prior. The Hutu elite used dehumanization, discrimination, and then outright murder to refuse the Tutsi entrance back in to their original country of residence. So while the Tutsi continued to push southward militarily – triumphantly taking back the country in which they originally belonged – while Hutus cowardly murdered civilian Tutsis and fled the country claiming Tutsi created genocide- not the actual Hutu created genocide that was occurring.

As the Hutus poured in to all of Rwanda’s bordering nations international outcry reached a new level. Images of Hutus exiling themselves from the country turned in to the images of the holocaust. Indeed hidden within this traveling band of refugees were the actual people directly responsible for the blood-lust atrocities. As CNN streamed the images of the Hutu refugees the hearts of people across the world went out to them even though some were facilitating the genocide.

When Belgium wanted to send in troops to stabilize the situation it was France who refused it. When a regional meeting set up to discuss Rwanda was going to be in “anglophone” Tanzania both Mobutu and France blocked the move. Meanwhile innocent civilians were being murdered and raped in the street. Both Mobutu and France held out their power in an orgy of greed for power and wealth. It was from the Hutu refugee camps inside Zaire that facilitators of the genocide safely plotted their next blood-spilling scheme.

The Congolese Wars

With all the political greed in the region the locals were getting overwhelmed with the refugees and ethnic tensions began to flare between the locals and the refugees. Due to Mobutu helping out the Hutu genocidaires the new Tutsi-instated government decided to attack the genocidaires and march all the way west to the capital of Zaire – Kinshasa – and remove Mobutu from power. At this time in 1996 Mobutu was in ill health, had no money, and could not afford a military to defend himself. The rebellion started in the Second Congolese War linesEast at the Rwandan border and then spread West slowly. Mobutu watched as his country began to dissolve in front of hi eyes. Province after province joined in on the rebellion with Mobutu virtually powerless to stop it – even Katanga joined in. This was known as the First Congolese War.

The last time the East Congo started rebelling it was 1965 and the United States was supplying Mobutu with all he needed to suppress the uprising. In fact, I did not mention this earlier, Fidel Castro and Cuba even got involved. Having personal vendettas against American imperialism in Cuba, Castro sent Che Guevara to the Eastern Congo to meet a man named Laurent-Désiré Kabila who claimed he had an army to Che to train. Che was a professional guerrilla soldier ready to train an uprising for the good of the people. Che was disgusted to meet an unmotivated army with an unmotivated leader that demanded money and put in little effort. The revolution Che had planned was a disaster and Che headed straight back to Cuba. About 30 years later it was again, Laurent-Désiré Kabila, who the Tutsis trusted to take over the Congo. It was this man, Laurent-Désiré Kabila, who Che said on his return to Cuba:

“He let the days pass without concerning himself with anything other than political squabbles, and all the signs are that he is too addicted to drink and women”

Che also claimed Kabila lacked any “revolutionary seriousness. So what a surprise it might have been to Che (had he not been murdered himself later on in life) to see that it was indeed Kabila (with major help from Tutsi Rwanda) that ran Mobutu out of the country. Mobutu escaped with little more than his frail life. After 32 years of playing ruthless dictator of possibly the most saddest country on Earth Mobutu fled on a plane that being riddled with bullets – never to Current Congo - Joseph Kabilareturn. As the remainder of Mobutu’s army made it across the Congo River to Congo-Brazzaville in 1997 the leader of the months-long assault, Laurent-Désiré Kabila, assumed leadership and returned the name back to the original (though confusing) name of independence: the Democratic Republic of Congo.

If genocide and a war wasn’t enough to deal with in a single decade a second war was quickly ready to break out. The Second Congolese War has been the largest conflict since World War II and also Africa’s largest war involving 8 nations. Though Kabila could have never taken over Kinshasa without the help of the new Tutsi Rwandan government Kabila was short in patience when Rwanda tried to control the Congo. Kabila made sure to thank them and then curtly made them leave. Shortly thereafter fighting flared up and the Rwandan and Ugandan government started to feed off the Northeast parts of the Congo plundering their wealth. Other nations got involved on both sides and things did not significantly change until 2001 when Kabila was assassinated. Immediately his son – Joseph Kabila was instated. By 2003 Uganda and Rwanda withdrew and the war was officially over.

Of course Rwanda is still bitter and continues to support rebel action within the borders of the Congo. And these shallow actions continue to perpetuate the corrosive and rotting culture of violence the citizens of the Congolese have been forced to endure since its inception and almost completely due to international stimulation. Joseph Kabila’s leadership is still in its infancy. Certainly his task is daunting and unlike his father or any of his predecessors Joseph Kabila is described as a shy man. Perhaps a leader without an ego can help unite the country and it is true that he is attempting peace talks with the Rwandan Tutsi rebels. Unfortunately it was only August 2007 when rebel and government forces fought in the province of Kivu displacing almost a million people. Is it possible that Joseph Kabila will be able to restore even the most basic safeties to the country without keeping the citizens in a fetal state? I certainly don’t know but I hope the best of intentions and the wisest of choices are guiding him.

Conclusion

So why did I bring up this long disastrous history of a nation nobody cares about unless they live in it? For a few reasons:

  1. Current CongoSome people attribute Africa’s problems to race. Many people seriously believe that skin color affects intelligence even in the slightest. I found the history of the Congo to be typical to the history of many African colonial nations. Unprepared for independence and mettlesome once independence is achieved African leaders, especially in the case of the Congo, have a hard time not being used like a pawn. In this case we saw the first serious mistreatment of people occur by a white European leader. The history of the Congo is one of the infinite amount of testimonies that no one race is superior to any other.
  2. Many of the people and countries involved with the Congo were bolded upon their first mention in this entry. This is to show how Congo’s strife-ridden history has little to do with internal affairs, though there can be improvement on all ends. The Congo’s story is a testament to the theory that Western powers have direct influence with the most poverty-stricken and strife-ridden areas on the planet.
  3. Specifically the United States befriending this ruthless tyrant, Mobutu, for decades because of his obedience and yet in the same breath call Saddam out as being a ruthless dictator. The United States has a hard time recognizing its mistakes and befriending and paying Mobutu was one of them. The Congo’s story is a testament to the idea that the United States only looks for obedience in a foreign leader as opposed to serving “freedom” to the citizens – and to use that as an excuse to be extra dubious.
  4. To bring attention to a region of the world that is constantly ignored by telling its fascinating, if not gory, history.

Normally I link more references than I did in this entry and a lot you must take my word on to believe. Why should you take my word for it? Because virtually everything I’ve written was paraphrased from the book listed below, The Fate of Africa by Martin Meredith which is probably one of the most comprehensive looks at Africa and its history since independence. I strongly urge anyone to read it who wants to know why civilization has not been as kind to all parts of the world as it has been to the West. I would love any more information that is insightful to read on the Congo and I encourage comments on this entry

The Fate of Africa by Martin Meredith

The Fate of Africa by Martin Meredith – excellent book.

The 2008 Presidential Primaries

Update: May 2011 – Hey, if you like my writing, you should check out my new website: Sustainable Diversity with fresh new and more in depth material!

This entry had me stumped for many days. I wanted to give an open assessment of each candidate but the length and drollness of it kept me at bay from going too far with it. Instead I’ve decided to focus on all the candidates that matter, the implications of each candidate, and what you should most likely expect from each candidate. I have nothing to lose or gain by posting this and you will know who I support and why just simply by reading. I also feel I’m not going to be using any tricks or misinformation, I’m simply going to point at warning signs or signs of good will that each candidate shows. I will explain why I picked each candidate and why I’ve ignored others. Of course, I do believe, anything is possible so maybe somebody will win the primaries that I ignored – considering that I am making this assessment before even the first primary vote is taken – is not an impossibility.

For Republicans I will discuss the following candidates: Rudy Giuliani, John McCain, Mike Huckabee, and Ron Paul.

For Democrats I will discuss the following candidates: Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, and Dennis Kucinich.

So, it might be reasonable on why I didn’t choose to talk about someone like Alan Keyes, Tom Tancredo, or Chris Dodd but what about candidates like John Edwards, Fred Thompson, or Mitt Romney… why aren’t they involved? They have consistently higher polls than Kucinich, Huckabee, and Paul and yet I’ve chosen latter three over the former. Why?

Because I’m being realistic. This close to the primaries there needs to be a strong support base with a solid message or they need to have high polls. Kucinich, Paul, and Huckabee all have the former while Edwards, Thompson, and Romney don’t have the former or the latter. Edwards has hardly moved in polls staying around a tepid 12%, the only news where we hear his name is after a debate night where he seemed to have spent most of his time attacking Hillary. Thompson was supposed to battle Giuliani for top-position but has only slipped in polls. So let’s begin:

Feeding time for the majestic Republican

Republicans:

What does it mean to be a Republican? The answer is not that simple. It is within the Republican party that neoconservatives and Christian fundamentalists have found their niche but to be a Republican does it simply mean one must praise the neoconservatives, who abused our trust in the Bush Administration, and support Intelligent Design, which is direct contradiction to the internationally recognized and accepted biology? No. There are many Republicans out there who joined the party because they support smaller government, less bureaucracies, and less red tape from the government as well as support community unity, manners, and trust. The candidates I’ve selected above will speak loudly about what the Republican party is offering the people in the 2008 Presidential Election. First up:

John McCain:

The Republican primaries are close right now here in early December and I’ve chosen McCain to be my “alternate” candidate. In reality this position could be filled by Romney or Thompson depending on how the election cycle starts to begin. I don’t see McCain as a man who is selling something much different than the other two. He seems to stay well within the Republican “safe-zone” spinning the web of rhetoric not much different than most Republican candidates. He’s typical – he supports continued involvement in Iraq which he claims is the “battleground” against terrorism. He bases his beliefs off of the idea that we need to fight “them” over there so we don’t have to fight “them” over here. He also believes it shows weakness to leave Iraq and he is a candidate that truly believes, with enough support, we can stabilize the country.

John McCain everybody!This, of course, goes against the common sense understanding that no 3rd world country has ever became a working democracy no matter how much support they’ve received (and we give a lot of support – about 12 billion dollars a month (which is 3 billion dollars a week… over 400 million a day). His rhetoric on terrorist fighting is not fact. There is nothing that proves that fighting Iraqis in Iraq is keeping terrorists from attacking the United States. In fact, logic tells us, that because we are personally affecting more people there will be more people who want to harm the United States giving them numbers which give them the ability to attack both home and away. There have been a slaughter of Iraqi civilians since this war started and none of them feel very liberated right now. I don’t say this to demonize McCain, but it is insulting to us as citizens as well as to the Iraqis to play “Daddy” for a different country. The concept should be insulting to you, who is this politician who believes he has a right to continue meddling in a country we had no rhyme or reason going in to in the first place. Where is our integrity as a nation when we don’t admit we’re wrong and continue to mold a Frankenstein’s monster of a creation out of Iraq. The support for the war is low now – as it should be. War is really the last thing we want our politicians engaging in, war is about the destruction of lives including the innocent. Desiring to continue it is shameful. Terrorism needs to be fought through intelligence and while there will still be despotism in the world there are plenty of despotic countries that we don’t just stand by idly, but willingly support, merely for their obedience. If we want to fight terrible dictators, let’s first stop supporting them. China is an extremely repressive country but because of their economic tie it is overlooked.

McCain claims he plans on reforming government as one of his bold moves. But McCain does so well what most politicians do, he says a lot without saying anything. Romney and Thompson also fit this description too. Their differences are trivial at best. McCain on reforming the government (from his website):

John McCain will bring spending under control, veto wasteful, pork-barrel spending bills every time, and keep taxes low. He will reform a tax code that is too complex and too burdensome. John McCain will modernize Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. He will bring accountability, choice and competition to underperforming schools, so our children are equipped to take the best jobs of the 21st century.

What does this mean?! pork-barrel spending is abstract. What every last person in the United States might consider pork-barrel spending you might, with your wisdom, choose to have a different opinion. Supporting the War in Iraq is pork-barrel spending. It is a feast for mega corporations (over 400 million more dollars will have been spent on Iraq by midnight tonight) and ignoring that as pork-barrel spending already proves he just is not talking straight with us. Reforming social security, medicare, and medicaid could simply mean privatizing at his profit. And he also is promising to maintain the bossy attitude the Bush Administration has taken upon American Education with a contribution of just under 10%. We just don’t know what he is going to do. He says nothing tangible which is so common in a politician and he offers no serious direction or solutions. People are backing this guy because he is safe. He’s not saying anything extreme so it’s easy to be comforted by mediocrity.

Issues such as the severe inflation aren’t addressed and he assumes he can give tax breaks with a falling dollar and a $400 million dollar a day (I can’t stress it enough) war is possible. He’s also divisive. On that same page he blanketly calls out Democrats to be some sort of conspiracy theorists giving no individuality to the real-life options who are markedly different. Look at what kind words McCain has to say about his healthy democratic rivals:

 

America needs a president who will provide strong moral leadership. A Democrat president will appoint judges who make law with disregard for the will of the people, but to the cheers of those advancing a liberal social agenda.

Holy shit – are we in Nazi Germany or Stalinist Russia? Seriously. He speaks of democrats as conspiracy theorists… okay – so democrats traditionally want to spend more money on government programs. But not all government programs are bad, and there should be serious consideration to some that would sincerely aid humanity and America. Some form of universal health care would be a financial burden right now, but not if we left Iraq, so McCain is just as guilty of advancing a liberal social agenda. It sounds so Stalinish. Democrats are not evil, they are our friends and our neighbors, even if you do disagree with them on where your money should be spent. Democrats are not morally wrong people and he makes that suggestion by claiming to be a morally correct leader and contrasting with what the opposite is. He’s deceitful. And, just so you know, I’m not a Democrat.

 

John McCain will pursue our opportunity for victory in Iraq, strengthen our hand in the larger war against Islamic extremists, and make our nation more secure. Democrats will fold our tents, embolden our enemies, throw the region into instability, and increase the risks faced on our home soil. To concede defeat now would strengthen al Qaeda, empower Iran and other hostile powers in the Middle East, unleash a full scale civil war in Iraq that could lead to genocide

I find it remarkable that a Republican has the tenacity to say with (another) blanket statement on Democrats claiming that they will embolden the enemy when it was the Republicans who clearly have already done so. International approval among friendly and enemy states has gone down under a Republican’s watch whom he wants largely to emulate. Iraq never had anything to do in terrorism but yet the two are now interlinked and McCain is a man who takes no issue to carrying on that large myth. At the same time no serious attention is put to alternative energy sources or lowering the price of oil (other than drilling our own which just sounds like lip smacking for money). He shows no interest in restoring Constitutional Rights and will largely carry on many of the negative traits the current Bush Administration carries. Thompson and Romney would also fit the bill nicely to do mostly nothing different at all. The problem with this is that even though this sort of campaign is largely wrong and harmful for America, it is quite comfortable for many of us now and those of us who don’t mind the extra stretch of cash want to see more people like Bush. The problem is more Bush politics will become increasingly unsustainable for the country and things will eventually hurt.

