A Novel Idea….

March 11, 2008 at 12:20 pm (U.S. Foreign Policy)

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Slovenian philosopher and cultural theorist Slavoj Žižek has recently put forth a rather novel idea concerning voting laws in the U.S. He says:

“I was asked by a academic journal if I were to hold the power for one day as president, and I would have kind of absolute power to introduce a law, what law that would have been? My immediate answer was… let’s [allow] everybody in the world, except US citizens, to vote and elect the American government. I think it would have been much better for you, even, because we all outside the United States would project our desires into how you should be.”

Now hold on just a minute there, Mussolini. Are you actually suggesting that other countries should be allowed to have an authoritative say in how we conduct our affairs? That other nations have the right to impose their thoughts, culture, and way of life upon us? Wouldn’t agreeing to that kind of external control be distinctly un-American?

Well, on further consideration, I would say that our submitting to external forces would indeed be un-American, but our forcing other countries to submit to our way of thinking, our culture, our will, and our military — well, that’s about as American as baseball and Chevrolets.

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War and Fleece

February 18, 2008 at 11:20 pm (U.S. Foreign Policy, Uncategorized)

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Award-winning author Naomi Klein has argued that the so-called “reconstruction effort” in Iraq is not reconstruction at all. In fact, it’s the sale of the century.

Here’s how it works: The U.S. invades the country and destroys its infrastructure (its bridges, its roads, its hospitals, its schools). Then, the Bush administration hands out no-bid contracts to companies to rebuild the stuff we blew up (companies like Halliburton, whose former CEO, Dick Cheney, still owns stock options and receives compensation, and whose profits since the invasion have saved the company from bankruptcy).

So basically, we have turned Iraq into a capitalist’s dream, a shopping mall in which the products sold are the resources of someone else’s country. And in the aftermath of shock and awe, the country was declared “open for business” by Paul Bremer before the dust had settled, before the lights had come back on, and before the U.S. contractors had successfully rebuilt a single bridge.

And this universal restructuring of the Iraqi economy was completed before elections were held. The basic issues any democracy wrestles with, like “Should we have private or universal health care?”, “How should our resources be distributed?”, and “How much of our public companies should we allow foreign companies to own?” were all decided unilaterally by the U.S. And once we had pillaged and plundered the country’s resources we decided that we should probably let them vote.

Not much has changed since Columbus sailed the ocean blue in 1492.

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Jihad, American Style

February 14, 2008 at 12:18 am (U.S. Foreign Policy, Uncategorized)

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Here’s a little sociology lesson for you: In your mind, exchange this soldier’s uniform for a white robe and replace his helmet with a turban. With me so far? Good. Now, picture him kneeling on both knees rather than one, with his face to the ground and a little mat underneath him. And finally, change the English letters at the bottom to Arabic ones, and the word “Lord” to “Allah” with a Quran reference instead of one from the New Testament.

 GASP! Look at that fanatical extremist! How can those animals kill innocent women and children with such indifference and even glee? They must have ice running through their veins….

 Just ’cause murder is done in the service of a different God doesn’t make it holy war.

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A Case Study in Irony

February 9, 2008 at 7:58 am (U.S. Foreign Policy)

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In case you didn’t catch season one of CBS’s Jericho, let me bring you up to speed….

 There has been a nuclear attack on the U.S., with something like ten cities being hit and hundreds of thousands killed. The closest missile to hit near Jericho, Kansas was in Denver. They could see the blast and got some of the radioactive fallout, but were largely spared.

Toward the end of season one, the nearby town of New Bern hears that Jericho’s farms and salt mine are producing nicely, and they want in on the action. More accurately, they want to take these spoils for themselves. New Bern is better-armed than Jericho, so they use a minor scuffle between their respective townsfolk as a provocation and excuse to invade their neighbors, which they do with great violence and cruelty.

Anyone watching this program cannot help being filled with outrage at such selfishness and greed. How can the leaders of New Bern be so callous and opportunistic? How can they trump up such a weak excuse to exploit others for profit?

 Hmmm….

The ironic thing about all this is that the good people of Jericho, Kansas are God-fearing conservatives for whom Old Glory holds a special place, and who live under the assumption that America, at least as it once existed, was a force of good and justice in the world.

Why, you ask, is this ironic?

Because the residents of Jericho are enduring the very same treatment that their beloved country has inflicted upon a myriad of other nations, from the landing of Christopher Columbus in the New World to the landing of Paul Bremer in Iraq.

That’s why.

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