Mike Huckabee:

Huckabee is the one of many candidates from my personal Hell. Why? Let’s ask him:

My faith is my life – it defines me. My faith doesn’t influence my decisions, it drives them.

Man. I’m not hating on this former minister. There are a lot of people who really benefit from these kinds of circles, I was exposed to them when I was younger and while they were not for me, they most certainly were for some people and they seemed to live better lives because of it. However, obviously, just like everything else – not all of them do. Huckabee is McCain in flavor with a Baptist twist and baptists rival born-again Christians about being most passionate (both negatively and positively) about their faith in God.

I will try and explain this as rationally as possible: While Christianity can be and is currently used for as a positive influence in the world today that does not mean #1) That it has never driven people to faulty decisions and #2.) That it supercedes other beliefs which also have positive influences on the environment… be them a.) different religions or b.) non-religious. This is the 21st Century, there are nuclear weapons on this Earth, there is an international economy, there is a dizzying array of responsibilities that a President must handle and Huckabee’s answer to things seems to be his baptist version of Christianity, including those things that aren’t baptist or even Christian. His strongest policies that he supports are Christianizing public places, forcing marriage to be defined as between a man and a woman, more Iraq war fighting of course (cuz it’s the right thing to do), no abortions… like it’s the Christian Fundamentalists final “Fuck you!” to anyone who can rationally comprehend such a thing as a same-sex marriage in a positive light, or who can understand the disturbing underground, unclean, abortion clinics that will re-emerge if abortion is made illegal again. Huckabee couldn’t be a rational Christian that supported the legality of clean abortion clinics yet, perhaps, support well-staffed, clean, no-questions-asked, drop off points for infants, as well as openly encouraging giving a baby away for adoption over abortion, but not actually desire making it illegal and imprisoning someone for being so desperate.

Mike Huckabee lugging his dinner on his back… I kid, I kid.But are these issues even the ones heavily at hand? No. Once again no serious mention of alternative energy sources, the dependency on China, the falling dollar, anything policy-changing outside of religious backing is clouded once again in politico-speak in which McCain uses almost entirely. Yet his rise in polls is rivaling McCain’s and even passing him in some instances as well as nipping on the heals of the kingly Guiliani. But honestly, sincerely, I ask you as American citizens to look toward reason and logic in this election because choosing faith is nothing more than a deer staring in the headlights of an oncoming car. We have serious issues to work on that the world and our own citizens highly agree upon.

I do believe that men like this should serve as political men on levels where they strongly represent a serious majority of the citizens. There are many areas in America where these citizens are proud to have some local or even state laws that represent that heavy Christian taste. But the majority of America is not a Baptist, and he is using his Baptist faith to lead most decisions for a largely non-baptist America. This will lead to internal religious conflict as well as friction between people outside of the Christian religion. This country needs a uniter and those clinging to a 1950’s America where liberties were not treated fairly at all need to let go because it is ultimately an oppressive view. Just as there was haywire about Obama being a secret Muslim, there is no logical reason why Christians shouldn’t understand why, even though we respect their right to their religion, we should not have someone who primarily looks to a Christian God for one of the most important jobs in the world! Undoubtedly the person should have good morals but it is quite possible to not be this religious and have good morals. And “good morals” are SO subjective! We really don’t know how pious he is and his policies seem to be Bush-part-III with the bonus feature of a more forcibly Christianized America. If you are a Christian, please don’t vote based on your religion, we need reason to run a healthy democracy and we need to understand some people in our own country aren’t Christian and can’t just adapt to your world at your will. This is supposed to be a free country, which allows people to make their own decision, it’s improper for the government to make decisions for us in America. People get caught up in what somebody “is” and not what somebody does. Huckabee makes no serious comments outside of the Conservative “safe-zone” in which he’s guaranteed votes aside to grab those Christians starving for a religious governmental leader.

And as Christian as Huckabee claims to be he is most likely a bigger panderer… Huckabee seems to be trying to cover up that he lobbied for the release of a serial rapist and murderer (how low can you go, seriously) because the victim that was raped was a high school daughter of a major Clinton supporter. Ignorantly many Republicans (wished, hoped? I don’t know) that the rapist was only imprisoned to appease Democrats. Even though other women came forward who were raped by the same man Huckabee lobbied to release him from prison.. Once released the rapist went on to rape and murder a couple more women before he was imprisoned again. While Huckabee most likely was not thinking of future victims, he ignored past victims to please the ignorant Republican outcry. Real Republicans (or Christians) would never lobby to release a rapist from prison. So what does Huckabee do when asked to see the papers that could prove his innocence… once again for security and safety he claims nobody is allowed to see them. Huckabee is just another politician who uses God as a sideshow.

Rudy Giuliani:

Giuliani would spawn out of the same Hell that Huckabee would come from. I can handle the average Conservative jargon with such things as McCain spews, but while Huckabee nightmarishly desires restarting the cycle of a government ruled by religion (a religious government was what the first European-Americans were victims of), Giuliani is like the closet tyrant. Outwardly he’s seemingly charismatic, tough, and compassionate. This is only, of course, if you automatically go in to a trance when you hear the numbers 9 and 11 in successive order. Don’t believe me? You should.

Well so what, he talks about September 11th… a lot… like incessantly. But why shouldn’t he? He took control of the situation (one might argue) and handled it professionally, on top of that it’s common knowledge that it was Rudy and Rudy alone that cleaned up the city. But is this true? When asking the people directly involved and not obeying the mayor simply on his say-so there seems to be different picture. First of all Rudy Giuliani insisted the Emergency Response Center, in case of disasters such as the September 11th attacks, be placed in one of the very buildings destroyed (mysteriously) during the attack. When Giuliani insisted it was his Director of Emergency Management who suggested it go there both the Director and Chris Wallace called bullshit on Giuliani because it was Rudolph Giuliani who insisted the Emergency Response Center be placed within the World Trade Center. The problems with this: #1 – There had already just been a terrorist attack on the World Trade Center and #2. – Even when he was caught lying about it he did not admit it. A trustworthy and honorable president? No. But since we’ve set our standards so low we seem to have no serious desire to raise them according to our polls.

On top of that firefighters are openly contemptuous at Giuliani for some of the decisions he did make as well as the credit he took during the crisis. As for the city being cleaned up… surely the Police Department of New York City will back the mayor… well the President of the largest New York City police union, the PBA of the city of New York, claims Giuliani is not fit to be the President of the United States. So where firefighters and police officers became heroes on September 11th, it is those same people who are now calling out Giuliani on his lies and insatiable desire for credit deserved by others, that the self-proclaimed most patriotic American people are ignoring for the charismatic Giuliani-speak.

Come. On. Tower of Strength? Did he suggest that title himself?This is why Giuliani frightens me so. He offers many of the same empty promises other typical Republicans make. He wants to stay in Iraq, spend more money on military (it already crushes the next closest competitor multiple times over) , he wants to completely secure out borders which sounds expensive and Stalinist, he also offers to lower taxes. He makes absolutely no mention once again of the dollar that is worth well less than the Canadian dollar because of the massive spending we’re doing currently. Giuliani wants only to continue to most expensive spending while pandering to the corporate elite that siphon off our funds in Iraq. His mention of alternative fuels is obviously amateur considering the impeding issues there are with using things like ethanol fuel and ignoring such potential gold mines like algae. But Giuliani has a special flavor to him of an intoxicating desire for total control. Not only does he want to “completely secure” our borders, stay in Iraq, spend more on military, but he also demands a unified national identification system which is un-American to the bone. Aside from it being the funeral pyre for the checks and balances the states are supposed to impose on the national government, it also is a very risky, highly unsafe, and easy to tamper with system. It is not the governments job to keep tabs on us, we are not the governments children, we are adults living within an adult society in which we as openly as possible understand there are alternative ways of doing things and that is exactly what makes us free – allowing us options. I can almost see Giuliani at night huddled in the corner staring at his hands whispering about how America will be within those hands soon. He does not rule by logic, he does not rule by reason, he rules by force and that is the scariest thing to support and promote.

So how did Giuliani really handle New York City? Well let’s watch a video of a town hall meeting in which he is being criticized for something, let’s see how he handles it. First the Amalgamated Transit Union is the largest transit union in North America, the entire continent. And the President of the Staten Island division basically calls Giuliani out on some corruption charges. Now whether they are true or not, with complete impartiality, let’s see how Giuliani reacts:

When the corruption charge arises he immediately dismisses it refusing the man to not even present his case telling him to “get out of here.” The man continues to try and talk and Giuliani repeatedly denies him causing the audience to start booing Giuliani! To stop the booing what does Giuliani do? He appeals to the audience of course by telling the man he’ll give him another chance to explain his case… of course with one exception… “cut out irresponsible stupid ridiculous charges.” In other words he is allowing the man to present his argument as long as it’s not critical towards Giuliani. The man was allowed to present one small fact before Giuliani cut him off calling them “ridiculous” again before the man was allowed to make a valid point. At this point Giuliani rudely talks over the man and directs a crony to remove the mic from him as the crowd vehemently boos him. He simply states “I do not talk to people who accuse me of corruption.” Not talking about it does not make it less of a fact for a union president of the largest transit union in North America. Plus in positions of such high power it is only respectable to disseminate any concern of corruption. Giuliani chooses to treat the man the same way one would treat a child if he had sworn into the microphone. In other words he treats the man the way a tyrant would. He removes his freedom of speech and ability to criticize simply at the mayor’s say-so.

Then… he calls the audience a “bunch of immature idiots” for being visibly upset for not being heard. A top running candidate for president of this country takes care of official public business by dismissing them all as a “bunch of immature idiots” then shortly after followed by “You all look too irresponsible to be bus drivers.” He is speaking to these people like children! This is frightening. This is a first class ticket to fascism. “I know the kindergarten does a lot better than these guys,” when they simply had a charge they were not even allowed to bring up. The people got up and left, it might be the right move to do if Giuliani wins presidency. Don’t you hear his policy? He is saying he can make decisions and then refuse to talk to you if you charge him of corruption which means in his mind he’s allowed to be corrupt because he’s not allowed to be questioned about it. Any man who believes he’s too pious to be questioned should not be the President of the United States.

On top of all this, of course, is a scandal that Giuliani is now pretending to not be accountable for. When documents are asked to be produced to clear him, the old Bush excuse “for security purposes” those documents can’t be released. This is old. We need some standards.

Ron Paul:

Out of all of the candidates I chose to talk about Ron Paul is the one with the average lowest Republican approval rating according in national polls. However Ron Paul has a few remarkable aspects that show things might not be as they seem in the polls. Let’s start with the stuff that doesn’t really matter but most people focus on anyway – He has been married once and only once, someone like Giuliani goes from mistress to mistress granting them wifedom and leaving again. Ron Paul had served honorably in Vietnam, Dan Rather is still disputing whether Bush even stayed the time he said he was going to. He has been elected to Congress 10 times by a deeply conservative Texas which shows that he is in line with the Republican party even though people are constantly accusing him of being “out of step” with his party. Ron Paul has been honored with the “Taxpayer’s Friend” award… for 10 years in a row. Ron Paul serves on the Financial Services, Foreign Policy, and Joint Economic Committees which shows his level of expertise in these areas.

Honest, sincere, and thoughtful. We all hate that in a politician.Here are some more Ron Paul facts to show he is not a fringe candidate. Ron Paul has consistently raised more money than the previous quarter this whole year, already topping his 3rd quarter. This can not be said about any other Republican candidate. Giuliani, Romney, McCain, and Huckabee all stalled. In the fourth quarter (which we are still in) Ron Paul raised more than $4.2 million… in one day most likely becoming the largest funded candidate in the Republican race. He also votes consistently and on principle which is completely unheard of with most politicians. Ron Paul has shown up to all debates he has been invited to, even the ones many of the other candidates claimed to be too busy to go. Ron Paul has received more money from military organizations than any other GOP Presidential Candidate. It is interesting that many of those who were chastising Americans for not supporting the Iraq War (because it is a factually illegal war started under false pretenses) by claiming the American people dissenting were not “supporting the troops” are eager to ignore the same call to honor on supporting who the troops want for president. Ron Paul also wants a transparent government (Wake up call – what free country doesn’t?). On top of that Ron Paul has never voted for an increase of his salary in his whole time in government and always takes some of his salary and puts it back in to the government. These are facts about Ron Paul he does not waver on:

-He believes strongly in the Constitution.

-He believes we should have an non-interventionist foreign policy (read: NOT isolationist) and not police the world.

-He wants to remove our troops from Iraq.

-He wants competing currencies and/or the American dollar backed by something more than a printing press.

-He’s a stickler for civil liberties.

-He wants to be fiscally responsible (and has proven with his years in congress as well as in his campaign he can be).

-He wants to give power back to the States and the individual people of this country.

Now when Giuliani was criticized earlier he responded not by saying “Let me clarify what you are accusing me of…” but instead “I do not talk to people who accuse me of corruption” and then insulting his accusers, let’s see how Ron Paul responds to criticism. After Ron Paul raised his $4.2 million in one day Paul was in a unique position to be crushed. By raising his money the mainstream media had to pay attention to him and so Wolf Blitzer took his opportunity with Ron Paul to marginalize him by bringing up all of the times Paul was the only representative (out of 425 people!) to vote against the grain. Blitzer brought up bills voted against bringing up things about genocide all the way to even refusing Rosa Parks a medal. How did Paul respond? At about 5:50 into this video you will see Paul responds… intelligently, even claiming to have offered to give Parks a medal out of his own pocket.

Time and time again Paul speaks to reason and logic. Huckabee argues that when we make a mistake we make it as a single, unified nation and we must follow through with it as a single unified nation, Paul says it’s our responsibility to admit and fix the mistake, not continue it. Then Huckabee airily goes in to abstractions about honor, as if the Bush Administration has any of it whatsoever. McCain calls Paul an isolationist for this attitude (though time and time again he has corrected that lie) and accuses Paul of being the type of person to allow dictators such as Hitler to come in to power. Paul responds logically by reminding us that Iraq had no army, navy, or weapons of mass destruction and there was no serious threat to the world.

He’s somebody who is really working for the people.So with all of these good things about Paul, why isn’t he a frontrunner on the polls. Most likely raking in more money than any other GOP candidate this quarter the reflections should be in the polls, right? Well not exactly. There have been claims that Ron Paul is not getting put in to all the polls or there are facts that mainstream media has been censoring Paul’s success. Mainstream media is a big decider for the American people on which candidates to take seriously and which ones not. By nature the more time devoted to a candidate in a debate or anything the more credible the candidate seems. American people have put their trust into the media expecting that if they spend their time on a candidate he must be credible. When the mainstream does focus on Ron Paul the things said are redundant – he’s an “internet sensation” but claims him not to be a serious contender because his sensationalism is not creating a rise in the polls for him. The debates have also been debilitating. In the recent CNN-Youtube debate over half the time was giving to about two frontrunners on the topic of immigration, which is not even the biggest issue of this election. Ron Paul, a financial frontrunner was hardly given any attention. And the attention given to him was made to paint him as a conspiracy theorist. Even the question at the bottom of the screen is written as “Does Ron Paul believe in a conspiracy…?” He responded logically and reasonably muting any marginalizing comments about him now believing in a conspiracy. The Canadian government and even CNN themselves have knowledge about the factuality of what they allowed to be called a “conspiracy” just to slam Ron Paul.

During the Fox debate Paul had to suffer the same kind of marginalization from candidates despite his credentials and credibility. He’s attacked by the host, Hannity, Giuliani disrespectfully laughs when Paul speaks factual and cited truths, and his win in the polls was dismissed by Hannity as most likely people voting multiple times. Despite all of this the American people still seem to notice Paul’s genuine and very American stance. Even Tucker, who claims to agree with Paul, has a guest that simply slanders without citation. Tucker introduces Stein as one who is “studying” the success of Ron Paul – with somebody who “studies” something you would expect statistical or correlative data. But Stein was happy to use strongly opinionated words to paint Paul as anything but credible. He calls the fans “crazy” and that they only support Ron Paul because they’re confused with the corruption in politics and labels Paul as a “radical” who has used nothing but the U.S. Constitution as his playbook. Then Stein caricaturizes Paul as “adorable” and a “cute little guy.” When Tucker asks a seemingly sincere question, maybe the people who support Ron Paul just like smaller government, Stein paints him as a guy from a movie who almost insanely yells at the government out of anger and dismissing him again as “a radical.” Then our studious reporter calls Paul “confused,” “nerdy,” and says he focuses on “obscure” subjects calling it all “freaky.” The most amazing part is Tucker seems to sell away any support he has for Ron Paul when he brings up that he voted for him last time but always thought he wasn’t a good speaker. Stein corrects Tucker with telling him that Paul is a “horrible” speaker. Then Stein does something really neat, that I think shows the true character of the mindset of those who refuse to treat Paul with credibility:

Stein says you know Ron Paul is “really smart”, and “supposedly his book was really good” (a man who was introduced as one who studies Ron Paul never read the book he mentions). But then Stein says this “You know you’re not going to stay awake for the whole class…” basically saying that the honesty and sincerity of Paul’s desire to work credibly in the position of power is not okay because he won’t be entertaining. And look at Stein – he tries to pull off the laid back messy hair look and when he’s asked a question he answers it as if he just awoke from a stoner slumber like he’s somebody who is so cool and relaxed nothing could bother him. Even the words he uses are totally unprofessional to pull off the image: nerdy, crazy, freaky, adorable, cute, confused, horrible… I would sincerely not be surprised if this guy has a consultant on how to pull off a genuinely fake tv-personality. At any point if Stein was allowed be called one who “studies” it is most definitely not on the subject area of Ron Paul – he admits himself it makes him fall asleep… perhaps Stein is working in the wrong business then, Paul isn’t here for your petty entertainment Stein, he is here to address the problems our nation is currently facing.

These are the barriers an honest and sincere man has to break in order to be treated as a 21st century presidential candidate. While none of the other presidential candidates are as reliable and honest as Paul, no serious attention is given to him in mainstream media. If, for some reason anybody doubts Paul’s credibility to win this primary, I urge them to look at who the American people (not the corporations) are working hard to get elected, and if the American people thought there was a better candidate than Paul why is nobody working as hard for them? Ron Paul is the only honest, sincere, and accountable president running for office who does not have his own un-American agenda, Paul will go directly to the Constitution every time and the minute he stops is the minute all his credibility will fail. There is a Congress and a Judiciary system that is made to make sure his decision is not the only decision – making sure things won’t change so radically people will not be able to handle it – and Ron Paul promises to give Congress, the Judicial Branch, and States all the power the Constitution allows them. Ron Paul just wants a fair and honest political system and nobody can rationally debate that.

The thing is about Ron Paul that strikes me as one of the best choices for president is his ability for the first time in… probably ever… be able to distinguish his personal beliefs from what amount of will he’s allowed to impose on you. So while he is a man who doesn’t agree with homosexuality, abortion, or prostitution he understands the right others have to practice those things and he OPENLY ADMITS he should not be involved. He’s reminding us we have state government too and that’s where we should be looking for most of our laws as well as a local level. He wants us to have our own power and we scoff at him dismissing it as someone we’ve never mets job. This man is an honest impartial gem.

Democrats:

A democrat taking some time for a quick biteWhat does it mean to be a Democrat? Well if them taking control of Congress means anything… then not much. I call it the Democrat paradox. It works like this – many of the democrats in the United States sit back with the smug “I-told-you-so” look on their face with the atrocities of the Bush Administration. “We tried…” they’ll argue with the close elections of both Gore and Kerry. It soon comes to be realized many Democrats feel quite certain that any problems that have come out of the last 8 years in Washington has strictly been because of Republicans in power. In other words Democrats think “It’s not our fault.” Thus the paradox begins – despite Democrats taking control of the Congress and doing truly nothing to restore the checks and balances the Bush Administration is bullying away, because the president was not Democrat it is not the Democrats responsibility to take care of the problems that have occurred because of the Republicans.

Hillary Clinton:

Hillary Clinton may just be the worst presidential nominee out of both Republicans and Democrats, yet she is in the lead in the polls. What astounds me is the desire of the American people for only 2 families to rule the country for over 2 decades. Hillary Clinton keeps being described as “tough as nails” making her a serious contender for these elections but she, just like McCain or Giuliani is heavy in politico-speak. That’s the rhetoric that allows someone to use a lot of words without actually saying anything. How do I know? Take a look at her issues page, she is the first candidate I’ve seen who has 12 different pictures of herself on the same page. Oh look – there’s Hillary giving a speech, oh! and look – there’s Hillary greeting some people, oh and look at that! There’s Hillary talking to an old lady – I didn’t know she talked to old ladies too… oh and there’s Hillary looking picturesque, I want a president who can look picturesque. 12 images of herself. And we have to take this woman seriously? Okay well what does she promise? I may just be over-exaggerating. Well she claims she plans on bringing troops from Iraq home – oh… after Iraq is basically a stable democratic government… so in other words our troops aren’t coming home. Many of the other things she stands for requires no action at all on her part: a champion for women, fulfilling promises, being innovative… these are abstract things that once she is elected she can remove from her page and claim she is working on them locking them away in a closet until it’s convenient to use them to make herself look good.

… But there’s one thing we know about Hillary that we know she will do for a fact. She wants to be known as “The Health Care President.” And this is what I’m talking about with politico-speak. She carefully weaves her way around the Iraq issue as well as other issues using a vast array of words that basically could mean anything. But she is concrete about one thing: federal health care for all. You know how honest a candidate is depending on how many concrete things they say – this is Clinton’s only honest point. But there is a problem, we do not live in Hillary Clinton dreamland where she is allowed to make up whatever comprehensive bureaucracies she desires. President Bush is effectively draining billions of dollars in Iraq as well as other comprehensive national security interests which Hillary Clinton supports! There is not enough funding to keep the big-brother attitude of the Bush Administration and give comprehensive Health Care a fair attempt. The American dollar is plummeting because of the excess spending that is occurring and starting a comprehensive national health care program will cost hundreds of billions of more dollars to be done right.

In a recent debate Hillary Clinton was asked a very unique question that to anybody else would seem a trick question. She was asked if national security is more important than human rights… her response? “I agree with that completely.” Human rights means one thing – treating a human like a human – not like a pile of crap, a pile of garbage, a consumer, a special interest group, a cow for the slaughterhouse… but a human. When we effectively allow the president of our country claim that security is more important than treating people with the respect of being the same species as herself, we’ve effectively removed whatever freedom we have left in this country.

Hillary Clinton straight off her issues page:

Americans are ready for a government that puts competency ahead of cronyism. For the past six years, we’ve had an administration that has contempt for government. And because they view it with contempt, they treat it with contempt. We need a return to transparency and a system of checks and balances, and a 21st century government to meet our 21st century challenges.

Plastic?Sounds good right? It would but notice that she is absent on the list of those who signed an oath for presidential transparency. Look at the quote again. Look at the link again. One more time. She is not honest. Alone on the statement that she believes national security is more important than human rights will allow her to continue what President Bush is doing – calling information a security risk when it could be used to prove irresponsibility. She has no desire to restore freedoms that the Bush Administration has corroded away… and why would she? She is so powerful she probably sincerely believes she does not have to be held accountable like a human – in her mind her own privacy is more important than her citizens privacy. Her own cronies are popping up over and over again smearing the opposition and getting in scandals. Time and again we ignore these things and accept it as just part of the game of politics. The problem is… politics isn’t a game… it’s the rules of our life. Depending on what a politician decides whether you will be able to have freedom over your own body… or not. Using common sense it can not be good to keep picking our leaders from the same gene-pools especially since this country was specifically founded to circumvent such preposterous leadership. Clinton is part of an American elite family with a lot of power which has only been used to raise herself. Being a resident of New York State I have nothing remarkable to say about Clinton’s Senate run here. She has comfortably found a niche where she will always use politico-speak to justify her actions leaving people confused and ignorant to return back to their unfulfilled lives wondering what they’re doing wrong. Clinton is a thoroughbred politician – made to play the game and know what big businesses to manipulate to always get her way. She will stay in Iraq most likely for her whole term and beyond probably forcing a media highlight when she lowers the troop level by a few thousand about once while she’s in office. She ignores the plummeting dollar and just, again like all the other politicians who have mastered politico-speak, promises to cut excess spending. At the same time she wants comprehensive health care for all Americans… more cost, much more. There is no way to pay for that but she ignores that.

There is no doubt that the health care system in this country needs reforming, but it does not necessarily have to be socialistic. Americans used to be known for their ingenuity… now they are becoming known for their laziness. Other social health care countries do have their problems, including our neighbors to the North. However they are fiscally responsible and our country is not – so what can we do if the social health care problem flops and we have no other options? None of this is addressed by Clinton, just beautiful titles such as “The Health Care President” is what she’s interested in… the logistics aren’t her problem… they’re ours.

Dennis Kucinich:

Okay Naked Man in the Tree… why Kucinich? At least Paul has raised more money than any other Republican candidate but Kucinich lags in all the polls. There are actually a number of reasons to bring up Kucinich in this race… the biggest being he is most likely the most sincere and progressive candidate on the Democratic side (some might argue for Gravel but Kucinich is by far the more exposed of the two). Kucinich highlights something for democrats, and this is exactly what I mean by the Democrat paradox. Lazily they’ll let someone like Hillary go in to power claiming she will restore checks and balances yet allow her to use the same excuses the Bush Administration is currently using to not restore them.

The principled DemocratSo while honest and sincere Republicans are working frantically to get someone like Ron Paul in to office to keep this country American, the Democrats solidly support Hillary. “Hey – Bill wasn’t as bad as Bush, so let’s put his wife in. Case closed.” That is about as far as the average Democrat seems to be thinking. Kucinich, like Paul, is an honest man who seems to be working on principle… a word rarely heard in Washington these days and automatically why his ratings are low. He isn’t attuned to “the game” so he’ll “never win,” you’ll just be “throwing away your vote.” But despite that Joel Stein attitude, we still must focus on Kucinich because he is an honest and principled man.

Dennis Kucinich is the only Democratic Candidate running that voted against authorizing the war in Iraq and against funding its continuation. That’s right – that means Hillary has done the opposite. Dennis Kucinich has a health care plan that actually has been thought through – once again, unlike Hillary. Now I’m not saying Kucinich’s health care plan is the best (though he’s obviously thought smartly through it), but at least he is concise on how it will work, if Hillary respected her citizens she would do the same. Dennis Kucinich supports personal liberty… once again this simply means treating people as people despite whatever they have done, Hillary said it herself… national security is more important. He seems to be the only sincere candidate that deals with the necessities of sustainability. Unlike other candidates he seems to have sincerely thought them through and wants to start implementing honest change that is needed in the 21st century to avoid global catastrophe. He doesn’t say one thing and then do the exact opposite like Clinton, anything he says, you can be sure of his word. At minimum we should have a candidate like that in office. What he stands for is comprehensive and thoughtful and devoid of politico-speak that Clinton has mastered so well to please those in positions of power.

There is only one problem with Dennis Kucinich and it has nothing to do with the man himself. It has to do with the Democrat paradox. There is no backing by the people insistent on fixing what Bush has done wrong in the Democrats. The problem is the most intelligent Democrats- the ones that recognize this paradox on some level – do want to vote for Kucinich. And because of this we need to understand the second part of the Democrat paradox…

Barack Obama:

I’ve purposely left Obama out of the discussion until now. Hillary is the solid front runner. Edwards is not sticking out and I promise you he will not find his support on the campaign. Kucinich has a more loyal backing than Edwards. Because of the Democrat paradox there is really no division within the party (totally unlike the Republican party) and no reason for the Democrats to spread their solidarity. Of course, like anyone, the Democrats like some healthy competition so they have two leading candidates – Clinton and Obama. Now this is where the Democrat paradox gets really complicated. Bare with me.

And he likes wrist bands!Barack Obama, by all counts, seems to be a sincere and honest candidate. While Clinton tyrannically claims security is more important than freedom Obama calmly explained (before Clinton even made her statement) that they are not contradictory but are in fact complimentary… good show old man! That is the correct answer! As our good friend Ben Franklin once said: “”They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.” Also Obama appears on the list of presidents who would signed a transparency oath… so he puts his money where his mouth is… once again, unlike Clinton. Yet Obama seems to balance the Kucinich in him with the Hillary in him busting out his own politico-speak from time to time and thus the Democrat paradox fully takes its form:

The “I-told-you-so” Democrats sit high on their Clinton fence looking down on the controversy that faces the rest of the election. The Democrats whose thoughts go no further than “Bill was good… so throw in the wife… and give me free health care to boot!” yawn as they wait for the Primaries so they can flick their ballot and get on with important things in life.

Then there are those who have been deeply following the candidates angry at the joke the Bush Administration has created in our government searching desperately for a man (or woman) who can make sense of the whole thing. These are the Kucinich supporters. Unable to make enough noise they sit slumped at the bottom of the polls.

Then there are the Obama supporters, who can see the honest effort of the politician but allow him to get away with some non-answers probably because of his overwhelming charm. Obama has solid potential to be a good, honest, sincere, hard-working, dedicated, president… everything opposite our current one. He doesn’t let fascist viewpoints cloud his critical thinking skills, but because many find Kucinich more engaging there will be a split between Obama and Kucinich with people who largely want the same thing. If all Kucinich supporters supported Obama or vice versa there would most likely be enough to beat Clinton… who would categorically be a bad president.

Conclusion:

I try to live my life as honestly as possible. I understand that my viewpoint is not the only viewpoint in the world and that I must share my beliefs with those who feel differently. What is most important though is that some other group doesn’t end up feeling entitled to tell me… or you… how to live. This much is fact. We need a well balanced and well checked system that has been eroded and eroded to the point of elections becoming nothing more than a joke. “The lesser of two evils” is the way the final elections always go… but 3 candidates really stand out and have a chance – Ron Paul, Barack Obama, and Dennis Kucinich… who are not putting the balls of the nation in a vice (women do not have an extremity that they could put in to a vice that would hurt as much as the balls – I, too, believe in gender equality and can also paint the country as a women at some point in the future).

They would be a pretty respectable matchup, you must admitPersonally I’d love to see Kucinich backers to back up Obama because of the Democrat paradox. While Obama isn’t my ideal choice it really is the realistic choice. A small percentage is the only gap between him and Clinton that Kucinich backers could fill. On top of that the only presidential candidate on the right I’d like to see is Ron Paul. Though the mainstream media does not take him seriously I am here to ask you a very personal question. And I really want you to think about it.

Aren’t you tired of people you’ve never met telling you who is a credible candidate and who isn’t? Aren’t you interested in seeing somebody, for once, run on principle and example rather than by intimidation, secrecy, and lies? Are you not interested in living your single life to the fullest allowing yourself and your community to make your rules and not people in Washington DC? Certainly we all must compromise to live peacefully together but should we trust any of the inconsistent politicians to make those decisions?

Depression and loss of focus are huge issues in this country. Many people are unhappy with how often they work, how much they get paid, and how many arbitrary rules they must follow that it kills them from the inside. Sure – those who are puppets happily adapt to arbitrary rules especially if they are a financial recipient of those arbitrary rules… but isn’t it unfair to play a game with peoples lives? I mean they don’t get another chance at a life. They die and then they stay dead. Never again will they be the person that is under the ground… and to think they spent their whole life treated like a paper that needed to be profited from. Let’s let the billionaires suffer for once… I’m sure it won’t be too awful for them.

My suggestion to you is to vote for Ron Paul and Barack Obama for the 2008 Presidential Primaries. All of you who want to be freed from forced obedience for profit. Ron Paul would force Obama to be more direct and Obama would force Paul to look at things where federal spending might be pertinent. For once in the history of my lifetime in America there will be a solid debate between two principled intellgent candidates. Not a joke like the Kerry-Bush race. This is the 21st Century and we can not spend anymore time holding on to ways of the old. The time to move on is now. Otherwise we will all be forced to suffer the consequences of inaction and stubbornness. This is my realistic suggestion for anybody interested in making sure the debate for president is one that covers comprehensive issues to their foundation. Obama would always have to answer to Ron Paul’s constitutional charges and Ron Paul will have to answer on how much we really can eliminate the federal government in our personal lives or how much is wise to eliminate. Ron Paul draws from very old ideas while Obama is a very current 21st century politician, but the most important thing is I believe they’d both want a fair election and to truly work to help the American people. I encourage commenting on this, I’d love to hear any flaw in reason or logic I’ve made with this. I’d love a logical discussion that focuses on the most progressive campaign for the American people. Please comment.

The Bush Administration (Part II)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And Why It Is One Of The Most Terrible Administrations in the History of America:

Update: May 2011 – Hey, if you like my writing, you should check out my new website: Sustainable Diversity with fresh new and more in depth material!

 

In Part I, I set the stage up for the atmospheric conditions surrounding the Bush Administration when it came in to office. The mindset – The End of History, which is a widely accepted neoconservative concept that America has found the highest form of human government and because of it America will not slump from its superpower position… ever. The group of people that have most of their ideals in effect – The neoconservatives, which have a hypocritical view of foreign policy, morality, and patriotism. The supporters of the movement – The Christian fundamentalists, who praise Jesus Christ above all else. Even when Clinton was in office neoconservative ideals such as The End of History were seemingly factual with the build up to the second Bush administration. Clinton was a strong proponent of America being a global country.

Now, January 20th, 2001 – George W. Bush takes office. And on a whole slew of issues he’s managed to divide and entangle America with seemingly little bother on his own conscience. And these are facts: America IS divided and America IS entangled, and the Bush administration has much to do with it all. So I will take stance with the Bush administration on issue by issue referencing as many sources as I can as I am going to sift through over 150 that will give a clear, concise argument on how poorly this administration has handled itself just in general.

The No Child Left Behind Act:

I am a teacher so it’s no wonder I chose this to start off where the Bush administration is creating problems. While in college I was education on this Act because at the time itThis is what high-stakes testing makes had recently been approved by President Bush. The class was on the history of American education and the professor was one of the most respectable and reasonable educators I’ve met. He actually had to write a whole report on the No Child Left Behind Act that was no less than 50 pages and presented it to the federal government on how New York State standards are higher than the federal standards and plea the federal government to allow New York to keep them, he succeeded. In short, he admitted, it was a poorly thought out Act and spoke of many of the problems that are still being discussed today after it has been in effect for some time now.

This is the idea: The federal government gives a certain amount of funds to the public education system in every state in America. The federal government is not just going to give all of the states and schools money without adhering to some standards. The reason behind this is because the federal government wants the students of their country to be within the ideals of benefiting the nation. Having loyal, educated, disciplined citizens is what the federal government wants from the educational system. So to bring this to fruition the federal government decided to implement an Act that holds the schools accountable for not having a 100% (no room for failure) pass rate in every school and if this does not occur within a certain time frame then the schools start to get “sanctions” against them being held more and more accountable for the school’s inability to not create the educated citizens our federal government demands. The government appropriates extra funds for the sanctioned schools depending on how in need the school is.

This is what our educational system does for our children under NCLBThe problem? Well there are several. First we’ll start with the standards – what standards are the federal government holding the schools to? It demands high-stakes testing be used to tell which schools are doing poorly. However the problem with high-stakes testing is that it’s controversial. The reason it’s controversial is because it’s known that there is a stronger correlation between understanding how to take a standardized test and success on one than being well-versed in a subject but not understanding the perspective of the standardized test. Instead of education this simply leads to “teaching to the test.” As a teacher I can attest to the ambiguity and confusion a standardized test brings to a student, especially one with learning disabilities. Many of the answers and questions hold a lot of assumptions the test-maker assumes the test-taker, a child or teenager, already knows and they are generally arbitrary and confusing. And ultimately high-stakes testing is used to rank different cultures, intelligences, languages and perspectives over a large area – state or national – on a level of superiority to inferiority. Teachers and students like to have ownership over their teaching and learning styles and high stakes testing removes that making it foreign and hard to understand. While the argument goes we can not remove the system because we will not know which students are doing poorly the whole subject is hardly addressed in politics and the 100% pass rate still stands on this controversial system… even though high-stakes doesn’t mean high standards. Severely mentally disabled students as well as students from low income, complex, culturally diverse environments have to pass otherwise the school gets the sanctions pressuring administrators and teachers eventually meaning loss of jobs and school closures if these tests can not be passed by everybody. How are we going to know which schools need help without a single way to judge people? Well the answer is simply don’t judge people in a single way.

The major problem is the audacity the federal government holding so much power in comparison to the amount they fund. Straight from the federal department of education the federal government has never funded even 10% of school funding since 1900. Yet the federal government now wants to be the determiner of how to best assess our students. State and local levels have been the strongest determiner of education in America’s most prosperous century making the federal governments desire to standardize the nation seem unhealthy for the nation especially when articles like the one in the initial paragraph are frequent. Yet Bush has assured this method to live on well after his presidency is gone. Why would the Bush Administration want to try and standardize the nation when it’s proven it doesn’t benefit the education of our country? Because it ranks people and ranking is more important to the Bush administration than actual education… because the federal government removes the ownership of both what is being taught and learned and places it on themselves. This further erodes state powers which the federal government has been chipping away at for centuries, while some have been beneficial, clearly this one is not.

September 11th:

There seems to be two schools of thought when it comes to September 11th. There is the somber, unspeakable, tragedy that does not even dare probe in to questioning the handling of it by the Bush Administration due to the cruelty of the attacks… and then there are the conspiracy theorists. Rarely is the tragedy looked at in any other light. It’sSee? Liberty is supposed to stand strong with these attacks - not erode heresy to believe that the federal government did not handle the worst tragedy on American soil in a respectable way. The problem is, according to the highly respected Zogby polls, half of the American people want Congress to probe Bush and Cheney over the 9/11 attacks and over 30% seek immediate impeachment. Knowing that at the time of the attacks Bush had the highest approval rating of any president recorded (over 90%), what could they have done so poorly to get that much of the population to rally behind not only to want them probed, but to have such a large group who had previously approved of him to want to immediately impeach him?

Well there are such cases as Sibel Edmonds, who the ACLU claimed as the most gagged woman in America, in which she asserts that the War on Terror is nothing more than a sham comparing it to arresting only drug dealers and ignoring the drug runners and drug lords. In France a documentary was made about the case and in my opinion it is possible that she could be doing it for reasons of profit or fame because the trailer seems to appeal to emotions rather than reason. However the facts remain that she was definitely hired by the United States government directly after the attacks as an interpreter, she was fired after accusing a colleague of illegal cover-up activities, the government doesn’t explain why they fired her, and the government also forced her to not talk by invoking the “State Secret” rule. These are facts and it certainly raises curiosity at least. To learn more about Sibel Edmonds this person seems to be following what she says pretty well.

But bigger reasons why Bush and Cheney are feeling heat for what they were once seen as our protectors over was probably when the chair and vice-chair of the 9/11 commission was “set up to fail.” Those are their words, the heads of the 9/11 commission! It’s pretty obvious that the Bush administration felt there must have been something to hide if the commission wasn’t allowed to fully probe the investigation. This may once again fall into the neoconservative mindset that to protect our country we have to lie to them in order for people to continue believing in neoconservative ideals. While I am nowhere near suggesting the government set up the attack, I am suggesting our government might have had involvement on some level that they are not proud of, otherwise why all the red tape for the commission? That is a fair question!

And the biggest sin created from the attacks on September 11th was the paralyzing fear the government didn’t attempt to disseminate, but used to their advantage. At a time where we were supposed to show our unity and strength we bought bumper stickers and allowed the federal government to feast on our liberties. Here is a good essay on why things such as 9/11 shouldn’t frighten you in to submission.

Iraq:

Maybe the biggest reason why Bush should be probed over 9/11 is the Iraq War. One of the most common misconceptions about the Iraq War that in some dark corners of America is still used as fact is that the Iraq War was started because it had connections to the 9/11 attacks and they had Weapons of Mass Destruction. In fact Iraq has no connections to 9/11 and has never had Weapons of Mass Destruction. Even two CIA officials are claiming Bush knew all along there were no WMDs there. On top of that the war was illegal under international law. I can not find the words to explain the gross mismanagement within the Bush administration to start an illegal war under false pretenses. Not only were the reasons we went to war wrong, it was not even agreed upon by the rest of the world whom we demanded support from. This undermines the integrity of international institutions and the United States in a very strong way. Why would we go to war when it was illegal under international law? Neoconservatives believe that there should not be a world government and therefore have the belief they do not need international approval before starting a war, even under false pretenses. While it’s understandable why people would not want a world government, Hell, I don’t want a world government, the reasons why the UN put the stops up for this war were justified and the United States is still a major part of the UN.

sad and trueIt’s important to compare the quickness of the impeachment of Clinton over being sexually promiscuous to the inaction on Bush when he started an illegal and unjust war. A war is not a victimless crime like Clinton’s sexual actions, there have been hundreds of thousands that are not allowed to be on this Earth anymore, both innocent Americans wishing to defend their country and Iraqi civilians, who are not going to eat dinner tonight because they do not physically exist anymore. This was done completely on false pretenses by George W. Bush and his administration. Where is the impeachment here? Where is the serious addressing of this situation at the very least? Where is the accountability? There is none – there is only brazen rhetoric about staying the course now. And it is brazen. A poll came out earlier this year on how there have been over 1 million Iraqi civilians murdered, well over 2,000 alone killed in September. Over 3,000 Americans have lost their lives because of the war, even ignoring all the wounded who had to make total life adjustments because of their time in Iraq. And there are even questionable circumstances with what is going on in Iraq, and whether America is even attempting to help the civilian population.

All of these people have died because of Bush and his stubborn and impatient decisions that were not based off of reason nor the good of the American people, but based off of inaccurate assumptions that has cost America not just billions, but over a trillion dollars. That is over $1,000,000,000,000. The Bush administration is not just starting unjustified wars, and that is a fact – the war is unjustifiable under the pretenses in which they began, but they are grossly misspending the American taxpayer’s money. This is a trend I’ll get back to in a different section as the War is not the only place where gross mismanagement of money is occurring. 9 billion dollars goes missing in Iraq and it defaults as unimportant and can get on the list of other gross mismanagements due to being in Iraq. When the cost of the war was only 1/3 what it is currently it was compared to the cost of going to Mars 11 times.

The only response to all this is more or less the message “stay the course.” Unfortunately there is no course. There is no model for a 3rd world country becoming a successful democracy. There are plenty of failures but there is nowhere to be found on this planet a model of bringing a poor, divided country that uses extreme violence into a successful democracy. None. I don’t need any sources for that because there is no source that will refute it, and it is all but certain Iraq is not the exception. But what do we do? We claim we know the way to bring successful democracy in Iraq though there is no serious progress. Even now Turkey is struggling with Iraq and want to invade it themselves. To prove that we know what we’re doing we build the largest budget US embassy in the world in Iraq costing nearly $1 billion. Like the No Child Left Behind Act the Bush administration wants to make sure their ideas are forced upon America for years after he leaves office. Rolling Stone magazine published a big article that just adds to the mountain of credible evidence that there is something sinister going on within the higher levels of government that is swindling taxpayer money. Which closely relates to my next topic:

Corporations:

If there was ever a question in your mind whether George Bush stands up to the stereotype that he’ll help the rich get richer an the poor get poorer look no further than theWar really is good business, thats why we cant let people who work for defense corps work for our govt second richest man in America: Warren Buffet. Now Buffet is an unusual man obviously well attuned to manipulation of money and not the first person I’d trust in giving me a good deal if it came to the choice of him profiting or me, but Buffet made me look at him again when he made a $37 billion donation to charity. And while we all know this will affect his lifestyle not-at-all, it most certainly is more than most putridly rich people are giving. Perhaps with old age comes a conscience because Buffet recently publicly acknowledged that he should pay more taxes, even making a bet with any on the Forbes 400 list that their income tax is less than their secretary’s. As of this writing none of them have accepted the bet while plenty responded to shun him for it.

Without a doubt it is evident that the Bush administration is pandering to corporate interests and not the interests of its citizens. And Iraq seems to be where a lot of these businesses are ending up hence the reason why the US installed their massive embassy in a 3rd world country. One of the corporations that profited largely from the Iraq situation, current and past, is Blackwater. Blackwater has been accused of smuggling arms as well as labeled as “out of control” by a congressional committee. Yet Blackwater has been heavily funded by the United States. So in order to protect both of their reputations they attempted to cover up unnecessary civilian casualties in which Blackwater created. The fact that we could claim the Iraq War was started to eliminate a man who killed innocent civilians and then on the same hand cover up our own civilian casualties is proof in itself we don’t belong there anymore than Saddam. On top of it all Blackwater is part of a draining cost for America considering we already have a military and spent more on it than anyone else in the world.

Blackwater is not the only corporation that has used the United States government for their high profits. The Bush administration enjoys contracting out governmental work on many levels. Oil companies such as Exxon-Mobil have enjoyed record profits under the Bush administration while the American citizen deals with the ever-rising oil price increases. A congressional report came out even deciding the oil companies are getting some pretty sweet deals from the government. I don’t know how anybody can justify giving a good deal to a business that is having record profits and ignoring the squeeze the same industry is putting on the average consumer. Halliburton, a corporation Dick Cheney once served on as an executive as well as a corporation that has billions of dollars of American taxpayers money, has even profited and up and moved away to Dubai when the heat was turned up on ethical practices.

The American government is more and more boldly supporting corporations leaving individual citizens with the same problems. This is an article on how the Supreme Court ruled to suppress the speech of citizens over corporations. Case after case after case corporations are becoming more bold infringing on citizens rights with very little to no repercussions. This is having a negative effect on our liberties which I will touch on shortly. Why is this occurring? An interesting and well thought out opinion by Robert B. Reich (published in the New York Times and served as an adviser for Clinton) believes that this nation is becoming supersaturated with consumers and investors as opposed to citizens. He calls it a turbocharged economy and frets over the danger because of it.

They forgot the donkey sharing the pocketBut the biggest corporate joke of the Bush administration has to do with the infamous wiretapping programs they’ve implemented and told telephone companies to comply or face repercussions. It all seriously began when thankfully an AT&T whistleblower came out of the woodwork explaining that what his corporation was doing was illegal spying on Americans. Once it became factual that the United States did indeed demand illegal wiretapping programs there was a quick rush to congress to pass a bill demanding immunity to both telephone companies and Bush administration alike. In fact Bush was brazen enough to insist the immunity of telephone companies and refused to sign a bill if it did not occur.

Many ignorantly argue that September 11th changed the world and that Bush only committed this particular illegal act (because he has done way more than just one) with the interests of American citizens in mind. The problem was Bush began this illegal domestic spying campaign even before September 11th occurred according to a suit against the government. And Qwest would be the corporation to trust in this case as they were one of the only companies that understood the illegality of the program and refused to implement it. Documents have surfaced for this truly patriotic task that the government attempted to retaliate against them for obeying the law. On top of Bush illegally spying on America he appoints an AT&T industry lobbyist as a counselor. Aside from appointing a lobbyist as a counselor seeming ethically wrong the motives behind the move are questionable.

American Liberty:

The reason all of this is a problem in the United States, in case it seems quite ordinary practice in much of the world, is because the United States foolishly believed in personalWhat happened to the Lady Liberty that stood strong on Sept 11?! liberties of individuals during its inception. But still the argument of September 11th changing the world comes up and now security is the highest priority in the new millennium. However if security was more important than anything – including personal liberties – then why has the government decided to contract out our security to private companies? The most sensitive information to catch terrorists, much of which the own citizens of the government which pays for its existence aren’t allowed to know, are going to be subcontracted out to a company that has profit as its motivating desire as opposed to security.

The erosion of civil liberties has been a highlight of the Bush administration. Almost every action of the Bush Administration has been to expand executive power and minimize individual liberties. The government has been able to do this by creating an atmosphere of fear in which the citizens of the United States have no choice but to give up their individual liberties. The irony of it all is Bush rallies support for his liberty-removing ideas by declaring the terrorists “hate freedom.” This is one of those times that overt hypocrisy is blinded by fear. “If you see something, say something” is the new mindset of the American citizen even though they have no idea what they’re even looking for wasting multitudes of government time. The “freedom” that Bush claims the terrorists to hate is the exact same freedom he is attempting to remove himself.

The Bush Administration has been attacking the Constitution since the September 11th attacks grabbing more power, breaking down the checks, balances, and freedoms of the United States that was supposed to work towards giving the citizens of this country freedom. This journalist calls George Bush James Madison’s worst nightmare. Naomi Wolf, a feminist becoming more outspoken about the government, claims America is on track to fascism. The ACLU claims the US Constitution is in grave danger. These are not claims to take lightly, what causes these types of allegations on the Bush Administration?

To begin with we’ll start with a terrorist watch list that is rampaging towards one million people. Now the question is – are more people becoming terrorists or is the government broadening the definition of a terrorist? The answer to that isn’t debatable, it isn’t questionable, the truth is the government is expanding who they treat as terrorists. Case after case after case after case after case after case after case after case after case show average American citizens, as diverse as they come (from grandmas to artists to activists to professors), become innocent victims of this intrusion into personal privacy and liberty. For some it ruins their whole life, Americans simply don’t have the time to be bogged down by arbitrary red tape that is supposed to allegedly catch terrorists. If a professor is not allowed to fly or leave the country this is something that could cost him his job, same with a principal of a school… and some have to use their hard earned money and time to fight for their obvious innocence. These people are not questionable terrorists, these are real people who have gotten sucked up in to an overzealous bureaucratic system that has no intention of letting go.

Yet some still ignorantly complain that these freedoms still exist and whatever laws are passed are arbitrary. This is Alberto Gonzales explaining the reason why the United States government is now allowed to unlawfully detain anyone they please, citizen or non. The video sickens the voice of honesty and reason as Gonzales chooses to create foolish lies and look ignorant than give an honest reason. Habeas corpus is not the only thing that has been effected:

This is a negotiated spying bill giving “some” telephone companies immunity to illegally wiretapping people…

this article is about expanded use of US spy satellites…

this is all about the national ID card in the pipe (“papers please”)…

The Protect America Act is about removing judicial and legislative oversight on the executive branch…

this is about loosening the reasons for law enforcement to track you…

this is about wiretapping the internet for the FCC…

and why not one about creating a secretive office to hand out spy satellite pictures with…

and hey, how about our National Intelligence Director asking for eavesdropping power?

And then the Bush Administration determines that in order to make sure nobody’s rights are being violated they will make a “secret court” to figure it out. This is flagrant disregard for the American way of life. And that is an educated agreement across the United States:

Judges have struck down parts of the Patriot Act as unconstitutional…

The ACLU says when you’re confronted by an FBI agent and you’re not allowed to tell anybody – not a soul on this green Earth – that is unconstitutional…

States are rebelling against the REAL I.D. Act..

There is a bill begging the government to restore rights…

What a great transitional picture between topics!However many will argue that if these things that our elected officials agree to make our country safer then they will back them. The major issue is a lot of these big ideas the government have (and they are big ideas) are inefficiently costly as well as debatable in measurements of safety. They store excessive information on you including reading material and bed size. There are negative repercussions to more surveillance to society as a whole. The national systems the government wants to put in place could create deadlock. Running these operations cost billions of your money.

And still there are those who simply say: I have nothing to hide, so they can repeal all the privacy they want for me. Aside from this being unconstitutional it’s just plain non-thinking, these things came in to effect in the Constitution for a reason. On top of that these systems are very easily opened to be widely abused with no checks and balances. So why then? Why do we do this to ourselves? For one – America has gladly traded education for convenience with the First Amendment Center reporting solid callowness on Americans knowing what the First Amendment contained.

The best rally against our own idleness, believe it or not, aired on Conservative Fox News by a man named Judge Napolitano.

So what is the Bush Administrations response to all this encroachment on privacy? They change the definition of privacy. It’s just that simple.

Torture as well as, but not limited to, other non-citizen treatment:

Our own apathy is not just hurting ourselves, but it is hurting those not from the United States just as much, if not more. This is just one British opinion of his time spent in America. But that is the stuff Americans deal with every day. Non-Americans all across the world have been abducted by the American government, illegally detained, and are tortured relatively often. Now that is a harsh accusation to make – but it is invariably true. Guantanamo is a perfect example with already knowing they aren’t granted habeas corpus from the video above with Gonzales mind-bogglingly explaining away truths. This means that one can be accused of being a terrorist and it’s equivalent to being guilty of being a terrorist. Unfortunately there is a huge distinction between the two and America has always claimed to give the accused a chance to defend his innocence. Because as we all know accusations does not equal guilt. Look towards Arthur Miller’s classic The Crucible for a lesson in that idea. Because of this knowledge that we do not have to treat these accused terrorists like humans articles such as “Doctors decry Guantanamo Treatment” arise. Not only that but when someone stops treating humansExactly why torture has been illegal like humans that is when someone is in the act of dehumanizing. It can start on a lighter level like removing habeas corpus or limits with attorneys, but eventually when that someone has enough control over the one they are dehumanizing it will always lead to torture. Waterboarding is one popular method that has made the news a lot because it’s used by the US government and it is an extreme form of torture that is meant to simulate drowning. Have you ever almost drowned? I have and I promise you I would have told anybody anything to make it have stopped.

Torture is morally incorrect to the American culture, and I’d dare say even the human race. It has always been our duty to do our best to make sure everybody is treated as a human, that is the point of the Constitution. Yes it’s true there have been gross injustices under America in the past but it does not mean the Constitution supported those things, the Constitution is a pretty fair document considering it is arguably the oldest constitution in the world in one of the youngest countries in the world. There must be something of significance to have upheld for so long that united all groups of people and has allowed minorities to vote. So is something like waterboarding torture? Internationally it is recognized as such, and I understand the neoconservative ideal to not want a world government to tell them what is what, but with torture that sounds like something people can universally agree on. Even so we have had one of our own assistant attorney generals experience waterboarding himself and called it illegal, and then apparently was forced out of his position. What does Bush say? Bush, the man who never experienced it, says interrogation methods like waterboarding are not torture. So great, internationally and domestically it’s known as torture, and a country always priding itself on human rights, decides it needs to be tougher than the global free-and-fair definition of torture? Why? How is this even near acceptable? Your tax money, from your pocket, is going to fund a torturer and allow a lie to be spread that it is not torturing.

Then there is the argument: What if torturing someone as despicable as an Al-Qaeda member can save hundreds or thousands of innocent lives? This is a bogus argument because while being tortured you are willing to tell your torturer anything, that does not limit it only to the truth. All an Al-Qaeda member needs do is lie to buy some time before the attack occurs. And all this is under the assumption there will ever be a situation where that is even likely to occur.

Maher Arar - innocent man who doesnt get proper justice because of corrupt administrationStill don’t believe that torture will make you say anything, even lies? Meet Maher Arar, a victim of extraordinary rendition, a term the government uses to extradite accused terrorists without any evidence on them and torture them. Arar is just one of many victims of extraordinary rendition, but if he’s a terrorist, then what’s the problem right? Wrong. Arar is not a terrorist even though he is still on the American terrorist watch list and is even now not allowed in America. Arar was taken to Syria and tortured even though he is a benign Canadian software engineer. Because of no habeas corpus Arar never got a chance to prove his innocence. And when the United States finally realized their mistake they dropped him back off in Canada. The Canadian government even issued an apology to Arar and had someone resign over the instance. The U.S. response? Nothing. Kept on a terrorist watch list, no acknowledgment of his innocence, no apology issued. When all of this was addressed by Senator Patrick Laehy Gonzales avoided the topic completely and it was buried under the table once again. The fact that he never actually says anything is a huge clue as to him being a puppet as opposed to a leader or decider. While being tortured in Syria under American orders he confessed to all sorts of acts he didn’t commit. This information was then taken by American intelligence as a level of fact, then it had to be checked out, then it had to be realized he was lying just to appease the torturer… no wonder why we have to fund such a large intelligence service when they expect tortured information to be accurate information.

Even the threat of torture gets some people to tell radical lies. This is such in the case of Abdallah Higazy, an Egyptian having the unfortunate circumstance of visiting New York City during the 9/11 attacks. An article noticing a small but very relevant change in a statement of a lawsuit provides us with clues as to how our FBI handled the situation when confronting an alleged terrorist: they threaten to torture his family. What happens when the court realized how it made them look? They removed it but not before quite a few people got a glimpse of it to prove it actually happened. Higazy quickly confessed to having connections to September 11th but was later dismissed when the object they connected him to with it, was not actually even his. This is another example of where habeas corpus could’ve straightened things out more fairly with less inhumanity.

Khaled El-Masri, another victim of renditioning, was stolen away from his family for 5 months and was tortured by the U.S. in Afghanistan over a mistaken identity. Then our court system refuses to hear the case of a man that our tax dollars help torture. How grossly inefficient and pandering is a Supreme Court to deny an innocent, tortured victim some justice.

Lastly there are some who still will be ignorant enough to not care about such severely unacceptable acts so long as they don’t apply to citizens. But they do – innocent US citizens, even one that was loyal enough to serve in the military, have been incorrectly imprisoned and tortured. There is absolutely no honest justification for these acts that do not ride the definition of despicable. The United States is supposed to have more moral integrity than that. However the Bush Administration continues to secretly support torture.

Iran:

The audacity for the Bush Administration to set their sights on Iran after the Iraq debacle and with few funds must be for a serious reason, right? My personal opinion is – not exactly. Everyone in America should know the reasons why the Bush Administration wants to go to war with Iran, with Cheney, the ex-industrial military CEO, pushing the idea the hardest. Iran wants to use nuclear energy and while every claim by Iran is that it is not going to be used for weapons, our government just doesn’t buy it. Our government believes that their nuclear energy is going to be used for nuclear weapons. The problem is Iran is only swearing to use it for power plants. There are different ways to harness the power of nuclear energy and if one has a nuclear power plant it does not necessarily know how to make nuclear weapons. That point, however, is moot to the Bush Administration – no nuclear energy, no nuclear weapons, no nuclear. period. And – if they do not comply – the Bush Administration ensures the planet that over our dead country Iran will not have Nuclear energy. Then the Bush Administration went as far as imposing sanctions on Iran over some accusations that seem to use the same speculation as used in Iraq.

The point is the United States is serious about going to war with Iran and they are doing it on the same card they played when they wanted to go to war with Iraq. TheSeriously - this is sickening close to the truth benevolence card. The purpose is because if Iran attains any nuclear capabilities it will quickly turn in to Iran having nuclear weapons and robust claims that they will attack, with nuclear weapons, Israel or Europe. We are doing this for the world’s good, not for our own, yet there is no war-mongering in Europe and while I’m certain there are factions within the Israeli government that support the war, it is the US who is war-mongering the most over Iran’s actions.

But the very serious question to ask is: after Iraq, does America, especially the Bush Administration, have the right to declare war on a country and in a region that does not affect them at all? If it will affect Israel and Europe why are not Israel and Europe the leaders of whatever needs to happen against Iran? Because even if we imagine the worst – Iran gets nuclear weapons (and I agree that is not good, but any country having nuclear weapons is not good) they do not have the capabilities to launch them to American soil, nor has Iran made any claim in the desire to do so. Without even being able to have the Iraq situation under control – awash in scandals and innocent deaths and it was also another country that did not affect America in the slightest- the Bush Administration wants to attack Iran right before it leaves office, leaving the successor deeply entrenched in two middle-eastern conflicts. This has driven some people to go as far as call Bush psychotic for even considering the idea, and I have to agree. It sounds like sociopath thinking to me. Especially because the Bush Administration makes no acknowledgment that Iran is cooperating with agencies involved in these kinds of things in every way that they can.

On top of the severe issues this will call for America, Iran is no Iraq. Iran, despite their Islamic fundamentalist leaders, is actually a pretty progressive Islamic country. In what way? I personally know somebody who lives in the United States but has visited Iran multiple times and the government is not strict on many of the things Westerners condemn about Islamic regimes… in fact the United States, surprisingly, is a popular country among the citizens of Iran. I remember telling her it must be the last country in the world where the citizens look up to the United States. Western culture has influenced the Iranian culture heavily and the government does not oppress most citizens for breaking traditional Islamic fundamentalism. My friend, who does not dress overly conservative for her views in America, was more modestly dressed than most women her age there. Also after September 11th Iran was the only middle eastern country that held a candlelight vigil in mourning for the actions of the extremists. All Muslims are not the same and Iran happens to have the highest density of Shiite Muslims in the world, the terrorists of September 11th were Sunni Arabs. Iranians are also not Arabs. Iran is also a functional country, with a healthy economy and approval for government, and even having one of the largest stand-by military in the world (Nov 11th article).

Yet the Bush Administration claims there are factions of the Iranian government that are terrorists, thwarting attempts in Iraq. It’s interesting enough then that Iran claims the very same thing, that the United States is supporting terrorism within Iran. Not possible, right? Terrorist supporters will say anything to take the spotlight off themselves… and such is the case with the United States. The United States has supported terrorism in other countries in which the government was not obedient to the United States desires. During the Reagan Administration, a highly respected administration for many of the men making current decisions, a man named Joseph Savimbi, an Angolan rebel, was invited to the White House and was presented to the American public as a “champion of democracy.” The truth is he was a ruthless warlord that was attacking a corrupt government. The same book continues in saying “One of the paradoxes of the Angolan conflict was that Cuban forces were given the task of defending American-owned oil installations from attacks by American-backed rebels.” This is a fact: America profits from war by being both the attacker and the attacked and, as seen here, has happened before. The United States has no problem supporting tyrants so long as they are obedient to U.S. desires. One of the worst tyrants in African history was Mobutu Sese Seko (a man who will get an entry of his own) and HW Bush claimed him to be a valued friend, for his aid to democracy? No. He made no serious attempt at it. It was for his obedience. Christian leaders such as Pat Robertson ignored Mobutu’s severe human rights violations and rallied to allow Mobutu to have a visa to the US when the State Department refused it… most likely having something to do with the diamond mines that Mobutu let him control.

There is no benevolence from the United States when it desires something, there is only obedience. And while I agree Iran should not have nuclear weapons, as should you, this is something the global community needs to work on together with those most directly affected taking the biggest initiatives to handle it. Otherwise it is simply the United States making petty demands for petty gains (and devastating losses). It is not far-fetched for the United States to support terrorism in Iran and for those of you who are willing to accept the argument “two wrongs DO make a right” check the saying again.

Fiscal Irresponsibility:

Though I have already mentioned numerous fiscal irresponsibilities that have occurred under the Bush administration, such as the costliest US embassy in the world and billions missing in Iraq, that unfortunately is not the only toll of the Bush administration. Because of the excess spending on “Homeland security” and the Iraq situation, as well as giving oil companies and the rich deals it has taken an expense on the country as a whole. Things like a $1.6 billion budget for propaganda have helped the Bush Administration to plunder all of the funds it has to date. The executive office of the president has taken more money from the American people than any other executive branch in the history of the country. The nation’s top accountant has been preaching financial reform because of the unsustainable spending by our government, but he can not afford the billions of dollars to promote the truth that the Bush Administration can afford to promote their agenda. But whether or not he can afford to popularize his message it does not mean what he says is false – he is doing his job accurately and is stunned by the amount of irresponsible spending. This is a great chart that puts America’s costs in to perspective.

Lets use this for anything we damn well pleaseBecause of fiscal irresponsibility the American dollar is in decline. It is currently at a 15-year-low and is only dropping further with Canadian currency well above American now. This is a problem for the same reason after World War I it was a problem for Germany to pay off the entire debt helping create the Great Depression. There was too much money in circulation and that means the money is too easy to get ahold of making it worth less. When American money becomes worth less and does not buy things as easily as other currencies countries consider dropping the currency which would end up making the common American dollar worth even less as less people accept it as currency. The issues really hurting America such as the housing bubble and the arbitrary gas price increases are ignored or dealt with in a way so the same people who have been benefiting all along will continue to benefit.

Because of Bush’s ties to big business he praised outsourcing of American jobs. This allowed corporations to forgo tariffs, human rights, and environmental protection as many poorer countries ignore those things for the desire to profit. China was one of the biggest welcomers of outsourcing as most things are now made in China that are sold in the United States. China has a terrible human and environmental rights record (again – another entry will be dedicated entirely to this) but because they are willing to make things cheap for America the fact that they are communist and treat people and the environment poorly are ignored while countries like Cuba (also communist) are scorned for not being as obedient. But China isn’t as obedient as they seem, now America has become dependent on Chinese products making the United States vulnerable to Chinese demands.

Because Bush praised American jobs going overseas, benefiting the rich, and overspending on war, propaganda, and questionable security 1 in 10 Americans live in poverty according to the US Census Bureau and cities such as New Orleans and Detroit are dying.

Corruption:

All signs point to corruption. The above links are irrefutable evidence that the Bush Administration and the people it puts in to power, and even the people it has looked up to in its past, have no issue becoming corrupt. Most people see the changes the government have made since 9/11 have been changes for the worse. Voters are unhappy with Bush and the Congress for its inaction to stop him. Americans simply want change from the current government.

Why? For starters only the Bush Administration would get a legitimate headline proclaiming: Bush administration awash in scandals from Forbes. The article, since disappeared from Forbes website, touches upon:

– the neoconservative Paul Wolfowitz who was giving his girlfriend high paying jobs and World Bank money (money for the desperate!) unjustly

– Matteo Fontana who was put in charge of federal student loans but owned over 100k in a student loan company himself

– Julie MacDonald who had no biology background, was in charge of Fish and Wildlife Service but leaked internal information to private groups and overrode scientists on how to protect endangered species

– Philip Cooney, who was a former oil executive lobbyist admitted editing government reports eliminating or downplaying facts correlating greenhouse gasses and global warming

– Darleen Druyun, who leased tankers from Boeing for $23 billion even though a Pentagon report showed them unnecessary, after getting out of prison Boeing hired her

– Scooter Libby, who was the first high-level white house official to be indicted for over 100 years

– Jack Abramoff, who defrauded American Indian tribes and corrupted other public officials in collaboration with White House aide, David H. Safavian, and deputy interior secretary J. Steven Griles.

Loyalty above competence has been the hallmark of the Bush Administration. Bush even had the audacity to try and appoint Harriet Miers as a judge of the Supreme Court ofOh the irony! the United States even though she had never served as a judge a day in her life. Bush and his administration have attempted to usurp the American government from the moment he took office vying for more executive power and secrecy removing the checks and balance system that has worked for so long within our government.

Bush has managed to do this in various ways. One way is by making a benign bill pass through Congress and allowing his friends to change it before he signs it. Another way is to sign a bill in to action but let Congress know that he has no intentions of following it himself because his administration is above the law. Another way is to circumvent congress to get what he wants. Yet another way is to have cronies underneath him ask him ethically wrong questions. And of course there is allowing federal agencies to have dictator-styled press releases. Another great way of suppressing opposition is to make whistleblowers unsafe. And of course there is the famous tell-your-friends-if-they-want to-keep-their-job they will suppress intelligence disclosures. And when things get tough friends of Bush anonymously come to his rescue by blocking a bill that would unseal many of the president’s corrupt tactics.

Time and time again federal agencies aren’t held accountable for their gross negligence. According to Walter Mondale, Jimmy Carter’s vice president, Dick Cheney has been actively helping Bush expand executive privilege which he asserts is “stepping over the line.” Yes, even a whole book has been written about Cheney’s inner-workings for his desire for power in the White House, yet almost nobody in Congress rallies behind the resolution to impeach Cheney.

How does the executive branch get away with such perversion of the U.S. Constitution? Their favorite way is through puppets. One of my favorite puppets was Scott Jennings when he was interrogated by Congress on illegally firing disloyal government officials. He pleaded executive privilege even to the point of describing what his position was knowing full well by not saying anything he would be protected. This is Bush telling Congress that his administration answers to nobody, not even his own government. But my absolute favorite puppet of the administration would have to Alberto Gonzales as the Bush Administration brought him in, used him to cover for their illegal work and implement more illegal actions, and then allowed him to be removed. It was Gonzales who had to explain to the Senate committee how the Bush Administration illegally ignored the Constitution by disallowing habeas corpus and only getting the repercussion of being told he doesn’t have any common sense. It was Gonzales who had to rein back the committee when they pounced on him for the Administration illegally abducting Arar, the innocent Canadian, and being tortured subduing Leahy to wait for answers when cameras and press are away. In fact the whole time Gonzales was in office he was defending and blocking scandal after scandal by the Bush Administration. So when Gonzales was finally forced from office due to the incompetence of handling his position in his place the Bush Administration carefully selected another puppet for replacement – another puppet that condones torture.

Conclusion:

So there it is. There’s my proof. This is why the Bush Administration is one of the most terrible administrations in the history of America. Did I address everything? No. I have plenty more to say about this administration, but I will bite my tongue and stick with the things that are most obviously wrong. All of the sources I used are verifiable to a large degree and while some of them might not be 100% perfect the corruption, the favoritism, the demanded loyalty, the spite for diversity, the fiscal irresponsibility, the pandering to the rich, the torture, the illegal abductions, the loss of rights, and a host of other things are. To defend the Bush Administration now would be to spit on the American Constitution and everything it stands for. If you support the Bush Administration in their endeavors please move to any number of countries that demand regime loyalty to actual freedom and progress. As I said before – I do not like to call things terrible unless the shoe verifiably fits, and no shoe has fit this great since Cinderella and her glass slipper.

So what do we do about it? In my next entry I will go over the 2008 Presidential Candidates and explain who will bring the change Americans desire.

The Bush Administration (Part I)

 

Update: May 2011 – Hey, if you like my writing, you should check out my new website: Sustainable Diversity with fresh new and more in depth material!

And Why It Is One Of The Most Terrible Administrations in the History of America:

Before you roll your eyes and ignore this with the sea of other articles on Bush, I’m here to try and make this one count. I don’t like calling things terrible, I take no pride in it,Don’t you love your citizens… even if they’re different than you? it is a heavy and opinionated word and I’m disappointed to use it. Unfortunately it is true and heavily underreported so I have saved, over the course of years, sources for my opinion on this administration. In fact right now I am going to sift through a collection of over 150 articles, interviews, and opinions that are going to shape my article and express my opinion on why I believe the Bush Administration is one of the most terrible administrations in the history of America. In a sense this article is going to write itself, and I will do my best to make sure the sources are as reliable and primary as they get for the sake of clarity. I will also be linking to some well reasoned and logical opinions which focus on underlying reasons for some actions.

Due to the length I’m going to need to clearly and reasonably present my argument I am going to divide this up in to 2 parts (this being Part I) (Part II is here). In Part I, I will focus on the background attributes to what has occurred around the Bush administration that helped shape its views and policies with very little actual reference to the Bush administration. I liken it to a play with a stage, actors, and an audience all of which play heavily on each other. Just as the Bush administration didn’t find itself magically in power, there are situations – concrete and abstract – that have helped shape the administration to what it has become.

Now before I get into the essay it’s important to understand my perspective and where I’m coming from since I’m using an opinion here. These are the values I am using to judge this administration: I’m viewing it from a secular point of view- so I am not holding the administration to any religious standards considering our government is supposed to be secular. I am going to view them indiscriminately- meaning I will not judge the administration on race, age, religion etc, and I am not judging them simply because they are Republican as Democrats have their own let-downs to be shamed by. Do not dismiss me as anything and instead try and connect the lines from what this country was founded on and what it has become with this administration. The United States of America, despite the negative actions it has caused in its past, was a nation that truly wanted to free the people, as best as possible, from the greed and corruption of those in power. If you believe that power doesn’t usually breed corruption and greed it’s important to look at most nations in the world and see greed and corruption first hand. It is easier to be secretly greedy than open and honest – because the latter requires trust and stories from Brutus and Caesar to Benedict Arnold teach us not to trust. While there are figures who people have claimed to be open and honest heroes they generally end up assassinated – Martin Luther King Junior, John Lennon, these have been examples of the fate we must meet being open and honest. Yet, the point of being an American, I thought, was that it was our duty to stand together and to trust each other to defend against the regressive attitudes of greed and corruption within our government. Hence the 3 branches as well as both state and federal powers. Now with that basic background here comes my essay on why the Bush administration is in fact one of the most terrible administrations in the history of America:

The Stage – The End of History:

Let’s set up the stage, shall we?The End of History is a term coined by the man Francis Fukuyama who at the time was working in the State Department. He came up with the term during the last throes of the Cold War when the Soviet Union was hemorrhaging into failure. The idea behind the End of History was simple enough – that Western liberal democracy was the highest form of human government because of its success and longevity in comparison with other forms of governments like the Soviet Union. Americans had a hard time disputing this seeing as they were the champions of a decades-long cold war and their material wealth. Even when I was growing up in school there was absolutely no question that the United States has virtually perfected the political system. The End of History wasn’t just about the end of nation-wars though, it was basically a prediction that things will never change for the worse.

Historically that is the biggest mistake an empire should make, and by the end of the Cold War the United States was surely an empire. Currently there are bases in about 130 countries around the world making the United States the country most into other countries’ business and whether we like it or not the US is an empire. However we are a benevolent country, or so the argument goes, and this is what differentiates us from the empires of the past. But an empire is an empire and no matter how benevolent we claim ourselves to be, if it’s not viewed as benevolence by those people we are involved with in other countries, then history will repeat itself. When Rome stretched itself too thin collapse did not occur from another powerful nation but instead from the areas outside of their borders that they tried to claim as their own. There is no historical evidence suggesting that there is a way for foreigners to control indigenous lands of others but this is precisely the course of direction the United States took after the Cold War. Towards the end of the Cold War the United States found itself in some of the most remote, unstructured countries in the world. Afghanistan, Kuwait, Iraq, Somalia as well as a host of others. These nations were not directly threatening the overabundance of wealth in the United States but because of America’s benevolent nature the United States intervened strictly for the cause of global charity. We weren’t going to allow despotic rulers to make petty demands of the world and we dutifully did our part to keep them in their place.

But it was this fallacy of The End of History that actually set the United States up for the beginning of its decline. It was readily accepted that we, the Americans, had found the one right way to live which is obviously horseradish. The needs, desires, and actions of people are constantly changing and assuming that the United States was setting the example for the way the world should work was only outlining a genocide of all other human cultural interactions, while the people may not die, their cultures that have worked for them for so long will be murdered. Only the Constitution seems to allow change to occur while maintaining stability. Undoubtedly nothing less than arrogance would’ve allowed such an idea to go to our heads and actually be implemented. This is a great article that goes in to depth on the opinion (backed up with centuries of proof) that superpowers don’t always stay superpowers once there.

The Actors- Neoconservatives:

What good is a stage without lead actors?If the ideas surrounding “The End of History” is the stage certainly it is the neoconservatives that are the actors. Francis Fukuyama himself is a neoconservative and The End of History is based off of neoconservative ideals. Neoconservativism has deep roots that reach in to American politics past for a half century molding the policies of the nation. Irving Kristol happens to be the man everyone looks to as the “godfather” of neoconservativism and in this article he calls neoconservativism a “persuasion” as opposed to a “movement.”

In short, in economics neoconservatives are proponents of low taxes and risky (though they tend to make it wordier: risk-friendly/ far-less-risk-averse) approaches with the goal of achieving growth.

In social issues they are uncomfortable with “demoralizing” freedoms such as pornography or homosexuality and are allied with religious fundamentalists (in this case Christianity) on a certain level of integration of church and state viewing the separation of the two from a minimalist standpoint. Simply this means the neoconservatives wish to have a national moral foundation based on the principles of Christianity to make sure the country stays united and strong. Religious conservativism is a proud aspect of the neoconservative mindset.

In foreign policy neoconservatives are dismissive of a world government (something like the UN) and are proponents of protecting democracy around the world based on their own decision as opposed to a joint decision with other countries. Assumingly this will allow neoconservatives to act decisively based on their own principles without the principles of weaker or potentially more corrupt governments getting in the way. Thusly it was a neoconservative action, for example, to invade Iraq before UN approval. Patriotism is encouraged and while Kristol doesn’t exactly define patriotism he most definitely promotes allegiance to a Christian morality base and ipso facto patriotism of American rules and laws would be most agreeable if they were connected with Christian fundamentalism. Kristol also makes it a point to note that “national interest” is not a geographical term and considering democracy is of national interest it has taken us to places all across the globe for wars and other interests: the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the Gulf War, the Kosovo conflict, the Afghan War, and the Iraq War.

President Bush awarded Irving Kristol the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2002 which is a medal for “an especially meritorious contribution to the security or national interests of the United States, world peace, cultural or other significant public or private endeavors.” Neoconservativism is viewed as a progressive political persuasion for the leaders of the United States to follow. Following it is supposed to guarantee power, resources, unity, and benevolence. There are some inherent problems with neoconservativism though that seem to get too easily dismissed by intelligent men like Kristol. For example it’s hypocritical to be against a world government and then attempt to govern the world. While neoconservatives choose to hide the hypocrisy under “national interest” without borders, it ends up being a level of world governing that they agree occurs with the massive amount of power we have, though they state they do not want other types of world governing. This is a selfish policy for the United States to have and while there are many good reasons for not wanting a world government, the United States is not an exception to the rule just because it’s powerful. If we are going to be led by a “persuasion” that advocates no world government, then we must not be the exception simply due to our desire to remain in power. If we are going to be led by a persuasion that advocates the United States governing the world for its own national interests be prepared for other countries to attempt to attain that power and put the United States under their own power. If we are prepared to do this we must prepare for war… which we’ve done by having the most military bases in the world, as well as the largest and most funded military in the world. While the idea that the United States should act benevolently is a mutually agreeable one, it is not benevolent to stifle or prop up governments for our national interests. And even though it could be very easily argued that propping up a United States friendly government is beneficial for our national interests the opposite seems to prove otherwise. When other governments look to protect the United States interests before their own the people become upset with the United States.

The concept of national interest beyond our borders have been taken to the extreme with neoconservative idealists. While one of the strongest arguments that led us in to war with Iraq was because of Saddam’s fascist leadership we have turned a blind eye and even supported dictators who have been just as extreme or worse. Ronald Reagan is a 20th Century hero for neoconservatives and thusly his administration must’ve been ideal. A true ruthless tyrant during his administration was Samuel Doe (just to name one) who came to power when he was young Sergeant in the military. According to The Fate of Africa, a respectable book on Africa’s struggle since colonial independence, SamuelSamuel Doe Doe led a group of men to sneak in to the President’s mansion in 1980, shot him three times in his head, gouged out his right eye, and disemboweled him. The book goes on to explain, “What inspired Doe and his group of fellow conspirators to storm the Executive Mansion was not a plan for revolution but simply grievances over poor living conditions in the army barracks. They possessed no political objectives, no policy ambitions, no guiding ideology, other than to set themselves up in power.” The book also explains Doe was “then the youngest and lowest-ranking soldier to seize power in Africa.” Doe was the typical African tyrant with looting from state corporations, tribal favoritism, arbitrary detentions, secret trials, secret executions, rigging elections, even ordering soldiers to fire on crowds of protesters. Doe went as far as to resort to cannibalism to prove his power. How did the Reagan administration handle such a ruthless dictator? They increased aid to Liberia from $10 million to $80 million (page 551 in The Fate of Africa) which accounted for nearly one-third of the country’s budget. When Doe detained a prominent international figure only then did the Reagan administration take action by refusing $25 million in aid. Doe released the prisoner and in return the United States gave him the $25 million to continue his ruthless rule. Why would the Reagan administration do all of this for such an aimless, power hungry, corrupt, and petty dictator? Because Doe openly endorsed the United States and openly denounced the Soviet Union, even using socialism as the reason on why he had to ban opposing political parties. Doe was allowed to rule as ruthless as he pleased so long as he helped American national interest by denouncing its enemy. The US ambassador, William L Swing, even referred to him as an “endearing boy.” When an election took place where preliminary votes showed that Doe would not win the presidential election and Doe burned the ballots declaring himself the winner, the Reagan administration responded by calling the election “generally fair although marked by a few irregularities.” Chester Crocker, Reagan’s senior policy-maker in Africa, “praised what he called ‘noteworthy positive aspects’ about the election. He went on: ‘There is now the beginning, however imperfect, of a democratic experience that Liberia and its friends can use as a benchmark for prospects for future elections – one on which they want to build… his prospects for national reconciliation were brightened by Doe’s claim that he won only a narrow 51 per cent election victory – virtually unheard of in the rest of Africa where incumbent rulers normally claim victories of 95 per cent to 100 per cent. In claiming only 51 per cent Doe publicly acknowledged that a large segment of society – 49 per cent – supported other points of view and leadership than his own.'”

Obviously lying and bending the truth have become more important to our national interests than benevolence for neoconservatives. Winning is winning and there was absolutely nothing positive about the way Doe handled the election, but in turn for his approval the Reagan administration gladly praised the wretched leader, the next When there is incentive to “liberate” we liberate, when there is incentive to allow oppression we allow oppression.sentence in the book says “…the election marked the beginning of a descent into hell.” Because of the endorsement of the election no serious attempts were made to remove Doe from power and cannibalism as well as more corruption ensued. Countless people were maimed, tortured, detained, deprived, and raped because the people were not allowed to have a fair election, the country descended into using drugged up homeless children to fight their battles as well as abducting the children of others for slave labor. This all may have been prevented if the ballot was ever counted correctly and the United States acknowledged the truth of the situation. But instead the book notes a senior US policymaker in 1993 said “We were getting fabulous support from him on international issues… He never wavered [in] his support for us against Libya and Iran…. All our interests were impeccably protected by Doe. We weren’t paying a penny for the US installations.” The book also goes on to give another quote by Crocker painting a much freer country than Liberia was. Neoconservatives gladly turn a blind eye to the obedient, dismissing the misery caused underneath them. The benevolence card only gets played when things important to our national interest such as the “clearly phenomenal” amounts of oil reserves in Iraq is being sat upon by a disobedient ruthless dictator. We don’t attack based on the leaders cruelty, we attack based on the leaders obedience… this is the mindset that neoconservativism has bread. Even the USpolicymaker in the book used the words “All our interests were… protected.”
The origin of neoconservatives actually has a direct link to the Muslim extremists that are now our nations biggest enemy because of the narrow focus of “interest” used. It is eloquently portrayed by Adam Curtis in his BBC documentary The Power of Nightmares, a 3 hour long documentary you can view on google video: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3. While it has criticism of showing the neoconservatives in a negative light Adam Curtis has a pristine record even being awarded 2 separate BAFTA “Best Factual Series” awards. He is not a man to throw away his career to create non-factual documentaries out of sheer spite. Most importantly I think it shows how neoconservatives help fund Islamic extremism when it was used to their own benefit.

The Audience- Christian Fundamentalists

Excuse the animation, it just fits so well. (I hate animated pictures too)What good is a set stage and primed actors without an audience? Who will encourage, support, and enjoy the actions of the actors? Christian Fundamentalists gladly will take the seat and applaud as well as encourage the actions of neoconservatives. Because neoconservatives look towards Christianity for their morals and wish to implement a level of Christian morality into the government it is those who are most passionate about Christ who back the idea up most. So what is wrong with this? Well, for starters… what if you’re not Christian? That question seems to be quickly dismissed with the automatic assumption that those who do not believe in religion surrounding Jesus have beliefs that come second to the one right way to live. The Christian Fundamentalists don’t question what religion is the right religion, they know. Christian Fundamentalists see themselves as a special group of people whose job it is to bring Jesus into the lives of everyone. This is respectable in some ways because their intentions are good and they are interested in the spreading of what they see as positive morals. While their desire to spread their religion is passionate we must look at the situation as adults as opposed to emotional children: though you may believe strongly in your religion you have no right to expect others to be forced to follow its rules. We have the ability to be articulate which is a much more mature means of solving a problem than just getting upset. The first people that really migrated here from Europe were people who were persecuted by their religious government. As I linked above the neoconservatives take a minimalist view of the separation of church and state so things such as homosexual marriage should be illegal, God should be all over our money and in our pledge, public funding for Christian foundations is okay to help build a moral base. The problem with this is all under the very large assumption that Christianity is the single right religion and evidence around the world gives me reason to believe it’s not the only option. Instead of just ignoring the overwhelming evidence that there is more than one right way to live, let’s embrace it and handle our differences like adults. Don’t get upset at homosexuals for wanting to be legally recognized as a couple to get the same benefits as a straight couple. I can understand the argument that it’s not natural in a procreation sense seeing as the parts do not work together to make babies… and that is a sign from nature (be it God or nothing) that a gay couple cannot procreate with each other… and that’s all it means. It doesn’t mean they can’t spend a lifetime together, it doesn’t mean they can’t adopt children, it just means that two of the same can not createCreated for shock value. Handle it and move on, don’t outlaw it. a child… but if the adults are responsible, dependable, and stable then what is wrong with supplying a child with two living adults, what’s wrong with allowing them to be wedded by the state? Men are not going to stop loving women and women are not going to stop loving men. Because heterosexuality is the more natural thing to do homosexuality will always be less popular. But sexuality is a private thing to explore and laws have no rights with how people want to bond with each other so long as it’s not threateningly. Having any child see two adults acting respectably towards one another is not a bad example for our children.

Christian Fundamentalism has found deep roots in our government flooding it on all levels and actually convincing us that something as simple as homosexuality could possibly demoralize our culture. Spiteful, regressive, heartless, controlling, dehumanizing actions are what give our children bad morals. They take spreading Christianity so seriously they make private clubs where they can grow spiritually with Jesus. One man named Jeffrey Sharlet was invited to join one of these groups on the mistake that his interest in Jesus made him a believer. In this article he explains in detail what it was like to live with some actual public representatives which he names personally: Senators Don Nickles (R., Okla.), Charles Grassley (R., Iowa), Pete Domenici (R., N.Mex.), John Ensign (R., Nev.), James Inhofe (R., Okla.), Bill Nelson (D., Fla.), and Conrad Burns (R., Mont.) are referred to as “members,” as are Representatives Jim DeMint (R., S.C.), Frank Wolf (R., Va.), Joseph Pitts (R., Pa.), Zach Wamp (R., Tenn.), and Bart Stupak (D., Mich.). What Sharlet describes is unnerving. These people are feeling very exclusive even renaming themselves as “In Christ” (as opposed to Christian) to emphasize the passion in their belief, they even begin to sound giddy when talking about Jesus. While I understand the importance and strength spirituality imposes on the way your body will act, it is important to not force your beliefs on others or expect them to adopt it simply because it’s so important to you. These men Sharlet stays with are very powerful inviting ambassadors over to eat and discuss politics, here is a quote from the article:

“A man I didn’t recognize, whom Charlene identified as a former senator, suggested that negotiators from Rwanda and Congo, trapped in a war that has slain more than 2 million, should stop worrying about who will get the diamonds and the oil and instead focus on who will get Jesus. ‘Power sharing is not going to work unless we change their hearts,’ he said. Sezibera stared, incredulous. Meese chuckled and opened his mouth to speak, but Sezibera interrupted him. ‘It is not so simple,’ the Rwandan said, his voice flat and low. Meese smiled. Everyone in the Family loves rebukes, and here was Rwanda rebuking them. ”

The Rwandan genocide and the events surrounding the event were some of the most horrific in history happening barely a decade ago. It was directly related to the bloodiest event since World War II with millions dead, displaced, and in severe poverty. Haughtily over a lazy breakfast a former senator minimizes the extreme desperation and seriousness of the situation and points out that the religion he believes in should be studied by them. He doesn’t acknowledge that many of these people are desperate to not live in poverty and the extreme lengths they have to go through is sincerely a sad thing, especially to a Rwandan ambassador, that is extremely insensitive. Compounded by the inaction of Americas involvement on stopping the genocide. It would be as if right now we have a Muslim person explain that if everyone on the planes and in the towers were Muslim on September 11th, then the atrocity would’ve never happened. It’s just an ignorant thing to say in both situations and not progressive in the least. I feel terrible for that Rwandan ambassador.

Christian Fundamentalists are almost fanatical in their belief. Jesus Camp does an excellent job at showing the conditioning of children in to religion going as far as speaking in tongues and emotionally destabilizing children to the point of tears. While some claim that the movie was purposely done to make the Christian Fundamentalists look bad the director only edited the video, everything said and done in the movie was without any bait because they were simply sharing their faith. Featured in the film is Ted Haggard eerily making fidelity jokes before he lost his position over being accused of having homosexual relations and smoking meth. In the film they mention how Haggard, when he was the leader of the New Life Church in Colorado (a church that now estimates 14,000 attendees), he would have regular meetings with President Bush. This directly links Bush with Christian Fundamentalists and it’s interesting to ask the question – Where do the funds for these stadium-sized churches come from? Certainly these churches are part of a religion of public men with deep pockets.

The problem in using Christianity as a moral base that works closely with the law is that not only other religions are being forgotten about, but even other sects within the same religion tend to come after the prominent ruling sect of the religion. Christian fundamentalists, for example, believe in very different things than Catholics. It’s impossible to determine which one section of Christianity is the most accurate considering all of them have believers. There are even Christian churches that embrace homosexuals. This leaves many people who try acting out the high demands of a religion that might not fit their needs. The concept that mankind is inherently evil is extremely pessimistic and See, the argument doesn’t work. Religion needs to be taken out of the picture. Even Jesus.not at all validated by the actions of many people across all religions. While there have been atrocious behaviors within other religions Christianity is in no way exempt. It is about getting past the religion and focusing on progressive and positive actions despite the difference in spiritual preference. Yet in that article above where Sharlet lived with the religious public officials one of the men was discussing how they need to “unwrap” Jesus from religion so that it is a fact separate from personal religion and can be shared openly as factual within the confines of the law. This is undermining our national integrity as seeing there is no proof for any religion or anything truly depicting what is correct or incorrect for another human to do. The law is supposed to protect those who do things differently from the persecution of any group, marrying Christianity on any level with our legal system is going to view non-Christians as second tier citizens even though non-Christians have the ability to be just as intelligent, respectful, and productive as Christians. Trying to hold themselves to standards that aren’t for them, political figures tend to resort to scandals as a means of pleasure or satisfaction. This was a great comprehensive list I found of just Republicans that have been involved in scandals alone (While all might not be guilty, the number is still just way too high). Republicans, generally the group Christian Fundamentalists adhere to due to their conservative nature, are awash in immorality. If entwining law with Christianity was a good idea on any level the group that supports it the strongest is setting a terrible example for the rest of us. However the Republicans are not alone as many Democrats readily accept Christianity with its involvement in the government, some were even listed in Sharlet’s article. Rarely are the words Conservative and Republican as well as Liberal and Democrat ever separated, but seeing as politics is naturally conservative in nature rich with tradition and history, there are many Democrats with a Conservative streak in them. This does not mean it’s acceptable to attempt to merge religious ideals with secular decisions as it is wildly immature to dismiss the beliefs of the millions of people in this country who expect their beliefs to be looked at with equal validity as everyone else.

So lights, camera, action! The stage is set and the play is about to begin. The setting: The End of History, the headlining actors: Neoconservatives, all eagerly being watched by the Christian Fundamentalist audience (with guest appearances from the audience working with the Neoconservatives). But the star of this magnificent play, the central character to piecing it all together is George W. Bush. Knowing his audience and his fellow actors it’s not hard to play the part and get the right reaction from each respectively. But there is a problem – The theatre sold the tickets to everyone in America but only let in those who wouldn’t criticize the show. Now there is a nation of people feeling cheated because of it. Part II is here.

America

Update: May 2011 – Hey, if you like my writing, you should check out my new website: Sustainable Diversity with fresh new and more in depth material!

The view of the United States of America has become deeply distorted in the world today on many different levels by many different people.

Now THATS fuckin’ America!

It only took me a matter of mere seconds to find this image on Google images when typing in the word “America.” And it was exactly the picture I was looking for even though I’ve never seen it before in my life. So how did I know I was looking for it?

American Flag? Check.

Bald Eagle? Check.

And the newly added symbol, the Twin Towers? Check!

It’s official. This picture is as American as it gets. Perhaps a little apple pie should be steaming on a window-ledge in the bottom right hand corner… no, maybe thats too much, yea this picture is perfect. Indeed this image is supposed to fill you with only one feeling: Pride.

The pride this image is intending to instill is supposed to be blinding or even intoxicating. It’s supposed to be a symbol of reminder on what America’s all about: Freedom. Freedom is such an abstract concept that it is actually impossible to define unless you put it to a situation. Freedom by itself simply means “the absence of necessity, coercion, or constraint in choice or action” (m-w.com) in its most abstract form. And of course the buzzword for the 21st Century is terrorism. America means freedom from terrorism… hence the new World Trade Center symbol. In fact this image can be easily categorized in another category: propaganda.

Propaganda is “the spreading of ideas, information, or rumor for the purpose of helping or injuring an institution, a cause, or a person” (m-w.com) and most certainly these symbols have “ideas” behind them and they are meant to “help” the “institution” of the United States. The American flag and bald eagle are incessantly paraded about to show true dedication to the American cause. The addition of the World Trade Center is to show how the American cause is a moral cause, a cause to fight terrorism. And in reality, is there anything that is more reviled than terrorists? Not really. Their whole purpose is to cause terror, a word that has a deep meaning in our language, it is a word reserved for one of the strongest manifestations of fear.

But it’s essential to look at America through the perspective of an adult. Images like the one above are misleading, they’re meant to play with your emotions and not evoke your reason and logic. In fact if you see bald eagles, American flags, and WTC pictures somewhere often there is a large chance that the organization, person, or group that uses them are trying to be manipulative because they have little contextual meaning outside of pride (WTC excluded) which is certainly nothing we should be making serious and logical decisions based upon.

The reason why I say WTC excluded is because the Twin Towers have a very separate meaning. For some it is a tragedy, for others it’s a call for retribution. In fact the World Trade Center has meant a sea change in mentality of the United States. Many feel as if America was living in a dream world before the September 11th attacks, and now it’s time to wake up. Enemies of “freedom” are out to get us and we now have to commit ourselves to fighting the evils of this world. But once again, propaganda pictures are not the best way to make logical decisions. Looking at situations individually and critically will certainly yield more fruits to end terrorism than sheer compliance to US authority. Many don’t see it that way.

Nice hair!

So let’s get down to logic! What is the United States of America all about? The picture to the right is not propaganda though I’m sure it certainly could be used for that reason. It is supposed to depict the signing of the Declaration of Independence. The United States of America was founded on revolution. Not many countries can say that about their history. And it is most likely the reason why the United States feels it has a moral responsibility to get rid of evil. England was unfairly siphoning wealth off of those who were already dissatisfied with the country which is why they moved to the “New World” in the first place. Tired of religious persecution and following the whims of a single ruler, these revolutionaries understood just because they had different viewpoints it didn’t make them bad people, they decided to stand up to a tyrant… and won. The story of David and Goliath became historical fact. Americans certainly pride themselves on this freedom from persecution. England was like a top-heavy bureaucracy depending on the hard work of their colonies to take care of their glut, the Americans said no and to this day, over 200 years later, Americans still enjoy our independence from England.

Now free from a tyrant’s rule the men of this revolution decided to draw philosophy from the Enlightenment, specifically John Locke, on how to make sure they could create a country not ruled by tyrants. You see, they realized something extremely profound that most governments have refused to acknowledge even at its most base level… what they realized (to some extent) is that people are individuals who didn’t ask to be born under a set of rules that were not created by them… and that in order for the most coherent rules to stay in tact it was important that citizens had rights, that people in positions of power could be checked and balanced by people in positions in other powers. This is where the reasoning behind the Executive Branch, Judicial Branch, and the Legislative Branch comes in. This way nobody could hijack the country as the King of England hijacked theirs. They believed that they shouldn’t have to pay for taxes on necessities and if a person is just trying to survive and go about their business they shouldn’t be bothered by the government. They believed that a federal government should play a minimal role in your life as opposed to an inflexible demander even though they never even met you or knew your situation. They felt that States should have more authority… this is because States are more local, they have a much smaller area to govern, this would allow for different cultures to flourish and more attention could be spent on individuals. It was a government created so people could live like people… for their own purposes… and not just the pawn of an untouchable ruler. They even believed there should be a level of local government, in towns, where people even decided even more unique rules so that people could harness as much control over their own lives as possible without oppressing the lives of others.

The concept behind this was liberty. Inalienable rights that go along with a human simply for being born on this Earth. This was supposed to keep rulers in check of abusing a human. So everyone got their wigs back on and wrote up the Constitution which contained the Bill of Rights as well. Another wig signing party

And it was a success! For as young as the United States is it arguably has the oldest surviving Constitution on this planet. The success of this is because of how broadly fair it is at recognizing peoples differences. It attempts to remind everyone that they are just as human as the next guy and the one with the more reasoned argument shouldn’t be dismissed or oppressed just for having a different (possibly helpful) viewpoint. Inevitably it was this document that was used to give women and black people rights. The United States of America prided its liberty so much that a giant copper statue, the likes of which is rarely built these days, was made by the French to honor America’s honest justice. Certainly there is no mistaking on what the United States did to pull the West once and for all away from the monarchy rule created in the dark ages. There is no questioning the fact that the United States made many positive contributions to the world as well as many positive people.

However, of course, the United States has not been perfect to everyone. Though that document helped free the slaves and give women rights, it didn’t do so right at the onset. And there is nothing wrong with saying that was inappropriate for the United States. No country has a perfect history, all countries have a dark past somewhere. And while America slowly spread the idea of humane treatment abroad, it still oppressed Native Americans creating a virtual genocide of a multitude of races, cultures and tribes by tricking, disabling, or killing them as the United States filled its manifest destiny. And whether you agree with the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki or not they were still cities of average citizens, no more guilty of political tension than those who worked in the Twin Towers.

But those were not collective decisions that were embraced by all. There is no doubt in my mind that there were many attempts to use violence, force, or submission in the United States history, but at the exact same time each individual made their own decision and that does not mean other people should have to be held accountable for it, especially if they had nothing to do with it. It is our job as current citizens, instead, to condemn such actions, work towards making sure similar situations don’t occur again, no matter what side of the argument you’re on.

What is equally as important is that we don’t embrace our negative actions. Slavery, for example, is a negative action. Viewing another individual as lower than you simply for no other reason than noticing a physical difference about that person is something against our morally adept Constitution. Indeed at the time these men were writing it they did not realize that even those prejudices that were socially acceptable eventually came to light and allowed injustices to be broken down… even the ones they upheld at the time. This is what makes the United States Constitution amazing, it applies to all injustices.

Progress?

And so state after state came in to existence (though on the blood and oppression of the Natives) creating at least 50 micro-cultures inside of the single country (arguably many more). New York simply did not view the way a state should be run the same way as Alabama which also contrasted with the way Texas viewed it while that contrasted the way Oregon viewed it, which contrasted with the way Hawaii viewed it… and so on. The success of this was the ability for people with different viewpoints to have a say in the way they wanted to be treated. The federal government wasn’t the sole ruler like a King or Queen, there were a great many checks and balances within the federal government and within the states themselves.

However sometimes the federal government had to get involved. Some private companies like the railroad were manipulating people in the very same oppressive way that the country had fought to eliminate. Monopolies sprouted up here and there only for the federal government to knock them down and force fair competition. And it can’t be overlooked that the United States worked on very successful social programs that were administered at the federal level. It was proven that the federal government had the ability to consolidate things yet still allow people maximum freedom.

There’s that word again. Freedom. In this case it’s used to allow people maximum liberties without oppression. And that’s not always easy because if you allow one person to do one thing you are sometimes (in fact many times) not allowing another person to do something. This is sometimes easily justifiable: Man claims property through government, government approved man of claiming property, man builds house on property, and another man, now seeing the value in the property with a house already on it, wants it instead… it’s pretty cut and dry. Man B can not live off the fruits of Man A’s work while ousting him especially with no compensation, not even if Man B is the President of the United States of America.

So it’s at least arguable that the federal government made some beneficial moves in times of need that didn’t necessarily restrict liberties. Social Security, a means of pulling the United States out of the depression, was one such social program. Many people had benefited from a federally implemented program and while it was used as a form of identification, it was only for financial purposes only. In fact before the program became very controversial it was even specified that while it was used for things such as taxes that “It shall be unlawful for any Federal, State or local government agency to deny to any individual any right, benefit, or privilege provided by law because of such individual’s refusal to disclose his social security account number.”

It is interesting to note that currently there is an Act working its way through the federal government that will change the laws to force people to carry a federal identification card at all times in which they can deny you of any “right, benefit, or privilege provided by law because of such individual’s refusal to disclose” his federal identification card.

You do that Miss USA

More propaganda. This time from WWII. A complicated series of wars, the two world wars and the tension created around them lasted decades. However the United States clearly stepped in, with its moral fervor, to eliminate genocide of the Jews and to stop the unification of Europe under a spiteful Nazi Germany. It is clear that Nazi Germany was very much against personal liberties as they did not see the Jews (or anyone but the German people for that matter) as equal to themselves. In a hubris you will only see with a group that has failed to contemplate the purpose of humanity Nazi Germany violently shook the world and the United States and its allies shook it back devastating family after family after family after family…

Did the Americans put Japanese in holding centers? Sadly yes, but many argue the point that genocide was not on their mind when this happened. However no German-Americans were put in to the same camps. Did the United States unleash to the world nuclear war? Yes again. The cost of not doing it, of course, could’ve been weeks, months, or years more fighting the stalwart Japanese military island after island. It is in fact hard to not resort to actions that cause torture, pain, death, and oppression (the very things the United States is supposed to be against). The reason for this is because people generally want to feel safe and in control. When a person does not feel safe and they do not feel in control it is hardly different than riding tied up and bound in a passenger seat of a speeding car driven by a crazed maniac… anything to stop him… it’s your life at stake here. At all costs, when one feels threatened for their or their families very lives, they are willing to create the most morbid of atrocities. War zones are no different than Satanic haunted rituals celebrating suffering, pain, torture, mutilation, desperation, despair, terror, pungent odors, numbness, and death… rituals with no compassion. Perhaps this potential-loss-of-control feeling is how the United States felt when they bombed Japan or interned Japanese-American citizens. Perhaps its how the German’s felt when they were stuck with the bill for WWI. Perhaps this is how the terrorists felt on September 11th… is it that unfeasible?

The success of the United States can hardly be contested by anyone. In fact it became so successful it was able to introduce the idea of globalization: the world as a free market, the unification of medicinal practices, political standards, and human rights. Whether you agree with this idea or not it is because of the United States becoming a global powerhouse that has the USA in a lot of involvements all around the world, not just at home anymore. Metropolises spread across the country, corporations with more income than most countries arose from within, celebrity status was taken to a whole new level in the USA with the advent of Hollywood. Things became so successful that in order for things to be easier to deal with the states lost a lot of their original power to the federal government for implementation of more government programs. Not just millions, not just billions, but yes – trillions were being tossed around because of the voracious American economy. Many around the world originally embraced it and longed to be in a country that was so prosperous, some hotly despised it, some were indifferent to it.

Bad globalization!Good Globalization!

And now we reach present day. Did the United States, so loved and revered by many in its value of liberty, create something bad or good with the idea of globalization that it supports and helped create? For now it’s a rhetorical question but it will be a question to ponder indeed. Some see globalization as a shackle to the world while others see it as people helping people. The United States sits literally as the headquarters of the idea. Does globalization have anything to do with terrorists? Are terrorists against the freedom of liberties or the freedom of globalization? What’s the difference? What American ideals does the United States value today? Is it the direction the founding fathers expected us to go in? Is it the direction the Constitution expects us to go in (arguably the oldest constitution in the world)?

These questions will be addressed and propaganda like both of the globalization pictures (left and right) will only be used for analytical purposes here. On this site we’ll help define what that vague word freedom really is to both the United States and abroad, and whose getting what definition of it. Understandably this isn’t the most exciting entry but trying to understand and help the world needs an inner drive. And as always if you have any opinions of yours you wish to share on this or any other entry I’d love to have it. It may even make me edit or correct some things.